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Hotel Review: Kandolhu Island in the Maldives

Hotel Review: Kandolhu Island in the Maldives

Our third resort we stayed at was Kandolhu Island, which is a pretty small resort island with just about 30 villas. The resort is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels. Whenever I pictured the Maldives resorts before going and what it was like, I always thought about some tiny paradise island with a lot of privacy and very exclusive feeling.

While Kuramathi and Maafushivaru were great resorts and offered privacy as well, Kuramathi was a bigger resort island, and Maafushivaru something in between. If you want to visit a smaller island with a good house reef, keep reading and see what it’s like to be a guest at Kandolhi Island in the Maldives! 

Room Standard (Duplex Pool Villa)

Kandolhu Island Resort offers both the iconic overwater villas as well as huge beach villas. We stayed here for 3 nights and stayed in a Duplex Pool Villa. The villa is two floor (hence the name Duplex) and features a big living room area downstairs, big bedroom upstairs with a terrace and balcony, a private pool, 2 bathrooms – one downstairs with indoor and outdoor shower and one bathroom upstairs with indoor shower.

The villas are beautiful and have direct access to the beach. Guests can also enjoy a GoPro that comes with the villas including some grips and a handy beach bag. Inside the bag, you will also see a frisbee, water bottle, beach towels and beach tennis rackets.

The villas had several power outlets at the desk downstairs, and also upstairs in the bedroom. They are multi-power outlets, so no matter which country you come from, it’s possible to charge your electronics. A small, but very helpful detail!

The bed was super comfy with enough pillows, and waking up with that gorgeous view over the beach and turquoise water is just magnificent.

This is what you get when booking a Duplex Pool Villa

  • Comfy bed with fluffy pillows and soft sheets

  • Livingroom area with TV, desk and several outlets

  • 2 Bathrooms with toilets and showers (one is an outdoor bathroom with tub)

  • Balcony with ocean view

  • Terrace with private pool

  • Wardrobe
  • Complimentary toiletries

  • Complimentary Wi-fi

  • Complimentary Water

  • Robes & slippers

  • Minibar

  • Air conditioning /fan

  • iPod dock,

bedroomview villavilla detailskandolhu

The overwater Villas at Kandolhu Island

Since we were here on a media stay, we also got to photograph inside one of their overwater villas. These are very popular and needs to be booked up front since they just have a few of them! But, WOW! these overwater villas are amazing, easily the best ones we’ve seen in the Maldives.

And I think for the price, you get a lot compared to many other Maldives resort islands and their overwater villas.

The overwater villas at Kandolhu are simply amazing. The design is quite simple, yet gives a luxurious feeling since you can choose between a stunning pool or a dip in the most beautiful water! And if that weren’t enough, you can go for a bath in the bathtub featuring a gorgeous view.

That’s one of the highlights I think, the open bathroom. It gives a certain kind of freedom, yet they kept privacy by having the toilet covered.

We actually got to stay in a water villa a couple of hours one day to get the experience. And WOW, I have no words for how amazing these villas are. Sure, the villa that we stayed in was absolutely gorgeous, but the water villas were more of my taste since I love to be close to the sea.

It was how the water villas were designed that I loved. I especially liked the open bathroom with the ocean view bathtub and, of course, the infinity pool. It was also cool that it had a private stair into the ocean, so you could go anytime from the villa out snorkeling. Except for the bathroom and pool, the rest of the villa was just as nice as the one that we were staying in.

If you prefer staying on land, the beach villas are perfect for you, but if you like to be close to the ocean like me, then you just have to book yourself a water villa – they’re to die for!!

water villawater villa bathroomwater villa ocean


As a Swede, breakfast is an important meal and we like to start the day with a good meal. And Kandolhu didn’t disappoint. You can choose some breakfast from the menu or have a look at their breakfast buffet, or combine both.

The buffet wasn’t the biggest one, but the breakfast menu was quite varied and had some really delicious items. I went for the Salmon bagel and the breaky bruschetta. At the buffet, you can find cold cuts, cheese, juices, some bread and pastries, nuts and yogurt.

It’s a great breakfast that they serve here at Kandolhu Island Resort, not only by Maldivian standards but also in general. The view from the restaurant is also very nice, a great start to the day!

foodbagelbreakfastbreakfast food

Outside the room

So, what to do when you go outside your villa? As already mentioned the island is pretty small, but you can still walk around along the beach. The snorkeling is great here at Kandolhu Island, and they have a beautiful house reef with lots of fishes, and even turtles sometimes!

Kandolhu also has a gym and spa, as well as a nice watersport center where you can book excursions or rent paddle boats and snorkeling gear.

When you’re not hanging around your dreamy villa, you’ll be out doing fun activities, eating delicious food and relaxing on the beach. If you’re into animals, you can also try to spot some of the fruit bats that are living on the island.


During our stay, we also got to try their Spa where we had a 60-minutes massage. The staff greeted us and as usual, we filled out a form with our current health condition before entering the changing rooms. If you come 20-30 minutes before your spa-treatment, you can also enjoy the relax area with a pool and steam sauna!

The massage was very nice, and everything was professional from start to end. I would highly recommend you to go for a spa treatment at Kandolhu and pamper yourself while on vacation!

Vilu Bar

Another relaxing place at Kandolhu Island Resort is the Vilu Bar, which is located next to the Market. Here you enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean while sipping on mocktails or delicious tiki-cocktails. It’s a nice place to just relax before or after dinner, or during the day.

