JA Manafaru

Maldives, Indian Ocean

Hotel rating
Trip advisor rating: 5.0 Based on 1236 reviews

The hotel

Fancy a trip to paradise? JA Manafaru, set in the Haa Alif Atoll on a private island, more than delivers. Offering luxurious beach and over-water villas, all with private outdoor pools and dedicated villa host, it’s nothing less than heavenly. Days can be as active or as lazy as you like — soaking up the sun by one of delightful swimming pools or visiting the Calm Spa, a hidden oasis of pure relaxation. Choose between Shirodhara or Ayurvedic treatments or experience a traditional Maldivian massage or healing ritual – bliss! A haven for couples, it’s also perfect for families too. There are water sports galore to get stuck into, including diving in the depths of the house reef if you’re a novice, or heading out to more challenging sites further afield. The kids also have their own Cool Zone — a place to play to their heart’s content! When it comes to dining, you’ve several options to choose from, including the award-winning White Orchid for special occasions and the Ocean Grill, situated right by the water’s edge, with its laid-back atmosphere. For stunning sunsets, head to the Horizon Lounge, grab a cocktail, sit back and enjoy!

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Spa
  • Swimming Pool
  • Kids Club
  • Fitness Centre/Gym
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Beachfront location
  • Tennis
  • Water Skiing
  • Restaurant
  • Sailing

Where is it

On a 35-acre tropical island situation on the northern tip of the stunning Haa Alif Atoll in the Maldives. On arrival, you will be met and escorted to the resort's guest lounge or directly to the seaplane dock. Transfer from Malé International Airport: 1 hour 15 minutes by chartered seaplane. Please note: Seaplane transfers to/from your resort will only operate in daylight hours. Please ensure your international flights into and out of Malé allow for this schedule.

Hotel information

84 bungalows, villas and suites. All with air-conditioning, private wooden deck with outdoor seating, flat-screen TV, telephone, complimentary WiFi Internet access, complimentary daily fruit and water, mini fridge, coffee maker, tea-making facilities, safe, hairdryer, iron and board, bathrobes and slippers. Beach Bungalows with plunge pool, open-air bathroom, and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 1 child.

All Inclusive option: includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, beach bar and snacks, all on a dine-around basis in six food & beverage outlets (Kakuni Restaurant, Andiamo Bistro & Pool, Infinity Bar & Pool, Ocean Grill Restaurant, White Orchid Restaurant and Horizon Lounge. A wide selection of drinks in the 6 outlets, including soft drinks, hot drinks, mineral water, milkshakes, chilled and selected fresh juices, mocktails, cocktails, a selection of wines (red, white, rosé and sparkling, beer and spirits. Fruit basket and bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne on arrival. In-villa mini-bar including soft drinks, selected spirits, beers and snacks, such as crisps and chocolate (all replenished once per day). Unlimited non-motorised water sports (windsurfing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, catamaran sailing, canoeing). Use of fitness centre, tennis, badminton and other land sports, table tennis, games room. Scheduled yoga and wellness classes. Indoor & outdoor cinema. Daily fish feeding. Kids’ clubs. Scheduled snorkelling trip (once per person during stay)

Please note: Guests are entitled to choose up to a 3-course meal in all à la carte restaurants (reservations are recommended, seating is subject to availability). A 50% discount applies to Chef’s specialities on à la carte menus. Guests may dine at The Cellar or the Teppanyaki experience for a supplement (a minimum order of one bottle of wine is required per couple at The Cellar). At certain speciality restaurants a special menu may be applicable. The All Inclusive option excludes in-villa dining, premium brand beverages, champagne, energy drinks, fresh juices (except for orange, watermelon and pineapple juices), room service, selected special events, and excursions. Alcohol will be served as per the hotel’s license, to guests aged 18 years and above.

Half Board option: includes buffet breakfast and either 3-course lunch or dinner, either à la carte or buffet, on a dine around basis in all restaurants (excluding The Cellar, in-villa dining, private dinners/excursions and chef specials). Drinks will be charged separately.

Sunrise Water Villas allow views of the colourful dawn breaking and views of the marine life through the glass floor panel, with private infinity pool, partially open-air bathroom and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

Sunset Water Villas with private pool and views to the west and the sun setting into the sea, with glass floor panel, private infinity pool, partially open-air bathroom and 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 3 adults.

One Bedroom Beach Suites with private infinity pool, large living room with DVD player, and separate en-suite bedroom, open-air bathroom, private sundeck and beach cabana with 1 king-size bed, sleeping maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Two Bedroom Grand Water Suite with private infinity pool, master en-suite bedroom with 1 king-size bed, and additional twin bedroom, sleeping maximum 5 adults.

Two Bedroom Royal Island Suites are on two storeys, with private pool, sauna, steam room and spa pavilion and treatment area, dining and living area, master en-suite bedroom with one king-size bed, and additional twin bedroom, sleeping maximum 6 adults or 4 adults and 2 children.

