By Deepti Chandak, Editor at Luxpresso Magazine
Kandima Maldives offers extraordinary experiences for travellers worldwide, showcasing unique facilities and activities alike which exceed all expectations year-round. Kandima Maldives is one of the largest Island with a private resort destination which is 3.2 Kms long. It offers a holistic experience packaged along with beautiful accommodations that span across a total of eight diverse offerings from aqua villas, to sky studios, ocean pool villas and more for all tastes and needs including options to have a personal private pool right by the doorstep. Travellers also have the opportunity to enjoy unmatched gastronomy experiences across ten unique restaurants, daily dose of entertainment and rejuvenating lifestyle activities. We reached the destination by Manta Air Sea plane from Male in about 50 minutes, which was a picturesque journey, and we were stunned with the Maldivian sea beauty. We were welcomed by the super amazing team of Kandima at the resort. At a glance it looked like we have definitely reached a paradise. Kandima looked like a tourist destination in itself, where people from different part of the world got together from all over the world across a huge array of nationalities with like-minded objectives – whether travelling as a family or coming solo.
It looked like a destination within a destination, the choices were plenty and it was difficult to decide what all we want to do and we ended up exploring various underwater sports, attended thematic entertainment nights every day, joined morning wellness sessions, learnt art lessons from the local Maldivian artist, experienced unique a la carte flavours around the resort and the list goes on, we were spoiled for choices😊 Just the names of the restaurants made us salivate and swivel, from Zest offering the freshest of flavours for around the globe, to Smoke for grilled sensations and fine dining with an Asian twist at Sea Dragon with its forbidden bar! Read through the article for some of the key highlights from our trip.
Our accommodation at Kandima was modern and stylish and together made for an outstanding stay, with a wide array of options to choose from we had split our stay between the Sunset Beach Pool Villa with Swirl Pool and Aqua Villa with Swirl Pool. Sunset beach pool villa is great for couples, even as a solo travellers, or on a family vacation with kids and offers the best of perks: a direct access to the magical and mystical beach front, inspiring your every day with a palette of colours through endless sunsets and have a fun time playing with kids. The private deck extends towards the pool with endless views of the ocean. It features a king-size bed, a sofa bed, wooden decks at the front with sunbeds and its very own private swimming pool experience, including a Swirl Pool even!Wow, right? Ideal for a family and we absolutely had a great time jumping from swirl pool to the ocean every morning.
On the contrary Aqua Villa with Swirl Pool I felt is great for couples and even solo travellers. It features a private sundeck with a swirl pool, sun loungers, a bathroom with the stunning view of Kandima’s extensive lagoon. Our daily dose of “vitamin sea” was well taken care. We could dive in from our villa and explore the beauty of the sea in our own private space. I would say whether you are looking to explore by yourself or celebrate a romantic companionship this escape is meant for you. Each accommodation has unmatched views of either the beach or the natural lagoon and you will be stunned with the natural beauty.
Kandima is technologically quite savvy, with the Kandima app you can plan your stay in advance no matter where you are and book your experiences as you wish for the coming weeks. Forget about the tiresome queues on your trip, now you can order straight from the Kandima app! Choose your activities, from what’s in store from Yoga session, to planning your evening with a cool dining experience and enjoy our guest dj appearances should you feel like dancing by the moons reflected sea waves. Kandima is literally breaking the monotony of a slow Maldivian resort and there is entertainment day and night for the whole family to enjoy themselves..
If you are an Aquaholic looking to learn diving or addicted to water sports the choices are unlimited. For the time we had we chose what fitted the best for our itinerary. We loved Dolphin Quest Ride where we saw almost 25 to 30 Dolphins jumping and dancing in the ocean, Jetsking experience was mind-blowing, Kayaking was so relaxing for a lazy evening the glass kayak is worth a try as you can see the clear waters below you and explore the stunning corals. Turtle quest and snorkelling was a fun experience as we reached the other side of the DHAALU ATOLL, it was pristine, the corals were colourful and unique, we saw a big turtle swimming right below us. I was indeed a speechless experience, and we were blown away with the beauty of this region. It most definitely ticks off a chunk of our bucket list.
Kandima offers a limitless culinary journey across no less than 10 dining experiences which make one’s stay just that much more exciting as every day, at every moment, a newfound cultural journey submerges your tastebuds with deliciousness. And we tried them all! From a la carte restaurants, the many dining options. It was truly fantastic. We also had a great time sipping coffee at the exclusive cafés, especially the Aroma Café that sits right by the water! Yes, you read correctly, the Aroma Café stands over Kandima’s own private lake, it is truly unforgettable and will certainly stay in my memory forever. Let me tell you about some of the places that we personally loved.
