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“Fab fab island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |     |  
Hotel amenities
Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Fab fab island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

This is our second year visiting this island. We arrived on the 28th December and stayed until 9th January. Other than air Maldivian mucking up the flight times- 3 hours delay in Male - not the resorts fault. We arrived to this wonderful island to a great welcome.

Since last year their has been great improvements with more to come- from new bars, dinning facility and wonderful new island club. New Year's Eve party on the beach was even better than last year!

Food was super in all restaurants, staff more than helpful and pleasant and the spa treatments to die for. Special thank you to Jeab. Staff in the island club- Babita, Christine, Shameila and the wonderful chef.

A very big thank you to Voytek and the wonderful management team and to all the staff!

The Irish family will be back next year

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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759 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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  • French first
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English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

I visited this wonderful hotel with my family this month and had the most incredible experience! The location and hotel itself is beautiful - with incredibly clear waters and coral reefs surrounding the rooms. I have definitely never experienced such beautiful surroundings before. The staff are fantastic and went beyond expectations - very friendly, helpful, and attentive. If you are a water sports fan (and even if not) there are various fun activities that could be enjoyed by the whole family such as snorkelling, banana boat, parasailing etc. I went with my family on the Whale Shark snorkelling boat trip which I highly recommend! Overall I had an amazing experience in this hotel and will definitely go back.

Stayed January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

My wife and I decided to celebrate Christmas with a short 4 night break to the Maldives. We chose the Centara based upon traveller reviews in trip advisor and because of the all inclusive package.

To generalise the reviews appeared to categorised into travellers who had paid extra for the island club and were delighted with their holiday, and travellers who had not. We paid extra for the island club and also for a waterfront villa and we were not disappointed.

From Male we took the standard flight with Flyme to Maamagilli and boat transfer option to the island. The transfer went smoothly without major hitch and we were the only people on the boat transfer. We were warmly welcomed at the hotel and after a much needed lunch went straight to the spa to book our treatment sessions for each day and then to the watersports desk to pick up snorkelling equipment.

Our daily routine thereafter comprised gym, spa treatment, eating and drinking, snorkelling, sleeping, reading, eating and drinking again. As noted below we had a very relaxing stay:-

(i) We thoroughly enjoyed the daily spa treatment massages.

(ii) In terms of restaurants we both enjoyed the Island Club and Azurri the most. We ate at these two establishments on more than one occasion and were not disappointed. Christmas Eve was an obligatory buffet at the Reef and was notable for the band and staff singing Christmas carols and also Santa Claus getting everyone in the festive spirit. We ate at the Reef and Lotus (thai) on one occasion each and both agreed that the Island Club and Azzuri were better.

(iii) My wife and I are not strong swimmers but we thoroughly enjoyed snorkelling directly off the back of our villa. Boats ferrying divers from other islands were often seen unobtrusively during the day which suggests that the coral reef was some of the best in the area.

(iv) The island Club was kept very clean and was sensibly laid out, catering for couples as well as families.

(v) All of the staff that we met were extremely helpful and professional. In particular we would take the opportunity to mention the island club staff in particular (Christine, Anushika, Sham, Shamila, Babitta and Chandu) who went out of their way to make our holiday special, and contributed to our contemplating whether or not to extend the holiday.

In terms of criticisms we had a few minor gripes, but they are only minor:-

(i) We recommend taking a laptop - whilst there is wifi available, there is no business lounge available to keep in touch with family and friends and to keep up to date with what is happening elsewhere in the world. In addition, although advertised as being available, there were no international newspapers. There was also no dvd library, though the island club did have a number of books.

(ii) The waterfront chalet on stilts was lovely and well maintained by housekeeping. The tv channels available were better than expected (films, sport and news). However we would agree with other comments that the unfenced balcony is not safe for young children. We both felt that the balcony was in need of general maintenance and upgrade.

Would we return to the Maldives? - we have fond memories of this trip so quite possibly.

If we did would we return to Centara? - again quite possibly, but there are many other islands to explore and if we did we would probablygo for a dual centre holiday breaking up the journey in Male for a few days before transferring to an island.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Volgograd, Russia
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

We have booked Centara Grand Island Resort, Maldives for 12 nights. We've been here for 3 days only, so the review will be updated. I am traveling with the family with small kids. We have booked 2 rooms- Luxury sunset villa on the water and Deluxe suite on the beach. We are here for the New Year, so prices were higher and we paid over 40 000 dollars for 2 rooms on all-inclusive basis. I have been to similar resorts before, including one in Thailand. Centara offers to experience Thai hospitality in their resort, which was one of the reasons I chose to come here in the first place. However, based on my experience, Centara has nothing to do with Thai hospitality. The reason I say that, is because there is no 'I'm willing to help' attitude. I don't feel that staff wants to make my stay as enjoyable, as possible.

