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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Paradise”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

The Centara Grand Island is a great location for a 7-10 day getaway.
Getting to the hotel from Male in a Twin Otter sea plane was a fantastic part of the holiday and the views are stunning from 5,000 feet. The Maldives are truly spectacular.
Like most, the hotel is on a small island which itself is surrounded by a stunning reef. Many other hotels come to visit this reef but it was never “crowded”. The diving/snorkeling is the best I have ever experienced (that includes the Barrier Reef). Fantastic marine life includes a vast array of fish, reef sharks (harmless), rays, turtles and squid. Each evening the fish are feed by the staff and we counted six rays one evening.
We stayed in a beach suite. The suite was very roomy, comfortable with a nice bed and bathroom. Being right on the beach under the palm trees made this very relaxing. We had the "Ultimate" Inclusive package which gave us all meals, drinks, mini bar drinks, boat trips, snorkeling equipment and a 30 minute daily session each at the spa. I would not go for the normal all inclusive. People complained about the lack of "all inclusive". The spa was a great treat and the masseurs very good. This is a good package and I would recommend it.
Along with the environment the best thing about this hotel is the staff. They were excellent and a credit to the hotel. Nothing was ever too much trouble and any request was dealt with quickly, efficiently and with a smile.
I am sure there are similar places in The Maldives but I am glad we chose The Centara. Great for couples and families alike.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Buiness Class
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dubai
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

I would like to start this review by pointing out this was my first trip to the Maldives, I spent a lot of time researching different resorts and decided to go with the All Inclusive at Grand Centara Resort and Spa. I have given it an average rating as that is what I felt is was for the money that we spent.

Airport arrival: The staff at the airport were easy to find, and the lady who helped us to find the sea plane was really helpful etc. There were no hiccups there so that was fine.

The Island: Its a really small island, so its quite quiet and easy to get around, that is a positive and a negative I suppose, as being so small there's a lot less available to guests. When you arrive you land in the middle of the sea, and then get brought in by a boat to the actual Island, you drive through beautiful blue waters and it really lovely. We weren't fortunate to have great weather the first few days, there was a lot of overcast and rain, but it was still beautiful. There are lots of singrays and little baby sharks and a huge range of fish swimming around the island, so if you like snorkeling you'll see lots of marine life around.

The Rooms: We were in a 1 Bed Luxury Pool Villa, which was really spacious and had a double bed upstairs in the loft area, and a twin bedroom downstairs, the pool is 1.2m deep, and its bigger than I expected, its not just a plunge pool you can swim around a bit. The living area has a sofa which was not that comfortable, but to be fair we didn't spend much time in the room anyway. The bathroom has an outdoor bath, which was dirty so we didn't use it, which wasn't a problem as the shower was fine. The bathroom has toothbrushes, hair brush, vanity kit, shampoo, conditioner etc so if you forgot something its there which was great. The rooms were really clean overall. The beds are hard, so if you like hard beds you'll love these. We had a problem with the AC in our first room (Room 5) so we were moved to Room 6, I think the pool villas 4-8 are much better than 1-3 as 1-3 has loads of rocks on the beach right in front of the room, whereas the others dont, they are all next door to eachother. The side where our room was is obviously suffering from errosion as they are putting up piles of sand bags right in front of the room, which isn't the greatest view to be honest. The other side of the island is nicer where the normal beach villas are, although there were 3 rooms again with a very rocky beach right in front which I would try to avoid, (think room 27-29). The beach villas have the really beautiful turqoise blue water in front of it compared to the beach pool villas which have much darker sea water.

The Restaurants: We only ate at Reef and Azzuri, which were both nice, we didn't try the thai as the one night we booked didn't have anything on the menu that we liked. The food is nice and there is plenty of choice, although not sure there is much for vegetarians.

The Bars: They were really sleepy, and I mean really sleepy... nothing really going on, spa like music the whole time in both bars, and pretty boring. They have a band on for 1 hour every now and then, which is the same serenaders who go around the island restaurants.

The Dive Shop: It was OK, you get your snorkel gear, there's a paddle boat as well as 1x banana boat ride per person and a couple of paid activities. We asked for jet skis they said they were "broken" we asked for the underwater camera mask that was also "broken" so I think the place needs to up its game a bit to be considered a 5*.

The All Inclusive: The food was good, however I really don't think the timings were great for an all inclusive. Breakfast was from around 7-10.30 then lunch from 12/30-2.30 then dinner from 6.30-10pm, other than those timings there was one afternoon tea at 3pm, but nothing else, like not even the bars had any little snack menus etc, no nuts, bar snacks etc until the evening where they'd give you one bowl if they remembered.

