Monday, October 3, 2022

Magical Maldives

Maldives

When it comes to beach destinations, Maldives has few rivals. Made up of more than 1,000 islands that sit in 26 reef-framed atolls, this Indian Ocean nation’s waters offer infinite shades of blue and green, which slide into patches of white sands and dark corals. There are now over 100 resorts occupying these tiny parcels of paradise — all spread out over 90,000 square kilometers. This means there’s an accommodation to suit every traveler, whether you’re in search of a romantic getaway, a culinary-focused luxury escape or a family surfing adventure in an eco-conscious, sustainable environment. Getting there is half the fun, too, and involves either hopping onto a speed boat for a cruise from the airport or a thrilling ride to a far-flung atoll in a seaplane. Either way, you’ll have plenty of time to sit back and enjoy those famous views that have put Maldives firmly on everyone’s travel wish list.

Made up of around 1200 islands, the Maldives is hands-down one of the most interesting tropical destinations in the world. It first became popular with jet-setting celebrities a few years ago, particularly loved-up couples looking for a romantic getaway to a private tropical island. 
However, with more and more airlines now operating flights to the Maldives it has become more affordable and accessible. It’s also a great destination for families, with many Maldives resorts offering family-friendly accommodation and fun activities for everyone. 
Now, there are over 130 different Maldives resorts to choose from – each offering up their own slice of paradise. So how do you choose where to go and what to do? I’ve put together this article to give you everything you need to know so you can start planning your trip!
How to get there
The Maldives are perfectly positioned in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, nearest to Sri Lanka. The many islands are spread out over a total area of 293km, making the Maldives one of the most geographically dispersed countries in the world. Now that the Maldives is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, many airlines operate flights to the country. 
Direct flights operate from London, Singapore, India, Hong Kong and some parts of the Middle East. But if you’re flying from elsewhere your only option is to divide the journey into two parts. Why not take the opportunity to stop at one of the previously listed destinations and explore a little more? 
Scoot is one of the newest airlines to operate flights to the Maldives and they operate extremely affordable flights from Singapore – this could be a great opportunity to explore Singapore! 
When flying into the Maldives, you will fly to Male International Airport which is actually located on the island of Hulhule. From there you can either travel by boat or seaplane to your chosen Maldives resort. Seaplane rides are an incredible experience, and all part of the Maldives adventure. 
However, they can be quite expensive and some people are shocked to find they may actually cost around the same as your international flights. Also, seaplanes are only allowed to depart during daylight hours so if your flight arrives late at night you may want to stay overnight in Hulhule and depart the next day.   
When to go
Like a lot of tropical destinations, the Maldives only has two seasons – wet and dry. The dry season runs between December and March. This is the high season when resorts will be busier so room rates and flights may be a little more expensive. 
The rainy season or low season runs between June and November. You should expect some rain during these months but it is mostly just light drizzle that passes over pretty quickly. 
Temperatures are still warm during this time so it shouldn’t really affect your vacation too much, plus you can get some great deals on accommodation during this slightly quieter time! 
Culture and customs
It is worth noting that the Maldives is a Muslim country, and there are some customs you should adhere to when visiting. You are not allowed to bring alcohol into the country, so definitely don’t go crazy in duty-free on your way over as contraband will be confiscated and you won’t be getting it back! It is also illegal to bring in any sort of pork products or religious texts. 
If you are visiting one of the local islands then you will need to dress modestly in public. However, this only applies on any of the islands where locals live. On the Maldives resort islands you are free to wear what you like. 
The currency in the Maldives is rufiyaa. If you’re planning on visiting resorts islands, it’s likely that you won’t even need any of this currency as everywhere accepts major credit and debit cards now. However, you may want to take some cash as tipping staff is customary. It’s acceptable to tip in rufiyaa or US dollars. There are currency exchange booths and ATM machines at the airport. 
The luxurious
Apart from the sand and sea, the next thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the Maldives is luxury.
Spacious and luxuriously decorated villas, whether they are situated on top of crystal clear waters, a la “water villa,” or tucked away between palm trees with an inconspicuous opening to a private part of the beach, they all scream one thing: exclusivity.
One such resort that makes you appreciate the finer details of such luxury is Joali.
Located on Raa Atoll to the northwest of Male, Joali never fails to impress from the moment you step off the seaplane.
Oozing with tasteful character, Joali is as luxurious as they come while steering away from over-the-top decor. And the reason is its meticulous attention to detail blended with masterful use of art.
The resort has a total of 73 villas, ranging from a respectable 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) to a whopping 500 square meters. And that’s just the interior space. Since every villa has at least one pool – yes, some of them have two – the total space of some rooms can reach as high as 1,200 square meters.
While one might ask why someone would prefer pools to the pristine waters of the Maldives, there is an inexplicable charm to drifting off as you gaze into the Indian ocean from the infinity pool in your water villa.
The beach villas may lack such views but they more than make up for it with their extravagant amount of space that features your own outdoor spa and lounge area. They are also better suited for those seeking more privacy, and the sea is just a few steps away, hidden behind some bushes.
Upon a closer look at the villas, it is clear that the designers behind the resort, Istanbul-based Autoban and Atölye4n as well as Japan’s Studio Glitt, painstakingly went through every detail imaginable to make the whole resort come together.
But it’s not just architecture and design that shows how much thought went into little details. Every guest will find a little cell phone waiting for them when they first enter their room, which will have just one contact saved: your personal butler, called “Jadugars.”
Hospitality is the key to the Maldives experience for all resorts, not just Joali, and Joali doesn’t disappoint when it comes to it. Headed by General Manager Enver Arslan, the staff at the resort will go above and beyond to make your stay a memorable experience.
While one might ask why someone would prefer pools to the pristine waters of the Maldives, there is an inexplicable charm to drifting off as you gaze into the Indian ocean from the infinity pool in your water villa.
The beach villas may lack such views but they more than make up for it with their extravagant amount of space that features your own outdoor spa and lounge area. They are also better suited for those seeking more privacy, and the sea is just a few steps away, hidden behind some bushes.
Upon a closer look at the villas, it is clear that the designers behind the resort, Istanbul-based Autoban and Atölye4n as well as Japan’s Studio Glitt, painstakingly went through every detail imaginable to make the whole resort come together.
But it’s not just architecture and design that shows how much thought went into little details. Every guest will find a little cell phone waiting for them when they first enter their room, which will have just one contact saved: your personal butler, called “Jadugars.”
Hospitality is the key to the Maldives experience for all resorts, not just Joali, and Joali doesn’t disappoint when it comes to it. Headed by General Manager Enver Arslan, the staff at the resort will go above and beyond to make your stay a memorable experience.

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