Kandima Maldives - A game-changing lifestyle (desti)nation in the Maldives

As winter rages and winds whistle through snow-covered streets, many want to escape to faraway lands, where sun and sea would replace biting cold. But what if this trip should also serve a relaxation purpose, helping to unwind and disconnect from the rest of the world? Where your tranquility might only be interrupted by a chirring helicopter ready to take you away from civilisation or a curious coral fish making a pleasant splash from time to time? In that case, we recommend the Maldives. Okay, maybe you have the right to sigh “again”, but admit it: we all bitterly missed the water villas with transparent floors and impeccable service, and the beaches that look like they’re taken from a Bounty advert. It is for good reason that the Maldives remains the most popular choice among high-net-worth individuals planning a family or a romantic getaway. 

Although we all like the classics, iPremium would like to surprise you with a resort that’s unusual for the local scene: a latecomer to the Maldivian tourist market that’s markedly different to the usual honeymoon resorts. The all-star Kandima Resort Maldives is different from its neighbours in that it creates fun. Keeping things far from rowdy, the hotel’s management has infused the Maldives’ trademark allure with excellent entertainment and an unparalleled feeling of genuine excitement, making it an ideal for sports-loving, party-going groups as well as couples and families. 

Set on its own private island just a short scenic flight or spectacular boat ride south of Malé, Kandima Resort Maldives is situated in the Dhaalu Atoll, which is made up of a few dozen tiny islands, only a handful of which are inhabited. The resort is also surrounded by a large natural lagoon, giving a natural feeling of serenity and seclusion from the rest of the world. If you are worried about where to go or which ride to take, Kandima staff will greet you at the airport of your arrival and guide you through your journey.

Unmistakably Maldivian with its pure white sand, pale blue lagoon and lush vegetation of palm trees, the 266-room Kandima Resort Maldives offers an upscale yet relaxed stay suitable for any purpose with studio rooms, ocean villas and honeymoon suites to choose from. Decor-wise, Kandima is cheerful and tropical, with lots of colourful seating in common spaces and an indoor-outdoor design throughout. While studio rooms make the Maldivian experience more affordable, ocean villas are located on the wilder side and offer greater luxury and privacy, as well as views of incredible local sunsets.

There is something special about the white sand and the spectrum of blue that can be seen across the water. Sitting on an ocean villa patio one afternoon, guests can see a pod of spinner dolphins jumping out of the water on their way to the other side of the island - that’s how precious moments at Kandima Resort Maldives can be. Best for families, however, are the pool villas, which have direct access to the beach and a large sofa bed. Ocean villas have a quieter, more sophisticated look compared to the modern and bright décor of honeymoon suites, which feature bold yellow cushions, pictures on the wall depicting sun and sea, wooden floors and light furniture with spacious living areas and private infinity pools.

With music around the pools, the vibe here is mellow and contemporary cool. Most guests come here to play, have a good time and generally engage rather than close the doors and retreat. Young celebrity guests from different TV shows love the resort just as much as bloggers and Instagrammers. Since Kandima isn’t hung up on luxury like most other Maldivian resorts, it has everything you need for the perfect holiday. From the longest swimming pool in the country and a 24/7 gym with complimentary wellness classes and yoga sessions to art classes and cookery lessons, the resort offers a million things to do. Those seeking adrenaline should head to Aquaholics, the local watersports centre, which offers all manner of sports activities including diving with hammerhead sharks, parasailing and snorkelling, as well as boat trips and team sports. 

But there are tons of other activities the resort has to offer: a games room with pool, ping pong and table football. A first-class day spa, free tennis and badminton, football games on a turf pitch, beach volleyball, paid excursions like diving and guest favourite dolphin spotting, turtle quest, a kids’ area, live music nights and DJ nights. The list goes on, but what should not be forgotten is the best amenity of all will be your own room.

Besides great fun, guests can expect an unrivalled dining experience here. With ten different restaurants and bars offering delicious fare in stylish indoor-outdoor spaces with sea views, Kandima Maldives is the place to be for acclaimed foodies. Two main on-property restaurants, Flavour and Zest, offer a varied buffet spread that includes various live-cooking stations. For guests’ convenience, Flavour is situated by the main pool and serves themed buffets at dinner - as well as the biggest breakfast spread imaginable in mornings - while Zest is set on the southern tip of the island, closer to the overwater villas. At both restaurants, around 20 counters offer fruit, yoghurts, cheese, cold meats and freshly-prepared pancakes. There's full English with eggs cooked any way you want, and full Asian, with varieties of noodles and sushi. There is also a huge array of bread and pastries, from healthy seed and rye options to Middle Eastern sweet cakes. Coffees and teas are served at the table.

Three other dining places are all à la carte eateries, including a restaurant serving Mediterranean fare and a pan-Asian spot, Sea Dragon, with big tanks full of seafood for guests to enjoy, also open for lunch and dinner and serving the best Peking duck. There’s also a grill place with its own smoker and excellent meat cuts, including South African and Australian Black Angus, and Wagyu beef. If you would like to order room service, you can do so through the Kandima Maldives app, which makes it far more convenient than ordering over the phone. 

If it’s cocktails you are after, try the two pool bars Breeze and Beach Club, which offer great handcrafted cocktails accompanied by trendy DJ sets to keep things lively. The adults-only Forbidden Bar can be accessed through a psychedelic tunnel at Sea Dragon. For coffee addicts, the resort’s coffee shop, Aroma, offers grab-and-go snacks, as well as sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and pastries paired with cups of fragrant coffee.

The resort’s gorgeous setting, great amenities, attractive rooms, and impeccable service make Kandima Resort Maldives one of the best options in the Maldives, especially if you want to swap your busy surroundings for the tranquil scenes of the Indian Ocean. Here, your body is sure to rejoice, allowing your spirit to roam free and dance in the colourful rays of picturesque Maldivian sunsets.