We returned from Kuramathi on the 21st October, after an outstanding 2 weeks; and it’s the only holiday destination we’ve been to where we were seriously discussing going back next year during the journey home.
If, like us, it’s your first visit to the Maldives, there are a bewildering number of islands to choose from. We selected Kuramathi on the basis of price (it does seem to bear favourable comparison with other islands for what you get), facilities and Tripadvisor ratings. Obviously the latter are highly subjective – so we always look at the ratio of “Excellent” to “Terrible” reviews. With Kuramathi this is significant – when we booked there were around 800 “Excellent” reviews and only 11 “Terrible” – a ratio of 72:1. We’re with the majority on this.
One of the great things about Kuramathi is that it helps you understand what you might want from any future Maldives holiday – because it seems to have the lot. It’s a large island (in Maldives terms) and used to be split into 3 resorts – and whilst those have been combined, the 3 areas of the island still have a somewhat different feel about them. The top end is more secluded, quiet and romantic, with a “small island” feel; the bottom is livelier, with easier access to a wide range of facilities.
We were in a reasonably central location – in a beach villa, opposite the Aqua sports hut. This was set on a more “busy” path, leading to one of the main buffet restaurants (The Haruge). We had some reservations about this at first, but these quickly dissipated when we realised that having a few people wander past our decking every hour didn’t really count as an inconvenience when compared to, say, being stuck in rush-hour traffic in Slough. The room itself was great. Large and in very good condition, kept spotlessly clean and had all the facilities we needed.
We were on the “Select AI” package and only used the Haruge for breakfast, so can’t really comment on the quality of the food at the buffets; but used all 5 a-la-carte restaurants, plus the Coffee Shop for lunch. All were good, although the Indian wasn’t quite up to the standard of the other 4. We did read some comments about the poor quality of the fish at the Reef restaurant. This wasn’t our experience. There is a “catch of the Day” selection (you can see the fish in a display counter, on ice) – and these provided some of the most succulent and freshest fish we’ve had. I suspect if you choose the “Norwegian Cod” off the menu, it might be different, the fish having had to travel rather further to get to your plate.
Anyway, plus points:
• Reef – close to the beach, all the way down one side of the island, with 9 channels. Lots of fish, great for “occasional” snorkelers – and plenty of passing reef sharks to amuse the wife.
• Great selection of good quality food. Steak Diane at the Barbecue, pizza at the Palm, the duck red curry at the Siam Garden.
• Lagoon-side beaches for sunbathing and swimming. Always possible to find a quiet spot, plenty of sun-loungers.
• Alcohol – good selection of premium brands on AI, decent bottles of wine on “select” – and a list of 60 cocktails (best drunk from the decking over the water at the Dhoni bar, watching the sunset) to work through.
• Staff – they put the average UK notion of “customer service” to shame. Tipped room-boy, waiters and bar-staff; not to gain preferential treatment, but because they deserved it.
• Spa – we had a complementary 30 minute massage – very relaxing, would do this at the start of the holiday next time.
• Environment – beautifully tended grounds and beaches, stunning views; and a sound ecological approach, e.g. the resort has installed a sophisticated water purification system, as well as the usual desalination plant – so they can bottle their own drinking water (only introduced to the buffet restaurants so far).
Negatives: not sure if we can afford to go again next year. But if we can, we certainly will. Best beach resort holiday we've had.
- Also Known As:
- Kuramathi Island Hotel
- Kuramathi Island Hotel Kuramathi
- Kuramathi Village
- Village Hotel Kuramathi
- Kuramathi Village Hotel
- Kuramathi Cottage Spa
- Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An emerald jewel in the turquoise Maldivian waters, Kuramathi is a stunning island retreat with acres of luxuriant vegetation surrounded by spectacular beaches tapering into an endless sandbank. Villas blend contemporary design and nature, and are set on the beach, amongst lush gardens or over water looking out to the vast Indian Ocean. With four built together, the Garden Villas are simple yet stylish providing for our most affordable Kuramathi experience. The Beach Villas are individual villas featuring four poster beds, wooden decks with daybeds and sunloungers. Sited near the sandbank, the Deluxe Beach Villas additionally feature baths. Located amongst lush gardens, the Beach Villas with Jacuzzi feature large outdoor decks with sunloungers and garden bathrooms. Round in shape, the Superior Beach Villas with Jacuzzi are contemporary in design with bedrooms that are spacious and minimalist in style. Set in the centre of the island facing the lagoon side, the Deluxe Beach Villas with Jacuzzi feature additional luxuries such as espresso machines and oversized garden bathrooms with inviting sala beds. The Water Villas are built on stilts over the turquoise lagoon, whilst the Water Villas with Jacuzzi are located close to the house reef and features a two-tiered sundeck complete with sunloungers, sun umbrella and outdoor Jacuzzi. The Honeymoon Pool Villas are one bedroom villas with a separate living area and an air-conditioned dining area. The villas are furnished with modern day luxuries, and feature oversized open air bathrooms with twin vanities, LED-lit shower, free standing baths and 10 metre lap pools.The main restaurants on the island serve breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets with live cooking stations. Six other à la carte restaurants offer diverse cuisines and the many bars offer refreshing cocktails and regular evening entertainment, including nights of karaoke, starlit discos or live music.A variety of water sports, diving for all levels and excursions are available. The house reef offers hours of adventurous snorkeling and for ultimate relaxation choose from the innovative therapies at our spa. Welcoming and friendly service, all inclusive packages, Bageecha kids club, sports centre, gym, swimming pools, medical centre with hyperbaric chamber, Eco Centre, boutiques, laundry, library, wi-fi internet are just some of the many facilities available to our guests. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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