- Free WiFi
Located in Kandolhu (North Ari Atoll), Kandolhu Island by Universal Resorts is within the vicinity of Fish Head Dive Site and Fesdu House Reef. This 5-star resort is within the region of Gaathafushi Island and Maaya Thila.
Make yourself at home in one of the 30 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and minibars. Rooms have private balconies or patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and LCD televisions are provided for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. You can soak up the sun at the private beach or enjoy other recreational amenities, which include a health club. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, gift shops/newsstands, and wedding services.
Food & Drink
Grab a bite at one of the resort’s 4 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a beach bar.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour front desk, multilingual staff, and laundry facilities.
How to Get There
Spent 7 nights here, first visit to Maldives. Had done a load of research on different islands, and hoped this was as good as it sounded - it wasn't, it was so much better!
Arrived by seaplane, and pontoon-transfer to hotel's boat, which was a bit 007-ish. Check in was a couple of mins, plus a brief intro to the island. Throughout stay, could not fault any aspect of service; there are more staff than punters, and all are cheery, helpful, knowledgeable and pleasant. Room was a jacuzzi beach villa - was a wee bit on small side, but loads of outside space, and the beach was 5 metres away. Room was well equipped. Bathroom typical Maldivian, part indoors, part outdoors, the outdoor shower being an absolute highlight (there is a more conventional indoor one too).
For evening, there are 4 restaurants, only one of which you need to book for, all others are turn up and eat. Best of lot for us was the Sea Grill - fantastic freshly caught seafood.
Choice of main restaurant and small beach bar (6-7 places only) for lunch - both good. Beach bar does tacos and cerviche only, plus beers and churros - superb.
Island has its own reef for snorkelling - access only restricted by tides / swell. Got to see turtles and sharks (small!) and a vast array of smaller, colourful reef fish. Island offers a load of cruises for snorkelling and diving - didn't do any, so can't review.
Island is tiny, can walk round it in about 7 mins. There's a gym and a spa. Gym small but has enough kit to make you feel you've had a workout.
We went to Kandolhu to chill, and certainly achieved that. It is fab, would defo return, and wouldn't look at any other island
We had a lovely stay at Kandolhu with a friendly welcome and sendoff from the team.
The island is beautiful with gorgeous sand, coral reef and beautiful views, it truly is a magical spot.
We had a water villa which was superb.
They offered a bag of laundry , GoPro , beach bag with bat and ball etc these are great little touches.
Staples such as bathrobes and towels are well worn and need upgrading to make it 5 star.
We spent 10 days here and loved every second!! The seaplane takes about 30 minutes to reach the island from Male, then there is a short speedboat ride, this time we were accompanied by 6 dolphins, of about 10 minutes to the island jetty where we were met by Laura and Marc, the management team, and then we were taken straight to our villa.These villas are all amazing, having there own private garden with sun loungers which lead you down to the sandy beach and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
The villas themselves are equipped with everything you could need from a lovely bathroom, television, very comfortable bed and a very well stocked bar.
The snorkeling is brilliant with many different varieties of fish and other sea life. And the sea is so warm!! However, do expect the occasional spell of rain, which can last for an hour or more and can be torrential, but normally passes fairly quickly.
However, the stars of the island are the staff. Most of the waiters are football mad and enjoy a chat about recent games but EVERYONE is so courteous and friendly.
If you are reading this trying to decide whether or not to go.......GO... YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
Let me start by saying that we NEVER write reviews about our travels as everyones experience is truly unique. My wife and I travel regularly around the globe throughout the year and have been to many beautiful locations and resorts. I can honestly say that our trip to Kandolhu is among the very best in so many categories...location, food, staff, villa quality, excursions, spa, snorkeling, diving...all exceptional in their own right for comparison against any other resort and when you combine them all to create the Kandolhu experience there is nothing that can be compared to what you will enjoy. From the moment you arrive until the moment you depart you will experience the utmost in relaxation and luxury...the Four Seasons, St. Regis, LUX and other 5 star resorts have nothing on this level in our opinion. The pictures don't do it justice...go and experience it for yourselves. We will go back again and again...a truly exhilarating and relaxing experience at the same time. Lastly, as foodies from New York City we can promise you that everything you smell, taste, eat or drink from a culinary perspective is beyond what you can imagine. Kandolhu is truly a magical place...hope whomever reads this gets to enjoy this fabulous resort at some point!
If you are considering going here….. do believe – there is paradise and this is it. There aren’t enough superlatives to do this place justice!
We have recently returned from celebrating our wedding anniversary there. We could not have chosen a better place.
