Our final island in the Maldives was definitely one of my favourites of the 8 islands we’d visited! That island was Kandolhu.
The fact that it’s included in Small Luxury Hotels of the world was kind of a giveaway before we arrived that it would be good but somehow it still managed to surprise and impress me.
A lot of that has to do with the people, I reckon. For starters, when we arrived, we got to the island far too early to check in and rather than leave us waiting, they provided us with another villa to chill in until our water villa was ready.
Pretty sweet, right? No awkward hanging around while we waited though this would probably be one of the best places in the world to ‘hang around’… (And to be fair, it did rain for like the first 30 minutes after we arrived so it was nice to just chill indoors).
There are 32 in total on Kandolhu (…I think, 30 for guests and an extra 2, y’know, just in case) and so things are a lot more intimate on this island.
* Fun fact: Kandolhu has the most number of restaurants to guests and you can pretty much dine here almost round the clock (there are 7 restaurants – at last count, all for 30 villas). Breakfast is served right up till lunch (like if breakfast finished at 12.59pm, lunch starts at 1.00pm) and the same goes for lunch till dinner. Essentially, you don’t ever have to worry about creating a schedule which works best for your meal times – your meal time works best for whatever schedule you have.
Suffice it to say, we started off properly on the island with lunch. As lazy and as indulgent as we could possibly muster.
I went for sushi to start (so sooo good – then again, with all the fresh seafood here, it absolutely makes sense that it would be). Lloyd went for a caesar salad, which he assured me was also pretty good.
For mains, we both went for Maldivian curries (yes, but this point, I was pretty much addicted to the stuff) with rice for me and chips for Lloyd. It was nice, fiery (I asked for it to be extra spicy) and absolutely perfect! Plus it was the perfect excuse to order a chilled cocktail to cool off with later on…
…or in Lloyd’s case, the perfect excuse to get chocolate ice cream for dessert!
I went for my favourite – coconut panna cotta! *licks lips*
After lunch (and my ‘obligatory’ cocktail), we went off exploring the island, starting with the beach…
…snaking our way through the spa
…and making our way, through some more restaurants
…before heading over to the water villas, which we would be calling home for the next few days.
The water villas here are incredible and, as I later found out, have some of the best views of the sunsets. Let me show you around…
After checking properly, (and briefly snorkelling with turtles) we headed off on something of a special experience – a sunset (champagne-fuelled) cruise.
We were picked up at the deck and welcomed with cool towels before instantly getting distracted by dolphins almost as soon as we jetted away from the island.
The dolphins here are very playful and totally took me by surprise. It was jumping in the distance before deciding to come and swim right up to the boat. I was so excited, I barely got a photo of it. (I have it on video here 😉 ).
Eventually, dolphin excitement abated by the arrival of champagne and canapés, we settled aboard the boat to take in that beautiful Maldivian sunset!
Over the last couple of weeks in the Maldives, we’d seen some amazing sunsets but I think this was perhaps the first time where there were absolutely no distractions (sans the ocassional champagne sipping) and we could just take in the sunset properly – it was magnificent!
We stayed out on the boat till the very last of the rays disappeared beneath the horizon, totally thrilled yet absolutely relaxed by this amazing experience.
Not a bad way to start an island vacation, am I right? 😉