Kudadoo combines soul-soothing Japanese design, eco-friendly architecture and all-inclusive ultra luxury on a dreamy private island in the Maldives. An arc of 15 expansive villas extends over the coral-rich ocean, each with its own infinity pool and muted, airy interiors. There’s a seafood-specialist restaurant, a champagne-stocked bar and a salt-cave-toting spa – but remember the ethos here: ‘Anything, anytime, anywhere.’ Whether it’s a tailor-made tasting menu or a scuba excursion at sunrise, your round-the-clock butler is there to make it happen.
Noon, check-in 2pm, but both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £2896.46 ($3,956), including tax at 12 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $6.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include all meals (except those at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant dining at Hurawalhi Island Resort), drinks (excluding Owners’ Cellar selection of champagne and wines), spa treatments and excursions.
The Japanese styling is the work of award-winning architect, Yuji Yamazaki.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, games room, tennis court. In rooms: Smart TV, Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker, minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water, coffee machine, kettle, beach bag, yoga mat, Healing Earth bath products.
Our favourite rooms
There are no wrong answers – each of the one- and two-bed villas is supremely luxurious. For the ultimate in privacy, go for the villa at the centre of the arc – that way nobody will even walk past your door.
Every villa comes with its own infinity pool, but there’s a jumbo one by the restaurant too, if you’re feeling sociable.
Balinese light features and a wall of coconut husks greet you at the Sulha Spa, where the internationally inspired treatments include warm oil massages and herbal poultice body balms. There’s a salt cave too – the first in the Maldives.
Plenty of swimwear – you’ll be practically living in it.
The common areas are wheelchair-accessible, and there’s step-free access to the rooms.
All ages are welcome. Children under 15 need to stay with parents or a nanny, and won't be able to visit Hurawalhi or dine at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.
The resort is entirely self-sufficient for energy, thanks to the 984 solar panels on the roof, and the 15 overwater villas are constructed from sustainably sourced wood and designed to exist in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. Kudadoo partners with local conservation projects to protect local wildlife, the Healing Ocean bath products are environmentally friendly, and you won’t find throwaway plastics anywhere on site.
Retreat deserves fancy and free flowing threads, but you make the rules here.
You’ve got options. Dine in the ambient lantern-lit Retreat, have a top-end takeaway on your villa deck or arrange for an intimate on-beach dinner under the stars. The house chef trained in France and haute cuisine is on the menu, but so is everything else – any diet or desire can be catered for, so don’t be afraid to ask. Seafood, of course, is the local speciality, and we can vouch for the shucking-good oysters.
Make the bar at The Retreat bar part of your evening ritual. Pick a drink, any drink (they’re all free), and find a perch on the ocean-facing deck for sunset; oftentimes, the dolphins and manta rays might join you. Over at Hurawalhi there’s the Coco Bar for signature cocktails (hello, popcorn espresso martini), and the Champagne Pavilion for fizz.
Breakfast is served 7am to 11am, lunch is from 12.30pm until 3pm, and dinner is from 7.30pm till 11pm. The Pool Bar is open all day from 7am.
You can order breakfast to your villa, or even have a ‘floating breakfast’ served in your infinity pool. There’s also an extensive room service menu, including salads, curries, stir-fries and pizza.
You need a transfer to reach this hotel. For approximate costs, see location information
You’ll find the resort on its eponymous private island in the Maldives’ Lhaviyani Atoll.
You’ll fly into Malé (the capital of the Maldives), and then take a 40-minute seaplane to Kudadoo Island; the transfer costs $490 each way. British Airways operates a direct flight from London to Malé from November to March; for the rest of the year, you can fly with Qatar Airways or Emirates after a stop in the Middle East.
Worth getting out of bed for
You could practically roll out of bed straight into the sea, but make sure you put a snorkel on first, so you can meet the locals properly (if any rub you up the wrong way, you might try fishing later on… ). Get your adrenalin rush with water-skiing, jet-skiing or boating, or keep things calm with kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing or kitesurfing instead. On dry land, challenge your partner to a game of tennis, join yoga and meditation classes on the beach, or spoil yourself with treatments and salt-room sessions at the Sulha Spa. If there is a downside to holidaying on a private island in the Maldives, it’s that there aren’t any local things to see and do. On the plus side, it’s a private island in the Maldives, so chin up.
For a change of scene, motor over to sister hotel Hurawalhi, on a separate island five minutes away. There you’ll find a trio of more formal dining options, including the all-glass 5.8 – the world’s largest underwater restaurant. (You can book the Hurawalhi restaurants with the concierge at Kudadoo.)
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this private island resort in the Maldives and unpacked their well-thumbed novels and sandy-pocketed shorts, a full account of their ultra-luxury break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Kudadoo in the Maldives…
Sugary white sand, translucent turquoise water, palms swaying in the warm ocean breeze – you might think that Kudadoo sounds a lot like countless other tropical island resorts. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but in any case, you’d be wrong. The moment you arrive at the Japanese-inspired escape – by seaplane, naturally – the AAA ethos kicks in: no, that’s not a battery reference. It stands for ‘anything, anytime, anywhere’ (presumably including replacement Duracells if you need them, but that’s by the by). Nothing is off-limits – have breakfast served in your private pool, make off-the-wall requests to the chef, take tailormade treatments in the spa, and work your way through every watersport you can think of. It’s all meticulously managed by your round-the-clock genie (ahem, butler) so all you need to worry about is using your wishes wisely.