Pro: Because it is the closest resort island to Male, the transfer time on arrival is minimal. From touchdown through baggage reclaim, immigration and speedboat transfer to setting foot on the island was less than an hour.
Con: Because of its position, Kurumba is effectively at the end of the airport runway. Expect the sound of airline traffic, as well as that of the frequent seaplanes all day. If your accommodation is on the S or SW aspect of the island (all of the Superior Rooms and some of the Deluxe Bungalows) you will also have a rather unlovely view of the high-rises of Male and the commercial shipping at anchor.
Pro: If you are lucky your room will have a beautiful strip of beach with your own designated loungers and cushions a few steps from your door. Beach towels are delivered daily to your room. I stayed in a Deluxe Room which was solidly made with nice fittings and with everything you’d expect. The open-air wetroom with shower and bath was perfect for a beach holiday. I can recommend the location of Room 241 which is also ideally situated for those great Maldivian sunsets.
Con: In places the vegetation grows right down to the waters edge. If your room is adjacent to these areas, you may not have such an idyllic spot. Some rooms further inland have no sea view at all.
Pro: The grounds are maintained by a large staff on a daily basis, sweeping, grooming, pruning etc to keep the place looking immaculate. While I was there they were also spraying insecticide and using smoke generators regularly, which didn’t stop myself and others from being eaten alive but maybe that’s the price for visiting in the rainy season. The barriers that have been built along the reef form a nice shallow lagoon where those who are new to swimming or snorkelling, or are not confident in the open sea can indulge themselves. There is some decent coral and plenty of colourful fish to see here, as well as the baby sharks and rays that relish the shallow waters. Outside the barriers you are immediately into a Jacques Cousteau world teeming with underwater life, although with the SW monsoon blowing it did get a little choppy on occasions.
The reception area, restaurants and bar are clean, tidy and well laid out.
Cons: I would have preferred some kind of bar where people could congregate, or maybe a swim-up bar for use during the day. With waiter service for everything I found it didn’t really give guests the opportunity to mingle and create their own atmosphere. Maybe the majority have no interest in mingling. If anything, for this reason I found the ambience pleasant but a little flat.
Pro: Without exception I found the staff to be very polite and friendly, right through from the gardeners, the house boy, waiters and admin. If there have been problems with staff in the past as highlighted by other reviewers, they were not evident to me. Our house boy was charming and efficient and our room was attended to with speed and efficiency twice a day. The older, more experienced staff (here I will mention Hillary and Akter in particular) were immaculate in their helpfulness and attention to detail.
Cons: The difference between the older and younger waiting staff was marked. Whilst polite enough, many of the youngsters seemed rather hesitant and intimidated.
Food & Drink
Pro: In general I found the food to be of a good standard. There are certainly enough restaurants of differing styles to suit most tastes. The breakfast buffet in the main restaurant was very good.
Cons: The food and drink prices are toe-curlingly expensive. This rankled particularly on a couple of occasions when I didn’t believe the serving offered anything like value at such inflated prices.
I had a great two weeks and was lucky with the weather (only 2 real daytime storms). The snorkelling was sensational and I loved the way the island was being kept and maintained.
The islands own website uses words such as “seclusion” and “serenity.” Due to it’s proximity to Male I would describe these claims as somewhat misleading. Kurumba has plenty going for it, but the feeling of being detached from the outside world is missing, especially if you have experience of other more remote Maldivian islands.
Kurumba must be careful with it’s pricing. If top prices are to be charged then consistency of quality and service must be a given. I felt at times they sailed a little too close to the wind on these matters. As for wanting $80 for a 2Gb SD memory card in the shop – you can imagine where I suggested they stick that!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kurumba is Maldives' very first resort. Located just 10-minutes from the airport with luxury speedboat transfers available 24 hours a day. Explore our vibrant house reef. Relaxing on the white sandy beach. Swimming in our protected crystal clear lagoon. Treat yourself to an exquisite Maldivian spa treatment. Be energized with the daily scheduled activities, watersports, excursions or scuba diving. Be inspired by the Maldives culture, local food, art and dance. Nine styles of accommodation are spread amongst the island's lush tropical gardens. Eight restaurants, four bars, Maldives best nightly entertainment scene. Kurumba is a perfect holiday destination. Kurumba is the Maldives in Full Colour. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kurumba Maldives Hotel North Male Atoll
- Kurumba Maldives North Male Atoll
- Kurumba Hotel