Reservation.

I have booked rooms through official Centara Website. After I've sent my booking request, I was contacted by sales department. They requested a copy of my passport, copy of my credit card and authorization form, which I had to sign and send back. I was requesting to be charged in US dollars, and in the authorization form the total amount was in US dollars. However, the local bank charged me in my home currency, even though I have US dollar bank account. So the total charge was 3 thousand more than the original amount agreed. After a week of emailing the sales department, 3 thousand was credited back to my bank account. So if you want to be charged in dollars, you better mention it to the sales department.

Arrival.

At the airport we were greeted by Centara staff and escorted to water plane check-in. Water plane transfer turned out to be a disaster. They had some technical problems with the plane, so we had to wait around 2 hours in the terminal with two little children. Kitchen in the local cafe was closed, and only chocolate and drinks were offered. We ended up taking a regional flight to another island, where Centara staff met us with the hotel boat and it took around 20 minutes to get to Centara Island. Staff was very helpful with all the arrival issues and made a check in very smooth.

Rooms.

In general rooms are rather outdated, but clean. Outside bathtub in deluxe suite was painted and the paint is coming off. I guess that it is not what you would expect from luxury resort. I would say that rooms are on the smaller side, especially deluxe suite on the beach. Each deluxe suite is semi-detached. So one wall is shared with neighbors, and it is rather thin, you can hear the other people. On the positive side, suites are located just by the ocean on the beach. There are no problems with wifi.
In Sunset villa on the water (we stay in room 70) there is no wifi in the room! Even though they say there is wifi in every room. When I approached reception with this problem saying that I need it for work, I was told that I should go outside to smoking area and use wifi there. Not an answer I would expect for the amount I've paid. I have approached reception again today, will give an update later. Each villa has a terrace with sun beds and you can go snorkeling straight from the terrace. Our villa does not offer too much privacy. Terrace is overlooked by 2 other villas on each side. Air conditioner is on the louder side. Bathroom in sunset villa is large and nice. Bed is huge. I do not recommend staying in sunset water villa with young kids, as it is very easy for them to fall into the water. There are no fences on the way to the room and terrace.
There is a free minibar in every room which is refilled daily with beer, soft drinks and chocolate. There are also water, tea and coffee in the room. Bathroom amenities are limited. No cotton pads or buds.

Food and Drinks.

There are 4 restaurants on the island- main, Italian, Thai and Japanese. If you want to have lunch or dinner somewhere other that the main restaurant you have to book a table in the morning for dinner and the night before for lunch. Places are limited. Japanese restaurant is actually a counter in the main restaurant with 12 seats. In average the food on the island is ok. Do not expected a wide variety of fish and seafood included in your all-inclusive plan. They only have seafood plates starting from 70$. Italian restaurant was really nice. Food in the main restaurant is average, not the biggest choice I've seen and rather spicy. They have kids menu in every restaurant. Today we went to Thai restaurant for lunch. I am pescetarian, which means I only eat fish and vegetables, no meat. I've asked for vegetarian set menu, because they only had one type of marinated fish which I did not feel like eating. I was unpleasantly surprised when the waiter said that chef will not cook vegetarian menu for me, unless I am a 'real' vegetarian, and brought fish for me. Not the attitude I would expect for the price I've paid. Very disappointing.
Even though it's ultimate all inclusive, not all the drinks are included, unless you are a member of an Island Club. They do not offer any fresh juices (even for breakfast) or Mojitos with all-inclusive plan. Fresh orange juice costs 8 dollars each. I was also surprised when I've tried ordering latte for dinner. I was told that only cappuccino is included in all-inclusive plan, and they charge for latte. They have a choice of wines included, but the quality is average and below. Do not expect much. However, they have some nice cocktails at the bar, which are included.

Spa.

I am a spa fan, and I visit spa in every resort I go to. In Centara every guest receives 30-minute spa treatment every day, which is included in the package. However, when the hotel is full, it can be challenging to find a slot at the spa. So make sure you book a slot for every day when you arrive. Therapists are really nice and professional. My only complaint is that there are only 6 free treatments and 6 paid. No manicures, no pedicures, no hair treatments. Just 2 facials, no branded cosmetics. There is a steam room on male and female side+a small indoor pool.

