Kandima, Maldives Resort Review: A laid-back, family-oriented beach retreat surrounded by verdant jungle.

The Review: With its lively vibe, superb selection of à la carte dining options, and extensive kids club, this resort in the Maldives stands out as a top pick for family holidays.





Kandima, nestled in the serene Dhaalu Atoll, is a sprawling Maldivian resort set within one of the archipelago’s more secluded atolls. Guests can arrive at the resort via a domestic flight and subsequent boat ride, or choose a 40-minute seaplane journey that showcases spectacular views of the surrounding reefs and lagoons, though it is the pricier option. Unlike its sister hotel Noma, Kandima doesn’t feature a house reef, which means opportunities for underwater exploration may be fewer.


The Look

Embodying the iconic Maldivian aesthetic, Kandima is distinguished by its shimmering white sands and vibrant pale blue waters, set against a backdrop of dense, green vegetation for a truly tropical ambiance. The resort’s bright and colourful design fosters a sense of inclusivity and enjoyment, distinguishing it from other more traditional luxury resorts in the Maldives. With a focus on being a hub for exciting activities, Kandima is designed to be a lively destination that caters to guests looking for an engaging and fun-filled holiday experience.


The Vibe

Kandima welcomes those in search of excitement, making it an ideal choice for a vibrant getaway rather than a serene hideaway. With its dynamic atmosphere, the resort is perfectly aligned with groups, families, or couples eager to immerse themselves in an energetic environment rather than those on a honeymoon seeking solitude. A spacious kids club ensures that younger guests are well entertained.


Bed and Bath

The resort boasts 264 studios and villas, offering a wide array of lodging choices. Strategically positioned amidst lush foliage, each accommodation unit is crafted for utmost privacy, ensuring that guests remain unseen by their neighbours and enjoy amenities such as a balcony or direct beach access.


Accommodations include sunrise and sunset beach villages, with the latter not providing sea access due to prevailing currents – a detail not always mentioned at the time of reservation. The sound of the sea, especially when it’s choppy during storms, adds to the ambiance. Despite this, both villages offer a secluded haven, featuring private pools and expansive outdoor bathrooms that, while unique and enjoyable, offer a closer communion with nature.


For those seeking tranquility and elegance, the ocean villas situated on a jetty present an ideal option. Removed from the liveliness of the main bar and restaurant areas, they offer a serene retreat, particularly appealing for couples.


Food and Beverage

Guests at Kandima can start their day with a buffet breakfast at either Flavour or Zest. Flavour, the resort’s bustling main eatery, offers an indoor dining experience that could be set in any location, with limited outdoor seating and distance from the beach.


In contrast, Zest offers a serene beachside setting with some tables boasting sea views, creating a more tranquil atmosphere for breakfast. The menu here is expansive and appealing, featuring freshly prepared eggs and pancakes, an array of pastries, various cereals, yoghurt, a selection of cheeses (the creamy feta is a must-try), and cold meats, with self-service drinks including coffee.


For lunch, Flavour provides a buffet service during the quieter seasons, while Zest welcomes diners during the busier periods. The lunch menu is comprehensive, presenting numerous ready-made dishes. Although the salad options could be broader, the staff are accommodating, often willing to prepare items from the breakfast menu upon request for lunch.


What distinguishes Kandima from other resorts is its trio of à la carte dining options. Azure offers beachside relaxation with a Mediterranean flair – the beef arrosticini is a must-try. For those craving grilled delicacies, Smoked presents a selection of fresh meats and fish. And for an Asian twist, Sea Dragon specializes in delectable, freshly caught seafood, complemented by the unique, adults-only Forbidden Bar accessed through a tunnel. Each restaurant delivers a unique and exceptional dining experience.


Due to the resort’s extensive grounds relative to the dining venues’ capacity, securing a reservation at these à la carte restaurants upon arrival is essential. While the culinary spread is noteworthy, it’s worth noting that drinks may incur additional charges, even for those on all-inclusive plans.


Public Spaces

The resort abounds with activities to suit every interest. From engaging in an art class at the studio, participating in yoga sessions at the fitness centre, to indulging in a massage – acclaimed as one of the best experiences by many – guests will find no shortage of ways to fill their days.


Yet, the adventure at Kandima isn’t confined to terra firma. The Aquaholics Centre beckons with thrilling water-based activities, from dolphin encounters to snorkeling adventures with turtles, all under the guidance of a passionate team dedicated to making your experience unforgettable.


Navigating the expansive resort is facilitated by a shuttle service, though renting a bicycle for $10 a day presents an appealing alternative. Cycling not only serves as an enjoyable pastime but also as a quicker option compared to the somewhat leisurely shuttle. However, the rental fee might feel a bit pricey, especially for families. Of course, walking is always an option – a leisurely stroll from one end of the resort to the other takes about 20 minutes. Be mindful that after dusk, the main pathways are dimly lit, adding a tranquil but less visible aspect to evening walks.


The resort boasts two expansive pools. One is centrally located near the lively main bar, while the other, positioned at the island’s northern tip, features a swim-up bar that serves refreshments until the sun dips below the horizon. Both pools are family-friendly, a definite plus for those traveling with children. However, the addition of an adults-only pool would enhance the resort’s appeal.


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