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At a glance..
Kandolhu is picture-perfect, with diverse dining and accommodation options that belie its tiny size.
Beautiful Kandolhu presents the best of both worlds: a tiny, tranquil island with a lush green interior encircled by glorious white sands and coral reefs, yet with a choice of restaurants and rooms more typical of a larger island.
Each of the five la carte restaurants is small and intimate the Japanese restaurant, Banzai, has just six seats. The Market is the all-day dining restaurant; elevated Olive offers Mediterranean classics; and Sea Grill serves fresh seafood cooked to order. The island’s relaxed new daytime eatery, Ata-Roa, serves up a street food-style menu from Mexico and Peru, specialising in ceviche and tacos washed down with pisco cocktails. Kandolhu offers one of the Maldives most generous all inclusive packages, including access to all restaurants, plus a large variety of drinks, including in the minibar and in-villa wine chiller. Considering just how much is included, its excellent value. The house reef can be reached from access points around the island, perfect for snorkelling often among turtles and dive sites can be reached by boat in minutes from the dive centre.
The elegant, Maldivian-style villas have modern interiors with wooden floors and high ceilings, and include thoughtful extras like iPads and GoPro cameras. Beach Villas have huge open-air bathrooms with jetted bathtub. For a beach villa with pool, opt for a Pool Villa or one of the two-storey Duplex Pool Villas rare to find in the Maldives. The Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas are reached by an overwater jetty, with steps straight into the ocean.
Spa*, gym, small library, small boutique*, snorkelling, dive centre*, non-motorised watersports, sailing*, Wi-Fi in villas and most public areas
Restaurants & bars
For an island of Kandolhus size, the choice of dining is almost unheard of. And it’s particularly flexible, with breakfast offered from 7.30-11am, dinner from 7.30-11pm, and lunch pretty much any time you like in between.
There are five charming eateries, all intimate, open-air and la carte.The Market is the all-day dining restaurant offering international dishes from home-made thin crust pizzas to salads and burgers as well as local specialities.
Above The Market with panoramic ocean views,Oliveserves up Mediterranean classics including homemade pasta. At theSea Grill, choose your own fish and have it cooked at your request. Theres also sizzling meat specialties from the tandoor oven. The tables here are particularly private, in little stone alcoves.Banzai is a tiny Japanese restaurant with just six seats. Due to popularity, it offers two dinner seatings to cater for more guests. The menu here features creative sushi and teppanyaki dishes try the delicious Kandolhu Surf & Turf for two with Wagyu rib eye, scallop, tiger prawns and teriyaki chicken.
Ata-Roa is Kandolhu’s newest addition, serving up a simple and light street food-style menu from Mexico and Peru. Open 12.30-3.30pm daily (except Wednesdays), this relaxed eatery on the sports jetty focuses on premium fresh ingredients and specialises in ceviche and tacos, washed down with Mexican beer and pisco cocktails. You can easily grab and go, too, taking your food back to your villa to eat.
And for drinks, the laid-backVilu bar has indoor and outdoor seating and a range of Martinis and cocktails. It also hosts occasional low-key entertainment, from a two-piece band to movie nights on the beach.
Located just a few minutes from some of the best dive sites in both North and South Ari Atoll, Kandolhu offers two dives each day, morning and afternoon, from on board a Maldivian dhoni. Night dives, half day and full day trips are also organised regularly. The Dive School offers PADI certified courses for beginners as well as some amazing adventures for experienced divers. Some of the well-known dive sites within a few minutes reach include Maalhos Thila, Hafsa Thila, Bathalaa Thila, Himendhoo Thila, Fesdu Wreck and even the protected dive site Fish Head which has lots of caves and overhangs.
Situated on the west side of the island, with large open-air bathroom with jetted bathtub, and lovely spacious outdoor deck just steps from the waters edge. These villas sleep maximum two people. air-conditioning flat-screen television with on-demand movies iPod dock iPad GoPro HERO5 camera telephone mini wine cellar* minibar*, espresso machine Wi-Fi sundeck with sun loungers 85m
Face east, with dressing area, open-air bathroom, and huge outdoor space with private 9m pool and views of the lagoon. air-conditioning flat-screen television with on-demand movies iPod dock iPad GoPro HERO5 camera telephone mini wine cellar* minibar*, espresso machine Wi-Fi sundeck with sun loungers 150m
Duplex Pool Villa
On the west side of the island, with two storeys. Downstairs features a living area, dressing area, open-air bathroom and terrace with private 18m pool, while upstairs has a spacious bedroom, second bathroom and balcony with ocean views. air-conditioning flat-screen television with on-demand movies iPod dock iPad GoPro HERO5 camera telephone mini wine cellar* minibar*, espresso machine Wi-Fi sundeck with sun loungers 150m
Overwater and private, with steps leading directly into the ocean. air-conditioning flat-screen television with on-demand movies iPod dock iPad GoPro HERO5 camera telephone mini wine cellar* minibar*, espresso machine Wi-Fi sundeck with sun loungers 80m
Ocean Pool Villa
Sunset-facing with large windows offering stunning views, reached by a private walkway and with a spacious deck housing a 7m plunge pool. air-conditioning flat-screen television with on-demand movies iPod dock iPad GoPro HERO5 camera telephone mini wine cellar* minibar*, espresso machine Wi-Fi sundeck with sun loungers 90m