The drinks weren't great, the wine wasn't that nice, there was only 3 beers to choose from, you weren't allowed jack daniels, and the cocktails were all made with just juice. There were no fresh juices available, everything was just juice or similar. They used coconut powder to make the coconut cocktails, and each cocktail took about 3 seconds to make, didn't taste great, not a great selection and we just didn't drink any in the end as they all tasted pretty much the same with the just juice. I saw a lovely looking mojito being made and found that was not in the all inclusive package, youd have to pay extra. That wasn't only with alcoholic drinks, there was literally no fresh juice and they didn't have milk shakes or anything. We asked for coconuts to drink and were told that we would have to ask a gardener if we see one, as they don't serve them on the island... that was quite a big dissapointment overall with the drinks, for the money you pay for all inclusive you end up having really dire choices of drinks which you basically wasted your money on. The mini bar was OK, although they always seemed to forget to top ours up, we had to call to get it topped up a few times. They put one of each drink in the minibar, so 1 coke, 1 diet, 1 fanta, 1 sprite, 2 beers (different brands) and 1 chocolate bar (even though there's two guests, go figure). The spa inclusive is a half hour treatment once a day per person now and it used to be 100USD per person per day, although this has recently changed, our booking was just before the change so our confirmation letter had said the 100USD rather than the half hour (with 100USD you get an hours treatment), and we had to actually argue this point with them, in fairness the manager did sort it out, although the spa was quite often "booked" or unable to accommodate us for the times we wanted, so we didn't manage to use all the treatments, not to mention one of the spa staff actually came out

The Staff: Overall the staff are good, although they kind of left you to it, come and ask if you want a drink once and then dissapear. They were all nice people and would help you if you asked. Although they wouldn't go out of their way.

My overall opinion is if you choose to go to this Island don't go all inclusive as it was really expensive and not really worth it. It is a nice Island but I would definately choose a different one next time I visit the Maldives, which will be soon as I love the Maldives :)

PS we stayed there november 2012 for 6 nights

Room Tip: Beach Villas have nicer sea view, avoid Beach pool villas 1-3 if possible.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Lora0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MOSCOW
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed a week in a family water villa. The room was spacy and airy but kids bedroom was separated with simple partition, which means no privacy for parents.
We enjoyed the terrace facing the ocean. Local planes landed and took off approx 5 times a day, but we didn't found this a problem.
The big problem of the room was an AirCondition device - it made a lot of noise. We complained, technician tried twice but the problem remained.
The absolute advantage of the villa was private entry to the water by stair.
We had a great snorkeling!
Food was excellent, restaurant service also very good. I especially liked Thai a la cart restaurant. The main restaurant was also good especially at the evening, facing the ocean.
We was facing the inconvenience that all beaches located in front of rooms entrances (beach villa). When at the beach we were feeling like occupying a private one. Fortunately not many people stayed at the beach with us so we had fun.
Spa was a good expirience. The kids playing room was nice and well equiped. We expected to have more attractions for kids except snorkeling.
In overall - very good hotel with reasonable value, exclusive location, excellent service and food. We'd reccommend it to our friends with some exceptions.

Room Tip: Family water villas facing the side where planes landing/take off (sunrise)
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MoscowPavel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

What more can I say? We have been back 4 days and my head is still there!!! The Maldives are absolutely beautiful and the Centara resort was perfect. This was our second trip to the Maldives. Myself and my husband originally visited the Maldives 10 years ago for our Honeymoon and stayed at Meeru so didn't know what to expect 10 years on but we were very impressed and found it hard to leave. All the staff made us feel so special. They were all very friendly and regularly asked if they could do anything o make our visit any better. We couldn't think of anything. Before we even arrived I had regular correspondence with Doi who was always prompt and very helpful. She arranged a few things surprises for my husbands 40th and everything ran smoothly(thank you so much Doi). we stayed In a Delux water villa 87 with island club and it was great. Fantastic views of the ocean and our room boy Henry cleaned our room 2-3 times a day and brought a fruit bowl on arrival and set the bed with flowers for my husbands birthday. we had wifi in our rooms and it is now complimentary as is the mini bar which is replaced everyday with island club.I would recommend Iskand club if it is within your budget as you are made to feel really special as they bring you drinks rgularly as well as cold towels round the pool etc.mI do think without island club that you will still find everything just perfect. We had a day on our own island which was the Robinson Crusoe trip. we were there all dat and we had a huge amount of beautifu food and drink, we had a mobile phone I case we wanted to come back early which we didn't need and it was the most amazing experience, quite expensive but worth it as a special treat. The fish and sharks are beautiful. You will definitely need an underwater camera, even though you often see them from the decking and as you walk along the beach. It rained a couple of times while we were there and the staff made you feel relaxed in the bars and they had entertainment to keep us occupied which was great. I could go on and on. We are already recommending Centara to everyone we see since our return. Book it you won't be dissapointed!!!

