MALDIVES MAGIC

Long before I started my career in travel the Maldives was high up on my travel bucket list in terms of must see destinations. I’d seen the quintessential photos of the white sand, clear blue water and palm trees as far as the eye could see and heard stories of this almost fantasy island land in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

After an evening arrival it wasn’t until the next morning when I opened the curtains of my overwater bungalow at the Sheraton Full Moon Resort that I finally got to see it for myself for the first time. The water was clearer and bluer than the pictures and the sand even whiter, my jaw literally dropped for a few moments as I stood there gazing out. The sea plane ride down to the W Retreat & Spa later that day in perfect sunshine provided an even better and more spectacular view of this vast expanse of ocean dotted with atolls and the luxury resorts that inhabit them.

Upon arriving at the W I quickly saw why people referred to this place as a fantasy island, it was truly remarkable in every aspect. A sunset champagne and canapé cruise on the resorts very own private yacht past the resorts very own private island (where couples can stay on their own for a night, fully catered of course) topped off a wonderful day.

The resort also offers a vast array of activities from night snorkelling to sunset yoga on the beach as well as the excellent ‘Away Spa’ where the signature massage is a must.

Every meal at both the Sheraton and W was outstanding with the freshness and quality of the seafood a particular highlight. Caught in the morning and served beautifully that evening, you can’t get much fresher. The quality of the rooms and facilities at both resorts were excellent, in particular the overwater bungalows and suites at the Sheraton and W where at the latter, this writer had the pleasure of spending two nights in the ‘Extreme Wow Ocean Heaven’ suite where even the extravagant name doesn’t do justice to its sheer size, design and quality. The service could not have been better or the staff nicer at both resorts, nothing was too much trouble in keeping with the W’s ‘Whatever/Whenever’ service standard. Sunset cocktails at the Sheraton’s ‘Anchorage Bar’ was another highlight on an otherwise unforgettable trip.

Every meal at both the Sheraton and W was outstanding with the freshness and quality of the seafood a particular highlight. Caught in the morning and served beautifully that evening, you can’t get much fresher. The quality of the rooms and facilities at both resorts were excellent, in particular the overwater bungalows and suites at the Sheraton and W where at the latter, this writer had the pleasure of spending two nights in the ‘Extreme Wow Ocean Heaven’ suite where even the extravagant name doesn’t do justice to its sheer size, design and quality. The service could not have been better or the staff nicer at both resorts, nothing was too much trouble in keeping with the W’s ‘Whatever/Whenever’ service standard. Sunset cocktails at the Sheraton’s ‘Anchorage Bar’ was another highlight on an otherwise unforgettable trip.

So whether you’re after a purely relaxing getaway or one mixed with a bit of paddle boarding here or snorkelling there, great food and a truly remarkable location the Maldives is the place. A must on any travel bucket list.

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