Best Experience for: Couples, Honeymoon, Beaches, All-Inclusive, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving
Updated November, 2022
Kandolhu Maldives guarantees even more than just your dreams of an unforgettable honeymoon in the Maldives. Soaked in romance, with an incredible house reef snorkeling, couples are bound to fall in love with this cozy island.
Those who have heard of Kandholhu Island know that this is one of the best house reef in the Maldives. Only resorts in the country's southern atolls can compare or surpass. An additional draw is clean and soft sandy beaches, all around a small round island whose shape in Maldivian standards is a rarity. So snorkeling is the best you can find between your water villa, the beach and the many restaurants of this 5 * boutique hotel.
Located 70 kilometers southwest of Male in North Ari Atoll, Kandolhu Island is an idyllic place in the Maldives, 25 minutes by seaplane from Velana international airport. Entering the prestigious chain Small Luxury Hotel of the world, the size and structure of the resort creates a sense of maximum privacy and is ideal for couples.
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The fairy tale in Kandohlu Maldives begins with a 30-minute trip by seaplane over turquoise waters dotted with inhabited and uninhabited islands. Visually, the island is as close to the 'intstagram-perfect' mental image people have when you think of the Maldives. One of the small resort islands, Kandohlu is the perfect advertising postcard with fine white sand, stunning crystal clear water and tall palm trees against the blue sky. Friendly turtles waving their flippers at you from the shallows of the crystal clear turquoise lagoon - it really is almost a parody of a perfect tropical paradise.
This luxurious place was designed by Maldivian architects and furnished with a simple but elegant chic with elements of European decor. And if some hotels in the Maldives can not successfully solve this problem, the inner and outer beauty of Kandohlu in success should satisfy your mental image of the Maldives.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted on the pier with soft drinks before escorting along the spotlessly manicured sandy paths to their rooms. And although the resort has a chic, open lobby, check-in at the villa is normal. After a quick orientation and explaining the many services available in the room and the resort, guests are left to enjoy their well-deserved holiday.
Opened in February 2014, the main accent of Kandohlu Maldives is privacy and relaxation. The resort and its facilities are aimed at maximizing the time in private villas to minimize the interaction of couples or families with other guests. Therefore, if you are looking for an island with wild parties or a resort with planned group activities, you can strike out Kandolhu Island from your list - although on the island's offer there are many excursions and places to just sit and relax, read a book, drink or snack, or simply soak up the sun.
A first-class 5 star luxury boutique hotel, Kandolhu Maldives is home to 30 villas, all with private terraces and a stunning ocean views. Surrounded by one of the most colourful and lively house reef in the Maldives and next to excellent dive sites - this is a perfect option for true connoisseurs of the marine life ... and Kandolhu also offers various packages including full board. The resort has 4 à la carte restaurants, a classy beach bar, YOUR Varu Spa, a diving school, a library, a lounge, and an excellent gym. A very popular choice with a honeymooners this idyllic island has all the pros for privacy, limited socialization and relaxed holiday. Top-class and modern villas are stuffed with all the luxurious accessories from terry towels to wine coolers and are equipped with open bathrooms, have their own sand areas and private pools.
What really makes the island though is the staff; the level of service, combined with the genuine warmth and friendliness of the staff is truly remarkable. Every detail of the service is so polished and refined, but it somehow also manages to be relaxed and informal at the same time. This is really no mean feat to achieve, yet Kandolhu has pitched it perfectly, with all the staff delivering exactly the same impeccable service, all of the time, yet nobody is standing on ceremony.
The Kandolhu island is taking the risks presented by Covid very seriously. There is a rigorous and consistent policy re hand washing and masks for staff in which it is clear that every member of staff has been very well-trained. Kandolhu is also unusual in that it offers paid leave for staff self-isolating due to Covid.
Kandohlu Maldives is located on a private island (formerly Kandolhudhoo Island) in North Ari Atoll. The resort is a small barefoot island only 15 minutes walk around and 7 minutes across. Surrounded by a superb house reef with colorful corals and a rich and ambundance marine life, the island is an hour by boat from more than 30 dive sites and four marine reserves.
