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“Outstanding management & staff (11th Maldive trip - repeat guests)”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 18, 2014

Just returned from our second trip to Centara. We have stayed at 9 different Maldive Islands and this ranks as the best. The management team and staff are exceptional. We were treated like VIP's from the moment we arrived until we left. All guests receive outstanding service with a genuine smile from a happy and attentive team. Nothing is too much trouble and they are constantly striving to improve what is already a stunning island.

We were greeted on the Jetty by management and representatives for all departments, welcoming us back from last year. They were also all there to say goodbye at the end of our trip! The care and attention to detail is exceptional, and is lead by the expert management of Voytek, the area General Manager. They are particularly good at listening to guests and making changes to accommodate guest feedback. They had reviewed our guest comments from last year and all the minor points we had made had been acted upon. This is impressive.

Assessing each aspect of the island, the following may be if interest:

ARRIVAL
As usual, a slick transfer from male airport to the seaplane lounge where we only waited 40 minutes for our connecting transfer (25 minutes) to Centara. For anyone who hasn't been on a seaplane, it is a fantastic start to your holiday. A Dhoni (boat) collects you from a pontoon and takes you to the reception and aqua bar where, for us, an amazing turn out to welcome us back awaited, followed by refreshments. It was lovely to see staff from last year, and some new ones. They all seemed to remember our lively 8 year old daughter, Sophie!

BEACH VILLA - 102
We emailed before we arrived to request 103 or a neighbouring beach villa as they are situated in the largest lagoon with best beachfront for children. Luckily, we got the villa next to the one we stayed in last year. As repeat guests, we were greeted by a bottle of brut sparking wine and our bed decorated in flowers with a message welcoming us back. There was also a thoughtful card from Voytek wishing us a pleasant stay and thanking us for returning.

CAMP SAFARI KIDS CLUB
We were delighted to find that the club is still managed by the wonderful Annie, a delightfully loving, kind and skilled child carer. All the children adore her. The activities are varied, fun and offered in a safe and secure environment. The children regularly had trips to the restaurant kitchen to make cookies, did all sorts of arts and crafts, shell collecting, afternoon ice cream slot etc etc. Most children wanted to go in the afternoon, which is great as it gets them out of the sun for a while, they have lots of fun and the parents get a break too! Annie is exceptionally kind and skilled at her job and a real credit to Centara.

DIVE CENTRE
I raised a few points in my guest review last year and absolutely everything had been acted upon. This is a management team who really do take on board guest feedback and I am particularly impressed by this. Thobe dived with me throughout my stay and he was fantastic. Very thorough, very attentive to diver safety and protocol and great fun too. Doing somersaults on my last dive was particularly fun! There is a large Chinese contingency on the island who don't seem to swim or dive, as a result of which the dive centre is not overrun. The morning boat is a twin dive and most seem to go on that. The afternoon dive is a single dive and I was usually the only one. It was great for me but, I am sure Best Dives would like more divers. They deserve more custom as there are some great dive sites (a good house reef too) and I could not fault their attention to safety, friendly approach and flexibility to accommodate diver requirements. A massive thank you to Thobe who I really hope I can dive with again. He was great and spotting sea creatures and quite funny (with underwater taking too)! thank you.

WATER SPORTS CENTRE
Lovely to see same staff as last year. As friendly and helpful as ever. Free trips include whale shark snorkel trip, another snorkel trip, sunset cruise and fishing or local visit. Fantastic value. Thankyou for all Sophie's tube rides. She loved them, and so did I! The water skiing was brilliant too. Never done it before and would recommend to anyone who hasn't to give it a go. They also do wind surfing, wind permitting, paddle boarding, pedalos, banana boat and parasailing. A great team. Thank you.

RESTAURANTS
Reef, Lotus Thai and Azurri Mari Italian all fantastic. The chefs are very talented and all staff extremely lovely and attentive. Thai and Italian need booking but we were always accommodated.
Italian wonderful but I would suggest extending the starter menu a little. If you visit often, you run out of different choices. However, the mains list is extensive and fabulously tasty.

