Throughout my life I have seen countless travel magazine inserts, photography, travel packages and stunningly airbrushed Instagram influencer snaps of one of the most famous island paradises in the world: The Maldives. You might be fooled into thinking that this place has been made up to be more than it is, but you would be mistaken. It really looks like that, in fact, it looks better! And here is why:
About the Maldives
The Maldives comprises of thousands of coral islands, grouped into 26 atolls, in the warmest part of the Indian ocean. Its capital island and mainland, Male, serves as the nation’s tourist hub with its international airport, sea-plane airport and dock. The Maldivian economy is built largely on tourism, and it shows, with over 100 resorts operating across its atolls.
Male to everywhere
Arriving in Male we were welcomed by the stunning warmth of the air which immediately put us in holiday mode. The resort we had chosen, called ‘Dhigali Maldives’, sent two friendly faces to meet us at the airport and assist with the seaplane transfer to the island – a bumpy but exciting 45-minute flight above some of the most incredible scenery the world has to offer. As we bumbled over different islands and resorts excitement hummed in the little aircraft, as 10 other holiday makers eagerly anticipated their stay in this incredible country.
Getting to Dhigali
Upon arrival at the resorts ‘airport’ – a floating wooden dock some 500m away from the island – we boarded a speedboat to the paradise that awaited us, with its sandy beaches eclipsed by the setting sun. After check in, our helpful guide showed us to our room, an undeniably romantic over water villa with panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding islands. Equipped with a bottle of complimentary bubbly, the scene of this magical holiday was set.
Getting around the island was a leisurely 15-minute walk end to end, or a short hop on hop off buggy ride. The surroundings were truly idyllic with hundreds of coconut palm trees littered across the island, teeming with the faces of friendly fruit bats. With no cars, city bustle or busyness, the resort allowed us to escape, totally unaware of the world outside for a blissful 10 days. Dhigali celebrates relaxation and rejuvenation with a fully equipped spa, set amidst the scores of palm trees, offering guests a truly unique opportunity to unwind from everyday life.
Dhigali’s 4 restaurants and 2 bars are a smorgasbord of different tastes and cultures, expertly crafted to deliver a truly unforgettable dining experience, which cater to the adventurous foodie, or the traveller who prefers a conservative spread. The selection was endless, with a world class buffet and fine dining ala carte options, fresh, delicious and always plentiful.
Sipping on the sunset
Afternoons were spent at the Islands beach cocktail spot, Haali Bar, where you and your partner can sit on large beanbags or bar swings, soaking up the sun and lounging the day away sipping on delicious Pina Coladas – all served fresh by the bars skilled mixologists. Here is where we enjoyed the stunning sunsets, with the live band playing a mix of relaxed beach hits, caught fractious hermit crabs retreating from the water and basked in the delectable beauty that the Maldives so effortlessly displays.
Countless hours where spent swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise waters, which gently swayed beneath our villa. It is the sea which is so enchanting and unlike anything at home which makes this place so special
We were lucky enough to visit Dhigali over New Years, where an incredible line-up of food, music and celebration was organised by the resort. Cuisine from all corners of the globe was served at different stations, with the entire main beach being turned into a stunning ‘All White’ themed beach party which included a local fire dancer!
The list of activities offered by the resort was also impressive, with sunset reef fishing, jet skiing, dolphin viewing and scuba diving to name a few, we were never bored or left underwhelmed. Perhaps one of my favourite experiences was a romantic candle lit seafood dinner on the beach; a quiet and serene evening filled with laughter, good food and wine.
The experience at Dhigali and of the Maldives has forever cemented it as one of my favourite places in the world to visit. If you are looking for unapparelled relaxation, luxury and romance, there really is no need to look any further than the magic that is to be experienced in the Maldives on her many Atolls.