Holiday Inn Kandooma -- Maldives

Old Nov 14, 10, 4:04 am
  #61  
 
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You can just ask the restaurant for a new voucher and they will give it to you. I don't think that you get the discount without the voucher.
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Old Dec 31, 10, 12:24 am
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Bumping this thread to the top to seek any recent experiences (Christmas / New Year) during the peak time, specifically by those who stayed there at Kandooma on points!
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Old Dec 31, 10, 5:15 am
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Sorry for a very long post, please bare with me
Just stayed 6 nights over the holidays. First night paid as the basic garden view at 288$ net. Then 5 nights on PB. All stay was upgraded to the duplex.

Originally Posted by GordonGordon View Post
If it is free with only 15K points per night, go for it. If you pay cash, stay somewhere else.
This pretty much sums up my experience as well. Or better 5k+60$co-pay (or PBs of course^)

Its a rough 45 minute boat ride each way. Could be a plus or a minus. Avoid it if you get seasick, or are a bit inmobile. In that case choose a resort closer (like Sheraton Full Moon resort, 15-20 minutes off where I stayed last time) or further so you can fly there (seaplane, more expensive though). The plus is that its also a sightseeing- if you do it in daylight especially. We passed flocks of jumping dolphins, flying fish, planes/cruise ships etc.

Originally Posted by Loyalty Club View Post
Just back from this resort and also stayed on points (excellent value at just 15K per night). No room upgrade on reward nights, however the Garden Rooms are still rather nice. You might want to consider booking a Duplex Villa (which some friends of ours had, which they and also us liked the look of) for at least a couple of nights using cash and the remaining stay on points and then hope they don't ask you to switch rooms.

One critical point we had was the shortage of shade options out of the sun as there's no parasols anywhere (although we did make a suggestion during our stay to the Resort Manager to consider getting some soon), so you need to shelter under the Palm trees if you don't want to sizzle all day!

In the Deck Bar there's buy 2 get 2 free drinks every day between 5pm and 7pm, so we found the whole resort to be very good value, playing around $5 USD for beers and around $18 to $35 for meals (10% Tax also needs to be added to everything). The resort also provides free bottled drinking water in your room and also every restaurant and bar during your stay. All staff were very friendly too and really help to make your stay so enjoyable.

Cheers, LC.
As noted we got upgraded to the duplex this way (keeping in mind plat status).

Still no parasols. They do provide huge and nice beach towels, and beach bags to carry it in. I was a bit annoyed by the sun beds. They have this non adjustable body fit, can only stay in one position, which feel awkward after a bit, and you cant stay on your belly. Around the very nice pool, adjacent to the beach, there are these quite comfortable sacco sacks/bags (dont know the name). Quite comfortable for at least reading etc.

Happy hour at the deck is not to miss. At times we were the only persons there, enjoying half price great drinks and service + sundawn and view of sea, beach, palms, later stars etc (not so good tapas), and with DJ and real lounge feeling. World class feeling!

Plenty of free water, but not at the poolbar at least. Theres 2$ a bottle for local water. If you are savvy, grab free iced water with orange by the pool nest to the bar Where they also have free sun screen (SBF 30), which otherwise is very pricey in the shop there (more selection and better brands though).

I definately second the friendly staff!! At one stage my GF was sitting alone feeling a bit down, and a manager came over and offered her a free glass champagne^

Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
I'm also going to spend one night at the Holiday Inn Male just to check it out. Did you by any chance stay there on your recent trip? If so, what are thoughts about the Male property?
Seems its already not longer HI.

Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
Anyone stayed at Kandooma over X-Mas or New Years eve?

I have a rewards booking at that time for this year end. I came to know about X-Mas / New year eve gala dinner which is "compulsary" for all the guests. The rates are about USD 150 pp (in that range). Little research showed me that almost all resorts of Maldives have these compulsary gala events.

I don't know whether its kosher to question this practice considering that its X-Mas, and hey its Maldives where breathing is still free. For 2 guests it would easily add $600 into the bill. Not that I am trying to be a penny pincher, but this is no small change (at least for me).

