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“The real Robinson Crusoe island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kandolhu Island

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Kandolhu Island
Kandholhudhoo   |  
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Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in North Ari Atoll
Folkestone, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“The real Robinson Crusoe island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2010

Our second visit to this wonderful little island that incorporates the very essence of the Maldives feel.The best reef in the Maldives the best coral in the Maldives a few metres from your door peace and relaxation no swimming pools no entertainment really good food provided by an outstanding chef. The deal includes free snorkelling trips to other reefs, free sunset cruises and trips around the Atoll aboard the island's own gulet. The staff many of whom were there last year are wonderful and the management go out of their way to make your wishes come true. The only downside if their is one is that the excellent reef attracts many snorkel boats from other islands which one would ideally do without

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

What more can I say. This place is incredible and absolutley perfect in every single way. It's a tiny jewell, with only 18 rooms that are beautifully apointed. Service is impeccible, food is delicious, the spa is relaxation personified and the diving is beyond belief. Thank you to everyone for making our stay so special.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2009

stunning trip, service, food, accomodation. I have been to the far east, caribbean and nowhere comes near the maldives, then this island is a class above. too beautiful to describe. my fiance proposed to me there so its extra-special for that reason but i cant imagine ever being anywhere as beautiful again. please go!

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2009

Its taken awhile to write this review (18 months!) but I thought its worth sharing with others regarding this little gem of a place. We were on a three day add-on to the Kuramthai Cottage holiday. We thought Kuramathai was special but this place that seems to have three different spellings was a class apart.

We stayed in one of the deluxe villas that was just beautiful with four poster bed, jacuzzi, outdoor waterfall shower etc.etc. The main areas we loved we were the outdoor spa which by leaving you flip flops mean you have the place to yourselves! We also did a sunset couples massage which concluded with a bubble both for two with champagne and fruit.

The snorkelling was the best I've experienced with fabulous visibility, but there is a strong current. My wife was a novice and found it a bit of hard work but was never out of her comfort zone. They offer little emergency buoyancy wrist bands in the scuba shop which are free as long as you don't have to inflate them. I didn't dive here so I can't really comment on this side of things.

The big difference from Kuramathai was the excursions were all free of charge. We took the sunset cruise, and the guest manager apologised as we were the only couple to turn up, we thought they would cancel it but off we headed, the two of us, the manager and a full staff on a 40ft boat!
There was complimentary wine and snacks included.

We also did a snorkelling excursion that went out to a reef on a submerged island. At one stage we got a bit tired and took a break swimming over the island. We were able to stand up in the Indian ocean with the nearest land miles away. The service was excellent particularly from the guest manager although I've experienced better waiting staff in other countries.

The food was good and the restaurant very casual with a sand floor, we were concerned with just the one restaurant on the island but these fears were unfounded. We did a beach bbq for my wife's birthday with a personal chef and waiter which was very good although the rendition of "Happy Birthday" by the staff wont be attracting the attention of Simon Cowell! It is dark at night so you do need the torch and there is wildlife scuttling around the whole time.

The biggest thumbs up we can give this place is summed up by the fact we travelled with another honeymoon couple who were on a day trip from Kuramathai. Once they saw this place, they immediately requested a three day stay like ourselves!

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

Kandholhu is one of the most beautiful Island in Maldives where I have been, I been in 17 resorts last 17 years and Kandholhu is most amazing Island, Service Excelennet, food excellent, snorkelling excellent and Yacht cruise are perfect.
Kandholhu is my secret island beatiful island and I preffered not advertise Kandholhu as always booked and difficult book . So please keep secret.


  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gainesville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2008

I spent a week at Kandholhudhoo (aka Kandholhu) at the end of July/beginning of August 2007 with my boyfriend at the time. It was the third of three islands we visited (also went to Mirihi and Eriyadu).

Kandholhu was the most physically beautiful, classical "Robinson Crusoe" type island of the three, with Mirihi being a close second for beauty. The island is very small. You can walk all the way around it at a leisurely pace in 10 minutes or so. There are only 4 water villas, so most of the views from the beach are unbroken, looking out over the horizon. The beach is very wide compared to other islands in the Maldives and does not seem to be suffering from erosion problems at all. The villas and other buildings are concealed well by the foliage and are very natural-looking.

We stayed in a deluxe villa, I believe we were in #5 or 6. It was close to the water villas but we were not looking directly at them from behind. It was a little more private than some of the other villas as it was set back more from the beach and concealed by more foliage, but the downside was that our view from our porch was not as good. The room was beautiful. The four poster bed with netting was quite romantic and the outdoor bathroom was breathtaking. The shower was my favorite of all the resorts, like a waterfall. The birds loved to bathe in the pool at the top of the shower! The whirlpool tub was also large and functioned well. There were his and hers vanities and sinks in the oversize bathroom as well. One note for those who don't like bugs...the outdoor bathrooms do attract bugs at night so be prepared for a surprise when you turn the lights on. It didn't bother me because I expect to encounter bugs when I'm on a remote island, but they do bother some people so be aware...

