We spent the last day of our trip at one of the Maldivian island resorts. I chose a resort close to Malé so that we did not need to travel far and maximize our last day in the Maldives. At first we were little disappointed that the resort told us the boat would only take us at 12 noon but in the end, they told us we could take their speedboat that left 9 AM from the airport.
I was both excited and anxious to see how the last night in the Maldives would go since we had a wonderful experience at Ariston Dhangethi but a slightly average one at Guesthouse Cokes Beach Maldives. I was pretty convinced that a resort island would be impersonal or far too commercial. We were glad it turned out to be the opposite. Here are some of our favorite (and not so favorite things) about Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa.
Aside from the discounted price, the main reason that we had chosen this resort is that it is located near Malé. It meant that we could maximize our time in the island without having to worry much about getting to and from the airport. It is actually only 25 minutes away from the Velana International Airport. The southern and eastern side of the island had a view of the industrial island of Thilafushi though, so try to to get the sunset over-the-water villas if you want some privacy and unobstructed views of the sea (and sunbath naked, as what le hubby did).
We had initially booked a beach front deluxe room but to our surprise, we had gotten an upgrade to a sunset ocean villa! While I thought ocean villas were not really a ‘must’ and just ‘over-the-top’, I’m glad we had a chance to experience it. There was something so fun and relaxing to be sleeping and being so near the ocean. Our room had stairs straight into the water for swimming, our own sunbeds for tanning, the bed was nice and comfortable, and the bathroom was quite spacious. My only ‘con’ is that they did not have bath robes which would have been nice to lounge around when we had curtains opened and we faced the sea (which is one of the resort’s snorkeling areas).
After staying in local islands without frills, the facilities in the resort were a complete luxury. Some of the facilities they had (which we did not use) were: free use of SUP and kayaks, the pool, a gym, a games room, free dance and yoga classes in the mornings, and an in-house spa. We did manage to borrow gear for snorkeling (after a swim test), visit the clinic (I suddenly developed muscle spasm), and my favorite part of the resort was the Chill Lounge, which is an air conditioned common room of sorts with a TV, free hot beverages and cold water, and a shower and toilet. This was available not only to the guests, which is a good refuge after walking around the resort in the heat, but you could also use it if you arrived earlier than check-in or left the island later than check-out and your room is no longer available. BONUS: not really a facility but if you are interested in running after baby sharks (which I was), check out the lagoon outside the fitness center. I was swimming with and running after a small school of black tip sharks and a sting ray. They find sanctuary in this lagoon and you can find them hanging out here minding their own business.
There were several dining outlets in the resort and we got the chance to visit three of them. The buffet breakfast was served at Ocean Restaurant and it had a very good spread of breakfast food from both Western and Asian cuisines. Lunch and dinner buffet meals are also served there. We spent watching the sunset and had cocktails at Viu Bar. The bar had a fish feeding activity at 5 PM and it attracted some pretty cool animals such as rays, reef sharks, and some big fish around the area. It was a good way to be spending the end of the day. We had a very good dinner at middle-eastern inspired restaurant called Al Khaimah. Our only regret was that we ate something during cocktail hour and our dinner was left unfinished. Reservations are encouraged here and this outlet was not part of the dining package of the resort. Meals can also be ordered from the bar at the lobby; they are cooked in the other dining outlets and then served to you.
The Centara brand is Thai based so it was not surprising to see that there were a lot of Thai staff, apart from the Maldivians. There were some Filipinos, too! And just like in Dhangethi, we were given the same kind of hospitality we had experienced on the first leg of our trip, which was wonderful because our stay in Thulusdhoo was not as amazing as we hoped it would be. Overall, our stay here made us feel that we did not want to leave the Maldives at all and we were definitely coming back.
Our only regret was that we decided to book only one night here. Our stay at the Centara was the perfect end to our two-week holiday. The Maldives will always be the tropical paradise dreams are made of and we are more than happy to come back to this country and explore the rest of its 1,192 islands.