Pros

  • On a private island famous for Pasta Point surfing spot
  • Calm stretch of beach with loungers, umbrellas, plastic chairs, and water sports
  • Largely comfortable (if basic and dim) rooms with tinted glass, minibars, and outdoor decks
  • Garden grounds with natural wood benches and lots of shade
  • Swimming pool with attendant, large wooden deck, and plastic loungers
  • Three restaurants with international buffets (one with bar)
  • Two bars with large decks, sea views, live entertainment, libraries, and table games
  • Spa with bungalow treatment rooms and Elemis products
  • Kid-friendly with family room options, simple playground, and waterfall pool
  • On-site small gym, shops, and PADI/DAN dive center
See More Pros

Cons

  • Fee for internet in most rooms
  • Giant ants are a major problem in most rooms; wings and eggs litter windowsills
  • Some rooms have thin walls and cigarette smoke wafts easily through thatched roofs
  • Beds can be old and lack support
See More Cons

Bottom Line

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an upscale, 148-room property that's an easy 30-minute speedboat ride from Male. Rooms are spacious and mostly contemporary, but are dim, showing wear, and often littered with dead ants. Interconnecting rooms, a kids' club, and kiddy pool area make the resort suited for families, while a world-famous surf spot makes it an enticing challenge for surfers. Wear and tear aside, the resort's value is in the wide array of activities and features on offer, from a spa and pool, to bars, entertainment, and water sports. The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is more luxurious and also close to the airport, and often not much pricier, so it's worth comparing rates.  

See More Bottom Line

Oyster Hotel Review

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

Scene

An older property near the airport known for its surfing

Originally opened in the 1990s as Taru Village, the resort has kept up with minor maintenance to battle the weathering climate; there was an overhaul in 2010, and further renovations began in late 2015 and are ongoing. As part of these renovations, the resort is replacing and remodeling the floors and thatched roofs in almost all the units, starting with the well-worn Water Bungalows. The lack of site-wide renovations shows in the details -- rusted, worn, and just plain dated equipment, gym machines, fixtures, and furniture -- which can be found lurking around the property. Though considering the decades, the property has held up quite well against the salty beach conditions.  

Dhonveli has a simple layout with a design that concentrates the main bar, pool, shops, gym, and other shared facilities toward the center. However, the dive center, water sports, and portrait studio are located closer to the arrival jetty, beach, and northwestern side of the island, respectively. The island itself seems to act as a wave breaker, with one side battered by harsh-crashing waves (part of the surfer community draw) and the other, a peaceful and calm beach area. Overall, the vibe varies, as the island’s visitors are fairly separated by activity: surfers hang out by Raahlu Bar where views and access to Pasta Point are best; those in the overwater units usually stick to their rooms; and most everyone else can be found scattered along the lengthy stretch of beach, on private porches, or making quick visits to the pool or bars.

The Dhonveli is one of three Cinnamon Hotels properties in the Maldives. Sister property Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is cheaper and more basic, and the Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives is around the same price but farther from Male and lacking a pool. 

See More Scene

Location

In the Kaafu Atoll, just off the crashing waves of famous surf spot, Pasta Point

Located on Farukolhufushi Island in the Kaafu Atoll, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an easy 30-minute speedboat ride away from Male airport, depending on other stops and the weather. The island is especially known to surfers thanks to Pasta Point, home to the Maldives’ most surf-worthy swells, where rolling waves break just off the southeastern edge of the island. 

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious and mostly contemporary rooms and bungalows with high ceilings and a few faults

Dhoveli's 148 rooms have their own pluses and minuses -- in features, design, and decor. One particularly thoughtful feature in the rooms are the tinted windows; not only do they keep rooms cool during the hot Maldivian summers, but they also lessen the glare factor. All rooms come with standard four-pearl features like minibars, free tea/coffee facilities, and personal outdoor space, and they typically have a good selection of toiletries, vanity kits, and convenience features like umbrellas and life jackets. Other standard features include air-conditioning and ceiling fans, safes, ironing facilities, flat-screen TVs with cable, and (for a fee), Wi-Fi. However, there is obvious wear and tear in some spots, which makes the rooms feel less upscale. 

