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Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Hot stuff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

Enjoyed a fabulous week on this lovely island (island = hotel, hotel = island; you can walk round it in 10 mins.). The food and facilities were excellent - it took me a while to get used to Moet for breakfast, but I got there in the end! The all-inc package brings you all food and drink, a very professional daily massage, snorkelling equipment, a banana boat ride, and access to sea kayaks and pedaloes - it's certainly not worth paying extra for the island club, which adds very little.

We stayed in one of the eight family beach villas, and having poked around the other accommodation (including the water villas), we felt we definitely had the best deal. As well as your beach frontage, the villa brings you your own quite substantial pool under the shade of a huge palm, beach and garden sun loungers, plus shaded outside table and chairs (we had to ask for an extra chair, which was rapidly forthcoming). Within the villa there are two bedrooms, one with a door, the other on a mezzanine with en suite, so plenty of privacy. There's a sitting area, spacious bathroom and a fabulous outdoor shower.

Any quibbles? The minibar could have been better stocked - just soft drinks and the odd beer, no wine or shorts, though all were freely available from the bars. They could have done more to bring older children and teenagers together. The kids club was occupied only by younger children. There was a well equipped games area, but it was jammed on a mezzanine under the roof without air con. In those temperatures, one game of table tennis was sufficient to drench you in your own sweat! No attempt was made to attract teenagers so that they would meet each other eg. some sort of introductory event. Our teenager was very disappointed by this.

One thing which could have been much more than a quibble was a night-time fire towards the end of our week. We weren't alerted - although we were on a different part of the island, we felt we should have been - so did not witness anything first hand, but other guests were critical of the speed which it was dealt with (it seems some of the firefighting equipment did not work, and may not have been regularly checked; a team and equipment had to be brought from other islands). Certainly the fire did a fair amount of damage to the administration block (visible the next day) and closed one of the restaurants, and wi-fi and more basic comms (eg. telephone to reception) were down for the rest of the week we were there, and maybe beyond. Could have been nasty.

But the bottom line? We felt we had a really superb week at Centara.

Room Tip: If you have children, go for a family beach villa - they are all equally good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Wyvernian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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  • Cleanliness
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (307)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

My husband and I stayed at this resort, our first trip to the Maldives, in 2011 and loved it. We loved it so much we decided to go back which I now regret as our experience was not as good. In 2011, we stayed in a deluxe water villa and had the island club package. This time the water villas were all booked so we stayed in a beach villa with the island club. Both times we booked the hotel direct through its website. We arrived for our second stay, we were advised on arrival that the island club room and pool was being completely refurbished so we wouldn't be charged the additional amount and we would still get some of the benefits. The staff did say that I had been sent an email to advise me of this but I wasn't. I was really disappointed not to have been told this before we arrived. It did affect our holiday experience. The amount of money we saved did not compensate the service that we thought we were going to get but didn't. The beach villa was also tired looking and needs a refurb. It was also annoying that for example, there was no iron. The bath tub was cracked, the in room safe broke. The wi-fi signal was very weak in the room.

All of the staff were lovely and we had a nice holiday but it just wasn't as wow as before. Maybe we shouldn't have returned to the same island. We feel the quality of everything had slipped - the food and drink selection. Everything was more three star than four star.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Philippa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

We spent 2 weeks in the Grand Centara in the Maldives. I was very nervous booking it and really wanted it to be special (as it was part of our honeymoon). It was 100% perfect. There is really nothing bad I can say. We had a beach front villa. I could start off listing the names of all the staff we got to know but there are so many. They were all wonderful. We loved the island and we did a sunset cruise, shark whale tour, banana boat around the island, snorkeling and so much more. One additional thing I would recommend is to try to take a personal Thai cooking course with Chef Ning. You learn so much in a short period of time. The food is really top drawer across the board. I could not recommend this place more.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank michealmm30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