Why should IHG allow its properties to "impose" these on its guests? I stand to be corrected if this completely a normal practice (like in cruises).
I just did. Several compulsory dinners (if you have meal packages there is a premium to be added) during the xmas/new years season. This is informed up front. I actually do think its good. With resorts with limited rooms, this is the only way to make decent buffets/dinners for xmas I think. And they were definately good. Plenty of excellent options. But of course a bit pricey. Different prices for the different dates, but xmas eve + day was 83$ net pp. Incl one glass of champ. With a premium (about 25$) you can have a set menu in the more fancy restaurant Kitchen.

Originally Posted by naroowal View Post
Can anybody whos been there comment on the menus available. Are there any vegetarian options available.
Plenty of vegetarian.

Originally Posted by ken7 View Post
Any success with paying to upgrade to an overwater villa on a reward night?
As you noted, expensive. I wouldnt do it at all.
You have longer walking distance to all facilities (compared to our duplex, but there are also rooms/houses with even more distance)
They are quite close to each other, and wont give you too much privacy (at high occupancy).
The area has some currents, and even on both sides entering the bridge leading to them there are warnings not to swim there.
Half of them face the reef, while half face inland to the next and close atoll, which looks more like any 3rd world village. No offense, but definately the sense of luxury surroundings you might imagine on Maldives, paying extra $$$.
All other rooms/have the option of a private BBQ. Order fish/meat etc from service and they will set it all up. Due to fire prevention, not possible on OWB (over water bungalows).

Originally Posted by TheBeerHunter View Post
We booked one night paid (not overwater though) and the rest of the week on points. I asked them to link the reservations but got serious push back about the likelihood of us keeping the same room. I got ticked but figured I would deal with it at check in. I recently checked my Rez on the mobile site and it seems they've kept us in the same room the whole time ^ YMMV of course, and it is low season. I will ask to see what the spend is to move to the overwater villa but in looking at them, they don't really seem worth it - they look right on top of each other!
Excactly!

Originally Posted by SnowSurfer View Post
They have WiFi internet over the whole island. Free but slow sometimes.
Enough for email and browsing, not sure about skype/video conf.
And there are some Mac's in lobby (library).
This was my main concern. Slow and not working WIFI. I had to give up. Loading only now and then. Tried in the duplex, by the pool, in the lobby etc.
Hade to use one of the 4 MACs by the lobby. Apart from being MACs internet worked OK. A manager offered me to use his office computer if I needed uploading/downloading of bigger files^

Originally Posted by ken7 View Post
Any estimates on how much longer this property will be 15k/night?
As long as its a HI

Originally Posted by TheBeerHunter View Post
And yes, they really do ply you with tons of free water, everywhere, all the time. Even at the beach -- free water for the taking. Taking a snorkel trip? Free bottled water provided. Just sitting in the lounge in the reception area? Free water on offer. Quite generous with it.
See above re water.
Daily free snorkelling lessons, and followed by free 1 hours boat trips to the next atoll, with good reef.

Originally Posted by idiotecq View Post
You mentioned a 10% service charge on everything. Does it mean there is also a 10% service charge on reward nights? If yes, what is the rate they use to calculate it?
Originally Posted by Chinatrvl View Post
No, you won't pay taxes at all, except for the 8 USD/pers+night "bed tax".

That said, another question to those that stayed there. We have never been to the Maldives and considering making a detour there next year for a couple of days. I'm not sure whether I should make a reward reservation at the HI or rather spend big €€€ for the Taj etc. Will the HI give the "Maldive-feeling" you expect from Maldives photos and pictures?
Google earth shows a fisher's village (Guraidhoo/Guradu) right next to the HI island - is it possible/advisable to go there for a visit or some dinner?
8$ bed tax only on paid nights.
About Maldives feeling see above + other posters. HI is a great deal, but I wouldnt choose it for honeymoon. The whole design etc is too much IKEA.

