While it feels like it’s been ages (over a year already!) since H and I got married, there was one important wedding event left—we still had to go on our honeymoon! Researching potential honeymoon destinations, we wanted to go somewhere tropical, where we could relax on the beach without the packed vacation itinerary we had in the Azores and Paris. We were willing to go a little further than we usually would, since our honeymoon would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and when we started looking at the Maldives we knew it would be perfect. Our honeymoon was a dream come true: we stayed in a luxurious villa over the water, with a private deck and plunge pool, surrounded by the gorgeous Indian Ocean. It was the most wonderful, romantic trip I’ve ever been on.
Getting to the Maldives
The whole vacation was SO luxurious. We flew Qatar Airways in their legendary business class with the Q-suite, so our seats were like a little private pod. The food was incredible (even the coffee, which is never good on planes) and since we were sitting side-by-side we could recline our seats to make a double bed. I’ve never flown business-class before and I was completely enchanted. We arrived in Doha after the twelve-hour flight to find that our connecting flight had already departed, since our plane had left Dulles late, and we would have to wait 16 hours for the next flight to the Maldives. Exhausted from the flight, we hung around the airport lounge, trying not to think about how we were missing our first day in the Maldives. Eventually, we found a sleep pod (with bunk beds…romantic, right?) to get some rest before our flight that evening.
It was smooth sailing after that, though. We both fell asleep on the flight to Male and when we got to the airport a hotel shuttle whisked us to our seaplane. The pilots were barefoot, which was mind-boggling, and we were the only passengers. I felt like I was in a James Bond movie! After our thrilling seaplane ride, we disembarked at the resort, the Westin Maldives Miriandhoo. Our concierge picked us up in a golf cart and showed us around the island, then we got to see our villa for the first time. It was amazing, with a king-sized bed, a living room with a glass floor to check out the ocean life below, and a gigantic bathroom with a freestanding tub. Best of all, we had a wall of windows looking out on our private porch and plunge pool, with the ocean beyond.
In the Lap of Luxury
Once we were settled into our room, we ordered lunch from room service and ate outside on our deck, so happy to have finally arrived. Sunday afternoon, H napped and I read outside on a lounger, enjoying our incredible view. That evening, we ventured out to the sunset bar to eat dinner as we watched the sun slip into the ocean. When we got back the room was transformed—there were beautiful outdoor lights illuminating the deck and the pool, and the sweet hotel staff had decorated the room and brought us a special dessert for the first night of our honeymoon! We popped a bottle of champagne and sat outside, celebrating our first day of vacation. Our plan was to have some more champagne and share our piece of cake, but before we knew it the jet lag caught up with us and we fell fast asleep.
Monday morning we picked up where we left off—we used our in-room juicer to make freshly squeezed orange juice and had mimosas and cake for breakfast (that’s right, we were in full vacation mode). After our leisurely breakfast, we walked to the main part of the hotel on the island to swim in the big pool, which had a view of the beach, then ordered lunch poolside. That afternoon, we had a couples massage at the spa, which was magical. The treatment room was overwater, so we could hear the calming sound of the waves, and there was a glass floor so we could see fish swimming in the ocean below. Deeply relaxed, we went back to the room for an afternoon nap and then got a late dinner at the main restaurant.
On Tuesday I woke up early and went to the gym for a light workout. The Westin is all about wellness and the hotel had a great workout center (with a view of the ocean, of course), fitness classes, and even a run club. Afterwards, H and I went to the main restaurant for breakfast, which we were then obsessed with—they served the crispiest hash browns, made-to-order omelets, and the gooiest chocolate croissants, plus amazing mimosas and super-strong coffee.
That day we were headed on the castaway adventure, where a speedboat would drop us off on a sandbank to swim and sun all afternoon in total solitude, like getting to spend the afternoon inside that Windows screensaver (you know what I’m talking about). We saw manta rays and a pod of dolphins swimming beside the boat on the way there, and we had a great setup on the sandbank with an umbrella, cushions to lie on, and a cooler full of drinks. Once we got back, we holed up in our room, lounging and swimming in the plunge pool until sundown and then ordering dinner from room service.
Wednesday we had booked a tennis clinic with the pro at the hotel, which H had been looking forward to all week. I’m not nearly as good of a player as he is, but it was a beautiful place to play and I had fun, although I was working so hard to keep up in the tropical heat that by the end of the lesson I was covered in sweat. We went back to our room for a quick outdoor shower, then got breakfast at the main restaurant. Afterwards, we read for a while on the beach in the comfy beanbag chairs that were set up in the shade. The ocean looked so inviting that we decided to break out our snorkel gear (and my super chic rash guard) that afternoon. We were just in the shallow cove between our villa and the main island, but we saw so many colorful fish!
Late that afternoon, we had booked a photo shoot with the hotel photographer (what can I say, the resort knows their target audience). It only took half an hour, but our photographer managed to take pictures of us all over the island. I thought I would only want copies of one or two, but there were so many gorgeous ones, especially the photos of us standing on the infinity wall of the hotel pool. After the shoot, we headed to the sunset bar for dinner. It started raining during dinner, the only time it really rained during our trip, but we were nice and dry tucked under the veranda at the sunset bar.
We had such a good time at the tennis clinic on Wednesday that we decided to go back the next morning. It was even hotter, which I didn’t think was possible, but we enjoyed it and at the end of the lesson we played some points with the resort pro (I did not win very many points, if anyone is asking). We got breakfast afterwards and then settled in for a relaxing day reading on the deck and enjoying our beautiful ocean view. That evening, we had a romantic dinner for two on the beach—our concierge picked us up in a golf cart and drove us to the other side of the island, where they had set up a table surrounded with tiki torches and glowing lights, like we were on a Bachelor one-on-one date! The food was amazing, and a private dinner was the perfect way to celebrate the last night of our honeymoon.
Instead of going to the main restaurant for breakfast on Friday, we had a floating breakfast in the plunge pool. It’s just what it sounds like—room service brought a big tray that would float in the pool and set up breakfast there. It was the best way to spend our last morning in paradise! We took it easy, sipping mimosas, listening to music, and enjoying our delicious breakfast, and we even saw dolphins swimming past our room. Afterwards, we packed our bags and moved to a day use villa, which was on the beach instead of overwater, since our seaplane didn’t leave until late that afternoon. We were sad to say goodbye to the hotel, but the seaplane ride was amazing. The sun was setting over the ocean, turning the clouds orange and pink, and we could see islands, other resorts, and even manta rays swimming below.
It was too early to check in for our flight, so we cooled our heels in the airport lounge, then checked in and waited in another lounge until the flight left around midnight. We got some sleep on the plane, and then when we got to Doha for another 23-hour layover we checked back into our sleep pod (bunk beds and all) and slept for another five hours or so. We made it through the day (I’m sure the people in the lounge in Qatar were like “how long is this couple going to be here”) and then got on our flight back to DC, where I tried to sleep as much as I could and eventually gave up and watched a bunch of movies. Then, finally we were home!
I can’t recommend the Maldives enough—it was so beautiful and the perfect place for our honeymoon! Our hotel was amazing as well—I’m already scheming up ways to go back. What’s your dream honeymoon destination? Would you ever go to the Maldives? Let me know in the comments.