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...
- 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