Spending a day or two in a private island is a must when you visit the Maldives. That’s why when my sister and I planned our trip to the Maldives, we vowed to book even just a single night in one of the numerous island resorts in the country. Initially, I looked for ideas in a hotel booking site and came up with a shortlist of resorts that I thought fit our budget. Of the three resorts that were in my list, I ended up reserving at Kurumba Maldives after learning that it was awarded as the best all-inclusive resort in Asia for 2013 by a highly popular travel website (Kurumba eventually maintained its status in 2014, and even ranked 3rd in the world under the same category). Others may be disappointed about Kurumba because it does not have overwater accommodations which is something that comes into mind when one thinks about the Maldives. On my part, I didn’t care at all because I wasn’t willing to pay for an overnight stay in a water villa in the first place. Haha. I was alright with a simpler accommodation so as long as it’s in the Maldives.
Upon arriving at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, we headed to the Kurumba Maldives kiosk at the arrival area, where a resort staff waited. He collected our luggage and told us that the private boat that would take us to the resort was about to arrive. In less than 10 minutes, we were escorted to the boat and on we sailed towards the resort in Vihamanafushi (the island’s name). Kurumba is just 10 minutes away from the airport, making it very popular among tourists. When we finally arrived, I think I acted like a little kid who couldn’t contain his excitement upon seeing the resort. I just couldn’t wait to explore the resort and the island! We were first asked to go to the lounge beside the big reception area for a short introduction about the resort and some refreshments. We were then told that our room was still being prepared, but the staff made sure that we were comfortable, so they ushered us to the waiting lounge where there were beds, books and overflowing coffee and tea to keep us company while waiting for our room to be ready. It actually took long before we were informed that our room was all set up, but we didn’t get annoyed or anything because the staff were really nice.
Our room was located on the second floor of a structure that housed four superior rooms. The room was spacious at 74 square meters and consisted of the basic amenities—a large bed, mini bar, cable TV, desk, and refrigerator. On top of those, it also had a spacious balcony that offered views of a coconut grove nearby and the beach from afar. There were also a few extras like a luxurious day bed, wine, mosquito repellent bracelets, and even a souvenir teddy bear. But what I fell in love with the most was the open-plan bathroom which had a bath tub right in the middle. It had two showers, one of which is a rain shower that was strategically placed in the open part of the bathroom beside a small garden. I could just lounge on the day bed or in the bath tub the entire day, but the island was already calling to be explored. So, after freshening up, my sister and I started exploring the resort by trying out some snacks at the nearby restaurant. We had delicious sandwiches and milkshakes which cost us an arm and a leg (although we were already prepared for this haha). Afterwards, we took some OOTD shots around the island, went to the water sports center to get our complimentary snorkelling equipment, and bought souvenirs (key chains, magnets, paperweights, etc.; highly expensive but good quality). The island was small enough to be explored on foot and we were just right in time for the view of the sunset by the time we reached the house reef.
We went back to our room to rest a bit and prepare for dinner and the saxophone performance. Unfortunately, due to lack of sleep and fatigue, our rest cost us our entire night! Much to our disappointment, it was already dawn when we woke up from our supposedly “short” rest. So, we just decided to watch the sunrise and afterwards had our breakfast at Vihamana Restaurant. The buffet breakfast was already part of the room package. We were like shameless creatures as we spent two full hours devouring the sumptuous selection of local and foreign dishes alike. After the super heavy breakfast, we changed into our swimming attire and headed to the beach.
I wasn’t bringing an underwater camera, that’s why I had to rent one from the water sports center at $50 per day (4 GB USB flash drive included). I know it was highly expensive, but I thought I might regret it if I wouldn’t rent one and not be able to capture underwater life while snorkelling. The resort offers snorkelling lessons in their house reef, but we weren’t able to join the group so we went on our own. The reef was densely populated with sharp corals and I even got myself wounded, so I would say I didn’t enjoy the snorkelling activity very much. On the other hand, my sister didn’t try snorkelling at all.
After our short snorkelling activity, we went back to our room to arrange our stuff for check out. The resort actually allows guests to stay in the island even after check out and lets them decide on what time they would want to be brought back to Male City so that they can still enjoy the island’s offerings for a few more hours. But my sister and I decided to go back to Male in the early afternoon because we wanted to walk around the capital. So, after having a quick lunch and some pre-departure cocktails, our private boat took us back to the airport.
All in all, Kurumba Maldives is an amazing resort. It may not be very appealing to luxurious travelers, but it is definitely a must-visit for newbies and budget-conscious people who want some total relaxation without breaking the bank. The resort has all the basic amenities that every tourist looks for, and has thrown in some extras to fully satisfy its customers. Food was fantastic. The round trip transfer was costly but still lower compared to other resorts. I was trying to come up with a major negative comment about the resort, but I couldn’t think of one. My only slight disappointment was when they made us wait for an hour to have our room prepared, but good thing the staff made up for it.
TRIVIA: Kurumba is a Dhivehi (Maldivian national language) term for coconut, which is abundant in the island.