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“Beautiful tropical island”

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Kuramathi Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kuramathi
Certificate of Excellence
Orpington, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Beautiful tropical island”
Reviewed 7 October 2012

Just returned from 11 wonderful days on Kuramathi during Sept/Oct. First things first, Kuramathi is without doubt one of the most idyllic tropical island locations I have ever been!

As ever with TripAdvisor, the key is to look for themes rather than individual comments; everything is subjective and contextual but one thing I would say is the comments in other reviews about service levels should be disregarded - some staff are happier/more enthusiastic/efficient than others of course but overall the service level is great and what you would expect of a quality resort.

The good:
Island: The island is just beautiful. It is superbly maintained and the staff are working on it constantly behind the scenes to keep it spotless. It is stunning.

Accommodation: we paid for a beach villa and were upgraded to a superior beach villa with jacuzzi! Excellent start! Of course not everyone will be that lucky but all the accommodation was modern looking and right on the beach or sea front. Our room (143) was spacious and modern. We had two day beds; one inside one out and a large entrance deck with private sun loungers. The bathroom had a big rain-head shower which is partially outside leading to a walled garden area where the jacuzzi was - although in truth we never got round to using it! I won't bother listing below in the 'the not quite as good's' but we did feel there was a slight lack of storage space - not a major issue.

Food and drink: the 'Select all-inclusive' is an absolute MUST for everyone. It was excellent. All restaurants, any snack or food, ice creams, deserts and milkshakes at any time during the day, a selection quality wine by the bottle for dinner, and best of all, almost every cocktail on a four page menu. The three buffet restaurants are varied and provide a huge and excellent choice for every meal but for dinner I recommend eating at the al a carte restaurants - they were great with a full menu of chef cooked food in everyone. TOP TIP: have the Steak Diane in the Island BBQ restaurant, it is cooked in front of you and was fantastic - had it three times in 11 days!!!

Bars: there are several bars (five I think?!) around the island. All table service and efficient. Most directly on the beach or over the sea - a superb way of rounding off the day with a cocktail. Sand Bar was our favourite: very chilled, low light and on big bean-bags on the sand. Über cool.

Facilities: not a lot to say, everything you would expect and more. There is an island shop for any essential you have forgotten to bring or for souvenirs; two or three dive centres, a water sports centre; gym and spa; and, a camera shop for developing photos or buying an underwater camera. I used the gym four times, it is excellent for a hotel facility; very large and well equipped. We also had two spa treatments which cost extra but they were excellent value and the couples massage was great fun.

Snorkelling: You are given snorkelling equipment as part of the package and you only need swim fifty foot out into the very shallow house-reef before you find yourself in an aquarium of stunning and varied tropical fish of every colour, shape and size - they are amazing. There are also turtles, dolphins and black-tipped reef sharks to spot as well. Simply amazing!

The not quite as good's:
Weather: we took a risk going in Sept/Oct as it is still part of the monsoon season. As much as international hotels like to control every element of their guest's experience their ability to influence the big man upstairs remains limited! I wouldn't go again at this time of year: the temperature is always hot but it rained a lot over the 11 days and with little else to do apart from relax on the beach it is not worth the risk. The rain brings cloudy skies and a slightly chilly wind and the sea starts to get choppy. Pick a time of year with guaranteed sun!!!

Island size: as beautiful as Kuramathi is, it is not the picture that i had in my mind of a Maldivian island - it is big! Nearly 2k long, it takes 40 mins to walk from bottom to top. The majority of accommodation is at the bottom of the island, as a result the reality is that despite the shuttle services running around the island, it is a hassle getting to the other end of the island. For example, the gym was about a 10-15 minute walk from our villa. Also, at night it is very poorly lit and signage is limited so you find yourself walking to restaurants at the top of the island like The Reef or The Palm in the dark and from the bottom of the island both are a 25/30 min walk. It is a popular island too, there are over 300 rooms so there were quite a few more people than we anticipated - although it wasn't overcrowded. It didn't feel quite as exclusive as we thought it would be - this might be a good thing if you are after a livelier destination of course...

Travelling to/from the island: get the seaplane there and back!!! we took it from Male to Kuramathi and it was a great experience and just a short flight. However, coming back we got the speed boat - a mistake! We had a late morning flight back to the UK (11.45) and because only one boat was going to Male that morning we were told to meet in reception at 5.45. We got to Male at 7.15 nearly 2 hours before we could even check in at 9.15! Following which we then had to wait until the flight at 11.45. The whole group were very annoyed by this - it put a dampener on the end of the holiday and added about another 4 hours onto our journey back to the UK!

