Sharks at Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives and everything else I liked there
Some useful facts about Kuramathi Island Resort
- Similarly to most resorts in Maldives, Kuramathi also covers the area of 1 full island.
- It’s located on 1 of 5 islands of the Rasdhoo Atoll.
- It’s situated just 56 km West from Male Velana International Airport.
- The resort organizes a speedboat/sea plane to take you from the Male airport to the resort and back.
- Kuramathi Island Resort is a 4* hotel but you will definitely get the 5* feeling there. At least I did.
- There’s 360 different rooms and villas (also overwater villas), some have jacuzzis or private pools.
- The resort opened in 1975 but in the beginning there were 3 different hotels. Only in 2009 the 3 hotels merged into one carrying the name of Kuramathi Island Resort.
- That’s why the island is divided into 3 parts (you cannot really see the division). Each part has its own reception and one main restaurant for the guests staying in that area.
- Goood for single people, couples, families.
- Around 100 gardeners are taking care of the flora on the island.
- There’s a medical centre, a few boutiques around the resort, laundry service, foreign currency exchange etc.
- The island is more than 1.8 km long which is long enough for you not to get bored there at all.
- You can or walk around the island, or get one of the free buggies (golf cars) riding around the island. There’s even buggy stops along the roads.
What I enjoyed at Kuramathi Island Resort
The island is a mixture of beautiful white sand beaches and extraordinary jungle vegetation. You will find some rare plants you would not expect in there, such as interesting screw pines that are using many wooden legs stabilizing the trunk. I know those funny trees from Costa Rica where the native inhabitants call them “walking palms”.
- The staff members were super cool, very helpful and smiling. Trying their best for sure.
Unfortunately, the overwater bungalows were fully booked during my stay, so I stayed at a two-bedroom beach house in the last 3rd part of the island. The house was very luxurious and was equipped with an indoor jacuzzi, 2 outdoor showers, tea and coffee facilities, more TV’s. And the house was right on the beach so I could just get out of my room in bikini and go to the sea or relax on the sunbed under a palm tree. A super cute location, let me tell you. Thanks to being able to walk along the sandy beach right in front of my beach house, I didn’t even mind I was not at an overwater bungalow that much. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, right?
- There’s 3 main meal packages to choose from. Bed and breakfast is not possible, but starting from full board. There are 12 restaurants on the 1.8 km long island! So you have a lot to choose from. We tasted the food at 3 of them. The main restaurant for our buffet breakfast and lunch was Farivalhu restaurant with amazing ocean views. I loved the breeze there and the views of the overwater villas surrounded by turquoise sea water. Paradise restaurant setting, indeed.
- We also had one dinner under the palm trees at the Italian restaurant called Palm, and one dinner at Thai restaurant called Siam Garden. At Palm they made me a nice veggie salad and their home-made raspberry sorbet was heavenly! And at Siam Garden we had the nicest Filipino waitress serving us. She was such a cutie! And the chef even made special vegan meals for me: Chinese veggie spring rolls with yummy sweet plum sauce, my favorite vegan massaman curry with jasmine rice, and mango sticky rice with coconut cream. Sticky rice was a bit too salty for me but everything else was delicious and very Thai! I’d call it a good Thai food porn. All those 3 meals I had there were my favorite Thai meals. After having tasting them at hundreds of different places aorund the world, I can honestly say they do know how to prepare traditional Thai meals at the Siam Garden restaurant at Kuramathi. Huge thumbs up to the chef.
- I give Kuramathi another thumb up for being very eco-friendly. The resort even got an eco Travelife Gold certificate. What eco practices do Kuramathi follow? They use paper straws instead of plastic ones, glass bottles instead of plastic ones, and even recycling water system for fields and toilets etc. The water bottles you get in your room are also glass ones, and the same at the restaurant and they get refilled. You can only ask for big plastic bottles if you would like to take them out of the restaurant and drink water on the beach/pool/villa. The hotel has an award winning Eco Centre with loads of information about how to treat nature and animals in an eco-friendly way. They even play documents on eco-friendly approaches and organize discussions for kids to teach them, too. Another fascinating thing is a skeleton of a sperm whale right there at the Eco centre.
- There are 3 public swimming pools on the island, one of them is just outside of the Kuramathi spa. However, my favorite pool was the infinity pool at the Laguna Bar. Watching sunset from the pool was mesmerizing. I also remember little lights in the pool which give the area even a more romantic feeling at dark.
