Travel review: Honeymoon in the Maldives is paradise
Anna Jeys finds the Maldives is the perfect antidote to months of frantic wedding planning.
I’m shown to my table in a very upmarket restaurant on my first night in the Maldives – taking my seat on a candlelit table slap bang in the middle of the moonlit beach.
The waiter looks down at my high heels and chuckles: “Why are you still wearing your shoes? We only do barefoot dining here.”
This summed up the atmosphere in this idyllic destination – indulgent and luxurious, yet laid back and unpretentious.
This was the last time I would leave my apartment with anything more than nail polish on my feet for a week.
Hours earlier, I’d been lying in a hammock, with beautiful white sand beneath me, the clearest blue sea lapping the shore just yards away, clear skies and no-one else to be seen.
It sounds like an advert for a tropical alcoholic drink, but this was what greeted me as I settled into life in the Maldives, if only for a week.
Having just undergone the trials and tribulations of organising a wedding, and with the stress lines etched on my face to prove it, I felt my new husband and I were quite deserving of a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Nine months of organising, dieting, guest lists and all the other problems associated with wedding planning had taken its toll.
The term “Once in a Lifetime” can be over-used, blazoned across every bit of junk mail or scratchcard that drops through most letterboxes.
But this idyllic destination was nothing short of the sort of paradise seen on paintings and postcards.
The Maldives are a group of 1,190 coral islands, based on 26 major atolls, spread over 90,000 sq km of the Indian ocean, south-west of Sri Lanka. With 202 inhabited islands and 87 exclusive hotel resorts, I had no idea the Maldives were so vast.
But many of the islands, including the two we visited, are small and accommodate only the hotel and guest facilities, giving a wonderful secluded feel.
Knowing the popularity of these islands with honeymooners, I was hoping we wouldn’t be surrounded by lovesick couples.
Enjoying a romantic honeymoon ourselves was one thing, but watching scores of other couples do the same might have made it a little less special.
But in both five-star resorts we stayed at, one small and another occupying a larger commercial island, we hardly saw other holidaymakers unless we wanted to.