A lazy luxury called Maldives

Review by: Rachita Moon

I am an engineer by education, HR by profession, a travel enthu-cutlet at heart and a food-lover by choice :)

Destination: Maldives

31

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A lazy luxury called Maldives
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Duration: 4 nights, 5 days
Season: Spring (March’15)
Hotel: Paradise Island Resort& Spa

It was our first anniversary and we didn't have many leaves in hand. At the same time, webadly wanted a lazy and relaxing, yet short and luxurious getaway to enjoy this special occasion.
There were a lot of southeast Asian countries that popped-up in our mind;however, all of them had so much to explore that we would have not done justice if we just went there for a check-in. Lately, my husband was going through a hectic work schedule and coming back from a short and exhaustive trip wouldn't have been a refresher.
So, I picked up Maldives!!!

Read through a lot of itineraries and hotel review, and then all I could read was the word "leisure" everywhere!!
It was time to pack, travel &run.
Pack your Bags
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What to carry –
1. Sunscreen, preferably water proof: You will need in lots, although be sure, Mr.Sun will ensure you get tanned.
2. Clothes: Light, cotton - summer attire. Hats, caps & goggles. Even for the evenings - shorts, dresses, 3/4ths are suggested. Jeans/trousers you may want to wear during airport transfers only. Swimming gears are a must.
3. Snorkeling& other water sports equipment: You can choose to rent it, if you're not much of an enthusiast.
4. Ready to eat: Vegetarian options are ample in the buffet or the ala-carte menu but if you are very sensitive to any fishy smell or something or do not have a buffet package, carry ample of ready to eat packets and snacks.
5. Selfie Stick: Although it is one of the most trending fad but apart from that, it is very useful, especially if you’re travelling alone or in a couple and don’t want to keep on asking people to click those blurred pics.
#QuirkyTrick –
Use it as a tripod. How?! Bury is in the sand, set the view and off you go.. click click click..
6. Camera: Apart from your regular camera/DSLRs etc., if possible, do carry a waterproof/ underwater camera. There are times when you’re in the middle of the ocean or snorkeling/ scuba diving and witness the most exotic scenes, it’s then you regret a water friendly camera the most.

#CheapNote –
You'll read about people recommending to carry a lot of mineral water bottles in your luggage. Well yes, you may carry a couple of bottles, or may be more than that:P, in your check-in luggage. You are for sure going to feel a lot thirstier at the islands and hotel provides just 1litre of complimentary bottle. But when people say, buying so many bottles of water each day will burn holes in your pockets and they were able to "afford" drinks etc., because they smartly carried water, well trust me, it’s not that crazy. The max you're going to spend on it is $5-$6 for every litre.

So, relax and fasten your seatbelt for the delightful journey!

Keep your eyes glued to the window pain. Ariel view before landing is breath-taking... So blue.. so vast.. Ocean.. with tiny dots like islands on the face of it..

Post your on-arrival immigration stamp, you'll be received by your hotel personnel for a speed boat/sea plane transfer to your hotel. Please remember to drop a mail to the hotel staff of your arrival timings and special requests,if any, in prior. For honeymooners and people who celebrate their milestone anniversaries, there're a lot of freebies - Like a bottle of champagne, room décor etc.

One of the reasons for us to choose this hotel was its proximity from the airport.
Cheap Tip –
The closer the island, the lesser the transfer charges which can be as high as $600 round trip per person
At #ParadiseIslandResort&Spa, we were received by wet towels and a cool drink to relax. Despite early arrival, our room was ready. Luggage was taken care of the moment we left from the airport.

Room Tips –
Though water/ocean villas are way costlier than the beach facing Vila and you'll feel what's the difference.. But a water Vila experience is something to die for. Don't compromise.

If you have chosen a beach villa, prefer rooms somewhere, between 290-325.
These have the best proximity to the restaurants and beaches.
For choosing amongst OceanVillas, though you can go with the standard ones but if you may stretch a little bit, strongly recommend the Haven Villas (for couples) and suites (for group/family).

You may simply hop through the stairs into the ocean, enjoy a Jacuzzi while watching the sun go down or simply feed the fishes.. Water levels vary throughout the day.
Activities at the resort –
The Resort plans events every evening and you get to see the flavors of Maldives at one place. One may find some glimpses of Indian folk music & dance in their show which makes you feel all the more connected.
One side we witnessed Sting Ray feeding and gathered our wits to touch it. My husband was tempted to grab it by its tail until he was told where the sting lies.. To our amazement....kids were the most courageous ones - they fed and caressed the creature.
On another, we saw the sharks being fed.
#MustDo -
In the tranquil environment of the island, what is better than a Maldivian style Spa, to relax and rejuvenate your senses.

Dawn breaks in pretty early here, between 5:30 to 5:45 and by 9am it’s already, pretty sunny.
We usually walked, around the beaches and the peninsula it forms at one end, early morning. The school of tiny transparent fishes came shore and it was so lovely to watch then play around your feet and run away.
Water sports begin only by 9-9:30 am. Snorkeling is a must do/try. To explorethe underwater world you don't need to be a professional diver/swimmer and in fact, Snorkeling is one of the simplest ways in which one can have a glimpse of this amazing world under the water.

#Point to note my lord –
While snorkeling, your back is exposed to sun but you don’t feel the heat as you’re in the cool water. This may give you a bad tan/burn. Apply loads to sun tan and wear appropriate clothes.

In addition to snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving, other water sports - there're excursions and small tours. We took a dolphin excursion. They take you far in the ocean where the waters are deep. They are fast and you need to be on your toes and quick to spot them. Watching them doing somersaults, jumping, diving, swimming is incredible and a whoaa wow moment!! It’s far exciting to see them freely moving in the waters than watching them perform at animal safaris with plastic balls on their noses or jumping through the rings.

Our Anniversary happened to be on a full moon night. Seeing a big saffron moon with it's reflections on the vast endless ocean was nothing less than a picture perfect.
All you need then, is a nice candle lit dinner by the beach, feel the breeze and get mesmerized.

There are plenty of such awesome moments that the resort can create for you. Be it a beautiful dinner set up by the beach, room decor with flowers and embellishments in Maldivian style, getting a freshly baked cake to celebrate or doing a professional photo-shoot for you, they have a lot in store to add to this magical place.

We were curious to see Phytoplankton but apparently they are visible during the moon less nights but not necessarily. So if you've time in hand, do read about when and on which islands it’s seen in abundance and plan a visit.

Our favorite pastime was feeding the fishes. Whenever we threw a bread crumb in to the water... These amazingly colorful fishes pooped up. We even had baby sharks passing by in some hurry. It felt like a personal aquarium. So many of them in different shapes, size and color - all popping up to eat.
People say fishes never know when their tummy is full and they die of food over doze too.. So diligently feed ya..
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#Points to ponder –
1. Flights are cheaper but stay is costlier
2. Recommended Lobster, for sea food lovers
3. Visit these tiny ones before global warming get them submerged

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