Thanks Centara
Kristy and Nick Noble

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Kristy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I must start by apologising for the lateness of my review as my girlfriend and I stayed at this resort last year. I guess I am writing this now due to the fact that we have just booked our next holiday and I am disappointed that we are not returning to the fantastic Centara Grand Resort in the Maldives.

My girlfriend and I had our best holiday here and one day we will return to this paradise island.

We stayed in a Beach Suite on the side of the SPA Cenvaree and could not fault the location or accommodation! The Suite was fantastic and had a beautiful private outside shower/bath area with a huge indoor bathroom and lounge with a perfect bedroom upstairs. The beach on this side of the Island was so quiet that it felt like we were on our very own deserted Island at times which was truly an unforgettable experience. We also had some amazing fish to look at while snorkelling within shallow waters.

While writing the review I have reminded myself what a superb holiday this was on the basis that it only feels like yesterday that I visited when it is almost a year ago! I really want to go back now!

The food was out of this World and even today my better half and I still compliment how wonderful the selection and how fresh all of the food was day and night.

Words cannot describe how good this place really is and I would recommend it to all.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang, Malaysia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We booked our honeymoon via Atoll Paradise which we came across online while searching for Maldives local agent. We were delighted and very happy with their service and they are very trustworthy especially when it comes to dealing the payment via online. When we reached the Male, we were warmly greeted by Atoll Paradise's staff who then assisted us with transportation from airport to our hotel (even though we did not book through Atoll as we reached at night). The staff was there again at out hotel early in the morning to assist us with the luggage and ensure we get to the seaplane.

When we reached Centara, we were amazed and awestruck with the place! It is perfect for honeymoon couples! Even though our jacuzzi weren't working ideally despite being repaired few times, we still enjoyed our stay there! We were spoilt in terms of food choices! The house reef is amazing. My husband and I saw few reef sharks, right outside our watervilla! It is a totally great time for relaxation. Never knew what is meant by relaxing until we came to this place for our honeymoon!!

Upon our check-out, we were greeted once again by Atoll's staff who were waiting for us at the airport. Seeing that our flights back to Malaysia is at night, the staff took us around the city and did a great job in introducing the city. We really enjoyed ourselves and we felt really safe knowing that Atoll Paradise really put in the effort to take care and ensure we are well taken care of. Bravo to Atoll Paradise!

What else could we ask for? Trustworthy travel agent and perfect honeymoon getaway!

We will definitely return to Maldives in the near future! And definitely we will approach Atoll Paradise again!

We highly recommend Atoll Paradise!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank HoleedayLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

I still don't have that answer. But to start from the beginning.

I decided, as my next birthday was coming up and it had a 0 at the end, I would like to do something really special. So when I suggested to my wife that we go to the Maldives, the first question was "To where?" - quickly followed by "And what happens if there is a tsunami?". Once both had been answered to some level of satisfaction, I started looking for the resort. Now I'm sure if you are reading this, you have done or are doing the same. There are LOADS of them. And the price variation is staggering. I found resorts from US$300 per person up to US $2000 per person PER NIGHT and that's without food and drink.

So when I eventually found the Centara Grand with a fully inclusive price which was, in reality, VERY reasonable, I wondered. How come its so cheap in comparison? What will the others have that this one doesn't? Will the food be disgusting? Will it be 4.5 star as advertised? What facilities will it have? Will I need to upgrade to Island Club to get what I want?

I read TripAdvisor reports and decided that what a lot of people said was hopefully accurate so I told my wife - I'm booking. I started with the lead-in beach room. Then thought no, its a special occassion and went for the over water room. And as it was a special occassion, we decided on the over water sunset view luxury room! With no further room to upgrade to, all was good till she-who-must-be obeyed suggest we spoil ourselves and go for Island Club. What could I do? Pay the money and look forward to the trip.........

We landed in Male airport and were met by the Centara rep - he was fantastic. Took our luggage and was with us basically to the sea plane terminal where we checked in for the flight over to the island. As I had never been in a sea plane, this was on my bucket list of things to do. All I can say is loud but AWESOME. Now even my good lady said that if there is a problem with the plane, there will be no problem with the landing................ and she does NOT like flying!

We arrived at Centara Grand and were met by a lovely young lady, Anastasia. With a smile that was warmer than the weather - a wonderful 30+ degrees - we were taken to our Island Club facility to sign in and cool off with fruit juice and cocktail - it is also fully air-conditioned. There we met Sinta who was to become our life saver and consant attendant for whatever we wanted. She has an awesome sense of humour and kept us laughing all the time. Her style of humour was also fantastic - I have that quick sharp English one-liner sense of humour - the number of times she came back quick as a flash with an answer that just blew me away and made us all laugh. We will never look at tomato soup in the same way again - it will always be Virgin Bloody Mary soup from now on.....