Their airport hosts will greet you on arrival, check you in for your seaplane, which is a combined flight, and escort you to the terminal featuring a dedicated lounge for you to relax in whilst you wait for your flight. The seaplane trip from Male takes 25 minutes that offers an unforgettable bird’s eye view en route to this Island resort in Maldives. At the seaplane platform, you will be met by Guest Services team and a quick 10 minutes speed boat ride will take you to Kandolhu Maldives. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
As an intimate Maldives luxury resort, Kandolhu offers just 30 villas in 5 different styles, but the main points are featured by the details. Each villa uses soft, natural colors, and specific wood to brighten up the living space, and emphasize the minimalist design to create a simple, yet elegant atmosphere. Some may find this image too simple for 5 * stars resort, but the overall strategy is combined into a luxurious country style. Spacious and simple but chic rooms with private facilities, most with en suite bathrooms in the open air and with either direct beach or the lagoon access with clear views to the Indian Ocean. All of these Maldives villas feature local architecture with modern interiors.
Regardless of the type of room, you can expect comfortable beds of the largest size with down mattresses, icy air conditioning, outdoor private decks, large flat-screen TVs, high ceilings, polished surfaces, and key-dependent electricity. In addition to the expected bathrobe and slippers, in the toilet you will find laptop-sized safes, umbrellas, lights, iron, and beach bags. Well-designed details can be found in every corner, from information iPads and adapters to an impressive selection in the mini bar and a daily refilled personal wine cooler, large soft towels and toiletries in the bathrooms. Other bathroom features include a stand-alone bathtub, sinks, double sink, and organic VOYA makeup. Many bathrooms are outdoors or require you to go outside that means overcoming the heat and humidity to wash your hands, brush your teeth, or use the toilet.
The top rooms, such as Ocean Pool Villas feature a private infinity pool and a glamorous, open glazed bathroom with sliding doors that open onto large decks equipped with outdoor furniture and panoramic ocean views. Medium-level accommodation, Duplex Pool Villas show a two-level structure with dedicated living rooms, terraces, fully-open bathrooms and private pools on the lower level.
The Ocean Pool Villas offer the best experience at Kandolhu. Each interiors include an oversized bedroom with king bed, day bed and walk-in wardrobe. Ocean Pool Villas feature a private infinity pool and a glamorous, open glazed bathroom with sliding doors that open onto large decks equipped with sunloungers, sun umbrella and a plunge pool (7 sqm) and infinite views of the Indian Ocean.
Medium-level accommodation, Duplex Pool Villas show a two-level structure with dedicated living rooms, terraces, fully-open bathrooms and private pools on the lower level. The ground level includes a dedicated living area with daybed, a wardrobe and a garden bathroom with shower, twin vanity, freestanding bath. The veranda at the front offers an outdoor daybed and dining area
The top floor of each beach suite has a bedroom, a bathroom and a small terrace-balcony. Villas are scattered along the beach, but each is protected by a screen of lush tropical vegetation, providing privacy to their guests, and there are two wooden terraces with furniture and a private pool. The bathrooms in these rooms are located indoors, overlooking the rear deck, although they have a large outdoor shower in the garden. Even the lower category of Jacuzzi Beach Villa has its advantages in the form of two outdoor showers and a Jacuzzi. The only problem for guests is to decide where to swim - in the sea, in the pool or in the jacuzzi.
All guests receive free two liter bottles of drinking water and turndown service, although the price for a mini bar and a wine cooler will be set according to your meal plan.
If you are not sure which place on the island is best to stay - beach villas from 101 to 105 face to the east, all other accommodation, especially the water villas enjoys colorful sunsets.
Due to the fact that most of Kandohlu's accommodation is located right on the beach, there is only a small section of sand on the island for public use. The main beach is located opposite The Market restaurant and Vilu Bar and is peppered with beach wicker furniture, a handful of umbrellas and soft sun loungers, as well a some sofas, in the shade of mangroves. The warm waters around the island are so clear that you can easily see schools of small fish playing in shallow waters, as well as reef sharks and other curious sea creatures, just by knee-deep into the sea.