- To get pampered, I recommend you to pay a visit to the nice Kuramathi spa. A big advantage of the spa is that before or after your treatment you can go to the steam or dry sauna. There are both saunas for women in the female changing area, and one dry and one steam sauna for men in their changing area, too. I tried an hour full body Swedish massage at Kuramathi spa. A very sweet Thai lady first massaged my back, back side of the legs, then also legs from the front, belly, arms, head and neck. I had my period at that time and was really tired so I asked her to give me a light massage. Usually I prefer very strong massages as I’m used to those Thai massages with knees and elbows, you know. But this time it was a very relaxing massage as that’s what I chose based on my mood. I also liked the smell of essential oil before and after the massage. And of course as a vegan, I appreciated that the massage was done with natural oil. Another plus was, that after the massage we could relax on beds with the beach view sipping on hot tea. Aw, and I loved the tea bags that had a few words written on them. Such a cute little thing that put a smile on my face. So if you get tea after your massage, do not forget to read what’s on the tea bag.
- 70% of all the leafy greens, salads and plants that are used at the Kuramathi restaurants come from what they grow right there on the island at the Hydroponic garden. They grow for example basil, thyme, hibiscus, mint, coriander, lettuce, tomatoes, edible flowers etc. Yes, at least something locally grown.
- Sand bank – Kuramathi has its own sand bank at the end of the island. It was not far from my beach house so I walked there just before the sunset on my first evening. There’s not much to sand banks, but I am such a sand bank lover anyway. Just walking along one makes me happy :)
- I also appreciated there were almost no mosquitoes around the resort as they fumigate them twice a day (morning and evening).
- One more tip: If the skies are clear, definitely watch the stars at night. I was mesmerized by so many stars, and even saw a falling star early morning just before we left Kuramathi. And that was 5 metres from my beach house, right on the beach.
- If you get bored of the beach, you can go for a walk along the Nature trail and observe lizards, crabs and maybe even some birds.
- Botanic walk is another must-do if you like plants. If you are not familiar with certain plants, the signs will tell you their names. Don’t forget to notice those funny screw pines that look like walking. And remember to check also the 300- year-old Banyan tree. So cool!
- I really appreciated I got all the necessary information both in person and printed waiting for me in the villa. There were no misunderstandings and everything was very clear to me, which is not always the case. Thanks so much for this! Although my Kuramathi stay was a press stay, I do hope regular guests get all the information, too (especially what is included in the package you paid for and what is chargeable extra). No one likes hidden costs.
Sharks at Kuramathi Island Resort Maldives
- My very favorite thing about Kuramathi were the sharks. I was incredibly happy when we went on a guided snorkeling tour around. We saw not only many fish, but also 3 sharks slowly swimming around us. As it was not my first encounter with sharks, I was not scared at all. I even saw a shark when snorkeling on my own just 2 days before that at the Kurumba resort.
- The best thing about Kuramathi? You don’t need to go snorkeling to see sharks. Many baby sharks come to the shore as well. I saw loads of them swimming right in front of my beach house. Each time I went for a walk along the beach, there were some sharks. Once I even spotted 11 sharks altogether for a few minutes. I could stand on the sandy beach observing sharks 2 metres from me in the sea. Isn’t it like the coolest thing ever?
What I think that could improve at Kuramathi Island Resort:
- Wifi was usually very slow, sometimes non-existent at all and that was with good weather. It would definitely not work if it was raining. But on the other hand, most people go to Kuramathi on holidays or honeymoon, so they don’t really need wifi. At least it makes them enjoy it even more instead of spending all day on Facebook.
- Buffet food at the main restaurants. It was not bad at all, don’t get me wrong, but as a gluten-free vegan I didn’t have many options. Fruit yes for sure, but very few salads and simple veggies. There is a vegetarian corner but vegetarian still doesn’t mean vegan and I had to ask to double check. I do believe vegan meals should be properly labelled and I keep repeating it to all hotels and restaurants. It’s a hassle to keep asking what K can eat 3 times per day. So to summarize, there were some meals at the buffet but not much to choose from though. And I haven’t seen any vegan milk/yoghurt for breakfast, nor gluten-free bread or gluten-free cereals.
- I am a nature enthusiast avoiding chemicals at all costs. And although I did appreciate not having dozens of mosquitoes biting me every minute while at Kuramathi, I do hope they will incorporate eco-friendly fumigation instead of the chemical one very soon.
TIP: Here’s a lot more of my photos from Kuramathi Island Resort.