The island is paradise, it is magical. The team that manage it have an amazing happy team of staff, everyone is made to feel very special. The whole experience starts when you land in Male. The Kandolhu lounge, the seaplane and the speed boat trip are all very well organised. But the site of the island coming into view and the welcoming committee on the jetty is just an incredible start to your time here.
Point to note sometimes the sea plane cannot take all the bags, we were told one of our bags would travel with us and the other would be sent on the next plane – about 1 hour later, if we had wanted to we could have gone and picked which case went with us – we didn’t but next time I will make sure that we split our packing. –but the bag was with us and delivered direct to our room within the stated time within an hour of our arrival – we were not inconvenienced in the slightest!
All the accommodation is special and extremely well equipped. The wine cellar is stocked with an extensive list of delicious wines from around the world, the fridge is stocked with soft drinks, iced coffee, chocolate and mixers for your shelf of spirits! (we were on the all inclusive package and the empties were replaced everyday!) The toiletries smell incredible and are plentiful. The GoPro and the ipad are a great addition, the ipad not only as it holds all your information of what is happening on the island but also has an extensive playlist that goes through the in room sound system. Oh and the turn down team leave cakes! As well as what you need to know about the next day if you have any trips booked. Everyone who looked after us was so courteous and accommodating nothing was too much trouble.
We stayed in a beach villa, it was extremely private, had its own deck with a table chairs and a comfortable sofa area as well as a small almost enclosed garden with sunbeds and a parasol, you could not see our neighbours and we couldn’t hear ours either.
The water sports team are fantastic, you can collect a set of flippers, mask and a snorkel to keep with you for your holiday, they have a wide selection of trips to choose from and the island own reef has an abundance of fish, we were lucky to see manta ray and dolphins as well as the resident turtles and black tipped reef sharks. They even do private charters and you can do a trial scuba dive on the house reef. We went on the Desert Island experience and were so lucky to have no one else there with us. The picnic was delicious and the guys that took us there did a great job setting everything up (including a table decoration!). You can canoe – there is even a double canoe, paddle board and windsurf, there was never a queue!
OMG - The restaurants were all incredible and the food was out of this world with an unbelievable selection to choose from. Head chef Mickael is amazing and has created incredible menus with his team. (follow his insta account to see his creations) Each restaurant was different but had so much to offer it was difficult to have a favourite. Even breakfast was an experience with a choice from freshly prepared buffet items to call order items from around the world. Even a smoothie of the day and a vitamin shot –different each day with different ingredients. We saw more dinners in the restaurants and the bar on an evening which would be expected, but we never had to wait for a table and the most people at breakfast when we went was 8! For lunch we ate at the jetty Mexican restaurant Ata Roa and only once we had a 5 minute wait for 2 of the 7 seats! - not a chore as you can sit with a drink on the jetty watching the baby sharks! -they serve the most amazing tacos and cerviche! All created in front of you by Giro the chef.
The only restaurant that they take bookings for is Banzai as there are 2 sittings each evening with 6 people at each! – it’s a fun entertaining experience as well as amazing food prepared in front of you! Alan is the showman!
The bar staff are so friendly and work so well together and prepare amazing cocktails.
The restaurant staff are all amazing and are keen to engage with you and are so proud of Kandolhu.
Sunsets (with a bottle of chilled wine) and sun rises are amazing …. And snorkel just after the sun rises for even more fish activity on the reef!
My Husband contacted Laura before we arrived and booked a moonlit jetty dinner, the staff made it so special from start to finish, we chose an ‘His and Her’ menu, picked our wine and champagne, they even put music on for us. It was very romantic. Frando and his team did well! Not a dry eye !!
You can do as much or as little as you want, the gym is well equipped for a bit of exercise. The crystal clear water is warm and safe as is the swimming around the reef . You can wander round the island within 10 minutes, canoe it in 15 and take hours snorkelling round it watching the abundance of fish.
We met people who had been there many times before, and there was even a couple staying for 3 months! (life goal set!) everyone falls in love with this place, it is not only beautiful, it is calming, restful and utterly luxurious with a fabulous friendly team of staff, Mark and Laura the managers are always about and interested in what you are doing, but mostly they, as do all the staff, know exactly what you have been doing and they are all keen to ensure you have a great time.
Tip – I really did not need that pair of heels – bare foot or at the most flip flops are all that is required (maybe for walking on hot sand or the jetty) – even at night!
Marc and Laura are doing an incredible job here!
Thank you also to Adrianna at Kuoni Chichester who pointed us in this direction!
Will we be going back –yes !