The diving was very, very good at Kandholhu although the boat was smaller than other resorts--likely a function of the small number of guests. However, you are not allowed to dive on the housereef without a guide unless all members of the party have advanced OW certification. I did see a manta ray on the housereef in the rainy season, so it was pretty great! The snorkelling was also very good. There are several channels in the reef where you can swim to the outer edge, and you can probably snorkel around the whole island in about 2 hours. You can also snorkel in the lagoon to see baby rays, etc.

The food was quite good although I thought it was better at Mirihi. There was a little bit less variety at Kandholhu and some of the dinners were set menus instead of buffets. This is one of the reasons I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars, but this is a fairly minor complaint. Most evenings, if the weather is good, they put the dinner tables directly on the beach, which is a very romantic experience. It is, however, very dark, so you do need to use the flashlight they provide to get to and from dinner, and to read the menu!

The spa on this island is amazing! There are sauna/steam rooms and hot tubs in the center of the island, in a pavilion with mens/womens sides. You can use one of the sides as a couple. If you leave your shoes outside the door, no one else is supposed to come in...although BF and I were surprised by a Polish family who seemed unaware of this rule and walked in on us when we were in the sauna sans clothing, could have done without that! There are also massage/treatment rooms with whirlpools facing directly out onto the beach. You can have a massage at sunset, then sit in the jacuzzi with champagne and fruit and watch the sunset. This was one of the highlights of our visit and I highly recommend it.

The only other reason I gave this place 4 stars instead of 5 is that I had just come from Mirihi, where the staff and management went out of their way to make you feel welcome and at home. Kandholhudu's management was much more hands off and they did not take the same personal interest in their guests.

Overall I thought this was a spectacularly beautiful, romantic, secluded island and I would definitely recommend it for a honeymoon or anniversary trip. I would strongly recommend against bringing children to this island.

  • Liked — Beauty of the island, fantastic housereef, outdoor bathroom
  • Disliked — Wish the food had been a little bit better
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2007

Our stay on this island is without doubt the most terrible experience of my life to date. We purchased the Coral Romance Tour through our tour operator on another island (see previous post).

On arrival at the island it was a perfect picture of paradise, a real gem. We relaxed for a little, went on a guided snorkel safari and saw some of the most amazing marine life. We took lunch at the bar and had some nice fish ( or so we thought).

We then went to the spa and had a couples treatment and retired for a siesta in our waterside bungalow.

All seemed well.......

At about 5pm in the evening my girlfriend complained that she was feeling ill and then proceeded to be sick a few times. I though this was just a bad reaction to something so I thought nothing of it until she couldn't stop with sickness and diarrhoea. I started being ill at about 7pm.

At about 9pm it was getting so bad that I decided to call the hotel manager and get an emergency doctor sent to us. They said there was not one on the island and they would call one. Nothing happened for two hours and the situation was getting much worse. We were badly dehydrated and the sickness and diarrhoea showed no signs of stopping.

I told the hotel manager that he must call a doctor immediately and he then said on would be here at 10am, nearly 11 hours later. I told him that the situation was dangerous as neither of us could hold down water.

I then spent the next five hours trying to convince the man to fly out a doctor and when I told him my girlfriend was barely conscious and if anything happened to her I would hold him personally responsible he gave in and said the doctor would come at dawn.

Maybe he was scared about the repercussions of giving someone food poisoning, or maybe he was just mean......but I have to say that his scant regard for our health and wellbeing was alarming. What if we had been an elderly couple or a young children?

When the doctor arrived he couldn't believe that he'd not been called sooner. He put us both on IV drips and gave us a series of drugs to address our problems. We were then taken to hospital on our main island and stayed there until our treatment was finished. We couldn't eat anything for about three days after that an even now still have some symptoms.

Please be careful what you eat and always check the availability of emergency services before you go anywhere!

Stayed September 2007
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Additional Information about Kandolhu Island

Address: Kandholhudhoo
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > North Ari Atoll
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in North Ari Atoll
#1 Spa Hotel in North Ari Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Even in the Maldives, an island so perfectly formed as Kandolhu is rare. Measuring just 200 metres by 150 metres, the island is lush, with wide sandy beaches surrounding the emerald green. The island is also home to one of the most pristine, colourful and lively house reef in the Maldives. Easily accessible from all around the island, you will find large table corals as well as many clown fish living in sea anemones. Located 70 kilometres south west of Male' in North Ari Atoll, the island is reached in 25 minutes by seaplane. Offering just 30 villas in 5 different styles, both over the water and on the beach, the island is perfect for couples wanting some alone time in paradise. The distinctive natural elements of the Maldives are perfectly combined with modern architecture and creature-comforts in creating an experience so memorable that it will stay with you forever. Kandolhu Island is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kandholhu Island Resort And Spa
Kandholhu Island Hotel North Ari Atoll
Kandolhu Island Maldives/North Ari Atoll

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