Maldives – A typical and popular destination for couples looking for a getaway or mostly, for their honeymoons. Although, we went Greek on our first honeymoon, I wanted to re-live the same excitement in the picturesque islands of Maldives too. And, who says that honeymoons are once-in-a-lifetime entities? – I say, we must go for a honeymoon every year – Because, different places, different stories, plenty of adventure.
Touchdown Maldives was my gift to my dear husband on his birthday, and he couldn’t be happier – Instead of receiving something as consumable as a perfume or clothes, here was a present that was to go down the memory lane as an adventure to last a lifetime. Now, without further ado, let me run you through the highlights of Touchdown Maldives, my first ever travel blog of sorts, and why we had so much fun!
We were staying at the Kuramathi Island Resort, where the resort was spread across the entire island. The island in itself was pretty tiny, and one could travel around the island on foot, navigating their way through the tropical forests or on the numerous buggies doing the rounds of the islands at all times. We stayed in the Water Villas, and the steps from our villa landed directly into the vast sea. Our trip was of four nights, and I guess that is the right amount of time for being on the island. When we arrived, it was really hot and humid, and I was a little skeptical, but within the next few hours, the momentum of the island changed completely. We woke up from an afternoon nap to find ourselves in our cozy bed, while rain splattered on our wooden deck. We kept the curtains off all the while in our room, because, hey, the view is what you’re paying for. And trust me, we never got bored of watching the sea right outside our room, and even now, I miss it tremendously. We spent our days exploring the island on foot, shooting photos and vlogs, just chilling on the beach, under the palm trees and fulfilling our morning ritual of sitting in our Jacuzzi, sipping on pina-coladas and watching the waves crash over our villa.
So, I thought that it couldn’t get any better, being on the beach and amidst the rawest form of nature around us, but it did. I think one of the most phenomenal moments of my life occurred on the first night itself, and continued every night after that. We came back to our villa after our dinner, and after a quick shower, we decided to hang out on the deck in our bathrobes. Within a few minutes, we were to have our minds shell-shocked. Here we were, looking at the sea and the sky, when some of the floating, thick clouds moved, and we were looking at the full moon. And instantly, the sea, and the entire island lit up. It was a magical moment in time, which made me understand the power and simplicity of nature and its beauty. Time slowed down, and we remained there for hours, almost falling asleep. The waves rose and fell, as if telling us its story, as if inviting us to stay with it and as if scolding us for not meeting with it earlier. We went to meet our new friends, the sea, the waves, the clouds and the moon, every night and spoke to each other for hours at end.
So, if you are ever visiting Maldives, make sure that you book yourself a complete package with meals for all the days, because A-La-Carte menu in the restaurants is on the expensive side. We were booked for all our meals in three different restaurants that served a huge spread of international buffet. We switched between the three restaurants for our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The food was exemplary – We gorged on delicious fresh produce, and delicacies from all around the world. The Maldivian Chicken Curry tingled on our tongues with its spicy, lush gravy, while the seafood spread literally made us salivate with pleasure. The roast lamb, drizzled with generous exotic sauces along with crispy parsnip chips was only one of the thousand things that we tasted. There was one night where one of the restaurants had an Italian theme, something we thoroughly enjoyed. Also, not to ignore the fresh tropical fruits in the dessert bar. We ate like kings, most of the times, eating more than twice the amount we would normally eat. My mouth is watering right at this moment, reminiscing about these gorgeous food memories.
Living in Dubai, there is no dearth of bars and nightlife, but the experience of chilling in a bar on an island was completely different. The Laguna Bar & Lounge where we spent some time was exceptional. Before the sunset, we would get into their infinity pool, drinking their meticulously concocted cocktails and watching the sun go down. Post sunset, we would wipe ourselves and go indoors into the bar – Their low-seating couches, coupled with breezy winds set the mood for the night. The bar was dimly lit and the servers were very friendly and in tropical attire. The seating also included small swings, where you could enjoy lounge music and chill for hours.
Now, I truly believe that romance can be kindled in any place, even in a regular set-up. But, the landscape around Maldives sets you up for romance. Love and romance is what you breathe when you are on the island, and every element, the trees, the forests, the sand and the waves play cupid. A simple walk along the length of the island, holding hands, doing all sorts of clichéd mushy stuff that couples do, can do wonders for your love life. My favorite romantic memory of Maldives was just simple, lying in bed, closing my eyes and opening it back from time to time to look at the see from the windows. No amount of photographs or even my words can ever do justice to that feeling – Words and pictures cannot capture the sound, the movement of water and the clouds. Waking up to the same visuals next to him was romance to me. The moonlight was romance. We had one of the most intense conversations under the moonlight, and it couldn’t get any better.
So, the husband has developed a passionate hobby of photography and videography, and as you all know, I have always nurtured my hobby of being in front of the camera. Photography and Fashion – when they come together, creates bubbles of excitement in my heart. And so, we spent a lot of our time exploring our individual hobbies. While he played with setting the frame, and designing shots, I designed the look for every shoot. Although it all might seem easy breezy in the final results, it was much too difficult. In one of the shots, I had to lie down on the wooden deck that was hot as burning charcoal, and the sunrays fell on my face directly, as if scorching me into a baked lasagna. And at another time, we were shooting on the beach, getting sand in my hair and body, amidst people looking at us doing all sorts of re-takes. Another difficult aspect was shooting after eating those huge buffets – In every shot, I had to suck my stomach in by default, and trust me, it was hilarious. But nevertheless, it was all a part of the fun and exploration of ourselves that I was talking about.
What to Carry
A strong Sunscreen, for starters. The island life is designed for minimalism. Everyone lounged around in their bikinis while at the beach, and when at breakfasts or lunches, they would just put on a bikini cover-up. So, do invest in some good cover-ups that you can put on over any beach-wear and quickly head for lunch. I also did carry a few evening-wears but most of them were un-utilized. Do carry shorts and easy to wear tees and yes, don’t forget your favorite pair of sunglasses. If photography is your thing, carry your DSLR, because you wouldn’t get such natural lighting and ready-to-shoot-in backgrounds anywhere else.
How Much It Cost
Now, you would come across plenty of offers by popular travel websites offering you a trip to Maldives at a nominal cost, and while it can be a great saver for your pocket, you might have to compromise slightly on your stay and the dates of your travel. We did not want to do that, so we customized our package, working together with an excellent Bombay based travel agent, The Carving Journeys, who not only understood our exact needs, but also were extremely cooperative, scurrying to find the best resorts for us. While I believe that travel in itself cannot be quantified with money, as the experiences that you take away with you are priceless, it did cost us 3000 USD – including flight tickets, stay for four nights at the water villa, and all meals, and transfers, for two people, which, according to me is pretty decent for an experience like this.
Would I Recommend Maldives
Hell, Yes – Ping me up if you are looking to travel and I could fix you up or if you’re just looking to have a chat about anything at all, feel free to buzz me.
As I often tell my friends, there is no joy bigger than sharing with the world, a joy you have experienced yourself.