Honeymoon Magic In The Maldives
It’s a hard life. I’m sipping champagne on board a traditional Maldivian dhoni and watching the most beautiful colours hit the sky as the sun sets. For lack of better words, a perfect end to the day.
After four days of tropical honeymoon bliss it’s easy to see why the Maldives is a favourite destination for honeymooners. You can’t beat the tropical climate, clear blue waters and laid-back lifestyle.
I’m headed for the South Male Atoll, about a 30km boat ride from Male. Naladhu and Anantara Resorts are set on separate private islands and their lights twinkle a welcome at me as I’m dropped off at my first stop, Anantara Resort.
Anantara: Spread across five acres of tropical oasis, Anantara has generous beachfront villas and over-water suites designed to complement the surrounding seascape.
The beachfront villas are elegantly furnished in soft tones that work with the custom-made teak cabinet and king-size bed. The attention to detail is amazing, and the first thing I notice as I’m shown into my villa are the rose petals on the bed with ‘welcome’ spelt out in grass letters.
From high-speed internet to a ready-made selection of island tunes to download on your iPod there’s nothing that hasn’t been thought of.
Anantara is host to a myriad of water activities including snorkelling, diving, kayaking, skiing and sailing. One of my favourite water sports, apart from snorkelling, is sailing a catamaran around the lagoon. It’s easy to learn and once you’re confident enough you can explore the surrounding islands with just the two of you.
Spa life: Both resorts boast a luxurious spa menu. The ayurvedic massages are pure heaven, and the well-trained staff ensure you feel like a goddess (or god) while you relax.
Anantara Spa’s range of services range from traditional Thai massages and Indian therapies, to exotic body wraps and soothing facials. The hour-long White Sesame Body Treatment is pure bliss after a day in the sun to hydrate and calm sensitive skin.
Over at Naladhu, the spa experience is set in the comfort of your own villa. If your stay is long enough, try the Naladhu five days spa journey that is inclusive of accommodation, breakfast and five days of pure indulgence.
Naladhu: If all you want is peace and quiet, some tropical sun and the company of two, then Naladhu is ideal. Just a two-minute boat ride from Anantara, Naladhu has been created for honeymooners with sophisticated tastes and high expectations.
Naladhu means ‘pretty little island’ which it certainly is, but what impresses me most are the 19 ocean houses dotted around the island’s perimeter and facing the lagoon. Each house also has a private cabana on the other side of the island so you can enjoy a different view in peace.
Each house is huge, with all the mod cons you would expect from a luxury resort. The flat-screen TV, surround-sound Bose stereo system, private wine cellar and espresso machine are cleverly hidden behind brightly coloured curtains and antique wooden furniture.
From the king-size bed and generous glass-panelled doors to the outdoor veranda, dining pavilion and personal plunge pool, the complementary design of interior and outdoor spaces is genius. You can basically roll out of bed and into the pool.
As an added luxury there are his and hers vanities complete with L’Occitane products, and an interior steam room to relax in after a long day of kayaking.
One of the best aspects of my Naladhu experience is my personalised ‘house master’ Asif who ensures I’m comfortable, settled in, and I know how to use all the facilities. He also organises room service, outdoor activities, private yoga sessions, restaurant bookings and spa visits with finesse.
A culinary journey: Executive chef Ashley Coleman is responsible for the comprehensive menus at both resorts. His experiences throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia ensure a wide range of international fare is offered and reflects his obvious passion for quality cuisine.
The Living Room is your only stop at Naladhu. The seafood platters and fish in particular are so fresh they melt in your mouth.
You are spoilt for choice at Anantara with three restaurants; the Italian-inspired Terrazzo with impressive wine cellar and Fuddan Fusion Grill which combines contemporary dining and fusion cuisine. If you’re looking for something a little more secluded, Terrazzo has a small outdoor terrace that is perfect for two.
Baan Huraa offers outstanding authentic Thai cuisine in its over-water restaurant. If you’re at either Anantara or Naladhu resorts, a visit here for lunch or dinner is a must.
Fact file: Getting there via Singapore Airlines flies from Melbourne to Male via Singapore, and direct from Sydney to Male. Prices from $ 995 one-way.
Accommodation: Naladhu Maldives and Anantara Maldives
Climate: Warm and tropical with little seasonal variation, averaging 25 degrees.
What to take: Insect repellent, sunscreen, light and comfortable clothing, US dollars.