Hope you’re all having a good week and not suffering too much from the post-Christmas blues. I for one am seriously missing all the decorations and lights. Doesn’t everywhere just look so bare without them? 🙁
We’re nearly finished the move into our new house and at the moment, one of the things I’m doing is putting the finishing touches to the main rooms so that ti feels really homely. Last night I spent ages going through my phone trying to choose which photos to frame from the past year! One thing for sure, I will definitely be framing some shots from the Maldives. There are no words to describe how ridiculously stunning that place is.
Whenever you see pictures of the Maldives on Pinterest, it looks so beautiful that you just assume it’s photoshopped, but now that I have been there, I can tell you it really is that beautiful! Everywhere you look had postcard–worthy views.
Definitely no need for Instagram filters there!
Anyway I promised you guys a blog post about our trip to the Maldives as lots of you had emailed me questions about how we went about arranging it, who we flew with, where we stayed, so I’m going to try and address everything you guys asked in this blog post.
I’m going to start with how we first decided on the Maldives!
You might remember back in October Dylan surprised me with a birthday gift of a trip to Orlando. He originally purchased it for 4 nights in December, but as it was also going to be Dylan’s birthday around that time as well, I said I would purchase an additional 4 nights there so that we could spend 8 nights in total, and that would be my gift to him.
Dylan loved the idea so we went about booking the hotel, the flights and trips to places such as Universal Studios. In the end, it turned out the trip was going to cost way more than what we had expected. We were actually shocked by how much it would set us back.
We had a chat about it and in the end, we decided to scrap Orlando and instead use the money to travel to one of the sunny locations on our bucket list and enjoy a week of bliss! For so long, we had promised ourselves a holiday where I would not work so we really wanted it to be the trip of a lifetime!
When we had a search online, both the Maldives and Dubai kept popping up and as both of us had always dreamed of going to the Maldives, we decided to look into that location a bit more.
Once we started researching it, we came across some seriously really amazing deals online. We found a website called Secret Escapes and we started to look up the different resorts there. The site mainly consists of 5 star resorts but at a much less expensive rate. You have to be a member of the site to view the listings, which means you have to go through the rigmarole of filling out an application form, but membership is free so if you’re looking for a great deal on a luxury holiday, then I would definitely recommend you sign up to Secret Escapes.
Dylan found a great package on the site that included 8 nights in a 5 star Maldives hotel called the Residence, and it was a fraction of the cost of those we had previously seen on the internet for trips to Maldives.
Now, that said, even though it was a good deal, it was still expensive but not near as expensive as what we had been quoted before or direct on hotel websites.
In the end, we decided to go for it.
The journey was intense to say the least! I’m not kidding when I say we were travelling for a solid 24 hours. We got off to a great start as the first leg of the trip was very comfortable. We flew from Dublin to London with Aer Lingus and it was all just so nice and enjoyable.
From London we flew to Dubai with Emirates and then from Dubai to Mali. After reaching Mali, we flew to another part of the Maldives with a local airline and it was there we got a speedboat from the airport to the resort.
Travelling for that length of time really took its toll on my body and left me feeling completely exhausted.
We flew economy the whole way, so if I could give one tip to those you who are considering travelling there, it would be to fly business class. Flying economy for that length is not a nice experience because you can’t sleep and you can’t put your seat back when you want to rest. And trust me, not being able to put your seat back is close to torture when you’re sitting on a plane for hours on end! Don’t get me wrong, economy is absolutely fine – I travel economy whenever I fly – but when you’re travelling for 24 hours straight, comfort should be your priority so do yourself the favour and upgrade your ticket to business class if you can.
I’m the type of person that needs and loves my sleep so when we arrived, all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed. I couldn’t sleep on the plane and I was so wrecked from the travelling, I felt like I had been out on the lash for 3 days straight!
The 5 star treatment started the moment we arrived on the island! We were greeted with essential oils and a face cloth so we could freshen up while we were being transported to the resort.
The resort itself was like nothing I had ever seen before. Beautiful beyond words. As soon as you get there, you instantly start to unwind.
The butler took our luggage and we were given cocktails before being brought to these big comfortable couches where we went through the guest registration routine.
