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“Heaven on earth”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Roma
Level Contributor
107 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Heaven on earth”
Reviewed February 17, 2014

I have just spent 1 week in this resort with my family with kids of 14 and 12. I was in a beach villa by the sports center. I have to anticipate this was my first time to Maldives, so I can hardly say if this was too expensive (it certainly was in absolute terms!) or if this is the best reef you can find. But if you are a first time visitor to Maldives, you can go to Centara Grand with eyes closed!
The sea and the reef were just AMAZING. The staff extremely kind and very professional. Food was good and various at the main self-service restaurant, and pretty good at the Thai restaurant too. As I am Italian I won't say a work on the Italian restaurant :), which is indeed the most popular one (be there at 12 noon sharp if you want to get a seat for dinner...).
I was on the all-inclusive package. Again I don't know if this was good money for value for lack of a benchmark, but I believe it is a must to avoid high food/drinks cost. Drinks are freely available and are good. There is a large number of excursion that are included, which are usually interesting, even if I could not meet the whale shark... The snorkeling trip was a bit of a delusion considering the local snorkeling is just fantastic! And finally, you get this invaluable free 30 minutes of massage in the beautiful SPA, which was a real surprise to me.
This is the 5 starts part. What is taking my overall rating to 4 stars is was the relatively good status of the villas that need refurbishing (noisy air conditioning in particular), the smell of the incinerator, which I am afraid is a necessary evil, the annoying booking rules for restaurants... but all in all small nuisances you will immediately forget as you open the door and see the turquoise sea.
Other considerations. My kids were very happy because they love sea and snorkel, but don't get kids in this age here if they are have high demand for fun, music, animation etc. as there is none. There were no Italians, and Western tourists were roughly 20% of the total. The Island Club that somebody considers a must, in my case was completely useless; it was empty all the time. I believe I was lucky the resort wasn't full. Another popular topic: the seaplane. My flight was scheduled right after my arrival in Male, so no complaints on this at all. And the flight is another unforgettable experience...

Room Tip: I was in a beach villa which I definitely recommend against water villas. You have your almost priva...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Woland64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We got back on Jan 24th after an amazing 10 nights at the Centara. Wonderful holiday, fantastic island and would highly recommend it.
The staff were excellent and really made the whole holiday complete. Valentina in the Reef restaurant was lovely and welcoming, and Sappay was friendly and entertaining, loved my napkin duck! Amal looked after us every day at the coral bar, mango energisers with Malibu without even asking....perfect service!
Do the complimentary excursions, they are a treat and well worth getting off your sun bed for! We were lucky enough to snorkel with a whale shark, see a beautiful sunset whilst at sea and snorkel on an amazing reef! Niya was an excellent hub of local knowledge on snorkelling and without him our experience would have been less enriched, thank you!
Massive recommendation to visit the dive centre too. Betty, Yumi and Imran supported and guided us through our discover scuba and we went on to do 4 dives with them. They were kind, patient, knowledgable and I felt totally safe with them. Thank you for sharing the amazing under water world with us, PADI here we come!
The Centra was excellent, and we were amazed how much we packed into our holiday considering people assume there's nothing to do in the Maldives! Spent more time than ever before snooping on the amazing wildlife under water and also spent an unforgettable day on a Robinson Crusoe island. Holiday and opportunities of a lifetime!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank albracher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Level Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I do agree with most of the comments written on the previous review. The beach suites are a bit dated but very spacious. The Island Club really made the difference - it is fabulous and the food, ambience, pool and staff are outstanding. In fact the staff in this resort are exceptional,
We also had dinner in Azzure Mare which we loved sitting over the water watching the reef sharks and trumpet fish. The tuna and snapper on the menu was superb.
The Spa is fantastic and beautiful ambience with very professional masseuse.
The reef here is the best we've snorkelled in - and we've stayed at 7 different islands!

Room Tip: We preferred to be on the beach near the Spa - room 25, which was closer to the sea and generally pr...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hunter48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Level Contributor
65 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We spent 7 nights in a Luxury Sunset Watervilla with Club Island access.

Island/location = 30 mins seaplane from Male and a further 10mins by boat. The island is breathtaking with crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and beautiful palm trees. Definitely a paradise island for sure.

