9.5
/10
A must-do experience on any hotel lovers bucket-list
Location
Accommodation
Service & Facilities
Style
Restaurants & Bars

Review of Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

 “ … anything, anytime, anywhere … “

Designed to escape from the monotony of everyday life, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offers a world of possibilities to enjoy any time of the day or night. As an ultra-luxury fully-inclusive resort, there is nothing to sign for but everything to experience. Even better, it is sustainable luxury too – the Maldives’ only fully solar powered private island – and has been stunningly designed by Japanese master architect Yoji Yamazaki. 

There are just 15 over water residences at this secluded little Eden offering an open plan layout with plenty of natural light and airflow and a 44 square-metre private pool. As all the accommodation is of a similar size (apart from the two-bedroom ones of course), the only difficult decision to make before you arrive is whether to opt for a Maldivian sunrise surprise or a sunset one. You will be met by a private butler who will attend to every whim, 24/7, whilst your residence offers state of the art electronics, 137-centimetre flatscreen television with Bang & Olufsen surround sound. 

A sister island to the adult-only nearby Hurawalhi, also designed by Yamazaki, where guests can enjoy both the facilities and restaurants, this all-inclusive is style personified, designed for an A-list clientele. Dining is available 24/7 anywhere you want to sit on the island, in your residence, on Dream Island, the beach or of course, in the resort’s restaurant located in the island’s hub, The Retreat. There is also access to the owner’s own Wine Cellar for a Cheese and Wine tasting with a difference, together with unlimited consumption of seven different premium Champagnes and a wine list of over 80 marques. For pampering, head to the Sulha Spa, a private sanctuary at The Retreat overlooking the ocean, featuring its own Lonu Cave, Maldives’ first Himalayan Salt Chamber. You can also enjoy a sauna and steam room, work out in the well-equipped Fitness Centre, exercise with a personal trainer or simply find your inner Zen with Yoga and Meditation. 

Unlimited water sports, excursions, diving and snorkelling are all included and easily arranged via your butler – you just have to choose your adventure. If you want to push the boat out, literally, you can hire the resort’s luxury yacht, Bella, too for private excursions. 

You pay once … and everything is fully-inclusive – premium Champagne, spirits, cigars, Spa, watersports and you have access to all the restaurants at Hurawahli – where you only have to pay to dine at the amazing 5.8 Undersea Restaurant

9 / 10
Location

Kudadoo is just a 40-minute seaplane flight away from Male International Airport where guests are met and taken to the resort’s private VIP lounge to await boarding on one of the scheduled flights. Alternatively, of course it is possible to hire a private seaplane transfer with partner XO who will customise a plane according to preferences. A butler will be on hand to greet you when you land and will personally show you the island whilst taking you to your residence. 

Located on Lhaviyani Atoll, the resort’s residences are sited with privacy in mind in a sweeping semi-circle over the ocean whilst the main resort public areas are close by in a two-story building called The Retreat – the hub of the resort. Hurawalhi, a sister property, is located a short speedboat trip away. 

There are 1,192 islands encompassing The Maldives, strung across the Equator like a necklace in the Indian Ocean. The sea and the sky offer a wide palette of blue and aqua shades from a Tiffany blue to a deep dark midnight blue with the horizon sometimes blurred between them whilst the beaches are formed from soft coral.

10 / 10
Accommodation

The sweeping ring of the contemporary accommodation, connected by a wooden walkway, is one of the major design features of this incredible sustainable resort designed by Yoji Yamazaki. 

Each 310 square metre villa (the two, two-bedroom villas are 390 square metres) is orientated away from its neighbours to enjoy its own vista of the Indian Ocean, this private space ensured by slanted wooden slats which lets the light and breeze through whilst maintaining privacy. Indeed, the entire villa, with its floor to ceiling windows strategically positioned, has been designed to let the cool cross breezes permeate the property yet the smart eco system will snap off the air-conditioning when the doors are open. 

Natural materials proliferate lending the feel of a Japanese ryokan – unsurprising perhaps considering the nationality of the architect – yet it still has that sense of place so important to travellers these days – it feels Maldivian still, just modernist in its integrity. All the wood comes from sustainably managed forests in Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia – cedar used in the exteriors and teak and oak inside. 

