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“Excellent first trip to Maldives”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
uk
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent first trip to Maldives”
Reviewed May 8, 2011

After considerable research, I chose this resort for our first trip to the Maldives and we all had a thoroughly enjoyable time. This place has the right mix of service, price and quality and I would not hesitate to recommend if you need a complete "chill out" family vacation (kids ages are 11 and 14). I would agree with others that the Thai restaurant was the best and the Italian needs improving. The restaurants did try and accommodate our requests for vegetarian food and the Island Club is worth the extra cost, where service level goes up a notch.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Cleanliness
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2 Thank lovetravellinguk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Alnwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2011

After much research we booked the Centara Grand Island Resort to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We feel it was the best choice - we were very well looked after from arrival to departure.

We've never been to the Maldives, but on chatting with other guests who have visited other islands we got the impression that we had chosen well. Anyone who is not sure where to go, please bear in mind that once on the island of your choice, if you don't like the food or whatever, you have no outside options.

We stayed in a luxury sunset villa and paid extra for the privilege of the island club. the island club is great, and all of the staff are so helpful (special mention to Shelly, Christine and Sinta who were absolutely fantastic).

My son and husband made good use of the diving school and especially enjoyed the whale shark trip. My son also enjoyed two night dives and appreciated diving with Tatsu, Wolf and Amo. Both appreciated how everything was done for them after dives (they did not have to clean any of their equipment etc). I believe that the house reef is one of the best in the Maldives. There was certainly plenty of marine life passing our villa at all times including plenty of sharks.``

The spa facilities are fantastic and well worth a visit.

The food is a very high quality in all of the restaurants and the the Reef restaurant is an especially good buffet restaurant (no chips or chicken nuggets here, thank god!!)

The island is well maintained and appears to run very smoothly - this could have something to do with the ratio of staff to customers!

I would not hesitate to recommend a visit here - it can be as relaxing or as hectic as you want it to be. i could go on and on about how great everything is, but suffice to say, we will definitely go back (and that is not something that we would normally do!)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank weloveshay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2011

me and my husband visited centara for two weeks over the easter holidays we booked with dreamticket -i highly reccommend these as first choice quoted us nearly 3k for the same holiday, flew with sri lankan which was fine arrived ok then onto sea plane lounge where we were given cold towels and a drink didnt have to wait long then onto the seaplane for a 25 min trip which was a great experience to see all the atolls.

arrived at centara and we were taken to lunch which was lovely then had a tour of island and back to reception to check in wich was quick and then taken to our room, firt impressions were amazing the island is beautiful the staff were so freindly and welcoming.

we stayed in a deluxe water villa no 92 which was in a great location had access to the reef right from steps where there were loads of digfferent fish and even saw dolphons just by the room which was wonderfull. Had emailed the hotel before our trip tp request a room with a queen bed and betwween 89-93 and we got 92 which did have the queen bed instead or 2 doubles.

the reef returant was excellent plenty of choice and if you werent happy they would make you anything i have an all.ergy and at every meal time mohan-head chef would come out and tellus what we could have and offer to make anything else he was brilliant thank you mohan.

italian returant was great went there on my birthday they decorated our table and made me a birthday cake which was lovely and went back to our room and they had decorated our bed.

did the sunset dolphin cruise and didnt see any dolphins but we had ealy one morning from our room and we saw them again whilst we were on a pedlo.

wee would definatly recommend this hotel although its a family hotel there really wasnt many children around and they didnt bother anyone at all. the staff are incredible andwill do anyhing for you the reef is excellent with loads of different fish tghe rooms re big comfortable pool was lovely, beach was beautiful, food awesome i think it should be 5star.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank anne261011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

Great resort, great staff, great restaurants. Really couldn't fault it. We had a fantastic time here.

The house reef is amazing for snorkelling, saw reef sharks, octopus, loads of different fish, turtles, huge stingrays, crabs - too much to mention. The island also has its own wreck which is really established having been sunk about 30 years ago for diving. It is covered in fish and if you go right to the bottom to the reef just around the edge (about 30m) you can see stingrays, moray eels, box fish and we even spotted a nurse shark under bottom of boat.

