Finally, we went to The Maldives! After 5 years in Dubai and 6 years in Singapore, we finally made it to paradise. Back in Dec 2020, the Maldives was one of the only countries easily accessible from Dubai and accepting tourists without quarantine. So I guess it was the perfect excuse to finally go. Looking for the perfect hotel in the Maldives was not easy! There a so many options, so many gorgeous hotels, but also such a high price tag. Although we wanted to have a true Maldives experience, with the overwater villa, etc, we didn’t want to break the bank completely. We finally landed on Kuramathi Island resort, which seemed to be a really great quality-price deal and one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives. And it was!! Our first time in the Maldives was amazing and only made me want to go back for more.
If you are looking for a high-end resort, with incredible beaches and a large variety of restaurants, Kuramathi Island resort might be the right place for you, so read up!
HOW TO GET TO KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT
Located 60 km West of Male, the Maldives capital and international airport, Kuramathi can easily be reached by either seaplane or speedboat.
The seaplane transfer takes around 20 mins, and offer one of the quintessential Maldives experience: the impressive bird-eye view of the atolls below. Seaplanes depart only between 6 am and 3.30 pm, so you might have to sleep over in Male if you land outside these timings. Transfer price is USD 323 per adult and USD 193 for children up to 12 years old.
The less exciting (but much cheaper) boat transfer option takes around 90 min, and departs from Male airport twice a day, at 10.30 am and 4.30 pm. Once again if you land in Male after 4 pm, you will need to book a night on the island and take the first boat to Kuramathi the next morning. Round trip boat transfer costs 99 USD per adult and 50 USD per child up to 12 years old. There are two departures from Kuramathi back to Male airport, one at 6 am and one at 2.20 pm.
Once you book your stay at Kuramathi, the resort will get in touch with you to discuss your preferred transfer options.
THE ROOM OPTIONS IN KURAMATHI
Kuramathi Resort has more than 350 rooms, split into 12 categories, from beach villas surrounded by vegetation to the exceptional honeymoon pool villa. There is definitely a category for every price and holiday style. One of the most popular options is the iconic water villa with a pool. Since it was our first time in the Maldives, I really wanted the “typical” Maldives experience, so we booked one of these water villas with a pool. And it was STUNNING!
The modern villas are built on pilotis, directly over the crystal clear ocean, have a large wooden deck, a private infinity pool, and a bathtub overlooking the ocean. What else ?!! A comfy bed and bright bathroom and lots of closet space for all the summer dresses I brought! It was stunning and exactly what I had pictured with one little exception: Our villa was made of grey concrete and look very modern and blockish. I noticed further aways on the island some of the water villas had a wooden exterior with thatched roof, and I thought that was more in tune with the island vibe.
If you choose to stay in one the water villas, note that some are facing the lagoon and some are facing the reef. I think we were on the reef side, and the lagoon side would probably have been even nicer!
Having our own pool was really cool, but we ended up spending a lot of time there, instead of going to the beach. If we were to go back to Kuramathi I think we would stay in one of the beach villas, to have direct access to the stunning white sand beach. Just be careful when booking, as some of the beach villas are not directly facing the sea, but standing a few meters back without any sea view.
FOOD AND DRINKS AT KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT
With 10 restaurants, 6 bars, a Champagne lounge, and a wine & cigar club, there are plenty of food and drink options to explore in Kuramathi and that is what makes the resort one of the best all-inclusive in the Maldives. When we visited (Dec 2020), the island wasn’t functioning at full capacity due to COVID, so some of the restaurants were closed, and some only opened every other night. But that still gave us enough options to have dinner in a different restaurant every night.
KOBE: A Teppanyaki restaurant and a very entertaining experience. Seating around the cooking station, watch the chef skillfully chop and grill meat, fishes and veggies. It was cool to watch and the food was really nicely cooked.
THE REEF: Located in the same overwater building as Kobe, The Reef has a more quiet and intimate atmosphere. The menu is made of fresh catch from the Maldivian see that can be cooked to your preferences. Perfect for a romantic dinner.
TANDOOR MAHAL: This Indian restaurant was the highlight of the trip! I wish I could remember exactly what I had (I think it was a vegetarian curry), but I can tell you it was so good I almost licked the plate.
PALM: Ideal for both lunch and dinner, PALM serves Mediterranean dishes, on the beach, feet in the sand. If you are looking for a nice salad, some decent pasta or an ice cream, this is the place.
