We enjoyed a week’s all-inclusive stay at Kuredu in an ‘O’ Beach Villa. It was my third trip to the Maldives and my boyfriend’s first, and he can’t stop talking about it. Our villa was lovely – clean, well-maintained and regularly and unobtrusively serviced throughout by Thoha. It was only on our last evening we had a small invasion of ants on the bathroom floor, which we stepped over at the time, and in the morning they’d all gone. The open-backed bathroom does feel a bit exposed at first, but you get used to it in no time and it was useful having a clothes line to dry your swimwear. I'm glad I brought my own toiletries as the shampoo/conditioner and shower gel provided but didn’t smell very luxurious (there’s a reasonable selection of toiletries in the resort shop, but the prices are eye-watering.) I made a point on this trip of taking home my empty plastic bottles now I'm aware the Maldives have such a problem with rubbish. Beach towels are provided in the room and were replaced regularly; the day bed on the verandah was a really nice place to doze or read a book in the shade. We made use of the free wi-fi but found it frustrating as the connection was flaky at best. I tried using the PC provided in the Entertainment Centre, but didn’t find that to be any better.
With hindsight we would have preferred a villa on the eastern side of the island which has the more iconic Maldivian beaches. The western side has lots of baby sharks/rays but the beach and sea are rockier with some artificial sea defences (in fairness, I didn't find these too much of an eye-sore.) There are stronger currents on the western side while the house reef and safe snorkelling are on the east side.
The house reef is a way out from the beach and I’m not a confidence snorkeler, so I took the house reef tour. The visibility wasn’t great the day I went, but having someone looking out for you was reassuring, especially when a seaplane landed and taxied close by. We were assured the pilots are used to looking for snorkelers as they taxi in and out. There are lots of good size fish to be seen though just by snorkelling off the beach; it was here my boyfriend saw a turtle grazing on the sea grass. We heard one couple say they'd seen a turtle swim past them as they walked along the beach.
We walked around the whole island late one afternoon and it took a couple of hours – walking along the sand spit, stopping for a drink at the sunset bar, paddling with the sharks and rays, stopping to watch a seaplane take off. It was almost dark by the time we got back to the villa. We’re not ones for nightlife so didn’t see much of the evening entertainment and usually enjoyed a coffee in one of the huge double loungers in the O bar, listening to the music. It was very relaxing. On a couple of occasions we were nearly caught out as dinner finishes at 21:30, which seems a little early to me when you're on holiday.
Depending on the location of your villa, be prepared for a lot of walking. Our villa was No 325 out of 333 meaning we were some distance from the O Restaurant and Spa – a good 15-20 minute saunter. It was great fun for the first few of days, either walking along the shoreline or the sandy road behind the villas, but after the fourth or fifth day, especially in the heat, it lost a bit of its appeal. We made use of the small flashlight we brought with us on the walk back after dinner as the path was dark in places. One afternoon we tried to order a golf buggy to our villa to be told they only run from main reception to O reception and back. We took it anyway and asked the driver to stop near our villa, which he happily did.
The staff at the resort are great; we were greeted with smiles everywhere and attentive service. We really enjoyed the food – there are plenty of healthy choices with lots of salads and vegetables if you want to be good – but I found the desserts impossible to resist and usually came back with several on my plate. The variety was good and neither of us found the food repetitive. We had our regular waiter in the O Restaurant but switched to eat at the Bonthi or Koamas restaurants for lunch whenever we used the main pool. We had dinner in Franco’s restaurant one evening, sitting out on the deck. It was a lovely change to have someone take our order and bring the food to our table. We shared a creamy pasta dish and a pizza and enjoyed the bread basket with the oil and balsamic vinegar instead of a starter.
We spent one day by the O pool which was lovely and quiet, but it was much better for us at the main pool for the beach and snorkelling. We were told the resort was at around 60% occupancy so it never felt crowded and there were no problems finding a lounger. There are no umbrellas for shade so you use the trees; we didn't have a problem finding suitable loungers although we lost some of the shade as the sun moved round. It’s currently the wet monsoon and we had regular showers during the night, but were lucky to encounter rain only once during the day (there are umbrellas in the room if needed.) The rest of our week was hot and sunny although a couple of days were hot and overcast.
So, would I return to the Maldives? Most definitely. Would I return to Kuredu? I'd look to stay at a different resort as I always do but my boyfriend would return to Kuredu in a heartbeat.
Things I really didn’t like:
Having to wear a wrist band
Having to sign lots of receipts for zero value (but not on every occasion)
Being on the ‘wrong’ side of the island
Things I loved about Kuredu:
Paddling every day amongst the baby sharks and baby rays
Very few mosquitoes – I didn't use repellent and only had three minor bites
The wonderful staff
Walking along the spit of sand at low tide
The seaplane transfers
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only Resort on the island of Kuredu, in Lhaviyani Atoll. It is 1800 meters long by 325 meters wide, about 57 Hectares (143 acres). Your seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport is a scenic, 40 minute flight. The 383 Rooms include 10 Sultan Pool Villas including 1 Villa Family Suite, 50 Sangu Water Villas including 1 Honeymoon Suite, 100 Jacuzzi Beach Villas, 93 Beach Villas, 90 Beach Bungalows & 40 Garden Bungalows. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kuredu Island Hotel Kuredu
- Kuredu Island Resort And Spa
- Hotel Kuredu Island
- Kuredu Island Maldives
- Kuredu Maldives
- Kuredu Island Resort Maldives
- Kuredu Island Resort & Spa Maldives