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“even better than our first visit!”

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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
france
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“even better than our first visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2010

After an amazing holiday here in february this year we decided to return the last two weeks of october. We were one of three sets of guests already on a second visit!
This time we booked a pool villa with island club,the pool villas are very spacious, large bedroom upstairs with ensuite toilet. Bedroom downstairs with 2 large single beds,desk and storage. the lounge is almost divided - lounge area and area with desk,minibar,expresso machine - this leads thro to the large bathroom and an outside round stone bath. The plunge pool was a real bonus - we liked and used that alot - there are a few trees, small plants and shrubs infront to the side of the pool villas so you have uninterupted views of the indian ocean. (less so at low tide when the island sea defences are more visible)
The professional serviceand friendliness throughout the island staff is exceptional, and with the benefit of island club it put the icing on the cake! Poolside service was immaculate ,canapies ,cake oclock, sorbets and an extended cocktail list, a large and varied library and laptops for keeping up to date. Eating at the island club was also lovely- it followed the italian 6 course( less the pasta dish) - delicious!
Best Dives is the dive centre on the island, proffesional,friendly and good fun, with new,well maintained equipment .I have only 36 dives logged (16 with best dives)and not the fittest! so I wanted to do shallow dives to pretty coral gardens,concentrate more on bouyancy and taking photos, this was not a problem - every afternoon taken to a different location, with usually just me, my dive buddy (who were all amazing and really helpful with tips on how to improve my photos, skills etc- I really learnt a lot from them) and the three lovely boat crew. The coral gardens were superb - I saw so many different types,formations and the sealife was abundant and very varied.
I dived with whalesharks( and snorkelled) - what an experience!! videos and photos to follow! .
My son(7) used the watersports alot - catamarraning with a skipper,banaboat, + other inflatables, pedalos, canoeing, windsurfing lessons and taken on a jet ski.
With the dive centre he did air assisted snorkelling twice ( to young to go under the sea!)
all kitted up with dive gear snorkelling the island reef! He also snorkelled with whalesharks -Great photos!!
My husband had to work a lot while on this trip ,we had requested 24hr internet access for 3 devices for the duration of our stay - this was not a problem and he quite enjoyed lazing in the plunge pool,with a cool drink while doing emails looking out across the ocean watching the seaplanes arrive and take off!.
Like the last time every meal was exceptional, the buffet lunch at the lotus was excellent,japanese night- delicious!........................
What I also enjoyed seeing was how the garden areas and planting around the island are developing,in february it was pretty if a little sparce, now its maturing and filling out it is really nice.
The evening entertainment on the island is quite, but enough - quiz night,disco night,crab racing,underwater movie-( my son won 3rd place crab racing (6 calsbergs,and first prize the second week - a massage!)
We were there for halloween and there was a halloween party - the coral bar was decorated, DJ clement was mixing the spooky tunes and some staff were in halloween costume! It was a really good fun evening
During the month of may there were a few big storms,this shows erosion beside the island club _ although neatly repaired and protected by sandbags.
there was also some erosion to the beach leaving the reef restuarant in the direction of the pool villas, and further erosion to the area infront of the family water villas and beach villas 22/23. The beach further round in the direction of the watersports has gotten larger.While we were there these problems were being addressed and new sandbag protection was being built next to family water villas.
If you are planning a trip here at the moment I would recommend being in a beach suite on the same side as dive centre,or on the other beach closer to the watersports centre, for a pool villa I would recommend nos 4 or 5.Have not tried a sunset water villa.for the deluxe water villa we thought the side facing the dive centre was more private (not facing the sunset water villas) and the snorkelling here is good.
We were extremely lucky with the weather 12 days sunshine and the last two days overcast with rain.
All in all we had an unforgettable holiday,met some lovely people (hi!!)and are now researching our next maldives trip.Which might be centara again!!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank cassieFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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  • Cleanliness
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2010

Just returned from a 2 week holiday at Centara with my husband and 14 month old son. We stayed in an Island Club deluxe water villa and were very glad we took the Island Club option as the staff here went over and above to ensure both my husband and I and our son, had a wonderful holiday. In our opinion, the ability to eat at Island Club and have unlimited trips to the Thai and Italian restaurants was well worth the money.

