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“Wonderful relaxing resort”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 26, 2014

The island is undergoing renervation and all the public venues have been upgraded. The villas were a little 'tired' but perfectly acceptable and these are next on the upgrade list but we expect the price will go up once it is all finished.
The service and food were exceptional and everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. There is an evening of cocktails when you can meet the management and have your say on your experience. The snorkelling was wonderful, especially off the back of the dive centre and was guaranteed to swim with white tipped reef sharks and all the usual tropical fish.
The package value was unbelievable being the ultimate all-inclusive package which really was all-inclusive. Food, beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks were all in the price along with 3 trips and a daily half-hour session at the spa.
There is a choice of 3 restaurants as well as the general restaurant and all were very good. We had a beach villa which had it's own decking area and beach front with sun beds and a few yards down to the beautiful lagoon. An exceptionally relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Bazzer36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2014 via mobile

Had a wonderful time staying in this resort. The staffs are very friendly.The family suite is very spacious.I love the rooms. All my children love the water park and the swimming pools.The resort has a lot of exciting activity for adults and children. The resort has a good kid's club.My children spent a lot of time playing in the club.Overall,this resort is great.Definetly i will come back again.

Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank wimelda81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2014

My boyfriend and l came here on holiday 2 years ago and we were blown away by the stunning scenery. We stayed on one of the huts on stilts which was amazing. The rooms are also lovely with a huge bed and bath tub.
The service was excellent, always so friendly and attentive.
There is a main buffet restaurant that does different themed food every night and also a choice of booking yourselves into the Italian or Thai restaurant. Both were gorgeous. The Italian restaurant is on stilts above the water and the Thai restaurant is in a lovely Thai themed garden.
It was our first trip to the Maldives but definitely not our last. We were very impressed.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Melissa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

We stayed at the Centara Grand Resort and Spa for 8 days for our honeymoon. We went there to relax and unwind and that’s what we did.
The resort offered a wide range of watersports and excursions.
Without a doubt the staff are superb, friendly and polite.
Internet, DVD, is really good.
If you like spicy food we highly recommend the Thai restaurant, the food is truly delicious, never tasted anything so good, not even in Thailand!
The Island Club Restaurant lunch menus are nice, amazing in the evening!
The reef restaurant serves buffet food, they have a wide variety of food, some really nice and some average.
I doubt the freshness of the food at the Italian restaurant, being Italian it sounded more like they have put Italian names to not so very Italian dishes.
We had a fantastic time on our honeymoon and Centara Grand Resort and Spa as a whole is a really nice place but if you want 5* service you might come away feeling a bit disappointed and it’s a shame because having stayed at 4* and 5* hotels, Centara Grand have let themselves down on a few simple things that wouldn’t really cost them that much to put right. For example:

When we got in our room after a little while we had 3 separate knocks on our door, 1 with our bags, 1 with a bowl of fruit and 1 with a bottle of champagne, surely the fruit and champagne could have been put into place before we got to our room?

They hadn’t bothered putting any of the lovely flowers on the bed even though they have so many trees that are growing so many beautiful petal flowers.

The Deluxe Water bungalows were really spacious and clean, good taste in décor but some of the furniture like the hot tub looked a bit tired and grubby.

As part of the all-inclusive package you can have breakfast from 7-10am, lunch 12-2pm, Mid Afternoon snacks from 3.30-4pm and dinner from 7-10pm. If you want a small snack (fries, salad, a sandwich ect) by the pool or outside of those hours you couldn’t. You can order at a steep extra cost in room dining but still, you can only order curry’s, but why? It’s a 5* resort? Other 4* and 5* resort we stayed at you could have small snacks throughout the day.

The reservation system, different rules apply to different restaurant. Some you have to book at reception by a certain time and the other directly to the restaurant.

We had the Island club, apparently they were meant to offer mid-morning snacks but never saw any of these offered to us!

Breakfast at the Island Club, considering you pay £1000.00 extra to have Island Club, was pretty poor. The cooked food was swimming in fried in oil that tasted old and every mornings (might be a coincidence) they would serve the same food that they had over at the Reef restaurant the night before.