Beach and Activities.

Snorkeling is great and coral reefs are easily accessible. You can rent all of the equipment for duration of your stay for free. There are also some water sports and tours included in the package, but we haven't done any yet. Beach is big, not crowded. Sun beds are not soft, do not have any mattresses, not comfortable. There is no beach staff to bring drinks or help you with umbrellas and sun beds. You have to go the bar yourself, if you are not a member of an island club.

To sum up I would say that it is a 4 star resort if you are not a member of an island club. Service could be way better, compared to the resorts I have visited before. If it does not improve before we leave, it is unlikely that we will come back, there are places with much better service and attitude out there.
There is something going on every day, such as yoga and aerobics in the morning and dance competitions and live music.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

We stayed here in March/April 2013 for 10 days but extended it to 14 days as it was highly enjoyable. I would also add to fly direct if possible or with Emirates if a stop is required, never fly with Qatar.

Now on to the resort the staff are 1st rate and catered to our requests including lending my girlfriend trainers for the Zumba and Palates classes.

Ibrahim Shaan the dive instructor is the best I've encountered in 13 years of diving and he recently organized an underwater wedding for a UK couple see link below.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2519358/Scuba-loving-couple-marry-36ft-underwater-ceremony-Maldives.html

The house reef was amazing and ever you needed to cool off or felt bored then snorkeling off the dive shop jetty was an experience like no other, the amount and variety of fish are incredible. I have dived for 13 years around the world but nothing comes close to Centara's House Reef and Boat Wreck. I was lucky enough to go night diving at 90 ft with just my torch and GoPro along with Ibriham, an experience of a life time, truly wonderful.

The restaurants were fantastic with our favorite being the Italian restaurant Azzuri located on the jetty overlooking the reef sharks, however like all the restaurants you need to book on location in advance to avoid disappointment. We tried the Lotus which was good and the Reef restaurant whilst great was full of families as this is where everyone eats their 1st night on arrival. Reminder reservations need to be made at least a day in advance

Our other alternate favorite was the exclusive Island Club where 4 course meals were prepared and served by the wonderful friendly staff for a more intimate high end experience. You need to pay for Island Club membership which gives you only the best alcohol, breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as an exclusive swimming pool and sun bathing area away from any loud noisy families, children. A 5 star service with morning cocktails, with sorbet service and morning tea & after tea chilled flannels.

The daily spa treatments at the SPA Cenvaree were wonderful and you can select from one of the many treatments available or repeat the treatments for tired backs, legs etc. Do not be afraid to ask for firmer or softer massages as our friends found they needed softer treatments having not been to massage sessions on a regular basis back in the UK. Ari was the best masseuse

Accommodation, here is my personal choice vs. postcard images. The over water deluxe bungalows are great and look the part, however I preferred the very generous sized TWO story and Ralph Lauren styled Beach Suite which included a giant stand in bowl outdoor shower (heaven) along with a private balcony, your own hammock and 10 steps away from the beach front. Our friends who we met on the island preferred our accommodation to their over water Luxury Sunset Water Villas. My girlfriend also appreciated the huge bathroom and the Beach Suite was kept immaculate by the room boy with fresh beach towels everyday.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Voytec the Area Group Manager and all his Management Team, Ibriham the Dive Guide and Christine along with the team at the Island Club.
We also had a great time experiencing for the 1st time Zumba with Elmer Munar who was fantastic and very high energy.

Room Tip: My choice would be to take the Island Villas and with money saved buy Island Club membership for the...
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  • Stayed March 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

We decided to go for this resort after researching extensively what resort will suit our needs. This one ticked all boxes from the all inclusive package, to the variety of food and activities available and especially being the only resort in all of maldives to offer spa treatments included everyday with your package!

When we arrived we had a deluxe water villa with an amazing view. However we did experience some trouble with the decking flooring being broken, and me almost getting injured. However Doi and guest relations was amazing. She was very helpful and resolved the issue straight away and made our stay more comfortable by offering us club level. She was constantly there for us during our stay and the service from the staff as a whole was impeccable.

We enjoyed the buffet as well as the meals at various restaurants, there was a lot of variety and we didn't get bored, even after 10 days. Especially the Italian! Ensure you book the restaurants on time and also as soon as you reach book the spa treatments as these get booked up everyday! The actual treatments are amazing and add such a bonus to your holiday.

Also the snorkelling is a must it is amazing!