The dive school is PADI and was excellent. We hadn't dived for 9 years and are BSAC trained so had to do a test dive to start with and then we were free to dive to 30m which was about as deep as you could go on most dives anyway. The children did their first dive at ages 9 and 11 with Wolfgang and absolutely loved it. We went out on the boat and did some nice dives and saw lots of turtles, reef sharks and some massive sting rays, as well as loads of fish.

We stayed in a beach villa (number 101) and it was perfect. The children stayed downstairs and we stayed upstairs. The upstairs has its own small loo and the main bathroom is downstairs through sliding doors at the back of the villa. It had a nice inside shower and then an outside large round bath with a shower over the top.

The food was great in all the restaurants. We had Japanese one night too which was entertaining as well as great food.

Apart from diving and snorkelling there are pedalos and boats that can be hired each day for an hour for no charge which is plenty of time to get around the whole island, even with children. There is a tennis court and a lovely swimming pool. The gym is small but has enough cardio and weight equipment for the amount of people using it. We also put the kids into kids club on a couple of occasions and they had a good time. There is also a spa but we didn't use it.

The service from all the staff was brilliant. Everyone was happy and really went out of their way to help us and the children.

We can't wait to come back.!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TheRudd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

First a few points to mention that other guest have also commented on in previous reviews.
*Concrete sea protection barriers ( nearly all islands have them and to be fair they are only visible on very low tide a necessary evil as some of the beach suites had serious sand erosion)
* Other guests - they are predominantly Japanese not chinese as previously mentioned most are courteous although we did not one couple who thought it acceptable to spit all the time unfortunately this is cultural thing.

Now to the more serious part the review - I agree with all the other reviewers who stayed april this is really a fantastic resort for the money very good value. We had a beach suite number 31 which came right out onto the beach. we had plenty of sandy beach in front of the villa although other villas had no beach just rocks ( up to suite 26 was just rocks they were building a new sandbag pier in front of suite 26 while we were there but the hotel accommodated people and moved them if they complained). While there we met several veteran maldive travellers and all commented that they thought his was the best resort compared to bandos, filitheyo, kuredu and lily beach. While there it was fully occupied but you would never know as you never felt as though the island was crowded. Also 72 out of 300 guests were children as it was easter holidays but we never felt there were this many children on the island which is a testament to how well the island was set out. The thai restaurant lotus was great and also included on AI for lunches. I agree with the other reviewer that the italian restaurant was ok but not that fantastic the thai was better. Themed nights in the reef restaurant were all good especially chinese and japanese we also tried the tappanyaki which at USD10 per head extra was well worth it.

We hired canoes from the watersports centre ( incudedin holiday) and canoed around the island we also took out pedaloes on several occasions you could hire jet skis or go banan boating if you wanted at extra charge. THe fishing trip was well worth it we went twice as the kid enjoyed it so much and on the second trip we had much excitement as someone accidentally caught a rather large shark which we had to cut loose. Dolphin tour a disappointment as we didn't see any( no refund) but they often frequented the island and swam past the reef restaurant on several occasions . The snorkel trip is not worth it as the house reef behind the dive centre with steps into the water was much much better. Special mention to Muaa who was our waiter the whole stay and always made sure drinks were there and also to scott who served fantastic tappanyaki and carved meats and had awonderful smile all the time.

we had lots of conversations with guests and one guy who we met on the beach said he had walked round the whole island and decided the beach suites were the best option - he was in a water villa but didn't like the no direct access to the beach and lack of privacy with outdoor shower as canoeists often went past. This resort is lovely and exceeded our expectations staff courteous and friendly food excellent - you wont go wrong here

Room Tip: beach suites are great for families
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kidsintow_placestogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2011

Where do I begin with how excellent this place was?

Obviously we were on a high as it was, it was our honeymoon, we both have been looking forward to this break for months. Worried about the reviews but the first thing we noticed is that the photos doesn’t do it justice.

