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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Staying at Kandooma Resort was so good. It was recommended to me by a friend and he was right, it was fantastic. It had great friendly staff, who did their job and left you to your own devices.The surf and snorkelling were great and the food was of a very high standard. I dont think that I have ever been so relaxed due to the serenity.It was perfect.

Stayed: August 2018
2  Thank 49duende .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRKM, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear 49duende,

We are so delighted to read that your Kandooma experience has reached all of your expectations! On behalf of the whole team and management, thank you for your great review.

We do not have enough words to express how very grateful we are for your appreciation of our staff in Kandooma. They really do strive to exceed our guests expectations at all times.

May the wonderful memories of your stay entice you to return for another splendid holiday.

Kind regards
Joseph Della Gatta
General Manager

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Reviewed September 10, 2018

We were met by great personnel at the airport and swiftly taken to the boat. We were the only two onboard as a later flight was coming in with a bunch of guests. Cold towels and water were given onboard. The guys were so sweet, and they actually stopped the boat halfway over for us to see the dolphins for about 5 minutes. From the moment we were in the hands of Kandooma we were treated professionally and the staff were all fantastic. We were also incredibly lucky with the weather, as we arrived on Sept 1, which is technically the rainy season. It’s a crap shoot is what I’m saying.

ROOM:
Our beach room was #106. I can highly recommend! Great “outdoor” bathroom with a tub and an outdoor shower. The room was clean and had everything one would need. It had a lovely view of the trees and was a very short walk to the lagoon where there were baby rays and baby black-tip sharks. The cutest! A great place to get refreshed and then back to your outdoor bed/cabana on the beach. I did get a chance to see inside the two storey villa. It has the bed situated looking over the views and a downstairs sandy lounge area. Quite romantic.

FOOD:
The food was really quite lovely. My boyfriend fell in love with the Maldivian cuisine that they serve once a week on the beach, and really enjoyed the Indian dishes as well. I’m a total wuss when it comes to hot food, but my god it was tasty. I think for the variety of nationalities they have to cater to that the buffet is varied and good. Always lots of veggies and salad, as well as fruits and desserts. If you are a vegan (I’m not) you will probably struggle for variety, so there is one area that the chef could perhaps stretch his/her legs a bit. The wait staff are very attentive and kind. The other restaurant has quite an extensive menu that you order from, and the meals we had there were good, some dishes were much better than others. All in all very nice.

WATER:
As always, beautiful. The lagoon is murky, don’t know why. If you have tender feet I would highly suggest you wear water booties. The sand stops being that wonderful powdery sugar at the waters’ edge and turns quite rough. I’m pretty sure it’s due to coral die off and residuals from the tsunami in the aughts. No fault of the resort! Snorkel gear is gratis and worth getting. They have established new coral growth in the harbor beach, and it is wonderful to see all the different fish and eels. We did the turtle snorkeling trip and my god I cannot more highly recommend. It’s a 45min boat ride out and then kersplash! In you go. Isay was our guide and he very kindly took our GoPro and free dove down to follow the turtles for minutes on end so we got fantastic footage. Great customer service! I also had a turtle come right next to me and swim along side for about 5 minutes. So cool. We didn’t do the other water options, such as shark feeding and dolphins/whale shark snorkeling, but that was more out of sheer laziness/penny pinching. I would imagine they are equally cool. The resort also has a free “try dive” course that I think is a great idea for anyone curious about diving. I hear great things about their PADI dive center. If we go back with the kids I want to get them and the bf certified. Also worth mentioning is the fact that they have an under advertised option to go fishing. We had friends we met at the resort take us out on one, and although we didn’t catch a thing, the sunrise and boat trip were wonderful. Isay invited them back to go out with two other locals at sunrise two days later and they caught 23 fish. MahiMahi, yellowfin and bluefin tuna. They grilled it up for us that night and it was sublime. The extra fish we didn’t eat went to the island crew.

JIMMY BARNES:
We were on Kandooma for special, private Jimmy Barnes concerts arranged by Perfect Wave. Now, I’m not a fan, but my Kiwi boyfriend sure is. He’s certain Jimmy hung the moon. It was enjoyable, but to be honest I think Jimmy phoned it in. He played three separate concerts that lasted about 1-1.5hrs. Problem was, at least 60% of the songs he sang were the same every night. He has released, what? 16 albums, and yet we got repeats every night. I think if you’re a hardcore fan like my bf you’re just happy to see him and are drunk enough not to care. But I was disappointed. We payed a lot of money to see Jimmy Barnes, and I don’t feel we got our money’s worth. My bf thinks otherwise, so that’s good. We were there for him in the first place, so I’m glad he’s happy.

THE CONS:
The first thing I want to say here is that this is by no means the resort’s fault, nor is it anything they can control. But the local island literally next door is doing a bunch of construction facing Kandooma, and it’s an eyesore. The next problem is that they have these ginormous floodlights, and a lot of them are pointing directly at Kandooma. The third thing is that they have these loudspeakers, and they have no compunction about playing the same song on a loop all day and night, as well as angry political debates well into the night. It’s constant, and it wrecks your mood big time if you are unable to block out noise. If I had paid for an overwater villa I would have been LIVID. If you get one, ask for one that faces northeast. Also the beach suites that are between the surf shop and the over water villas have a direct view of the island next door. You can’t sit outside without getting blasted with strong lights or listening to loud music and debates. Avoid at all costs if you want the calmness of a tropical island. That island is a bad neighbor!

