When it's hot, it’s really hot (sometimes breezeless!)
Long walks on the jetty to some of the water villas
No umbrellas for shade on the private decks
Time limitations for the free non-motorized water sports
Open since 2013, this well-managed resort close to the airport has 140 rooms, either along the shore or overwater on stilts (reached via a lengthy jetty). Thailand-based Centara has two properties in the Maldives, both known for offering luxury accommodations at competitive prices, and this particular one is aimed at young couples (no guests under the age of 12 are allowed). It’s not the prettiest island or best house reef for snorkeling, but its service is exceptional, a rarity at this price point. The buffet serves a wide mix of European and Asian cuisines, while three a la carte restaurants (Thai, Italian, and Middle Eastern) and three bars keep the mainland fun and lively; both half-board and all-inclusive rates are on offer. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, bathrobes, and 24-hour room service, but no umbrellas on the private villa decks -- and it will get hot in the afternoon sun. Luckily there are tons of water-based activities including an outstanding dive center for newbies. Wi-Fi is free.
A fun and friendly vibe for young couples in love -- mostly Europeans and Asians
The Centara brand has 73 properties around Asia with a focus on genuine Thai hospitality. This can be experienced almost immediately upon arrival, when staff greets guests with warm smiles and enthusiasm. Guests are led to the reception area where they are individually serviced for check-in and receive information about the restaurants, spa, and dive center. Staff members -- even the General Manager -- are often roaming the property and can be approached for feedback or questions. There is even a weekly manager's party at the beach. After check-in, newcomers and their luggage are taken to their villas on a golf cart.
The interior of the island is not jaw-dropping or dreamy by any means, but friendliness and good energy help compensate for the unattractive facilities that are often in plain view. This is a small island where many villas are situated on one of two jetties that stretch out over the lagoon. On the island itself are four restaurants, two of the three bars, the spa, gift shop, fitness center, game room, and outdoor pool with beach area, as well as the beachfront villas lining one section of the shore. Most guests seem to hail from Europe and Asia -- and they tend to be on the younger side. Honeymooners are common, as are brides who bring their dresses to the island for professional photographs -- a common sighting especially in the morning before the beach gets busy.
The dive center -- run by an independent company -- is also a standout amenity, and there are plenty of dive sites to choose from once the "Intro to Diving" course is complete (this can be done right in front of the property). The pool, beach and swim-up bar are also popular during the day, and snorkel equipment and non-motorized water sports are included in all packages. When the sun starts to set is when the pool bar closes down. Many head to their private patios to watch, or to the Viu Bar with overwater hammocks facing west. For dinner, Asian guests tend to snag the early reservations at the a la carte restaurants, while Europeans tend to imbibe more before dinner, and take the later reservations. For nightlife, it’s back to the Viu bar for more cocktails and music, or to the Arabic lounge for shisha pipes. All in all, there seems to be a bit more evening action here than at other resorts in the Maldives.
The island is not the prettiest in the Maldives, but it's a quick boat ride from the airport.
Centara has two resorts in the Maldives and this one -- Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives -- is much easier to get to, as it's only a 20-minute boat ride from from Malé's International Airport. It is in the North Malé Atoll, part of the Kaafu Atoll -- a section of islands close to the capital where a number of resorts are located. After passing through customs at Malé International Airport, guests are met by a representative (usually at a numbered kiosk) where they will be led to a speedboat. The interior of the island is less physically attractive than at other resorts, and the resort location is also near "Rubbish Island," where the nation's trash is deposited. Despite this unpleasant fact, "Rubbish" is out of sight from most of the rooms and restaurants and the beach thanks to the smart architects who plotted most views to face the opposite direction. Since the island is closer to the city of Malé, there will be more boat and air traffic in the vicinity.
The Maldives is a distinct nation in the Indian Ocean consisting of 26 Atolls and over 1,190 islands. Each resort (there are over 100 of them) is situated on an individual private island with access to incredible marine life. There is plenty of diving and snorkeling in the house reef, as well as excursions to some of the more popular sights in the atoll.
Though the state religion of the Maldives is Sunni Islam, private islands like these are allowed to serve alcohol.
Clean, contemporary rooms have water views and bathrobes.
There are 140 rooms in three separate locations: on the actual island (along the shore), or overwater on one of two jetties. One of the jetties splits into two smaller rows, and the other is quite long with a row of villas on either side (guests of villas at the end here can expect long walks to get to the mainland for restaurants, the pool, and the beach). The resort opened in 2013 and decor is contemporary, though not luxurious. Each room has energy sensors -- when the door is opened, lights and AC will turn off.
Five categories of rooms are available, and all include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, AC, ceiling fans, stocked minibars, free water, coffee and tea, and bathrobes. Ocean Front Beach Villas are along the sand with direct access to the shore. Deluxe Ocean Front Beach Villas (also along the shore) have more space and jetted tubs in the outdoor bathrooms. Deluxe Water Villas have either a king bed or two twin beds, a private deck with two lounge chairs, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. Some of these are designated as sunset units that face west. The views are great, but the sun loungers lack umbrellas, and it can get quite hot in the afternoon sun. Premium Deluxe Spa Villas have a hammock and outdoor jetted tub on the deck.
Honeymooners receive a few extras, as well as a special turndown service when the guests least expect it.
Free non-motorized water sports and a lively pool scene
This is a small island with fewer beaches than other islands, but the main one is next to the pool and has plenty of lounge chairs (no need to save a spot with towels). The pool gets a lively crowd during the day with boat-shaped lounge chairs on the outer rim. There is a swim-up pool bar and music providing some atmosphere. Guests can can snorkel along the beach and around the lagoon, and equipment is provided for free at the diving center. The independent dive center is multilingual (languages include Chinese, Russian, Italian, and Korean) and offers courses for all levels, including "Intro to Diving," which can take place right on the reef by the entrance. Non-motorized water sports are free to use with time limitations, including paddleboards, kayaks, and windsurfing gear.
Also on the island is a boutique and souvenir shop, as well as a fitness center and game center (both air-conditioned). Extra activities like martini making and cooking classes are available. There is a Thai-themed nine-room treatment spa with single and couple treatment rooms, and a mani/pedi salon.
Half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive rates available, and plenty of restaurants
Compared to other resorts at similar price points, this resort has a great food and drink selection. In total, there are three bars and four restaurants on the property, which are at the helm of an Australian chef (quite a character), and overseen by a head Thai chef who splits time between both Centara resorts in the Maldives. Menus change daily, and 24-hour room service was made available as of late 2014. Most guests choose the All-Inclusive or Full-Board packages; these include all three meals at the main buffet, which changes daily (Full Board covers alcohol during lunch and dinner service, while All-Inclusive guests can drink all day). Half Board Plus rates include breakfast and lunch or dinner at the buffet, and alcohol served during either lunch or dinner (not both).
Each buffet spread comes with a big selection of European and Asian cuisine (including Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean). For an extra fee, a la carte restaurants include Arabic, Italian, and Thai options; the latter comes with a four-course menu option. Reservations are required, and a meal credit is offered for most packages. On certain nights, live music plays, especially at the Thai and Italian restaurants which surround the main pool.
Three bars offer drinks: the Giraavaru Lobby Bar, the Waves Pool Bar (with swim-up seats), and the Viu Bar with lounge areas and overwater hammocks for watching the sunset. These bars open early in the morning; Viu is the last to close down.
Customers Who Viewed Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives Also Viewed