Kandima is a new contemporary lifestyle resort in Dhaalu Atoll or South Nilandhe Atoll. Kandima Maldives, self-proclaimed to be the first lifestyle resort in the country, opened in December 2016. It boasts 274 studios and villas spread across 11 categories of rooms starting at US$575 per night.

The Kandima Maldives is on the largest island in Dhaalu Atoll. It is located 150 km from the tourism hub of Maldives, Malé, is 38 km long and 23 km wide with several dives sites. The atoll comprises of 8 inhabited islands, two beautiful tropical paradise resorts and many deserted islsands. With a total number of 56 isllands, Dhaalu Atoll is just 5 km south of Faafu Atoll. Kudahuvadhoo Island is the capital island of the atoll, located to the southern edge of Dhaalu Atoll.

Kandima can easily be accessed by seaplane or speedboat. Please make sure to check these prices before booking since the transfer can be pretty expensive. The seaplane alone costs around 550 EUR. So make sure to check for special packages beforehand. However, a domestic airport will open soon so that the transfer will become much more affordable.

Best lifestyle retreat in the Maldives

Located at a 45-minute flight from Malé and followed by a 20-minute boat ride to the island, the resort offers studios and villas with a private terrace and private pool. What makes Kandima so special? Well, if you ask me: in the end, it’s their people that make it all so unique and extraordinary. <3

They offer endless tropical views and an endless array of activities and events including  watersports, diving or snorkelling near the house reef, yoga, Zumba, bicycles, beach volleyball, petanque, arts and crafts lessons to name a few. Do I need to say more?! All in all, their package is endless and they can offer almost anything!

Stylish accomodation

Seriously, I was in heaven – I literally felt home away from home. This accomodation was a perfect match for me! The 274 studios and villas are more than just stylishly comfortable. They are smart! Flexible furniture concepts create the space that works best for you. I could open the doors onto my own private terrace and enjoyed endless tropical views as well as the most magical sunsets.

These are the rooms they offer:

Beach & Sky Studio

This is your very own cool, stylish and deluxe retreat, enjoying breathtakingly beautiful views from your own private terrace. They are all situated along the main beach.

Beach Villa with Jacuzzi

Set on the beachfront, you can enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes anytime! The private deck of the spacious villa extends towards the Indian Ocean with endless views you can only dream of.

Beach Pool Villa with Jacuzzi

As the temperatures rise, cool down in your own private pool. Dry off on the private deck of the spacious villa that extends towards the Indian Ocean and enjoy the view.

Ocean Pool Villa

Enjoy direct access to the ocean from your own private deck and uninterrupted views across the Indian Ocean from your private pool. Welcome to your very own spacious, stylish and deluxe overwater retreat.

Acqua Villa

Make a splash! Welcome to your very own spacious, stylish and deluxe overwater retreat. Take in the endless views from your very own private deck area.

Activities and Amenities

You are in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. Make the most of it and attend one of their many Diving School & Marine Biology Centre activities, or head to the Watersports Centre and get wild and wet! Or simply relax at the pool, have a picnic on the beach or explore some of the local islands nearby.


Welcome to the urban activity jungle. Open 24/7, the state-of-the-art fitness facilities and personal trainers will help you to push the limits. If you prefer to train as a group our aerobic, Zumba and boot camp classes will be just what you need.

HQ & Den

Their HQ is not just a place you visit during check in and check out. Here, things are done in true Kandima style. Open 24/7, the Den, library and games room offer a stylish setting where you can relax, meet, mingle or play.

Other Services:
*24 hour room service
* Art Studio with in-residence artist offering painting, pottery and local crafts making classes
*Photo studio – guest photo sessions and photography classes


It literally is a feast for your eyes and stomach. The island offers a large selection of food and beverage outlets, offering Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, and authentic Maldivian cuisine with several restaurants and bars to choose from. Whether you want to dine as a group, or slope off to somewhere more intimate for a romantic meal for two – they have the perfect place for you.

