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“Beautiful island”

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Kuramathi Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kuramathi
Certificate of Excellence
County Durham, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Beautiful island”
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Friday 17 May – 7 June 2013

This was our fourth holiday in the Maldives – first two times at Meeru and then in 2011 to Kuramathi. We’d never been at this time of year so were nervous just what the weather would throw at us (we have had two weeks of solid rain before which wasn’t very nice!).

The week before we were to leave we emailed the island and asked for Deluxe Beach Villa 349 – we stayed in 347 last time (as repeater guests we were offered a free candlelit dinner – any further visits you will receive a free bottle of champagne). We were given the key to 349 and caught the buggy up to our end of the island. It is just as beautiful as it was on our first visit – you look up and see coconuts, bananas, fruit bats, flowers everywhere - it’s another world!

The villa itself is perfect except for a couple of small niggles. There were only 8 coat hangers between us and as we were staying for three weeks there were not nearly enough. Drawer space is in short supply too. However, a quick call to housekeeping and more hangers were delivered within half an hour. Also there are only two bath towels and two hand towels (excluding your pool/beach towels) . For ladies who have long hair to dry there are not enough so I brought an extra one with me. I’m sure however, if you asked for another they’d be only too glad to supply one for you. One point to bear in mind is that not all deluxe beach villas have a direct view of the sea. The villa next door to us, 350, had a huge shrub in front of them.

We did get bitten badly in the first week despite taking 100% deet with us. Last time we came we thought we were getting bitten by the spa pool so we stopped going there and on this visit we didn’t go at all but still got bit! Another place where we knew we were getting bitten was the buffet restaurant – we only ate there for breakfast and we didn’t hang around.... We eventually visited the Medical Centre and were given Autan insect repellent, antihistamines and Fenistil cortisone cream.

Weather – we did have some rain - one day was completely written off the rest of time were showers – some really heavy. Of course if it’s raining they can’t “fog” the island to kill the mosquitos and this is when they go on the attack! The problem I found was because it was windy the sea was quite rough (on previous visits the sea has been like a mill pond). I gave up snorkelling in the end but I have to say because it was windy I came back with the best tan ever! Every cloud.......

Buffet restaurant – the Farivalhu – one disappointment here is that you can’t get fried or poached eggs, however, there is a huge choice from curry and rice to toast and marmalade. We enjoyed all the food on the island our favourite being the Tandoor Mahal. The staff here, as they are everywhere on the island, are extremely friendly and can’t do enough for you. At the Duniye, however, we found the staff slightly over-zealous. They fussed over us too much and we couldn’t enjoy our meal as a consequence. Even the chef came out to ask if we’d enjoyed the food. Perhaps because it’s newly built it doesn’t have any lighting in the foliage outside so it doesn’t have the same wow factor as the Siam (pronounced See-am) Garden next door. At this Thai restaurant you feel as though you’re eating in the middle of a jungle as the trees and plants surrounding it are up-lit. We’re non-meat eaters so I can’t comment on the famous Steak Diane but all the food is lovely I’m sure no-one would be disappointed with it (Select All Inclusive is a must in my opinion).

The sunset cruise is well worth doing. We didn’t see a sunset and it was quite choppy but we did see a pod of dolphin. The crew give you a glass of sparkling wine and come round to take photos if you want one. Very enjoyable.


We also went on the sightseeing speed boat trip. This is booked through Aqua Sports and costs $45 each. It only lasts half an hour but is well worth it. You are taken around the atoll – Rasdhoo, Veligandu, there’s a private island, a picnic island, around Kuramathi and the sand spit. We’ve never laughed so much – it was like a roller coaster ride because the sea was rough. Ahmed was our “captain” and he stopped now and again so we could take photos. When our time was up he asked if we wanted to be dropped off near our villa and so our trip ended at the Serenade jetty. We clambered out of the boat (not an easy thing to do with the swell) and flung our life jackets back into the boat. We felt really special walking into the Laguna bar (our local) with everyone looking at us – probably because my husband fell out and I tripped out of the boat! Was great fun!

The sea plane flight on the return journey was slightly hairy because of the weather. We were late leaving the island because of a storm and we had to detour to another island and wait until another storm had past. One passenger (not English) complained to our Australian female pilot that he and his wife were going to miss their plane. As a cool as a cucumber she replied “if we can’t see the runway we can’t land.” He shut up after that although she had her face in a paper bag for much of the journey....