Breeze Pool Bar is the place to relax, unwind, dance or watch that stunning sunset while enjoying the live bands and the latest DJs as you drink tropical cocktails. The resident DJ is amazing, and this turns out to be a fun place to hang out with kids early evening. In case you have missed your mediation/yoga session in the morning you can join for a sunset mediation session by the beach while your family is chilling in the pool.
Azure This chic beach house offers casual dining by day and elegant signature dining on the beach by night with an endless mix of Mediterranean dishes, fish, tapas, steaks, oven-baked pizzas and delicious wines from the wine cellar. The live music performance is spectacular each day at the restaurant, and you would definitely like to repeat.
Smoked is a Grill House that is all about the perfect steaks, fresh fish and incredible sunset views and a lot of vegetarian dishes from the open BBQ kitchen and Teppanyaki grill. Fresh sea food with Live music performance adds an extra wow factor here.
Sea Dragon is a Far East fine dining restaurant that offers authentic Asian cuisine from freshly caught fish to juicy lobsters and crabs. One can make a selection from the display tanks and get ready for a lip-smacking meal prepared by the talented Chef’s. Next to sea dragon was the Forbidden bar that is adults only bar at Kandima. Well if you want to avoid going to parties with the kids this is your escape.
Aroma is one of my favourites for a perfect coffee and desserts over sunset and fish feeding for kids. One can join an Art class while here and unleash the inner creativity. Built just on top of the waters, it overlooks a private lake making your sipping journey exceptional for the eyes and palette.
Flavour and Zest are both all day dining restaurants located at the two ends of the resorts that offers freshest flavours from around the world. And finally a place that will make you travel right from your seat with the fresh variety of delicious halal meat, shisha at the bar and all the dips you can wish for. They have multiple live cooking stations and self-service areas with a separate Kids corner and a cold salad station
One of the very unique offerings at Kandima is the party scene every night, they had the most amazing bands, live musicians and DJs that teams up every evening at different bars and restaurants and create a world class party for you. I personally enjoyed the Rock band that played the most iconic rock songs and to my surprise they even sang a Bollywood track to bid us Goodbye on the last night. The resident DJ played some gripping music at the Beach bar splash party. Kids were splashing the water and dancing along with the adults, it was a super fun experience. Cocktails, Mocktails, Sheesha whatever you wish for are available until 12am every night.
Sea Dragon and Forbidden bar: Look no further. Feel like that special fine dining sitting? Well Kandima has added an Asian twist to that. Here you can relish over the unexpected and step into an adventure of the unknown with the intricate choice of freshly caught fish from the waters of Dhaalu Atoll, to more. But shhh. The Forbidden bar is not far off, accessible through a psychedelic tunnel, here is where you will dance until the end of the night and taste the art of mixology with the best of cocktails.
If you are planning a holistic holiday, a separate Aerial studio is brought to you by no one else than Kandima Maldives, next to a stunningly serene mosque. For emergency, assistance and convenience, a clinic lies nearby with experienced European doctors and opportunities for taking a PCR test if needed.
I must mention some of the cool places at Kandima. The kids club known as the Kandiland is a fun place for kids where my kiddo enjoyed several activities planned for them like dancing, painting etc while I enjoyed a spa session at the esKape spa. Treatments at spa were great from amazing massages, scrubs to healing therapies. I chose for a relaxing massage in a massage room overlooking the ocean. It was a calming experience indeed.
Next to the Aroma café is the Kula Art Studio that offers painting and craft classes for adults and kids, the local Maldivian teacher helps you create a beautiful piece of art you never thought you could have. We got together as a team and created some paintings featuring the Kandima Ocean. What you think of these? Yes, we created it😊
My morning favourite at Kandima was the Burn Fitness studio that offers personal trainer or group sessions of Aqua Fun & Fit, Pilates, Kross Fit , Boxing and both traditional yoga and aerial yoga. I chose to practise Aerial Yoga with the resident trainer at Kandima, he is extremely talented, and I ended up learning a lot of ticks on Aerial Yoga. It was a soulful experience waking up every morning, going for a nice walk on the beach and later practise Yoga. My wellness needs were well taken care.
Nothing one can put in words to sum up the entirety of the experience that Kandima offers, it’s a place where you can unwind, unleash and let go of your city stress and create some of the best memories for life. It has been a magical experience for Team Luxpresso and we cannot wait to go back again to Kandima. Whether you are a party animal, a nature enthusiast or an adrenaline junkie- it is the place to be for your most awaited Holidays!! Bon Voyage.