Dhonveli’s Garden Bungalows are oft-inhabited by surfers, but, with a dual-level design and beds on separate levels, they are also suited to anyone traveling with an older child looking for a simple, no-frills room. These rooms have white tile floors, turquoise fabric and paint accents, dark varnished wood paneling, and stairs to their loft levels. The bottom floor of each is home to the lounge space, a built-in single bed, closet, and shower-only bathroom, while upstairs, there's a king-size bed and second outdoor deck. These rooms are particularly prone to large ants, so much so that wings litter the windowsills.

Beach Bungalows have sunset-hued drapes and decor accents, ceramic tile floors, high A-framed thatched roofs, and personal patios that empty directly onto the sand. These spacious rooms can be quite dim, despite the number of actual lights throughout. The outdoor garden bathroom for each bungalow has a bidet, ergonomic tub, rainfall shower, and a tendency to be crawling with large ants. Even the bathrooms, particularly the uncovered shower and tub areas, tend to be poorly lit.

Smoke from the smoking rooms has a tendency to waft into nearby rooms sharing the same thatched roof, and thin walls mean guests can hear their neighbors (if they have particularly projective voices). Some king-size beds can be beyond their years -- or  may turn out to be a pair of double beds stuck together. Thick coats of white paint cover basic and slightly dated wooden furniture and large-stone walls. There are contemporary love seats and vanity stools that give a bit of much-needed style oomph.

The top-tier rooms are Over Water Suites, renovated in 2017 and each outfitted with noticeably more stylish and contemporary decor, and a dedicated living room area and walk-in closet. Guests who want to be over the water can also opt for the lower category Water Bungalows. Both options have wide, mostly uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, indoor hot tubs, and living spaces, but the bungalows lack the more stylish decor and larger space of suites.

The resort also has a limited number of interconnecting/dual-level Superior Rooms that are suited to families. Each fits up to three adults and one child, although many rooms just have an additional single bed. Superior Rooms also have balconies or terraces. 

See More Rooms

Beach

A long stretch of beach down one side of the island

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an island with split-personality shorelines. One on side, home of the famous Pasta Point, the waves are violent and crash hard and heavy against the seawall, preventing any beach use or swimming for the majority of guests. On the other side, there's a long stretch of white-sand beach, equipped with slightly worn (and possibly waterlogged during monsoon season) loungers and chairs, facing the shallow lagoon. Most of the guests set up shop here during sunny days, dipping in and out of the clear, warm waters, or soaking up sun on the beach. 

See More Beach

All-Inclusive / Food

Three buffet restaurants with similar selections, assigned by room category

All restaurants have essentially the same food up for grabs -- international cuisine plus a corner filled with nightly rotating, themed dishes. There's everything from fresh salad, pasta, and pizza stations, to tandoori ovens baking naan, and pots of sauerkraut, stir-fry, and chocolate mousse. Dining rooms and seats are assigned depending on room and category, with Koimala Garden Restaurant serving the majority of the guests in a casual and large, double-room venue in between the beach and the garden paths. Maakana Restaurant is a much smaller circular spot, located down by Raahlu Bar, while the more stylish Rehendi Restaurant and Bar serves only those staying in the Water Suites. The Rehendi venue stands out as having its own dedicated bar, large ocean-view deck, and small, chilled wine room. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Drinks

A small, pub-style beach bar and two main bars 

Aside from the pub-style beach bar connected to Rehendi Restaurant, Dhovenli has two large main bars, Raalhu Bar and Raiyvilaa Bar and Coffee Shop. Raahlu Bar is a casual oceanside spot located along the southwestern edge of the island, and has sand floors, a pool table, and a small entertainment area. With prime views of Pasta Point, it’s a natural hangout spot for visiting surfers who grab a few brews on the expansive wooden deck while watching others take on the waves. The more centrally located Raiyvilaa Bar & Coffee Shop sees more guests drinking alcohol than sipping espresso, and serves afternoon tea (for all-inclusive guests only). Located just beyond the pool, this bar seems to have it all -- a massive deck with (hard) crashing waves, bean bags, a library, foosball, and an afternoon snack service (for all-inclusive guests only). It shares walls with the gym and a couple of boutiques.