Sunset Champagne Cruise

Our second evening we went on a Sunset Champagne Cruise by a large sailing boat. The sunsets are beautiful here and to go on this cruise was very relaxing. You can also enjoy some canapes while you’re sipping on some champagne.

The cruise was very romantic, and if you’re coming here as a couple I can totally recommend it.


cruisechampange cruise

Lunch & Dinner


For lunch, we tried some of the pizzas, pasta, and salads. While I find pizzas in Asia to be less tasty than the ones we have Europe, this wasn’t the case here at Kandolhu Island Resort. Their pizzas are just as delicious as back home or in Italy!

The salad and pasta dishes were fresh and flavorful as well. And, yes, you will develop a craving for those amazing fresh fruit drinks as well!


Dinner at Kuramathi Island Resort

Despite the small island, Kandolhu can pride themselves on having 4 restaurants to offer their guests. That has to be the highest restaurant ratio of the resort islands per square meter! We tried them all during our stay, and my favorite in terms of food was the sea grill, but Banzai offered a nice dinner teppanyaki show.


The restaurant is located above the Market restaurant, and from here you can enjoy amazing views, and when it becomes darker you can usually see some stars above you since you dine under an open roof. The food was well-presented, and Olive is more of a fine-dining restaurant, so the dishes are a bit smaller than the other restaurants.

The food being served is a creative and modern style of Mediterranean food with a Maldivian touch.

Sea Grill

My favorite restaurant at Kandolhu. First of all the design of the restaurant is very nice where very table gets their own privacy. The food served is mainly Seafood and meat on the grill or tandoori style.

I had the lamb kebab which was really delicious, so that’s something I can highly recommend.


This is a Teppanyaki restaurant serving Japanese food (surprise surprise), and as regular Teppanyaki food is being cooked right in front of you by the chef. Here at Kandolhu the chef also does a little performance to entertain the guests.

It’s a small restaurant and needs to be booked beforehand due to limited seats. We had a great time, where we met some other guests from Switzerland, and the chef was funny too! And yes, the food was good as well and there were several choices available.

Even vegetarian options if you’re not eating meat, which is great!

kandolhu-banzai kandolhu-olive kandolhu-sea-grill


One of the highlights of Kandolhu is their impeccable service and friendly staff. Always greeting, and talking with the guests, yet keep a relaxed and professional vibe. We saw this with other guests as well, and that’s something I appreciate since it felt very genuine!

Of the Maldives resort we visited, the staff at Kandolhu Island had that little extra that makes your holiday more special.


So, what about Wi-Fi? I mean it’s such a small island. Don’t worry, the Wi-Fi was working fine in the villas and restaurants. It might not be the fastest Wi-Fi, but you can stay in touch with friends and family back home and make them jealous.


I think the location of Kandolhu is great. It’s just 25 minutes by Seaplane, and the vegetation of the island is lush, the sand is soft and white, and the water is really nice!

The surrounding house reef is especially good, and we saw several fishes. Around Kandolhu island you can also see turtles quite frequently and even some bigger reef sharks (not dangerous), so for those who like to explore the world underneath us, Kandolhu is the place to be!

And also, you really get that feeling of being on a deserted island, which is just what I imagined Maldives was all about.

Summary of my stay at Kandolhu Island Resort in the Maldives

I’m not even sure where to begin, as you might be able to tell, I really love the Kandolhu resort and the island. It’s so dreamy and unlike any other place, I’ve been to before.

If this place will stay just as beautiful and great as it is now, then I would be happy to return for a future honeymoon. But of course, I wouldn’t mind coming back before that as well!

To summarize our stay and what I think about Kandolhu Island Resort I will probably say the following things:

  • Amazing value for your money
  • Friendly staff and great service
  • Paradise Island in its true essence
  • Incredible house reef
  • Perfect honeymoon destination
  • Dreamy overwater villas and beach villas
  • Yummy food of high quality

If you’re looking for that dreamy Maldives vacation where you’re staying in amazing overwater villas on a deserted island with great snorkeling, stunning water, and lush nature, then look no further. I can’t recommend you enough to visit Kandolhu!

Usually, I’m a bit reserved with the superlatives, but Kandolhu deserves every praise!

Useful information about Kandolhu Island Resort

Flights and Hotel

What other guests say about Kandolhu on Tripadvisor:

Other guests who have stayed at Kandolhu Island Resort is typically describing this Maldives resort as a “paradise island” and “heaven on earth”. They also mention the high level of luxury and service. Some reviewers who have stayed at several islands in the Maldives implies that this is the best of the best, and a perfect place to go on a honeymoon!

Book your stay here

Do they offer Vegan food?

Yes, they do!

Difference between all inclusive and full board

Full Board

This option includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can choose any of the restaurants during their opening hours for their meals.

All Inclusive

This option includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and a wide range of drinks from soft drinks, cocktails, all spirits, selected bottled wines, all beers, juices, specialty coffees and teas, and house mineral water, minibar including alcoholic drinks. For their meals, guests can choose any of the restaurants during their opening hours for their meals.

Map of Kandolhu Resort

Down below you can see a map of where Kandolhu is located in the Maldives. It’s located in the North Ali Atoll.

Hope you enjoyed my review of Kandolhu Island Resort! If you have any further questions about the resort, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send an email with your questions! And I hope this makes it easier for you to choose the right Maldives resort for your dream vacation!