The Maldives is one of those places you have to see to believe – and Club Med‘s Kani resort is no exception. We were invited to check out the island resort for a couple of days and were easily won over. Crystal clear waters shimmer in shades of turquoise, emerald green and deep blue, gently lapping up to white sand beaches encircling your very own private island, lush with palms, banyan trees and tropical flowers. It’s nearly impossible to do the island justice on a digital screen, but for what it’s worth, here’s a photo tour or Kanifinolhu island, one of Club Med’s premium holiday resorts.
First stop: the pier. Step off your speed boat (or sea plane), and soak it all in – yes, you are really here! The pier also houses the snorkeling and diving centers, for those who want a closer look at the fishies.
Incredibly, you don’t really need gear to see underwater life in these pristine waters – can you believe this picture was taken *above* water??!)
After finishing your happy dance on the pier, head towards the giant banyan tree that marks the “heart of the village.” Here you’ll find resort registration, the discovery center, and a listing of all the day’s various activities. Look out for the “Gentil Organisateurs,” or GOs, which translates from French to “friendly organizer.” G.O.s are one of the real differentiators of a Club Med holiday, because unlike other resorts, they’re not just staff – rather, they are allowed and actively encouraged to mingle with guests to make sure all your needs are taken care of. GOs come from all over the world and speak dozens of languages, giving the resort a truly international flavour.
But enough logisics – it’s time to hit the beach! A private island means 360 degrees of coastline, and Club Med makes use of almost every bit of it. On the Western side of the island you’ll find deeper waters suited for swimming. The acquatic center is also on this side, further up the beach. Here holidayers can borrow kayaks and catamarans or trade up for jet skiing and parasailing. This side also houses the *cough* gym for the athletically inclined, or those struck with serious beach body inspiration.
The Eastern side of the island offers shallow, crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling, a lazy float, or an emotional stare off into the horizon. This also happened to be our side of the beach from our private terraces, but more on that later :)
If you’re not in the mood for salt water, Kani’s got you covered. There are few things more indulgent than sitting in an infinity pool, on the beach, overlooking the ocean that for all purposes looks (and feels) like a giant swimming pool. You follow?
While you’re at the pool, you may as well slip down to the day bar (there’s a separate night bar), where in true Club Med style, everything on the regular menu is on the house. That’s right. Bloody Mary for breakfast? Check. Pina Colada for lunch? Check. Whiskey shots for dinner? No comment. Suffice it to say, there’s no fighting over the check, and GO bartenders are more than happy to chill you down some tequilla shots after a grueling game of bocce ball. What?
For those in need of more solid sustenance, Club Med offers all day dining options. The main dining hall offers a rotating breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, with sprawling options from European, Japanese, Chinese and other cuisines. While the buffets are closed, the resort’s smaller restaurant offers an a la carte menu. The bar is also a good place to pick up snacks to munch on between meals, and if you’re lucky, dinner will be under the stars. Did I mention this is all included in your room rate?
For a little shopping, head down to the Club Med gift shop, where you can pick up iconic “45” clothing (originating from Club Med’s 45th anniversary) or the new “88” line, introduced as a nod to the growing influence of Chinese tourists (8 being a lucky number). Pick up some insect repellent (even Kani has mosquitoes) and a deck of playing cards while you’re at it.
If you’re not into shopping, there’s always the spa…
… otherwise head back to your room, itself an oasis of calm. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the beach villas – situated right on the sand, with private terraces, and indoor/outdoor showers. And if you think you love hotel beds, wait till you sleep on one of these babies. It’s hard to describe just how comfortable they are, except to say it’s like sleeping on a cloud. On the beach. With air conditioning.
And if you’re one of the very lucky few, you’ll get to stay in one of the breathtaking 5T Lagoon Suites (T = Trident, the Club Med equivalent of a hotel star). If you were wondering what those houses on stilts were in the background, these would be it. Set off to the North of the island, each one of these luxury accommodations offers unfettered views of blue, a private ocean deck, full concierge service, and unlimited bragging rights.
There you have it. Paradise on an island. Wanna know more? Check out Club Med’s website, and keep your eyes on this blog for tons of upcoming pictures and videos!
#DesiGirlTraveler, Next Stop Club Med!
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To book your stay call: 022 2605 7828 / 02605 7832 or visit www.clubmed.co.in :)