Only 192 of the island nation’s 1,192 coral islands are inhabited — but they’re home to many big-name hotels (The St. Regis, Waldorf Astoria, and Six Senses, to name a few). However, when Kudadoo Maldives Private Island debuted in December 2018, it redefined luxury in a country known for its over-the-top hotel offerings. The service is spot-on, and the design — which is entirely solar-powered — is discreet yet expertly thought out. Here, you'll find 250 million-year-old petrified wood furniture from Indonesia, onyx stone from Turkey, and Tasmanian oak floors. Even better: you don’t have to go far to find some of the best snorkeling in the Maldives. Your butler will have a pair of fins in your size waiting in your overwater villa, so you can dive right in.
What makes Kudadoo stand out is its sleek, minimalist design, with an indoor-outdoor concept conceived by New York-based architect Yuji Yamazaki. Extending in a ring from the private island, each of the 15 eco-chic bungalows feature unobstructed ocean views, plus ladders leading off the patio, so you can easily take a dip in the crystal-clear water. The idea is that the design doesn’t disrupt the island’s natural beauty, so each of the breezy bungalows features an open living space designed out of sustainably sourced wood and outfitted with the most modern of technology that extends to the sea.
The island can host 34 guests at a time, but despite its small size — you can walk from one side to the other in seven minutes — you're not likely to run into anyone else (most guests only venture out of their villas for the spa). The centerpiece Retreat, which houses the spa, bar and restaurant, gym, wine and cheese cellar, and pool, has a temple-like feel, with soaring ceilings and candle-lit walkways.
Who Will Love It
Kudadoo has honeymoon written all over it. Here, butlers tailor-make the itinerary for your entire stay, slotting in spa sessions and floating breakfasts in your villa’s private pool. There's also an opportunity to jet off to a separate secluded island dubbed Dream, a white-sand spit where you can picnic on the beach.
Who Might Not
Kudadoo doesn’t accept children under 15, so if you’re looking for an all-inclusive stay with the family (buffets, kids’ clubs, babysitting), this isn’t the resort for you.
It’s a toss-up between the spa — with its Himalayan salt chamber (a first in the Maldives) and tubs suspended over the sea — and the dining options, which include around-the-clock room service and candle-lit dinners on the beach. For an island as secluded as this one, the menu is surprisingly expansive and features everything from healthy breakfast options (think matcha, chia pudding, mango-ginger smoothie bowls) plus 10 types of honey and a cellar of over 30 artisanal cheeses from around the globe. While all of the on-site dining is covered in the nightly rate, it’s worth splurging on 5.8 Undersea Restaurant (located at sister property Hurawalhi Maldives), the world’s largest, all-glass undersea restaurant. Here, you can take in the tasting menu and wine pairing as you admire the magnificent marine life all around you.
Everything — from a fully stocked mini bar to room service, meals, excursions, water sports, butler service, and unlimited spa treatments. Guests can also dine and drink at Kashibo Restaurant and Canneli Restaurant at Hurawalhi Maldives, the resort's sister property.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
In addition to 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the only extras you’ll have to pay for are wines and Champagnes from the owner’s private cellar, which includes big-name bottles like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Armand de Brignac, and Pétrus.
How to Get a Deal
Rates are the lowest ($3,800 per night) in the summer months from June through September. Keep in mind, though, that rates are cheaper because it’s the rainy season, so you may experience wind and sudden storms.
In the Neighborhood
The resort sits on its own private island in the Lhaviyani Atoll, a five-minute speedboat ride away from Hurawalhi Maldives.
The VIP experience starts as soon as you land at Malé International Airport. The Kudadoo team will whisk you to the resort’s private lounge so you can sip coffee in style before you embark on a 40-minute seaplane ride to the island.
There’s a reason why Kudadoo is considered top in terms of luxury in the Maldives. If you’re looking for a place where you won’t have to lift a finger and can dine on cuisine as haute as you’d find in France, Kudadoo is the place for you.