Small, quiet and laid back, with good snorkelling, good diving and good food all at a reasonable price. That is Eriyadu in a nutshell.
The island enjoys an ideal position alone and just behind the outside rim of its atoll. This means that divers rarely need to travel far and rarely need to share their dive sites. It also, usually, means the island has a close-by reef and a good beach.
The beach has diminished over the years, like so many other resorts, but the quality remains superb. The very fine sand moves around the island with the seasons. The last numbered rooms, on the west side, are the ones to go for during the low season - sunset and a broad fine beach is hard to beat. During the high season the beach moves away from here and is more evenly spread around the northern side where most of the rooms are.
Wherever the room is it will be just a short swim away from the house reef drop-off. And it is possible to snorkel all the way around the island. With a tank service to the 3 exit points, this is also a big bonus for divers.
Diving naturally plays a big part in the resort's life. The centre is on its own jetty alongside its boats, which makes things easy and convenient. As with all of this group's resorts the base is run by the renowned Werner Lau. His website comprehensively covers all the sites and sights they offer, as well as prices and procedures.
All but two of the 60 Superior Rooms are in pairs and there is a block with 6 standard rooms. On such a small island this is a bit of a squeeze. Having said that, there is a good growth of trees and bushes separating the rooms for privacy. The cover also affords good shade between the rooms and the beach (although there are sadly few picturesque coconut palms).
Inside, the rooms are cool, dim and comfortable. The parquet flooring is dark hardwood and the wardrobes and tables are also dark brown with brass fittings. In addition to a safe, hair dryer and well-stocked minibar there is a satellite TV and a four-channel radio. The bathrooms have recently been redone to a decent standard.
In the same building as the reception is a good gym room and an area with a pool table, table tennis table, table football and dartboard. In the thatched bar over the water there's a disco once a week and a live band every other week. It also serves drinks until the last person leaves but that is rarely very late as this is essentially a slow, quiet place.
The atmosphere of the place is laid back. There is no need to wear sandals anywhere at any time, even though the reception and restaurant have shiny tiled floors and the bar has wooden floorboards. Guests are generally left to their own devices as the management is rather withdrawn.
Reviewed by Adrian Neville
Half the guests here are German and the other half are made up of Swiss, British, Italian, French, Japanese and Russian. Around half are on full board and the others on half board. Whichever basis you choose you won't be disappointed. The food here (as with all the resorts in this group) is far better than you could reasonably expect.
All the meals are buffet, varying every night and including Maldivian, Mediterranean, Chinese and a barbecue on the beach. Repeaters, of whom there are many, get a special seafood dinner on the beach. Desserts too are very good.
All in all, this is a small, straightforward island with some key selling points: price, food, snorkelling, diving and a peaceful atmosphere.