Amazing number of restaurants for such a small island; for breakfast buffet; lunch and dinner is only on the menu; Breakfast, lunch, dinner at any of 4 intimate, à la carte gourmet restaurants, during their opening hours. In 2022 Kandolhu Maldives raised the bar as an esteemed dining destination in the North Ari Atoll by welcoming Executive Chef Andrew Smith into its fold
The quality and choice of F&B is again astonishingly high. The extensive choices is all available, and even when You order off menu, on a bit of a whim, the chef came up trumps every time with something incredibly delicious.
Because of its tiny sizes, Kandohlu is able to offer its guests an à la carte menu in all four restaurants. The choice of cuisine is really impressive, from a tiny six-seater Japanese teppanyaki, Banzai; up to a large grill with a showcase of fresh seafood and a traditional tandoor in the Sea Grill; to the dishes of Mediterranean cuisine on the second floor of the Italian Olive restaurant with sea views and finally The Market representing the tastes of international cuisine on the menu.
The only open all day The Market starts the day with a healthy and hearty breakfast buffet with porridges, meat dishes and cheeses, as well as products of its own production from bread to yogurt, muesli, fresh juices and of course dishes from the menu with traditional Maldives , East Asian, and a typical European / American popular, familiar to everyone food.
In 2018, Kandolhu Maldives opened its fifth Ata-Roa restaurant serving Mexico and the best Peruvian street food. The menu is simple and easy, with a classic and unique look at Cevic and tacos. Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 12-4pm, Ata-Roa has a strong emphasis on intimate service and authentic execution using the finest ingredients with focus on local. It is located on the Noovilu Sports jetty; guests are invited to sit down grill-side to watch their food being prepared by the skilled team while enjoying a gentle sea breeze and beautiful ocean views, or grab their selections take-out style and head back to their villa to enjoy. All is perfectly paired with Mexican beer and craft mescal and pisco cocktails. The design and branding of Ata-Roa draws inspiration from the “Day of the Dead” Mexican traditions, and Peruvian Nazca lines, which add an additional level of authenticity and is already receiving wide acclaim from guests. The space will also be used as a pop-up location for various food-related events, including Spanish wine and Basque pintxo nights, and exclusive degustations with Chef Mickaël.
There are three meal plans to choose from, starting with the basic "bed + breakfast" option, until the full board, with the "À la carte dining" plan between them. Room service is also available at an additional cost.
Meal Plans: Expect three meal plans to suit different needs.
Bed & Breakfast
Breakfast at The Market
À La Carte Dining
Breakfast, lunch, dinner at any of our 5 intimate, à la carte gourmet restaurants, during their opening hours
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner at any of our 5 intimate, à la carte gourmet restaurants, during their opening hours
- Over 30 handpicked, international wines and sparkling wines included, available at all 5 restaurants and Vilu Bar, and included in your very own villa wine chiller
- Wide range of international branded premium spirits available in-villa and all outlets, preferred pricing on ultra-premium spirits, extensive martini / cocktail list and European beers
- All soft drinks, juices, smoothies, specialty coffees and premium teas, mineral water
- 10% discount on all Varu Spa treatments
- One private Snorkelling Tour around Kandolhu house reef with guide aboard Stingray speedboat or one Champagne + Canapé Sunset cruise, once per person per stay
- Complimentary snorkelling equipment and unlimited usage of a wide range of non-motorised water sports
Beach bar and minibar in the villa, as well as a selection of wines for your villa wine chiller
Sharing the roof with The Market restaurant, the Vilu Bar is open throughout the day and offers a covered setting or on the deck overlooking the ocean with comfortable wicker chairs with low tables (there are ashtrays). The list of drinks in the bar features a full and inexpensive (for the Maldives) a wide range of international and local quality liqueurs, a great wine list, and a some beers. While this space is almost empty during the day, many guests could do with a drink before or after dinner.
Snorkeling and Other Activities
Snorkeling in the Maldives is a must and Kandolhu house reef offers one of the best snorkeling experience in this part of the country. Other activities are PADI dive shop, water sports, spa, gym and a boutique.
