Part 1: Komandoo Island Resort & Spa
Jim and Cary report on their trip to visit various resorts and liveaboards in the Maldives. In Part 1, they visit Komandoo Island Resort & Spa…
We flew from Male to Komandoo by Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) seaplane. Komandoo staff met us at arrivals in Male Airport and transferred us the very short distance to Terminal A, the seaplane terminal, where they have an air-conditioned guest comfort lounge. There was WiFi and they got us a sandwich and French fries to snack on while we waited to board our seaplane.
Once our flight was called the boarding process was very fast – just a short walk to one of the several seaplanes. Our hold baggage was already on-board and we were asked to identify it and our carry-on baggage was stored at the back of the plane. The hold baggage allowance is 20kg/person and the carry-on allowance 5kg/person. Airlines in the Maldives enforce the allowances strictly and charge about US$6/kilo for any excess weight.
The plane was a ‘Twin Otter’ twin propeller-engine seaplane. They’re not big, taking just fifteen passengers plus three crew, but they’re perfectly suited to the job. This was our first ever seaplane flight and it was a great experience – taking off from water on floats to start with then the incredible view of the atolls, islands, reefs and boats as we flew over them at relatively low level. I’m not sure, but I believe we only reached an altitude of around four thousand feet, so everything was easily in full view except when we went into a cloud, of course. Flying to your resort brings home what it truly means to be an island nation, as you see a vast expanse of ocean and just these tiny white-sand islands to break up the endless blue.
The flight to Komandoo Island, on Lhaviyani Atoll, took about forty-five minutes. Again, landing by seaplane at an island resort is an experience not to be missed as the pilot aims the nose down as if about to nose-dive into the sea then eases it up and glides the aircraft onto the calm water below, touching it down so gently that you almost can’t believe it’s basically a boat with wings at that point. Once landed, the plane is quickly steered to the disembarkation pontoon just like a boat. The door is quickly opened, you walk down the steps to meet the resort staff waiting to greet you and you’ve arrived! And at this point you do also feel as if you’ve ‘arrived’ in the other sense of the word – stepping off a seaplane onto one tropical island resort you simply can’t help but feel a bit glamorous and celebrity-status-like. We highly recommend that everyone tries it at least once in your life!
Komandoo Island Resort & Spa is a top-end, adults-only resort (18 and over) with just sixty-five rooms so has been built on a tiny island that perfectly provides a sense of exclusivity. One of the great things the Maldives does (which they absolutely must keep doing) is the ‘one island, one resort’ concept. This means that each resort is able to acquire its own unique character, given to it by the shape and features of the particular island it’s built on. It also means that there’s absolutely no chance of two (or more) resorts fighting over available space.
Komandoo is exactly as you would hope a resort that touts itself as upscale and adults-only would be; a sanctuary of absolute peace and tranquillity without a child to be seen (or heard).* A perfect white-sand beach, magnificent lagoon, fresh water infinity pool and ‘Duniye Spa’ lend themselves to kicking back and rediscovering each other in a little bit of paradise.
*Don’t worry, we do also work with several other excellent resorts catering to families as well as couples. However, that’s for another day…
Although our site inspection at Komandoo was a short one we did manage to sample the fabulous buffet lunch at the main restaurant before jumping aboard the speedboat for the short crossing to the next island and Komandoo’s big-sister-resort, ‘Kuredu’.
Accommodation at Komandoo comprises 65 air-conditioned Villas, including 15 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 36 Jacuzzi Beach Villas and 14 Beach Villas.
Diving at Komandoo is with Pro Divers (PADI 5 Star), a highly professional but welcoming outfit. Although we didn’t dive whilst at Komandoo, we did dive with them during our two nights at Kuredu Resort next door and were extremely impressed by their service. (Please look out for more on Pro Divers’ operation in our next report, which will be all about our stay at Kuredu.)
Jim and Cary own and run UK-based tour operator Diverse Travel. To find out more about the Maldivian itineraries that Diverse Travel offer, visit www.diversetravel.co.uk/maldives.