I requested a water villa facing the sunset months in advance but when we arrived we were given, in my opinion the worst water villa as it was facing the other water villas. Nothing wrong with it at all, I was just expecting nothing but ocean in front of me. However mistakes happen, in my eyes it’s all about what they do to fix it. We were told a few hours later that we would be moved to villa number 68 on the second day and we were... Excellent. Cheers JoJo and Koong!

On the first day we were there, my husband’s tooth began to hurt really badly. Ritu at reception (diamond..) went out of her way to help us. The next day we went to see the very sweet island doctor who looked after hubby and made sure that came back for a check up and when we did, paid so much attention to him and had a good laugh with him too.. why can’t my GP be like that? Put some sand in his office I say.. Will solve the problems in the NHS.

On the second day we went on the water pedalo.. (you get two uses a day in the package).. I jumped out while hubby went to have a little go but then he hit coral which knocked out the panel to direct the boat. As he can’t swim, he freaked out as he started drifting. I ran back to reception to get help and HAMISH came to the rescue! Hamish... we love you. :)

(I know your starting to think hubby is a bit unfortunate.. he is, but he married me which is the fortunate part of his life!)

The food:
I am a veggie, I always have issues.. I have a simple British born Asian pallet.... the food was amazing. BIG HUGE thank you to the head chef in the reef who walked me around the buffet and then ran from the kitchen when he saw that I was going to have the soup and stopped me because it had beef stock in it. Amazingly caring. Thank you.

There were a few nights were nothing in the reef was appropriate for me but the Italian and Thai had no issues letting me eat there instead to cater for me.

The best night was the Indian... oh my word, it was AMAZING!!!! Hubby had three plates of tandoori chicken. We eat Indian food all the time and this was like a home cooked meal.

Entertainment:

The three singers.. you made our night and made me cry when you sang “you’ll never walk alone”. Firstly, me and hubby are huge Liverpool fans, secondly it was the Hillsborough anniversary that day and last but not least, you took me right back to our first dance on our wedding. Priceless. (got goose bumps thinking about it). You guys are very talented!

Crab race... TOO FUNNY! When you actually get involved.. you become the ten year old sitting next to you!

Massage: EASILY EASILY the BEST massage I have ever had in my life. Thanks Centara for the gift voucher.. would never been able to experience it without the voucher! (honey mooners perk ;))

Feeding: Never seen so many sting rays! EEK!


The view:

Sea:
We watch discovery channel all the time and it is amazing BUT NOTHING compares to the first time you put your head in the water and see a reef below you... I have a new found respect for reef’s and all the amazingness that surrounds it. We overheard a few people say that this resort has the best sea life in the Maldives.

The beach:
Powdery white sand... YEAH! Sharp sand (coral/shells)? Yeah a little..

The sunset:
Wow... esp the red sky.

The staff:
So happy, always! I agree with the “10 miles of smiles!” ALL staff our excellent.

The water villa:

I wish that was our bedroom. Above anything else, the PILLOWS where the ones! Four poster bed.. dangerous.. made you feel guilty about coming to the Maldives and wanting to sleep a little more!

The toilet was the funniest! Sit on your thrown while you admire the sea!

The steps in to the sea where very slippery and slightly slanted so be careful.

They clean the rooms twice a day to the queens standard!

Improvements:
If like me and my husband, you’ve saved every penny to make this trip, the gift shop will kill you and kinda hurt you even more. Things are expensive! $1 for ONE elastic hair band which you find 20 for £1 here in the pound store. If you forgot your flips flops, you’re looking at $80 for a pair in their shop! Nice gifts (not key rings) start from about $40 each! However.. Whoever buys the swarovski crab, please know that I am very jealous as I loved it but at $500 I developed a love/hate relationship with it.

TV guide would be a massive help thanks!

On other reviews:
The wave breakers... hey you need them, I am sure every resort has the same issue. It was only ever ugly for us on the day that we left which was stupid o clock in the morning when the tide was really really low. When you fly in the sea plane, you can clearly see the breakers for all the resorts. There were two beech villas that we walked past that had no beech but loads of stones in front of it. Our thoughts were “the person in those villas must be fuming”.