INGURU: This is where we had lunch and a bottle of rose every single day!! The menu is made of classic beach bar options, such as salads, club sandwich,es etc. The food is simple, but the view over the lagoon is incredible!
When booking you trip at Kuramathi, you will have to choose between the different food and beverage packages available. Since all the restaurants are part of the resort, it made sense to us to book the All-Inclusive package.
Upon arrival, we even decided to upgrade to the Select All-Inclusive, which gave us access to all the F&B outlets on the island, including the Champagne bar. I highly recommend going for the Select All-Inclusive. If you choose the Basic All-Inclusive, only the buffet restaurant is included and honestly the food choice is limited and not that great, and the wines were real disasters! The Select All Inclusive package is really what makes Kuramathi one of the best all inclusive resort in The Maldives.
Also included in the Select All Inclusive package : a sunset cruise, an excursion to a nearby island (not available during COVID), snorkeling & wind surfings equipment, as well as daily high tea.
WHAT TO DO IN KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT?
I was initially a little worried to get bored in the Maldives, especially since I am not a diver. But there are way enough things to do in Kuramathi to keep you busy for days. If you are into water sports, you can do windsurfing, paddle boarding, glass-bottom kayaking, wakeboarding, catamaran, etc. Of course, you can also organize diving and snorkeling excursions.
On the island itself, check out the impressive Banyan Trees, the stunning sand-bank, chill in one of the swimming pools, hit the gym, or book the tennis court. There is also a kid’s club, for children aged 3 to 12 years old.
Kuramathi also organizes daily excursions to discover nearby islands, go fishing etc. Evening entertainment includes live band, DJ, outdoor movie sessions, etc. See, it is unlikely you will get bored!
Lastly, don’t miss the sunset cruise. It fills up really quickly, so book it as soon as you arrive. The sunset was amazing and the glass of champagne they offered us was the cherry on the cake!!
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT?
The Maldives has very tropical weather, very hot and sunny all year long with temperatures in the high 20 degrees. However, there are also heavy monsoons from May to October. We visited Kuramathi beginning of December and although we had 2 gloomy days, we didn’t experience a single drop of rain. Some destinations can be attractive offseasons, with low occupancy and discounted prices, but I don’t think that will be a good idea for the Maldives. There would not be much to do in Kuramathi if it was raining all day! Unless you want to relax and spend the day in bed, at the gym, at the spa, or sipping some drinks. That is cool too!
PROS & CONS AND FINAL OPINION ON KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT
I have been waiting to go to the Maldives for so many years, I was really excited when we finally took the plunge, spent the money, and went for it! On the first day, the weather was gloomy and I thought that also the island was nice, the Maldives was SO overrated. But on day 2 as soon as the sun was shining, I had to admit that this place was the bomb! Before going to Kuramathi Island Resort my main worry was that it would very busy, with little intimacy and privacy. We usually book small boutique hotels, so we were not 100% sure we would fully enjoy such a massive resort.
But the hotel has done an amazing job and all the rooms and villas are set up in a way that you don’t really feel that there are over 350 rooms. Of course, traveling during COVID, when they had a reduced capacity helped a lot too.
The all-inclusive package was perfect to enjoy a variety of cuisines, and drinks without having to think about the final bill.
Overall it was a great first experience in the Maldives, and I can’t wait to go again. Below is a quick recap of what I really liked and the things that let me down a little:
I LOVED <3
- Having access to all the restaurants, thanks to the Select All-Inclusive package. The Reef, Kobe, and Tandoor Mahal were great.
- The amazing beaches and the sandbank
- The modern overwater villa with a pool
- The Champagne bar !!
- Kuramathi is quite close to Male airport and the transfer was well organized.
COULD BE BETTER
- Checking in was pure chaos, they didn’t have the right reservation, and it took about 1 hour to get to our villa. But the staff was super nice.
- The island is quite big, and some bikes would be handy to move around (They are buggies, but it is not as convenient).
- The buffet is okay only and could use more variety. The wines included in the buffet were really bad!
Thank you for reading my review of Kuramathi Island Resort. From the researches, I did before traveling and our experience there, I really think Kuramathi is one of the best all-inclusive resorts at a reasonable cost, you can find in the Maldives.
I hope you liked it and will consider it if you ever go to the Maldives. It is truly paradise. If you have any questions about the hotel or the Maldives in general, don’t hesitate to drop me a message in the comment box below, or get in touch on Instagram.