The Maldives are a destination that one dreams of going to, and I never really thought I would go if it was not for a honeymoon. However, when my friend Kem and I were heading to Sri Lanka, she had the idea that we could make a side trip. Why not travel to the Maldives when it is only 1.5 hours flight from Colombo? We were happy to see that there were families as well as the obviously honeymooning couples on the plane. We were whisked by boat from the airport to the Sheraton resort and then enjoyed a few days in paradise. We could just stay at the resort and enjoy relaxing on the private beaches for days. On the other hand, there are adventurous activities to do as well. For example, we took a boat tour to go snorkelling with sting rays and see turtles.
- White sandy beaches with very fine sand that dusts your toes
- Warm and clear blue waters
- Snorkelling from a boat to see sting rays, turtles and lots of fish
- Wildlife spotting including birds and bats. We saw a beautiful grey heron near the beach. There are also many friendly sharks around. Our resort had a daily feeding and the “vegetarian sharks” were eating tuna!
- Enjoying the casual and fine dining cuisine around the resorts
- We were lucky to hear the live Maldivian band, Detune, at the Anchorage bar
- Take time to watch the beautiful sunset
Before you go
- The Maldives are quite expensive for accommodation, transport and food so budget accordingly
- Book your boat transport to your hotel in advance. Each hotel basically has its own island and we stayed at one close to the airport about 15 minutes away. Some of the other islands are much further so check the location
- A free visitor visa valid for 30 days is issued upon arrival
- The weather can be variable and the waters are rough at times. We had to circle a couple of times to land in Malé due to stormy weather
- Definitely look out the window during the flight as there are some beautiful islands below
- We flew directly from Sri Lanka to Velana International Airport on Malé with Sri Lankan Airlines
- The Sheraton hotel met us at the airport and carried our luggage to the boat transport to our hotel island. The transport took about 15 minutes.
- On the island we could walk everywhere but we took a boat tour to see some of the sealife
- We stayed on Furanafushi Island North Malé Atol at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
- The whole island is the resort and has a variety restaurants, beaches and both rooms and bungalows. My friend upgraded us to a private bungalow with our own pool and direct ladder into the ocean. It was beautiful and the water was clear and blue!
- It is one of the closest hotels to Malé and for a short stay was perfect
The local currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa. However, we never needed any cash. We mostly used our credit cards and then tipped with either credit card or US dollars. As of 9th December 2021, one British pound is 20.4 Rufiyaa.
I recommend to check the currency conversion just before you leave as this fluctuates
There were many restaurant choices at the Sheraton resort. The Feast buffet breakfast had a great international selection, and more food than we needed to eat. I enjoyed dishes such as the paper masala dosa, prawn dumpling, omelette, mango chia pudding, bacon and fruits. Fresh, local tropical fruits are delicious!
For lunch, we had Mexican food at Kakuni Hut on the beach, including seafood tacos and daiquiris. To give an idea of island prices, that meal was $120 for two. The Anchorage bar food with sandwiches and burgers was tasty and a bit more reasonably priced.
Later, at the Sea salt restaurant, the menu focused on seafood. I had a deliciously rich seafood bisque and my friend had wahoo fish. We shared the truffle Parmesan fries. It was a light dinner since we had a big lunch.
We had a relaxing dinner at Thai Baan restaurant. We started with the prawn crackers as apéro, with a hurricane cocktail. I had a yellow seafood curry and my friend had wok vegetables with rice. We had a coconut Thai tea ball for dessert. The food was well-flavoured and the service was impeccable!
For our last meal, we ate at the T house (now it may be called ChopstiX), which serves Chinese food. I had duck pancakes and bok choy and my friend had chicken wonton soup and pork dumplings. The main food was flavourful and a good portion that we could just finish. We also had macarons and they were quite dry so we probably would not recommend those!
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, not really for the resort stay but you may need to sign up to guided tours to do the boat trips for snorkelling or other sightseeing
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes it is a very touristy destination so most people working at the airport or resorts will speak English. The exception might be the boat drivers for the shuttle from the airport, but they can speak enough to be helpful with guiding you.
Q: Can I travel solo?
A: Yes you can from a safety point of view but you may be surrounded by a lot of romantic honeymoon couples, so it is your choice!
Q: How easy is it to send postcards? It is easy as the hotel shop will sell postcards and stamps, but they are quite expensive
A: See Sending Postcards from Abroad for details on cost and the time it took to reach the USA.
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