Maldives and Dubai: booked!

I’m very (VERY) excited to say that my fiancé and I have booked our honeymoon for next year, which means I’ll get to tick not one but TWO places off my baby bucket list! Talk about two birds with one stone!

It’ll be my first ever long-haul trip and I’m brimming with excitement. While it didn’t take too long to decide that the Maldives was our ultimate honeymoon destination, it took a lot of searching to find an itinerary that was at least close to our budget (those of you who can afford to go to the Maldives on a regular basis, I salute you), but the end result is nothing short of magical – and the searching was an experience in itself.

We decided to book through Kuoni, and I’m seriously impressed with the service received. We started off by ordering their Indian Ocean brochure (I spent many happy hours browsing through it) but figured it’d be easier to get an idea of prices by going to our local branch, and they were incredibly accommodating.

We went in so many times and went through so many options they must have been thoroughly sick of us, but it was worth it. Our Kuoni consultant had even visited our chosen island before, so we were even more confident in our choice – and the complementary champagne on every visit, not to mention the bottle we were given when we finally booked, was even better!

Maafushivaru

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We settled on Maafushivaru as our Maldivian destination, and as I hope the pictures show, it’s a pretty perfect choice! Apparently it’s often chosen by honeymooners, and I can see why – it’s small and romantic, with only 48 villas on the entire island. It’s got a stunning house reef and is encircled by the most beautiful powder-white sand and turquoise sea, and although there’s a bar right by the pool with evening entertainment, there are no night clubs or over-the-top activities. And best of all – no kids club!!

It’s exactly what we were looking for.

We’ll start the trip of a lifetime by travelling by seaplane (SEAPLANE!) from the Maldives’ capital of Malé to the island resort, where we’ll be taken to our overwater villa (OVERWATER VILLA!) directly over the lagoon. Cue 10 days of total relaxation, where we can really take the “no news no shoes” thing to new levels.

Of course, we’ll still want to do a few things in between all that relaxing. I’ve heard people say that there’s not much to do in the Maldives – I beg to differ.

There’ll be lounging by an infinity pool. Snorkelling right off our private decking area. Watching the sunset on a dhoni cruise. Turtle and whale shark safaris. Sipping cocktails at the bar. Checking out the wine cellar. Maldivian nights. A trip to a local village. Kayaking. Blissful spa treatments. Marine biologist talks. All-inclusive blowouts. Sea fishing. Private beach dinners. And perhaps my favourite thing of all – the chance to stay on our very own deserted island for a night at Maafushivaru’s tiny sister island, Lonubo (this definitely swung it for us).

      

Utter, complete bliss.

Dubai

Next on our itinerary is three nights in Dubai, right by the marina, with views of the infamous beach. We only decided to add this to our honeymoon as our flight has a stopover in the city – it’d be rude not to – but I’m so glad we went for it!

Our hotel, the JA Ocean View, is on the JBR Walk – we were torn between that and a plusher one in the business district, but I’ve been told on good authority (by a Dubai expat) that, location-wise, we’ve definitely made the right decision. It means we’ll be able to walk around the area in the evening, unlike with the business hotel, where the streets outside are more freeways than sidewalks.

        

Dubai is a very big tick in itself, but the one thing I really want to tick off while I’m there is the famous Friday Brunch. It’s something of an institution, and the thought of having stunning all you can eat food with unlimited champagne is something that sounds too good to pass up (it’s also the reason we went for nine nights in the Maldives rather than 10, just so we wouldn’t miss it).

Then of course there are the malls, the fountains, the souks and the nightlife – after all that relaxing in the Maldives, this will be the time for some serious action!

It’ll be the ultimate trip, a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and I absolutely can’t wait. T-minus 9(ish) months and counting…

 

(Note: all pictures are taken from the Kuoni or Maafushivaru website)

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