Canareef resort is one of the nicest places I've ever had the pleasure to stay in.
Let me provide some details to why I have this impression:
1. The resort is huge, about 4.5 km in lengthand the infrastructure is very well maintained, therefore is easy to get around using either bycicles or the buggy service(free of charge);
2. The Sunset Villas are the best, IMHO, because you have your own beach 10m away from the villa, the sea is calm and the water is like in the movies :)....on top of that, there were times when we were the only persons on the beach, or in the sea....the feeling of being by yourself in that majestic place is worth every penny;
3. The water is not deep at all....you can walk 4-5 hundred meters before water level goes beyond 2 meters...perfect place to learn how to swim, do snorkeling, etc( we've seen very small sharks in the water near the beach twice in 10 days);
4. The staff is ultra friendly, you can see it from the moment you checkin until you checkout ....they will fo everything in their power to make you welcomed and enjoy the experience;
5. The food and drinks are good, not the most diverse( the morning omlet was my favourite), personally, being an european, I would have wanted to taste mango, but they don't have it....the alcohol drinks are very,very expensive ( a bad wine from Spain, that you find in the supermarket at 3-4 $, in the resort it costs ~25 $); the resort wine,white or red, cost 7$/glass and is much better
6. You can do a lot of activities( water sports, scuba diving, they have tennis fields, gym, etc)...again the prices are not cheap
7. Wireless was available in our villa and the main facilities, free of charge.
The thing I enjoyed the most in this resort was the SILENCE and the calm of the area, it was not crowded with turists( according to the manager the resort can facilitate 516 turists, and they have 370 staff members) and we were able to disconnect from the noise and crowd of our daily life.
I would definitely like to go back one day,
We stayed here during October and November 2019 with three children aged between 5 and 10. The island is stunning, whichever room you take you have complete privacy. We stayed in all room types. Sunrise villas are on the outer atoll side so you cant swim here and there is no beach, yet watching the sunrise is a treat and it only takes a few steps to get to the lagoon side beach. Sunset villas are beach side to the lagoon and more practical if you have kids. Jacuzzi rooms are huge, four poster bed, and on lagoon side. All are very practical and pretty. Wifi very good. This place is soo long and narrow, you can hire bikes to explore the 3 miles or just call a beach buggy taxi. Beaches are gorgeous, house reef with 100% visibility. All the usual fish and nice corals. Had a turtle and manta visit our ocean right in front of villa!
Food is so varied and delicious and staff are very friendly and helpful. The in house singing duo at the disco are lovely and my daughters danced the night away with them. Water sports include banana, sup, jet ski etc and they are a fab team. Diving school offering some of the best dives in Maldives including 5 metre resident manta and the biggest shipwreck in Maldives. Olympic swimming pool and another, 2 bars and a beach bar. Gym, spa, tennis courts, kids club. This is a place where you can be as active or chilled as you like. Just a 15 minute speedboat away are four local islands where you must go and feel the love of the maldivians. Loved every minute of being on this paradise!
Pina colada excellence from the fab barmen!
Thank you Canareef and see you soon.
We got a fantastic deal through Secret Escapes, which made our stay even better at Canareef. It's a lovely resort along a long thin island right down the bottom end of The Maldives. Our sunset beach villa was lovely. Big, with a whole separate area where we could store our clothes, bags, food, toiletries, electronics, swimming gear and so on. The bedroom/lounge area was really nice, with a modern TV with USB and HDMI inputs to watch our GoPro footage each day. The beach was a short walk along the sand to our semi-private area.
It rained a little bit while we were there, but we still saw the sunset on one of the nights.
The resort is nicely laid out with restaurant and bar areas, a place for children to play, spa, tennis courts, gym, dive centre, shop, chefs garden (visit to see baby turtles!), and relaxing areas. There is a specific place at the end of the island where you can snorkel around coral and see plenty of colourful fish. It's perfectly safe for children with the water level about 1.5m at most.
You can hire snorkelling gear, paddle boards, and other equipment for the see and bikes to ride around the island. They have electric buggies to take you around as well, you only have to call for one and they arrive quickly.
Definitely do the dolphin cruise as there's a 95% chance of seeing them. We saw up to 50.
The staff were super friendly and helpful and really attentive, recognising you straight away each day and giving personalised service at meals.
The food was standard hotel buffet style.
I strongly recommend organising your transfers to and from the resort through Canareef as it will be cheaper than doing it yourself. You will fly with Maldivian from Male and then take a fast boat. You're met at both airports and everything is taken care of.
