We’ve been travelling the globe, with our kids for more than a decade. In all our travels, there are a handful of places that have left indelible impressions on us. Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives is definitely one of those. We love the resort so much we are giving 1 very lucky reader the chance to experience it too. Read till the end for the giveaway.
- The Service:
There is no question about it – this is on the top on our list, particularly the service we received from the staff at the water-sports center.
Travelling with kids to a new country and trying new sports – like open ocean snorkeling, can be stressful and risky. But the staff at the water-sports center was so friendly and assuring to make us feel safe and welcomed. Their patient coaching and keen eye for safety gave us the confidence to try our first snorkeling with our kids in the open seas!
The restaurant staff also demonstrated similar traits of warmth. We had virtually all our meals there throughout our 3 nights’ stay at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives. Each time we entered, either clad in wet swimwear or our casual beachwear, the staff would greet us with a friendly smile and ensure that the kids are nicely settled for their meals with the appropriate cutlery brought to them.
The hospitality of the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives staff made our vacation memorable. In fact, we feel bad that we could not remember all their names (too many!). We want to say, to the entire staff, a big ‘Thank you’ from the bottom of our hearts.
- The Facilities
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives has ‘family’ in its DNA which is evident in its facilities and services. Not only does it have a double-storey kids’ club equipped with a reading and playing space, it has recently added an outdoor water-play area. Sprawled around the resort compound are various other free recreational facilities. Many of the non-motorised sports are free for guests to use, on a first-come-first-served basis. These include, kayaks, canoes and paddle boats, enough to keep us occupied throughout our stay!
A service we truly appreciate is the free snorkeling lessons every morning conducted in the hotel’s main swimming pool.
The islet that the resort sits on is surrounded by a shallow reef suitable for unsupervised snorkeling. During our stay, we took advantage of this by going snorkeling when the tide is safe. There, we saw stingrays, eagle rays, puffer fishes and many beautiful reef fishes up close! What a bonus and unforgettable experience!
We were impressed that resort guests can loan full set of snorkeling gear for free throughout our stay. This really motivated us to snorkel free & easy, whenever the tide permits. Life vests are also available for use around the beach areas for those who decide to have an impromptu dip in the ocean. I promise you, the oceans in Maldives are alluring and crystal clear!
- The Accomodation
During our stay, we experienced both the Two Bedroom Family Beach House and the Overwater Villa. Both have its merits. Both are large, spotlessly clean with plush beddings and amenities that spell ‘relaxing’ and ‘comfort’ among others.
Two-Bedroom Family Beach House:
The Two-Bedroom Family Beach House has a separate twin-bedded room for the kids with their own bathroom. On the ground level is a large living area for the family to chill and relax. We were impressed that the patio comes with simple shower facilities to wash away the fine white sands before we head to our rooms upstairs.
Showering in their open-roof shower was quite novel. At night, we bathed under the glow of the moon while in the morning, we were feel the gentle tropical breeze and hear the sound of the gentle lapping waves enticing us to get out and explore.
The Overwater Villa is our favorite accommodation in Maldives. It is spacious, comfortable and could comfortably fit in 2 single beds for the kids in addition to a king-sized bed for parents! This makes it perfectly comfortable for a family of 4. We were fortunate that the resort allows for us to stay in the Overwater Villa, after signing an indemnity form, since we have a preschooler.
The bathroom has a luxurious touch and boasts of a large bathtub. The additional open shower area allows us to bathe under the moonlight. This adds to the novelty for the kids.
Out at the front of the Overwater Villa is a balcony that doubled-up as our family’s makeshift ‘Snorkeling Command Center’. It has a small ladder leading down to the pristine waters. The overhanging mesh netting allowed us to stand over the waters. Perfect for sun-tanning and lazing around, much like a hammock but better! If you ever travel to the Maldives, you mustn’t miss the Overwater Villa experience.