See More Drinks

All-Inclusive / Food

A wide range of meal and drink plans available

Dhonveli gives its guests a choice of bed and breakfast, half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive meal plans. Since absolutely no drinks are included in any of the non-all-inclusive plans (save morning coffee or tea at breakfast), many guests opt for the all-inclusive package. This includes soft drinks, two daily snack times, Sri Lankan drafts, and well liquor. Guests who want to step it up to international brands will have to spring for the Premium All-Inclusive deal. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Features

Typical assortment of upscale resort features, plus Pasta Point, a world-class surfing spot

A unique feature of Dhonveli is the island's Pasta Point. While this is a natural feature, the large barrel waves of Pasta Point make it one of the top surf spots in the world (and definitely the best in the Maldives), attracting surfers and competitions from around the globe. However, guests wanting to organize a surfing holiday will have do so through Atoll Travel as the resort itself has outsourced all things surfing to this third-party operator. 

While most non-surfers can be found lining the beach during the sunlit hours of the day, Dhonveli also has a pool area with a massive raised, wooden deck where guests can lounge on white plastic loungers, though they may want to replace the searing-hot, black vinyl cushions with a towel or two. For those who want to get into the salt water, there’s a PADI- and DAN-certified dive center that also handles water sports on the beach (windsurfing, banana rides, kayaking, Seadoos), and snorkeling equipment rentals. There is good snorkeling right off the beach, and guests might spot sting rays or even small sharks. Some guests recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear to avoid paying for rentals at the resort. 

Family-friendly features include a slightly lackluster and simple kids' game hut with ping-pong and foosball, and a basic, colorful playground -- both requiring parental supervision. There’s also a small and shallow kiddy pool just off the main pool, complete with mushroom waterfall. To get a break from the family or just to relax, guests can head over to the Chavana Spa. Using Elemis products for treatments, this spa has bungalow treatment rooms in a garden setting, and a central hut for nail treatments. Treatment rooms have hydro-showers with tiny built-in saunas.

Entertainment-wise, the resort has traditional Maldivian performances, a beach cinema, live music, magic shows, DJ nights, pool parties, and beach parties, as well as the typical off-island excursions to snorkel spots, and visits to local islands. 

Typical resort features available at Dhonveli include a 24-hour gym (with dated machines, free weights, a few well-worked exercise balls, and weigh machines), tennis courts, a portrait picture studio, private meals (for a fee), and fee-based Wi-Fi. 

See More Features

Things You Should Know About Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

Also Known As

  • Chaaya Island Dhonveli

Address

Kanuoiy Huraa, Farukolhufushi Island 20252

Website

Oyster Hotel Review

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

Scene

An older property near the airport known for its surfing

Originally opened in the 1990s as Taru Village, the resort has kept up with minor maintenance to battle the weathering climate; there was an overhaul in 2010, and further renovations began in late 2015 and are ongoing. As part of these renovations, the resort is replacing and remodeling the floors and thatched roofs in almost all the units, starting with the well-worn Water Bungalows. The lack of site-wide renovations shows in the details -- rusted, worn, and just plain dated equipment, gym machines, fixtures, and furniture -- which can be found lurking around the property. Though considering the decades, the property has held up quite well against the salty beach conditions.  

Dhonveli has a simple layout with a design that concentrates the main bar, pool, shops, gym, and other shared facilities toward the center. However, the dive center, water sports, and portrait studio are located closer to the arrival jetty, beach, and northwestern side of the island, respectively. The island itself seems to act as a wave breaker, with one side battered by harsh-crashing waves (part of the surfer community draw) and the other, a peaceful and calm beach area. Overall, the vibe varies, as the island’s visitors are fairly separated by activity: surfers hang out by Raahlu Bar where views and access to Pasta Point are best; those in the overwater units usually stick to their rooms; and most everyone else can be found scattered along the lengthy stretch of beach, on private porches, or making quick visits to the pool or bars.

