Having just opened its doors earlier this month, we were fortunate enough to experience Kudadoo Maldives Private Island first-hand. It is the perfect hideaway on a deserted island, but with all the luxuries you can possibly dream of
Located 40 minutes from the capital Malé by seaplane, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island is 100% solar-powered and has a discreet number of 15 overwater residences: 13 one-bedroom Ocean Residences spanning 3,200 square feet, and two two-bedroom Ocean Residences with a whopping 9,000 square feet. The spacious stylishly furnished overwater villas all feature a super-king-sized bed and a Bang & Olufsen audio system and are equipped with a highly intelligent AC which monitors your body heat with sensors and adjusts the temperature accordingly. How smart is that?
Each villa boasts a beautiful private deck (yes to outdoor yoga sessions in your very own residence), a large infinity pool (long enough to swim laps), a hanging sofa, sun loungers, as well as an area with a glass dining table and floor, so you can gaze at the sea life below.
My favourite part of my stay was without a doubt Kudadoo’s concept of “Anything. Anywhere. Anytime”. This luxury all-inclusive program is the crème de la crème of full-board vacations where everything is included from meals to spa treatments to sports activities. My personal butler, who waited on me hand and foot, might have had one or the other thing to do with this. Think lavish breakfasts on your veranda (or infinity pool if you wish), snorkelling sessions on the house reef, private yoga classes with your personal yoga and meditation guru in your residence, romantic candle-lit dinners on the beach, and spa treatments – you name it, your butler will schedule everything for you. The only decision you will have to make is where you want to eat and when.
The restaurant serves “Unscripted Dining”, meaning you can choose whatever you want to eat, whenever, wherever. Opt for private in-villa dining on your terrace as you watch a pod of dolphins swimming into the sunset (yes this actually happened to me), or under the stars on a deserted sand bank. But even if you’re on your honeymoon, do make the effort to leave your villa to check out the wine cellar and the impressive cheese room.
The heart of Kudadoo is The Retreat, which is home to the restaurant, bar, wine and cheese cellar, infinity pool, gym, and spa, as well as an upper deck with conference facilities for corporate retreats or client meetings. It never feels crowded as many people spend the day out on sea and dine in their villas. And if you should rent the island exclusively, The Retreat will be where everyone will gather for events.
My second favourite part of the resort was the Sulha Spa and its wellness offering. The spa is conveniently situated above the ocean (a first for the Maldives), so you can take in the magnificent ocean vistas while relaxing into your chair as the therapist gives you a foot soak. The holistic Sulha Spa carries products by Healing Earth, an African beauty brand, which produces coral-friendly skincare that uses natural and organic ingredients. The menu ranges from traditional facials and various massages to Reiki, Zen Shiatsu, as well as a Sound Shower with gongs and Tibetan singing bowls.
Out of all the treatments I experienced, I really enjoyed the Be Touched By The Ocean treatment, a signature massage with heated herbal poultices. It is the perfect stress-buster, ideal if you’ve overdone it at the gym, or if you struggle to get out of work mode. This treatment will soothe your tired soul and adjust your body’s rhythm to the slower island vibes, so you can relax and start your wellness journey.
In addition to steam and sauna rooms, Sulha Spa also boasts the Maldives’ first and only salt chamber. I was particularly excited about this feature ahead of my trip, and the Lonu Cave did not disappoint. Lined with mineral-rich Himalayan salt, which is more than 1,000 years old, breathing in the cave’s air for 45 minutes is the equivalent of spending two days on the beach. For centuries, Europeans would use salt caves to breathe in the extremely small salt crystals, which helps to open up the airways and assist with the buildup of mucus. And due to my recent asthma issues, I found myself in the salt cave at least once a day.
Should you tire of all the pampering and lazing about, rest assured there are plenty of activities to get your adrenaline pumping. Opt for some water sports, such as scuba diving, jet skiing, kite- and windsurfing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, fishing, and snorkeling.
Apart from all the fun water sports, a sunset dolphin cruise was also on the agenda, which I can highly recommend. A private speedboat takes you out to sea to watch the sunset, and usually your captain will find a pod of 20-30 dolphins frolicking in the water. The playful mammals will swim with the boat at high speed, which is quite the thrill if you sit up front.
Just five minutes by private speedboat from the adults-only Kudadoo (children over 15 years, unless rented exclusively), lies Hurawalhi Island Resort, its sister hotel, where amenities remain at the disposal of Kudadoo guests. Don’t miss out on a dinner date at the famous 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant where you can admire marine life from below while feasting on a delicious meal. Furthermore, there are badminton, tennis and beach volleyball options over at Hurawalhi, should you long for some cardio action.
However, the best part is the underwater “channel” that is located between the two resorts in the Lhaviyani Atoll, where currents are strong and marine life flocks to for feeding. Advanced divers can face the challenging conditions with special underwater scooters, but are rewarded with a wall of hundreds of sharks, rays, turtles and other big fish.
Kudadoo has something for everyone, above the water as below. Let yourself be enchanted and pampered for an unforgettable experience. Perfect for weddings, birthdays and other big events, the island can be booked exclusively for that extra bit of privacy.
Rates at Kudadoo Maldives Private Island start from approximately US$3,400 per night.