Kids, they entertained us! No complaints there! They looked like they were having the most fun! However I agree with a kid free zone, would have been nice to have an area for adults where we could play pool and table tennis too!

Advice:
They should tell you before hand to book in to the restaurants BEFORE to ensure that you get a table. When we first arrived (Wednesday), we were looking forward to a pizza but there was no availability till Friday! Boo! BUT BUT BUT! They had NO problem letting us in the night we went to the reef and there was next to no vegetarian food on the menu.

If also like us, you have never snorkeled.. GET THOSE SHOES FOR THE WATER or FlIPPERS... I stepped on coral on the first day.. yes, ouch. I only thought to buy the goggles and pipe (£10 sports direct)! If you don’t want to buy them, you can rent them from the resort at $3 a day.. bargain.

Wifi is good and it costs $5 a day.

Take a underwater camera (boots buy one get one free)... They are $30 dollars for ONE in the shop.

Don’t drop you iphone in the water. Ritu, thanks for the rice and silica gel packets but it didn’t work, iPhone dead. (this was my unfortunate incident, didn’t drop it in the sea while taking videos of amazing sea life, nope, dropped it in the bowl of water they keep on the walk way for you to clean the sand off your feet).

And to an end:

Thank you to all of the staff for making our stay amazing, never having to make us ask for something twice, giving a first class service. we will never forget our honeymoon and I will rave and rave about how stunning it was. Ritu, you made things so much easier for us. You are, by far an asset to the resort.

I hope this helps others planning on going and to the staff, we wish you all the best!

Sunny and Kam

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank KamLFC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2011

We stayed at centara for 10 nights for our honeymoon. we had a water villa (no 58) which was amazing. very spacious and well worth the cost. To be able to step down into the water and snorkel around the reef was brilliant. we saw an octopus, numerous sharks, rays and a mulittude of different fish. it felt as though you were swiming in an aquarium! we even saw turtles in the house reef. the only improvement that i think could be made would be to have a free mini bar in the villas even if this only included soft drinks. As an all inclusive guest these drinks should be free. the room was kept immaculate by our room boy.
We would not hesitate to go back to centara and really didnt want to leave. from the sealane which was amazing to the food which was outstanding we could not fault a thing. the place is simply stunning and im sure a lot of hard work goes into making it such a special place. .

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank carlyalexscott
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

Property: Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Address: South Ari Atoll
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
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):
Surrounded by a stunning house reef that is a kaleidoscope of colour for snorkellers, and distinctive with its timbered walkways and colonial-style buildings, the five-star Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives is a barefoot paradise. With the Ultimate All-Inclusive concept, your stay is absolutely carefree meaning that all meals, spa treatments, activities and water sports, daily excursions, and even diving are all included. Weatherboard villas, thatched-roof buildings, a white-sand beach and sparkling lagoon are the setting for your honeymoon or fun-filled family holiday. Villas and beach suites are generously-sized (86-159 square metres); the over-water villas enjoy their own sundeck with steps down to the multihued coral reefs. Special villas for families have bunk beds in a children’s area, and you can also enjoy the option of an overwater villa with plunge pool. When it comes to dining, all your meals – and more – are included. Sumptuous champagne breakfasts are available at Reef Restaurant, lunches and dinners are to be enjoyed at the Azurri Mare Italian Restaurant, the Suan Bua Thai restaurant or Reef Restaurant. There are two bars on the island. Voted as Maldives’ most family-friendly resort two years in succession, the island has the ideal family itinerary: activities at the age-specific kids’ clubs, water activities like banana boat and tube rides, water sports, and pool games by thea children’s pool. Anyone in need of some deep relaxation can enjoy the daily spa treatments at Spa Cenvaree, yoga sessions, or simply laze beachside. Beside water sports and one of the best PADI dive centres in the Maldives, the resort’s house reef and lagoon provide fascination for snorkellers, and just off the reef there is a dedicated shipwreck that offers easy diving and a close-up view of turtles and whale sharks, manta rays, and surgeonfish. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Centara Grand Island Hotel Centara Grand Island
Centara Grand Island Resort And Spa
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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