With a sun-bleached deck offering a 44 square-metre infinity pool, dining table and sun loungers with unobstructed views over the broad blue ocean, steps leading down directly to the lagoon, the décor is simple, clean and sophisticated – functional build elements becoming design highlights with the repetition of wooden patterns adding interest to the interior and exterior. With a natural overhang, umbrellas and canopies, more than 50% of the private outdoor deck has been designed to offer at least five hours of shade per day. 

The palate is natural, wood, creams, whites and turquoise to represent the ocean with Tasmanian oak floors and custom-made furniture by Warisan of Indonesia. Amenity wise, each villa has state of the art electronics including a 137-centimetre flat screen TV, Bang & Olufsen surround sound, IPTV with the latest films, television series, Netflix and Spotify; a fully automated lighting system with dimmers; an energy-efficient cooling system and an iPad. Bathrooms are spacious with standalone soaking tubs, separate walk-in showers and Healing Ocean bath products which are environmentally friendly. 

A personal butler is appointed to each villa, available 24/7 to fulfill any wish and to perhaps suggest activities that might appeal.

10 / 10
Service & Facilities

With an AAA concept – anything, anytime, anywhere – any whim seamlessly arranged by ever-present courteous and efficient personal butlers, time is meaningless here with each guest choosing what they want to do, with whom and when. 

Inner adventurers will define which activity to enjoy – unscripted dining anywhere on the island, tailored to preferences: diving out on coral reefs, watching dolphins swimming around at sunset or meeting a magnificent turtle face to face. 

The all-inclusive nature of the resort allows unlimited spa treatments available wherever you want them on the island – in the spa, on the beach in your villa. Custom created treatments, indulgences and remedies are complemented by a sauna, steam room and a Himalayan salt chamber. For anyone with bronchial issues, the Lonu Cave is the first and only salt chamber in the Maldives, lined with mineral-rich Himalayan salt that is more than 100 years old. It is renowned for its healing qualities. 

Sulha Spa at The Retreat is suspended over the ocean allowing any treatment to come with an automatic sea view. The spa menu is rich and varied with hand-picked treatments from around the globe and the best thing about it, you could enjoy some pampering every day if you wished. There are massages, remedies, indulgences – take in a Tibetan Chakra Balancing Meditation for instance or enjoy a Reiki treatment or a Zen Shiatsu acupressure treatment. In addition to the treatments, there are also personalised fitness trainers, yoga and meditation sessions available alongside personalised visualization and coaching sessions for mental and physical wellbeing.  For those who want to keep up with their gym routine, there is also a fully equipped state of the art gymnasium available at The Retreat with that magical sea view for inspiration.

Water sports include activities enjoyed on, below or above the ocean – jet skiing, flyboarding, parasailing, diving, paddle boarding, exploring the coral reefs any which way but all keeping sustainability in mind – the reef is awash with marine life. Gain a PADI certificate or for experienced divers, enjoy one of the curated snorkel and dive itineraries with stingrays, anemones, eagle rays, mobula rays and grey reef sharks or visit a feeding station for a sea turtle. 

For the ultimate in luxury, hire the resort’s luxurious yacht, Bella and custom create a programme with your butler.

10 / 10
Style

Everything about Kudadoo has been carefully and sensitively considered. Yoji Yamazaki, the architect, has designed the entire island as a “cohesive representation of the place with each building taking inspiration from the Maldives’ unique characteristics”. As each guest comes to visit, their first view of the island is from the air hence the over water accommodation is connected in the shape of a ring echoing the form of a Maldivian atoll. 

The resort’s hub, The Retreat, is one of the highest vantage points of anywhere in the Maldives at 21-metres in height so standing on the upper deck looking out over the horizon is incomparable, says Yamazaki, the feeling only similar to the flying scene in Titanic. At the same time, The Retreat’s roof is covered by solar panels, generating electricity and helping to make this island self-sufficient. 

With a personal itinerary limited only by individual imagination, an island stunningly designed to be self-sufficient and to co-exist within the Maldives’ own eco-system, its inherent beauty awash with abundant marine life, this particular resort has everything anybody could possibly want …. the only proviso being you have to be one of the world’s more affluent to be able to afford it.

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

There is one official restaurant and bar on the island but really, here at Kudadoo, the fun is due to their unscripted dining concept, allowing for culinary experiences unlike anything offered elsewhere. Choose to eat in-villa, on the beach, within the trees, on a nearby island or in the restaurant – anything is possible with menus designed to align with food preferences. It’s also possible to pop over to sister resort, Hurawalhi to enjoy their restaurants including, for a premium, their spectacular 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.

