The Maldives is the original ‘wish you were here’ postcard setting and I’m sure just like me, you saw pictures of the breath-taking beaches when you were a kid and dreamed about strolling along the endless white sands sipping from a coconut one day. Well that dream recently became a reality for me and suffice to say this place is absolute heaven on earth! Whilst the Maldives is considered by some to be an ultra-luxurious honeymoon destination, I can honestly say that it’s a perfect piece of paradise that’s accessible to everyone from solo travellers, to water sports fanatics, so I wanted to take some time to write about what treasures you can expect to find.
Located in the Indian Ocean to the South West of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is a collection of approximately 1,200 beautiful islands, of which only around 200 are actually inhabited. Flying there from Dubai takes around 4 and a half hours so it’s just a short trip to reach this stunning location. We took the overnight flight which meant we were lucky enough to be coming into land as the sun was blossoming over the horizon, unveiling a jaw-dropping vista below, adorned with exquisite turquoise & white jewels in a sea of shimmering gold.
We landed in the capital town of Male where we then waited for the seaplane to take us to our resort, this is standard practice when going to the Maldives so if you’ve never had a ride in a seaplane then you’re in for a treat! It’s also worth mentioning that although this collection of islands is grouped relatively close together, Male is actually 1 hour behind most of the other islands so keep this in mind if you’ve booked something special for your arrival.
We were staying at the Conrad hotel and they actually have their own lounge area in the airport itself meaning you can relax and unwind there whilst waiting for your connecting seaplane. They have a delicious complimentary buffet & spacious cabana style loungers to relax on, there is even a wonderful masseuse who offers you a complimentary massage just in case you weren’t feeling relaxed enough… I’ve never been so happy to wait for a connecting flight in my life!
Upon arriving at our hotel, we were given a quick tour of the island by our wonderful hosts before heading to our villa. The Conrad complex itself is spread across 2 luxury islands which are interconnected by a short wooden bridge, with convenient golf buggies available 24/7 to whisk you effortlessly to wherever you want to go.
I was interested to know that the Maldives is officially the world’s lowest country, elevated just 1.5m above sea level, in fact, the highest natural point amongst this group of islands is just 2.4m in height. What this means, however, is that each island has come complete with its own immaculate white sand beach with the signature aquamarine halo that forms in the surrounding waters. Because the waters are so shallow, the sun is able to bathe the sea floor in a nourishing light which gives life to a flourishing rich coral reef, this, in turn, attracts a stunning community of aquatic creatures from sea turtles to dolphins & manta rays.
Our villa was quite simply breath-taking, with the bedroom doors opening out onto a private terrace with a swimming pool and steps leading down into the beautiful turquoise waters below. Some of the villas on the island also come with their own outdoor toilet overlooking the ocean so you can watch the dolphins jumping whilst you answering your very own ‘call of nature’… (don’t worry, the neighbors can’t see in!)
As stunning as the room was, we were only there for 4 days so we wanted to experience as much of the place as possible. We’d crammed our schedule with all the wonders our island had to offer and we were lucky enough to spend our days sailing, diving and trying out some weird and wonderful water sports in nature’s secret paradise. There’s even an underwater restaurant where you can enjoy champagne & cocktails whilst dining with the mesmerizing the sea-life swimming all around you.
In the evening we enjoyed the glorious sunset from a yacht & experienced some the world-class alfresco dining venues dotted across the island, each with their own unique themes, menus and styling.
This really has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited when it comes to raw nature in its very purest state. Its proximity to Dubai, climate and the warmth of the local Maldivian people make this the perfect place to escape for a long weekend to recharge your batteries and unwind!
There is a wide range of luxury resorts for you to pamper yourself in but the all-around quality of staff service and experience offered at the Conrad takes the concept of world-class hospitality to the next level. So if you’ve not yet experienced the Maldives and were worried it might just be a haven for honeymooners (as I myself once thought) then please try it out for yourself as I really can’t recommend this place enough!