I would like to say a special thank you to all the Laguna and Farivalhu staff who were outstanding. It’s the people that make your holiday enjoyable and I can honestly say, as previous reviewers have already said, it’s refreshing when everyone speaks to you even if they speak very little English, i.e. the gardeners and the beach sweepers.

All in all it was a wonderful holiday and I can’t wait to return to the Maldives.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank DebraDebra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chelmsford
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

My girlfriend and I stayed in October 2012 for 10 days following a stay in Sri Lanka. We stayed in the water villa and upgraded for the select all inclusive.

The positives:

Really pretty and diverse island, they obviously take pride not only in the buildings and beach but also the vegetation.

Room was clean, and well attended

House reef is good, not as diverse as others but great for snorkelling. Unfortunately we didn't see turtles or reef sharks but saw every thing else

Dive centre was reasonably priced, well trained diving staff and really helpful

Restaurants (non buffet) are all fantastic!

My girlfriend fell unwell and the on call doctor was brilliant, speaking excellent English!

Staff out number guests so service is always great

Film showings on the beach are great!

Views are epic, it is paradise, your jaw will constantly drop. It will leave you with memories as pictures you will never forget.



Negatives:

NONE - just booked to go back in January 2014 to guarantee better weather.

In summary, great food ( and selection ) great views, great diving, GREAT HOLIDAY!

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

My husband and I spent the first 10 nights of our honeymoon here in June and were blown away. The place, the staff, the food, the drinks, everything was incredible. At the risk of sounding like a broken record as I know alot of people say this but Select AI is a must. We roughly totalled up what we would have spent if we hadn't been Select AI and it would have cost us approx. $4500 and I'd say there were others making more of it than us. We were in beach bungalow 48 which wasn't directly on the beach but about 20 steps away. We had talked about upgrading before we went but to be honest, when we got there the bungalow was lovely and for all the time we spent in it we felt the extra money would be better spent on other things eg kayaking, massages, Serenade dinner etc. The food is absolutely incredible in the a la carte restuarants. Our favourite was the Island BBQ (get the Steak Diane!!) closely followed by the Reef. Yes you had to go to reception to book them in the mornings to make sure you get a table but it wasn't a big problem. We wanted to get up and make the most of the sunshine anyway. On that note, we were a bit worried about the weather being June and need not have. It was over 30 degrees everyday and only one day was wet but still warm and a welcome break if i'm honest. The Island is just the perfect size for walking around. There are buggies but they aren't that regular. Ladies, don't bother with fancy shoes, there's really no need. Most of the time we went barefoot, even at night in the restaurants and bars. A lot of people did or just wore flip flops. Everywhere is sandy so heels are useless. We can honestly say this was the trip of a lifetime and can't fault a thing. You won't be disappointed and will leave feeling relaxed and refreshed from this tranquil island were they can't do enough for you. Hopefully we'll get back some day.

Room Tip: Beach bungalow 48 is close to the beach and really quiet. Well located to reception and the Fung Ba...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank tbirdtammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

This was my first but definitely not the last visit to The Maldives!! Kuramathi exceeded my expectations. The island is really beautiful and exotic. I'm not the kind of person who loves just staying on the beach but this place invites you to just relax and enjoy this paradise. I choose a bigger island to walk around and taste different coctails in one of the bars. A bigger islands will keep you busy with lots of thing to do; The food is great and the staff very welcoming and very helpfull. The beaches are astounding, you simply can't get enough of it! It's a perfect place to celebrate something special or just have a perfect holidays!

Room Tip: go for a seaplane&Select All Inclusive!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank reispiranha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We travelled in January 2013 but a few bad reviews have prompted me to give my view.

