As travel restrictions started to ease last year, the team at Silver Travel Advisor went in search of winter sun, and by coincidence three of us ended up in the Maldives.
So we put our ‘Tried. Travelled. Trusted.’ ethos to good use and here we share our thoughts on the idyllic islands of the Maldives from three different perspectives.
Travelling as a family: Lisa with husband and daughter
‘You can remove your shoes now!’
Constance Moofushi, with its own time zone, is also a shoe free zone, with branded flip flops offered on check-in. Other than on the boardwalk to our water villa we had no reason to wear shoes for an entire 10 days – bliss!
I travelled with the husband and teenage daughter: our second time to the Maldives and first to Moofushi. I did wonder how I would keep a 16-year-old entertained for 10 nights in paradise – I needn’t have worried.
Located in the South Ari Atoll, the island is surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world. Content with snorkelling each morning, we swam with black tip reef sharks, marvelling at marine life, just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Complimentary non-motorised water sports, including windsurfing, kayaks and paddleboards, were readily available. We used the gym, things got tense at our 3-way table tennis competition, but mostly we just hung out together which, as anyone who has a social butterfly teenager will understand, was the thing I most cherished.
We enjoyed 2 complimentary excursions, opting for dolphin spotting and a sandbank experience, both great additions to island life.
We sampled the speciality restaurant twice and the buffet restaurant, with live cooking stations, had a change of menu each evening with options to suit all tastes. Moofushi prides itself on offering a huge choice of premium wines and spirits: we found our favourite Provençal rosé Minuty waiting for us each evening.
There was just one negative about our fabulous family holiday which was that it had to end!
Travelling as a couple: Penny and Mr W
Three islands, connected by bridges, reach out of the water to greet you, as you approach Sun Siyam resort. Olhuveli, Dream Island and the soon to be finished adult-only island called Romance, provide a warm welcome and are all within walking distance of each other.
The white sand and the blue aqua sea do not disappoint, and this idyllic setting provides a stunning backdrop for both sunset and sunrise.
On offer are water sports a plenty, tennis courts and an array of excursions day and night: from diving, snorkelling with turtles to a relaxing star gazing cruise. There is the choice of adult-only or family friendly swimming pools, all with lounger service for cold, delicious cocktails. We had active days and those when we just relaxed and enjoyed the tranquillity. Our visit to one of the two spas and the over ocean experience, with fish swimming beneath us, was a dream.
A holiday highlight was the Lobster BBQ (left), a sumptuous 5 course buffet dinner by the water’s edge: a very romantic setting as Mr W noted, the sound of the waves and a brilliant 3-piece band gently serenading us whilst we sampled exquisite food.
We also had dinner at Namaste, an up market Indian restaurant with an open kitchen where dinner is served in a cabana or on the beach.
All in all, we had a fantastic stay in a sunset jacuzzi villa, in an out of this world setting with superb dining, excellent service and many happy memories made.
Travelling solo: Kerry
I know what you are thinking… the Maldives – the most romantic destination in the world, surely you wouldn’t holiday there by yourself? Well, I’ll be honest, it might not be every solo traveller’s cup of tea, but for me it was just what I was looking for. If you are comfortable in your own company and seeking a break filled with rest and relaxation there’s no better place.
I stayed at Kandima, located on Dhaalu Atoll – one of the remotest atolls with 57 islands and only seven of them inhabited. It’s a lively resort with plenty going on from water sports to daily fitness sessions and evening entertainment.
But I was there to switch off and make the most of the peace and quiet afforded by the isolated Aqua Villa over-water accommodation (right). Standing tall over the turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the uninterrupted views from the private deck are quite simply breath taking.
Back on the mainland ten restaurants and bars provided plenty of variety for sunset cocktails or dinner buffet-style or a la carte. Dining as a solo can sometimes be the worrisome element to your holiday, wondering if people are staring or judging your situation, but I never once felt anything other than comfortable throughout my stay.
All in all, I had the most amazing time. The Maldives has been on my bucket list for some time now, it really is the destination of dreams, and it certainly exceeded my expectations. I would wholeheartedly recommend any confident solo traveller to add it to their list too.
If your holiday appetite is now whetted,
call 0800 412 5678 to find out more and book your holiday in the Maldives.
It truly is paradise.