Originally Posted by TheBeerHunter View Post
Whether the HI gives you a "Maldivian" experience versus the Taj I think is a matter of expectation. This island was virtually wiped out during the tsunami. Dunno about the Taj island (about 1/4 of all of the resort islands were closed after the tsunami) but given the price difference between the two, your expectations I think would really dictate the "experience" you expect and will get. If you go to the HI Maldives expecting a HI Resort experience, I don't think you'll be disappointed (and in fact we were actually quite pleased). But if you expect a level of service of the Taj at HI prices, you won't be happy. You know how that goes. Based on your previous posts though I think you are pretty level-headed about such things. For 15K points/night, I do think it's an absolute steal and absolutely worth it. To the other poster asking about the garden view villa, they're nice, and I was jealous as we walked around seeing them with a hammock out front (which our sea view duplex lacked). They were also nicely shaded, which many sea view villas were not. In any event, the sea is really not far from you at all, as the island is very small, and the "garden" is really a mass of mangroves through which you make you way in less than 2 minutes to the beach, so it is not like you're in the boonies or anything. As a platinum (royal ambassador) we were not "upgraded" on our reward stay, but rather, "allowed" to stay in our paid room as a "courtesy". I didn't ask for a further upgrade but got the impression that they aren't given easily.
My underlining. If you want hammocks, Im pretty sure you could request one for your duplex. They have an open air furnished basement with BBQ opportunities, shower etc.

Originally Posted by GibSpmuh View Post
Just got back from a Pointbreaks stay at HI Kandooma and had a great time. Was upgraded to a Sea View Beach House which came as quite a pleasant surprise. The resort was running near 100% occupancy apparently - not that you'd know it, didn't feel particuarly crowded at all.

Found the staff to be pretty much universally friendly and helpful. Mostly ate at the Poolside Cafe or in the room - was great to sit on the balcony of the room and look out over the ocean. You can order anything from the Poolside Cafe as takeaway or for delivery, not just the limited options listed in the room service menu. Most of the dishes were surprisingly tasty and reasonably priced as well. The breakfast buffet on the otherhand was fairly average, wasn't exactly rushing to get out of bed to make it there.

As others have mentioned, there's free wi-fi throughout the island and the speed can be somewhat variable. But for looking after the essentials it was handy. Lots of other nice touches as well, like the oranges in the room each morning to make juice and bountiful bottles of water on offer as well.

For a Pointbreaks stay I don't think I could ask for better and I'd certainly contemplate a return on a paid stay (and no hesitation at 15k per night at the normal points rate either).
Good post. Nice touch with daily fresh oranges with your in-room juice presser.

Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
Well, my award stay booked in a garden view villa is now showing upgraded to a sea view beach house. YAY!!!!! The hotel is apparently 100% full (or at least cannot be booked online) for my arrival date, so maybe that is a factor with the upgrade. In any case, I am one happy camper.
During festivity season there is a 5 night minimum. Thus I had to manually request them adding the paid and 6th night in front of my reservation.

Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
Did anybody took Male city tour? Is it worth doing?
Probably not as some stated. But rather do it yourself. 2 min walk from the airport, ferry runs every 10 minutes, and seems to run all night. 1$ or 10 local (80 cent). Takes 5-10 minutes to cross over, and Male is rather small. You can easily walk around. Depending on your flight arrival I would do this on my own before or after HI. Left luggage at airport, cash only, 5$ a piece (10$ for surfboards etc), or in local currency. Price is for upto 24 hours. At the info counter.

Originally Posted by nagiya View Post
hi,has any body stayed in holiday inn kandooma in beach view villa rooms.how is the room situated.is it facing the beach,and hw far is it to access beach frm the room.planning to go in aprill 2011.do i hve direct access to beach frm the room.pls reply thnx
Max 1min + walk from beach anywhere at the resort. Its a private atoll.

Originally Posted by BA038_Passenger View Post
How expensive is the food? Is the breakfast included on reward nights basis?
Originally Posted by Kathabene View Post
Breaksfast isn't included in reward nights and is 18 USD + 10 % Service Charge
This is correct.

Originally Posted by Kathabene View Post
I also didn't have to pay the 8 USD per night
Correct too on awards.

Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
I guess they would collect USD 150 as airport transfer fee (which is for both ways).

A question on left luggage at Male airport. Does it operate round the clock? Where to find them? How much do they charge?
140$fee + 10% tax.
Luggage; see above.


