K FOR KANDIMA
Affordable Luxury in the Maldives
BY RUPALI DEAN
Breaking the old-style Maldivian mould aka no thatched roofs or Robinson Crusoe countryside designing here. Instead this resort Island in the Maldives has gone for a contemporary, super design and a youthful lively vibe with pulsating bursts of pink and turquoise perfect for chilling out with friends and family.
Kandima is a picture perfect island unto itself in Dhaalu Atoll fenced by an enormous natural lagoon. Air India flies from Delhi to Male’s international airport via Trivandrum, with a journey time of around 5 hours. Indigo flies directly from Mumbai to Male. From there, one can catch a sea-plane to get to the island in 40 minutes, before continuing on to the jetty by boat, where staff are waiting to greet with a welcome drink. It’s then an instantaneous golf buggy ride to the room – helpful on a resort measuring 3km across. Of course I am only given my unique key (that is water proof and shaped like a bracelet so you can easily wear it while you stay there), once I am adjudged asymptomatic.
Accommodation ranges from studios to villas, with private porches, airy bedrooms and huge bathtubs with ocean views. Ocean Pool Villas, have their own isolated infinity pools overlooking the Indian Ocean. My Aqua villa comes with its own Jacuzzi, remarkable ocean views with an expansive bathroom, living space and outdoor deck with direct access to the ocean. It was all I ever imagined an over-water villa to be, flawless for a dawn dip before breakfast.
n additional attempt to differentiate itself from the rest of the chill-focused Maldives on offer at Kandima are a widespread assortment of activities, from aerial yoga, an art studio to Aquaholics, a water sports centre offering nearly every water-based activity you can think of. I manage to make a gorgeous painting, a memory that I will not forget in a hurry. Adjacent to the art studio is café Aroma. The spot is positioned next to a freshwater lake far-reaching with a fountain, mangrove trees and sculptures. All in all, quite a stimulating alteration from the tropical ambiance elsewhere. And for the little explorers there’s Kandi land, a generous kids’ play area plus enlightening centre where babysitters are accessible on request and children can even learn the local lingo.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
I endorse pampering in the coffees at Aroma. The plethora of desserts look decadent, too – I am most tempted by the chocolate fondant and I don’t resist. The food is, in fact, outstanding throughout Kandima. The two main buffet style restaurants are Azure and Zest. My favourite though, is ‘Smoked’, offering meat, fish and vegetarian dishes from an open BBQ kitchen and Teppanyaki grill. The tuna is moist and tender while the baby back pork ribs, harmonising with a gorgeous sauce, fall right off the bone. The bread served with Cajun butter and artichoke dip does a delectable associate act. As for dessert, the grilled tropical fruits make the perfect ending. Also excellent is the food at Sea Dragon, offering authentic Asian cuisine with a modern touch. The bars are amazing and the breeze bar is open till when you leave. It’s also a great idea to sit by the poolside and watch the sunset sipping a glass of prosecco. And yes Neeraj Seth and Joy Saldana make excellent hosts and the most amazing dining setups, in the whole of Maldives.
The spa is situated next to the shoreline and the sound of the waves mingling with the calming spa music and the chirping of birds during my massage was extremely soothing. What’s more, the changing room opens up to a small courtyard thorough with its own small pool and banana tree, providing a beautiful, lush sanctuary! A delicious ginger and honey tea is served after my massage to prolong the feeling of indulging and it’s perhaps the best I have ever had. As for heading to your room afterwards, there’s a buggy that frequently taxis visitors around the island but I also endorse hiring a cute blue or yellow bicycle - it’s the impeccable stylish way of getting around without having to wait for the buggy. There is something delightful about cycling along underneath the palm trees in swimwear, feeling the heat of the island on your skin.
KANDIMA, Dhaalu Atoll;
COVID MEASURES: Being a one island one resort country with all open resorts being Covid free and entering the country with a Covid Negative certificate you can be stress free and live an unmasked life for a few days.
FORMS & PROCESSES:
- Negative PCR Test Result is Compulsory for all Passengers arriving to Male.
- All passengers are requisite to list at https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/ 24hrs prior arrival / Departure Maldives.
- All arrival passengers to Male, are obligatory to register at https://haalubelun.hpa.gov.mv/
- All passengers travelling to India must register themselves within 72hrs to the flight regardless of the state/airport. https://www.newdelhiairport.in/covid19
- If passengers have Negative PCR test results taken within 96hrs to the flight, will be exempted from Institutional quarantine.