In addition to stunning natural beauty, one of Kandohlu Island's features is its natural house reef where daily snorkeling with turtles, blacktip sharks, rays, and not to mention the large variety of colorful fish are common. Kandolhu offers complimentary snorkeling gear for all its guests. Additional snorkeling trips are also organised to other nearby reefs on regular basis at extra charge. Easily accessible from the beach, the house reef is set right around the island providing for hours of snorkeling adventures. There are three exits to the edge of the house reef: one from the north and the south, and one on the east side. Guests of water villas can explore the marine life right from their doorstep. Also, twice a week there are boat excursions with a glass bottom.
Some of the best dive sites in the Maldives are also near the island, so even if you are not yet certified diver, you can get a diving certificate here in Kandohlu. In addition to scuba diving, the diving center provides guests with water sports, including windsurfing, catamaran, and sapsurfing. The resort can also organize day trips to neighboring inhabited islands for a local culture glance, night fishing, sand bank picnic, sunset cruises, and even organize unparalleled wedding ceremonies.
If it is very hot for you, or you dreaming about full relax, Varu Spa is the place where you will get massages, scrubs, and other therapeutic or beauty treatments using VOYA brand products. And it does not matter whether or not you have an appointment, you can still use the steam room, sauna and outdoor pool in the recreation area. Those who keep themselves in fit should be delighted with a first-class gym with cardiovascular equipment or strength yoga lessons. At Kandolhu, guests now have the opportunity to further indulge in the healing powers of touch therapy with its newly refined Well-Inclusive Spa programme. In 2019, Kandolhu Maldives has launched a new all-inclusive spa concept. The new offering provides unlimited access to the entire range of spa treatments, including VOYA body experiences, YonKa facial treatments, skincare options, and a wide range of specialised massages.
The resort also has 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, a library on the second floor, a lounge with a panoramic view, a local boutique with goods ranging from postcards and swimsuits to sunscreens, jewelry and clothing.
When it comes to beautiful surroundings, very few other resorts for the honeymoon in the Maldives can compete with Kandolhu Island. The taste of the ocean or international cuisine in a marriage with untouched nature, both under and over the water, a boutique luxury accommodation and an exceptional private life create the ideal experience that the Maldives is so famous for. If you are looking for a romantic tropical paradise, Kandolhu should become a cherry on your wedding cake on the lists of the main world's honeymoon destination.
Pros: What We Like
- 5 * boutique hotel with good privacy, a great activities, and an easily accessible house reef. There are the turtles, rays, sharks on the reef.
- Ideal for honeymooners. Absolute solitude, relaxation and peace. There are no guests with children.
- Gym with high-quality cardiovascular equipment and gymnastics
- Spa with access to the sauna or swimming pool
- The staff is brilliant, friendly, always ready to help.
- A certified dive shop with a full set of PADI courses, including diving for beginners, as well as snorkeling and water sports
- Luxury villas with Jacuzzi, outdoor showers and ocean views
- Thoughtful rooms are equipped with aipadami, wine fridge and mini-bar, adapters, and lanterns
- Four à la carte restaurants and a beach bar with several food options provide a variety of meals
- Beautiful beaches
- Free Wi-Fi
- The room has a modern audio system with an I-pad connected, in which all the information about the hotel (restaurants and spa menu, hotel scheme, etc.) is very convenient.
What You Need to Know
- Browse through the extensive range of SPECIAL OFFERS at our all inclusive Maldives resort offering you advantages beyond your dreams.
- Kandolhu is the part of Universal Resorts the most desirable Maldivian hospitality group.
- Very small, beautiful island is 25 minutes by seaplane from Male airport. Please note that guests must share arrival and departure flight details at the time of booking, at least 72 hours prior to arrival.
- Check-in from 14:00 hours; Check-out until 12:00 hours;
- Children older than 6 years are welcome. Children aged 13 years and above are considered adults.
- Limited opportunities for socialization
- Beach villas of a higher category are located on the eastern, more windy side of the island, and because of erosion there is practically no beach
- Some find the design a little soft, for this level of luxury
- Benefits for honeymooners: A wedding certificate stating that wedding was within 6 months of travel is required on arrival.
- 30 minutes massage once per person.
- 3 course candlelit dinner with a bottle of sparkling wine
- Fruit basket and floral bed decoration on arrival
- Kandolhu Maldives has been awarded seven 2019 Travelers' Choice Awards by Tripadvisor.
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