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“Nice villas, wonderful reefs, disappointing food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |     |  
Hotel amenities
Saguenay, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Nice villas, wonderful reefs, disappointing food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Maldives is a dream destination and what you find out there is fantastic. The ocean is unbelievably blue with its white coral sand. The water is warm, there are reef fishes all over the place and you would spend the day in the water if you could.<

We chose the Centara Grand as it fitted within the budget we had, and because kids were welcomed. We opted for the Villa on the beach with a private pool, which we thought would be convenient for the family rather than the over water bungalow. This was the right choice for us! All family members could go swim in the ocean, come back to the pool in the fresh water and go inside the villa to cool down and do a bit of social website on the free internet. Perfect set-up! The villa was well equipped but show some sign of wear.

On the first night, we stayed in villa 7 but asked to change as there was not much beach space in front of it. We were quickly helped to move to villa 5, which suited us mush better. We then started enjoying the beach, pool, available water sports, free boat excursions and the included spas and massage treatment.

We also worked our way to the restaurant needing booking (work our way as this is a complex thing to make a booking, lack of consistency between restaurant). Food was good at the Lotus (Thaï) and the Azzuri (Italian) but not great at the main restaurant. This aspect really disappointed me for that type of resort and the cost.

In general, the staff was helpful, friendly and welcoming.

Not having been swept off my feet, I do not believe I would go back there but rather try elsewhere. I would not recommend not to go, the hotel has a good set-up, but I would definitely recommend them to improve on their main restaurant menu and quality of food. It has to be as fantastic as the island!!!

Room Tip: Avoid beach Villas with pool 7&8 as they have no real beach. Villas 1-6 are ok.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerCIRM, General Manager at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Greetings from Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa in Maldives,

Thank you for your review and tips on this public forum. We do our best to give our guests the best experience possible, an experience that they've only dreamed up. 

To make a booking at either Lotus Restaurant or Azzuri Mare Restaurant is not a complex thing at all. We start accepting reservations on day of dining. Both restaurants are very popular and have limited sitting capacities only during rainy days, as we are unable to use outdoor terraces.

We were disappointed to read that you were displeased with the food at the Reef Restaurant. We do feature 14 days international themed buffets, therefore the food is not repetitive, interesting and innovative. We do receive great reviews from Reef Restaurant , that's why we were surprised with your comments. We do apologies if we have not met your expectations in this particular restaurant.

We hope that you do have the opportunity to return to Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives again and experience the positive changes we are constantly making at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives.
Look forward to your return visit.
Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

First visit to the Maldives and it was everything I expected and more!! Centara is a stunning hotel, the seaplane transfer was a great start to our holiday, such breathtaking views. The Lotus restaurant serving Thai cuisine was my favourite. All the staff were excellent and the service was great. I must mention Captivating Maldives who we booked with. We always book with independent tour operators as the service provided is far superior to one of the big major companies and these guys did not disappoint nothing was too much trouble.

Would highly recommend this hotel and will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

After much umming and ahhing ... reading reviews, speaking to agents and looking at dozens of Maldives resorts we settled on Centara ... and so glad we did !

On arrival (after two flights, a bus and a two stop sea plane flight) we were welcomed with open arms and a cold drink while we checked in for two weeks at the Resort. We booked a Luxury Sunset Water Villa (#74) a short walk from reception.

The villa was amazing ... a four poster bed, rain shower and a bath, an upstairs sun deck and a balcony you can step down directly onto a coral reef. Beds in the Maldives are "firm" but you can request a pillow topper if you prefer something softer.

We were staying for our honeymoon and on the second night our entire room had been decorated with individual flower petals, champagne, fruit and a gift which we really loved.

On the Ultimate All Inclusive plan you can dine at any of the restaurants:

Reef - buffet breakfast and lunch, different themed dinner each night. One of the nights was traditional Maldivian (including the staff in traditional dress) and the food was fantastic. In 13 nights there were only two repeated dinner buffets and lunch had variety each day. Janet and Bodhu were both amazing, always getting you quickly to your preferred table and your favourite drinks. Pretty sure we didn't see Janet without an beaming smile in our entire stay.

