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“Paradise Found”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Paradise Found”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

Arriving in Centara Grand in the Maldives, either by boat or seaplane, is like stepping on to a little piece of heaven. From the moment you arrive you are made to feel special, part honoured guest, part family friend.

We have stayed in both beach and sea villas and each has one thing to offer. The beach villa has sand and shade from trees, the sea villa is totally luxurious and sits on the reef so you can swim or snorkel from you own front door.

The house reef is excellent with a myriad of tropical fish and the occasional turtle. We were lucky enough on both our visits to see and swim with the vast and incredible Whale Shark.

The restaurants serve a variety of cuisines. Each is excellent and the food is always fresh and interesting. The bars, which appear to float over the water are an excellent spot to sip a cocktail and watch the activities of the Manta Rays and Pipe Fish.

There is a wonderful spa, diving and water sports centres and a cool and airy library.

Sadly we are leaving Centara today. We will miss the delightful and courteous staff. We will dream about the delights of Centara in the months ahead. This is our second visit. If we are lucky we will return to Centara for the third visit next year.

Room Tip: Rooms facing west enjoy wonderful sunsets
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Hilary O
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, March 19, 2014
Dear Hilary, greetings from Haven!

Wow - such a great feedback!

Thank you for posting your review of your return stay with us, as your satisfaction is our greatest reward. We love being part of your fondest memories and are so pleased you will be returning.

It makes us very happy that our staff provided you with such prompt service. Your feedback about restaurants, bars, accommodation, spa and sport facilities is very much appreciated. Thank you for acknowledging their service.

It is so nice to hear about your unforgettable experience with the Whale Shark!

Once again thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience and we welcome you back in the future.

Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,111 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (307)
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English first
UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

We have been to Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa twice since 2010 and about to book our 3rd trip. It is the only place we have ever reurned to as we are of the view that there is large world to discover but Centara is a true exception. We are lucky enough to travel extensively with our 2 children, now 13 and 8 (Banyan tree, Four Seasons, One and Only) and can safely say that this resort is an ideal location for families with children (or without) looking for ultimate paradise, switch-off relaxation with incredible genuine warmth from the staff.

It is a small-medium sized resort for the Maldives so not too intmate but not too vast. We have stayed in both the water villas on stilts and the beach front 2 bed pool villa. Each have their merits dependeing what you are looking for and if possible I would advise to try and book both for a longer stay. With the water villas, you can snorkel from the back of the villas - we stayed here when the children were younger - there is slightly less privacy for parents from the children with a partition sepearating adult and kids sleeping spaces in a large room - would say this is perfect for familes with smaller kids who don't want to be too far from parents. 2 bed beach front pool villas give the ultiate beach experience - they are set right on the beach with stunning views, a large private pool we used daily and a 2 storey large villa, with a twin beds bedroom, bathroom and living room on ground and main bedroom and wc on first fl.oor

There are 4 outstanding restaurants, the quality of food is incredible, especially the Thai restaurant, And of course the all-inclusive package, which admittedly we were apprehnsive about before our first visit makes life incredibly easy when normally you would be mentally working out high meal prices for your family in like-for-like resorts.

Activities are great too, especially for those like my husband who like to also do as well as lie in the sun - we have enjoyed the water sports, snorkelling, fishing trips and there are also plenty of activties for kids, crab racing etc. The kids club is fantastic with outstanding staff. The gym is set in water with a stunning view of the ocean.

The resort is stunning, the main pool, gym, bar areas all never too crowded or lacking in atmosphere. We enjoyed the Island club on our second visit which gives the added beneft of the island club facilities - the actual island club where you can dine also (with exquisite 5 course meals - but must book) and a separate pool which is far quieter with far fewer kids if you prefer something quieter.

The real strength of the resort is the staff. Every person from the moment they greet you, the bar and restaurant staff, kids club staff, general manager chefs (who will all make time to talk to you) are genuinely warm, welcoming and want to ensure you have the ultimate luxury island experience. The service is genuinely the best service we have received from any 5-star hotel we have stayed in.

It really is paradise here. We can't wait for our next trip later this year...