The Retreat restaurant offers spectacular views out over the ocean, over the swimming pool and inside within its pared-back, sophisticated interior. Enjoy a wine, cheese and charcuterie pairing within the owner’s private wine cellar and take a look at the exclusive vintages therein – a collection of the world’s most sought after vintages all available at an additional premium.  The resort offers an inclusive collection of 80 wine labels, all with a Wine Spectator rating of 88 or above or be tempted by the owner’s private cellar boasting some 70 labels – Pétrus, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Prieuré Roch among them. When it comes to the cheeses, choices have to be made as there are 50 to choose from alongside Parma ham, salamis and chorizo with accompanying pickles. As for Champagne, choose from seven premium cellars including Taittinger, Moët, Bollinger Rosé and Veuve Clicquot or sip a different marque every night.

Sustainability

Eco-tourism, sustainability and social responsibility are central to the ethos which created Kudadoo Maldives. Using sustainable resources, a policy of treading lightly with regard to the existing fragile eco-system, these are the key tenets the property abides by. 

Everything they do is carefully considered from the design-feature solar panels which power the entire resort, to the sustainable building materials used to construct it (wood mainly from Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia, sustainably sourced and managed), to the amenities (the resort has partnered with Healing Ocean for environmentally friendly products), activities and food. The resort’s Executive Chef sources nothing but the best produce and ingredients for his dishes and wherever possible, fish and seafood is caught locally from suppliers that use sustainable practices. 

The resort is entirely self sufficient for energy thanks to the 984 solar roof panels, the villas have been constructed from sustainably sourced wood and designed to exist in harmony with the existing ecosystem. The resort obtains its drinking water from its sister property, bottled in glass rather than plastics - there are no single use plastics here.

Even the landscaping is reserved only for native species - Coconut Palms, Sea Lettuce, Iron Wood, Beach Hibiscus, Screwpine are among the main plantings. It was important to both the owners and to the architect to keep the native plant palette to protect the ecosystem and thus, not hampering bird migration. 

Further to sister property Hurawalhi Maldives’s partnership with Manta Trust, Kudadoo is committed to supporting sustainable diving and snorkelling practices, contributing to research and educating residents about manta rays from their own resident marine biologist. Kudadoo also works with the Olive Ridley Project which contributes to research about sea turtles and helps to protect them.

What We Love

  • Fully-inclusive:  Spa treatments, all deliciously prepared meals by Executive Chef Harshal Antil, single malt whiskies, Champagnes, cocktails, fine cheese & ham, cigars, watersports, diving, snorkelling … and access to all the restaurants and facilities in Hurawahli. The only extra is if you wish to dine at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant - which is well worth it!
  • Accommodation:  HUGE! With 15-metre long outdoor pools, indoor/outdoor showers and deep sunken baths, fully-stocked & complimentary (of course) mini-bars, enormous four-poster beds, access to the Ocean, large comfortable sofas, al fresco dining areas … a delight. A real delight!
  • Privacy: With only 15 villas – a maximum of 34 guests on the island – you will find yourself struggling to find people to talk to – not that you would really want to! Unlike most private islands, you don’t have to book the whole island – just your little slice of Heaven on Earth!

    Varun Sharma
    Editor-In-Chief
    BusinessClass.com

What They Love

  • Unlimited Spa:  Only Kudadoo offers unlimited spa treatments throughout your stay in your residence or at our Sulha Spa. Indulge in our Himalayan Salt Room therapies, holistic massages, Hara Bodywork, Tibetan Chakra Balancing, Beauty Treatments and Sulha Spa Journeys – complimentary.
  • Private Chef:  An array of culinary options awaits you at Kudadoo from our 22 page breakfast menu available in your residence, to our extensive menu’s at Keyolhu, Kashibo, Canneli and JFK restaurants, our specialty Tandoori, Yakitori and Chefs Gourmet Menu nights will also delight. But when you are craving that special comfort cuisine from home you can call on our Private Chef experience – complimentary
  • Service:  The Kudadoo team optimises bespoke anticipatory service. Your dedicated Butler, always at your disposal, will orchestrate your experience throughout your stay. With Kudadoo’s Anything Anytime Anywhere concept freedom is reimagined for our guests and opportunities are always present for our Butlers to surprise and delight you without your permission. The best service in the Maldives – complimentary. 

    Bradley Calder
    General Manager
    Kudadoo Maldives Private Island 

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