Maldives is a MAJOR bucket list destination! It’s been on my list for a long time- especially after going to Bora Bora (I’ll do a comparison in another blog post). Maldives truly is PARADISE on Earth. It’s a country made up of 1192 islands in the Indian Ocean that sit right on the equator. Crystal clear water, over water bungalows and luxury hotels… what’s not to love?
We went during their high season which is December – March, which means it’s the most expensive time to go to the Maldives but also the best weather. It was beautiful clear skies every single day and that sun was STRONG. I’ve never felt sun like that in my life but I love a good tan so I definitely wasn’t mad 😉
How to get there:
I would say this is the only downfall of the Maldives. It is very far from the United States, which makes for 30+ hours of travel. We decided to break our travel up and stop in Dubai for four days before heading to the Maldives which I would HIGHLY recommend. We flew direct on Emirates from JFK to Dubai (12.5 hours) then it’s four more hours from Dubai to Maldives on Emirates. You’ll fly into the Male airport which is the capital and hub for all the other islands. Once you land in Male, you’ll exit your plane and get loaded onto a bus that takes you to the airport. You’ll go through customs, get your luggage and head to the lobby where you will see hundred of people with signs that read either your name, your resort or both! They will then tag your luggage and either guide you to your speedboat or to your seaplane- depending on where your resort is located. I hate flying so I specifically chose a resort that did NOT require a seaplane, and to my surprise there are a ton of amazing resorts that are close enough for a speedboat. The speedboats are located right outside the airport so we hopped on the speedboat and we were at our resort in 20 min! So quick and easy.
Where to stay:
The best thing about the Maldives are the endless resorts (and at different price points). Every resort is located on it’s own private island. We chose to stay at Grand Park Kodhipparu in the Overwater Pool Villa and from the second we stepped off the speedboat we were treated like ROYALTY. The service was 10/10 – absolutely incredible. From the rooms to the grounds, food and drinks it was all amazing and so well kept. I truly can’t recommend this resort enough.
What to do:
So, the Maldives is definitely about relaxation and the WATER. We honestly spent the majority of our time in our bungalow because why wouldn’t we? I had a pool and the ocean! What more could you ask for? The resort did offer a ton of water sports and activities you could do. We did schedule a few fun things with the resort and I’m so glad we did.
Sunset Cruise: We did a sunset cruise on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat and it was such a cool experience. We loaded up the champagne and cruised the water all evening. The sunset that night (and every night) was truly to die for. Maldives is known to have the most insane sunsets and we found that to be very true.
Private Movie and Dinner on the beach: We both agreed that this was one of the coolest things we’ve ever done! They set up a huge projector screen on a private beach, we chose the movie and they served us the entire time! First was champagne, then appetizers followed by dinner, popcorn and ice cream for desert! They set up all the pretty lights with two cozy bean bags and blankets! Once in a lifetime type of experience and we loved every second.
Couples Massage: Honestly, we normally aren’t massage people but we couldn’t resist it in the Maldives. Our resort has the most beautiful spa located over the water with incredible views. Plus the massage ended with a flower bath overlooking the lagoon. I mean, what?!
Glass Bottom Paddle Boards: This was super cool! We rented glass bottom paddle boards and went all around the lagoon. You can see all the fish and stingrays swimming under you! We loved this so much. Logan is also a terrible paddle boarder so it made for a good laugh lol!
Snorkel: Our resort had AMAZING snorkeling right outside the bungalows so there was really no need to go out on a boat for snorkeling because we could jump off our bungalow and snorkel for hours! Theres a big reef right along the edge of the resort. We had reef sharks and the most colorful fish swimming under our bungalow the entire time!
Our resort offered soooo many activies- I wish we had time for all of them! Some of the other ones I thought sounded amazing was a dolphin tour and a picnic on a private island! Most resorts in the Maldives will offer all of these and more 🙂
What to eat:
So, since the resorts in the Maldives are on their own island- you have to eat at your resort. Our resort was NOT all inclusive but it had multiple restaurants to choose from, a breakfast buffet and 24 hour room service! We honestly ate in our room majority of the time! We love room service and whats better than room service in your overwater bungalow? Nothing. You can also choose to do a floating breakfast, lunch, dinner or midnight snacks! Worth every single penny. We did the breakfast!
When the time comes to leave the Maldives (insert crying face here), it’s a very similar process as arriving. You’ll load up on your speedboat and head to the airport. The airport is actually a lot bigger than you’d imagine… I had in my head that it would be TINY like Bora Bora and that wasn’t the case. You’ll go through security, wait at your gate and then load back up on the bus to head to your plane. We flew four hours back to Dubai, had a six hour layover in Dubai then 14 hours from Dubai to JFK. Emirates doesn’t fly to Charlotte, so we had to switch to Delta to get home. The travel and jet lag is less than ideal but so worth it in my opinion!
I hope this was helpful! Feel free to message me on IG (@hillary.bowles) if you have any other questions! Happy to answer 🙂