7 restaurants and bars: Kakuni (buffet restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner), White Orchid (award-winning Asian fusion cuisine), Ocean Grill (meat and seafood, open for dinner), The Cellar (haute cuisine and award-winning 'wine cave', open for dinner), Andiamo Bistro (pizzas, pasta and salads by the main pool, open for lunch and dinner), Infinity Pool Bar (drinks and light snacks by the infinity pool), Horizon Lounge. 3 swimming pools. Calm Spa* and Wellness Pavilion, with indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms. Fitness centre (open 24 hours). PADI Dive Centre*. Water sports* including windsurfing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, wake-boarding and water-skiing. Tennis court, volleyball, table tennis, pool table and beach games. Cool Zone Kids Club (3-12 years) with pool and mini-daybeds, games room, mini-climbing wall, herb garden and bungee trampoline. Chill Zone for teens (simulators, XBOX, library, board games, open 24 hours). Babysitting service* (on request). Complimentary WiFi. Laundry/dry cleaning service*. 24-hour room service*. Excursions* and experiences*, including cooking classes, dolphin watching, fishing trips, boat cruises and speed boat rides to a private island for sundowners or picnic lunch. Boutique store.

5 nights between 27 Dec–2 Jan. 

No checkouts permitted 31 Dec or 1 Jan. 

*Denotes local charge. 

Trip advisor rating: 5.0 Based on 1236 reviews

Rating summary

  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (1139)
  • Very good (80)
  • Average (14)
  • Poor (2)
  • Terrible (1)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect family vacation experience at JA Manafaru

Feb 19, 2019 158438

My family had a very memorable stay at JA Manafaru. The location is like paradise and the resort has excellent facilities with friendly, well-trained staff always ready to serve with a smile. The rooms are beautifully furnished, spacious, complete with amenities and very comfortable. We enjoyed the delicious food in all its outlets of varied… Read more
My family had a very memorable stay at JA Manafaru. The location is like paradise and the resort has excellent facilities with friendly, well-trained staff always ready to serve with a smile. The rooms are beautifully furnished, spacious, complete with amenities and very comfortable. We enjoyed the delicious food in all its outlets of varied cuisines. We all did not want to leave and plan to go back. It was such a perfect experience! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating An Incredible Stay on Paradise

Feb 18, 2019 Michael P

We stayed in the sunset water villa and could not have been happier with the accommodation, staff, food, activities and general ambiance. The island and resort are absolutely first class! We did 3 dives which were all amazing and spent a lot of time relaxing which was easy to do in such an amazing setting!
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Dream vacation

Feb 17, 2019 Kristin60610 Chicago, Illinois

What an incredible resort! My husband and I stayed for 10 days in early February for a belated honeymoon and it was the trip of a lifetime. From the moment we landed when our JA Manafaru rep met us at baggage claim to when we said good-bye to the JA Manafaru rep as we went through security to fly home, the staff were incredible. Our experience… Read more
What an incredible resort! My husband and I stayed for 10 days in early February for a belated honeymoon and it was the trip of a lifetime. From the moment we landed when our JA Manafaru rep met us at baggage claim to when we said good-bye to the JA Manafaru rep as we went through security to fly home, the staff were incredible. Our experience host was Gani who was incredibly attentive but also understood when we just wanted to be lazy on our deck for the day. Our house cleaner was Santo who seemed to have a magic ability of knowing when we were heading to breakfast or dinner and always had our villa cleaned before we were back, to my husband's delight he also made plenty of incredible towel animals. Gani and Santo also both arranged special celebrations for my birthday and Valentine's Day without my husband or I even mentioning anything which was very thoughtful. The island itself is pretty small and the resort was fully booked during our stay, however somehow it never seemed crowded! Between relaxing on our deck and in our pool, snorkeling at the house reef, and walking to meals we barely ever saw any other individuals except at the restaurants which made for a really nice, intimate vacation. There are a few restaurant options (usually 3-5 open for dinner depending on the day), however they offer plenty of variety and we especially enjoyed the Maldivian buffet and music night offered weekly on Tuesdays. In-room dining was also the same price as the restaurants for lunch so we took advantage of this and ate lunch on our deck and in our pool a few days which felt luxurious. Some things we didn't expect: - The toilet and shower are open air, which was actually really nice! - Most experience hosts drove their guests everywhere on golf carts which was a surprise to us given the size of the island - however our host was very understanding when we relayed that we preferred to walk - The breakfast buffet was incredible! There are plenty of fresh fruits, hot meal options for both Eastern and Western diets, an egg bar, and a fresh crepes/waffles/french toast/pancakes station which was much more than we expected - The sheer variety of wildlife: we saw so many different reef fish, a moray eel, dolphins, a sea turtle, and many sharks Overall the resort cost a little more than we usually spend on a resort, however the incredible location, beautiful beaches, private deck/pool, attentive staff, delicious food, and clean but comfortable room were more than worth the splurge! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Outstanding location

Feb 10, 2019 andyrdavies Frensham, United Kingdom

A truly beautiful location with the most friendly and helpful staff. The food was excellent on all the occasions that we ate, breakfast, lunch or dinner. All the restaurants are in really lovely locations.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Very close to perfection, you won't be disappointed !