SPA
Fabulous treatments. Book all as soon as you arrive. They are very skilled and, compared to UK therapists, they are amazing.

POOL
Good pool by reef bar. I think it could do with remodelling into more curved edges at some point, but didn't seem to bother children. There is another pool in island club section which looked lovely although we hadn't upgraded to that and it seemed more for couples wanting more peace and quiet. I would love to try it next year though as extra dining options there too.

ROOMS
Can only comment on beach villas. They are very spacious two storey villas on the beach. Bedroom and toilet upstairs. Lounge and extra bed (for children if needed) downstairs plus an enormous bathroom including indoor and outdoor shower and huge bath. In need of a cosmetic makeover but nothing major, just a new bathroom suite and grouting. However, can't complain, they are fantastic villas, particularly for families. One small suggestion for us ladies - a well lit mirror inside where air conditioning is would be good as not ideal to apply make up in outside bathroom where you are so hot. A small point but I am sure this would be appreciated in the upgrade. There are plans to updated and refurbish the villas in the next year or so.

ENTERTAINMENT
Improved enormously with nightly dancing/DJ and live band. Thank you for this improvement. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I love to dance!

So much more I could say but, to round up this long review, this is a superb beautiful island, great for families and couples alike. Expert management, exceptional team and great all inclusive value. We don't usually visit the same island more than once but it's very likely we will return again next March. For children, it's fun, safe and an ideal holiday. A perfect dream destination!

We will miss you all but hoping it's not goodbye forever!

Best wishes
Nadia, Hadi and Sophie

Room Tip: 100 beach villa section Water villas look nice too but we prefer the beach
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank NadiaScuba
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 reviewResponded May 2, 2014

Dear Nadia, Hadi and Sophie

So good to hear from you!

Thank you for taking your time to share your recent experience with us. It is always a pleasure to hear that we were able to meet your expectation. I will certainly share your kind words to the team and we look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back next year for another memorable experience.

Best regards until next year

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Reviewed April 16, 2014

Just returned from 9 nights at Centara Grand and wish I had booked for longer. I thought I would get bored sitting on a sun bed with nothing much to do....how wrong I was, we never sat still. The resort was just what it said in the brochure and more, we could not fit everything in.
We only booked a basic beach villa and was in number 35, which was lovely and could not fault apart from where it was positioned. It was close to the water sports centre and sea plane jetty, so quite noisy from time to time. Also the beach is being eroded by the sea, which they are trying to stop by using sand bags, which spoilt the appearance and was a little difficult to climb up and down. Unfortunately the staff are up against a powerful force of nature.
All the restaurants were great....food and staff were lovely. I am not a fan of the buffets, but there were no queue and top quality food, so I had no complaints.
Spa does get full, we booked all our treatments at the beginning and there was only one day we were not able to go. Dive centre and diving was excellent.
There was building work taking place but apart from a bit of noise from time to time and the smell of paint one day it was hidden very well.
We loved it so much we are planning to return next year. Big thank you to all the managers and staff of The Centara Grand for making our holiday a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Upgrade from the basic beach villa.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Karen M
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 reviewResponded May 2, 2014

Dear guests

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with us. It gives us a great pleasure to hear that you had a great time enjoying the variety of our services, beach villa and facilities especially our buffet restaurant. We look forward to welcoming you for another memorable stay next year.

Best regards

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Reviewed April 15, 2014

This was our first trip to the Maldives and we were totally delighted with what we found.
The resort itself is a tropical paradise with wonderful marine life everywhere to see. The beaches were beautiful, with soft white sand and we often had them completely to ourselves. We stayed in a Deluxe Family Villa and taking our 3 year old, it was completely safe with child locks on all gates. The space inside was perfect, she loved the bunk beds and having her own tv!
The staff across the resort couldn't do enough to make our stay perfect. They were attentive without being overbearing with a real genuine interest in our wellbeing.
I'd recommend without hesitation.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank AT1972
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 reviewResponded May 2, 2014

Dear Guests

Thank you for choosing our resort on your first visit to Maldives. We are pleased to note that you and your family had such a good time and impressed with our service and facilities especially our Deluxe Family Villa. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back again for another memorable experience.