The Dhonveli is one of three Cinnamon Hotels properties in the Maldives. Sister property Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is cheaper and more basic, and the Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives is around the same price but farther from Male and lacking a pool. 

See More Scene

Location

In the Kaafu Atoll, just off the crashing waves of famous surf spot, Pasta Point

Located on Farukolhufushi Island in the Kaafu Atoll, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an easy 30-minute speedboat ride away from Male airport, depending on other stops and the weather. The island is especially known to surfers thanks to Pasta Point, home to the Maldives’ most surf-worthy swells, where rolling waves break just off the southeastern edge of the island. 

See More Location

Rooms

Spacious and mostly contemporary rooms and bungalows with high ceilings and a few faults

Dhoveli's 148 rooms have their own pluses and minuses -- in features, design, and decor. One particularly thoughtful feature in the rooms are the tinted windows; not only do they keep rooms cool during the hot Maldivian summers, but they also lessen the glare factor. All rooms come with standard four-pearl features like minibars, free tea/coffee facilities, and personal outdoor space, and they typically have a good selection of toiletries, vanity kits, and convenience features like umbrellas and life jackets. Other standard features include air-conditioning and ceiling fans, safes, ironing facilities, flat-screen TVs with cable, and (for a fee), Wi-Fi. However, there is obvious wear and tear in some spots, which makes the rooms feel less upscale. 

Dhonveli’s Garden Bungalows are oft-inhabited by surfers, but, with a dual-level design and beds on separate levels, they are also suited to anyone traveling with an older child looking for a simple, no-frills room. These rooms have white tile floors, turquoise fabric and paint accents, dark varnished wood paneling, and stairs to their loft levels. The bottom floor of each is home to the lounge space, a built-in single bed, closet, and shower-only bathroom, while upstairs, there's a king-size bed and second outdoor deck. These rooms are particularly prone to large ants, so much so that wings litter the windowsills.

Beach Bungalows have sunset-hued drapes and decor accents, ceramic tile floors, high A-framed thatched roofs, and personal patios that empty directly onto the sand. These spacious rooms can be quite dim, despite the number of actual lights throughout. The outdoor garden bathroom for each bungalow has a bidet, ergonomic tub, rainfall shower, and a tendency to be crawling with large ants. Even the bathrooms, particularly the uncovered shower and tub areas, tend to be poorly lit.

Smoke from the smoking rooms has a tendency to waft into nearby rooms sharing the same thatched roof, and thin walls mean guests can hear their neighbors (if they have particularly projective voices). Some king-size beds can be beyond their years -- or  may turn out to be a pair of double beds stuck together. Thick coats of white paint cover basic and slightly dated wooden furniture and large-stone walls. There are contemporary love seats and vanity stools that give a bit of much-needed style oomph.

The top-tier rooms are Over Water Suites, renovated in 2017 and each outfitted with noticeably more stylish and contemporary decor, and a dedicated living room area and walk-in closet. Guests who want to be over the water can also opt for the lower category Water Bungalows. Both options have wide, mostly uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, indoor hot tubs, and living spaces, but the bungalows lack the more stylish decor and larger space of suites.

The resort also has a limited number of interconnecting/dual-level Superior Rooms that are suited to families. Each fits up to three adults and one child, although many rooms just have an additional single bed. Superior Rooms also have balconies or terraces. 

See More Rooms

Beach

A long stretch of beach down one side of the island

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an island with split-personality shorelines. One on side, home of the famous Pasta Point, the waves are violent and crash hard and heavy against the seawall, preventing any beach use or swimming for the majority of guests. On the other side, there's a long stretch of white-sand beach, equipped with slightly worn (and possibly waterlogged during monsoon season) loungers and chairs, facing the shallow lagoon. Most of the guests set up shop here during sunny days, dipping in and out of the clear, warm waters, or soaking up sun on the beach. 