Other comments.
On arrival no one was holding a sign with Holiday Inn (which most resorts seem to do), and none of the numerous stalls around had any Holiday Inn sign either. Found the responsible guy after asking a bit around.

Nothing more comes to my mind now, but feel free to ask questions.

They provide lots of activites and trips.
I recommend the night fishing trip at 45$ a person. Leave a bit early and it will be a nice sun dawn cruise, and we also saw dolphins etc (why pay for a seperate dolphin cruise?). A few drinks (soft drinks/beers included, even got some finger food before departure).
You fish with line and bait. We were 4 people + 3 cres, and got some 40 fish during 1,5 hours.
When you come back you pick 2 fish they will clean and cook for you the same day or day after (mediterrean, cantonese or thai style).
Great deal!!

Last edited by travelkid; Dec 31, 10 at 6:02 am
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Old Jan 2, 11, 7:43 am
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Thats an excellent post Travelkid. Thanks.

When you say duplex, is it Garden view or Beach view? I guess there are these two types with a significant price difference, and may be some amenities too. I am booked on points for Garden view beach villa in the last week of January.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 9:24 am
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Talking

Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
Thats an excellent post Travelkid. Thanks.

When you say duplex, is it Garden view or Beach view? I guess there are these two types with a significant price difference, and may be some amenities too. I am booked on points for Garden view beach villa in the last week of January.
Hi Kshastry,
I think the duplex is the Garden view beach house.
A 71 SQ METRE DUPLEX BEACH HOUSE WITH SEPARATE LIVING AND SLEEPING AREAS AND GARDEN VIEWS

Its level is higher than the garden villa.

Actually, When I use my PCR points to redeem the stay(Jan30-Feb) there, The HOUSE is the only choice for me. So luky..
Please check date you booked again to see if there will be any surprise for you.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by edyu View Post
Hi Kshastry,
I think the duplex is the Garden view beach house.
A 71 SQ METRE DUPLEX BEACH HOUSE WITH SEPARATE LIVING AND SLEEPING AREAS AND GARDEN VIEWS

Its level is higher than the garden villa.

Actually, When I use my PCR points to redeem the stay(Jan30-Feb) there, The HOUSE is the only choice for me. So luky..
Please check date you booked again to see if there will be any surprise for you.
The dublex is a two-storey buliding, the 71 sqm. But the basement is outdoor, so its a strange way of saying 71 sqm.

You are unlikely to need cash, but if you need there is a ATM right after customs, which you can acces from the airport as well. Go through the arrivals door, next to the exchange booth. If you dont have dollars, you will need local money to pay for luggage storage. And the ferry to Male. In Male you will be fine with CCs.
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Old Jan 7, 11, 12:28 am
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Thanks Travelkid and edyu,

How about tipping expenses? How much did you tip in your 6 day stay (if you don't mind sharing the info?)
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Old Jan 7, 11, 3:42 am
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Thanks Travelkid and edyu,

How about tipping expenses? How much did you tip in your 6 day stay (if you don't mind sharing the info?)
My friends' experience
bellboy one dollar for carrying luggage
Leave one dollar in the room for the housekeeping everyday
There is service fee percentage in the meal.
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Old Jan 7, 11, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by kshastry View Post
Thanks Travelkid and edyu,

How about tipping expenses? How much did you tip in your 6 day stay (if you don't mind sharing the info?)
Originally Posted by edyu View Post
My friends' experience
bellboy one dollar for carrying luggage
Leave one dollar in the room for the housekeeping everyday
There is service fee percentage in the meal.
I didnt tip one dollar. This is a cash free resort. However, it might be a nice gesture to some employees. Problem is if too many start this US practice, they might start expecting it. AND there is a 10% service charge on absolutely EVERYTHING. (except PBs of course ). When we also were forced to pay 154$ boat transfer (on return it was full of employees as well) + compulsory xmas buffets I didnt feel bad not tipping. We had great service all the way in any case.
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Old Jan 17, 11, 2:01 pm
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I am booked for 4 nights in March in a 1 KING BED GARDEN VIEW BEACH HOUSE and wanted to know if the unit has a refrigerator, microwave or eating utensils (bowls, forks, spoons) in the room.