Luxury Sunset Watervilla = Firstly, I would take away the word 'Luxury' from the title as although the accommodation is very pleasant, comfortable, well equipped and spacious, it cannot be described as luxurious. The decor is somewhat dated and shabby meaning the villa looked a little substandard to warrant the name 'luxury'. I would rate our room as a 'local 4 star' but certainly not up to the standard I'd have expected from and international 4/5 star Watervilla. It was however clean and adequate but lacked the 'Watervilla WOW factor' we were expecting for the price we paid.

Island Club = In a word..... Amazing! We're so pleased we opted for the Island Club. This is a definite step above the rest of the hotel in terms of service and quality. We were looked after so well by the amazing Island Club staff (especially Christine, Babita and Anushi) who were always on-hand to catering to our every whim. For us, this was a truly 5 star experience by any standard! The food (although limited to a daily set-menu) was the quality of any 5 star restaurant we've dined at and together with an extensive drinks menu including fine wines from France and Italy, definitely makes the upgrade to Island Club worthwhile. During our stay, there were only 4-5 rooms that had upgraded to Club, which meant we virtually had the pool and lounge to ourself! Complete and utter bliss!

Other Restaurants = Lotus Restaurant was excellent and definitely worthwhile trying. The Italian Azzure was pleasant but not outstanding. Reef restaurant which was the main buffet was poor in my opinion and I would rate this as 3 star due to the lack of quality and variety. That said, the staff at all the restaurants are excellent and make you feel very welcome.

Other facilities = The Spa is incredible! We definitely recommend taking advantage of the free 30 mins daily treatments which are included in the package and we were able to book them all in advance without any problems. The staff are excellent and we even upgraded on our last day and had a 75 min Maldivian Massage which was amazing.

Would also like to mention that we had to leave on the first seaplane and because it departed before the restaurants had opened, they make provisions for breakfast in Aqua bar. Now this was an appalling attempt at breakfast! Stale pastries, instant coffee, cheap juice. This could be improved so easily with some thought and effort but doesn't leave a very good lasting impression I'm afraid.

On the whole, we have a lovely time mainly due to the Island Club and the wonderful staff there! I wouldn't consider returning unless we were opting for Club again as the rest of the island isn't at the standard we're looking for.

Room Tip: Island Club is a must if you want 5 Star service and quality!
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MissApril77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

I am a citizen from Beijing. I arrived on January 6, 2014,I lived the Centara Hotel & Resorts Maldives.But, unfortunately, on January 7, 3 pm, because the rope hammock on the island is the unsafe,The rope severed and my father fell ,my father coccyx againsted ground,, head back against the ground,his head against a stick of the hammock.Although the hotel to take us to the local hospital.But unfortunately the accompanying officials of the hotel along the way attitude indifference.And when we checked out, the hotel detained my father's head photo hospital, delay us go to see a doctor, It gave us great mental pressure for concerns about my father healthy.The accident brought us huge material and spiritual losses. such safety accident of the hotel is incredible.and after the hotel was not properly handle,and they libel and slander us ,said own fell (hotels, please take out evidence, if have no ,is slander).
The hotel sent to the travel accident accident report, a total of 16 pages, only one page descripted accident, have no a word mention the damage this acciednt brounght us , the remaining 15 pages was all libel and condemnation for us.This incident report is normal?????Deal with this attitude,the hotel only pay $200 to us , why only $200 ? according to what ?Was the night before giving the shrimp meal also as compensation, how ridiculous it is to deal with language, seems to be in my childhood between children's language,Fortunately, I didn't eat ah.$200 I don't want to, even if I have no any money.,this is degrading reparations..Error is not terrible, knowing that the wrong don't change more terribe, know the wrong still chicanery and even libel and condemnation others. This is a what kind of hotel .Let Allah,shakyamuni make judgments.
(if i lying ,wiilling to be punished)(sorry ,my english is poor ,i have to used translater software)
i need the lawyer will help me,my telephoto is 18310273938.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank weimingdu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Machchafushi, General Manager at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives, responded to this review, February 9, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your feedback following your short stay in our resort. Responding to a Tripadvisor review is important to us in order to establish accuracy of guest experience and truthfulness of review.

We are surprised in the way you have described events regarding your fathers incident at the resort.
The rope snapped and the hammock fell to the ground yes but the distance was very minimal, nothing seriously happened to your father. At once all management and the resort doctor attended to your father and it was diagnosed by all concerned that there were no serious injuries. Nevertheless we have offered to check further with a local hospital in Male in order to ensure that your father is well. We have accompanied yourself and your father together with two of our staff (including Chinese staff) at our cost to Male. Unfortunately it took some time before the doctor was free to examine your father and ex-rays were taken. Once again the hospital doctor confirmed that your father was in sound health. We have arranged over night accommodation for you in Male and the following day returned you to our resort, where your family enjoyed the rest of your stay with us. We have offered our apologies together with compensation.

