My bloke and I stayed at the Cottage and Spa on Kuramathi for 14 nights.... we stayed on a B&B rating to give us maximum flexibility on food choice/restaurant. Our accomodation was a water bungalow and thanks to this site, we requested a bungalow as far from the desalination plant as possible (which when we wandered past it later in the hol was extremely noisey, and would have kept us awake, so thanks for all those pointers, tripadvisors!). Room 265 and beyond seem to be the more secluded water bungalows I think.
Our flight out there with Monarch was fine... we took a sea plane transfer which was delayed by about half an hour due to a re-fuelling mess up, but was well worth the extra dosh. Fab experience.
Our room was nice, but definately a 3 star(ish) room... I say 'ish' as its obviously in a wonderful location, but the fittings weren't exactly luxury, and no real 'wow' factor apart from the surroundings. Very comfortable beds though, and impeccable housekeeping services/cleanliness standards. If the hotel got new towels and robes (the one's provided were old & scratchy, not fluffy), made sure all the fittings and finishes are tip-top and replaced lampshades if they look jaded I think it would have improved things a little.
The breakfast buffet was fine... we always left absolutely stuffed and there is plently of variety. Highly suspect 'bacon' on some days though! Plenty of local fresh fruit, croissants/patisserie and yogurts though if you don't fancy something from the massive hot selection.
Having eaten at every bar and restaurant on the island at least once, I would recommend the La Laguna Bar and Grill for having the nicest food and best ambience (but save for the first and/or last night as its also the most expensive). The Havana Bar near our reception at cottage (go through the Dhoni Bar and its kind of hidden at the back!) is a really smart bar. Nice to have a shisha pipe after dinner with a few glasses of wine. Would be nice if they had live jazz evenings in there...
The food isn't massively cheap (but I live in London, so am used to extortionate prces for food and alcohol!)... some things are a complete rip off though, and it really bugged me by the end of the holiday. Just because you save for a holiday in the Maldives does not mean you want to be treated like a cash machine!
4 dollars for a single scoop of what tasted like ultra-cheap ice cream in the Dhoni bar? 6 dollars for some hairspray in the local shop? I am all for tipping good service, and for paying a fair price for a product, but sometimes it was an insult, and lessened the positive experience by a long long way. Be aware that 10 percent is added to literally everything you buy, so don't feel like you have to tip left, right and centre. You sign for most things so any dollars you bring will be for excursions to shop (fun but nothing extraordinary), tips and for airport supplies/smaller duty free.
Other meals and light lunches were pretty good value, but varied in quality. Village coffee shop did the cheapest snacky food surprisingly. Nothing incredible, but yummy toasted sandwiches, burgers and fairly ok pizzas. Try the nicest lemon ice tea there as a refresher.
On a lighter note, I can heartily recommend the Mongolian BBQ evening... eat lots of small portions though, so you can try every single thing and get the most from the experience. The puddings are the best we had, so why they don't try and and use more of the same in other restaurants, I have no idea.
Service was pretty good (definite difference in Cottage and Village)... though we did have one waiter in The Village who was really rude to us for no legitimate reason (telling us really sarcastically that our drinks were on the way after we casually enquired, having already received our food order). It was so out of the blue, that I kept convincing myself it was a cultural/language barrier, but on reflection I think he just didn't want to be there, despite our smiles and politeness. Fair enough... just didn't tip and made it clear we weren't impressed at the end of the meal, just I would do anywhere else.
Water sports are plentiful as you'd expect when a nation is about 80% water! Plenty of impressive snorkelling by our water bungalow. We didn't scuba dive but have promised ourselves that experince on our next visit to the maldives! Nice friendly water sports guys in centre... small place but plently of choice for everyone.
Had a couple of treatments in the spa... the pearl harmony massage as a couple was really relaxing & fun and I loved getting a pedicure too. Lovely facilities and the staff seemed welcoming.
As for the weather, we had 2 overcast days and one afternoon when it chucked it down over the 14 day period, so the wet season was fine for us. Even on the overcast days you can get burnt badly... its only 4 degrees from the equator, so watch it. Take loads of sunscreen and a some insect repellent (Boots do an aftersun with repellant which is handy). Take a torch, as you do walking at night and although the the island is lit beautifully, there are dark patches with plenty of fruit bats, hermit crabs and tree rats to keep you on your toes!
All in all a really wonderful holiday with nice staff and some incredible scenery...I get the impression from this and other forums though that there are nicer islands to visit. I would have to agree; although it was great, I doubt I would go back to Kuramathi. But with so many other islands to explore, why go to the same place twice?
- 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