Surf enthusiasts have been flocking to Chaaya Dhonveli for many years and it is not surprising that there are many repeat visitors to the resort.
Famed for its close proximity to surf points such as Chickens, Sultans and Honkeys, plus boasting its own surf section at the resort known as Pasta Point, the resort is frequented by avid surfers, mainly Australians.
Given the clientele, there is a laid back and relaxed vibe to this resort, and unlike many establishments it's not just geared to the honeymoon market. In the early evening, a trendy crowd of surfers- a mixture of couples and singles who come for the sport and love of surfing, hang out the popular surf bar joint overlooking the mighty waves.
Live bands blast out Chili Peppers, Beach Boys and the Rolling stones covers to until midnight in the surf bar, which is lively but also family friendly.
After last orders, revellers can move on to the upstairs nightclub that stays open until around 2am. Meanwhile, shy retiring honeymooning couples who just want a quiet drink can relax in the beach bar, overlooking the tranquil lagoon, or in one of the resorts’ many restaurants.
As surfing is the main reason for booking at Dhonvelhi, many get up early to catch the best breaks. Why not seize the day before breakfast and watch the spectacular dawn break over the waves as herons graze peacefully on the beach.
Mainly pro-surfers visit this resort, but beginners can also get to grips with the sport too. All Dhonveli’s surf guides are enthusiastic and you learn from the best of the best since - Dhonveli’s surf school is run by AshleyHussein Hinde, the son of Tony Hussein Hinde, the Austalian surfer who bought the sport to the islands. After getting shipwrecked, he married a Maldivian and started a surf scene locally but kept the sport an open secret between the surfing communities for more than 15 years,until his untimely death.
It’s not all action and there is room for those who just want relaxation. While your other half surfs, you can claim a spot on the long stretch of beach overlooking a dramatic wild uninhabited island hosting two popular surf points, Honkeys and Sultans – open to locals and expatriates who are not staying at the resort.
Accomodation is in the traditional Maldivian style ranging from two-storey Harry-Potter-esque beach villas, with quaint with thatched roofs to overwater villas. Getting around the resort can be somewhat confusing and it is easy to get lost around this large island. Luckily there are plenty of signs to guide you along the way.