Canareef Resort Maldives
What We Love
- An idyllic stay at a beachfront villa in the stunning Maldives, with breakfast, lunch and dinnerWatching the sun set over the Indian Ocean from your villa's private terrace
- Lounging on powdery white sand and taking a dip in the bright turquoise water
- Heading out on a dolphin cruise or diving with manta rays
What To Know
- The resort is huge and pretty spread out; you can rent bikes for $4 per day, or use their buggy service which is free
- Villa bathrooms are entirely outdoors – be on the lookout for bugs, especially at night
- Free WiFi is extremely spotty, but that's to be expected given your island locale
If you close your eyes and picture an island paradise, you’ll probably see something similar to the Maldives. With powdery white sand, lush green palm trees and bright turquoise water, this island nation in the Indian Ocean is among the most spectacular in the world. Hidden among a collection of cerulean atolls, you’ll find Canareef Resort Maldives. This resort promises a stay like no other, and even getting there is part of the adventure – you’ll fly over the equator and take an exhilarating speed-boat ride from the airport.
The resort itself is just as impressive as the location. The beautiful villas are separated by lush greenery, and each offers access to the private sandy beach, where you can lounge and gaze at the sparkling Indian Ocean. Inside, you’ll find gorgeous natural materials and a color palette that reflects the scenery and culture around you. These spacious sanctuaries even include bathrooms that are partially open to the outside, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the island.
As lovely as your villa is, there are also plenty of activities in and around the resort to keep you busy – join dolphin cruises, dive with manta rays, explore shipwrecks and take local island tours. After a bit of excitement, dine on local specialties or enjoy a massage at the waterside spa.
Good to know
Guests must contact the resort directly at least three days prior to arrival to inform them of their flight details and the names and number of travelers. This will allow the resort to help arrange for an additional domestic flight and a boat transfer.
Each of the villas offers beach access directly from the bedroom, with sliding glass doors that open up to the soft white sand and infinite stretch of turquoise water. You’ll also enjoy the tranquility of a private terrace – perfect for sipping your morning coffee or a cocktail at sunset. Sunset Beach villas offer 820 square feet of space for you to stretch out in, while Jacuzzi villas feature 1,045 square feet and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Amenities- Flat-screen cable TV – Minibar- Coffee and tea facilities- Wi-Fi access- Air conditioning- Luxury bath amenities- In-room safe- Hair dryer
The island’s three restaurants will provide you with an array of gastronomical delights. Kilhi offers sumptuous international buffet spreads, as well as private dining lounges available for booking. Elsewhere, Dhoni is the perfect place for tropical cocktails at sunset or barbecue seafood dinners on the beach. There’s also Meeraa, which serves exquisite Asian cuisine and a wide range of cocktails at their poolside bar.
Keep your heart pumping with one of the many activities at the resort, including snorkeling, island hopping tours, tennis, beach volleyball and cycling. There’s also a certified PADI dive center on the resort, so you can get up close and personal with the area’s incredible marine life. However, if it’s pure bliss you’re after, stop by Sanctuaire Spa. Secluded from the rest of the island, this peaceful, waterside compound provides private suites for massages and a whole range of detox and beauty treatments.
The resort is located on Herathera Island, in the southern Maldives. Guests must contact the resort directly at least three days prior to arrival to inform them of their flight details, as well as the names and number of travelers. The resort will then help arrange for a domestic flight from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to Gan International airport, and the resort will also provide a boat ride from Gan airport to the island, which takes approximately 10 minutes.
How to Get There
I stayed here from the 23 September 2019 till 28 September 2019. From the time of arrival till we left the island, everything and everyone who worked on the island were very "guest" focused. The Manager was very visible and even came to the pier to thank us for visiting.
For South Africans...look for the direct flights from South Africa to Gan International Airport. These are SAA chartered flights and takes approximately 7 hours flight time. Speak to your travel agent. A slow boat to Canareef from the airport takes approximately 35 minutes and ....you are now on a wonderful holiday.
My suggestion is the half board packages with drinks included.....full board with lunch can be a bit too much food. Spend more time exploring and enjoying the island.
The food is varied, excellent..... coupled with exceptional service.
There are no lifeguards on the island, BUT....swimming and snorkeling at the Beach Bar is excellent and safe.
There is also a very big swimming pool 1.2m to 1.5m dept and it is an excellent place to relax, sip a drink and enjoy the pool.
Fish feeding is from 6pm to 6:30pm on the peer in from of the reception.... get there around 05h45pm....interesting to watch.
It was cloudy, with excellent warm weather during my stay. I booked a sunrise room. not sure why....with overcast and cloudy weather - I did not see the sun setting and hence a sunset room would have made no difference during my stay.
My booking came with a free bicycle use during my stay.....this was great and I use it alot.
My wife and i, together with my son and girlfriend visited this resort last April.
The travel agents ATO were very professional and no issues were experienced ,except for pre-seating arrangements. we were told that this was done on a come first basis instead discovered that most seats were pre-booked! ATO should investigate this as it affects them negatively!
Furthermore SAA plane used had some serous problems with its on board entertainment , as much as they tried to reboot system it did Not work.
The transfer to the resort took far to long ! After travelling 7 hours ,one would expect a quick and professional service , instead it took one and a half hours to get to resort and a further two hours to get to our rooms!!
The rooms were of a high standard although with limited sea view .
Our room cleaner Uzzal needs to be mentioned as very efficient and polite!
The food with the exception of not serving proper bacon for breakfast was of a good quality, with diners being of a high standard . Our waiter Aslam bent over backwards to give us great service.
My wife was unfortunate and hurt her foot against the coffee table and although there was No medical facility at resort , we were assisted by young man called Nabaah whom took us across the bridge to the local clinic. Although we had to pay up front in
local currency equivalent to a about USD 120, the doctor and staff were very efficient.
The taxi to hospital and back to gate also cost USD 20. Nabaah followed up to find out if all was okay and also arranged for our fishing trip. He was a star!!
As a traveler to different destinations, i highly recommend that a full inclusive option is taken when travelling to Canareef , as a cheap bottle of South African wine costs about R700!! lets not mention the other liqueur prices !! eventually our bill grew to R20000 per head agains half board cost of R16990 per head.
All in all i would still recommend this resort for a relaxing holiday!
canareef is a fantastic family destination. Beach Bar beach is a stunning and safe beach where snorkeling is amazing, water is crystal clear. Staff are really attentive and friendly. Our waiter , Athif , went out of his way to organise fresh coconut. The dive centre, sub oceanic dive centre with instructor Issey was really incredible. His friendly and professional nature made for a very memorable 2 dives. Would highly recommend this resort.