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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 October 2013

I have given it 5 stars as we had a fabulous time, a few imperfections as is expected anywhere.
we booked through Angelfish who had been to the resort were excellent and competitive.
Positives- The staff in the hotel are great, nothing is too much trouble, mainly Maldivian. All very helpful.
Beach out of this world, white white sand.
Snorkeling impressive- turtles, sharks, lots of healthy coral abundance of fish, all from the shore. Equipment and life vests provided. Whale shark excursion bit choppy, lots of vomiting but amazing to swim with this massive fish!
Room- We had a 2 bed beachfront pool villa, very spacious for 2 adults 2 teenagers. 2 bedrooms & lounge & small upstairs loo. aircon excellent. good minibar, soft drinks & beer.
Gym nice views, better than I expected.
Food- good quality, slightly limited choice but on an island where all is imported not bad. My daughter nut allergic and very helpful staff, no problems. the Thai restaurant even recooked the entire set menu for her nut free!
Drinks- excellent choice and nice wine- sparking French white, Chilean sauv blanc, good NW reds , margaritas.
There was so much to do, I was expecting to lie around, no chance - excursions, snorkeling, gym, cocktails, fish feeding, pedalo, banana boat rides, spa. other families there too which was good. weather forecast looked grim but we had sun most of the time, some rain storms, quite hot & humid.
Negatives- main prob is booking dinner, only 2 al a carte choices- 1.Italian (queue to book at 11.30am, not quite what u want to do on holiday!) or 2.set meal Thai not sure could eat that more than once/ twice, al a carte choices would be good here. The buffet was excellent but again mainly Asian food.
The other main issue is the Sea Plane transfer- to took us 5 hours from landing at Male to get to the hotel. This was after demanding to see the Sea Plane manager as we were hanging around with no info re delays. Not ideal after a sleepless overnight flight. Centara need to sort this out quickly! maybe get their own plane service organised.
Overall a really amazing holiday though.

Room Tip: 2 bed beach front pool villa- they are numbered 1-8. 2-6 have best beach in front of them.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank marieOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 October 2013

The hotel was great. Although there was only 2 of us - we had a family deluxe water front villa which was great. We were on holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and the hotel kindly gave us a bottle of champagne and fruit to mark our celebration.

Snorkels and masks are easy to obtain for free and lifejackets are included in the villa. The staff were great - they could not have been more helpful. We only tried 2 of the 3 restaurants - Reef is the buffet restaurant and overall the food was fine - there was plenty of choice so there was always something that was good to eat. We also liked the Italian/Seafood restaurant but the booking system - ie having to queue up at 12 noon each day to book your table - is not what I would expect for this class of hotel. However the food was really good. Our package inlcuded the daily spa treatments and we upgraded them a few times. Again as per previous reviews - guest should be really organised to book times for the week etc as soon as they arrive at the hotel. However, all the treatments and the staff were brilliant. We tried a couple of the organised trips that were included as part of our package - the 2 hour Snorkelling Tour which was ok but you do not swim too far if there are loads of guests on the trip. We also did the Whale Shark Trip which resulted in a boat trip of 1.5 hours and then ten minutes maximum of seeing the massive Whale Shark Trip with lots of other people in the ocean too and then you have 1.5 hours on the boat back to the hotel - but the Whale Shark is awesome. We also snorkelled at various points round the island - and the sealife and coral are amazing. We had rain on a couple of days towards the end of the week and spent time in the Coral Bar playing pool, table tennis, cards, watching the fish feeding at 6 pm and having some lovely cocktails. Afternoon tea is also served at the Coral Bar. The pool at the hotel is good to keep you cool. Towels are supplied at the pool. Wifi is good at the Coral Bar/Reef restaurant and at the hotel reception however we were never able to get WifI in our room which was disappointing as this was one of the key requirements why we booked the hotel however the hotel has been recovering from a fire in its admin block and think the Wifi challenges relate to this. We booked through Thomsons and there is no rep based on the island but we were given a phone number if the rep (Guy) was needed. We utilised the gym which has really good equipment in it and was not ever busy. Overall we had a really relaxing, enjoyable holiday. The majority of guests are Japanese/Chinese who have a huge focus on taking photos and wearing matching outfits which was interesting to experience.