Mozzi's: are everywhere!!! we got bitten daily and whilst there is no risk they are incredibly annoying... beware and bring mozzi spray (not that it made any difference!)

Room Tip: South of the island is the busier end of the island. The superior beach vilas with jacuzzi are new a...
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Screddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kent, UK
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2012

We stayed at Kuramathi for 9 days last November to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary and had a wonderfully relaxing time. We stayed in a JWV, originally we were right at the bottom end which was a little shallow to get into the water/reef from the deck so we asked if they might have anything available at the top end and they moved us the next day when one became available. We had JWV 277 which was a couple from the end near the Palm restaurant, this was much better for entering the reef from the deck although the channel at this end could only be used at high tide and providing the water was not choppy. The channel in the middle had much easier access and you could easily swim to it by staying close to the villa decks. We saw lots of marine life from the deck including rays, sharks, dolphins, swordfish and flying fish.
The housekeeping was excellent, twice a day, lots of towel art and flowers on the bed every day. The restaurants were all good, I think the Palm was the best and the Reef a little over-rated. Being right in the middle of the island we regularly walked to and fro and never felt the need to use the minibus transport. It was much more fun to walk the sandy paths barefoot even in the darkness when it was never too dark to see. We were amazed how quiet the island seemed even though there were clearly a lot of guests, we could always find plenty of space by the pool or beach.
The weather was good to us and we only had one day of rain, the rest was a mixture of sun and cloud but always warm.
The seaplane transfers were fun and everything well organised.
The one disappointment we had was that the time went too quickly and we would have loved to stay much longer.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SteveNorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2012

Words cannot express how wonderful this place is. The resort is pristine. The accommodation is beautifully situated. The staff are friendly and very helpful. Want to know anything, Amir is the person to ask. Anyone going to this island will be blown away by the beauty. Azure blue water with easy access to the reef for snorkeling. As an older couple we stayed at the Laguna end of the island where the sting rays are fed. It is quieter although the bus runs every 10mins and walking is also an option to the main reception area. We ate at other restaurants as well as the Reef but they did not come up to the Laguna standard. Chandan, the Sri Lankan chef is top class and every meal was of immense high standard. We chose the all inclusive which included drinks. I would certainy suggest this option as one does drink more especially water. The cocktail menu is extensive but don't have "the island" unless you like Campari. We had 7days of perfect weather. The snorkeling was terrific and chose a luxury beach bungalow on the side of the reef. The marine life is amazing. This resort is really well situated as it is only 15 mins from Male by sea plane. The Kuramathi representatives at the airport are very professional, taking care of our luggage and also showing us around Male if you have time to spare before your return flight home. A week is not enough time so we will definitely be returning to this little piece of paradise!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lazilizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
perth
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2012

Our 1st trip to the Maldives but hopefully our last.

Very few Aussies seem to go here as I think we believe its too pricey! Boy are we missing out.

The main thing for me was the quality of service! Nothing was too much trouble, the drinks refilled quickly and strongly and with a smile and gracious chit chat! I had pre arranged the serenade dinner before we arrived and kaamil our waiter was amazing! He arrived with perfect timing but also departed with perfect timing;) the Sri Lankan boys in the Fung bar chatted about World Cup cricket and other sports while not skipping a drink making beat!

Our room cleaner amazed us one day by bringing in our washing off the line and it was neatly folded on our bed!

I agree with some of the other reviews in regards to staying the lagoon side. Our over water villa with jacuzzi unfortunately was right on the reef and the the strong breeze we had for a few days we couldn't swim off our villa. We had to walk down to the beach entry for the snorkeling channel!

If I was to stay in one if those again request one next to the snorkel channels.

Next, the food! Omg I have put on 5 kgs in 7 days! We had select all inclusive and it's the only way to go. The palm was our fave and we ate there often. The steaks were amazing and perfectly cooked! We also loved the Indian. Such good flavors and not too hot spicey!

Would have loved the Australian channel on the tv as we missed the afl grand final BUT the Internet worked a treat and we listened to the radio feed of it;)

The island itself is beautiful. We also did the rashood island trip and its sobering to realize how much we have on our special island while they have so little. Next time we will bring the local kids some balls and school stuff! They are pretty poor!