See More Beach

All-Inclusive / Food

Three buffet restaurants with similar selections, assigned by room category

All restaurants have essentially the same food up for grabs -- international cuisine plus a corner filled with nightly rotating, themed dishes. There's everything from fresh salad, pasta, and pizza stations, to tandoori ovens baking naan, and pots of sauerkraut, stir-fry, and chocolate mousse. Dining rooms and seats are assigned depending on room and category, with Koimala Garden Restaurant serving the majority of the guests in a casual and large, double-room venue in between the beach and the garden paths. Maakana Restaurant is a much smaller circular spot, located down by Raahlu Bar, while the more stylish Rehendi Restaurant and Bar serves only those staying in the Water Suites. The Rehendi venue stands out as having its own dedicated bar, large ocean-view deck, and small, chilled wine room. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Drinks

A small, pub-style beach bar and two main bars 

Aside from the pub-style beach bar connected to Rehendi Restaurant, Dhovenli has two large main bars, Raalhu Bar and Raiyvilaa Bar and Coffee Shop. Raahlu Bar is a casual oceanside spot located along the southwestern edge of the island, and has sand floors, a pool table, and a small entertainment area. With prime views of Pasta Point, it’s a natural hangout spot for visiting surfers who grab a few brews on the expansive wooden deck while watching others take on the waves. The more centrally located Raiyvilaa Bar & Coffee Shop sees more guests drinking alcohol than sipping espresso, and serves afternoon tea (for all-inclusive guests only). Located just beyond the pool, this bar seems to have it all -- a massive deck with (hard) crashing waves, bean bags, a library, foosball, and an afternoon snack service (for all-inclusive guests only). It shares walls with the gym and a couple of boutiques.

See More Drinks

All-Inclusive / Food

A wide range of meal and drink plans available

Dhonveli gives its guests a choice of bed and breakfast, half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive meal plans. Since absolutely no drinks are included in any of the non-all-inclusive plans (save morning coffee or tea at breakfast), many guests opt for the all-inclusive package. This includes soft drinks, two daily snack times, Sri Lankan drafts, and well liquor. Guests who want to step it up to international brands will have to spring for the Premium All-Inclusive deal. 

See More All-Inclusive / Food

Features

Typical assortment of upscale resort features, plus Pasta Point, a world-class surfing spot

A unique feature of Dhonveli is the island's Pasta Point. While this is a natural feature, the large barrel waves of Pasta Point make it one of the top surf spots in the world (and definitely the best in the Maldives), attracting surfers and competitions from around the globe. However, guests wanting to organize a surfing holiday will have do so through Atoll Travel as the resort itself has outsourced all things surfing to this third-party operator. 

While most non-surfers can be found lining the beach during the sunlit hours of the day, Dhonveli also has a pool area with a massive raised, wooden deck where guests can lounge on white plastic loungers, though they may want to replace the searing-hot, black vinyl cushions with a towel or two. For those who want to get into the salt water, there’s a PADI- and DAN-certified dive center that also handles water sports on the beach (windsurfing, banana rides, kayaking, Seadoos), and snorkeling equipment rentals. There is good snorkeling right off the beach, and guests might spot sting rays or even small sharks. Some guests recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear to avoid paying for rentals at the resort. 

Family-friendly features include a slightly lackluster and simple kids' game hut with ping-pong and foosball, and a basic, colorful playground -- both requiring parental supervision. There’s also a small and shallow kiddy pool just off the main pool, complete with mushroom waterfall. To get a break from the family or just to relax, guests can head over to the Chavana Spa. Using Elemis products for treatments, this spa has bungalow treatment rooms in a garden setting, and a central hut for nail treatments. Treatment rooms have hydro-showers with tiny built-in saunas.

Entertainment-wise, the resort has traditional Maldivian performances, a beach cinema, live music, magic shows, DJ nights, pool parties, and beach parties, as well as the typical off-island excursions to snorkel spots, and visits to local islands. 

Typical resort features available at Dhonveli include a 24-hour gym (with dated machines, free weights, a few well-worked exercise balls, and weigh machines), tennis courts, a portrait picture studio, private meals (for a fee), and fee-based Wi-Fi. 

See More Features

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Babysitting Services

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Basic Television

  • Beach

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Free Breakfast

  • Gameroom / Arcade

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Smoking Rooms Available

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.