Thanks
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Old Jan 17, 11, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jclay1212 View Post
I am booked for 4 nights in March in a 1 KING BED GARDEN VIEW BEACH HOUSE and wanted to know if the unit has a refrigerator, microwave or eating utensils (bowls, forks, spoons) in the room.


Thanks
You will have the minibar fridge, not big, but you can empty it for your own use. No microwave, but no shops either to buy food. You could bring something maybe. Basic utensils, but you could for sure borrow from the hotel.
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Old Jan 17, 11, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by travelkid View Post
...When we also were forced to pay 154$ boat transfer (on return it was full of employees as well) + compulsory xmas buffets I didnt feel bad not tipping...
When you booked your travel, didnīt you know these facts?
So, what does it have to do with "bad feeling"? You didnīt "hurt" the hotel but some employees could have had a few dollars more.
Come on, one Dollar/day for housekeeping in such countries is nothing for you (but you even topped that with having a "free" stay on PB; yes I know, itīs only literally "free")
There are some countries, where tips are expected, some where it is welcomed and some not.
Itīs ok for me to get the best deals (like PB) but please donīt save your money at the wrong end.
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Old Jan 18, 11, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
When you booked your travel, didnīt you know these facts?
So, what does it have to do with "bad feeling"? You didnīt "hurt" the hotel but some employees could have had a few dollars more.
Come on, one Dollar/day for housekeeping in such countries is nothing for you (but you even topped that with having a "free" stay on PB; yes I know, itīs only literally "free")
There are some countries, where tips are expected, some where it is welcomed and some not.
Itīs ok for me to get the best deals (like PB) but please donīt save your money at the wrong end.
I didnt know when I booked. It might or might not have been mentioned on the reservation page, or in my confirmation, but I didnt see it there. I was notified by mail later, after booking flights etc, when they wanted to know our arrival time for pick up.

You forgot to include my main fact, that tipping is automatically added on absolutely everything with 10% to avoid these issues. Tipping is a very touchy issue, and both countries and tourists have different customs. So flat rate and good and equal service to everyone suits a up scale and calm destination like Maldives best.
And its not about saving at the wrong end but not supporting a practice which is potentially destroying.
Tons of threads on FT about tipping policy, but remember its in any case upto the customer.
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Old Jan 18, 11, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by travelkid View Post
I didnt know when I booked. It might or might not have been mentioned on the reservation page, or in my confirmation, but I didnt see it there. I was notified by mail later, after booking flights etc, when they wanted to know our arrival time for pick up.

You forgot to include my main fact, that tipping is automatically added on absolutely everything with 10% to avoid these issues. Tipping is a very touchy issue, and both countries and tourists have different customs. So flat rate and good and equal service to everyone suits a up scale and calm destination like Maldives best.
And its not about saving at the wrong end but not supporting a practice which is potentially destroying.
Tons of threads on FT about tipping policy, but remember its in any case upto the customer.
Just a thought; next time ask your room maid, how much $ she got from the 10% service charge.
You never know, if and how itīs split up between the employees.
Some hotels (Iīve experienced) will put a service charge on your bill without sharing it.
Some hotels outsourced the housekeeping services...
I didnīt want to start a tipping discussion, but if people like you or me are having a good time (especially being on PB on the Maldives!), it should be ok to have a spare dollar for housekeeping.
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Old Jan 19, 11, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
Just a thought; next time ask your room maid, how much $ she got from the 10% service charge.
You never know, if and how itīs split up between the employees.
Some hotels (Iīve experienced) will put a service charge on your bill without sharing it.
Some hotels outsourced the housekeeping services...
I didnīt want to start a tipping discussion, but if people like you or me are having a good time (especially being on PB on the Maldives!), it should be ok to have a spare dollar for housekeeping.
I fully see your point, and its as bit OT, but I actually spoke to several of the employees. They have around 360, and I think about 17 at least nationalities.
Irish GM, and I even visited the employees quarter/kitchen. It seemed very well run. No outsourcing for sure. I actually dont see any country where your assumption could be less valid than Maldives.
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