We did the tubing and intro dive. Both great fun and by no means were we ever bored in our 7 days. I could easily have stayed another 7 days.

I have no other Maldives experience to compare it to but I loved kurmathi! I would return any day. I found it great value for money and the service amazing! I saw many rude guests in my time there and not one rude waiter or receptionist! The chefs at the palm came out to shake our hands when we said that was our last dinner there and when you treat people respectfully you get it back!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tamster15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gillingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2012

My husband and I travelled to Kuramathi on 28 August 2012 for eight days for our 25th wedding anniversary. What can I say apart from "heaven on earth". The Island is stunning. The beaches are amazing, personally I think we stayed at the better part of the Island up near The Reef Restaurant. The All Inclusive Al A Carte was fantastic so much choice. Cocktails fab too. All the staff were very friendly and could not do enough for you. At first when booking my husband was worried that he would be bored but there is no chance of that so many activities including snorkelling, walking, many bars and restaurants to visit. The seaplane was great and such an experience. We would highly recommend Kuramathi Island to any age group, we are already planning on returning next year.

Room Tip: Deluxe Beach villa very nice have your own private beach and is quieter
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Helen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2012

My fiance and I stayed here for a fortnight in September 2012. We booked it November 2011 in our local Thomas Cook, and we got it 2% cheaper than if we had booked directly with Kuoni! 2% isn't much, but it still covered the cost of the seaplane transfers!

Flights were with Emirates via Dubai (our choice, we don't trust BA given their frequent strike action) and we booked a seaplane transfer from Male to Kuramathi with a speedboat transfer for the return journey. The flights with Emirates were very civilised, plenty of leg room and excellent service as usual. We experienced no delays, and also enjoyed the private Kuramathi VIP lounge at the Male seaplane terminal.

Luggage allowance with Emirates is 30kg but the seaplane is only 20kg, and they charge US$4/kilo for overweight bags - the couple in front of us had to pay 46 EUR (they were Italian) in excess luggage fees before boarding the seaplane, so beware.

That said, we hardly needed a lot of clothes! You don't need any shoes whilst you are there, you can be barefoot the whole time if you wish - paths are all sand and easy to walk on. You do not need to dress for dinner, almost everyone was still in shorts/beach dresses etc.

The views really are akin to the Bounty advert from the 1980s and do not disappoint. The sunsets are amazing (but early, 6pm) and the sea is warm, clear and turquoise with white powdery sand.

For anyone who is concerned about the wildlife on the island, there are lizards & geckos, birds and fruit bats but spiders are not a problem. Mosquitos (not Malaria carriers) are present but use a 50% DEET spray and you will be fine. I used Jungle Formula roll on (Boots) and never got a single bite.

We opted for basic all inclusive, which included all meals in an allocated restaurant and all drinks, both alcoholic & non-alcoholic. The minibar in the villa is fully stocked with soft drinks and replenished daily.

We were allocated Haruge (pronounced Ha-Roo-Ga) restaurant and the service & food choice were fabulous. Each meal had a vast variety to appeal to all tastes; dinner for example each night offered salads, cold meats, cheeses, pasta, rice, various meats & fishes, a soup, breads, and a selection of desserts. Our waiter, Ahmed, was a cheery and friendly chap for whom nothing was too much trouble.

Each night was a different theme, and we never saw the same theme twice in the time we were there. Themes included Mediterranean, Chinese, American, Maldivian, European, Italian, Interntional, Far East, etc.

We ate once in the Palm Pizzeria and once at the Island BBQ - the latter was particularly delicious and I wholeheartedly recommend the Australian Steak, preferably with the red wine sauce - it was to die for! You do need to book, but we never experienced any problems, despite the island being 98% full according to Catherine, the Kuoni representative.

We tended to drink mainly in Fung Bar (by reception), simply because the service here was better. The bar staff are the one area that Kuramathi could improve - often we were waiting for a refill, but the wait times were smallest at Fung Bar. Cocktails are included in the basic A-I package and there are plenty to choose from, however they are strong so I often had to ask for mine with less alcohol! The beer is Carling or San Miguel or they have Fosters in cans - but there is no Ale.

We saw the Stingray feeding one evening and it was definitely an experience I would recommend!

Kuoni gave us a free visit to neighbouring Rasdhoo Island, it lasted two hours but to be honest 30 minutes would have been plenty. It's worth doing to say you've seen it but it definitely shows how poor the Maldivian standard of living is. The tourist shops selling souvenirs are OK but not great.

