by Shanna Jones
The Maldives are arguably some of the most perfect islands on earth. Malaria free and sparse of dangerous wildlife, the atolls are a haven of relaxation and the ultimate in picture postcard beauty. Luxuriate on sugar-white sandy beaches with the translucent sea sparkling from dawn until dusk while the kids splash around in the warm shallows. The Maldives latest resort Kandima, puts laidback fun for everyone at the heart of its ethos.
Located on a mile and a half long private island, Kandima is a stylish lifestyle resort in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives has been long known as a honeymoon destination only but since Kandima opened in March 2017, the 26 atolls that make up the country have been put firmly on the map for families.
Kandima can be reached by 40 minute seaplane journey from Male Airport followed by a 20 minute boat ride. You arrive at the resort’s main jetty which juts out into the crystal clear azure sea with hundreds of tropical fish darting about below before being whisked off to your room by a golf buggy. The family-friendly resort boasts the largest pool in the Maldives, Kandiland Kid’s Club, a pirate ship wet area with slides, Aquaholics watersports centre, a marine biology school, children’s art classes, cookery classes, a kid’s activity programs, a spa and 10 restaurants and bars. The array of food on offer is international and delicious with plenty of options appealing to kids and teens.
The resort is situated in the Dhaalu Atoll, which is one of 56 islands in the region. The Atoll opened for tourism in 1998 and has since been a site of special interest for SCUBA divers and snorkelers with an impressive underwater assortment of colorful fish in their thousands, reef sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins and coral.
The resort is operated by Pulse Hotels, Kandima being the newest addition. The 274 accommodation options range from beach apartments to overwater pool villas with all options being suitable for families.
Our Editor Loves
- Kids' club
- Longest pool in Maldives
- Snorkeling tours
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Kandima can host up to 1,000 guests in 274 beach studio and villas. All rooms feature flat screen TVs, a mini bar, and a monsoon shower. All accommodation is directly on the beach so you can open your doors to your own private tropical terrace and you'll be able to keep an eye on kids playing in the water from your secluded sunlounger.
Beach and Sky Studios
Located in two-story villas, these ultra modern apartments are the cheapest option for families. Blocks of four, one-bedroom apartments feature a king size bed, a sofabed, private sunloungers and a swinging sofa on the balcony. Situated along the main beach, the second floor apartments can form interconnecting rooms for larger families.
The 30 Beach Villas are truly private with a wooden deck and Jacuzzi over the Indian Ocean. The apartments also feature a large, private outdoor area to relax with the family. The garden at the back of the property features an outdoor shower, private hot tub and a space for the family to lounge in with also, inexplicably, an open air toilet.
Beach Pool Villa
The 20 Beach Pool Villas feature a private pool in an area secluded by vegetation. The large apartments featuring a wooden deck and pool help to make up the spacious private outside space. The garden at the back of the property features an outdoor shower, private hot tub and a space for the family to lounge in with also, inexplicably, an open air toilet.
The deluxe overwater Aqua Villas are at the more expensive end of the accommodation options at Kandima. These 30 villas feature a private outdoor area. They feature a private deck area which is perfect for dolphin watching at sunset.
Aqua Villa with Jacuzzi
These gorgeous overwater apartments have direct access to the sea so you can snorkel underneath the villa whenever you fancy. The large apartments feature an outdoor Jacuzzi they also feature deluxe bathtubs with a view of the ocean.
Aqua Pool Villa
The 20 Aqua Pool Villas are the height of luxury at Kandima with their own private overwater swimming pools, sun decks and sunloungers. The Aqua Pool Villas are a true retreat over the Indian Ocean.
by Carol P
We just returned from a week at Kandima, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The staff are very caring and friendly and the facility is top notch. Aquaholics is a very well run aquatics centre and our daughter, Jennifer, was able to complete her open water PADI certification with the best of equipment and instruction, thanks to Ana. They also have diving and snorkel tours, which are very good.
The Maldives has to import food so the food costs are high. I would advise people to look at the meal plans available and find one of the many they offer to suit their needs, as there are many options. You can do this on site, no need to prebook the meal plan until you get there. We have had a great, restful holiday, Thank you! (Also, the Doctor there is highly trained and very competent should you need medical care)
by K C K
We just got back from a five nights at Kandima . It was for a special event ( We got married at Kandima ❤️❤️❤️)
We flew to Kandima and meet up with 31 of our guests that come to our wedding from all around the globe ( Morocco , France , Philippines , London , Switzerland , US , Singapore and Australia ) .
All with different backgrounds and different cultures and food taste but Kandima catered to all our guests and they made us feel very special , thank you to The GM Brett, Chefs Kanjana (whose mission was to make us put on 2kgs!), and F&B manager Samah , May and Joy . Special thank you to the Abdulla and Jadulla
But our greatest gratitude goes to Anelive Sangguban who arranged for our whole wedding party’s itinerary,accomodation and transfers, and the orchestrated the whole wedding. Not one detail left out of place. She, and Kandima made our wedding planning and holiday a stress-free one,!
Thank you Kandima ❤️❤️❤️
Kandiland is the largest kid's zone in the entire country. The focus point is the huge pirate ship in the backyard which doubles as a wet play area. Dozens of water jets and fountains in the slides and tunnels keep little ones cool and entertained. A trampoline built into the ground, a climbing wall and a Ping-Pong table are situated in the shaded, fenced off area next to the sea. Inside, kids of all ages will love the modern breezy clubhouse with the soft play zone, the computer game station and a whole lot of LEGO in between. The kid's club is complimentary, lunch is served and there is an extensive activity program available. If parents want to stick around there's a hang out area with self-service drinks and snacks.
