I’ve shared the highlights of our trip to the Maldives, including diving (with sharks!). Now I’m going to talk about our resort: Holiday Inn Kandooma Maldives. Or rather, I’m not going to write as much as let the pictures do the talking.The resort is probably the nicest Holiday Inn in the world. I mean, just look at this place.View from a boat.And, while it was definitely the Most Expensive Vacation Ever (for us, at least — we were there for 11 days, after all), it was considerably more affordable than some of the other resorts I’d researched online. It was surprisingly family-friendly too, with a whole kids center (Kandoo Kids) and lots of families with young children — but not to the point that they were bothersome or annoying (although one kid did squirt me with a watergun one afternoon when we were reading by the pool).Our beach house.Sadly, we will not be among the rich (mostly European) clientele who go on family vacations to the Maldives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime, we’re-working-in-Afghanistan-and-don’t-have-kids-or-a-house vacation.Our “living room” area.I really liked that our beach house had an outdoor living area downstairs, complete with a shower and large sink to rinse off our masks, snorkels and fins. It was also a nice area to do some reading and post-run stretching (in the morning/early afternoon before the whole area was exposed to sunlight).Our room.I guess I should also say I really liked that we had a beach house, period. In the Maldives. We didn’t spring for one of the above-water houses pictured in the first photo, but I don’t know if it would have been worth the extra cost since we didn’t spend a ton of time at the house itself.Towel sculpture!Kail is not a self-described “beach person,” but even he really enjoyed the trip. There was a lot to do — from every water sport imaginable (diving, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, catamaran-riding, paddle boarding, jet skiing, etc.) to yoga classes to just reading on the beach. There was a nice gym, a roughly one-kilometer running path, a spa, a three-tier infinity pool and beautiful 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean.One of the beachfront spots we frequented.The resort itself is an island. Or rather, the entire island is the resort. In the Maldives, various resorts lease the islands from the Maldivian government so the whole thing is resort property.East side of the island, where the waves break.The resort customer service was phenomenal. Everyone — from management to the waitstaff in the restaurant to the housekeeping crew — was great. We even were surprised with a towel sculpture and bottle of wine on our second-to-last day.Sunset view from our balcony.One thing we really appreciated was a complimentary late checkout (at 2:00 p.m. instead of noon — anything later would have had an extra charge) from our room, along with access to all resort facilities (including a shower) up until the time our speedboat left for the airport at 8:00 p.m. (our flight was at 11:00 p.m.). So even though we had to pack up our stuff and leave our room, we were still able to go to the beach and pool, shower and enjoy the resort until it was time to go.I loved this vacation. If you’re considering a trip to the Maldives, I recommend the Holiday Inn Kandooma!What is your dream vacation destination?