Kandolhu was our second resort in the Maldives where we would be spending our last 3 days. Reached by seaplane from Male airport (a first for Ogi and I) and a short boat ride. Getting to the island was super exciting, the direct seaplane ride is about 25 minutes which seemed to be much shorter because I was constantly looking out the window, admiring the scenery. It is breathtaking seeing all the islands from above, one of the most beautiful sights I have ever encountered. We were dropped off on a floating pontoon in the middle of the sea waiting for our boat to pick us up. It is such so small that only one boat can dock at a time.
Kandolhu Resort is part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, only 3 other resorts in the Maldives are part of this luxurious and intimate concept. This tiny private island is embraced by beautiful white sand beach and coral reef. With 30 beach and over-water villas, 4 great restaurants, a spa and plenty of water sports.
Laura, the assistant manager awaited for our arrival at the pier, along with two glasses of freshly prepared mango smoothies, yumm! There was no time wasted with check-in, we were quickly taken to our villa where we were provided with the necessary documents for our stay. We loved how efficient they were, giving us more time to settle in.
Our Pool Villa was spacious, with wooden details and minimalistic decor. Big windows allowed us to take advantage of the natural lighting and enjoy the view of the pool. A grand bathroom with a bathtub overlooked our very own private beach. This is paradise indeed! Now this is just the introduction to our room, there was so much more to excite us. Each room has an Ipad with all the necessary information about the resort, a beach survival kit including; towels, a reusable water bottle, frisbee and wait for it….a Go Pro Hero5 along! Yep every single room comes with its own Go Pro to use during your stay, so each guest can capture their special moments on the island, this alone really surpassed all our expectations.
Aerial view of our stunning pool which lights up at night.
Another unique feature in the villa is a wine chiller with 30 hand picked wines. When booking your stay, you have the choice of 3 meal plans; breakfast only, a la carte dining (which includes all meals at all restaurants but no alcohol,) or the “ultimate inclusions” which you have access to all restaurants, all the cocktails you want and the wines that come in your villa (all 30 of them.) I highly advised going for the last option!
Our very own private beach.
The Varu Spa (meaning energy in Maldivian) is an oasis on it’s on, located in the middle of the island hidden between all the lush greenery. We loved the interiors and could not stop admiring the chandliers which resemble clouds. Making our way to the relaxation area, where we found a sauna, steam room, cold pool and rain showers. We changed into our robes and made our way to our couples massage. Varu Spa uses VOYA, which are seaweed based products from Ireland that we already knew and love. The massage was energising as the spa name suggests, the highly trained theraphists worked on the right pressure points freeing us from any pain. We finished our treatment by relaxing with a tea of our choice and slowly made our way for dinner with a big appetite.
As I mentioned before, Kandolhu has 4 restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, Indian, Mediterranean , Seafood and even Japanese. It has the highest restaurant per guests ratio in the entire Maldives! This is such a bonus for a foodie like me. We tried 3 of them, all fantastic but I need to rave about our last dinner at Olive Restaurant, with panoramic views of the ocean. The head chef is a young French who creates innovative and delicious Mediterranean style dishes with a touch of the famous French art of presentation combined with refined taste. We had a 5 course dinner, every dish was fantastic following by an amazing nougat glace dessert. We loved each dish so much that we forgot to share it with you!
Aerial view of the restaurants premises.
For such a tiny island easily walked around within 10 minutes, Kandolhu offers an amazing variety of activities. It felt like we spent most of our time underwater, snorkelling around the island. I lost count as to how many sharks we saw and I got up close and personal to one very friendly turtle! Kandolhu is just a few minutes from some of the best dive sites in North and South Ari Atoll, with its own diving school. Many excursions are available on board their beautiful sail boat, and for those wishing to take advantage of the crystal clear water surrounding the island then why not take one of their SUP to explore like we did.
We made sure not to miss the magical Maldivian sunsets on our two nights there, one seemed to outdone the other. Sadly they didn’t satisfy my desire for sunsets, I think we need to be back for many more.
I loved the fact that Kandolhu is run by an amazing team, we enjoyed getting to know Laura during our tour of the premises. Along side the GM, Laura and her team are working hard to bring forward innovative ideas and concepts to the island, solar sustainability being one of them. Further on, they make sure that no matter how short or long your stay is, your days are fulfilled and every experience will me remembered forever.