Azzuri Mare - Italian, three course meal, good choice of meals and everything we had was delicious. Service always very attentive, you do need to book on the day you wish to dine so book early. Sitting outside you can watch hundreds of fish swimming past and feeding while you dine.

Lotus - Thai with a different daily fixed multi course menu (after a month in Thailand eating Thai food we didn't eat at Lotus)

You can also stop at either of the bars for a drink at any time:

Aqua - the main bar at reception, excellent drinks and a great place for drinks before dinner at Azzuri or before/after an excursion. Buddi and Amal were always fantastic and when not flat out keen to chat and tolerated our weird drink requests (Long Island Iced Tea with Cranberry instead of Coke ... you should try it.) Buddi even recommended some local herbal medication when I was struck down with man flu and ended up at the Drs clinic which was very kind.

Coral - the beach bar next to the pool, perfect for dinner if you're dining at Reef. There is an evening fish feeding at 6pm to enjoy ... watching the sharks and stingrays being fed while you enjoy an ice cold drink.

The Ultimate All Inclusive plan covers a wide range of drinks, alcoholic and non alcoholic and in two weeks we didn't want for or order anything we had to purchase.

Spa treatments are included, my wife booked a session each day for the entire stay and raved about many of the treatments.

Day excursions are also included, the two we enjoyed the most were the trip to Dhangethi (a neighbouring traditional island) and the Whale Shark tour (we found one as soon as we arrived to where they frequent and enjoyed two snorkels with them.) There are also paid personal speedboat trips to see other islands, swim with Manta Rays etc.

From your villa you can slip into the ocean and straight out onto a coral reef, we went out each day on different parts of the island. We found Nemo (clown fish) Scar and Dorey ... many white and black tip sharks and even a sea turtle all within metres of the resort.

The staff are all fantastic, from the gardeners to the GM everyone wishes you good morning/evening and everyone is happy to chat, no request ever too hard and staff go out of their way to remember all your drink/food/seating requests ... after a couple of days you have a sore jaw from smiling at everyone you meet.

After two weeks we were truly sad to be leaving and can't wait for a return visit.

Room Tip: Luxury Sunset Water Villas are amazing with larger rooms and fantastic views.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Maldives is one of the dream destinations that my family wants to visit. And we had no hesitation to book the trip for our Wedding Anniversary at Centara Grand Island Resort after reading very good reviews about the hotel from Trip Advisor . And one of the most important factor that made we chosen to stay at Centara was because it is a Thai Hotel chain which we would love to receive a typical 'Thai hospitality' and also enjoy Thai Food. As Thais, sorry to be a little bit choosy, we don't like the western style of hospitality and also western food that much. And we were happy for making the right choice to stay at this hotel..

We booked to stay In Luxury Sunset Water villa and the villa located in a very private area with fantastic view. The turguoise clear water was just beneath and in front of our villa. We could just go for snorkeling by steppind down from our villa or few steps to the hotel lagoon whenever we want. Interesting enough, the beauty of Maldives sea was that even we were in the rainy season, after the strong wind and rain, the sea was still very clear and beautiful.

The ultimate all inclsive package of the hotel making our stay much more easy and we enjoyed using all the hotel facilities- restaurants, pool bar, water sport center, excursion and even mini bar in the rooms which are under 'ultimate all inclusive package' Though there were some reviews in the Trip Advisor stating that there are less choice of free beverages in the menu.
But I would love to say that I found the drink and beverage being offered under ultimate all inclusive package already covered most of the normal drink and beverage that one would love or imagine to have. I don't think we should expect the hotel to offer too much varieties or something too much fancy. Sunset cocktail at the bar by the pool was very fanstastic, the waiter would continuosuly serve guests with all varities of drinks and tapas whille you could enjoy the lovely sunset, nice view and also fish feeding show, a must to go!

We enjoyed having food at Lotus restaurant than other restaurant. .But seems that the restaurant might be too small to accmodate the guest during the peak hours as the majority of visitors to the island were mostly from Asia, And hotel should also allow guest to make reservation during lunch time as well. We booked for the Private Dinner for our Wedding Anniversary Celebration, the food, service and atmosphere was superb. The seafood platter at the Reef Restaurant with Maldivian Lobster is a must to try!

