So I just got back from a short but blissful trip to the Republic of the Maldives! The Maldives, which are a string of small islands located off the southern coast of India, has been on my bucket list of places to visit for quite some time, and though the times don’t seem ideal for international travel, I figured: we have nothing else to do. Let’s go!
The only negatives of traveling during Covid (aside from the risk of contracting the disease) is making sure that you get the proper paperwork to travel. I went back and forth to the airport 3 times and had to reschedule my trip each time because I either didn’t have the proper Covid test OR the test I had wasn’t recent enough (general rule, you need a PCR test with results administered within 72 hours of your travel date). But after you get your paperwork in order (be sure to reference the travel websites of wherever you are going), it’s smooth sailing. Flights and resorts are basically empty. Airlines and hotels are very understanding and will change your itinerary at no cost. And once you arrive, you basically have the whole place to yourself (on both flights, I was able to stretch out because I had the whole row).
At any rate, behold my quick guide to The Maldives.
- How to Get There
I flew Qatar Airways to get to the Maldives. The plane ride is NO JOKE. I flew approximately 14 hours from JFK to Doha, Qatar, had a 5 hour layover, then flew from Doha to Male, which was another 7 hours. From Male, we flew a local plane approximately 1.5 hours to our resort. The best way to prepare for a flight like this is to follow these tips for long plane rides, bring a great book (I read Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and it was AWESOME), and bring a pillow to sleep. Of course, don’t forget your mask. Qatar Airways supplied the fresh face shield.
Long layover? I’d recommend booking a lounge in Doha’s airport, which is ranked as the 3rd best airport in the world (fun fact, absolutely zero American airports are on the top ten list). My travel companion and I booked the Al Mourjan lounge for our first epic layover, and enjoyed yummy food, relaxing chairs, and first class service while we waited.
Flying Economy to the Maldives costs about $2K roundtrip. I’d suggest planning a year ahead and looking into business or first class because I do think it’s worth it. That said, if you decide to travel in 2020, go ahead and spread out on your full row in Economy and be blessed. You will survive.
2. Where to Stay
The Mercure Maldives in Kooddoo was our choice for accommodations, and it was perfect. The resort is equipped with about 12 villas/bungalows, and we opted for one with a pool (similar to the one pictured above). Each room has a king sized bed and a GORGEOUS view of the ocean, which is wonderful to wake up to every day.
Each room has its own access to the ocean, where you will see all grades of tropical fish, sharks, and stingrays silently swimming within arm’s reach. I am personally petrified of strange fish, so I stayed out of the water (well I dipped in just to say I had been in the Indian Ocean–I also say NO to fear, even of wild fish), but did enjoy the pool (I vowed that as soon as I got off the plane, I would peel off my clothes and jump in, which I did. It was awesome). The view is the absolute best part of the resort in my opinion.
The staff was very polite and courteous and the resort is great if all you want to do is luxuriate, read good books, and meditate. They offer snorkeling, massages, and jet skis. We were going to Jet Ski, but it started storming. My travel buddy opted for a massage, but I literally did nothing and loved it.
The food was nothing to write home about, though there were a few things on the menu that were simply mouth watering, including the grilled shrimp & scallops and the veggie pizza. The food was meh, but I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t there to eat!
3. What to Do
Though I did absolutely nothing while there and loved it, the Maldives is made for the nature lover. Walking on the beach, you will see crabs scurrying away; look up and you will see big bats!!! You never think of what sort of wildlife you will see when you go clear across the globe, but it was a sight to behold. Also, shout out to the several baby sharks and schools of fish I admired from a distance.
4. General Notes
The Maldives is for lovers. This is not a place you would go with your girlfriends to turn up. Most people there were couples. I even met a couple in the airport going on their honeymoon. That is definitely the vibe.
The Maldives is not cheap. Aside from the multiple Covid tests, our resort was not all inclusive, so you’ll have to pay for food. You also have to pay for the small plane that flies you from the main airport to the resort. All this adds an additional 25% to what you already spent. This is not a budget friendly vacation, sadly. If you want to go: save, plan, and prepare for unexpected costs.
The Maldives doesn’t seem to have mosquitos! I am accustomed to getting eaten alive by blood suckers (read my tales of woe here), but I did not get one mosquito bite, though the flies in the Maldives are bold and will fly on your food while eating or actually crawl into your drink. They are harmless. But shout out to no mosquitos. While Jamaica is beautiful and has amazing food, you can guarantee that a mosquito will get you before you leave. Not the case in the Maldives.
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful places in the world. All in all, I loved it. I didn’t want to leave. I could have stayed a few more days. Also, the forecast predicted 70% chance of rain every day, but there were only scattered thunderstorms. The weather was a good 86 degrees the whole time with long stretches of beaming sun. It was literally paradise. And while I don’t know if I want to be on a plane for almost 24 hours again, I would definitely return OR have to buy a home in Malibu to wake up to similar views on the regular. It was heaven on earth.
Have you been to the Maldives? Did you love it?
And what beautiful, bomb destination should I go to next?
Love & Light,
*Get most of my cover ups at FashionBombDailyShop.com (search Kaftans).