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank bettydoob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Twickenham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

We have just returned from our 4th holiday at Centara Grand Spa and we have already booked for next year. It was quite simply a perfect holiday. The staff are so welcoming and helpful, the food outstanding with 3 restaurants to chose from plus bars and the Island Club. There are excellent diving facilities and the reef around this atol plus the wreck are a draw for all the nearby atolls. I had one to one yoga with the amazing Goy and spa treatments daily which were included in our Island club package. The accommodation was very comfortable and attractively furnished. We went for the luxury beachfront villa with its own pool which was perfection. Our teenage daughter loves the place and we look forward to our stay from one year to the next. Thank you Sathish and your wonderful team and see you next year. The Maldives are not a cheap holiday but this resort is relatively excellent value given the inclusive package and standard of amenities.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Machchafushi, Manager at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives, responded to this review, October 31, 2014
Dear Guests,

Thank you very much for spending your recent 04th holiday at the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa..

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our resort and will relay your appreciation to our team.

It has been a pleasure to have you with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in future.

Yours sincerely,
The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucks
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

Our second trip to Centara grand island, and every bit as good as the first. This time our boys (now 7) enjoyed snorkelling both off the beach and in more open water to see turtles, mantas and a whale shark - all described as 'epic'. The marine life visible to snorkelers at Centara continues to amaze and delight us - just swimming the few metres out from the beach to the house reef we saw a turtle, octopus, white tip reef shark, quite a few black tip reef sharks, 3 sleeping nurse sharks, all sorts of different fish including large bluefin trevally, some dolphins, and amazing different coloured corals as well as swimming among a shoal of thousands of fish. There is no way to adequately describe how good the snorkelling is.

Snorkelling aside we also continued to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this island, the good food and the kindness of all the staff who work there (especially at the kids club and water sports centre). Nothing we asked for was ever too much trouble and they were very good with our children. Mohammed made it his personal mission to ensure we all caught something on the sunset fishing excursion.

We hope to get back there next year and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoys snorkelling.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank twintravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

My family and I have holidayed in the Maldives a good number of times and are always on the look out for special islands that combine a relaxed and casual feel with top class service and amenities. We visited Centara for the second year in a row this Christmas and had another wonderful holiday on the island. Since last year they have carried out considerable upgrades including structural works, enhanced amenities and quality improvements which have further improved their excellent offering. We particularly enjoyed the newly revamped and upgraded Island Club (far more than I anticipated we would) and all the management and staff were so welcoming on our return which made it even more special.

It was only when we were going through some old photographs of last year that we realised quite how many subtle changes have been made but we all felt that the whole island has been greatly enhanced by the works. We look forward to seeing what further works they carry out this year which I presume will include a refresh of some of the existing accommodation as well as the new water villas that are due to be built.

Centara offer a low key yet upmarket island with excellent amenities and Spa with extremely friendly and attentive staff. The management are charming and exceptionally diligent and efficient. This is a small island but offers plenty of activities and an excellent choice of restaurants and bars. There is not a huge focus on diving but they have a good dive center with very nice staff and there own wreck to dive on the house reef. They also have excellent Manta Ray diving as well as the majestic Whale Sharks. Water sports include all the usual plus water skiing and exhilarating Para Sailing.

We have stayed in over half a dozen resorts in the Maldives and this is our favorite (and only the second one we have revisited) and we hope hope to return soon.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hibernia53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roma
Level Contributor
107 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Woland64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
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Helpful?
6 Thank albracher
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 the blue ocean of the South Ari Atoll, and distinctive with its timbered walkways and colonial-style buildings, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives is a barefoot paradise with a palm-fringed beach and shimmering lagoon that offers the perfect island holiday for everyone. With 112 spacious villas set over-water, and suites blending harmoniously with the natural setting, the island has a wealth of activities and superb facilities that makes this an ideal hideaway for couples and honeymooners, or a fun-filled destination for families. There are exceptional opportunities to discover the exotic life of Maldives underwater, with a house reef that is a kaleidoscope of colour for snorkellers, a shipwreck dive site just off the island, and easy access to some of the most famous dive sites in the world. With our Ultimate All-Inclusive concept, your stay on our tropical island is absolutely carefree, with dining, rejuvenating, playing and exploring all included. ... 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

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