When we were planning our wedding about three years ago now, one of the most exciting elements to think about was undoubtedly the honeymoon!
We toyed with the idea of going to the USA on a road trip through California, but the prohibitive cost of accommodation combined with the price of flights put us off. We also decided that, after the excitement and emotion of the big day itself, we’d quite like a holiday where the biggest decision to make was either what to have for dinner, or which stretch of beach to sunbathe on.
Armed with a vague idea of a white sandy beach, an infinity pool, and some palm trees, we started Googling and soon picked our top destination: the Maldives.
As anyone who has ever tried picking a resort to stay at in the Maldives will know, there are literally hundreds of different options. Finding the perfect Maldives resort is a tricky old business, and much of it depends on what you’re hoping to get from your experience.
For us, we wanted somewhere relaxing but with enough to do to keep Kyle happy (he’s not always one to spend full days lazing on the beach) and somewhere with a range of dining options, rather than one or two buffet restaurants.
After a fair bit of research, we came across one that ticked every single box: Kuramathi Island Resort. The pictures on their website were almost ridiculously beautiful, there seemed to be plenty of water/beach-related activities to keep us busy, and the dining options looked right up our street.
With a beach bungalow booked and dates set, we returned to our wedding planning whilst pushing the honeymoon out of our minds as much as we could.
Our wedding was even more amazing than we could have hoped for and it felt almost like we were being too spoiled by being allowed to have such a special day and then jetting off to a tropical paradise for the best part of two weeks!
Our flight from London Gatwick with BA was uneventful and we landed in Male during the early afternoon. After a false start getting to the island (the weather was too bad to take the speedboat so we had to wait for a sea plane to take us there), we arrived early evening.
We were greeted with a cocktail and a friendly smile from the rep, and were soon shown to our room after a brief introduction to the resort.
Our room was lovely; it was spacious, decorated in a laid-back island feel (fish picture on the wall, wooden floors, gorgeous rugs) and had a huge bathroom complete with outdoor shower.
The bed was big and comfortable and the bungalow itself was set about a 20 second stroll from the beach and the crystal-clear sea.
The restaurants and bars at Kuramathi deserve their own detailed blog which I will let Kyle cover, but needless to say they were a huge highlight of our stay. Some of the food we ate was among the best we’ve ever eaten, which is remarkable given that the resort was the only resort on the whole island, so the range of ingredients the chefs managed to get hold of was commendable.
As for facilities, there was plenty to keep both Kyle and me happy. For me, there were plenty of sunbathing options, with loungers set out along the beach that surrounded the island, and beside the two main swimming pools. By the infinity pool, there was a boardwalk with loungers and this spot was a real sunbathers’ paradise. For Kyle, the swimming pools offered him the perfect balance between messing around and just jumping in to cool down and a spot of serious length swimming.
There was also a sauna, a spa (I even persuaded him to have a couple’s massage!), and tennis courts, all of which we made good use of. It was too hot for much of the time to play serious tennis, but a knock-around was a nice way to make us feel like we’d earned our dinner, or perhaps that extra scoop of ice cream! On top of all of that, there was a table tennis table, covered but outdoors, which helped with the temperature, and plenty of water-related activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and scuba diving. Some of this came at an extra cost but it wasn’t extravagantly priced.
One of our highlights was a visit to several local islands. One of the islands gave us a chance to see local culture in the Maldives in action (for instance, we saw a local school, local shops, and where some of the people who work on the island resorts live). Another island was basically a desert island, where we stopped to enjoy an amazing barbecue and have a dip in the sea, and the final island was a stop at a neighbouring resort. Obviously we much preferred our resort, but it was nice to see another island!
However, perhaps the most special moment (away from the food!) was a sunset cruise, where we set out on a yacht to watch dolphins frolic in the waves whilst we sipped champagne.
I could go on for pages and pages about everything we loved about Kuramathi as a resort, but instead, I shall narrow it down to my top three loves (again avoiding discussion of food in this post!):
1) The look and feel of the island: Sometimes, we felt like we were on a film set or had stepped into a postcard. It sounds clichéd but actually the whole island looked like a cliché, a massive amazing cliché of an island paradise that you normally only see on TV or in films. The sand was white, the sea was so warm it was like being in a bath, the snorkeling was amazing due to the clarity of the water (we saw sharks and turtles alongside massive shoals of fish), and even the communal areas like the swimming pools had been designed in an aesthetically pleasing way. We never felt like there were too many other people on the island. Kuramathi is relatively big for a Maldives resort, but we felt for much of the time that we were sharing the resort with a handful of other people.
2) Friendly staff: Everyone on the island was friendly and more than happy to help in any way possible. This applied equally to the reps, the maids, and the waiters in the restaurant. We had our own favourite waiter, who worked in the Indian restaurant and was just really, really lovely. We never had a problem to take to the staff at reception, but they always made us feel like any issues could be rectified without any hassle or stress.
3) Range of activities: the fact we could spend the morning reading on the beach, before snorkeling before lunch, hiring a kayak to paddle out to the island’s sandbar in the afternoon, hitting a few balls over the net on the tennis courts before dinner, and relaxing in one of the island’s bars or perhaps pulling off some dodgy moves on the dancefloor after dinner meant that every day was very slightly different, although we never felt any pressure to be more or less active than we wanted to be. Island life was done at our own pace and that was just the way we liked it.
If you’re planning a honeymoon in the Maldives, or just a break for a special occasion, my recommendation 1000 times over would be Kuramathi. I just hope one day we can go back!
Categories: Hotel Reviews - Asia