We definitely discussed the Maldives as a potential option when we started planning our honeymoon 2-3 years ago, but in the end we decided on something more adventurous; beach as well as city (we did Sydney – Fiji – Hong Kong). At the time, it was exactly what we wanted, the type of holiday we craved. But fast forward to September 2016, and we were literally desperate to get somewhere quiet, tranquil, relaxing, with limited things to do such as lie on the beach and snorkel (perfect). Now both living much more busy lives with lots of travelling and a hectic work schedule, constantly glued to our smartphones and laptop – we both could not wait to get away to the Maldives, disconnect and explore pure paradise…
After two flights and a sea plane later, we arrived to Conrad Maldives, which would be our home for the first five days of our 10-day holiday. With over 150 villas set across over two islands, this was the biggest of the two resorts we were going to visit – yet everything about it was luxuriously unique, private and enchanting.
We started off in one of their Beach Villas on the main island – which was a dreamy setting, walking straight onto our very own sun loungers…
We were quite dazed the first day – it was a long day of travelling and the first impressions of the place, was (nearly) too much to handle! We had never seen such blue water, perfect sand and what can only be described as – the most perfect setting.
…not to mention, a jaw-dropping sunset. Each sunset every night was different, and they were never 100% clear – with always lots of movements of clouds, shades of colours and reflections – making them even more dramatic. The only time I have seen sunsets like this, was in Fiji on our honeymoon. So it was bringing back lots of lovely memories.
Both islands had so many pockets and small areas to discover – from the two spas, various snorkelling spots, restaurants and chill-out zones (some of which were even adult-only). For the first few days, when we were based on the beach villa, we mainly stayed on the main island, which also happened to be the best place to snorkel – and spent most of our days reading, swimming and eating… What more do you want?
As well as a high tech gym (with sea views to die for), daily classes of yoga and various watersports activities – there was plenty of stuff to do (if you ever got restless). I personally enjoyed several early morning yoga sessions on their beach platform – which you could access with a short stroll over the bridge, which connected the two islands together. Although initially, it took me a few days to settle in coming from hectic London and the jet lag; yoga was what really got me into the ultimate relax mode.
What I loved about being on the beach villa at Conrad (versus a water villa), was the direct access to our evening walks just before sunset, and more often than not, scooping up the one hammock on the island, whilst watching the the sun go down… Although we were told the resort was 80% full (September is the shoulder season) and it´s a massive resort – we found it so quiet all the time, and more often that not, we had the beach to ourselves, and sometimes, it even felt like we had parts of the island to ourselves!
Another perfect end, to a perfect day in paradise.
The food, was not surprisingly, excellent, at Conrad. With 10 different restaurants to choose from – the choice was plentiful, and the food was so fresh throughout. Breakfast is always a highlight or ours – of which you could choose from buffet at Atoll Restaurant on the main island – were they had a huge array of healthy (and not so healthy options) – from a juice bar (my kind of buffet), dim sum, omelette, sushi, pancakes, gluten/dairy free options (always a plus in my book), exotic fruits and so many other, delicious offerings. It was easy to over indulge, but also, very easy to eat healthy! If you were fed-up with the buffet, you could enjoy an equally delicious breakfast at Vilu Restaurant (my personal favourite), where they had a smaller buffet selection and an a la carte menu to order from. For lunch, we enjoyed fresh salads and fish at Rangali Bar, and the dinner options were plentiful (and even more spectacular).
…and after all that eating, thank god for that hammock!
This Marysia swimsuit was a winner throughout the holiday… So easy to throw on with denim shorts and skirts.
As well as accessing both islands via the bridge which would take you around 5 minutes, there was a shuttle boat every 10 minutes, to take you back and forth. So even though initially, the resort could seem quite vast – it was so easy to get around everywhere.
If we weren’t in the hammock to watch sunset in the evenings, you would find us on our way to pre-dinner cocktails…
Rangali Bar served the most incredible drinks – this version of a G&T, was a winner.
At this point, to say I was happy, relaxed and fully settled into island life, would be an understatement…
This is George, one of the island´s permanent resident.
…who you would more often than not, be found by one of Conrad´s most renowned eateries, Ithaa Underwater Restaurant (especially during feeding time, when all the fishes are out!).
We popped in for cocktails (which needs to be booked in advance – this place is very popular with limited seating) – and it was a pretty surreal experience.
…especially with all the sharks hovering around. Who by the way, are all vegetarian and so incredibly beautiful.
Sunset hour on this island, never grows old.
Naturally, all the kitchens were heavily influenced by Asian cooking (my favourite) – with Sri Lankan style curry´s, sushi and dim sum – much to my delight. Lunch at Ufaa by Jereme Leung, is an absolute must, which serve the most scrumptious selection of dim sum and noodle bowls.
…and the decor throughout all the various restaurants, bars, lobby and rooms – were all tastefully decorated, in a local and authentic style, mixed with contemporary and clean lines.
The resort had two pools, both on each island. And although we never spent much time there during the day time, it was the perfect setting during cocktail hour.
…and like I said, this place sure knows how to do a cocktail!
Tune in next week, for part two of my stay….