Kandolhu Maldives - A Retreat for Couples
Turquoise blue waters, white sands, tropical weather - this is what a dream vacation sounds like.
This is what Maldives is all about. That is the good part or the part we hear more often about.
We arrived at Male on the morning of 5th September. The weather can be quite unpredictable in the Maldives. During our stay it was a mix of sunshine, thunderstorms, wild waves, and blue skies. We were taken from the International Airport to a waiting lounge of the resort near the Sea Plane port. We had to take a sea plane to where we were staying. Now, the sea plane ride is promoted as a touristic activity. I wouldn't recommend trying it out as a tourist unless it's a necessity. The experience is okayish - the azure blue waters are a sight to behold but the flight itself can be quite hot, and a little scary especially if you are used to Qatar Airways flights :D
Let me tell you this though - the journey to and from the airport to reach the resort/ island you are staying can be very tiring especially if the sea gets rough. I am not sure why I haven't heard of this much.
We took off from water, and after a flight of approximately 25 minutes. We landed in water in the middle of nowhere. We had a speed boat come to fetch us from the resort we were staying at.
Our first stop in the Maldives was Kandolhu - A beautiful island that gets its name from the Kandolhu flowers found everywhere in the island.
We were welcomed with Mango Coconut drink, and the weather looked perfect. Once I arrived, everything looked perfect - Tropical Paradise is all I had to say!
The island isn't very big. There's upto 30 villas in the whole island.
We were taken to our room immediately after so we could relax after our long journey.
We were staying in the duplex pool villa. It was very spacious, and details to make sure that everything was included that we weren't missing anything to enjoy and capture our time in the villa was paid attention to. The ground level had a pool, direct access to the beach, outdoor living, and dining area.
In addition to that there was also a massive indoor living area, with a big study , a wardrobe, and a garden bathroom with shower, and a free standing bath.
There was a GoPro5 in all of the rooms - and the idea being we could capture all our memories during our time there, and the night before our departure , they would put it all in a USB and hand it over to us. Such a well thought idea!
Our bedroom was so huge, it didn't fit well inside my camera lens. :D
Our itinerary was all planned and set.
The first stop after our room would be for lunch in the market. As we walked to the restaurant, it was a little windy, and the sun was as bright as it could be. We ordered our drinks, and food. The menu has enough options to choose from but isnt' as frivolous as the menus you see around in Doha.
Our visit was all set to be the escape to a sunny tropical paradise until we heard the winds howling. Then it started pouring in, the skies were grey, the water droplets were very heavy.
We had the tour of the island and a sunset cruise scheduled for the afternoon and evening, but it rained so hard that we had to change our plans. When it rained, it was a bit scary as the winds were harsh, and the sea was rough, and the skies stayed so dark.
Instead of everything scheduled that day, I decided to go for a spa session at Varu Spa. How I wished there was enough sunlight so I could share the beauty of the spa with you all now. Due to lack of sunlight, I couldn't capture it in the best light possible.
By the time I returned from the spa, it was still raining, and looked like there was no stop for it.
We had dinner at Banzai that day. Banzai is a Japanese restaurant, and seats only six people. The dinner there was highly entertaining, and quite a memorable experience to this day. I have never experienced a dinner like that yet before or after to this date. Since the island was small, the guests we ran into almost became our friends as we ended up meeting them everywhere - from restaurant to the beach, and just around.
Rain still kept pouring in, and it looked like it wasn't going to end anytime soon. We went to bed hearing the sounds of the wind lashing out at the seas and the ruffling of tree leaves. We prayed we would wake up to a more calm day.
We woke up to calmer skies, and seas.
We were back in the Market for breakfast after which we had snorkelling scheduled.
Myself and Mr. M was snorkelling for the first time ever. I am really scared of the water. I can tell you that our trial was an absolute failure. The instructor tried so hard to get myself to put my head under water, and I just couldn't. It was a memory that I will totally cherish though. I saw little sharks close to the shore, and am glad they were there. The water of the Maldives is very clear often when you look down you will be able to see some very beautiful sea creatures swimming around. If only I really gathered the courage and energy to snorkel properly.
Thank goodness that it was bright and sunny that day.
So, the snorkeling experience went through. Another activity we had scheduled for the day was the sunset cruise. If the sky stayed as clear as it was in the afternoon, the sunset would have been spectacular. However, closer to sunset the skies started becoming dark, and we kept doubting whether we would still be going for the cruise. We did do a cruise, it was beautiful even with the dark skies - the breeze was just perfect. They served us drinks on board, and some canapes. Perfect Moment in the wilderness of the sea!
And, not too long into the cruise and it started pouring. And, from then on until the morning it barely ever stopped pouring.
We had dinner at sea grill that night. I could easily vouch that it was one of the best places with absolutely delicious food. The restaurant has been decorated with corals that have been restored from Maldivian houses. It is a pretty sight on its own during the day!
We woke up to tumbled chairs outside the balcony which also kind of hinted on our not-so-smooth journey onwards which I will be sharing more of in my next post.
We had to leave Kandolhu very early in the morning as we had to catch a seaplane, and then a flight to our next destination. The sea was harsh, the ride wasn't the best of it all, but we made it out alive, and that's what mattered.
There was one thing that particularly stood out to me. There were too many coconut trees on the island but there wasn't one for me to order. When I asked about it, I was told that I had to request for it a day in advance. During our tour of the property, I also raised this question as to why I couldn't get hold of a coconut, and I was informed for safety reasons, all the coconuts were taken off the trees. Ever since I heard that, everytime I walked across a coconut tree, and there was wind blowing, I became a little too conscious.
Something that really left me impressed were the little notes that came to remind us of our schedule for the day, description of the amenities, and so on. We found it very touching!
Our memory in the Maldives wasn't entirely a smooth journey into tropical paradise. It was much more than that, and we are glad we lived through it, and made it back home!
Would I want to go back? Yes! To experience Maldives as the tropical paradise , it is known to be. Insha Allah someday!
Hospitality wise - There couldn't be a better place that I have been to than Kandolhu. Their organization and coordination as a team was fantastic. The care I received right from the moment I landed in Male' airport till I departed the hotel was priceless.
Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Kandolhu Maldives. As always, opinions, and pictures are my own.