And now for some unintentional rhyming, welcome to part two of my Komandoo review! For my thoughts on the resort’s accommodations, reef, and on the island itself, please see the previous post. In this post I’ll cover Komandoo’s service, recreation, and food.
Spoiler alert: I loved this place. I miss everything about it.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we were instantly wowed with the service from the moment we stepped off the plane. Our luggage was whisked away to our room (I’m so grateful for not having to drag our bags through the sand), we were handed a a cold towel, a fresh coconut, and a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream, and then Stefanie gave us a helpful overview of the island while walking us to our villa.
Speaking of the villa, our room attendant, Ibrahim, made sure we always had everything we needed throughout the week. He quietly swooped in and out when we left to go to the restaurant or to snorkel, and we loved returning to our temporary home to find everything completely spotless along with fresh towels expertly crafted into animal shapes. We enjoyed the little sweet treats he left for us at the end of each day, and we especially savored the white chocolate-covered strawberries on Valentine’s Day.
Every time we ate at Falhu, the main restaurant, Shimaal and Ali waited on us with grace and care. No request was too big or too small, and we didn’t want for anything day in and day out. Things seemed to run seamlessly at the restaurant and in all areas, for that matter. We felt taken care of by the entire team at Komandoo – they seem to truly love their jobs. Everyone we encountered beamed with smiles and gave us the warmest greetings, and we felt they genuinely wanted us to have a wonderful time at the resort.
I’m generally not a do-nothing kind of traveler even when it is vacation, and Komandoo’s recreation and relaxation offerings provide the perfect place for someone who likes to stay busy. But it’s a fun and/or relaxing kind of busy, of course.
An extensive menu of treatments and services at the Duniye Spa is an excellent place to start, but I didn’t end up getting to use the spa! I kept thinking I would go, but before I knew it our time on the island was up and I hadn’t booked a single treatment. Even the laziest of days passed so quickly, so my advice is to take advantage of everything your heart desires. I’ll be sure to promptly sign up for a service or two on our next visit.
On the more active side of things, Komandoo provides plenty of outlets for sporty and adventurous types. With a fully outfitted dive center right on the island, guests have a wide range of scuba diving opportunities for both beginners and experienced divers. They also offer snorkeling trips and rental equipment. Chris and I opted to bring our own fins, masks, and snorkels since we planned to do as much snorkeling as possible, but it looked like the dive center and shop had a great selection of gear.
The one thing I definitely set out to do on this trip was a snorkeling excursion to see manta rays. We stopped by the ProDivers dive center to sign up, but we were told by one of the dive center members that the unfortunately manta rays had not been out and about the past couple of weeks and that he didn’t want to disappoint us, which I appreciated. So we’ll just have that on our list for next time. We have been on quite a few boating trips to snorkel, and we were really looking forward to being able to snorkel right off the shore. That’s exactly what we did almost every day and we loved it.
In addition to scuba diving and snorkeling and fishing trips, several water sports are on offer including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and wind surfing. I love kayaking and would have enjoyed trying SUP and/or wind surfing, but we had an unusually crazy windy week on the island and I didn’t want to wind up on another island or even lost at sea, so we didn’t attempt any of these. My list of reasons to return to Komandoo is quite long at this point, so I guess we’ll just have to go back!
As it turns out, I truly needed a good bit of unscheduled downtime, so it was perfectly fine that we didn’t do any water sports (other than snorkeling) or the manta ray excursion. Chris did beat me at a leisurely game of giant chess though. And tucked into various areas all over the island we also found other ways to stay active if we wanted to – table tennis, a dart board, a fitness center, and a volleyball/badminton court.
Last but not least, Komandoo offers boat trips for deep sea fishing, visiting local islands, or to watch the sunset. I hear the sunset cruise frequently includes dolphin sightings and we signed up for that one, but we missed it. Someone, I won’t mention names, fell asleep that afternoon. Instead, we happily watched a beautiful sunset with cocktails from the Thundi bar, which ended up being one of our daily rituals.
Food & Drinks
Let me first preface things by saying Chris and I are not necessarily foodies, but we do love to eat and drink and we did a lot of it at the resort. Komandoo has two restaurants and two bars, one of which also serves food. We might not be qualified to comment on the spa or the water sports activities, but we certainly ate and drank enough to have opinions about the food and drinks!
A note on Komandoo’s all-inclusive packages. We opted for the full board plan which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Falhu restaurant, and drinks like tea, coffee, and also juice at breakfast. I went back and forth on whether or not to upgrade to one of the all-inclusive package with alcoholic drinks. All guests in the booking are required to be on the same package, and while I do love my cocktails, I wasn’t sure I’d drink enough to hold up my end of the price difference. And yep, in the end the full board plan worked out well for us and it wouldn’t have been worth upgrading, even with our daily use of the mini-bar and happy hours.
The Thundi bar was conveniently located steps from the water villas, so we frequented this spot and enjoyed tropical drinks to go with gorgeous sunsets.
The Kandu Bar, situated by the pool and reception, offered a larger selection of drinks including a fabulous version of my island favorite, a banana piña colada, along with a food menu. We ordered lunch here a couple of times (not included in the full board or all-inclusive packages) when we were craving burgers/sandwiches or fish and chips and we absolutely loved the food. Everything came to us fresh, hot, and wonderfully prepared.
We ate at the main restaurant, Falhu, for all of our other meals outside of those two lunches and one lunch at sister resort Hurawalhi. We had several breakfasts from Falhu via room service in our villa, and were pleasantly surprised to find a reasonable fee for doing so ($7 per person). We didn’t end up trying the Aqua fine dining restaurant at Komandoo since we opted to go to Hurawalhi’s 5.8 Undersea Restaurant instead (separate post coming soon) and it felt a little weird to pay for full board meals and miss too many of them.
I read so many reviews ahead of our trip that raved about the food at Komandoo. Falhu serves all meals buffet style, so I assumed the reviews meant the food was good…for a buffet. We’ve been on a couple of cruises and tons of weddings, and I expected typical buffet food.
This wasn’t typical buffet food. Not to mention Falhu’s wonderful atmosphere: soft sand floors, open-air with a cute thatched roof, and stunning views from the deck.
Each meal we were presented with an inspired array of international dishes: Maldivian, Italian, Indian, and one night we were even treated to a beach barbecue. I failed to get more photos of Falhu’s buffet like the meat-carving station and the made-to-order pasta station because I was just too busy filling my plate with deliciousness each time. I can be kind of a picky eater, but I always found plenty of things to enjoy. And of course, it was fun to try
two three four different mini desserts guilt-free.
Now that we are back home, I am sorely missing our daily life at Komandoo! I think the only thing I would change about our visit is to stay longer next time.
Up next: our culinary adventure at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant.