Kandima - the stunning Maldives resort that puts fun at the heart of everything

(Image credit: Kandima)

One of the first things that likely springs to mind when you think of the Maldives is honeymooners. The idyllic islands are renowned for hosting newlyweds on their first holiday as a married couple, thanks to their unparalleled offering of endless soft sandy beaches and postcard-perfect sunshine almost all year around. 

And while the jewels of the Indian Ocean are even more breathtaking in real life - seriously, no photos can really do it justice - there’s one resort that wants you to forget the idea that the Maldives are only for loved-up twosomes. 

Oh, no. It’s also an ideal hotspot for families, friends and solo travellers who are keen to soak up the magic of one of the most beautiful natural spots the world has to offer; anyone who wants to try sea bobbing one day and sink into a sun lounger the next. Those who are excited to swim with turtles and sharks in the morning, and indulge in incredible food by the afternoon. Anybody who is equally as invigorated by an aromatherapy massage as they are by parasailing.

So if you’re looking for a resort that will cater to more than just couples and romantic candlelit dinners, there’s a place for you: Kandima. 

The Vibe


(Image credit: Kandima)

Stretching out across almost 3km, the Kandima resort is snugly located on one of the largest islands in the Maldives and boasts 274 studios and villas, with a choice of nine different accommodation options. 

While your first thought might be that you won’t find your peaceful haven on an island with so many guests, think again. Despite the numbers, the island retains a sense of absolute calm and offers guests the chance to unwind in more secluded and private nooks with plenty of sandy spots for every traveller. 

The vibe here is certainly fun - whether it’s the impressive roster of adrenaline sports and activities or the innovative dishes on the restaurant menus, there is enjoyment to be found everywhere - whatever that means for you. Those with little ones wanting to enjoy a Maldivian getaway are welcome here, with a kids club and a daily programme of activities to keep them entertained. But it's not just for families, either - it's also a fantastic option for those who fancy a luxury holiday with a friend (just wait until you see the epic Sea Dragon restaurant). 

From the moment your feet touch the sand, you’ll feel like you’ve been dropped in a total natural wonder. There is lush green vegetation at every turn, with cleared pathways under kissing treetops making you feel as though you’re navigating your way through an authentic bushy island wonderland. Or Jurassic Park, without the dinosaurs. Regular buggies can be flagged down to take you from one end of the island to the other, or you can easily get by on foot. 

For the Instagram-happy, there are a number of curated spots that are perfect for that social media-worthy snap - take your pick from the sea swings, in-pool booths or quiet stretches of sand. 

One thing’s for sure - whether you’re coming as a thrill-seeker or chill-seeker, you’ll feel right at home. 

The Villas

No trip to the Maldives is complete without at least one night in a luxurious sea villa, so book one of the popular floating apartments and you won't be disappointed. But for the majority of your stay, the Sunset Beach Pool Villas are an utterly irresistible option. With an open plan bedroom and lounge area, the villas are situated on a very peaceful stretch of beach that’s yours for the taking. Just beyond your private pool lies an opening between the bushes, giving you direct access to the sand and the sea. It's positively begging you to order the floating breakfast at least once. It’s also an incredible evening spot - after a pre-dinner shower, you’ll have an impressive view of the inky pink sunset. Wine optional, but recommended.


(Image credit: Kandima)

The room is bright, light and airy with crisp white walls enveloping blue and yellow accents - slithers of warmth and cool. There’s a 40-inch TV, King size bed, vanity station and sofa, plus a mini fridge and large wardrobe space. 

Open the back door and you’ll be rather impressed with what you find - it’s undeniably a sight to behold. Embrace the tropical pulse of the island with your own private chill out zone equipped with a hot tub and sun bed perfectly positioned in the sunshine. Glorious. 

You’ll also find the bathroom out here. But don’t worry; the shower, bathtub and - most importantly - the toilet - are covered, so you won’t be caught out during a brief rainfall.


(Image credit: Kandima)

The Food

One of the most important things about any getaway is undoubtedly the food. Kandima has 10 dining venues to choose from, ranging from light bites to mouthwatering grills to seriously impressive Asian fine dining. 

You'll find a huge array of breakfast options at Flavour Zest, whether your preference is cooked or continental. During the day, Breeze Pool Bar is on hand to keep you full with pizzas and pastas, and the boutique coffee shop Deli will satisfy that afternoon sugar craving with delicious cakes and pastries. 

However, it's dinner that you'll find yourself really looking forward to. 

Make sure you book a table at Smoked, the beachfront open-plan restaurant that serves succulent grilled and smoked plates while you listen to the dulcet tones of a live band. Opt for seafood dishes - think juicy tiger prawns, baby octopus, seared scallops and New Zealand mussels. The truffle potato puree is also a winner, as is the Maldivian fried rice with tuna - and leave room for some berry compote lime pie. 

But if you really want to enjoy the flavours Kandima has to offer, head to Sea Dragon. Tucked behind the main path and nestled in the lush vegetation you'll find a lit green path leading to one of the best dining options on the island. Menu choices include delicious barbecued pork in a honey sauce, seriously crispy chicken, roasted pork spare ribs and warming Thai curries. Wash it all down with something from the extensive cocktail menu, or keep it simple with bubbles. 


(Image credit: Kandima)

If you are after something a little bit special, you can also book destination dining at a number of the beachfront restaurants. Enjoy your dinner on the sand and under the stars while listening to the ocean softly lapping on the shore. Heavenly.  

What To Do

Book a sunset cruise and enjoy a glass of bubbly on the deck as the dolphins dance and dive alongside the boat, or hire a glass bottom kayak for an unforgettable way to see the beautiful creatures of the ocean. Snorkel equipment can be hired free of charge from Aquaholics, the island’s water sports hub, and for a jolt of adrenaline, book to swim with the turtles at a remote nearby spot. You’ll see plenty of the astonishingly beautiful creatures in their natural habitat - and be prepared for them to come very, very close to you. The rush of seeing reef sharks swimming just a few feet below you is overwhelming. Brave it and you won’t regret it.

Time to unwind shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Take a trip to the Eskape Spa and experience the total bliss of a Maldivian Ocean Dream Massage, or opt for a rejuvenating Sea Coconut Secret treatment. 

But if there’s one thing you absolutely must try while you’re there, it’s sea bobbing. Regardless of your age or swimming ability, it is an unmissable way to explore what lies below the ocean surface. As you zip above and below the water, you can glide seamlessly through the sea - think of it as a more active interpretation of snorkelling. It's a lot of fun. 


(Image credit: Kandima)

Anything Else?

The Kandima app is the handiest way to keep on top of everything that’s going on throughout your stay - whether you want to check gym class times, book an activity or check out a restaurant menu. 

For those who like to peddle, you can decline the buggy taxis and hire pushbikes to allow you to explore the island at your own pace. 

The staff are incredibly attentive and helpful, and will ensure that your trip is exactly what you want it to be. For a la carte restaurant bookings, make sure to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Booking details

Flights to the Maldives can be booked via British Airways. For more information including pricing and availability, or to book your stay, visit the Kandima website at www.kandima.com.

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.