Afternoon tea, nothing was fresh, the scones were brought, the jam was a cheap jelly jam and the cream was from a can, in all the cakes and the fried snacks tasted pretty cheap processed food and it was pretty much the same food that was served at the other bar for afternoon tea. I felt really disappointed because when people pay £1000.00 extra for exclusive service they expect good quality food and attention to detail.

We had a really good time, we went on a mission to relax and we came away feeling refreshed but part of me felt disappointed, considering that the Centara Grand Resort and Spa is a 5*resort that comes with a 5* price tag the fact that they fail to go to that extra mile (all things that a 4* and 5* resorts do anyway) which makes the resort in my eyes really over rated. I wouldn’t go back and wouldn’t recommend to people that wanted a 5* resort.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
12  Thank AngyBic2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2014

It's so sad to be leaving in 2 days as 6 days is not enough - this place has been brilliant for my family and I. We have 3 children aged 12,9 and 5. From our Beach Suite 107 - my children have enjoyed swimming with baby sharks. The children also enjoyed the fishing trip as well as snorkeling behind the dive centre amongst the coral. I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews before hand but we have all found this trip to be fantastic! Today at feeding time the children saw sharks and stingrays:). Food is important and not at all disappointing. I want to thank Kris the Resort Manager for his lovely meet and greet as well as Wana. We will be back soon! Thank you Centara Grand !!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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3  Thank NamrataW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We had a mixed experience.

The resort service and the staff were truly excellent. They did what they could to make our stay pleasant. The same is true for the Cenvaree Spa. The food was tasty and varied. It would have been nice to have more examples of food prepared in front of you such as happened two or three times during the stay, but this is a very minor point. Internet access was very good. We enjoyed dining in the Thai restaurant, where both the fixed menus (what you get with all-inclusive) and the service were excellent.

The dive center, Best Dives Maldives, was excellent, one of the best dive centers we have had the pleasure to use. The house reef was enjoyable, and good sites are nearby by boat. The staff at Best Dives listened to us, planned dives for what we wanted to do, and took excellent care of our equipment between dives.

On the negative side, our “Beach Suite” room (#45) was not at all up to a 5* norm, or even 3*. The electrical fixtures in the Island tub area had fallen off the wall and were hanging by their cables. A new staff building (?) has windows that directly overlook the room’s Island bath area and even the internal bath, destroying our privacy. The Island tub itself was filthy, stained, totally unattractive, and probably unusable (we never could bring ourselves to try it). The furniture in the room was old, some pieces IKEA style. One piece, the desk in the upstairs sleeping area, had broken hinges. When our next-room neighbor went up or down the internal stairs it sounded like explosions were going off in our room. There is no space to hang or store clothes in the sleeping area; it is all in the bath area downstairs. The tile in the upstairs bath was loose, making cracking sounds every time we stepped on it. We saw a mouse in our room (we reported this). The hammock was taken away for some reason after 6 or 7 days and it never came back. When we talked to management on the island about the room’s deficiencies they agreed that their rooms do need renovation, but they offered us no pathway to get out of our very substandard room.

The at-resort meal/activity reservation system is a horror. One never knew exactly where to go to make a reservation. Sometimes it was reception, sometimes the spa, sometimes the water sports center, and sometimes the restaurant. For at-restaurant reservations you needed to be there when it opened. For example, restaurant reservations for Teppan Yaki on the day never worked because the line formed by 6:45 AM and all reservations were taken shortly after the Reef restaurant opened at 7:00. Being forced to queue up at that hour is not appropriate for a resort like Centara.

The “Ultimate All Inclusive” plan is better called “Ultimate Much Inclusive”. To get the real all inclusive, one must purchase at substantial cost a membership in the "Island Club". That is also a way to avoid the reservation hassles, because the Island Club concierge can make reservations in advance. It is my understanding that the reservation system for non-Club members is kept difficult to help justify the substantial increased cost of the Island Club.