We truly care about your father and mother, despite the fact our Chinese staff were in tears because of the manner in which you spoke to them, we still provided our care and attention to ensure that your father is looked after.

Dear Guest, we have further offered compensation to your travel agent as a goodwill gesture and we do apologise for the inconvenience you experienced.

Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

Grand Centara has the WOW factor !
This review is being made half way through our holiday... Still one week left, yippee !

Arrival at Male:
After a long flight from London we were warmly welcomed at Male airport by a GC representative in the beautiful sunshine. We were quickly checked for our flight transfer to the resort and shown to a bus which took us straight to the seaplane terminals. Despite being worried about the wait for our transfer to the island we were pleased to hear it would only be a 50 minute wait.... We were more pleased when our names were called over the information system and we got an earlier flight... Having read the reviews on TA I thought it was going to be a lot longer... Guess we got lucky!

Arrival at resort:
After a beautiful flight over the islands (remember your camera!) we were greeted by 4 members of staff and escorted to the Island Club lounge to be checked in. The front of house manager was very informative and welcomed us with open arms. After settling down with a drink and some lunch we we're taken off to our Luxury Sunset Villa over the water (Villa 62)

Luxury Sunset Villa:
On entering the villa, we were struck by how beautiful it was and had the most perfect view over the ocean. I must be honest and say the room was in need of some decoration but it was not so bad that we required a new room. Note to management ... Tidy it up a little and it will be even more beautiful! The mini bar was disappointing, albeit there was one but it was a small fridge with a couple of beers in it, a coke, diet coke and some juice... I would have expected some wine and some spirits in there... It looked a very cheap poor attempt at a mini bar compared to other luxury hotels. The bathroom is huge and has a great view from the toilet over the ocean!!! The villa is also a perfect location for snorkelling in the afternoon and also for watching the sunset with a beer (as there were no gin and tonics in the mini bar!)

Island Club:
If you're looking for a very peaceful and relaxing holiday and want to be spoilt rotten then an upgrade to the Island Club is a must! The pool and club we have virtually to ourselves, we have the most beautiful view and the most wonderful people looking after us. We met them as staff, but they are not any more, they are friends and we thank them so much for looking after us so well.. Shimol, Babita, Renuka, Christine, Anushka and Chef Chandu, thank you so much ! (Chef Chandu makes a wicked chicken curry !!) It really is like being in your own villa with people looking after you, the only thing they couldn't do was make the rain go away this morning! Note to management - you have a wonderful team working in the Island Club please pass on our thanks !

Spa:
Wow... what a surprise to find out that with the Ultimate All Inclusive package we get a 30 minute massage everyday... Yes every day ! We took full advantage every day, yes every day! The masseurs were wonderful, if you like a deep tissue massage, these are the girls to do it!!
Beautiful location and set up as well. One nice thing about it also is they do not try the hard sell of their products like other spa resorts, if you want them you can buy them, if you don't want them you don't buy them ... Simple !

To conclude:
This resort is simply heaven on earth, yes it could do with decorating in a few places but so can most places, it's kept impeccably clean, every single member of staff who walk past you say hello, the general manager is always around and greets everyone both guests and staff, who all have high respect for him which is probably why they all seem to enjoy their jobs so much and it's generally a very beautiful place.

Bring on week 2 !!!!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank RickPen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Our experience at Centara Grand was wonderful. We stayed in the Luxury Family Pool villas on the beach and had the beach and wonderful scenery in our back yard. We were on the breezey side of the island which kept the temperatures down and enjoyed the sea breeze. We also upgraded to the Island Club package which enabled us access to a club pool and restaurant. Initially we did not use it, however as the resort got busy we appreciated the Island Club features including the restaurant and used them on a very regular basis. I only used the spa vouchers on the last 3 days. I suggest to go on the first day and then book all your times.

Suggestions for the resort is to put a pipe on the air conditioning so that the water "leaks" outside instead of down onto the lounge. Would image that it will rot and cause mould if not cleaned very regularly. It was also annoying getting drops of water whist sitting on the lounge.

Snorkelling was wonderful and very good for beginners or children. They do not have to swim but can walk in the water and see a variety of fish. A short trip each day keeps them busy and entertained.

A great holiday and would return.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tricia W
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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