Kandima is my Golden Buzzer entry in the Maldives’ Got Talent resort show this season. I know Simon Cowell would give it a thumbs up. I can just hear him saying, “From the moment you stepped on stage you had our attention. You have taken a classic and made it your own. It is so inventive, so fresh, so current, so now. The great thing about this show is discovering things that you haven’t seen before. There is definitely a gap in the market for something like this.”
I am a sucker for aesthetic design. So many resorts try to capture the Maldivian spirit by emulating the traditional design and craft. Kandima’s inspiration comes from nature. Predominantly the ocean (with a rich, pervasive palette of blues), punctuated by vibrant greens and touches of palm fronds. Kandima has perhaps my favourite reception area. Like the entire resort that it welcomes you to, it is modern, dramatic, creative. It’s cathedral-like nave opens to the blue skies.
It is no surprise then that I bumped into my favourite Maldivian artist, who is actually an artist-in-residence here – Aima Musko. I was Aima’s first as an artist, and then a customer of hers for design as she re-conceived the Maldives Complete logo and website theme. We have stayed in touch as friends over the years and it was a real treat to meet up with her face to face again at the resort. I knew she had been here when I wrote about the Kandima Artist’s Studio, but I thought that was a short-term event or promotion. It turns out that the Studio is a full time programme that the resort continues to invest in and expand (stay tuned for a profile on this young lady who is a talent show in her own right).
Kandima is ranked as a “4+ star”, but really it stands shoulder to shoulder with about any standard 5-star resort and is in fact far superior to many Maldives properties claiming to be 5-star. The restaurants are as good as any top-flight property and actually, some operators are calling Kandima 5-star whether the resort does or not. If you appreciate design artistry, then Kandima is one of the best value for money options in the Maldives.
Kandima not only has a distinctive horizontal surface, it also boasts one of the most striking vertical surfaces in the Maldives (in fact, you can also see one of the walls behind the table in yesterday’s post). Such hanging gardens are as wonder-ful now as they were in times of Babylon. Last spring, we visited Singapore who’s signature attraction are such gardens draped over giant palm tree shaped frames and illuminated at night with colourful lights set to music. That’s taking natural materials and green design to an entirely new level (well, at least the second floor). Thanks Paola.
Today’s “Best Of” is sort of a “half” have-seen. Like the one in the 12th edition of “Haven’t Seen Yet” (#2) with the ocean inspired table at both Kandima and Kanuhura resorts. I call it “half seen” because while the style is precisely what I thought ideal for a Maldives resort, my fantasy is one constructed based on the actual topology of the island (and its underwater house reef).
Today’s post is also sort of a “Finally Seen”. I’ve been telling resorts for years that they should commission Aima Musko to do art pieces for their villa. She is one of the finest artistic talents in the Maldives and I can proudly say that I was Aimee’s very first customer to buy one of her paintings. Well, finally, Aimee – and a number of other fellow Maldivian artists – are being assembled by a resort, Kandima for their KULA ‘programme’ (they refer to it as an ‘exhibition’, but it is really more like a resident festival):
- “KULA means ‘Colours’ in Dhivehi and it is our vision that this programme will support the full spectrum of the contemporary creative arts, from local crafts, fashion, digital photography, videography to music, and open up new horizons for the local art community like never before. The entire resort will be a glorious art gallery and thanks to collaboration with MAC (Maldives Artists Community, a local art NGO with over 100 members), Kandima Maldives is set to host regular exhibitions and exciting performances by local artists. There will be live art demonstrations and guests can unleash their inner Picasso with classes at Kandima’s very own Art Studio. Set on the edge of a natural lake, it will be one of the most peaceful locations on the island, giving both guests and artists the inspiration and calm space they need to create their masterpiece!”
Colour me delighted.
The bounciest walkway goes to Kandima for their ground-level trampoline. Submerged units like this one are a lot more safe (less distance to fall if you stumble off the side) and I find a bit more fun being right at a conventional level but just on a very springy surface.
Friday the 13th! Day of bad luck. According to List 25, keys and amulets have been good luck charms for centuries. At the soon to open resort Kandima, you room key is also an amulet…with a bit of its own magic charm (according to Clarke’s Third Law at least)…
- “RFID wrist bands that allow guests full freedom to roam the island without needing to worry about a key… A key concept at Kandima is being tree friendly. That means that we have chosen to use digital signature capture technology where ever possible. Guests can sign with a stylus and see their signature captured at the same time. Our systems will have the ability to retrieve the captured signature at any time a guest would like to review a transaction… Some of the other initiatives that are driving the Kandima experience include the ability to have a range of services at all times of the day, technology enables this via APPS, in-room ordering, vending machines which will react to you at the wave of your arm band… We will have kiosk and app drive “build your own burger/pizza/omelets’ options… Our technology alignments will provide on demand video streaming which can also be ‘flicked’ to your mobile device, allowing you to continue watching a movie or TV program from the comfort of your porch, while your significant other lazes in bed surfing the net or updating their social media wall.”
We keep all our stuff in your room when we good for a walk, swim, etc. But you have to take your room key. Our swimsuits don’t have pockets so keeping up with the key is always a bit of an aggro. A stylish and fun bracelet is a great solution. Or is can wrap around anything like a beach bag or snorkel bag handle. Or you can just keep them on your “handily” (yes, I intended that) on your wrist as you swim or snorkel as they are water resistant.
Kandima also provides slap bracelet USB stick with resort information and material. For those who didn’t enjoy the slap bracelets of the eighties, see mini-video below for a demonstration below.