The combination of vouchers and all inclusive was confusing. We didn’t realize that we had a banana boat voucher until our last day. Finally, why is there a limit on activities per stay? It should be per week (or something like that) so that people who stay for longer periods aren’t penalized.

Moving back to the positive, we again compliment the staff. Everyone was pleasant and cheerful. Each person was willing to help us as much as he or she could. It is the service that filled our glass to three-quarters full.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank DivingPhool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2014

This was my 3rd time to Maldives and 2nd time to Centara. 2 years ago I was a very happy guest so I decided to stay here again with my families. Unfortunately I noticed the standard has dropped a lot this time and I’m very disappointed.


I arrived on the same flight as last time at 11:35am in Male. Last time by the time we reached Centara we still managed to catch the lunch buffet before 2:30pm.
However this time, we waited in the hot terminal for 3 hours for seaplane departure. The flight was initially scheduled at 1:40pm but we didn’t leave until 3:10pm. There was an earlier flight to Centara around 12:40pm but we were not booked on that, despite I told them I have elderly travelling with me (85-year old grandparents).
After seaplane landed in the middle of the sea we were on a floating platform, again we waited 30 minutes under the unmercy tropical afternoon sun for the boat to come and pick us up.
By the time we finally checked in our villas, we waited eagerly for our luggage to come so that we can get changed and start our holiday. After waiting for another 40 minutes, I decided to go take the luggage back myself from the Jetty which was only 5 minutes away from our villa! God knows why it took them forever. And there I saw our luggages were still sitting on the Jetty! In the end, the staff finally send our luggage to us after I complained.


We stayed in 3 deluxe water villa.
1.the aircon was not working in one Villa and the door to balcony can’t open in another villa
2. Whats worst was that there were cockroaches in my villa and crawled on me when I sleep and there were dead cockroach on the floor.


I am not sure if they are short of staff but the service I received was definitely not up to the standard I expected from a 4 star resort. Just to share some examples
1. I called reception about the balcony door. 4 hours later, no one came and I had to call again. It took the handyman almost an hour trying to fix the lock and at last he had to change a new lock.
2. The minibar was not refilled in one day. I called reception and they insisted they have refilled. In the end they said they will send someone to refill and of course, they never came on that day.
3. The service in Reef restaurant was poor. Sometimes even after I finished my 2nd plate, the first empty plate was still on the table and no one came to clear. I had to repeatly call the waiters and requested them to clear the used plated and refill water. The thing was that, there were not even many guests in the restaurant and the waiters were not that busy.
4. The massage itself was very good but the so-call 30 minutes massage was really just 20 minutes (max 23 minutes) for each of us every time.

From other guests comments below about their excellent service and from my observation, there were clearly some double standard of service for western guests and Asian guests from a major country who couldn’t speak much English, probably they think those guests wouldn’t be able to complain to the management or write a review on tripadvisor!


Last time Centara had one of the best house reef in Maldives. Now many coral has died but you can still see plenty of fishes and reef sharks. Sadly I still saw some guest who just stand on the coral and unaware what kind of damage they did to it.. really hope everyone who go to Maldives will do the necessary to protect these beautiful places.


We did the whale shark trip. It’s 4 hours return trip on boat and you only have 50/50 chance. We didn’t see the whale shark but we did see a couple of dolphins. If they couldn’t find the shark, they would still stop at a lagoon for you to jump into the water and do some snorkeling. So I guess that means you don’t have to go to snorkeling cruise trip.

Sunset fishing was fun. 10-15 minutes boat ride to a nearby reef and stop there for an hour for you to fish. Our boat (around 17 ppl) managed to catch 13 reef fishes in total.

I also chartered a boat for big game fishing (around USD900 for 4 hours) and bad luck for me, we didn’t catch anything.

Overall with the all-inclusive package this hotel is value for money but the service you would get is unpredictable. I guess I held my expectation too high from my previous experience in Centara.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank leisg
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

Address: South Ari Atoll
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Centara Grand Island
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: $709 - $1,960 (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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