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Paradise in the Maldives

Have you been thinking of a trip to a tropical destination?

 

Like most travelers, I've been cooped up at home for the past 18 months. For much too long, I have been browsing flights and making imaginary travel itineraries as I push my very real travel plans into the future.

 

My trip to the Maldives that I planned almost two years ago finally came to fruition, and I had a great time.

 

Since traveling during covid has its own set of problems, I wanted to give you an overview of my experience, the regulations, and some of the challenges (and luxury) I experienced in the Maldives.

The Maldives

The Maldives is the perfect blend of adventure and romance. A bundle of islands in the Indian Ocean, you'll be secluded in paradise. Couple that with a luxurious resort with exciting activities, drool-worthy food, and breathtaking ocean frontage, it's difficult to imagine a better place to visit.

 

It’s not easy to get to, though. Booking Etihad Business Class gave me the space and luxury I needed for my long-haul journey.

 

I took a 14-hour flight from Chicago and had an 8-hour layover in Abu Dhabi. My plans changed quickly when covid travel restrictions reverted in the UAE. The US is no longer on the "Green List" for travelers. That meant I was stuck in the airport for 8 hours.

 

Traveling during covid means you got to be open to plans changing. Luckily, the business lounge made my soujourn in the airport comfortable.

 

Covid travel regulations change suddenly. We all know that now, I think. But with many things not in my control, I'm happy I didn't skimp on anything. 

 

Pick the upgrade whenever possible. It'll make the unexpected that much more comfortable.

Travel Tips to the Maldives during Covid

  • You must fill out a Traveler Health Declaration Form within 24 hours before entering and leaving the country. The Traveler Health Declaration Form includes a ngative covid test whether or not you're vaccinated.

 

  • Tourists must have a confirmed booking at a registered tourist facility for the duration of their stay. 

 

  • Don’t buy alcohol in duty-free. The Maldives have strict alcohol regulations and will confiscate any liquor you have upon arrival. Don’t worry, the resort will have plenty!

 

Airport Tips

  • They do not have air conditioning in the airport in Male. It’s hot. Dress accordingly and bring a fan or magazine to fan yourself off.

 

  • Have your completed Traveler Health Declaration Form with you when going through security on your way there and back.

 

  • Be aware of anyone trying to sell tours. You’ll probably have people approach trying to sell your tours of the capital. Don’t pay attention to them.

 

  • You can get your covid test for re-entry into the US before your departure.

 

  • Speak to resort staff, and they'll help you and fill out the covid paperwork for you.

 

Where to Stay in the Maldives

I stayed at You & Me resort and received impeccable service from the moment my plane landed on the ground from Abu Dhabi.

 

A resort representative greeted me at the airport and checked me into the seaplane terminal. I enjoyed fresh fruit juice in the private lounge before taking the seaplane to the remote island. 

 

It makes for a long day of traveling, but anyone who has seen the Maldives from the bird's eye view will tell you a seaplane is worth it.

 

Pro tip: If you're traveling by seaplane, make sure to pack light (under 44 pounds) because the weight regulations are more stringent for smaller planes.

 

Forty-five minutes later, I was greeted by the You and Me resort staff, whose warm welcome was made even more enjoyable with the complimentary champagne cocktail and a 

fresh towel. 

 

After being bundled into a golf cart, I was brought to the door of my water bungalow.

 

The view of the teal blue sea from my luxurious bungalow was exhilarating as I watched manta rays swim throughout the area.

 

You & Me has several activities, from diving to dolphin cruises, fishing trips, and live music.

 

Of course, there are many other beautiful resorts to stay at in the Maldives. It's worth figuring out your top activities and speaking with your travel agent, so you can make sure you stay at a resort with options.

Watersports

In the Maldives, you can enjoy thrilling watersports AND have time to sip cocktails on the beach. There's snorkeling, paddleboarding, windsurfing, fly board, parasailing, and jet skis. 

 

And if you stay at the right resort, you might get a fully-equipped diving center too. You & Me has certified diving instructors who teach courses from beginner to professional level. If you’ve ever thought about diving, the Maldives might be the perfect opportunity.

Excursions and Entertainment

Adrenaline-thrills aren't the only entertainment option in the Maldives. My resort organized all sorts of excursions, from Local Island Tours and Fishing Trips to Dolphin Cruises and picnics on secret islands.

 

You’ll enjoy the Live Music, a DJ, and the Maldivian Cultural Show every night, so there are plenty of opportunities to party too.

Spa Treatments

In between lounging on the beach, spotting manta rays, turtles, napoleon fish, and grey reef sharks from my bungalow, and having a blast with water sports, I decided to check out the spa.

 

One facial and lava stone therapy massage later, it was the right choice.

 

This spa also offered couple's treatments for romantic massages with your partner in a beautifully situated resort.

Restaurants

Food is an important part of any holiday, and my resort did not let me down. Located on You & Me premises was the only underwater restaurant in Raa Atoll. 

 

Lunch at H20 by chef Andrea Berton was delicious. You can't go wrong coupling a Michelin-starred chef's 7-course menu in the exclusive 20-person restaurant with 360-degree views of the ocean.

 

Romantic Getaway

The Maldives is the perfect place for a couple. Whether it's your honeymoon, anniversary, or vacation, the scenery, accommodation, and activities all have an air of romanticism. Many resorts have couples packages and activities for you to enjoy as well. I’d be happy to recommend some to you.

 

You and Me resort offers Love Boat Dining, where you'll feast while floating in the lagoon, mesmerized by the setting sun over the ocean.

 

Not going with a partner? 

 

Not to worry, the resorts have plenty of activities to keep you busy and/or relaxed.

Male Walking Tour

Before heading back to the US, I was treated to a private 2-hour walking tour of Male City after my short seaplane ride back to the major city. 

 

I highly recommend checking out the President's Palace, Tsunami Monument, Sultan Park, and Friday Mosque if you have the opportunity. It offered a unique albeit short look into the culture of the beautiful Maldives.

Why You Should Go to the Maldives during Covid

Safely back in the US, I am grateful to have been able to explore this tropical paradise, even 18 months delayed, and with Covid regulations. 

 

Here’s why I think you should visit too:

 

  • The Islands of the Maldives are extremely secluded. You won’t be mingling with people outside of your cohort if you don’t want to.

 

  • It's a tropical paradise. We all need a reset sometimes, and this pandemic has not been easy for anyone.

 

  • The Maldives is perfect for romance and adventure. Pick and choose exactly what you want to do on vacation and have the resort do the rest.

 

 

If you have concerns, trouble booking, or finding out local health regulations, or just want some help, contact me at  or call me at 407-571-9336 to help you with all your luxury travel needs.

 

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