We were taken to our room - and were blown away by it. Not just a fantastic bedroom with superb bathroom facility, it was indeed west facing with incredible sunsets, it overlooked the most stunning coral I had ever see. The water was teeming with life - fish of every colour and shape were swimming three feet under our balcony. Down four steps and we were swimming with them, as well as snorkelling. We saw everything from reef sharks (totally harmless and NOT attracted to humans) to dolphins to turtles. And the water was warm.........

Now - I did say I was worried about the food. I have been to 'all inclusive' places before where on the 4th day you are ready to eat your own arm rather than face the same bland prison slops you just had for the previous tortured days. Well........................... the food is SPECTACULAR. In the main restaurant, the dinner menu changed every single night for the whole 8 nights we were there. You never got the same dish twice - though some nights I wished would be repeated, it was that good. And there are 3 such restaurants (4 if you add Island Club). Lunches are equally as good, as are breakfasts. And you go back as often as you want - note here the 4kg extra weight that arrived home.................. Here I must mention the boys who kept the beer coming whilst we were eating - Ayya and Arushad - the comedy duo! They bounced off each other, they made jokes, they laughed, they knew what we were drinking and we never had to ask for anything. They were attentive, polite, eager to please and to help. Twin treasures, honestly.

You also have the two bars (3 if you include Island Club). We had a pub-crawl most nights back to our room.........

I've mentioned some staff by name - but EVERY memeber of staff was simply fantastic and couldn't do enough. Always smilling, always asking how you are, always ready to assist - from the room service staff to the bar staff - even the boys in the water centre and those who took us fishing - a massive thank you for making our stay fantastic. And a very special thanks to Hamish who sorted our flight back to Male for us - he's the front office manager and is a really top bloke!!!

Oh - I mentioned fishing. If you are reading this and are a fisho like me, then all I can say is - give it a try. They have a night fishing deal for $40 (if I remember correctly) or you can hire their deep sea fishing boat for $500 plus taxes for a 4 hour session - this is the one I went for with a chap from the UK joining me to make the cost less painful. Was it worth it? The 7ft sailfish I caught was most certainly worth it for me. The 3.5ft wahoo was simply a bonus.......... Decide for yourself here, we all know how fishing goes........

So - what did we think in the end of Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa? We spent a whole week doing absolutely nothing (except drinking, eating and sunbathing), loved every second of it, didn't have enough time to do everything the island offered and regretted not going for 2 weeks.......... Is there anything to complain about? Yes - our air-con wasn't working properly when we got to our room, but was fixed within half an hour after we spoke with the front desk. We 'complained' about the food - too much choice, all too delicious not to try and too good not to go back for seconds. Our beds were hard, but we're used to a hard bed, so coped very well.

I also guess there are other things you could moan over - but you would be one of those people who so needs to get a real life. Yes, there are things that need attention - there was a bit of tile grout coming away in our bathroom. The board walk had a few weathered boards and was lifting in places (I was told by friends who stayed on after us that the day we left a ship load of planks arrived and they started replacing them the day after). Some of the sea walls are made from sandbags to hold back erosion - so what? We saw some cockroaches and geckos and some extremely large bats - hey, its an island at the equator and has wildlife......... stay at home if you don't like that sort of thing. We were stunned by the beauty, the resort, the staff, the facilities........ Would we go back? Like a flash. Would we recommend to friends? Already have.

Oh - maybe I should mention the Island Club. Is it worth it? To us, most definitley. There are only 25% of rooms that can book it. It was quiet - we had the swimming pool to ourselves most of the time - most importantly, no screaming kids, they all went to the big pool. The attention we got from the staff was first class without doubt (must mention Shimila here as she was out every 15 minutes asking if we were alright or wanted a drink - basically she and Sinta were there constantly looking after us). Also, the Club room is air conditioned - perfect to sit there with a cocktail in the early evening pre dinner and cool down. And the drinks themselves - though everything is all inclusive, the drinks are so much better at Island Club. You should of seen the girls serve us our Baileys nightcap...................

So to finalise - is the place worth it? Certainly. Is it better or worse than other places? You need to ask someone else - but I cannot imaging what the $2000 a person resort can offer that would beat this...........

Go and find out yourselves. ENJOY!

Room Tip: We had room 61, the luxury sunset water villa - right at the end of the boardwalk. Spectacular. Our...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank George C
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
Phone Number:
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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