Call us on 01442 617777 
Call us on 01442 617777 
For the month of June, I was fortunate enough to visit the Maldives for a familiarisation trip. I wanted to share this recent adventure so you can get a small taste of the sheer beauty the Maldives has to offer, hopefully I can inspire you to visit this incredibly breath-taking destinations either at the end of a busy holiday like Sri Lanka or a standalone trip where you can just unwind!  
Read on for more information about travelling, flight times, seaplane and speed boat transfers, things to do/see and the best places to stay! 

How to get to the Maldives 

I departed from Heathrow Airport - Terminal 4, where I would be flying out with Qatar. Terminal 4 is a lovely part of Heathrow airport and everything from check-in to security was extremely smooth. 
I chose a connecting flight with Qatar, stopping over in Doha for approximately 2 hours. You can fly direct and the flight time will be around 10/11 hours. 
The first flight - London / Doha - approximately 7 hours. 
The second flight - Doha / Maldives - approximately 5 hours. 
I highly recommend flying Business Class due to the length of flights, comfortability, great service and very tasty food! However, Qatar Premium Economy seats are also fantastic, very comfortable. 
On arrival to Male airport, you will be greeted by our representatives who will take you to your hotel's desk. Here they will check you in to the hotel and collect your luggage and depending on the hotel and if travelling via seaplane to reach the island, you may need to wait in their seaplane lounge. These lounges are very comfortable with everything you will need, especially after a long flight. When the seaplane is ready they will take you downstairs for boarding. Depending on the resort island, the seaplane ride can be from 25 minutes to 1 hour. If you are travelling to the hotel via speedboat, you will be taken from the hotel desk straight to the jetty to board. These journeys are also between 25 minutes to 1 hour depending on where the hotel is. 

Where to stay in the Maldives 

1. Heritance Aarah 
For my first night I stayed at the Heritance Aarah, a 5* hotel located in the Raa Atoll, a 40 minute scenic seaplane ride from Male. On arrival, you are greeted by the hotel staff on the jetty, where they will perform a welcome dance! Your suitcases will be transfers right to room, so no need to worry about carrying your bags around.  
They use golf buggies on the island, which makes getting around very easy. You will be given a designated 'guardian', a member of staff who will look after you for the duration of your stay, and they will communicate via Whatsapp with you. If you need picking up from your villa to go to a restaurant, or simply need the minibar restocked, they will be available for you at any time!  
There are 6 restaurants at Heritance Aarah to chose from and I personally recommend Ralu for all day Mediterranean dining and then Baani Overwater fine dining, where I had the most incredible 5 course meal. I stayed in a Beach Villa which was absolutely stunning, and had an outdoor shower! You can choose from beach villas and overwater villas, each offering something special and equally designed to a very high standard. 
2. Sun Siyam Olhuveli 
For my second hotel, I stayed at Sun Siyam Olhuveli, a large 4 * resort, just a 45 minute speedboat ride from Male. Again, as with all the resorts in the Maldives, I didn't have to worry about my luggage as it was all taken care of for me. On arrival to the island, I was greeted by the team and a welcome song and a drink. 
This island also uses buggies to get around as it is spread across 3 islands connected by jetties, there is also a bus that runs on a schedule allowing for easy access to every part of the resort. You do get a designated member of staff to look after you here also. They have 6 different restaurants on the island ranging from pizza, Mediterranean to my personal favourite, the Siyam Orchid, a lovely Thai restaurant over the water.  
I stayed in a Grand Water Villa and it was spacious, comfortable, and had direct access into the water. Other accommodation types available at Sun Siyam Olhuveli are Beach Villas, Grand Rooms, Beach Suites, Two Bedroom Residences and Water Villas, each category has an option of a private pool also. 
The Dive Centre at Sun Siyam Olhuveli is fantastic, from here you can see the most amazing sea life, such as sharks, turtles and manta rays! It is also worth doing any of the excursions, especially the Sunset Dolphin Cruise, where you will see pods of dolphins jumping and spinning out of the water.  
3. Constance Moofushi 
This hotel is where I really fell in love. I stayed at the Constance Moofushi for 2 nights and did not want to leave. From Male, it was a 25 minute seaplane ride and I was greeted by the whole team, then taken to the reception area where they took my shoes and gave me a delicious ginger drink. This island is small enough to walk around without needing a buggy which really gave it that 'island feel'. 
Constance Moofushi has 2 restaurants, the Manta - the main buffet, and Alizee - an a la carte restaurant with wine pairing; and 2 bars, the Totem Bar and the Manta Bar where you can find a DJ and on Sunday's they host a Maldivian night, you will most definitely have to get up to dance!  
I went on a 'Snorkelling Extravaganza' boat trip and saw turtles, sharks and many fish. They also have a PADI dive centre where you can arrange boat trips for scuba diving and more. This island felt so remote and to me what the Maldives is all about. It is one of our favourites here at Tailored Journeys. 
4. Soneva Jani 
The last hotel I stayed at was Soneva Jani. Wow! This hotel is incredible and nothing like I've ever stayed at before! Soneva Jani is a 45 minute seaplane journey and a 5 minute speedboat ride over to the island. One the speedboat, you get a cold towel and a bag to put your shoes in as they have a 'no shoes' policy throughout the island. On arrival, you receive a refreshing fresh coconut and a dedicated staff member will take you to your villa.  
I stayed in a 1 bedroom Water Reserve with a slide (which was great fun!). The island has Beach Hideaways, Island Retreats, 2,3,4 bedroom Water Reserves. Each type of villa is incredible spacious, with a kitchen, slide, office space, large vanity room, outdoor bath and shower and of course direct access into the sea. 
Soneva Jani has 7 restaurants - So Wild, The Crab Shack, Overseas, So Local, So Primitive, Director's Cut and Asian Kitchen. My personal recommendations have to be The Crab Shack and Director's Cut where you can dine on sashimi whilst watching a one of your favourite films! 
Relax and unwind at Soneva Soul, one of the best spa's in the Maldives. Meander down walkways that wind their way through the treetops at the Island Spa, where you will come across relaxation areas, consultation rooms, and suites all dedicated to your wellness, offering you the highest quality of whatever therapy you choose. 

Things to Know Before you Travel to the Maldives 

There are a few things I researched before going to the Maldives: 
- Have plenty of sunscreen and a hat. The sun is very strong in the Maldives, even when cloudy you will still get the sun! 
- Plenty of insect spray/repellent. This is a tropical country so there are mosquitoes. 
- They use UK plug sockets, so no need to bring adapters. 
- A lot of the resorts encourage being barefoot, so pack accordingly (I took wedges and didnt use them!). 
- The resorts take card payment at the end of your stay, but they use USD if you would like cash for tips etc. 
Hopefully this has piqued your interest for a trip to the Maldives. Contact us on 01442617777 or to speak to one of our Maldives specialists for more information! 
We look forward to hearing from you! 
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