This is what it’s like visiting the Maldives and Kandima Resort
A trip to the Maldives is one of those once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventures. It’s something that has been on my personal bucket list for many years after seeing the stunning images and videos from this far-off-place in the middle of the Indian ocean. A place with mind bending shades of blue water and luxurious resorts.
Our trip to the Maldives started with a short flight from Sri Lanka, where we flew to the main island of Malé. We were greeted by a representative from Kandima (the resort we’d be spending the next 5 days). From there, we boarded a local seaplane (arranged by the resort) to fly us directly to Kandima, one of the largest resort islands in the Maldives at over 3km long.
Our flight from Malé to Kandima took about 45 minutes and was one of the most scenic flights I have ever taken. In some areas, the sea is littered with stunning atolls (coral reef islands with water in the middle). While a passenger in front of us fell asleep, our eyes were glued to the windows taking in every second of this incredible flight. [Be sure to check out our video below to get a sense of what it’s really like to visit the Maldives and stay at the Kandima Resort]
Excitement grew as our Manta Air seaplane descended on approach to Kandima. Once we landed on the smooth blue sea, a boat greeted us at a floating dock to ferry us to a jetty. While the crew took care of our luggage, we strolled down the jetty toward reception where we were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink and asked to have a seat in the expansive lobby while they checked us in.
After getting checked in, we were whisked away on a long golf cart shuttle down a windy path toward the far end of the island where the aqua villas are located––where our luggage had already been delivered to the room. When we walked in we were overtaken by joy as the views from our villa were simply breathtaking. The decor of the villas emulates the colors of the sea. The accommodations mirror the surroundings, bringing the various shades of blue into the interior. The room and deck were spacious, which included privacy walls on each side of the villa. They even had a Nespresso machine and refrigerator in the room, along with a welcome basket. A cup of coffee enjoyed on the deck with those ocean views really got the day off to a perfect start. We felt like we were indeed in paradise.
There are several types of accommodations at Kandima, but the two primary choices are on the beach or over the water. Both have their appeal, but for us, we did not know if we would ever get another chance to stay in a villa over the water, so that is what we opted to do. The aqua villas are perched above the water overlooking the sea, secured by sturdy pillars grounded in the sea bed.
Each villa/accommodations (beach or over the water) is well designed so as to provide optimal privacy for each guest. The aqua villas are jetted out a bit from the next with privacy walls and your own swim platform so that you can enjoy the beautiful blue waters right from your Villa. Some villas have their own plunge pools, while others, like ours, had a Jacuzzi. There is plenty of space to rest and relax. These units feature a private sundeck with a Swirl Pool, lagoon access, sun loungers and a bathroom providing perfect views of Kandima’s extensive lagoon.
Kandima offers affordable luxury with rooms starting at just $200 a night and go well north of there depending on time of year, accommodations, and other packages.
Thoughtful care has gone into every decision at Kandima, from the accommodations to the sustainability of the resort. The staff is also very friendly and helpful.
THE UNIQUENESS OF THE MALDIVES
The Maldives is a unique place in that other than the capital city of Malé, there are no large islands where people vacation, Like Hawaii or Tahiti where vacationers would have many hotel, restaurant and activity options. Rather, the Maldives is made up of more than 1000 small island covering 35,000 square miles. Only about 200 of the islands are inhabitant or have hotels. Each hotel encompasses an entire island, so it’s really important to do your research when selecting the right resort.
Some properties are so small that you might get board if you stay too long. This happened to someone I met who stayed two weeks at the same resort and said it was a week too long.
STAYING AT KANDIMA RESORT
Kandima Resort is one of the largest islands in the Maldives and has an endless array of activities, which I cover below.
The island that Kandima encompasses about 2 miles long (or 3.2k). If you don’t feel like walking everywhere, you can board a shuttle at various stops, or, you can rent a bike, which is what we ended up doing. Having bikes gave us the freedom and flexibility to navigate the island without having to waste time waiting for the shuttle.
The Kandima Resort is so large it’s like a mini city. We spent five days there and only began to scratch the surface with all the activities they have to offer. Between activities and eating, we barely had time for relaxing, let alone to see or experience everything the resort has to offer. This is one of the reasons Kandima is perfect for longer vacations, you could easily spend two weeks there and not get board.
ACTIVITIES AT KANDIMA RESORT
Some of the things we did during our stay included…
- SEABOB – This is something I had never tried before and let me tell you, it was an absolute blast! If you’re not familiar, a SeaBob is high-end underwater scooter, seemingly something straight out of a James Bond movie. This device is halfway between a jet ski and an underwater scooter, it allows you dive into the water and zip past corral reefs where you’ll see an array of colorful fish and sea life.
- JET SKIING – Another day we went on a jet skiing tour to the other side of the island. These are not your ordinary jet skies, but rather high-end personal water crafts that cut through the water with ease.
- AQUAHOLICS – No matter what water sport you’re into, the folks at Aquaholics can hook you up! From sailing and other wind sports, to water skiing or wake-boarding, kayaking and more.
- SPA – If you need a break from the sun, they have an incredible spa with views of the water and relaxing sounds of waves. After your treatment they have a lovely lounge to relax and enjoy some tea before your next activity.
- ART CLASSES – Another fun indoor activity that we did was an art class from local Maldivian Zima who teaches you to paint a scene representative of the sea. We picked what we thought was the easiest to paint and worked on it together. Zima is a great instructor and very patient with her students. Our finished paining was of a manta ray swimming through the colorful waters.
- SNORKELING – Of course you can’t visit the Maldives without going diving or snorkeling, so we went on an Sea Turtle excursion, unfortunately we didn’t see any turtles on this trip, but snorkeling over a vibrant coral reef was plenty of consolation.
Something else we really enjoyed at Kandima was that it never felt crowded, there was always some place you could go and find solace or your slice of paradise.
Food and drink is also big part of the overall experience and Kandima. They have a number of outstanding dining options. There are two buffets providing breakfast, lunch and dinner which are really well appointed. There also have several a-la-cart restaurants taking diners on a culinary journey.
For those not ready to call it a night, the evening comes alive with live entertainment at some of the restaurants, as well as late into the night at the Breeze Bar.
If you feel like you’ve overeaten, there are plenty of ways to burn off a few calories with a workout facility, soccer (football) field, yoga classes and more.
Kandima is a resort that has struck a great balance. They offer affordable luxury to couples looking for a romantic get-away, while also being family friendly. This is a stylish island resort setting with extraordinary restaurants, plenty of on-site activities, coupled with genuine hospitality making for lasting memories.
If you have any questions about visiting the Maldives and staying at the Kandima Resort, leave a comment below, I’m happy to help! Until next time, we’ll see ya on the road…