While parents are brushing up their skills at an art class or getting up close and personal with a reef shark on a diving expedition, the kids have the opportunity to learn and play too. The range of activities available for children at Kandima is impressive. Kids can learn to cook in the al fresco mini kitchen, learn Maldivian culture with song, dance and language, become a marine biologist and replant coral in the ocean while learning about the importance of conservation. They can discover Maldivian nature with shell finding and crab hunting, make their own arts and crafts from coconuts and sand, get involved in large scale art attack challenges and take part in mini Zumba and mini Kandiland Olympics. The Kandiland staff are extremely friendly and approachable.
The clear turquoise lagoon in front of Kandima island is the perfect place to try out some water sports. The enthusiastic and first aid trained staff at Aquaholics are always on hand to offer guided group or private tours including scuba diving, speed boat snorkel hopping, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and parasailing. Aquaholics offer the Bubblemaker course for 8 and 9 year olds in a special diving tank with a window so parents can look in plus Discover Scuba Diving, Junior Scuba Diver and Junior Open Water Diver courses for children aged 10 and above. Families can go on night fishing trips, big game fishing and sunset cruises on dhoni boats and speedboats. Aquaholics has snorkel gear to hire which families may keep in their rooms for the duration of their trip.
Kandima proudly claims the longest pool in the Maldives and stretches from the classy Azure mediterranean restaurant to Kandima HQ. The style of the beachfront pool area is Miami-chic with stylish design seating, sunken chair areas and sun loungers with fresh towels. The pink and yellow theme is bright and cheerful and there is a shaded area next to Breeze bar for little ones to enjoy ice cream under.
With such a long island, Kandima has room for several sports courts, which kids and adults can use to their heart's content. There's a tennis court, a futsal field, an archery course, petanque and a beach volleyball net. Bikes and electric scooters can be hired from Kandima HQ to explore the island and Burn gym can provide equipment and personal trainers.
The Flavour restaurant is a low key casual affair, perfect for families. It's modelled on European market hall-style food courts and the all-you-can-eat buffet is made up of a selection of high quality, international and interesting food. The selection of food ranges from pizzas to sushi and the dessert section in the refrigerated buffet room is quite spectacular.
Breeze bar is the centrepiece of the famously long pool and is surrounded by stylish seating and has a DJ booth. Breeze serves a selection of alcoholic drinks and juices as well as bar snacks and ice cream.
This classy Mediterranean restaurant provides a waiter service to your table on the sand. Families can eat together by candlelight right next to the sea. The atmosphere is low key chic and it feels like a treat to eat there for both adults and children. The menu consists of impressive seafood platters, delicious soups, pastas and salads.
Sea Dragon and Forbidden Bar
Sea Dragon is Kandima's impressive Chinese restaurant. The building itself is something to see, modelled on traditional Chinese architecture. Sea Dragon serves up expertly prepared fresh food including sea food from the live tank. Families are more than welcome in Sea Dragon. Later into the evening the Forbidden Bar gets going with its resident house DJs and delicious tropical cocktails.
Aroma is the deli of Kandima for those times family members get peckish. Gourmet coffees, juices, paninis and fancy handmade cakes go down a treat with kids and adults alike.
The Beach Club
The Beach Club is the trendy bar at the other end of the island to Breeze. The Beach Club has possibly the coolest seating areas in the Maldives as drinks are served in overwater spaceship pods.
Smoked is all about juicy steaks, freshly caught fish and beautiful sunset views while dining. Succulent meat, fish and vegetarian options can be brought to you al fresco from the barbeque and Teppanyaki grill.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Babysitting can be offered at no extra cost and kids will be taken to play at Kandiland or on excursions around the island with trained friendly staff.
Free WiFi is available throughout the island.
The Art of Smart Timing
The best weather season in the Maldives is between November and April, the high season being from December to March. Monsoon season runs from May to October, with the rainiest part being in June. However, in Monsoon season it will only rain intensely for a certain part of the day before giving way to sunshine. In rainy season the Maldives are still beautiful and it doesn't affect scuba diving or watersports.
It's a 40 minute flight by seaplane from Male International Airport to the Dhaalu Atoll followed by a 20 minute boat ride to Kandima. It's a long flight from the USA so depending on whether families live closer to the East or West coast, it may make the trip more bearable to take a stopover in either Dubai or Hong Kong.
There are golf buggy 'buses' which drive up and down the island regularly. Guests can wait outside the backs of their apartments to hop onto the next buggy.
For Mom and Dad
Nestled into the paradisiacal surroundings, the Kandima spa has outdoor treatment locations across the island where parents can treat themselves to massages, body wraps and facial treatments or relax in the steam room and sauna. There is also a nail bar and hair salon onsite for sprucing up before that romantic candlelit dinner on the beach. Yoga and meditation classes happen regularly with some of them being held on the beach or jetty at sunset.
Burn is Kandima's state of the art gym. Open 24/7, the world class equipment in the gym and Kandima's personal trainers will whip beach bums into shape. Zumba classes, aqua spin, bootcamp and aerobics are also on the programme.
Kandima is a trendy lifestyle resort so for parents who like to let their hair down Breeze bar and the Forbidden bar both have international DJs playing a range of electronic music and serving cocktails well into the night.
Aquaholics are qualified to offer PADI scuba diving training or simply test dives for those who don't want to become qualified.