It is true to say that the finish in the villas is not as good as some others we have stayed in (this was our 7th trip to the Maldives) for example the shower attachment in the bath didn't work and there were random gaps in the tiling in the bathroom, not the sort of things that spoil your holiday but they did stand out.

This was the first time we had travelled with our son and we were a little concerned as to how we would get on, however we could not have been more impressed with Centara's attitude towards babies. The room was large enough to accommodate a proper cot (not a travel cot) in a separate area of the room, partitioned away from our bed. The staff here clearly adore children and it seemed nothing was too much trouble, the ladies in Island Club were even happy to arrange his mealtimes for when suited him as opposed to him having to work around standard mealtimes which was greatly appreciated. The ladies at the kids club were also wonderful, both within the kids club, where he was welcome to go and play accompanied by one of us and also offering an essential babysitting service allowing my husband and I to enjoy our evenings.

As a diver, I also made good use of the excellent dive centre. This is an extremely professional and slick operation. A combination of good quality kit, outstanding instructors and the best house reef (complete with it's own wreck!) I have encountered in 7 trips to the Maldives, made for exceptional diving. If you want to see sharks on every single dive, so many turtles you become quite blase about them, dive with a whale shark and explore a wreck on a night dive this is the place to go. The groups are generally smaller than most dive centres and since most of the sites are only 20-30 mins away you can do a two tank dive in the morning and be back for 12.30pm. Unbelievably, I was even taken out on the boat on my own one afternoon as nobody else had signed up!

All in all this was an excellent holiday and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank EdwinBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2010

My husband and I stayed at this resort for 4 days. At first when we arrived, we did not find the glance look of guest rooms from outside interesting. At the check in, we were welcome by the lady Resort Manager who was very nice and friendly. She was very helpful, gave us a lot of information about the resort and was very kind to upgrade us to one of the family villas.

The room we had was superb! Inside the room is different from the other resorts in Maldives which are always in earth tone color but this place is not.
By the way, our room was actually for 2 adults and 2 children. There were a lovely 2-storey bed, one king size bed, nice outdoor shower, big bathroom, but since we were only 2, there are plenty of space for us :)

This hotel an all inclusive with an exception for meals i.e. if you are not eating in the main restaurant, there is an amount for you that you can consume and you have to pay for an extra, as well as some kind of drinks. We enjoyed all the restaurants they have, the main restaurant have different theme everyday, Thai Restaurant was great, staff are very friendly and Italian restaurant is perfect too.

One disturbing thing you may find is if you order something which is not inclusive in the package, the staff will always remind you. There is good and bad in this point but we find it a bit disturbing when the inclusive things are already mentioned in the menu and we realized that we will have to pay for that but staff will tell you every time you make an order.

For snorkeling and diving, this is a very nice corner. Coral by the family villas are beautiful, at the low tide, you can even see them above the water.

We had a great time in this resort and are not hesitate to recommend this place to everyone.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank maliokus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2010

Fantastic week
. Amazing location , smiling lovely staff, weather sooo perfect-- cobalt skiies and turquoise sea--( temp 28 deg and air temp 28 deg,perfect ) very fierce equatorial sun -- factor 50 job ! , the diving was superb and all equipment new at the dive centre where the staff could not have been more helpful.
Food excellent , lots of variety, and wines good for all inclusive Accomodation new and very clean Do not pack shoes !

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank maldivesfundiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
europe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2010

My wife and I stayed in the sunset water villas with the upgrade to the island club. The only negative of the whole trip was our maldavian seaplane trip. We arrived from singapore and checked into our hotel at the holiday inn about 11:30pm to be told we will be getting the 6am seaplane to the centara. We had to be out of our beds at 4:15am the next morning. This was not a good start for our holiday. When we arrived for seaplane, we were informed of 1 hour delay, then 1 and a half hour, it turned out to be a 2 and a half hour delay. This delay was no refection on the level of service provided by the centara and once we boarded the seaplane, all was forgotten as the views are amazing.