We stayed at Centara from september 23 till september 28... It was marvellous!!
We arrived to Malé at night, so we decided to spend the night on a nearby hotel. The staff at Centara booked us the 6 am flight next day, so we arrived at the resort at 7 am...we were greeted by Sweety, who explained the ultimate all-inclusive package with great detail and answered all our questions about it, leaving no room for doubt!! After that, she gave us the key and personally escorted us to our Deluxe Water Villa (other guests had to wait until 2 pm, which is the "official" check-in time, but I don't know the reason why).
The room was nice and clean (the jacuzzi had a few rust marks, and one of the buttons didn't work, but it didn't affect the whole experience).
We were given a big red bag as a gift and also sparkling wine and a little fruit basket.
The house reef at Centara is truly amazing... The water is so clear, that we could see the fishes swimming from our villa and while walking through the beach.
Snorkelling was a fantastic experience... we saw a lot of colorful fishes, both big and small (including a variety of parrot fishes with beautiful colors!) all just by going down the stairs of our villa.
The food was very tasty, we tried all the venues and we specially loved the Thai food at Lotus restaurant (and the portions were really big!), the foood at Reef was fantastic too! We never got bored with the menu at Reef because they offer a lot of options (I was surprised to find bacon and pork in the menu, knowing that Maldives is an Islamic country!)
The trio that sings at Reef is nice and when the knew that I'm Mexican they quickly pulled out some mexican songs in perfect spanish!! Both waitress and hostess in all the restaurants are always kind and they always greet you with a smile. Azurri Mare is a nice restaurant too, although is difficult to get a reservation, so if you really want to eat there, make a reservation as as soon as posible.
We tried almost all the excursions, is really easy to book them at the front desk. We were lucky enough to spot a Whale Shark... It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life!!
I want to thank all the guys at the Water Sports Centre, because they helped me and my husband a lot (and we enjoyed chatting with them as well) unfortunately I can't remember their names... but they were fantastic and really helpful!
The local island tour to is interesting and is a nice opportunity to buy souvenirs at good prices.
The Sunset cruise and the Snorkelling trips are very enjoyable and fun as well (and a good opportunity to see the beauty that Maldives has to offer)
The spa is heavenly! My husband and I enjoyed it a lot! The girls that work at the spa are nice and kind (they speak softly and that always gave me a calming sensation)... this definitely made our stay even more pleasant!! You gotta try the coffee scrub... it's very relaxing and it leaves your skin soft and fresh.
The Aqua bar and Coral bar have a nice atmosphere and with nice views to the Ocean. You cannot miss the fish feeding at Coral bar... it's fabulous to see stingrays and little blacktip reef sharks!, the crab race is also entertaining.
We went to the Sundowners cocktail and met the manager... he's (like all the staff in Centara) kind and polite.

Although overall experience was fantastic, I do believe that some things can improve:
For example, they should check the inside lock of the Water Villas... it is sharp and my husband cut his finger twice while trying to open the door.
And I believe it could be good to offer some beverages and snacks to the people waiting for the seaplane at check-out. We didn't wait too long and we had beverages and snacks of our own, but some others we're not that lucky... offering some cold beverage could make the wait way more comfortable.

Despite that, we definitely felt appreciated as costumers at Centara. All the staff (And I mean every single one, from room attendants to the personnel at the front desk) were always smilling, thoughtful and ready to help.

I would like to thank Swetty, Sathish (from the front desk), all the guys at the Water Sports Centre, Avon from Reef and Rana (sous-chef from Reef) and to everyone at Centara that made our stay simply unforgettable!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mrs_Sato1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013

We had a really wonderful holiday here in September for 2 weeks.

Being used to active holidays, I was concerned I might get bored or feel confined on such a small island. We were not bored once!

I admit on arrival we were a little worried by the 'group welcome' where ourselves and another couple were given details of the resort together by a member of staff in a very scripted way... This could just be me, but I would have preferred a more personal welcome at this type of resort so you can ask about things personal to your stay.

Arriving mid morning, we did ask for a room change as the area of beach behind our original room was being used for staff fire training and was a little noisy with lots of people coming and going. To the hotel's credit, this was partly because on news of the fire that had affected the resort, we asked to be away from the area being worked on. They have dealt with this difficult situation incredibly well and if we had not been informed prior to arrival, I honestly don't think we would have known anything had happened!

We did have a long wait for our new room to be ready, NOT the hotel fault, but because the previous guest refused to leave (they clearly liked it so much!). Dealt with very well by staff who gave us a room to shower, lunch and kept us informed.

From this point on it really was perfect!

The food is incredible, something very important to us!

There is an Italian style restaurant over the water with full table service where we ate frequently. Wonderful breads and incredible tuna and steak! The Thai restaurant is equally good but rarely very busy which is a real surprise! This works to a set menu of several small courses and was very authentic. I didn't think we would eat at the Buffet that often, but on arrival it was so good and the food of such high quality we went at least once daily. There is also a wonderful tepanyaki bar which must be booked at 9am on day of attendance. Staff are faultless and your really do not feel they are skimping on cost of food or ingredients at any stage.

There are lots of excursions on offer which are all to a high standard.again they are made by the staff who are wonderful - shown most notably on a boat trip where the sea became rough and virtually all 25 passengers were very ill with staff caring for everyone!

This is not somewhere to come if you want to take part in a lot of evening activities / make friends with other guests, most people eat early and spend evenings in their private balconies etc. this was perfect for us!

The spa was amazing, we booked all treatments on arrival. Staff incredible.

The wildlife on the island is amazing. We saw so many fish, rays etc when swimming. If you walk around island in late afternoon you can often see baby shark feeding in shallows (only about 2 foot long!) while we travelled we also had the experience of the phosphorescent glowing sea which was amazing. There are also several huge and very cute fruit bats that fly around the island. The downside to this is that there are some less welcome, but inevitable wildlife! We did see mice and large cockroaches in the villa, the staff were great at removing without making us feel like daft Brits on a desert island!

September was a great time for us to go, the staff said they were at full capacity but it never seemed busy. Weather pretty consistent blue sky's and sun!

Great holiday and very good choice.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 2012ra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oxford
Level Contributor
65 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marieOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland, UK
Level Contributor
86 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Scotswaehae
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
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 (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 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 Resort And Spa
Centara Grand Island Hotel Centara Grand Island
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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