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Old Mar 29, 10, 10:28 pm   #1
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Holiday Inn Kandooma -- Maldives

Has anyone stayed at this hotel yet? I have booked a reward stay for November (only 15K per night or 5K plus $60). Tripadvisor reviews look 50/50 but I figure it is worth the risk. Any upgrade experiences? Reward stay experiences? Tips?
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Old Mar 29, 10, 11:17 pm   #2
  
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If it is free with only 15K points per night, go for it. If you pay cash, stay somewhere else.
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Old Mar 30, 10, 4:53 am   #3
  
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Stayed in March 2010

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.

The choice of food is excellent. There's a nice buffet restaurant with loads of choice options (mostly Asian cuisine including excellent starters and deserts), plus a pool/cafe bar with a great selection of more western style food such as pizza, burgers and pastas, etc. Lastly there's a posh eating option in the Kitchen Restaurant (if you're lucky like us you might also receive numerous free bottle of wine vouchers too).

There's a good selection of entertainment including films and a live band, plus a wide range of boat trips. There's only a small house reef (which the resort has only recently started to cultivate), however they do offer complimentary trips to a much better reef off one of the other local atolls. Despite what others have said on Trip Advisor, we found plenty of fish to look at just snorkling off the numerous beaches on the Kandooma Atoll. The swiming pool is also amazing. 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.

I hope this helps and let me know if you want to know anything else.

Cheers, LC.
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Old Mar 30, 10, 7:24 am   #4
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Thanks so much for the info. Looks like a great place to spend 3 nights before moving on the the Conrad Hilton.
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Old Mar 30, 10, 3:51 pm   #5
  
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Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
Thanks so much for the info. Looks like a great place to spend 3 nights before moving on the the Conrad Hilton.
You're most welcome. Note there's also a mandatory return boat transfer cost of $140 USD each, which you may not be aware of.
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Old Mar 30, 10, 5:02 pm   #6
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thanks Loyalty club -- I WAS aware of the boat transfer fee (but it sure beats the $420 return seaplane transfer fee I'll have to pay from the airport to the Conrad). 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?
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Old Mar 30, 10, 11:37 pm   #7
  
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Thanks so much for your sharing. It is really useful infor for me.
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Old Mar 31, 10, 2:50 am   #8
  
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthehpt View Post
thanks Loyalty club -- I WAS aware of the boat transfer fee (but it sure beats the $420 return seaplane transfer fee I'll have to pay from the airport to the Conrad). 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?
Hi iamthehpt, We too planned to stop at HI Male at the end of our trip, however we enjoyed Kandooma so much can we swapped it for an extra night there instead. Again friends have stayed at the HI Male and really liked it, although it's a completely alcohol free zone if that's a consideration. Cheers, LC.

PS. Welcome to FT Ever_fly, enjoy!
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Old May 24, 10, 9:26 am   #9
  
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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).
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Old May 27, 10, 3:15 am   #10
  
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Cannot find availablity at any time! Kandooma

I have just looked at making a reward night reservation for jan 2010 ... last night everything was tickety boo for most dates ... now it seems to have been pulled and all I get is no dates wow that was quick .. anyone else been disappointed????
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Old May 27, 10, 3:36 am   #11
  
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Originally Posted by LilRedFox View Post
I have just looked at making a reward night reservation for jan 2010 ... last night everything was tickety boo for most dates ... now it seems to have been pulled and all I get is no dates wow that was quick .. anyone else been disappointed????
I think the entire IHG reward night reservation system is down. There is no single hotel (that I have checked) that has reward nights available "in the entire world"... maybe check later...

I tried to look for reward nights for Shanghai and got suspicious since none of the 24 hotels there is available - and neither is entire New York...
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Old May 27, 10, 4:15 am   #12
  
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You are so right! I phoned the help line etc and eventually had success HURRAH !!!!!!!!! It pays to be persistent sometimes as I was about to give up and then the lass checked and re checked for me. Thanks for the info..... I had begun to be a bit suspicious as I tried to book 2 weeks in Barnsley in Feb and it was the same no availability LOL
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Old Sep 2, 10, 12:25 pm   #13
  
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Can anybody whos been there comment on the menus available. Are there any vegetarian options available.

- naroowal
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Old Sep 6, 10, 10:10 am   #14
  
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Any success with paying to upgrade to an overwater villa on a reward night?

EDIT - I emailed the property to ask about the upgrade cost, answer was $680/night.

.........seriously?

Last edited by ken7; Sep 9, 10 at 8:08 am
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Old Sep 6, 10, 10:53 am   #15
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naroowal View Post
Can anybody whos been there comment on the menus available. Are there any vegetarian options available.

- naroowal
My understanding is they have a buffet so veg options should be covered. We are heading there early next week, hope to report more then.
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