On arrival to the centara we were met by the lovely silvia, Silvia was very helpfull and organised a tour of the island. An excellent member of the centara staff. We were also helped by margarie(hope i spelt this correctly) whom tried to sort out any minor problems we may have had). When you arrive at the villas, they are stunning, well equiped with all the mod cons and just a step into the ocean. They provide you free of charge a life jacket and snorkling equipment on request. The sealife is amazing, from stingray to reef sharks all at your door. We upgraded to the Island club which is well worth the money. Its like having first class treatment, they serve you cold towels, sorbet, afternnoon tea, dinner and so on all included in the price. The food is delicious and the service is amazining. shelly, joanne, bless and christine provided excellent service and could not do enough for us. They are a credit to the centara and I hope that the management try and keep there staff as happy as possible as they keep all the guests very happy and excellent staff like theses ladies are very hard to find.

The food in all the restaurants was brilliant. Our favourite was the thai, excellent food, setting and again the service was very good. You will never go hungry at the centara as the portions they give you are huge, and you can barely finish it all.

Id like to finish by saying the centara gave us an unforgettable holiday, providing excellent service, food and the location is paradise. My wife and i have stayed in some beautiful places accross the world and this place tops it. Ignore the negatives you read about the centara on tripadavisor as most people dont know that they have died and gone to heaven. Well done to all the staff including the waiters, chefs and turndown service, You are a credit to the Centara

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank daisydooeurope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faro
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2010

Just got back from our 14 night stay at Centara Grand at Machafushi island in the ever beautiful Maldives. We are divers and we always travel with our children aged 5 and 2 years. A resort with a good housereef and a kids club is generally what we look for.

This time we chose the Centara Grand because it offers Family Water Villas designed for accommodating families with small children. In most resorts in Maldives you are not allowed to stay in a Watervilla with small children due to safety concerns. In fact, these villas were completely safe and my younger child could wander alone in the balcony overlooking the housereef without us being panicked all the time about an eventual accident. Everything else about the watervilla is also perfect. Three notes: There is not a separate bedroom for children, their beds (bunk beds not suitable for people taller than 170cm) are located behind a wooden panel at the top of the Queen size bed; there's a PS3 near the bunk beds; the bathroom is equipped with a jacuzzi.

The staff of the kids club were amazing with my children and they loved them.

We had excellent dives even though the visibility not being at his best. Snorkelling was superb and a staircase away from the room. Our favourite dives: night dive at the house reef wreck (a 30 meters dive); Kuda Rah thila and Ali thila. In every dive we had a Maldivian guide which was great because they knew a lot about the dive sites, the name of the islands, the fauna. They were also extremely professional.

The island is very small, everything is within a 5 minutes walking distance which is great when you have small children.

The 2 theme restaurants, Italian and Thay, are excellent: great food, beautiful location. All restaurants have a kids menu. During our stay we only ordered once from the Kids menu.

The staff in every facility of the resort is genuinely friendly and do go the distance to make you feel comfortable and meet all your needs. The resort is like a family where everyone knows each other, in which room you're staying, who's your husband and children, what you do in the morning, at what time you like to eat...I was surprised to see so many women amongst the staff contrary to other resorts we've been in the Maldives.

The majority of guests are chinese. They are very friendly, very quiet and very polite (except when they take pictures of you or your children without asking for permission). They usually spend their day snorkelling or taking pictures of themselves in every pose you can think of, they take pictures of everything else that moves or lays still. They even film themselves while eating their meals.

BUT the resort is not perfect:
- It opened in late 2009 but was under rebuildind, refurbishing since 2006. So the resort is not brand new as advertised by some tourist operators.
- Since the island is very small you can see the "Team village" and other technical buildings from the main pool for example. In other islands these ugly structures also exist but are better concealed or located in a part of the island where guests do not go.
- Apparently, this year the monsoon has been very severe and lasted longer than usual resulting in more intensive sea erosion which uncovered cement debris, sand bags, sewer pipes in some of the beaches. During our stay some work began to amend this.

Finnaly, for the diving and the kids club we would go back. For the resort we are not sure. Nevertheless we think the resort is good value for money.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank elsamorgado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2010

We stayed at this resort at the end of September/beginning of October hoping that we would have great weather – shame it was windy/raining a lot of the time but in no way did this dampen our holiday – truly magnificent!

