I sat down to write about the Maldives and decided that I wasn’t going to write another Maldives Tourism Board-worthy piece, extolling the virtues of this archipelagic nation made up of over 1000 sun-kissed islands. There are enough sites out there telling you about the amazing underwater marine life, the pure white sandy beaches, the stunning turquoise waters off the 26 atolls and the indulgent resorts.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my stay in the Maldives, especially since I was staying at Kandooma Maldives, a Holiday Inn resort.
I didn’t quite enjoy the rocky ride from the airport to the resort though. The rocky 45-minute BOAT ride in the middle of the ocean AT NIGHT, and in peak rainy, monsoon season!
I can’t swim. At all. So yes, in the boat we were, and while my hubby was nodding off even as the boat seemed to dangerously crash onto waves, I had my death grip on his arm while keeping my eyes on the boat captain. I didn’t dare blink. I was terrified.
But that’s just me. When my friend took the same journey some other time, he asked what the hell I was on about.
And actually, I don’t think the boat ride will be an issue for most people. I’ve even read some people complimenting the stunning view along the way. But I suppose they were travelling in day time, in sunny weather!
Ok, so putting aside the death-wish boat ride, once I was actually on land, it was just perfect. I mean, just look at the pictures of my stay at Kandooma Maldives!
The Overwater Villas represent everything Maldives to me. Just open the windows and jump right into the middle of the Indian Ocean!
Of course that wasn’t for me, but my hubby enjoyed snorkeling right outside our villa every morning.
Meanwhile, I lazed around on the “water hammock” and squealed as baby sharks swam right under me!
With 24-hour room service delivery, you’d be tempted to just stay in your villa, but then you’d be missing out on some pretty cool experiences like the bustling Fisherman’s Market, where you can select from the freshly caught fish and have it prepared on the spot for you.
Other restaurants include Bokkuraa Coffee Club for western fare like pastas and pizzas or the more elegant, theatre-dining style, The Kitchen, where you can try Maldivian cuisine.
The breakfast is a buffet selection at Kandooma Café and it was good enough that I ended up skipping lunch most days.
There are a couple of bars to get your sundowner fix – a beach bar and my preferred option, the rooftop bar from where you can enjoy the sunsets.
Only thing to note is that you’re pretty much limited to the restaurants at the resort, because it just doesn’t make sense (financially, at least) to hire boats out to other resorts just for a change in food scene.
So it’s a good thing the food is good, too bad about the prices though!
You can also arrange for trips out to dive, snorkel or do other water sports like surf, wakeboard and windsurf.
My hubby took the boat out to snorkel and said it was just the most amazing underwater scene he had ever seen. And described how the atolls “work” – as in you’re seeing all the fascinating corals and marine life when suddenly, it’s like you dropped off the water’s edge and you just see black. Nothing but the deep, dark depths of the ocean.
Sounds freaky to me, but certainly exciting for divers, I’m sure!
I must say, the service at Kandooma Maldives is beyond par. Everyone is helpful and smiling, not stressed, and on my husband’s birthday, we were given 3 birthday cakes!! One over breakfast, with champagne thrown in, 2nd one delivered to our room and by the time the 3rd one was given to us over dinner, my hubby just blew the candles out and passed the cake to the neighbouring tables!
We stayed in the Overwater Villas for 2 nights then moved to the Garden Villas (around USD 650 vs USD 200). The garden villa is great too, of course, after you’ve stayed at the Overwater Villas, this pales but there’s a cool outdoor shower in each villa and a nice patio area with a hammock to relax in.
With all that relaxation, you can imagine on my last day how morose I felt especially while waiting to head back to the airport and realizing that, yikes, storm clouds were coming again and it was gonna be another “electrifying” boat ride for me.
But, like I said, that fear is just mine. Chances are, you’ll be taking a boat ride (if not, a seaplane) to whichever resort you’re planning to stay at in Maldives, so nothing to be overly concerned about!
So, with all the reports about how the Maldives might be “disappearing”, thanks to global warming and rising sea levels, maybe make those plans for a visit sometime soon!
Best time to visit the Maldives:
There are two seasons – both called Monsoon seasons. Ironically, the Winter Monsoon (November – April) is the best time to visit with sunny skies and calm waters. Prices naturally follow suit and reach peaks during December.
The Summer Monsoon (May – October) is the wet season, where you’d probably experience thunderstorms and rough seas. For divers, this might be the better time to visit, and prices are cheaper as well.
That said, I visited in July, (hence that scary boat ride story above) but as you can see from my pictures, I enjoyed quite a few sunny days during my stay.
Weather is always unpredictable so just hope for the best!
Address: Kandooma Fushi, South Male’ Atoll, Republic of Maldives
Contact: Tel: +960 664 0511, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TOLL FREE NUMBER 1-800-1651-8888