Most of the staffs in every staton/outlet of the hotel were friendly and helpful, Though I must say that it was still not upto the level of service I used to get while staying in other Centara Hotels in Thailand. But I must admit that the level of service in this hotel was still much much better comparing to the level of service your would expect in other Western hotels or even hotel in India or Sri Lanka. On the last day befor departure, I also has chance to meet with Mr.Kris, the Resident Manager from Thailand who personally came to say goodbye to me, as a Thai citizen who came to stay at the hotel. He said he didn't have chance to meet with me when I arrive because he was not in the hotel. We had a very good discusion and I also give few suggestions on few little things that the hotel could do in order to even make customers more happy. He was very attentive to my suggestions and even sent me another mail after I arrived Bangkok. I really impressed with his personal touch. And no doubt, I would say that, under his management, Centara Grand Island Resort would be one of the most successful hotel in Maldives. .

I would say our trip to Maldives and staying at Centara Grand Island Resort was one of the greaest trip our family ever enjoyed. And we would love to go back again in the future.

Best regards.

Room Tip: Sunsent Water Villa is highly recommened- private, quiet, nice view and can snorkeling whenever you...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

The purpose of our holiday was to renew our wedding vows due to a disaster with our wedding two years ago (enough said on that subject). My husband booked the wedding package approx 2 months in advance directly with hotel and we booked our holiday package through virgin holidays. Sinta was assigned as our wedding coordinator and could not have been any more fantastic!!! The most organised, polite and friendly coordinator!!
Our wedding day went without a hitch. Including massages, a wonderful lunch with specially decorated table, a dream ceremony, pictures taken of us all over the island followed by an amazing candlelit dinner with a private butler and chef on the sand.
I cannot tell you how flawless the day was and the amount of effort put in by staff. Things such as a band playing low key music with their guitars during our ceremony. Women staff dressed as flower girls throwing real flower petals over us as we were escorted to our ceremony by our drumming group. Some of which we were not told was included and was a brilliant suprise!!!
It could not have made up anymore for unfortunate events two years ago!!
The holiday, what can I say...... So relaxing! The island has been furnished to such a high standard including the main restaurant with luxury wicker chairs and tables. We also spent a couple of nights in a water villa included in our wedding package. That experience was truly amazing. Outdoor private shower on your balacony with glass floor so you can see the fish swimming in the turquoise water beneath you whilst you shower.
This was the time of our lives and the hotel photographer who took our wedding pictures..... What can I say, the pictures are just incredible!!
When we left and said thank you to the staff, they were so humble in their response!
And for any of us women scared of lizards/ghekos like myself.....not one inside the accommodation!!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I & my wife have been there for 4 days & 3 nights, from Fri 5th Jul~8th Jul, 2013 at the Luxury sunset water villa No. 63 (one of the most west direction).

From Thailand, we took the Bangkok Airways to Maldives in 4.5 Hr., with short formalities at immigration & custom (N.B. Maldives, in addition to other contries, also not allow for bringing in pornograph material, liquers) we met the Centara staff that facilitate us to several step-the next sea plane counter to check-in (serious weight count - one who wish to carry heavy things, please consider to pay for that weight carry on the sea plane) We then got in to a bus travelling to other side of the airport to the sea plane port. The sea plane took 25-30 min. to arrive the Hotel with Hotel boat come out from beach to pick up us.

In luxury sunset water villa no. 63 the room size is spacious, full & enough of facilities, free minibar which we seldom use it, the bath room & toilet is well designed, only the bath tub will be better if it is the jacuzzi. Bed & pillows are good enough quality. We have notice that the 2 chairs & table at the first step balcony (under shade) was missing from what we have saw in the youtube of a guest in Dec 2012. In conclusion-I love this room.
(the sliding door to the ocean is too heavy)

The way to have several restaurant and only for a pre-booking meal is clever idea that will make quest eager to see the food in each restaurant, comprise :~ The Reef - international buffet - change theme daily, the Lotus-Thai sit down dinner restaurant, the Azuri Mare, the 3 courses Italian restaurant. I love this, but only one thing, may be I am a Thai which get used to spicy food, foods in every restaurant not so delicious!, it could be easily improved, by more seasoning? I think. And one thing i notice, the jams in the morning buffet is very normal medium grade one, the Cheese also, normal one--without name tag show the kind of cheese, bread also not delicious.