We also had an included sunset cruise which I would highly recommend - the views were fabulous and we saw plenty of sharks & rays, although no dolphins. It also included a glass of sparkling white wine.

We enjoyed snorkelling, but did not participate in the other watersports eg banana boat, windsurfing etc. I would recommend you wear a t-shirt whilst snorkelling as the sun is VERY strong. If you are blonde/ginger/fair skinned then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take at least factor 40 or you will spend days in your room trying to ease the sunburn.

Some people did have children with them which disappointed us slightly, we thought the location would mean it was pretty much child-free, and to be honest it's not really a resort for children.

I would recommend a villa on the lagoon side of the island if possible (the 'top' side if you look at it on the map on the website) as the beach is much better on this side - no rocks etc. The snorkelling is on the other side but in pre-defined channels so as to protect the coral. That said it isn't exactly far from one side to the other!

There is a minibus service that takes you around the island if you can't be bothered to walk, it runs every 15 mins and there are 'bus stops' at certain points on the paths.

You are provided with bathroom towels (white) and separate beach towels (blue) and then there are towels for the pools (green) at the pools themselves.

There are a couple of shops on the island, one sells sun cream (US$25 for a small bottle) and shampoo (US$8) for example, as well as a few souvenirs which were actually reasonably priced.

Wednesday & Saturday nights are movie night - weather permitting a large screen is set up near Fung Bar & you can sip cocktails under the stars whilst watching a film. Even if you don't like the film (a card in reception tells you what's on that night) then do go for the experience.

We didn't use the spa, I thought it was very expensive for what was on offer.

The island has a capacity of c.600 guests and has 700 staff on hand, but you rarely see other people and you would never know there were that many people there.

I can safely say it was an amazing holiday and I have no qualms about recommending it to anyone who is considering it. I will add pictures later if possible - sadly I dropped my camera in the sea on the last day! If you are considering Kuramathi, do go - it's well worth it.

Room Tip: Get a room on the lagoon side.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LondonLover99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Two wonderful weeks in jacuzzi water villa with amazing food and Attentive service. Snorkelling with sharks and the ever present trigger fish will be lasting memories too. watched jumping dolphins from our deck was also a highlight.

Select all inclusive was good value with fabulous choice of restaurants and food to suit everyone with tenderloin at the Reef a must do!

Wine with meals by the bottle which could be taken back to room if unfinished.

Spa treatments were great and plenty of choice

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank billandden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kuramathi Island Resort

Property: Kuramathi Island Resort
Address:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > North Ari Atoll > Kuramathi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kuramathi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kuramathi Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 290
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Measuring 1.8 km long, this idyllic resort in North Ari Atoll is dotted with lush flora and fauna, turquoise lagoons and tapers into a pristine sandbank. Catering to all budgets, the choices for villas are many, and ranges from the simple yet stylish Garden Villas to the ever popular honeymooners' favourite over water choice, Water Villa with Jacuzzi. Early 2016, Kuramathi is set to extend the options with new villa categories that will features villas over water, several with private pool and also two bedroom houses suitable for families or friends travelling together. Savour exquisite recipes from over 10 restaurants catering to diverse taste buds. Imbibe tropical concoctions in 6 bars conveniently placed around the island, and they have the added plus of regular evening entertainment. Leave your worries behind, and choose our great-value all inclusive packages to enjoy the best that Kuramathi has to offer. The Basic All Inclusive includes a wide range of premium beverages while the Select All Inclusive is ideal if you wish to have a taste of Kuramathi at its best where you wine and dine at any restaurant of your choice. Rejuvenate, revitalize and beautify at Kuramathi Spa, with its blend of diverse therapies using signature product line Voya, which comes from Ireland and is made from hard-harvested organic seaweed. Dive with eagle rays, friendly sharks and explore world class dive sites. Become a certified sailor at the only Royal Yachting Association certified water sports school in the Maldives. Bond with your family at Bageecha Kids Club and let the children indulge in fun yet educational programs. Learn more about the thriving organisms both in and out of water at the multi award winning Eco Centre. There is simply something for everyone on an island that is naturally Maldives - Kuramathi Island Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kuramathi Island Hotel Kuramathi
Village Hotel Kuramathi
Kuramathi Village Hotel
Kuramathi Cottage Spa
Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives

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