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Monday, 26 September 2016

Kandolhu Resort Maldives Review; The Best Hotel In The Maldives?!

kondalhu maldives travel blog
Hey guys, hope you're well! Sorry for the slight delay in this post, it was meant to go live this weekend but jetlag has seriously hit me! I'm so excited to be writing my second Maldives post today, I've decided to break my Maldives trip up into a number of different posts and videos so you guys can really explore each Maldives resort with me and then, if you are thinking of booking a trip to the Maldives, hopefully this will help you choose the best hotel. Don't forget to read my Velassaru Maldives post and watch my Maldives videos here to stay up to date! Today, long awaited, I'm writing about one of the most incredible hotels I've ever stayed in, a serious accolade coming from me as I'm a *little* bit of a hotel snob. I'm far too excited, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to meet paradise as I introduce you to my new love, Kandolhu. 
Kandolhu Resort
We jumped on a seaplane from our previous resort, (equally insane, make sure you check it out) Velassaru, apart from arriving at Velassaru on day one, this was the second easiest transfer of the trip. You head back to Male airport and then jump on a short seaplane to the resort which is a really fun experience flying over the little islands. Annoyingly, there is a bit of waiting around but you have a gorgeous little lounge area which makes the wait a little bit better. Kandolhu resort is so exceptional that it's definitely worth the wait, trust me (coming from the most impatient person ever). 
kandolhu resort maldivesWe arrived and it was totally worth the wait and hands down one of the most beautiful Maldives resorts I've seen (trust me, I've looked at a lot of them, I feel like a Maldives expert I've done so much research on the best resorts to stay in the Maldives). Kandolhu is actually one of the smallest islands but trust me, it doesn't feel small when you get onto the island, just like Velassaru, it's filled with delicious restaurants and lots of things to do. Everyone keeps asking me the same thing about the Maldives: Do you get bored? The answer? No, by the time you've had breakfast, snorkelled, and eaten lunch, it's time for dinner and bed! The days seem really short because the light goes at about 5pm and each resort has a gym, a spa, watersports so there really is a lot to do. 

the maldives beach villa
We wandered around and finally my dream came true, we checked into a water villa.

The bedroom itself was gorgeous although hard to capture on photos; large, roomy and comfortable with a walk in wardrobe and mini bar which gets refilled for free daily. You even have your own rack of wine with over 20 wines which impressed me, as well as premium spirits too. You really do get spoilt at Kandolhu and they go above and beyond to make sure that every element of your stay is exceptional from the moment you arrive. However, as lovely as the bedroom was, it was the outside that blew me away, get ready for this...

kandolhu maldives

luxury travel blogger

maldives water villa

The outdoor area itself makes this easily one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed. With one step, you're in the Indian ocean, toes in the water at the bottom of the pool. The whole room has no expensive spared, with the finest furniture, bed linen and toiletries, you name it, this really is pure luxury. It's safe to say, I'd happily get ready here every day.  I could have happily moved in here forever. It was a genuine pleasure staying in such a beautiful room. You can watch my video below, a Summer get ready with me in the bathroom, so you can really see what the bathroom is like in the flesh.

The beauty of staying in a water villa? You don't even need to leave, the world seriously is your oyster in that beautiful little area, you can snorkel from it, eat from there, anything you wish. That's the best thing about the Maldives, you can be as active as you wish, as relaxed as you wish or as private as you wish. If you wanted to hide away inside your gorgeous little villa (trust me, it's difficult to leave) then that's totally okay but equally, if you want to go out and explore, you can. We jumped straight into our beautiful part of the ocean with our snorkel kit and instantly, right at the bottom of our steps saw sharks and turtles, it was one of the most beautiful snorkelling experiences of my life. Kandolhu is apparently famous for how incredible it's reef is and I can certainly vouch for that. I never in my wildest dreams expected to stumble upon turtles right beneath my feet.