The Maldives are amazing and would love to come back if we get the chance. The holiday was not cheap but the inclusion of food, drinks, seaplane, excursions and Spa was great. The staff made this holiday - -they do try to put the customer first at all times and try and think of things that will make the holiday easy and enjoyable for the customer - eg providing towels for the excursions so that customers do not have to take towels out of their rooms etc. This may be a small item but when you add up all the small items - it makes this a great customer experience.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Scotswaehae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

We were (un)fortunate to catch the 6am seaplane to Centara Grand. Having flown in2 Male almost midnight the night b4, we literally had no sleep, and no breakfast. Arrived at the resort before 7am & we had to wait for our room to be ready. Off we went to hunt for breakfast, which we had to pay as this was not included in our AIbpackage (supposedly only starts noon) At $18++ per pax, we were too hungry & tired to complain as only wanted to fill our stomach and check into our rooms... Which we did... After lunch! At 2pm! 7 hours wait for a room is way too ridiculous.

Checking out was another traumatic experience for us. Lunch was not included & the price for lunch is unreasonably high. Our seaplane which was suppose to depart at 2pm was faulty & had to wait till almost 5pm before we could board another. Had to wait again at the lobby. And after having paid so much for "lunch", the bartender at Aqua bar refused to serve us even one bloody cocktail, cause we have already "checked out" of the resort. Apparently we are only entitled for coffee (only hot ones. If u want ice. U gotta pay. Wtf!) or soft drinks.

The experiences above appalled my husband and I, as we were expecting an above average Maldivian/Thai service here. This has left a very sour note on the start & end of our honeymoon.

However the days in between were enjoyable. The food was good. The Reef has a wide selection with various daily themes and teppanyaki was awesome. Reservations required. Lotus (thai) restaurant serves tasty dishes. And Azzuri Mare Italian restaurant was incredible (also requires reservation) with plenty of dishes to choose from.

Daily spa treatment was heavenly. Pls book early to avoid disappointments. Whale shark excursion is worthwhile, if you get to see one which we did. Enough activities to keep you entertained. A great resort for family, we see the kids around the island really enjoying themselves. We stayed at the family water deluxe which was quiet & spacious. We loved our rooms very much.

On the downside, this resort felt like a mini China. Go figure. However, we noticed a differential in treatments given to the resort guests by some employees. This did not affect us directly but based on our observation, we felt all guest should be to treated equal. After all, every one of them are "paying" guest.

But let's not allow one bad apple (or two) to spoil the whole bunch. We would like to thank Ravi, Mode, Amir, (just to name a few) for serving us well and making our stay here enjoyable.

Although we had a memorable time here, but I guess our next Maldivian resort will be another one. Well, perhaps for the kid's sake, we may consider this resort again.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank AliciaCLPhang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

Nice place for vacation with family. The price is a little bit expensive, but all inclusive is a good idea, include spa, water sport and like that. You don't need think too much. We enjoyed one week at there.
There are three restaurants, I think the Italian is the best choise. The others were too hot and without any wind.
We have half time in sand room and half in water room. If you want more water sport, water room is better. But for normal, the sand is much more suitable.
非常好的家庭度假场所。一价全包真是一个好主意,而且包括了SPA,水上运动以及餐饮。可以放心享用酒店的各种服务。一个完美的假期。
岛上有3个餐厅,自助餐厅,泰餐厅与意大利餐厅。其中意大利餐厅需要预订,泰餐厅晚饭需要预订。意大利餐厅环境很好,餐饮不错。其它两个餐厅太热了。
如果喜欢水上运动,浮潜,水屋是不错的选择。但是如果为了舒服,还是沙滩屋比较好,水屋太热了。虽然我们去的是全年比较凉爽的季节。

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank GuangxinRong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

From being met at the airport to feeling very James Bond as we skirted across the water in the pitch black of night (our flight got in to late for a seaplane) everything from beginning to end was fantastic!

