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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
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Reviews (1,375)
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Reviewed 23 April 2014

This was our second visit to the island with our children aged 12 & 14. We were met at the airport by Centara staff who took our bags and guided us through check in. We waited about 30 minutes for our seaplane transfer and in another 30 minutes found ourselves in paradise. Staff greeted us with cool towels and cocktails and talked us through the benefits of our ultimate inclusive package which included a sunset dolphin cruise, whale sharking trip, sea fishing trip, banana boat ride and a 30 minute spa treatment every day for each member of the family, as well as breakfast, lunch, afternoon teas, tapas and evening meal in 1 of the 3 restaurants, oh and obviously all drinks! We stayed in a 2 bedroom pool villa. It was spacious, well decorated and clean (our room boy was polite and fastidious) and had a beautiful white sandy beach which we shared with only 7 other villas. The service we received from ALL members of staff was courteous, prompt and always given with a smile, nothing was too much trouble. Our kids played organised football or volleyball on the beach each afternoon, we played tennis most evenings on the floodlit court, we went out in the kayaks and pedallos, I popped my head in the gym to get a glass of water and a nice red apple and the equipment looked well maintained! My husband attended an intro to scuba diving course and then dived with the instructor for about 40 mins (this was chargeable at around $110). Dolphins swam by our reef 3 days running and the snorkelling was amazing. You can do nothing at all, or take advantage of all that Centara has to offer, and either way you will have a dream vacation. That is why we went back and we cannot recommend Centara highly enough.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Claire C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Centara Grand is one of those places you never want to leave, our 10 days flew past. As a returning guest we felt more like returning family, the 1st visit was already special, the 2nd the crew just went that extra level. Everyone from management to wait staff and dive team remembered us. We initially chose Centara over other resorts because of the house reef, and yes it is the best reason to chose this location but not the only, service at all facilities, the spa, the inclusive excursions the list goes on. There are many reviews on this property with hints on making the most of inclusions but really it's not that hard, life on this little island is my idea of paradise and if you miss a spa or excursion go for a snorkel have a drink at the bar with the friendly staff and enjoy all the is Centara Maldives.

A huge thank you to everyone for making our holiday amazing (again).

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank StewyNT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

I had booked Centara Grand for my husband's 40th birthday with our two young children aged 8 and 4 and we had a wonderful stay. If we had of known how fantastic this hotel is with the children and relaxing it was for the adults then we would have definitely booked a longer stay than 8 days.

The Spa treatments were wonderful and the kids club and E-Zone entertainment at 9pm most nights after dinner were great fun as they involved all of the family (e.g. hermit crab racing, hilarious)! The food was amazing but they should be clearer on the children's menu options when they order a la carte that this is not at an extra charge which was not made clear to us early on. The Reef bar buffet food can be limited with my son's nut allergies and their mostly spicy options as not everything was clearly labelled even if it did all taste delicious! We mostly ate at the Italian restaurant where we were always looked after and the children learnt the art of napkin folding and they brought out a birthday cake for my husband on the last night. The menu was better for us and there was a sea breeze and lovely views of the island whereas the Teriaki bar and Thai restaurant would have been too warm and not appropriate for our two.

My husband and I did our 4 Open Water dives during our stay meaning that we fully qualified for our PADI following the referral that we had done in the UK. This again was brilliant and we loved our last dive from the boat swimming with turtles and we could even hear the Dolphins chatting away nearby. Snorkling here is a must, our daughter (aged 4) went from not even wanting to go in the sea at the start of the week to putting her head under the water at every given opportunity pointing out sharks and sting rays.

We chose to go on the Sunset cruise, and Sunset fishing trips which were again included in our stay and were very well organised with lots of Centara staff on board with you either hooking your bait and pouring your wine or helping you take memorable photos.

We stayed in Beach Villa 20 which had the most gorgeous views and a perfect place for the kids to play safely and the adults to watch the world go by, just make sure you pack plenty of Factor 50 sunscreen!

This is my first hotel review I have done and I am writing it following very little sleep after our long flight home and fighting a nap but I can say that it was well worthwhile and we are already talking about planning another trip (maybe for my 40th in a few years time)!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank LizB20142014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 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
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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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 3 May 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 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.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 3 May 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

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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