Food is expensive if you don’t book the all inclusive. As in, the buffet is something like $75 per meal. If you eat there three meals a day it will hurt come checkout time. Drinks are also spendy, so if you’re a drinker I’d also consider the package. You can of course order a la carte at the restaurant next to the buffet and keep the costs down to a dull roar. The problem is, the resort doesn’t show on it’s homepage that all inclusive is an option you can choose. It’s just breakfast. I’m fairly certain they make more money when folks have to pay individually.

Next is about the islands, specifically the ones close to Male. If you think that you are going to sit on an island and not have a view of other islands with a bunch of lights you will be sorely mistaken. That feeling of getting away from it all and looking up at the millions of stars because there’s no ambient light? Forget it. For some reason I thought that most island are resorts, but in fact many are local islands with all the things that come with habitation, including trash burning. And they burn everything, so if you’re in the wrong spot you will be smelling burnt plastics and everything else. It wasn’t an issue while we were on Kandooma, but when you are out on the boats you can really see it. So if you want to really have that feeling of getting away from it all, I would pay the extra money and fly to a more remote location. And Male itself is a complete shitshow. Even the locals avoid it.

Room Tip: Any room above 110 if you want quiet
Stayed: September 2018, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Hairho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnRKM, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Hairho,

Thank you for an amazingly detailed review of your time with us at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

I am truly happy to see that you had a great time with us enjoying Jimmy Barnes music and to see your appreciation of my team members efforts. Your recommendations and suggestions will no doubt assist other travelers looking to visit us and we thank you for it!

Hairho, my team and I hope to welcome you back to Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives very soon!

Best regards
Joseph Della Gatta
General Manager

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Reviewed September 7, 2018 via mobile

Anywhere in the maldives is beautiful and holiday inn is a slightly more affordable option. Staying at the overwater villa is still luxurious, despite the brand. Excellent service too, similar to many good chain hotels here

Stayed: September 2018, traveled as a couple
Thank bcheong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnResortKM, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2018

Dear bcheong,

Thank you for your review of your time with us at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

I am delighted to see your appreciation of our resort and the services that we provided. I couldn't agree more that our Overwater Villas are absolutely stunning and offer amazing views!

bcheong, thank you again and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives very soon!

Best regards

Joseph Della Gatta
General Manager

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Reviewed September 4, 2018 via mobile

We went for a holiday along with our 11 month old kid.

Service - 5/5
Courteous staff and service was impeccable. They went out of the way to make meals for our kid as oer our requirements.
Ambience - 5/5
We stayed in beach villa in south side of the island. The beach in this area is one of the finest to go for a swim or snorkeling session. Room was spacious and cozy.
Food - 4/5
Food was fresh and tasty in breakfsst and alacarte. I am rating it 4 because of the pricing for fisherman's market buffet kept on Saturdays. It looked like the fishes were kept in ice for long as it was hard and not what you would expect in a fresh catch. They charge around 85 dollars per person including tax which was overpriced for what was offered.

I wiill definitely recommend this resort for both couples and family vacations.Food is pricy though.

Next trip, I will explore the guest houses which seemed to offer equivalent ambience and food at much lower prices. Lets see!!

Stayed: August 2018, traveled with family
1  Thank NavieenA1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnResortKM, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2018

Dear Navieen P,

Thank you for your recent review of your time with us at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

I am happy to see that for the most part you enjoyed your time with us. My colleagues will be thrilled to see your appreciation of their efforts and we truly appreciate your recommendation to other family travellers.

I am happy to see that you will be returning to the Maldives - from my experience I can share that there is a slight difference between a resort and guest house experience - mainly that the resorts offer more variety in terms of activities which are more personalised services in an intimate setting. However I agree that the beauty of the Maldives is that there is something for everyone.

Navieen P, we would love to welcome you back to Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives on your next visit to the Maldives!

Best regards

Joseph Della Gatta
General Manager

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Reviewed September 3, 2018

We stayed in this resort last week of July 2018, thank goodness the last storm was on the day of our arrival. We stayed in a beach villa which was great, air conditioned. The a la carte restaurant was fantastic. The beaches are clean, staff are friendly. We also got to visit the locally inhabited island.... great experience. The hotel also organizes entertainment by a band which was quite good for a Thursday night.. overall i enjoyed the stay

Room Tip: clean beaches, beach villas surrounded by trees so blocks ocean view
  • Stayed: July 2018, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Viv M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HolidayInnResortKM, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2018

Dear Viv M,

Thank you for your review of your time with us at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

I am delighted to see that you had a wonderful time with us - I shall personally ensure that my team is congratulated for their efforts. The Local Island visit is one of my personal favourites as it really showcases authentic Maldivian life and the hospitality we recieve from the local islanders is truly heartwarming.

Viv M, thank you again and we all hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives very soon.

Best regards

Joseph Della Gatta
General Manager

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