Deciding on the Maldives for our honeymoon all we wanted to do is relax and the all-inclusive package ensured that we didn't have to worry about a thing.
I don't think i've ever smiled so much in my life!

The water was amazing, the beach was combed every morning before we got up. The waitstaff were so friendly and happy and remembered who we were and what we liked with our breakfast and we could just swim in the pool or around the coral in the sea water all day. The fish were huge and friendly. Take them a tiny bit of bread and you'll have friends for like.

One of our favourite things was at dinner they feed the small reef sharks and we could sit by the edge of the water and watch these amazing creatures swim and feed.
Snorkelling and scuba diving or just enjoying the view was great. We will return as soon as we can. It truly makes you feel like you're a millionarie and treated like royality.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank OutandaboutAus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

My finance and I spent a week at Centara and had an amazing time. We went for a Sunset Water Villa - which had direct sunset views ours was number 54. Some of the other villas on the left of us did not have sunset views, so be careful of this.
The inside of our villa was lovely and clean - they had recently renovated the terrace so instead of sun-loungers we had a huge sunken mattress which was great for laying on and watching the sunset with a glass of champagne! We had a slight problem with our air-con afew times over the course of the stay but the management responded by sending champagne and chocolates to the room as an apologies as well as obviously fixing the problem, which was lovely of them.
This resort is VERY quiet as 90% of the guests are from China or Japan and therefore eat very early in the evening and go to bed early. (Tired from carrying their huge cameras around all day!) Most evenings we were therefore the only people in the bar. This was a shame as the band which plays every evening is really very good, and knows a huge selection of music. We would like to thank them for keeping us entertained every night.
The all inclusive plan allows you lots of flexibility to eat across all the restaurants. We ate the set menu in the Thai Restaurant several times and really enjoyed the quality of the food provided. - Wear some bug repellent in the evening if you eat here as the restaurant is surrounded by a pond and we both got bitten.
The Al a Carte Restaurant was also a good choice for lunch and dinner - although it is very popular and does not serve many covers so you have to queue outside the restaurant at 12 (midday) which was the only downside.
The Reef buffet also served a variable choice of food. I would recommend they invest in a icecream cooler as the icecream is more like icecream soup as it is just left out on ice. The menu changes every night and the choice on the 'French' night was particularly nice.
It is a shame that the mini bar is not stocked with any wine of alternative alcoholic drinks to beer - as if you are not a beer drinker you have no options available.
The spa is good and the included 30min spa treatment each day really is an added luxury. You definitely need to book all your treatments as soon as you get to Island, as the spa gets very busy.
We did't try any of the included excursions as we enjoyed relaxing each day in our lovely villa, especially as the reef which was right by us was excellent, I am a scuba diver but didnt bother to go while we were there as the snorkeling was amazing just down the ladder from our decking.
There isnt any huge negatives I can think of for this hotel. I wouldnt pay the extra for the island club as from looking at it when we were there, it is very small (and being refurbished so was noisy) plus it was empty and considering how quiet the island is anyway you dont need it. Also due to a fire in the admin buildings on the center of the island they are doing work to rebuild however it was not really noticed and didn't affect our experience.
I really would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Charlie1000_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2013 via mobile

Checked in today and already had a bad day. Service level in generally was lacking esp the guys at Reef restaurant. Seems to be at times making fun of the numerous PRC guests in their incompetency in English. The worst was at the water sports centre where theie service was totalling uncouth! Hubby was cut by coral and we were turned away by the crew. Proceed to reception and GRM Doe (if I get her name correctly save the day n got us the necessary medication for the wound. Also the crew at water sports centre was debating with us when we told them that the snorkeling mask was too small for my face n refuse to change until we got upset and they relent and got us another bigger mask where in the beginning they insisted that all sizes are the same. On the contrary, service at the spa was superb with excellent massage skills.

Keeping my finger crossed that my next 4 days will be smooth and that I won't encounter anymore bad service staff to spoilt my honeymoon

  • Stayed: September 2013
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6  Thank envy78
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:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Centara Grand Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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: £536 - £1,463 (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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