The only problem we experienced with the buffet was there was no fridge so desserts often melted and there was no ice cream as no freezer. We were there for 10 days and everyday ended up with warm soggy desserts. So this issue definitely needs to be sorted.

Another issue we had was on our last few nights with the air conditioning, it was leaking and we called for maintenance but he came took a look and left saying he would bring a part and come back but he never did. Then we had it happen again on the night before our departure and it really ruined our night due to the noise and water leakage. So i think the maintenance team need to be trained a bit better to recognise the problem and also with the english speaking, as they didn't understand us very well.

A last and final negative was the BBQ in villa we had booked, it was not very nice at all and what you pay for it ($350) there is not even a dessert included which is not specified. It was very basic and bland and unfortunately we didn't enjoy it at all. So i would advise to just go with the normal restaurant meals and don't book anything extra as they are never worth what you pay for it.

Other than that we didn't experience any issues and had an amazing time, all the staff from the watersports centre, to the reception desk, to the restaurants were friendly and helpful, and provided excellent service. Also we travelled as a couple, and although there were a few families it didn't affect our stay at all and we managed to get plenty of space as there is so much to do on the island that not one place is crowded at any one time.

I would definitely go back because the issues we had are not major and I have recommended Centara to all my friends and family as you get good value for your money here. Thank you again Doi for all your help!

Apologies for the long review wanted to make sure i got everything in!

Room Tip: Water Villa 84 had an amazing view!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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france
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

Mid-October we returned again to this island paradise, and, like all our previous stays we were overwhelmed with the commitment to service and professionalism provided throughout our stay. This holiday was truly amazing, we returned at the same time as friends we met before on the island - and we will all be returning again.

Our travel agent advised us well in advance of renovations, being carried out during our stay, which did not interfere at all with our holiday.

This stay we had Island Club, it was opened after a major refurb a few days into our holiday, the new large outside area for dining or relaxing was just perfect, large comfortable furniture to sit on while enjoying watching the beauty of the Indian Ocean. We ate there at least once a day and thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of premium drinks and champagne when having an apero before our evening meal. The menus changed every day with a choice for the evening meal; the food in all restaurants is of an excellent high standard with so much choice, causing a daily five minute dilemma of where we would eat. The staff at island club are so attentive to your every need, often not needing to ask for something as it arrived magically while you thought about it!
The reef restaurant started it renovations after island club, which was then followed by the coral bar .....all completed now and I am really looking forward to seeing the changes.

After having stays with and without island club, now we much prefer it, the service at the main pool area, and in all restaurants is 100%, but with island club, it just takes it to another level and we were thoroughly spoilt.

We used all our inclusive daily spa treatments, and upgraded occasionally for a longer treatment. They were perfect. We booked our slots on arrival as it can get busy, this meant we could plan our day - diving and trips -which are included in the all inclusive package.(diving is not included)

The dive-centre on the island, BestDives Maldives as before provided an excellent full valet service, asked us before what type of dive we would like and what we hoped to see and then they delivered it, every day was so much fun, meeting new divers and the atmosphere and laughs we had on the diveboat and at the dive centre has left me with many excellent memories.
My son was finally old enough to complete his Padi Junior Open Water under the supervision of Shaan, and it was fantastic to dive with him from the boat on shallow dives, he even had a dive buddy the same age.

Lasting memories of this trip - an all guest invite to the annual staff party and merit awards held on the beach, it was great to see the staff let their hair down, relax and be rewarded for their hard work.- It rained, but that did not spoil the evening!

Halloween party - what a fun fun night, the coral bar was decorated, staff were in fancy dress, costumes were made for adults and children that wanted to join in and that did not have a costume with them - even guests on hearing about the party beforehand arrived dressed up with vampire makeup and all.

And the highlight of the holiday : attending the first underwater wedding held at Centara, our friends got married 12 metres down! Only expecting a small affair we were astounded by the work that Bestdives planned to perfection to create such an amazing ceremony, a full platform stage on the sandy surface 12 metres below, with the reef as a backdrop, a swinging love seat, an aisle for the bride. All guests who were divers on the island were invited, staff too.
Vows were exchanged using cards, a ring bearer (my son !), best maid in a beautiful tutu and a photographer in a nemo costume.
All the island managers attended, It was the most magical day.

A massive thank you to all at Centara for once again giving us a holiday of a lifetime, for us its not a question of will we return, but when? Soon I hope.

ps.
The weather for October - was surprisingly good, we had no complete rained out days, but did have a few showers that stopped almost as soon as they started.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 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

Address:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Centara Grand Island
Amenities:
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:5 star — Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 112
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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