Kuramathi is a stunning resort that is on the larger size (still not very big) compared to some other islands in the area.
There are a variety of different villas to choose from going from the garden villas up to jacuzzi water villa. If you can go for the jacuzzi water villa, the view out over the ocean and the location is amazing and you can swim straight off of your deck. If not the the garden or beach jacuzzi villas are of similar standard as are the standard garden or beach villas.
The island offers a variety of different dining option to chose from before you travel. Half board, full board, all inclusive and select all inclusive. Half board and full board are self explanatory but here's the difference between all inclusive and select all inclusive:

All inclusive- your allocated a restaurant (there are 3 buffet ones all roughly the same your just allocated the one closest to your villa) and you have breakfast lunch and dinner in this restaurant. The food is off a good standard but as I say it is buffet and in the evening you can order wine with your meal which is included in all inclusive.
All drinks no matter time of day are included (except certain wines)

Select all inclusive- your allocated a restaurant (again one of the 3 buffet ones) and take breakfast in this restaurant and can take lunch and dinner there too if you wish. There are also 6 a la carte restaurants on the island (palm Italian, Siam Thai, Indian, reef fish, island BBQ fish meat and Duniye which was our favourite) and you can eat in any of these for dinner all included in your package. You have to book and there are limited tables and booking does get full one or two days in advance but if you get to reception by 08:30 then you will be ok for booking a couple of days in advance (too many ppl moaning about this, it takes two mins and reception is near breakfast anyway, some ppl want the world). You can also use the palm Italian or the coffee shop for lunch which is what we did everyday and no need to book. Basically for the extra couple of hundred pounds you get amazing three course meals every night along with amazing two course lunch all chosen off extensive menus (including the amazing ice cream available at the palm Italian available all day) and you just need to book dinner two to three nights in advance and be a little organised.
All drinks no matter what time of day are included (except certain wines)

Staff are very friendly. We encountered a few ppl who said they thought the staff were rude and didn't smile or say hello but when I asked them if they had smiled or said hello to the staff first they said no. Come on ppl the staff aren't our servants this is 2013 why not initiate the politeness first!!

Key points:
-amazing beautiful island with 2 swimming pools
-there are radio masts on a nearby island that you can see but that's the price for TV and wifi, just face the other way and you don't even notice them anyway.
-jacuzzi water villas are the best accommodation but if its between that and select all inclusive then stay in a less quality villa and go select all inclusive, I can't stress that enough.
-snorkelling is amazing, take underwater camera
-large island but it feels deserted. Was at 95% capacity when we were there and you still only see ppl at meals and by pool. Usually had a stretch of beach to ourselves!

In summary do look at the negative reviews, especially if you have kids as some restaurants don't allow kids in (which was good for us) but also look at the number of positive reviews compared to these negative reviews.

GO SELECT ALL INCLUSIVE

Room Tip: Jacuzzi water villas are amazing but Select all inclusive is a must
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank gparkgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Loved this Island!!!! Everything from the beautiful scenery to the fantastic snorkelling! This island has lots to offer form those wanting a relaxed beach holiday to a bustling holiday. You can just lie around one of the two pools if you wish, but if not there are so many restaurants and bars to sample, stingray feeding at 6.30pm each night, snorkelling, watersports, eco centre, infinity pool, sunset cruise, cinema .... the list is endless. Great staff especially in Laguna Bar. If you enjoy luxurious food, up;grade to select all inclusive, much cheaper to do it with your tour operator, equally Basic all inclusive is exceptional. Can't wait to back and we promise to bring Thomas & Nicole our Kuoni Reps teabags and chocolates :) Thank you Kuramathi for an amazing Honeymoon. We'll be back!!! P.s Don't transfer by speedboat - Ladies you'll be sick!!!!