- The Food:
Food plays an important part in Maldivian hotels, as most resort guests would have no other alternative venues for their meals.
The main restaurant, Kandooma Café, offers a sumptuous buffet spread for every meal. Dishes comprise mainly of western and local Maldivian fare with a modest selection of Asian picks. These include Chinese ‘dimsum’ and soup noodles. We particularly enjoyed their Indian cuisines (think naans, pooris and curries!).
We also love their pastries and desserts too, which are all ‘home-made’ right in the hotel according to pastry chef, Anis who hails from Indonesia. Their croissants and cakes in particular stood out for us.
Worthy of mention too is Holiday Inn’s ‘Kids Stay & Eat Free’ policy where kids get to eat free (from the Kids’ Menu) for every accompanying main course the adults order in their restaurants (for dine-in only).
The Kitchen is an exclusive beachfront restaurant that offers a fine selection of ala-carte dishes and themed buffets on selected evenings. We celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary at this restaurant over an extensive spread of grilled fresh seafood, sashimi and delectable desserts while watching little hermit crabs scuttle across the beach after sunset. The staff surprised us with this beautiful table set up which made our evening even more exquisite and unforgettable.
- That Special Touch:
Going the extra mile for their guests is in the spirit of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives. Housekeepers decorated our room with a ‘Happy Wedding Anniversary’ message using elaborate towel-art and creative leaf crafts. The kids were overjoyed and us, speechless.
On certain evenings of the week, guests at The Kitchen will get to witness the shark feeding sessions which take place around 6pm. These wild sharks range from large nurse sharks to black tip reef sharks. We were awestruck to see wild sharks in feeding frenzy against the stunning Maldivian sunset. A very special experience indeed!
Letter to the GM:
You have such a fine team of staff who goes all out to ensure that guests have an unforgettable stay in your resort in Maldives. We love the whole family-friendly vibe and count it our blessing to have picked the right resort – Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives on our very first visit to the Maldives. We learnt how to snorkel from your watersports team and did our first family snorkelling in the Indian Ocean under their watchful eyes. The service and hospitality we received were flawless, the warmth and smile from your team made our 20th Wedding Anniversary one to remember. Please know that your resort will always have a special place in our family’s hearts.
For more information, please visit the official website: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnresorts/hotels/us/en/south-male-atoll/mlekf/hoteldetail# or download the Hotel Factsheet. You can also pop over to our Instagram Highlights Album – DIY Maldives and hashtag #OhanaDoesMaldives for more pictorial & video highlights!
Thanks to our sponsor, we are giving 1 loyal reader the chance to experience a 3D2N Stay in Family Beach House with Daily Breakfasts and Dinners (for 2 Adults and 2 Kids below 12 years old) at the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, Maldives!
This prize, worth SGD3500+ includes:
- 3 Days 2 Nights’ Stay in a Family Beach House
- Half Board Basis (Buffet Breakfast and Dinner at Kandooma Café) daily for two Adults and two Children below 12.
- Complimentary return speedboat transfers (worth USD736).
- Please note that this prize doesn’t cover the Mandatory Maldives tax of USD6 per night per person that is payable upon check out.
- Valid for stays between 01 May 2020 – 1st October 2020.
- Guests over 12 years old are classified as adults and then the third person supplement applies for the extra bed + meals.
- Reservation to be confirmed by the resort reservations team and is subject to the availability of the resort.
- This prize is strictly non-transferrable and non-extendable.
To participate, simply:
1. LIKE and FOLLOW both Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives FB and Life’s Tiny Miracles FB.
2. COMPLETE the steps in this Mandatory Rafflecopter Widget (opens in a new window).
The giveaway ends 30 September 2019 and is open to readers in Singapore. The winner will be contacted via email/FB inbox and will have 24 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All steps must be completed and incomplete entries will be disqualified. Please note that all Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or few authentic posts) will be disqualified. Please note that T&Cs and blackout dates apply. All the best!