My husband and I recently arrived back from Centara after having spent 10 days of our Honeymoon there. We arrived at the resort by seaplane which was a fantastic experience. From the moment we arrived at the resort, the first thing that struck us was how beautiful the resort was as well as the warm and friendly welcome we received from staff on our arrival. Although our room was not ready when we first arrived, a member of staff directed us to a shower and changing room we could use in the meantime and we ended up going for lunch and a brief wander round the island while waiting to gain access to our accommodation. We chose to stay in one of the beach villas and we were very happy with our allocated villa and were provided with fresh fruit and a bottle of fizz to celebrate our arrival and honeymoon which was a nice touch. A particular tip when booking the beach villas is to request one of the villas numbered 99-112 as these had the best stretch of beach on the island, in our opinion, and had unobstructed views of the ocean and were in a great location for snorkelling and access to the Dive Centre, the Reef and Lotus restaurants as well as the Coral Bar. The villa was perfectly adequate for our needs and had a lovely spacious bathroom downstairs with an outdoor shower/bath as well as a small upstairs toilet next to the bedroom area. Lovely big bed that we found very comfortable along with a flatscreen TV directly opposite as well as an additional TV downstairs in the sitting area. Fresh bottles of water were provided every day and our villa was well-cleaned & tidied every day. We booked our stay last year with the old all-inclusive package and were made aware by Virgin Holidays whom we booked with that the resort was changing it's all-inclusive package to 'Ultimate AI'. We were initially concerned about what this would mean for us during our stay as we had looked into the cost of upgrading and found this to be a bit too costly and weren't sure if it was worth doing or not. The Ulitmate AI upgrade included a 30 minute complementary massage at the spa every day along with included min-bar and some added excursions. We decided to stick with the original package and to be honest, I don't feel that we missed out on anything as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves anyway. One of the highlights of this resort is the quality of the food - the Thai restaurant - Lotus - offers a daily set lunch and dinner menu that are part of their all-inclusive package and the food there was excellent and as it changed daily, there was plenty of variety and you wouldn't get bored with the choices. The main buffet restaurant - Reef - was also excellent providing a great variety of breakfast options including champagne every morning as well as a selection of juices, teas and coffees. The restaurant offered a different food theme every night including Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Maldivian, Italian & Greek, French and South-East Asian. There was so much choice, that even the fussiest of eaters would be able to find something they liked and from observing other guests, the staff were also able to accommodate specific dietary requirements/requests as well. We didn't bother eating at the Italian restaurant on the resort as we looked at the menu and felt that the other 2 restaurants offered more interesting choices.
Another highlight of the resort was the snorkelling and the house reef had a great variety of fish to observe and photograph. One of the best locations for snorkelling was the reef just to the left of the dive centre which happened to be just off the beach in front of the row of villas we were staying in so very convenient for us.
Of the excursions on offer at the resort, we chose to do the Sunset Cruise which was lovely and we decided to splash out and do the Robinson Crusoe desert island experience where you get dropped off on a small island along with a couple of cool boxes containing plenty of soft drinks, water, beer and a bottle of wine along with enough food to feed at least 4 people. a couple of loungers and an umbrella on the beach are provided and you are left to yourselves for approximately 6 hours. It was absolute bliss and the food provided was excellent.
Centara is a family friendly resort and there were plenty of young children there, but even as honeymooners this didn't really bother us as they all seemed well behaved and it certainly didn't affect the enjoyment of our stay. For those who would prefer a quiet couples-only resort, this probably wouldn't be the right choice for you.
One thing that really stood out for us was the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff at Centara. We couldn't fault them and they helped to make our stay very comfortable and enjoyable. Special mentions of thanks go to some of the staff at the Reef restaurant - Janet, Hisay and Nura as well as the hardworking chefs who manned the hotplate areas of the buffet. The staff at Lotus were also fantastic and special thanks go to Mangala, Desmond and Mousa who were very welcoming.
Overall, we loved Centara and it provided us with the rest and relaxation we were looking for as well as a truly memorable honeymoon experience and we hope that we will have the opportunity to return at some point in future.
- 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