So I am back in the land of blog, I know you have missed my random musings. Now I am in no doubt, that you know that I have just returned from a trip of a lifetime. You have been enjoying (or enduring) my constant Insta spamming of all things Maldivian over the last 10 days, so it only felt right that my first blog post back, should be about my latest adventure to paradise. So, sit back, grab a cuppa and I’ll tell you about dreams coming true (I know, just bear with me).
The Maldives has been something that I have day dreamed about since I was a teenager. It epitosmised everything romantic to me, walking on white sands with the one you love and sipping champagne whilst watching sunsets. So it was up there, way up there, on my list of life goals, always making my list of top travel destinations, often my laptop wallpaper, my vision board inspiration and something that I waffled on and on to my Hubby about. Six years ago I had done extensive research, to mark our first five years of holy matrimony, I had picked the resort and was ready to tick off that bucket list dream, but living in Prague didn’t make the journey the easiest and in all honesty we talked ourselves out of it. So it was benched, but remained high on the one day list………….
oh one day (she sighed and dreamed away)
Fast forward to last August, I sat at home one very hot day and Hubby asked me if I still wanted to go to the Maldives for our 10th anniversary. Was he crazy!? As if he even needed to ask me that question!! In that very moment my heart raced, as he told me to grab the lap top and show him what I had in mind. Well apart from nearly killing myself running in socks across my tiled floors, within seconds I had opened up the Kuramathi Island Resort website. The URL had practically been burned into my memory since I found it way back in Prague, after a recommendation from a work colleague. Now Hubby knew this was my dream more than his, so he knew there was no need to question my choice and simply said book it!
So 20 minutes after he had posed the question, me nearly suffering death by socks, we were one step closer to paradise.
We hit a bump in the road trying to get flights from the desert, which were ridiculously priced, horrible times or multiple connections (most of which flying away from the direction we wanted to go in). Hubby was getting a little stressed and I was seeing a repeat of our Prague scenario and the trip slipping away. Fear not dear readers, my knight in shining armour came through. I was woken at 6am the following morning (not impressed) by a very excited Hubby, who had been up for hours researching flights, bless him. He had found the perfect route with Sri Lankan Airways, great timings, one connection through Colombo and business class. It was booked. There was only one thing for it……..I burst into tears! It was happening, really happening, I just to wait 6 months.
So after months of my desert girls hearing nothing but my excitement, coming to my rescue the week before I was due to leave, when my back gave up leaving the whole trip in the balance. Emergency Physio for a 6 days and I was able to board that plane, knock back the bubbles and we were on our way. I can fully recommend Sri Lankan Airways , the route via Colombo was so easy from Kuwait, the planes, service and comfort level (even with my bad back) was excellent. On arrival at Male, we came out into what I can only describe as a hotel convention. Every resort had its only own little stand and you simply match yourself up and your transfers are organised in a swift and hassle free manner. We opted for the sea plane transfer to the island, whilst this is a pricer option ($500 per person) it cuts the travel time down to 20 minutes, compared to the 90 minute boat transfer. As a nervous flyer I have to admit this wasn’t something I was relishing, but knew it was part of the experience. So Jersey Girl found her inner adventurer (I won’t mention the small panic attack 5 mins before) and away we went. I’m not going to lie, it was a noisy, extremely sweaty, sardines in a can, type experience but the views and the approach to the resort made it all worth it.
When arriving at Kuramathi, you are instantly put at ease, the laid back island vibe is immediate, as the flip flop wearing staff welcome you with smiles and refreshments. We were almost instantly ushered from the main reception to the other side of this idilic 1.8km utopia. Into the golf buggy we went (these are the only island transport and Hubby was far too enthused by this novelty) and in the short ride we passed through the perfect tropical hideaway, virgin vegetation and kept getting glimpses of the turquoise waters.
Our villa was located on in the Thundi section of the island, which has the newest additions to the resort and offers spectacular views of one of the larges, purest sandbanks in the whole of the Maldives. As we were guided up the jetty towards our villa, we gripped each others hands and took a deep breathe, it was nothing but spectacular! I’m welling up writing this now and I will never, ever, forget that view and the racing of my heart at that moment.
Our Thundi Water villa with pool, as incredible. Ok, it was an extravagant choice, but if you are coming as a couple to one of the most romantic destinations in the world, the privacy and luxury this brings with worth every penny. Every day we enjoyed the views, the pool, direct access to the ocean and chilled in the most tranquil spaces I have ever experienced. The advantage of these villas is the uninterrupted view of the sunset, both from your deck or from the outside jetty overlooking the sandbank, even on the odd cloudy evening, this has to be up there with one of the best sunsets I have every seen.I even got Hubby to part-take in getting sentimental and watching more than one with me (he’s getting romantic in his old age).
We went for the basic all inclusive package, which was the best decision we made. The resort offers various options and even the all inclusive has 2 tiers. You are allocated a restaurant for all three meals, located in your specific area of the island and alcoholic drinks are included (with very few limitations). Outside of the three main buffet restaurants, there are also nine à la carte restaurants offering a range of cuisine, which are discounted on some all inclusive packages, so well worth trying. Now you are well aware that I love food, so I would not have been happy if this was all samey and chips with everything kinda joint. The food was incredible. Our favorite being the Siam Garden, which was tucked away in the trees and surrounded by water features and tropical smells, but the standout foodie moment was our private dining experience.
Here’s where it gets soppy…5 courses, local lobster dinner, on a secluded beach, a candlelit table for 2, surrounded by a circle of lanterns.
It was quite possibly the most romantic moment of my life
I got a lump in my throat when I saw the table perched on the sand and the meal was incredible. Our lovely waitress for the evening, Liza, was discreet and respectful not to kill the mood or interrupt an intimate moment, she created a very special evening and allowed the food to flow effortlessly. It was another dream come true and one that lived up to what my head had imagined for so long. So if you are there for an occasion, honeymoon, anniversary or proposal, do it, even if this is your one extravagance, its so unique and something you will only ever do once.
I could quite literally go on and on about this place. I had absolutely nothing negative to say, it was pure perfection. The way Kuramathi have respected the island is second to none, they are sympathetic to the surroundings, every building is brilliantly designed, so that it never imposes itself on the habitat, it just blends seamlessly. There are no roads, its all sand, nothing is forced to change, there is none of that Disney-fied man made nonsense, the island feels like its still breathing and we are its guests. The wildlife and marine life is unbelievable, I had no idea we would see half of what we did without having to dive or go out on excursions. The fact that nature is still flourishing and being just shows how careful and nurturing the resort has been to its survival. The staff are wonderful, friendly and laid back, there is none of that false smiles and have a nice day insincerity, they are there to make your trip as easy as possible and help to create the perfect island vibe.
Would I go back? 1000 times yes. Did it live up to 20 years of dreaming and high expectations? 1000 times yes. Is it one of the most incredible places I have ever visited? 1000 times yes. I will never ever forget it and we are know we will not wait another 10 years to return. So dream big people, it may take you 20 years to make them come true but time is nothing when you have memories that will last a life time.