We dried off and headed straight for lunch. The lunch menu was absolutely incredible, a la carte and the highest quality. Fish tacos, steak, chicken kebabs, burgers - anything you could imagine was on the menu. The food was exceptional, even at lunch when you expect it to just be standard, it was one of the best lunch menus I've ever seen. Not only was the food exceptional, but the service was too. The service was so personal and genuinely lovely, it really made Kandolhu special. The staff knew us by name and treated us so well. I really couldn't complain about anything at Kandolhu.  There's no pressure at Kandolhu, it's very relaxed so if you want to drink cocktails all day, you can, if you'd prefer to just chill and eat a late lunch at 4, that's totally fine too - it's your holiday and you just feel so relaxed.

After another snorkel session closer to the beach this time, it was soon time to get ready for dinner.

Dress / Sunglasses, here and here. Missguided also currently have 50% off everything today so you can grab some of the items I wore 50% cheaper here!

Dinner was exceptional every single night, with chefs who cooked exactly what you wanted and tended to your every need. I'm quite a fussy eater and had no issue at all, it really felt like we were fine dining every single evening. The Maldives is food paradise, particularly if you stay at Kandolhu.  I've never been so impressed with food abroad until I visited the Maldives, you can tell they really do work with the best chefs in these fantastic resorts. Who'd know that such culinary delights lay in such tiny little drops of the ocean?

We were lucky enough to head out on a sunset cruise organised by the hotel. I wore my gorgeous white lace dress (online here).

We glided past our beautiful little room into the sunset, spotting private islands as we went. The staff onboard the cruise were amazing, topping us up with champagne, serving us canap├ęs and talking to us about the fish - I had so many questions about sharks, dolphins and whales and they were more than happy to chat to me all night long. We even spotted dolphins which was pretty amazing. We also learnt about a private island (see below) and I definitely have my eyes on there for a wedding, one day haha.

We headed to the teppanyaki restaurant afterwards for what can only be described as food porn, I love it when they put on a show and the teppanyaki show at Kandolhu was so great, not to mention how insane the food tasted, probably the best teppanyaki I've ever tried.

Although when the view from the room is this good, it's hard to leave.

Kandolhu don't just get dinner and lunch right, but breakfast too. Avocado, feta and eggs on toast was my favourite. You guys all know just how much I love breakfast. 

If you've watched my swimwear lookbook video, you'll know this yellow number is one of my faves. After another day of relaxing, snorkelling and gymming, we headed for a massage. The massage room was stunning, made out of the most beautiful wood. We had the most delightful couples massage and both fell asleep in it. We chose lemongrass as our scent and our bodies were coated in the most nourishing oil. The whole resort smelt incredible, scattered in natural frangipani fresh from the trees. Luckily, my Nails Inc mani was still going strong by this point so a massage was all that was needed to keep my body hydrated.

If you read my top Summer essentials post, you'll know exactly what I packed. I spy Neom, Guerlain, Kiehl's and Elizabeth Arden too though and I couldn't not bring the Armani lipsticks of my dreams with me.

Mornings were spent working out and doing yoga on my Pure Zen yoga towel. The leggings are from Sweaty Betty and definitely fitted in with the beautiful surroundings (they're probably the most beautiful leggings I own). Working out is much easier with this view, that's for sure.

On our final day, we chose to relax by our gorgeous pool, swim some more and well, eat some more. I became slightly obsessed with swimsuits too, I love this white one. This one here from Missguided is a similar and cheaper alternative. 

Orange swimsuit, online here.

It's safe to say, we didn't want to leave Kandolhu when the time came and I'm still gutted to this day that I had to step foot off that beautiful resort. The staff were truly exceptional, the resort was beyond fantastic and actually felt like home because everyone was so genuinely lovely. There aren't enough adjectives to explain my love for Kandolhu; serene, beautiful, heavenly... the list goes on. Kandolhu truly ticked every single box, from service, to delicious food beyond belief and obviously, the most heavenly rooms. If you want to taste a little piece of heaven, relaxed luxury, I suggest you go to Kandolhu because seriously, you wont be disappointed. It's going to be tough beating this place, that's for sure. I've never been so content with a hotel in every single way and that's coming from someone who can always find something to complain about! I'll definitely be back one day, it would be the dream wedding destination that's for sure.

You can watch my full video about Kandolhu in the Maldives below. It would mean the world to me if you could subscribe to me on YouTube here!

Don't worry, we've got a few more Maldives posts coming and then some from Sri Lanka! For now, I'm planning my next travels!

Lots of love, Em x

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