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Reviewed 4 March 2020 via mobile

Just back from a wonderful holiday at this resort, we stayed in a sunset beach villa which faced west of the island which the calmer beach side of the resort. Our villa was spacious and cleaned twice a day , you couldn’t fault the cleanliness throughout the resort.
We have visited the Maldives four times and this is by far the largest island we have been to, we enjoyed the use of the free bikes that came with each villa on all inclusive. Alternatively you can walk around or get a free electric buggy if the heat gets to you. We liked the idea of having your own table in the restaurant reserved for you with your own waiter for drinks although the food was buffet style with a really good selection each day. All of the staff are very eager to please and very helpful and friendly.

Date of stay: February 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank 60nickip
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 March 2020 via mobile

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,

Date of stay: March 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Flucus A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 March 2020

What a fantastic resort on the southern most Atol of the Maldives. Staff are wonderful and very friendly. We stayed for 2 weeks and thoroughly enjoyed it. The villa was quiet and tranquil and offered everything you need including a Jacuzzi. The beach was a few metres through some lovely bushes from the back patio. The snorkelling from the local beach is not great as only about a metre deep for about 2/3 kilometre. However I saw a small black-tip shark and a turtle as well as lots of fish and coral. We stayed in the 600 range of villas, which are a long walk from reception and even longer walk from the restaurant. However free buggies pick you up or you can cycle, Ensure you get the bicycles as the island is long and thin. The staff we all so friendly and helpful with a special shout out to Soli our restaurant waiter who went above and beyond to make our stay great.

The only exception to this was the guide on the snorkelling trip. The trip itself took us to a lovely reef with lots of fish, coral and a turtle. However the guide did not give any guidance on which reef we were going to, what we would see, how deep, how strong the currents were or rules on the coral and fish, ie no touching. There was only 1 guide for 8 people and he did not look after the 2 people who were weak swimmers, I had to keep an eye on them. The guide then went on to stand on the coral, touch the turtle and only look after the group of 4 that had 2 beautiful daughters. I confronted him on touching the turtle and he said ' I was cleaning its shell'. He and the group of 4 hassled and chased the turtle so the rest of us only got a glimpse. I fed this back to the reception staff and got feedback from other guests that they put 2 guides on future trips and did a basic briefing.

The dolphin trip was well worth it, seeing many small dolphins even though the weather wasn't great. Though we got the same snorkelling guide, who completely blanked us.

I did 5 days (15 dives) of diving across a multitude of dive sites. Saw many wonderful Manta Rays, White-tip/Black-tip/Grey Sharks, Turtles, Reefs, Fish and the HMS Royalty wreck. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

My partner had 2 spa sessions and said they were wonderful.

Overall a great relaxing trip, worth the long travel time.

Room tip: Sunset villas overlook the inner sea of the Atol and don't get the strong winds of the sunrise villas.
Date of stay: February 2020
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank tattoosteve2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 March 2020

My husband has wanted to go to the Maldives for over 40 years, and we are just back from a fortnight at this resort. It was everything that we wanted and hoped for. The staff were brilliant, especially Mahir, Hassan and Kumar from the Dhoni bar, and Aslam in the dining room. We found the food good, with plenty of choice and any special requests catered for. The staff want you to have a good holiday and will do their utmost to fulfill any requests. We certainly found our paradise, and if you go there, we hope you find yours too.

Date of stay: February 2020
Thank AnnetteC1143
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 February 2020

We have been to the Maldives on previous occasions and this time chose a much bigger island accessed from Gan Airport, rather than Male.
This meant our experience was very different with a large island offering bike rental (included in All Inclusive) or a number of electric buggies with drivers to take you around or walking, of course.
All of the staff, from reception to waiting to bar staff and cleaners were all very friendly and wanted to make our stay a good experience. The island is run by a company from Singapore and they know what they are doing.
We happened to meet the General Manager on our return flight and he came across as very enthusiastic about what had been achieved since his company had taken over and there are more improvements in the pipeline.
But even given these further improvements planned, we could not fault this resort.
The food selection for the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets was exceptional, bearing in mind all food has to travel quite a distance.
There have been previous reviews about wine choice, but quite frankly, people should remember where they are. Of course the wine would be more expensive than other countries that have better transport facilities. In this resort, if you are not on All Inclusive, most of the wine was around $45 however there is a reasonable Spanish red and wine for $24 including service and tax.
We would order one of these for lunch, have a couple of glasses and then take the bottle back to the villa and fridge. Getting ready later in the evening overlooking such wonderful sunsets with a glass of chilled wine in hand is something we enjoy.
We were extremely happy and surprised at the number and variety of fish when snorkeling in the south of the island, all within waist or chest deep water. It was ideal for people who are not confident swimmers or young children.
We found the ideal time was before breakfast when the fish are feeding and, when we were there, the sea was very still. Later in the day when there was a little bit more sea movement the visibility was not as good.
For those looking for reef edge snorkeling there are boats trips available and, speaking to guests who did this, the size and variety improves with manta rays, reef sharks and larger fish however given how good it was just off the beach we didn't really feel we missed out by not going on a boat, just a different experience.
This resort is clearly aiming for a 5 star experience and we think they are achieving this, at Maldivian standards. Those expecting 5 star Dubai will need to revalue.
One word of warning...this is a larger island so there are more guests and they are from all the world, However there is plenty of space on this island and lots of areas where you can find quiet places to relax.
Regarding locations of villas, this island is long and narrow stretching north to south, so all villas facing east will see the sunrise and obviously vice versa. Villas facing east have to benefit of cooling on shore breeze however this means constant noise of waves on the beach.
Villas facing west are looking out over the Atol so sea very calm but hotter temperature and more effect from humidity.

Date of stay: February 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Lesley M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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