The moment I saw photos of the Maldives, I knew I wanted to visit it with my future husband for our honeymoon.
I'm truly blessed because this dream came true? Though I really wanted to go for our honeymoon right after our wedding, my husband convinced me that if we waited for 2 more months, we would be able to stay at the beautiful Conrad Rangali Island as it was almost low season. I admit I was annoyed because I really wanted to get away after our wedding but I'm glad we waited. Because I really love the resort!
If you're considering a trip to Maldives for your honeymoon or anniversary, hopefully you'll find my experience helpful!
- Agree on a budget and pick your travel dates wisely
Since we already knew we were heading to The Maldives for our honeymoon, we started searching for a resort within our budget way in advance. And I'm talking about 1.5 years in advance? That's when we realized that the price range of resorts is insane. I'mtalking about a local resort which can cost about USD50 a night to a private resort with a slide into the ocean at a mouthwatering figure of about USD5000 a night? That resort's Soneva Jani btw.
The good news is, if you avoid the peak season which is generally from November to April, rates would be much lower. I heard from the staff that it's peak season because many tourists from Europe visit to avoid the cold weather back home during this period and it's generally good weather every day. That's not to say that the weather sucks during the low season but you may get rain here and there. But on the bright side, you may get to experience a luxury resort!
HHWT tip: I've discovered a website called luxuryescapes where you can book a luxury stay at a discounted rate and some of these packages include meals! I've seen a few luxury Maldivian resorts there at a major discount!
- What do you want to do
My husband and I love snorkeling. We enjoy it so much that we snorkelled 2-3 times a day when we were there. The reason why we were able to do this so often is because Conrad has a house reef and we could pop into the sea anytime we wanted. Because of climate change, the reefs were a bit bleached but we were still able to see a variety of aquatic life, including a manta ray and a turtle!
If you want to snorkel often, I highly recommend staying at a resort with a house reef that's teeming with life. This is because resorts do have snorkeling excursions but if you're staying at a more upscale resort, these excursions can be really expensive ? The best way to find out about the condition of the resort's house reef is to enquire before booking or check out reviews online.
If you're not that particular about the snorkeling experience, i recommend booking a resort that's closer to Male, so that you can save on the cost of the sea plane! These resorts near Male would usually provide a speedboat to the resort.
- Sea plane - Is it a must do?
Speaking of seaplanes, you've probably seen plenty of videos where travellers get to their Maldivian resort by sea plane. Well, that seaplane is USD500 for a round trip which can be more expensive than your international flight... But I loved the flight!
Sure, we needed earplugs because the engine was really loud, the cabin was very squeezy (so you may not like it if you hate tight spaces) but the view was insane. Did I mention that the captains wear slippers ? Watching them pilot was really cool!
The seaplane cruises at a lower altitude so you'll be able to enjoy the view of never-ending turqoise waters. Don't forget to get a window seat so that you can snap some photos but that's if your window is clean ?
If you would rather spend this USD500 on other things (like a spa haha), I highly recommend that you pick a resort that's near the capital and accessible by speed boat.
- Overwater Villa - Worth it?
You probably associate Maldives with overwater villas. I know I did. In fact, I was already dreaming of diving into the clear blue water from my villa. Which is not a smart thing to do btw! The water surrounding the villa is shallow and may have sharp corals.
We stayed at both the overwater villa and beach villa at Conrad. The overwater villa was pricier and this is probably the case at most resorts. I thought that I would like the overwater villa more but I ended up liking the beach villa more. Our beach villa had a view of the sunrise which was out of this world ? I also loved how we could just walk right out to the beach. On the other hand, the water surrounding our overwater villa wasn't the best for snorkeling but better for lazing around, provided you brought your own float! But I have to admit that waking up to the view of the ocean and the sound of waves was out of this world too. To conclude, I think staying at both villas was the right choice and probably something you should consider if you're not sure what you would prefer.
- Meals - Halal? Inclusive or not?
These are probably more value for money!
As the Maldives is a Muslim country, meals at most resorts are halal but some resorts may have non-halal meals too but these wre are usually prepared separately. Do check with the resort before you book!
Btw, if you see something on your neighbour's table, you can probably ask for it too.
This mango was sooo sweet and we wish we knew we could request for it earlier.
- Honeymoon perks ??
If you're celebrating your honeymoon, you may get a complimentary meal or even spa discounts! So don't forget to let the resort know when you book your stay.
We received a complimentary 3-course dinner at Mandhoo restuarant which was soo yummy, we went back for lunch again the next day.
The Maldives is probably one of my favourite destinations in the world and I'll probably keep using my wedding anniversary as an excuse to try to return!