Best regards

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Reviewed April 14, 2014

I write this review on our last day of a 10 day holiday. For myself, my husband and our 13 year old daughter, it has been another blissful experience. We have visited the Island three times now and we will definitely be returning! In my opinion this island has the best house reef in the area, the variety of sea life is extraordinary! The experience varies on which suite you stay in. We have stayed in the deluxe water villas, the luxury family water villas and the luxury sunset water villas. All three are beautifully yet simply designed, which I prefer. If your looking for an abundance of gold gilded fixtures, slabs of marble and granite you won't find it here, instead you'll find a simple decor that makes you feel at home, crisp white linens, wood flooring, bright and airy decor simply decorated yet beautiful. We feel that the reef experience off the sunset villas is spectacular, it truly is like snorkelling in an aquarium, off the back of the Family water Villas, you swim out 20 feet and the ocean opens up to you as you stare 300 feet down to the bottom. We have swam with turtles, spotted rays, seen octopus and had small black tip reef sharks glide peacefully by us. If I could stay in the water all day I would! The temperature of the water varies on where you snorkel, but always warm.

As far as food goes, there is plenty of variety to suit all dietary needs and the quality is wonderful. The kitchen staff are always willing to help you out should you require something different.

The team at the water-sports facility are brilliant, my daughter and I tried wind-surfing, for me an epic fail but at least I could stand up and sail, just couldn't turn, even though my instructor tried so hard to teach me. Paddle boarding however was a huge success, and brilliant fun, a quick video off You-Tube will show you how and with the free wi-fi throughout the island it isn't an issue to download anything. I would recommend the fishing trip in the evening, is was great fun, and as all these excursions and water sports are part of the package, do take full advantage of them.


Our daughter is an avid diver, and has gone on all the dive excursions they offer here. She loved each and everyone of them. She was filled with tales of deep water sea life and couldn't wait to go on another dive! You can do a house reef dive and go to the ship wrack which lies just off the back of the dive centre, you can take several different boat dives to varying locations in the atolls for a different experience. Staff are fantastic and I felt safe and secure leaving our daughter in their very capable hands.

The daily 30 minute spa treatments are wonderful, the staff are well trained and courteous. Their booking system fills up quickly but you can pre-book 3 treatments ahead of your arrival.

You can also pre-book the Italian Restaurant and the Thai restaurant as well for your entire stay.

Do book the Teppan-yaki table, fabulous food and great fun, you get one sitting during your stay.

I could not recommend this resort more. I'm sure if you tried you could find fault with some aspects of the resort, but I don't look for fault I just see the beauty that surrounds me and am grateful to be able to experience it.

Room Tip: If your travelling with very small children I would recommend the beach villas, the Family water Vil...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank BradyLake
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 reviewResponded May 2, 2014

Dear Family

Thank you for you that you have spent your time wrote and posted this valuable comment through Tripadvisor. This is our utmost pleasure to know that you have returned for the third time to stay with us at Centara Grand resort and spa with the fabulous experience. As our aim is to that make every stay of our guest unforgettable and flawless with us. Moreover, we are looking forward for welcoming you in our resort to enjoy and experience more our resort in the near future.

Thank you and best regards

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Reviewed April 11, 2014

The beauty of this Paradise Resort is extremely breath taking, the attentiveness, professional and friendly staff including the GM is second to none. The huge and unique water villas is very eye catching, plus the snorkelling underneath is magical. You will never get wrong to plan your next holiday destination to this Paradise Jewel of Maldives.

