A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel to the Maldives. The Maldives is a country comprised of over 1600 individual atolls in the Indian Ocean. The closest land mass is India and the closest city in India to the Maldives is Cochin. The Maldives is a country of uncompromising beauty. It’s pristine beaches and crystal clear waters are achingly beautiful. It is a dream destination for both diving enthusiasts and honeymooners. Almost every resort occupies its own private atoll and the accommodation at each resort is not merely a ‘hotel room,’ but is often a private villa with secluded luxury, a private pool, over-water bungalows, glass floors for viewing the marine-life, outdoor showers, and very often, butler service. A few resorts even boast underwater restaurants.

It is not an easy place to get to from the United States, but one you have arrived, you never want to leave. The food offerings are a combination of Indian and Asian, with fresh fish always the best thing on the menu

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Each atoll is accessible exclusively by seaplane or speed boat, depending on the distance from the capital of the Maldives, Male.

I arrived to Male via Abu Dhabi. From Los Angeles, it is a 15 hour flight to either Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where I suggest at least two over-nights. In either city, you can refresh yourself after the long flight from the U.S. and continue on for an additional 4 hours to the Maldives. I chose to fly from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways. I visited both Abu Dhabi and Dubai on my layover. I found both cities (1.5 hours apart) fascinating and definitely worth a visit.

One of the more fascinating things I found in the Maldives is the dedication of virtually each resort to the preservation of the environment and the natural, unspoiled beauty of the individual atolls. There are ‘green’ resorts with a focus on ‘eco friendly’ amenities. There are kids clubs, replete with with lego-rooms, cinemas, and dress-up costumes. The focus of the Maldives can be either ‘family friendly’ resorts, or couples retreats. It’s your choice. At one of the 11 resorts I had the privilege to visit, Soneva Fushi, there was an entire room dedicated to chocolate – handmade, daily and accessible 24/7. That same resort had a private cheese and charcuterie room as well as an ice-cream room, also open 24/7. It was decadent, to be sure. It’s former sister resort, Gili Lankanfushi had a wine cellar, chocolate room and cheese/charcuterie room that was to die for, as well.

 

Overall, my impression of the Maldives was that of paradise on earth. It is not like anywhere else you will travel. It is not Hawaii, Tahiti or Fiji. It has a beautiful culture, warmth and offers unparalleled luxury and privacy. It is a trip of a lifetime. I would be happy to share more information and make a booking inquiry if you reach out. I can be reached at janice@coastlinetravel.com