If I close my eyes for just a second, it all comes back to me. The whitest sand, the bluest sea, the warmest sun, the tallest palm trees.
My dream to spend a week in the Maldives for my honeymoon had finally come true. I had seen all the photos and heard all about this tropical paradise but sometimes you think it just can’t possibly be quite as good as everyone says. My husband now reminds me of my face and the words I said as we pulled into our island for our weeks stay, “This is beyond a dream”.
We flew from Perth to Singapore with a quick stop over and straight to Malé Malé. The airport itself is on an island and once walking out of the airport doors, you are engulfed in the tropical heat. From there your resort will pick you up and transfer you to your island by speed boat. Even the journey from the airport to your island is magical, when you see the scattered lagoons of turquoise water accompanied by beautifully crafted water villas all along the ocean you know you are somewhere pretty special.
On arrival a cold towel and local welcoming drink refresh you before you are walked to your villa. The friendly staff guide you through the island pointing out all the activities along the way. We booked to stay in the water villas. They come with your own outdoor bathtub and private staircase, which leads straight down into the sea. The room was cooled from the air-con and perfectly fresh for its new guests. A bottle of champagne on ice ready to be popped.
The Water villas are on the East Side of the island and in the mornings this side of the island experiences low tide. The Maldives sit on zero degrees latitude, which sees water temperature move between 28-30 degrees most of the year, it’s like swimming in a beautiful warm bath. The weather is tropical, which means hot, humid and dry. Maldives is, however, dominated by monsoons and the islands get rainfall from July to August and from November to March. One afternoon a large dark cloud was sweeping over the horizon. It was an amazing show of lightning and rain. The rain hit the water hard turning it from translucent to opaque. We sat on our balcony and watched it come and go. It was something we did not expect to see but so glad we did. There is really nothing this place can do that’s not beautiful.
The best thing was that every morning I would wake just before sunrise and slip out of our door to sit on the edge of our deck feet hanging, and greet the morning fish and pink skies as the sun rose. I will never forget the magic of the sunrises in the Maldives and sleeping above the sea, it was serenely still and calm and the constant lapping of the ocean soothed your body, mind and soul. The feeling is hard to describe in words but something I think can only be felt. Each morning some regular fish and unexpected visitors would swim slowly past and I would watch as I sipped my cup of tea. The first morning we were so lucky to see a big beautiful stingray nestling in the sand just below us. The water in the morning was a translucent blue, so clear you could see everything beneath you. It was only when you fell into the sea for a morning swim that you could see your neighbours, they too appreciating the peaceful beauty of the lagoon. The water villas design was for pure privacy and relaxation. It felt like we had our own private lagoon in which to explore, the only thing we shared it with was the striped tropical fish that made home under our staircase.
There was an array of restaurants to choose from on the island, most situated on jetties above the sea. Breakfast was included with the Water Villas and was served as a gourmet buffet catering for all tastes. It included fresh juices and fruit with home made yoghurts, muesli and granola. Personal chefs would cook you your eggs, pancakes or waffles however you wanted them with a spread of beautiful breads and pastries for an after brekky treat.
After brekky the day is yours to choose. There are many dive and snorkelling tours, water sports, jet skis, canoes and stand up paddle boards (SUP) to hire. There was also the options of a day spa, tennis and basketball courts and gym to fill your days. We would choose a different activity each day. The snorkelling tour is a MUST. You are taken out on a small traditional boat in the middle of the deep blue Indian Ocean. The boat will stop at local reef spots and local guides will jump off the boat with you and swim around the reef pointing out hiding Moray eels, turtles, tropical fish and groups of huge inquisitive stingrays that swim beneath you. I have never swam with so much sea life. We decided to do our activities in the morning and would often get back to the island around lunch time. We would then grab a coconut from the friendly beach bar waiter, have a nibble to eat and head back to our water villa for an afternoon of reading, relaxing and swimming from our deck. In the afternoons we would take a slow walk around to the other side of the island and enjoy cocktails as we watched the sun set across the open ocean. The sunsets just as spectacular as the morning rise. On this side of the island every night you can feed the stingrays after dinner and on the water villa side you can see the reef sharks feeding. It’s amazing to see these animals so close to shore.
The Maldives was a once in a lifetime holiday for us, the feeling etched into our minds. It was surreal and we felt so lucky being in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. So when your deciding on what you would like your guests to give as a wedding present, your kitchen will always be there for you to renovate, those crystal glasses you will maybe use in a few years sure, but to see, experience and feel such natural beauty is surely once in a lifetime. We are so grateful to have seen with our own eyes.
They stayed at: Paradise Island Resort Maldives (room recommendations – Water Villa)
Dinner recommendations : Farumathi Seafood Restaurant, Fukuya Teppanyaki, Lagoon restaurant (Breakfast)
Activities recommendations : Snorkelling tour, parasailing to view islands from above, hire Canoes & SUP paddle boards
Things to pack : Snorkelling gear, sunscreen, bottled water & some snacks.
Hot tip – take own snorkelling gear. It costs up to $15USD pp a day to hire! we spent time most days snorkelling and exploring our own islands reef systems.
Top fashion tips – Slip on beach wear for your days and beautiful summer dresses, rompers for the nights.