It seems fitting that today being the last day of 2014 I write about one of the most significant and important trips of my life…my honeymoon. When I booked this trip to the Maldives I was in between teaching contracts and we were living off one income. It is safe to say we definitely could not afford it but I was determined to have my Honeymoon, even if it was only for a week. Luckily once I returned to work the trip was much less stressful trying to pay off, and we even had enough money gifted to us at our wedding to upgrade to an over the water villa. Booking early also gave us the advantage of incredible discounts. We managed to save 50% off our room costs paying only $1000 a night for that villa instead of the regular $2000.
To say that the Maldives is paradise feels inadequate as it is more than that, but due to a lack of an appropriate adjective paradise will suffice. Any place that has an airport island is OK in my books. The photos that you see, whether mine or someone else’s, are not photshopped…it really is that blue. The water ranges from a turquoise so clear you could read a book through it, to a darker blue in the sporadic deep spots. One could walk out 500m in the ocean with the water only touching their waist. There are a number of islands that make up the Maldives, the one I had the pleasure of spending my honeymoon at was Anantara Dhigu, half an hour south of the capital Malé, and boy did they deliver.
First things first though a few important things you should know about the Maldives. It is completely forbidden to bring in any alcohol whatsoever, so that bottle of wine you plan on smuggling is best left at home. It is virtually cashless as most hotels own/run the entire island so all you need to do is sign the cheque for every purchase and pay the final bill at the end. Which leads me to probably the most important bit, EVERY SINGLE ITEM (yes every individual item) has a service charge AND tax added to it. So make sure there is plenty of room on your credit card before you go. You can pay the final bill with cash though and although all major currencies are accepted, US dollars is the preferred currency.
Anantara Dhigu is a 5 star resort, it is expensive to stay here, as all places in the Maldives are, but you actually get a hell of a lot for your money. There are two resort islands in this particular atoll, Veli and Dhigu. The latter is more family oriented and has a lot of activities to keep the kids entertained ranging from sporting activities such as Volleyball, bocce, giant chess, table tennis and a crèche. The island also has free bikes situated all over the island for you to explore with.
Dhigu has a spectacular and well equipped pool and bar with playing cards and board games. We also discovered some of the best shisha here too.
Along with all this they run cooking classes and many water activities ranging from the free kayak guests can borrow for up to 2 hours per day, free snorkelling gear (not to mention an island dedicated entirely to snorkelling equipped with an ocean pool, bar, hammocks and lounges), to stand up paddle boarding, kite surfing, parasailing and fishing trips. On the east side of the island is an ocean swing set, on the west (adjacent to the pool) is an ocean hammock.
I think it is well know how much kids love the water, get them in a pool and often you will have a hard time getting them out. Luckily the infinity pool is built on the sunset side of the island which offers for a spectacular view shared with loved ones and a few drinks. Happy hour is from 5-8pm and the Paradise mojito is to die for, you can thank me later.