Honeymoon Diaries in Maldives
By Ana Tepsanu. Ana is a freelance journalist who loves travelling, movies, blogging, reading and gelato. She write regularly for Yabbedoo.com. Here she writes about her friend Andra’s wonderful honeymoon in Maldives.
How it all started
I wasn’t the type of girl obsessively planning since childhood the perfect wedding followed by the perfect honeymoon. But surprisingly, when it happened, I found myself giving A LOT of thought to the ideal destination for this once in a lifetime vacation, simply because in my head it was the one time you could actually wish for any place in the world.
It may not have to be perfect, it may not have to be a “one-time” visit, but it definitely has to be special, beyond your own wildest dreams, whatever those may be.
And my dreams took me to this little house on the water, with an open deck & stairs going all the way down into this clear blue ocean.
No 6* all-inclusive luxury hotel, no around-the-world cruise, no adventurous African safari, but this secluded, worries-free, escape place at the edge of the world surrounded by the most serene waters with nothing to do but love, love and love.
I had this picture in my head, but with absolutely no idea where or even if it exists, so I started searching through all the exotic holiday destinations I could find – from the Caribbean, to Tahiti, to Fiji going through Bora-Bora.
These were just names of places I heard of, but with no clear image of how they look or even where they are exactly on the world map (not to mention if I could actually afford at least the trip there).
Then I stumbled over a resort website with a cover photo of my dream place, in every single detail I had ever pictured in my mind. The name was Medhufushi Island Resort, Maldives and it was heaven on earth in the Indian Ocean.
“Talk about love at first sight…”
We arrived in the Maldives on a hot day of end August, looking forward like crazy to our 8 days honeymoon in what was by all signs simply paradise.
Reaching the resort however was no easy task, as from the airport in the capital city of Male we were still looking at a 45-minutes journey by sea plane to our own private atoll, a small island that was the resort itself.
The Maldives are an archipelago of islands called atolls, each representing another resort that you could reach from Male either by speed boat or sea plane, depending on the distance.
When we landed at our final destination, we were welcomed by an army of staff, each offering to fulfill our every need or even propose new needs we didn’t know we had, just to suggest a way to meet them afterwards.
From the moment we stepped into the water villa, we were impressed by the efforts made to make us feel as comfortable and as welcomed as possible: “Happy honeymoon” message on the bed written in bamboo sticks and flower petals, heart-shaped folded sheets, special welcoming cakes on the table, a huge fruit basket with a warm note having our new name on it and a chilled champagne bottle in the fridge.
“Is this place for real?”
Our days there usually started at 6am the latest, because the sun rose at 5.15 every morning from the ocean and we were right there to greet it: our glass fronted bedroom had a spectacular view of the ocean and every sunrise was breathtaking.
The way to breakfast was a delight in itself, as there were only two ways to reach the main restaurant on the island: down the stairs from our deck and swimming through the lagoon till the beach (too adventurous for early mornings) or walking on the pontoon that connected the water villas to the island.
The view each morning was just incredible and each time we walked on that pontoon we thought: “Is this place for real?”.
The restaurant – yummy food all day long
There was a main restaurant on the island where all meals were served and guests of the resort usually had an all-inclusive package, or in our case, a half board.
But that was more than enough for us, giving that the selection, variety & abundance of dishes served at the open buffet was huge.
For 8 days we did not once see the same dish twice and we could never manage to taste everything served at one meal, even though they were all so appealing and so very tasty.
Breakfast always had tons of exotic fresh fruit: litchi, pomegranate, figs, freshly picked baby bananas, papaya, mango, melons of all shapes and sizes and many other I didn’t recognized.
Then there were pastries with all kinds of fillings, more than 20 choices of homemade yogurt and jams, the traditional milk & cereals, many types of breads. And of course, there was the more serious menu for heavy eaters with fried eggs & bacon, omelettes, sausages & beans, french toast, rice milk and I could go on and on.
Dinner was even richer and had dishes from the majority of international cuisines to satisfy any taste: from Italian pasta & salads made on the spot to Thai chicken recipes, a wide selection of Japanese sushi and French cheeses, not to mention at least 10 choices of deserts to-die-for (from buttermilk ice cream with whiskey cream sauce to tons of cakes & cookies you couldn’t resist).
The traditional Maldivian dishes were always part of the menu as well, interesting combinations to say the least: pineapple soup, some type of baked rice & eggs, coconut & chicken stew among the few I tested .
The staff deserved every penny
For the duration of our stay there, we had our own private waiter, welcoming us at every meal, pulling my seat & setting our napkins, remembering our drinks and bringing them without ordering, friendly and polite.
We also had a private waiter at the pub & bar of the resort and our own bell boy in case we needed anything anytime. To be perfectly honest, we have never been treated anywhere with such respect, diligence and care as we did by the staff of the Medhufushi resort and it wasn’t simply due to the stars at the front entrance.
They were educated this way, always helpful and always discreet, not being in the way at any time or making you feel uncomfortable with their servitude. We left tips to all the staff assigned to us and it never felt more earned.
Adventurous island activities
Besides lying in the sun under the palm trees, enjoying watermelon juice and bathing in the clearest, warmest, most amazing water you’ve ever touched all day long, we enjoyed other treats of the islands as well.
Scuba diving was one of the most thrilling of them all, as nothing compares to swimming among this live colorful reef where life pops out at every turn either in the form of a flat fish that seems run over by a truck, or as a baby catfish more scared of you than you of it.
And a one-on-one encounter with the largest “harmless” shark you’ve ever seen is not a walk in the park either.
Of course, our day to day activities were not boring either from this point of view, as our snorkeling sessions around the water villa or the beach often meant encounters with giant turtles, small catfish and lost baby sharks.
On another day we went in the nearby deeper waters for an afternoon of swimming…with the dolphins! These amazing large groups of wild dolphins, swimming right beside us, making jumps and tricks in the water as if to impress us or racing the boat.
Absolutely fantastic to see how familiar they were with the presence of people in their environment, how friendly and playful, swimming close enough to touch.
Lazy island activities
Less “interactive” than this, but definitely exciting were all the other water sports available on the island: windsurfing, canoeing & sailing. For the passionate, there were also regular fishing trips at the sunset, with a candlelight dinner on boat included, whether you caught anything or not:).
However, the most relaxing of experiences we had were definitely the spa treatments – they took absolutely every ounce of stress left out of our bodies through the magnificent hands of Balinese spa masseuses.
There is nothing a honey & milk wrap, chocolate scrub & full body massage after soaking in rose petals water won’t treat. Trust me.
Maldives resort – a place only for newlyweds?
Newlyweds had special gifts and treats throughout the stay, like the welcoming we had, complimentary feet and hands massages for two or small chocolates left on pillows every morning.
Given the facilities of the resort (restaurant, bar, infinity pool, spa center, gym and souvenir shop ), I would definitely say this is more of a couples retreat resort, as there are many romantic, relaxing things to do in two and less of an Ibiza clubs, music and vibe kinda of place, or a place where you might meet someone at a bar.
Especially since sun sets at 6pm every day sharp. However, I did notice an Asian young woman on holiday by herself, writing or reading on the beach and often walking on the shore with music in her headphones. She seemed peaceful, recovering or simply enjoying some time with herself in a place where you have nowhere to run and nowhere else to be.
Is this place unreachable, financially speaking?
This amazing treat we granted ourselves totalled up to 4000 euros for both of us, round trip flights and HB included, plus the extra expenses there: scuba, spa, trips, drinks on the beach, souvenirs, etc. which rounded up to another 1000 euro. End thought: worth every penny.