I may have found heaven in the Maldives
I know money can’t buy you happiness, but I’ve just spent the most I’ve ever spent on a holiday in the Maldives, and I feel very happy and content. But this is a one off as it was for my honeymoon, but If I won the lottery I know that one of the first things I would do is book a ticket back to the Maldives.
How I first heard about the Maldives
I was 16, sitting in my bedroom listening to the radio when the presenter started to talk about holidays and where would be the best place in the world to go to. His co presenter without hesitation said that the Maldives is easily the best place in the world.
The amazement you get from the naturally formed unique and breathtaking coral islands. An ocean of azure that surrounds it filled with colourful coral reefs and sea creatures. Upon arriving you receive first-rate hospitality no matter which island you visit.
This new place just sounded so enchanting to me, and I knew that I would one day find the right man to tick off this bucket list.
Booking the holiday of a lifetime
Fast forward over a decade (and a bit), I got engaged to a wonderful man called Yohan. We both love to travel, so even before starting to organise our wedding we chatted first about where we would like to go on honeymoon. For me it was a no brainer, the MALDIVES!!! I know it is expensive but I had saved for this trip both financially and mentally. If I was ever going to go to the Maldives, then my honeymoon was the time for this once in a lifetime trip!
Like traditional newlyweds we left the day after our wedding, still high from one of the most amazing days of our lives we were packed and ready to head to the Maldives. Getting to the Maldives wasn’t easy, we had a 5 hour car journey from Norfolk to Heathrow, which I spent crammed in the back with my sister and niece singing nursery rhymes (I literally would do anything for my niece).
When checking in we tried to use the honeymoon card for an upgrade, but the most we could get was seats with extra leg room. We happily accepted this and felt this was a small win (a little piece inside of me cried at the realisation that I will never ever get a free upgrade). We flew via Abu Dhabi and after nearly 12 hours we finally touched down in Male airport, which was it’s own island! Coming through the arrivals gates I did a little scream as I could see the bright turquoise sea that you famously associate with the Maldives.
We were greeted by a rep from the Conrad who escorted us to the sea plane airport terminal. Here we got to wait in the Conrad airport lounge, which felt like first class (I was satisfied a little bit more by not being upgraded). We helped ourselves to the free food, drink and shower service, so we felt fresh and ready to get to our island. Our names were called and off we went to board to tiny little sea plane. The sea plane took 30 mins, and this in itself was an experience, peering down at the cluster of islands that make up the country of Maldives.
The Conrad Maldives is based on two small islands, and you can get between the two islands either by boat, on foot or by golf buggy via the little bridge. We stayed on the smaller of the two islands, this is specifically for couples and doesn’t allow children; Bliss! It was perfect for Yohan and I as we wanted to relax and not talk to a living soul if we could help it (You can take the girl out of London, but you can’t take the London out of the girl).
It was everything I had hoped for. The most important thing was that I wanted to access the sea from the room, anything else was a bonus. So when we walked in and there was a hot tub, a floor that peered directly into the sea, a walk in wardrobe, and a bathroom that was bigger than our bedroom at home, I knew we were in the lapse of luxury.
this became one of our favourite parts of the day. We loved our spot that perfectly looked out onto the open sea. Breakfast was a la carte, and you could order as much as you want. So we ended up ordering 3 dishes a day, with the intent of trying at least each dish once. Especially if you could order oysters.
Finding the perfect spot
On the couples Island, you had an area called the quiet area. Here children were banned and sun beds were far apart, so you really could feel like you are on your own desert island. Yohan and I found our secluded spot on the first day, and returned to it everyday till the end. It was bliss. We spent the whole day, just dipping into the sea and listening to desert island discs
The infinity pool
We sometimes left our little spot to go and sit by the infinity pool that looked out into the sea. I am normally a beach girl, but in the heat it was nice to just sit and chat in the pool, and be joined by the local heron who used the pool to cool down. The other bonus was that the pool was by the bar, which was especially great for cocktail hour where all drinks are half price. When you are paying nearly $30 for a cocktail then happy hour is a definite must.
The most expensive facial and massage that I have ever had, but what an incredible experience to have it in a tropical paradise like this, whilst looking at the turquoise water underneath. I did feel more radiant after the facial, which may have been the $400 face cream they used on my face.
Lots of restaurants to choose from
We were happily surprised that there was a few restaurants to choose from, and the food was pretty descent. Being on an island you are limited to what is provided by your hotel. We chose not to do the special nights they put on, as we couldn’t handle paying more than you would for a Michelin restaurant, even if it does come with fishes swimming over you.
One of of our favourite restaurant spots was ordering food to the room, with our private terrace complete with a hot tub and sunset view, this was definitely one of the best tables on the island.
Time to leave
It is hard to believe that back in the 1960's the United Nations visited and did not recommend tourism, claiming that the islands were not suitable. I don’t think that I have ever found a more suitable and appropriate place to go on holiday. Leaving here was never going to be easy, as we knew that we may never be able to come back (unless we win the lottery). But we are happy to keep this paradise as a wonderful memory of our time on cloud 9.