Our Water Villa
I should point out that Residence is not a hotel, it’s a resort filled with different types of private villas, so you need a buggy (electrical cart) or a bike to get around. Once our registration was completed, we were taken by buggy to our water villa and the scenery the whole way there was absolutely astonishing. It was like looking at a real life photoshopped image, it was THAT flawlessly beautiful!
As we were travelling from reception to the villa, the water each side of the deck was so clear that you could literally see the tropical fish and baby sharks swimming around. It was mind blowing!
Our villa was a water villa with our own private pool, so it meant we had a pool that looked right out onto the tropical sea. There was also steps from our pool down to the sea and the weather there is so nice that the water in the sea was often way warmer than the water in our pool! It was bliss!
The villa we chose consisted of one big bedroom, a sitting room and a huge bathroom. The bedroom looked right out onto the balcony and the sea, so it was amazing to get up to that view each morning.
The bathroom was fab! I love big bathrooms and this one was huge and so fancy! It had a beautiful big Jacuzzi bath (which some of you might remember from my Snapchat.) Behind the bath was a massive bay window that could be opened so you are looking right out onto the tropical sea.
Honestly, everything about the villas in the Maldives are just another level of luxury.
In the resort itself, we had a choice of two restaurants. The buffet restaurant was incorporated into the package we got, but the other restaurant is more for fine dining and looks right out on to water. If you go half board you get an allowance for that restaurant, so I think as part of our deal, we only had to pay if it went above €75. Dylan and I tried both restaurants when we were there.
I love my food so I was worried that I wouldn’t like what was on offer in the resort, or that it wouldn’t agree with me. However, it turns out I had nothing to be worried about.
They have all the general kind of food that we liked. There was a lot of sushi, steak, and middle-eastern dishes. They also had themed nights such as Indian themed dishes, a beach BBQ food, so there was something there to suit everyone.
Because you’re in a 5 star resort, the chef will come out and speak with you about your culinary preferences. If there was nothing you liked on the menu, they would actually tailor make it! When we were there, there was a couple from London who were strict vegans but vegan dishes were not too plentiful on the menu so the chef handmade vegan dishes especially for them every night.
There was also a breakfast room which served breakfast and lunch and a beach bar which served snacks, quick bites, and of course, cocktails!
The spa on the resort turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me! All that travelling had given me a really bad migraine so I went to the spa for an Indian head massage and the relief from the head pain was incredible. It also really helped me get a good sleep too.
The resort also has a diving centre where you can go snorkelling and there is also a water sports centre which is more for activities such as jet skiing and the likes.
I went diving on 2 occasions during our trip and they really take you out into the depts. You get to swim along the coral reef and it was an experience I will never forget. I don’t think I can enjoy a dive anywhere else after it! The sun just beams through the water and everything just glistens. It was like something you would see in the Little Mermaid story!
When I was diving, I saw 3 metre long sharks, lobsters, stingrays, nemos, every type of fish possible and beautiful creatures I probably won’t ever see again.
I was diving with 4 people from Germany who were staying in the Maldives for 2 weeks specifically to go diving there! They told me they had dived all over the world and that the Maldives was by far the best.
I have loved diving ever since I tried it in the Caribbean so I would thoroughly recommend it. Dylan isn’t a fan of the water so he didn’t go diving but gave snorkeling a go and absolutely loved it.
The resort also had a beautiful infinity pool which was open to everyone staying there.
The thing about the resort is that it’s not about drinking and going out partying each night. It’s about total relaxation. Guests don’t really talk to each other there because they’re all there to unwind and take it easy.
Admittedly when I was out there, I went on social media a little bit and I blogged once about the makeup I took with me, but I’m quite an active person and get bored quickly so I was happy to go online every now and then.
In general though, no one is stuck on their phone either because WIFI is only available in your villa rooms. You can’t get it anywhere else which is a good thing because it forces you to switch off! 🙂
So that’s the general information about the trip and I hope I have answered your questions.
For those of you asking about the engagement, that will all be in tomorrow’s post! 😉
For now, here is a full recap of the trip that I recorded for my YouTube Channel:
Lots of love