Feb 10, 2019 loulouflo Strasbourg, France

When you read reviews about Ja Manafaru, you can get a bit bored as it is always the same feedback that you're gonna read : EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT, THIS WAS PARADISE. I want to make this one a little bit different by starting with the few VERY SMALL negative things about this hotel. Then, we'll go along everything we really enjoyed at this hotel.… Read more
When you read reviews about Ja Manafaru, you can get a bit bored as it is always the same feedback that you're gonna read : EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT, THIS WAS PARADISE. I want to make this one a little bit different by starting with the few VERY SMALL negative things about this hotel. Then, we'll go along everything we really enjoyed at this hotel. Here are the things that could be improved to reach perfection : - The thing that was quite surprising is the not so good management of room cleaning. Indeed, we very often came back from breakfast, after more than 1h away from the room, and the cleaner had not come or was still in the room. This is really nothing you should worry about, but sometimes, you just want to come back to your room and not have the cleaner in it. A better coordination for the cleaning of the room would be perfect. - Second thing is about the all inclusive offer that we had. We'd expect to have room service included in the ALL INCLUSIVE offer. It is not the case. You have a very good minibar that is included, though. ....And if you want to pay for room service...as you may guess, it is super expensive. - Third thing would be the price of Food & Beverage. This did not directly concern us as we were all inclusive, but expect to pay 500$ for 2 everyday for lunch and dinner (WITHOUT Wine, but with 3/4 cocktails and 2 bottles of water / meal). So if you stay 10 days, you'll add at least 5000$ for F&B during your stay. --> We strongly recommend you to go all inclusive so you don't have to worry about all this ;) - Fourth thing is totally understandable but we'd like to point it out there. You're not allowed to use a drone on the island. This totally makes sense as some neighbors don't want to be disturbed when they are on their terrace but....you'd love some beautiful sky view of the island. Let's say that we took the liberty to use our drone for 10/15min when we knew the neighbors were away so that we did not disturb them. In the end, we managed to get some beautiful drone shots....even though you have to know it is not allowed and you're very likely to be told off ;) . - Fifth thing, that is, again, not the hotel's fault, is the frequentation of the hotel that was at least 50%+ Chinese people. Seeing them with their sad face every time you'd run into them is not what you'd expect when going to such a beautiful paradise place. Not to mention the fact that they are super noisy and not very respectful with other clients. (Same for children...even though there were not that many of them). - Finally, in the list of things that could be improved, we've lost 5/6 hours when we arrived because our flight was just 15 minutes late. Don't expect the flight from Male to Ja Manafaru to wait for you. If you're late for the 11am flight, you're good to wait for the 4pm flight...that happened to be late. We would definitely have rather spent the 5 hours on the island than waiting for the second flight at the Ja Manafaru airport lounge (that is very confortable). If you haven't given up reading this review yet and want to know ALL THE THINGS WE LOVED, here we go : - We had a villa over the water (number 206 which, according to us, is one of the best for the location) which was just INSANE. Everything about the room is lovely. The bed is confortable, the view is beautiful, the bathroom is big and super well designed, the private infinity pool is just crazy (we must have spent at least 2h a day in it) and, of course, you'll go directly in the sea from your villa. Nothing to say, IT IS PERFECTION. - We're both French, so we love very good cuisine. We read so many things on how good the food was at Ja Manafaru...so we had very high expectations. We weren't disappointed AT ALL ! All the restaurants were super super good ! Be it the White Orchid, the Ocean Grill or the Italian restaurant, the quality of food is perfect and the taste is as good as michelin stars restaurants. The only thing that could be improved (as already seen in other comments) is the number of fresh fruits at breakfast. - As far as snorkeling is concerned, we LOVED IT ! It is a real acquarium ! We saw a (quite) big shark (150+cm), a turtle, a ray, and thousands of beautiful fish 100m away from our villa. We didn't go scuba diving because the price was way too high and, even though I'm a certified diver with more than 40 dives, I would have had to do a house reef dive at 90$....no thanks ! - The people could not be forgotten ! Indeed, they are always smiling at you and are super friendly and helpful ! Special notice to Jameel, our dedicated assistant who managed all the bookings and everything. Thank you for the super great experience ! - The activities are various and we loved jet-skiing (we even saw 3 groups of dolphins one day just outside the lagoon while we were on our jet-ski, that was insane !). We did the Dolphin Lucky Tour and we were VERY lucky. We saw a BIG group of more than 100 dolphins who came and play with the boat. We strongly recommend you to do this tour ! I think we've come along all the things we had to say about Ja Manafaru. As you may guess, we'd love to come back there and we really struggle to believe that there is a better hotel in the Maldives. PS : the weather was super good, 9/9 days of sun. PS2 : the noice of the plane (that was blamed by other comments) did not disturb us AT ALL. Thank you for this amazing stay ! Read less