Room Tip: Deluxe Beach Villa - more private and pretty much in the sea. We stayed in 347 at the top end of th...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank hunter21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in beach villa and 2 nights in water villa as we were unable to get 4 nights in water villas tthough out travel agent.
The rooms were clean and quite beautiful even the beach villas though the water villa allowed you to go off directly for a swim in the water. We were on full board so had buffet on four nights and the food was average, in fact slightly below average. We were at 2 different restaurant. For beach villa at Haruge, service was below par but food quality was as good as that at Farivalhu, the restaurant for our water villa. We knew cos we had Maldivian buffet for 2 nights in a row as we shifted villas in both restaurant. The service at Fari was much better though as the staff there is always service with a smile and took the initiative and have a certain grace.
We did the sunset cruise after being on wait list for couple of days so do advise to book early. The cruise was excellent because we spotted dolphins and even was moving with them for a good 10 - 15 mins and again thanks to the lovely crew on board. However dolphin sighting we understand is weather dependent and some luck perhaps so the experience would have been a bit boring if we didn't.
We also enjoyed walking along the sandbank and listening to live music at the bar at night( though it was supposed to be 3 piece band it later became a one man show but it was still good)
We had a 90 min relaxing massage and it was so so only. I shld have chose Swedish if I had read the description in the menu first as relaxing is just light strokes and didn't do much for me as I often go massage and prefer medium and more targeted pressure. The service staff was not able to describe concisely the difference so do read the spa menu for some info. The snorkeling was ok, we went to the one near the jetty and a few others. The corals were not so colourful and fish not as plentiful as those I have seen in other parts of Asia, but the shark makes it different but it is not fantastic for me.
The sting ray feeding I am not sure if I like it as I was wondering if we are interfering with nature, I guess they are the experts but it made me a little uncomfortable.
I felt there were some lapses in the experience. We arrived the night before and stayed at Male city hotel, requested for a flight around 11 am so we can spend some time in the city and have a good sleep. However was told on arrival at our male city hotel we need to depart hotel by 515am in the morning which means we have to wake up about 4 in the morning. We reach the airport about 5 plus and the Kuramathi lounge for seaplane was not opened (a few other lounge was) and won't be open till 7 plus we were told. Our plane was schedule at 7 and we departed at 715. No lounge, no drinks or refreshment when we need it most and we waited almost 2 hours. We didn't have much to eat even though our hotel include breakfast so it was a long wait. On arrival at Kuramathi no welcome drink as they serve it only after 9am I was told. I think they can't control seaplane timing but for early arriving guest like us ( not by choice) hospitality shld be there too.
One other thing was the manager advised us life jacket rental is free for full board guest ( we know snorkel equipment chargeable) but on arrival it wasn't and the staff told us it was never free. We didn't want to make a fuss so paid for it. On departure while waiting for seaplane, I thought I shld speak with the manager and though she look apolegetic about that ( she said we shld have told her earlier as there has just been a change in the charges) she did nothing. Told her no welcome drink etc. and it didn't strike her to offer us a drink as our plane was delayed for almost one hour. Said she will try to do something on our return but I much doubt she will remember. I was actually thinking of possibly returning, but the poor service experience leaves a sour feeling, perhaps I should not have spoken with her then I might return and feel happier about the trip. Those are minor points but it affect the experience. I have read countless reviews and had high expectation. This place is nice but there are better places and experiences out there so we may or may not be back...

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TeoLK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kuramathi Island Resort

Property: Kuramathi Island Resort
Address:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > North Ari Atoll > Kuramathi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kuramathi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kuramathi Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 290
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Measuring 1.8 km long, this idyllic resort in North Ari Atoll is dotted with lush flora and fauna, turquoise lagoons and tapers into a pristine sandbank. Catering to all budgets, the choices for villas are many, and ranges from the simple yet stylish Garden Villas to the ever popular honeymooners' favourite over water choice, Water Villa with Jacuzzi. Early 2016, Kuramathi is set to extend the options with new villa categories that will features villas over water, several with private pool and also two bedroom houses suitable for families or friends travelling together. Savour exquisite recipes from over 10 restaurants catering to diverse taste buds. Imbibe tropical concoctions in 6 bars conveniently placed around the island, and they have the added plus of regular evening entertainment. Leave your worries behind, and choose our great-value all inclusive packages to enjoy the best that Kuramathi has to offer. The Basic All Inclusive includes a wide range of premium beverages while the Select All Inclusive is ideal if you wish to have a taste of Kuramathi at its best where you wine and dine at any restaurant of your choice. Rejuvenate, revitalize and beautify at Kuramathi Spa, with its blend of diverse therapies using signature product line Voya, which comes from Ireland and is made from hard-harvested organic seaweed. Dive with eagle rays, friendly sharks and explore world class dive sites. Become a certified sailor at the only Royal Yachting Association certified water sports school in the Maldives. Bond with your family at Bageecha Kids Club and let the children indulge in fun yet educational programs. Learn more about the thriving organisms both in and out of water at the multi award winning Eco Centre. There is simply something for everyone on an island that is naturally Maldives - Kuramathi Island Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kuramathi Island Hotel Kuramathi
Village Hotel Kuramathi
Kuramathi Village Hotel
Kuramathi Cottage Spa
Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives

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