Kandolhu is truly picture-perfect, with diverse dining and accommodation options that belie its tiny size.
Beautiful Kandolhu presents the best of both worlds: a tiny, tranquil island with a lush green interior encircled by glorious white sands and coral reefs, yet with a choice of restaurants and rooms more typical of a larger island.
Each of the four à la carte restaurants are small and intimate – none more so than the Japanese restaurant, Banzai, with just six seats. The Market is the all-day dining restaurant; the elevated Olive offers Mediterranean classics; and Sea Grill serves fresh seafood cooked to order. Kandolhu offers one of the Maldives’ most generous all inclusive packages, including access to all restaurants, plus a large variety of drinks, including in the minibar and in-villa wine chiller. Considering just how much is included, it’s excellent value. The house reef can be reached from access points around the island, perfect for snorkelling – often amongst turtles – while numerous dive sites can be reached by boat in minutes from the dive centre.
The elegant, Maldivian-style villas have modern interiors with wooden floors and high ceilings, and include thoughtful extras like iPads and GoPro HERO5 cameras. Jacuzzi Beach Villas have huge open-air bathrooms with Jacuzzi bath. For a beach villa with pool, opt for a Pool Villa or one of the two-storey Duplex Pool Villas – rare to find in the Maldives. The Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas are reached by an overwater jetty, with steps directly into the ocean.
Game drives are included in the cost, in open 4x4s accompanied by experienced rangers and local Maasai spotters. Daily itineraries are flexible, so one day you might opt for a morning game drive, returning to the camp for lunch before a night drive in the conservancy, while the next you could embark on a full-day drive into the heart of the reserve and to the Mara River.
One of Mara Bushtops’ most impressive features is its award-winning Amani Spa – it was voted 2017’s Best Safari Spa in Africa. In a tranquil area 500 metres away from camp, you’ll find a heated pool (complete with in-water beds), sauna, steamroom, Jacuzzi, two treatment tents and even a gym. There’s no better way to end a day on safari than soaking in the spa’s star pool after dark, when the twinkling in-water lights reflect the star-lit sky.