Well maintain in pristine condition, eventhough the room, the paint is getting older but understandable that the hotel exposed to the strong sea & wind, could be at bit old look after several years open, compared to its' cleanliness, well keeping, I'm satisfied with it.

This is the most thing I'd like to say, the staff here is not just normal friendly, but helpful, understand English very well, especially from my Asian tongue & pronounce, the will definitely know what I want to communicate. The staff at any restaurant is good, I have had good time short talking with a Sri-Lankan bartender name Supun on my first night, first visit at the Aqua bar (right behind the reception center) for my pre-dinner drinks, he has given me some pictures of how about the Maldivian people, religiuos, alphabet, education!!! - and Supun & me are both buddhist.

In conclusion, this resort is somewhat worth the money eventhough I think it's quite expensive, but compared to its' beautifulness, comfortable, all inclusive meal & drink plan, that worth the pay.

Bandhit T.
Bangkok, Thailand
Reviewed on 12th July, 2013

Room Tip: -for couple, the sunset Water Villa, ranging from, may be number, 61-65 can see the sunset with high...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vallentuna, Stockholms Län, Sweden
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

Our trip got a bad start, we arrived 9 hours late. But when we arrived at the hotel Everything was up to expectations and more. I learned on a course a long time ago, that the definition on luxury is to give the customer a Little more then expected. And it seems this hotel is trying to live up to this on every single service. I was on an "all inclusive" in Egypt a while ago, but truly there is different kinds of "all inclusive". Here spa and many events was included. Canoes, pedal boats and snorkeling was all included. Courses on how to use Equipment where included, and you did not have to wait for instructions, you got them at once. All restaurants had really height standard. And also there you got more then expected. For example lunch on Lotus thai restaurant. We got a menu, looking like they often does with a few starters and so on. We started to select stuff, but they told us not to, everything on menu was served, you could replace if you wanted to, but we never did. The service was super, as soon as a glass was nearing empty, they asked to refill it. How is all this possible... we got to learn that when we arrived home. There was a single small thing which not was up to the same standard. The sunset tour. We got wine in paper cups, not so romantic, so we mentioned it. At once when arriving home we had a mail from the hotel manager. He mentioned all times he had met us, and even helped us. He was at times working with the guests same as other personal. No wonder everything was top notch, When you know you must compete with your own boss, you will, and they all tried. I guess when you comes here, also the sunset tour will be as splendid as the rest of your stay. I must also mention snorkeling on the house reef, i got to see turtles, different rays and lots of other marine life. Everything just outside our back door.

Cooking course on Lotus has to be mentioned. This was not "all inclusive" and price looked about normal. But when i asked if we should wait for other students i was in for a surprise. "Its You", and it was a cooking course as no other i have taken. She fetched samples of anything i was unsure about, and not just inexpedience used but also likes and different which could be used or should be avoided. I talked so much good over it that me and my wife took an other one, and she was as satisfied as me.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Centara Grand Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Centara Grand Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives: Set amongst the perfect islands and blue ocean of South Ari Atoll (Alifu Atoll) in the republic of Maldives, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives delivers a unique 5 star resort experience and offers the ultimate in barefoot luxury along with a range of exciting activities that will appeal both to couples and families.Featuring 112 suites & villas, the resort offers diving enthusiasts outstanding diving opportunities including an excellent house reef complete with a dedicated sunken ship wreck and is within easy reach of the top dive spots in the Maldives. The resort offers all guests a premium all-inclusive vacation experience, along with a perfect white sand beach and the crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean.Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives offers more than simply daytime sun, sea, and sand. The resort features a variety of dining options, pools, recreation activities, Sports and Fitness facilities, bars and lounges with nightly entertainment, SPA Cenvaree, and a Kids Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Island Resort And Spa
Centara Grand Island Hotel Centara Grand Island
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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