We booked a Luxury Sunset Water Villa with Island Club and it was worth every penny. We had villa 64 which is towards the middle so one of the best, in my opinion. The seaplane transfer was an experience in itself and gives you a good first glimpse at home for your stay. The hotel’s dhoni comes out to collect you and takes you around the island to the reception dock so you get a good view of most of the resort on your way around.
Check-in was quick and efficient. As soon as we stepped off the boat, we were met by one of the receptionists and taken to the Island Club to check-in whereas other guests checked in at the main reception. We were immediately addressed by name and provided with welcome drinks and towels. Formalities over, we were taken on an orientation drive on a golf buggy around the resort and shown where everything was on the island before being driven to our villa.
The villa was amazing and truly out of this world with an outdoor decking area to sunbathe and steps straight into the sea and a 2nd floor mezzanine level with loungers to enjoy the sunset. Snorkelling was fantastic (helped by them being free to hire for Island Club guests otherwise US$10/day). Around villas 58-68 are some of the island’s best snorkelling areas with plenty of coral and loads of fish, including reef sharks which we saw quite often.
At the Island Club, we were looked after by an amazing group of ladies who deserve special mention – Christine, Bless, Shelly and Linda. Without exaggeration, they fully anticipated our needs even before we did; addressed us by name from the moment we arrived and throughout our stay and even remembered our drinks orders from the first evening! At the Island Club, guests get premium drinks, exclusive use of the island club pool with poolside service and use of the club for breakfast (continental), light lunch, afternoon tea and dinner (dinner tends to match Azzuri Mare less one course with the benefit of a more personalised service). Throughout the day, the girls served drinks, fresh fruit, cold towels and mist sprays to keep cool.
The buffet restaurant runs a daily theme over 8 consecutive nights so you’re not likely to eat the same thing more than once. I can’t remember them all but amongst them were Maldivian/Mauritian, French, Indian, Japanese, Mediterranean...all very tasty! (There’s a folder at Centara’s Lounge at the Seaplane terminal showing everything as well as the set menus for Lotus/Azzuri Mare so you can decide which evening you want to dine there). Breakfast was equally good but a little limited in comparison. We didn’t eat lunch here so I can’t comment on that but no doubt was great.
Lotus restaurant was excellent and managed well by Eka and her team...they were always attentive and never intrusive and the food was awesome! We like our food spicy but they give you the option of mild/spicy when you order so everyone’s catered for. During our stay, they were open for lunch as part of the all inclusive which consisted of a BBQ – we were meant to eat here on the last day but arrived too late but I expect the food was great nevertheless.
Azzuri Mare, serving Italian food, was also tasty and we were looked after by Jo Anne who was brilliant – always chatty and made us feel relaxed. I believe regular guests get to dine in either of these themed restaurants once as part of the all-inc. package (from the set menu which changes daily) but Island Club guests can eat at either as many times as they like.
All restaurants offer house wine – white, rose or red. They were OK but nothing special but you should explore the wine list (costs extra) as there were some really good wines that were very reasonably priced (around £20) and ranging from US$18-US$250+.
We made use of the spa for massages which was good if a little pricey but then you have to expect this in the Maldives!
There are two regular bars on the island. Coral Bar is the main one and is quite lively with Aqua bar near reception being a little quieter. There isn’t a party scene here so don’t expect one which suited us fine.
The gym facilities were of a high standard with weight and cardio machines. I used the treadmill with a view out to sea which was a step up from my gym at home (!) and they have a connection to attach your i-pod so you can operate if from the screen. There’s also a crèche facility, a gift shop and a jewellery shop. We were only there for 10 days so didn’t go on any excursions but they do have some so if you can tear yourself away from your sun lounger, take a look!
There were a lot of Chinese guests when we were there. Apparently, it’s the new “in” destination for the affluent Chinese but unlike other reviews, we didn’t encounter any rudeness from them or anyone else, so don’t worry!
Only one small criticism from us, especially as we were Island Club guests, was that nothing in the mini-bar was free. By this, I don’t mean that I expected alcoholic drinks to be included but would have expected soft drinks to be part of the package. However, they do provide plenty of bottles of water, produced at the resort, but the glass bottles were too big to fit into the fridge!
We have done a fair bit of travelling over the years and no doubt not helped the ozone layer one bit but we always say that we would never go back to the same place again as there’s so much of the world left to discover. Centara Maldives has now become the exception and we wouldn’t hesitate to go back, if only to experience the resort & country when the weather was perfect so whilst some reviews were not totally positive, our experience was such that we give it full marks and hope that if you choose here for your holiday, you will enjoy it just as much as we did.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
8 Thank Antni
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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