Travel the flavours of the world in one of their restaurants and bars. I could not try all restaurants, but the food is literally to die for. Delicious pancakes for breakfast, one of the best risottos, cheesecake, prawns, seafood, chicken, beef – you can name it all. Each dish is a feast for your stomach. Literally!

Flavour & Zest

Taste the freshest flavours from around the world in these light, bright, contemporary market-style food hall restaurants. Take a seat and watch as the chefs prepare tantalising dishes of the day


In need of a little spice and lots of flavour?
The chic beach house offers casual dining by day and sleek, elegant signature dining by night. Sample the endless mix of Mediterranean dishes on offer.

Sea Dragon & Forbidden Bar

The mood is sensual and mysterious. Authentic Chinese cuisine with a modern touch is expertly prepared and served family-style. Want to finish off the evening in style? Head to the ultra cool Forbidden Bar where live DJs play into the night. Discover a seamless mix of contemporary accents and ancient Far East inspirations, while the barman makes the most mouthwatering cocktails on the island.


Start the day the Aroma way with fresh coffee, freshly squeezed juices and delicious baked goods. This is the place to meet, read a book, or just people watch. Eat in or take away one the Asian and Maldivian-inspired treats.

Beach Club

Day through to night, the Beach Club is the perfect hang out spot. Watch the sun set across the island as DJs play of the-moment beats. Sip on freshly made Mojitos, fresh juices and gran it as from the bar.

Breeze (Pool Bar)

Want to make a splash? Well, this is the place to really let go, relax and unwind. Enjoy the live bands and the latest DJs as you drink freshly squeezed juices and exhilarating cocktails


Like gourmet? You will love the on-site deli. Enter this casual and stylish food boutique for a quick bite or for something to take back to your abode. Everything looks delicious, fresh and you will certainly be back for more.

Smoked (Grilled House)

This place is all about perfect steaks, fresh fish and incredible sunset views. Enjoy delicious meat, fish and vegetarian dishes from the open BBQ kitchen and Teppanyaki grill. There is simply nothing better than dining al fresco.

My opinion: anything but ordinary!

Kandima Maldives is much more than just a holiday, it’s a lifestyle! It certainly is a game-changing destination with a wow factor. Discover a seriously stylish island setting with views you can only dream of. You can truly live in the moment. For me personally: the Kandima Maldives is the perfect retreat for the cool, hip crowd!

They have an awesome, very relaxing walk-in, rather than an annoying check-in and the same applies for the check-out. No waiting in line, no paperwork – very comfortable. And your own personal “buddy” is there for your whole stay. My buddy was Aslam and he made sure everything was perfect. At Kandima they are truly friendly and caring.

If you are looking for more than just a nice location, this is your place to be. You can mingle with other people from around the world, have endless talks at one of their bars, dance all (day and) night long and become acquainted with the local culture. I learned so much from the staff and am very grateful for that.

Unfortunately, I could not experience the whole Kandima package, since I was invited to a pre-opening, meaning, that some parts were still under construction. But what I have seen so far sounds very promising. One of my favorite things: they make anything possible. When I had this nice litte talk with one of their staff members, I learned about the Maldivian version of Romeo and Juliet. I fell so in love with the story that I wanted to find out more about it and wanted to explore the local island where the whole story originated from. AND they organized this little trip for me, since they are planning to offer such excursions for tourists as well. Some of their staff members were actually born on this island so that they could provide me with the best insights ever. This was definitely one of my favorite trips in the Maldives. You can read the whole story here.

So, all in all. It certainly is a new approach at Kandima and I am pretty sure hipsters and creatives from all over the world would wanna mingle with the k(!)ool crowd. However, you do need to save up some money to experience it. Since it is anything but ordinary, you cannot expect to experience it when traveling on a budget. But it’s certainly worth it. <3


photo credits: V’s World, Kandima Maldives

I was kindly hosted by Kandima to explore this new lifestyle retreat. However, this did not affect my review. Thoughts and opinion are my own.