KOAMAS TRIP TO KANDOLHU ISLAND RESORT - JULY 2015
Our journey to Kandolhu Island Resort in Ari Atoll as by seaplane transfers to the nearby resort of Constance Halaveli which took approximately 25 minutes.
Kandolhu Island does not have a seaplane platform in its lagoon so you will normally be transferred to a close by resort (transfer then by speedboat, approximately 15 minutes). Whilst this might seem a little inconvenient, it is actually much better for such as small resort as there is no disturbance early morning and throughout the day of seaplanes landing and taking off, so the peace and tranquility is retained.
The resort is one of the ‘small luxury hotels of the world’ and rightly so, it is absolutely stunning.
We were greeted on arrival by the General Manager – Marc who is French Canadian and is partner Laura who is the Front Office Manager and from the UK. They are a terrific couple, very friendly and welcoming and clearly love the resort and this is reflected in the great team they have on the island.
The resort like most islands is surrounded by a stunning soft white sandy beach but what’s more Kandolhu boosts an amazing house reef, which is definitely one of the highlights of the resort and guided snorkelling trips are offered by the water sports center.
The island has lush vegetation, lots of trees and bushes but very few flowers as the owners wanted to keep it quite rustic and natural.
Total number of rooms is 30 and made up of Jacuzzi Beach Villas, Pool Villas, Duplex Pool Villa (this was the category I stayed in and loved it), Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas.
The architect is a local Maldivian expert who has designed the ceilings of the villas to look like an upside down dhoni (traditional sailing boat) which give the villas such high ceilings making them feel very spacious.
The villas are all spacious and modern, with beautiful semi open-air bathrooms in the beach villas. The Pool Villas are very private with huge entrance doors at the back of the Villa and direct access to the beach in front of the pool at the front of the villa (with vegetation to still give privacy). The Duplex Pool Villa that I stayed in was amazing. The downstairs was a living area (but could accommodate 2 children) with the main bathroom on the ground floor which comprised of both an indoor and outdoor shower and a huge bath tub and plenty of wardrobe space. Upstairs was the master bedroom with a balcony and spectacular sea view. The en-suite bathroom comprised of a toilet and third shower.
The outdoor terrace on the ground floor was spacious with table and chairs as well as a large couch. The plunge pool is large and very refreshing and all Villa’s face out to sea and only steps away from the beach.
The Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas offer spectacular ocean views and direct access to the lagoon and easy reach to the house reef. The difference between the rooms is the pool and the amazing bathrooms that the Ocean Pool Villas feature. Floor to ceiling class and probably the closest you’ll come to an open air bathroom in a Water Villa as the sliding doors completely open up. However fear not, there are blinds should you wish to have some privacy. These have got to be the most unusual bathrooms I have yet to see in the Maldives and probably one of the most amazing.
The Villa’s are well maintained and the room boys do an excellent job. At turn-down a good night treat is left for the guests, in the form of a different small sweet desert. Delicious!
Talking of delicious, this leads me on the restaurants and the cuisine. Despite only having 30 rooms Kandolhu boasts 4 restaurants and the food is delicious and plenty of choice, not to mention the wonderful service from the food and beverage team.
The Market is the all-day dining restaurant, where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. All meals are al a carte, with the exception of a small buffet at breakfast for continental dishes with hot dishes offered al a carte.
Olive is the Italian, Mediterranean restaurant and I dined here on my second night and it was superb. As well as the menu, there are specials of the day. This gives more choice for those guests staying for longer.
The Sea Grill Restaurant is really beautifully designed. The walls are recycled coral and tables have been arranged to allow privacy and a romantic feel. Choose from a great selection of freshly caught fish, sizzling meat or Tandoor specialties. I dined here on my first night with Marc and Laura and the food was incredible.
Banzai which is very popular and the only restaurant that you need to pre book is the Teppankayi Restaurant where you can enjoy flavorsome sushi, sashimi, meat and seafood.
The Varu Spa offers a variety of treatments, from massages, facials, skin care treatments by Voya and features 4 treatment rooms, and wet area for men and women. The therapists are from Thailand and Bali and are very professional, friendly and welcoming.
Kandolhu offers Bed & Breakfast, A la carte (Half Board, with dining in any one of the four restaurants) or their Ultimate All-inclusive package which not only includes A la carte Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, all beverages including a full stocked wine chiller in your villa stocking 30 handpicked bottles of wine! 10% off Varu Spa treatments, complimentary snorkeling equipment and water sports, plus one private snorkeling tour around Kandolhu reef and one Sunset cruise with Champagne and Canapés.
Overall Kandolhu is a fabulous boutique luxury resort, perfect for couples wanting a romantic experience. Small, intermit, fabulous rooms, delicious food, great Management team and wonderful staff taking care of you. Kandolhu is definitely the ‘Maldives best kept secret’ and exceptional value for money for a luxury boutique resort.
Thank you to Marc, Laura and all your wonderful team for an amazing experience. I can’t wait to return again!