The Maldives is more than a honeymoon destination, there is so much to do for all age groups and even though it took me a while to visit this paradise of a place I have made a promise to myself to visit it as often as I can.
My 12 day trip to the Maldives made a city girl an island lover, and I cannot stress on how much I miss waking up to the sound of the ocean, the magnificent sunrise and some amazing Maldivian breakfast.
The Maldives is a Muslim country in the Indian ocean and it has over 1000’s of islands but only 200 are inhabited. Male is the capital and if you do have time I would highly suggest you take a tour of the culturally rich city. The people here are extremely helpful and hospitable and are used to seeing tourists as it’s a pretty popular holiday destination.
This place has some of the best resorts and there is no doubt about it, the emerald blue ocean colour will enchant you and I am sure you would crave to come back very soon.
From UAE there are two direct options to reach Maldives, one is from Dubai via Emirates and the one we took was Etihad airways which takes around four and a half hours to reach Male. The Abu Dhabi airport also has a lovely Etihad lounge where you can relax, unwind and fill up on some snacks before you board your flight, you can either use the business class lounge or pay as a guest to use some of their facilities.
Some of the resorts which I would recommend after my trip were:-
Constance Halaveli – When it comes down to luxury this resort leaves no stones unturned, it caters to your smallest need and treats its guests like god. I stayed at one of their water villas and every morning made it a point to take a dip in my private pool. You can even order an afternoon tea in your pool which will be served in your balcony or in the pool, depending on your mood. They have some great theme nights in their restaurants so one of the days we had a BBQ and there was live music to make the atmosphere lively. Would definitely suggest a few days in this heavenly abode.
They have quite a few options for water sports and excursions to different islands too. I loved the restaurants at the property as the food here is superb! Constance Halaveli definitely up’s it’s game when it comes to making your stay in the Maldives absolutely memorable.
The resort is 20min away by seaplane and the price starts at $700 which also includes breakfast.
Emerald Maldives – This all-inclusive resort was the highlight of my trip. As soon as I entered the room I was mesmerised by the view and struck by the size of the bathroom, it was gigantic. There are four restaurants, where you can dine whenever you desire. Even though most of the rooms have direct access to the ocean it was kind of soothing to sit on the deck and just stare at the picturesque skyline. The beach villas as well look pretty promising and I would love to stay there on my next visit.
The best part of this resort apart from the view was the hammock on the deck, I could lie there all night gazing at the stars. They also have an excursion tour to see dolphins in the ocean, so that’s interesting. If you like to relax the Spa is the answer to all your problems, and if you like water sports you have tons of options here.
Emerald Maldives is 45min away from Male airport by seaplane and the staff here are hospitable and extremely friendly. It’s also a part of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ group so you know you are in for a real Maldivian treat.
The starting price of the villas is $600 and you also get credits to use towards the spa which is a double whammy. They have various different villas so take your pick and have a memorable time at Emerald Maldives.
Grand Park Kodhiparu – The best part about this gorgeous property is the proximity to Male city and the airport. You don’t have to take any seaplanes or domestic flight, its just a 20min speed boat ride to the resort. This place is like a breath of fresh air, the rooms ooze charm and character and you will instantly fall in love with this place. To surprise you they even have a little glass floor in the room, so you can see the fishes pass by in the comfort of your chair.
This place is a dream for all the people who love to explore the Maldives and the unique islands around it including a nearby wreck site. I love the yoga deck here as there is nothing better than that view while you are trying to work on yourself. The infinity pool is impressive too and the food won’t disappoint either especially the breakfast selection.
They have five different kinds of the villa including a Grand Residence which is absolutely dreamy and the starting price of the basic villa is from 550USD.
Westin Miriandhoo Maldives – Part of the Marriott group this property is comparatively different from the other two I stayed in. Firstly because I got to experience the pretty Beach Villas which had their own private pool and excess to the white sandy beach. This resort was more wellness-oriented but it still had all the facilities for water sports, delicious restaurants and being close to the Hanifaru bay which is known to attract an abundance of Manta Rays globally.
My favourite part about this resort was the outdoor rainforest shower, it feels so good to take a bath surrounded by the sounds of the waves and birds.
You can get to this property by a seaplane or by taking a domestic flight to Dharavandhoo airport. Both of the transportation options take about 20-25min. The price of the basic villa starts at 1,200USD which also includes breakfast.
Taj Exotica & Spa Maldives – Being an Indian I was always fascinated by this brand and even though I have had the chance to stay and dine at many of their resorts around the world, I was still charmed by the Maldives property and it was top on my bucket-list things to stay here. Even though I love the beach but when it comes to choosing a villa I prefer the ocean villas, and this one here even had a private pool on their deck.
Food options were fabulous here, you will be spoilt for choices and won’t regret gaining a few pounds. Since this property is super close to Male city you can schedule your departure and arrival accordingly as they have their own speed boat which is just a mere 15min ride away from the airport.
My best activity here was the Stingray feeding session followed by an afternoon tea at the beach and moving on to a private dinner under the stars in their wedding pavilion. Talk about hospitality, they have aced it. You can even take a tour of the Male city, or a submarine ride to get close to the sea-life if you are not into snorkelling. They have some pretty decent activities lined up and I am sure you will enjoy your stay here.
The villas start at a price of 955USD which also includes breakfast. They have a couple of beautiful rooms to choose from, so take your pick.
Being my first time in the Maldives I would sure like to travel back and try staying at more of their luxurious properties scattered around the marvellous islands.