The Maldives, or as I prefer to call it, Paradise Islands. *Sigh*
For as long as I can remember, visiting the Maldives has always been on the bucket list. Secluded islands that only hold white sands, turquoise waters and a limited number of people – hell yes, get me there.
For those of you reading who know B-dog, otherwise, known as Brendan, you will know that he celebrated a very special birthday this month. Of course, in true anti-social style, he didn’t want a party, gift, celebration, dinner or anything that resembled “fuss” so I was a bit stuck. I considered planning a surprise birthday party anyway because he was being so awkward and unreasonable but I really did want to run the risk of the birthday boy not showing up so I had to take an alternative approach.
A week before his birthday I was frantically researching destinations close to Dubai, ideal for a three-day weekend. There were so many idyllic places popping up but admittedly I only had my eye on one. It certainly wasn’t the cheapest or the nearest but it certainly stood out from the rest. As I dived deeper into the gallery sections of the hotel websites it became harder to choose, but one thing was certain, I was going to the Maldives – purely for boyfriend birthday purposes of course, not because I wanted to! 😉
So that was that. I booked the holiday at 6 pm and we were due to leave at 2 am the next morning. It’s safe to say that packing was rushed, hence why I mostly packed white summer dresses (I’m living in jeans at the moment so they were the only things that were clean!)I decided to book the Anantara Veli Maldives Resort because the reviews were exceptionally positive on all travel forums I could find and the island was only a 30-minute speedboat trip from mainland Male, unlike other islands where you had to take a short domestic flight.
We landed in Male airport at 9am to find the Anantara Veli staff waiting for us at arrivals. We were quickly escorted to a private check-in area and offered refreshments until the speedboat (who doesn’t love a boat?!) was ready to take us to the hotel. It was at this point I knew that I’d made the right choice and we had a special weekend to look forward to. Go me!
Arriving at the hotel was pretty special. We passed Ocean Villas and saw guests relaxing on their personal terrace, snorkelling in a completely indescribable shade of ocean (I was thinking ‘translucent turquoise’, but I don’t think that’s special enough either) and surrounded by amazing marine life.
Stepping onto the Island hosting the Anantara Veli, we were welcomed with delicious drinks and a speedy check-in. The walk to the villa was even better than I had imagined from the brochure and online pictures.
I booked the Deluxe Over Water Bungalow because I have no self-control like that and boy, am I glad I did. The bungalow was a little piece of heaven that had a private two-tiered sun terrace with direct access to the ocean, an outdoor daybed and a double sun lounger. Inside wasn’t too shabby either – a spacious living space with an enormous king size bed, a bedside pillow menu, semi-open bathroom with the most amazing panoramic views and of course a mini bar and WINE FRIDGE (*drops mic*). It doesn’t get better than that, let me tell you. So when the Anantara describe their accommodation as ‘comfortable modern living’ they are being extremely modest. It’s more incredible than comfortable.
Our time at Anantara was pretty chilled. We mostly made the most of our private sun terrace, snorkelled and stalked the marine life, kayaked, made the most of the wonderful hotel facilities, ate birthday cake and drank all of the prosecco. There were lots of activities to choose from e.g. beach yoga, diving, paddle boarding and had we stayed longer, we would have been a little more adventurous but because our trip was a short one, we decided just to go easy and chill out.
As expected, food at the resort was not disappointing. There are plenty of restaurants and cuisines to choose from; Thai, Italian, Traditional Maldivian, International and the list goes on. We decided to visit both the Thai restaurant and Traditional Maldivian Buffet (FYI, Maldivian curries are sensational) and both were excellent on all levels – food, staff, service.
It’s worth mentioning that the Anantara Veli has a neighbour island that holds the Anantara Dhigu Resort. All guests are welcome to use facilities of both hotels and dine in all of the restaurants. We were happy to stay at the Veli as it was a more compact and easier to get around, however when I return I am definitely booking a treatment at the Dhigu spa as it looked incredible!
I can honestly say that my stay at the Anantara Veli and overall Maldives experience completely surpassed my expectations. The beauty doesn’t translate to photographs or words, you just have to experience it for yourself. I would, of course, recommend staying the Anantara Veli Resort and choosing an Over Water Bungalow of some sort if possible. All of the Water bungalows looked amazing but I really did appreciate the extra space, the two-tiered terrace (because one isn’t enough, apparently) and the privacy of the Deluxe Over Water Bungalow.
If anyone has any questions about my stay, please ask away in the comments! I’m always happy to participate in any sort of Maldives chat!
Take me back!
Love, Amy X