Canareef is an excellent resort if you want a bit of pampering, but don't want to pay huge amounts for the experience and also if you don't fancy a see plane flight, it's a great option.
You can write a very long review to describe key highlights of Canareef Resort. Let me to focus only on key areas valid for January/February 2019:
a) everything start on Male airport where local team guides you to the local plane (approx 1 hour trip) and later on within 15 minutes with speedboat you are reaching most southern atoll of Maldives. Passing equator comes with certificate :)
b) dedicated Customer Support representative is present from first to last minute (thank you Aman!)
c) loneliness....this is key word on Canareef. Resort is located on Herathera island - narrow one with approx 4 km of length and 200 meters wide....try to imagine only 100 hotel guests there. For many days we were alone on the beach with no person in sights for several hundred meters.
d) island has two different sides:
- "sunrise villa" side with rocky beach - uncomfortable to swim and "high" 1m waves (January)
- "sunset villa" side with beautiful sandy beach, however you can feel some parts of reef when entering the see without shoes......Even 200m away from the beach, there is not more than 2m of depth....very shallow and safe for kids
e) hotel facilities - huge swimming pool, several restaurants, bar, diving base (amazing experience that deserve another review: mantas, sharks, barracudas just few meters from you for not more than 90 USD all-in-rate/dive), rental of sport equipment, pretty well equipped gym, bike rentals (yes, island is pretty long and you can visit neighbouring island connected with bridge - Hulhumeedhoo), SPA and man more. In addition there are walking tours around small lakes, dolphin tours, fishing, parties with hotel management, crabs races and and and....
f) temperatures and climate - 9 days where only 3 times it was raining but for not more than 15 minutes (only ones during the day time). Most of the time there was full sun or partially behind few clouds. Air temperature of 32 degrees. Water temperature of 29 degrees. Please remember it is most southern atoll of Maldives, below the equator - climate is far better than in Male where sky was fully covered with clouds.
g) room selection - If you are budget oriented select the sunrise villa. You will be forced to walk only for short distance to reach sunny beach on sunset side. Please consider the alco prices (explained below) and think about AI package
h) southern corner - another beautiful part of the island where more reef is accessible for snorkelers. We were told to consider current....Well....Keeping in mind 60 cm water depth for sure you should keep in mind safety procedures, but :)))
i) very friendly hotel staff - always serving you with natural smile
On con side let me to mention few points:
- no real support when travelling back to Male (unfortunately local plane was delayed and we missed flight back home from Male). Responsibility was transferred to Maldives airlines those acted in full professional manner, but....bit of last support from hotel would be appreciated
- drinks prices. I'm not a heavy drinker, but one can of beer for approx 8 USD can ruin wallet in short time (think about All inclusive package). Even 1.5 l of water served to dinner/lunch costs 3.2 USD...water in villas is free of charge
Just recently returned from an amazing, sundrenched holiday at the Canareef Resort in the Maldives. We were fetched from the airport and transported by speed boat to the island where we were greeted by friendly staff who spoilt us with drinks and an ice cold towel. We were then given a map and told about the various facilities available on the island and then transported to our rooms in their very efficient cabbys. The rooms (Jacuzzi Villas) were spacy and fully air conditioned which provided a very welcome relief from the scorching heat. The rooms had an outside shower and a jacuzzi but please note that there is an extra cost payable should you decide to fill it up (not included in the room's cost). The rooms also come fully equipped with bicycles so you can ride around the island or call one of their cabbys that are available 24/7. Try book a fully inclusive package as you will most certainly save in the long run as the drinks are quite expensive and priced in US dollars. The food and service at the restaurants was exceptional and they offered a nice variety from asian foods to the more traditional western foods. Staff made it a priority to get to know you by name as well as your preferences and towards the end of our stay we were all pretty much on a first name basis. Even the manager of the resort made an effort to explain to us the various cultural dishes from the Maldives and we even had a conversation about the 100 year old eggs that are served in some places as a delicacy! The island has a lot to do so one never gets bored, from the tennis courts, to the gym, cycling and snorkeling. There are also jet skis etc. but these are available at an extra cost and are very pricey! There are a few excursions (also extra cost) and I would recommend the Dolphin Cruise as well as the night time fishing. The guides know the waters well and within minutes we had found the dolphins and had caught some fish! The ocean is crystal clear and the highlight for me was spending a full day snorkeling with my family A truly amazing experience! So for a romantic getaway, or a fun filled holiday with the family, I would certainly recommend Canareef!