Whenever I hear the words “all-inclusive resort”, I am cautious as that usually suggests a mockery of the destination’s authenticity, mediocre food and rambunctious crowds. Yet, the ample choice given to me to explore at Komandoo Maldives Resort left me thinking of the absolute room in the Maldives for an all-inclusive concept to deliver a premium product.

I arrived at Komandoo Maldives early in the morning and was amazed by the stunning lagoon as my speedboat approached the arrival jetty. Upon arrival, my luggage was quickly whisked away to my room (I’m grateful for not having to drag my bags in the sand) and I was handed a cold towel, a fresh coconut and a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream. Afra, from the front office, gave me a helpful overview of the island while walking me to my villa.

Komandoo comprises of 65 villas and suites that range from 14 Beach Villas along the western beach of the island, 36 Jacuzzi Beach Villas on the eastern and western beach, and 15 Jacuzzi Water Villas arching around the southern end of the island.

The hexagonal beach rooms, prefabricated in pine from Finland, come with four-poster beds and they all front directly onto a pure white beach. The rustic-style water bungalows are aptly impressive and equipped with solid teak furniture.

As the tour continues, the initial impression of this strikingly beautiful island comes together to make perfect sense of the “getaway” theme as I would like to call it. Surrounded by a stunning lagoon and beaches, numerous coconut palms dot the secluded island paving the way for pure and undisturbed escapism.

After settling in my beach suite, I decided to relax by the resort’s infinity pool. I was charmed by the design of the pool; the tiles imitated the shades of sand surrounding the pool, caused a stunning illusion of the pool stretching out to the infinite boundaries of the horizon. Sitting amidst the tropical vegetation, I took some time to clear my mind, while looking at the infinite view of the Indian Ocean, only flecked with a few islands in the far distance.

Next up was dinner set at Falhu – the main restaurant at the north-western end of the island. Open on all sides, with cedar wood shutter windows that can simply be closed in case of storms, from the inside, Falhu presents a view that is simple and tropical.

The mildly rainy weather had me dining indoors instead of choosing to dine al fresco on the lagoon side. The dinner buffet at the barefoot restaurant was packed with variety, with a live cooking station with four chefs who served me with a diverse choice of international cuisines.

Maseeha, my guest hostess, escorted me to my table graciously. Things seemed to run seamlessly at the restaurant and in all areas, for that matter. Chef Oleg and his team at Falhu thrilled me with his delicious selection of dishes – they truly seemed to love their jobs.

Dinner was followed by multiple mocktails at the Kandu Bar – which is available for guests to enjoy as a part of the resorts All-Inclusive package. The bar, with its sunken counter with water cascading over lava stone tiles was a vision which brought transcendental consciousness. Idling at the bar was delightful – it is a charming spot which creates an atmosphere of elegance meant for intimate conversations.

The second day at Komandoo was set to be a busy day. Over breakfast, Owen Ealden, the General Manager clarified that the intensively relaxed feel of adults-only Komandoo is the reason it is often rated as one of the top Maldives’ resorts for romance.

Driven by the time-tested tradition of being guided by guest feedback, Owen was confident that the resort ethos of pampering and romance would exceed expectations of couples enjoying a romantic break.

Finishing my breakfast chat, I proceeded to interview one of the staff for our Women in Hospitality segment. Maseeha’s story is one that not only reflects the genuine service style of Maldivian hospitality but is also a story of remarkable accomplishments for women in the industry.

After completing tasks on my writing schedule, next on my itinerary was self-indulgence at the Duniye Spa; a brand that is synonymous with some of the most exclusive islands in the Maldives. Once at the spa, I was delighted to find out the All-Inclusive Gold package that includes a one-hour spa treatment. A soothing Balinese massage ensued, which ended with refreshments served in the courtyard whilst the fruit bats climbed through the palm trees above, seemingly for my entertainment.

Having soothed my senses at the spa, I decided to take a stroll along the villas by the house reef.  Looking into the water, I saw three baby reef sharks swimming in circles in the lagoon. There were also schools of small fish swimming in the same place. As the sharks swam amongst the fish, the school would react like oil to water by breaking apart just enough to let the sharks pass through. Such seldom-to-be-seen creature encounters are frequent for visitors to Komandoo; they’ve often found reef sharks, sea turtles and eagle rays to never leave the lagoon during their entire stay.

Komandoo is a perfectly balanced snorkelling, diving and relaxation destination. With the Maldives being a nation of 99 percent ocean, diving is a unique feature of our tourism. Within a radius of a 30-minute boat ride around Komandoo are about 45 dive sites.

The all-inclusive package at Komandoo includes an introductory dive – a real gift which allows everyone to enjoy the amazing marine life.

By the time I boarded the plane to head back to Malé, I had discovered that the sun-lit culture of Komandoo is dizzyingly diverse. Life on the white sandy beach island of Komandoo is full of wonder; revel in the centuries-old culture (by visiting nearby Hinnavaru Island), hop between sister island Hurawalhi Island Resort for fine dining in the world’s largest undersea restaurant, and discover marvels under the water and then run off to find your inner romantic… Just about anything is possible in Komandoo.