Hermie Cahatol
Sydney, Australia

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Hermie C
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 reviewResponded April 20, 2014

Dear Hermie,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your wonderful feedback following your recent visit. We are pleased you had an enjoyable experience and you were comfortable in our care. We look forward to have the opportunity to welcoming you again soon. Once again, thank you and we are so pleased you enjoyed yourself.

Best regards

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Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

We have recently returned from spending two weeks on Centara Grand Island Resort.
We booked with Virgin Holidays here in the UK and our flights were operated by Emirates. This meant a five hour wait outbound and inbound in Dubai, which makes for a very long journey. Previously we have only ever had direct flights.

Upon arrival on Centara, check in was very slick and we were soon taken to our Deluxe Water Villa. We stayed in villa 98 which was on the sunrise side and was also nearest to the beach which suited me very well as I don't swim but I was still able to enter the water from our villa steps at low tide. Each room has two life vests which most people wear to snorkel and using this as my buoyancy aid, I was able to snorkel properly for the first time ever.

On our first full day, we upgraded to Island Club and apart from one meal in Lotus Thai restaurant we spent all our time in Island Club. Most days it was quiet in Island Club and we had the pool to ourselves on numerous occasions.
Island Club is run impeccably well by Babita and along with the other members of staff including an amazing chef, your holiday is enhanced by the wonderful food and level of service they provide.
Even in Island Club gentlemen don't have to wear long trousers to dinner but nicer if shorts are of the more tailored variety. Ladies, leave your heels at home as, at best you are walking on decking but mostly sand.

It is probably advisable to book your free daily massages upon arrival as the spa does get quite busy.

There is some building work taking place behind Island Club but there was at no time a level of noise which spoiled our holiday.

Staff are all friendly and polite and your holiday satisfaction is important to them.
We had a lovely relaxing two weeks which was exactly what we required and I would recommend this island but would aim for direct flights to Male in future.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
5  Thank mummyhaggis
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 reviewResponded April 20, 2014

Thank you for posting your feedback online following your recent stay at Centara Grand Resort and Spa Maldives. We are delighted that you had an enjoyable experience and upgraded to our Island Club. We are pleased to hear that you were looked after by our wonderful staff and we will pass your comments to Babita and the Island club staff. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Thank you

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Reviewed March 30, 2014

We stayed at Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa Maldives All inclusive resort for our honeymoon in September 2012, we stayed in a deluxe family water villa and when we returned this March, we stayed in the villa next to the one we had honeymooned in. Number 16. As we arrived at the island all of the staff, including the managers were on the jetty to welcome us back as friends. So many familiar smiling faces made us feel very special. When we got to our villa, our bed had been decorated with flowers spelling out welcome back and champagne was chilled ready for us. The steps from our terrace led straight into the crystal waters which were teaming with fish and we were just a couple of meters from the reef edge. Each room is provided with snorkeling vests for safety and the staff had remembered that I am not fit and had provided extra safety measures for me. Each of the restaurants serves wonderful food and and the chefs go to extra ordinary lengths to make sure that you are pleased. The complimentary spa treatments were a complete surprise and the lovely staff were so knowledgeable and gentle but prepared to be more firm should you wish.
Our room was kept spotless throughout our stay, our towels were always fresh and our bed turned down. Wine was always available and we can't fault anything. We have been visiting the Maldives since the early pioneering days some 30 years ago when things were really basic and you made your own entertainment. It took 24 hours to get there from England stopping over at Sri Lanka. We are a lot older now so We appreciate the luxuries a lot more. We will do our very best to return to Centara, not just for the location but because we feel that the management and staff have made us their friends and we feel that we are family. That is something very special,and I doubt there is an island in The Maldives where the Management and staff take such care of you.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
8  Thank rosalind 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 reviewResponded April 20, 2014

Thank you for your wonderful comments and our team was so honored to have you back to stay with us. We are thrilled to read your comments about your recent visit and that you had another great stay with us. Thank you for your recommendations and we look forward to have the opportunity to welcoming you both again soon.
Best regards

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Additional Information about 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: $727 - $1,611 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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