Chasing summer in the Maldives

When the winter months settle in South Africa, the #chasingsummer hashtag starts to trend as people seek out warmer weather elsewhere. In search of Instagrammable locations and photo opportunities, there is no better location than the Maldives. Villas surrounded by blue ocean waters and amazing marine life make it a vacation paradise.

A trip to the Republic of the Maldives is the Vitamins Sea fix you need. Whether you’re staying in a water or beach villa, you’ll always be surrounded by the Indian Ocean. The Maldives has more than 132 resorts for you to choose from.

From family and young couples on honeymoon, to groups of single friends looking to have a good time, the Maldives has an island for every kind of stay. Head to our @mailandguardian_friday page for more — we’ve got reels on reels of content. 

Top five resorts to stay at.

  1. Kuramathi Island – West of the capital city Male, the award-winning island is located 56 kilometres from Male International Airport. The island is one of the largest of six islands with 11 different accommodation styles ranging in price and amenities. This family preferred island has Maldivian-style beach villas, luxury honeymoon pool villas and newly added modern over-water villas with a kingsize bed and glass doors for a constant view of the ocean. Highlight of the villas is the bathroom — equipped with a rainfall shower and a comfortable-sized standalone bath facing the ocean — the overwater villas also have easy access to the ocean with steps leading from the deck. There is an on-site ecology centre with resident marine life. This resort has a spa on site with a watersport centre, gym and tennis court.
  1. Oblu Xperience Ailafushi – Another family resort which has officially opened this June, is translated from the Maldivian local language of Dhivehi, “Aila” which means family. The island is a 15-minute speedboat ride from Male International Airport. The four-star resort consists of 268 villas. Some have a separate room for kids to sleep in on double-bunk beds and of course an ocean view from each villa. The resort includes a Dome, a futuristic 15-metre entertainment centre.
  1. Oblu Select Lobigili – This five-star adults-only resort is located a sea boat ride away from Male’ airport. This resort features 68 beach and water villas and caters for all lovers’ needs by introducing intimate nooks for couples, as well as a book corner with a hammock swing bar and a large Infinity pool. With the resort only having opened this March, it has a reef with diverse marine life for sensational snorkelling.
  1. Oblu Select Sangeli – Couples can enjoy a red circular bathtub under mirrored retracting skylights.  The island is a 50-minute speedboat ride from the airport. Newlyweds can book the exotic honeymoon water suites with a private pool and scenic ocean views. The resort has some of the largest entry-level beach family suites in the Maldives. Some unique features include standalone beach and water villas, with and without private pools.
  1. The Standard – located on Huruvalhi island,a bucket list seaplane ride away from Male. This resort is the hype of the Maldives for friend groups and singles looking to have a fun-filled experience. With unique features like a glittering disco ball that hangs above the bathtub in every villa bedroom — and a glass panel in overwater villas with trendy colours to set the fun mood all around the resort — you’re bound to feel the party vibe. All villas include a private pool.  

All islands have a kid’s club where parents can freely leave their kids who will be entertained with activities and swim in their own monitored pool.

The Maldives is made for adventure and water sports activities.

Top five water activities 

  1. Snorkelling – One of the best ways to get up close and personal with marine life. It’s as if you are part of a giant aquarium while swimming with schools of colourful fish such as starfish and the  famous manta ray, and if you’re lucky a whale shark, nurse sharks, turtles and dolphins. Most resorts will rent out snorkelling gear free of charge for the duration of your stay. 
  1. Glass Bottom boat ride – A boat with  a transparent bottom which gives a clear view of the ocean life to spot different kinds of fish. This boat ride can accommodate up to 15 people and the ride lasts 30 minutes to an hour. 
  1. Kayaking – It’s the most popular of the different watersports. One paddles a small boat, which is known as a kayak, using a double-bladed oar. Resorts provide kayaking equipment for the duration of your stay. 
  1. Stand-up paddle-boarding – This allows you to experience both land and sea while looking down through the clean ocean aquarium below. With the clear Indian Ocean you get to see the coral and fish below. Resorts also provide the equipment to stand-up paddle board for the duration of your stay. 
  1. Waterslide – At high tide both adults and children can enjoy the waterslide into the lagoon or into communal pools free of charge. Waterslide users are encouraged to wear a life jacket if they are not confident swimmers. There is ladder access to the slide to go up for repeat slides.

Top five restaurants to eat 

  1. Guduguda – It offers authentic an Maldivian food experience in traditional style. Guests are served while seated on cushions on the floor, with seating available indoors and outdoors on a patio overlooking the ocean. The food menu includes seafood, curries, regional fruit and vegetables, spiced rice and homemade bread. 
  1. Joos Cafe’ – It’s an all-day spot for smoothies, coffee and pastries. While eating at this cafe you can enjoy breakfast dishes and light lunch meals out by the pool or in the lounge area while reading a book. 
  1. Battuta Signature restaurant – It serves a mix of Middle Eastern and Asian  food. 
  1. Faru Grilled restaurant – It’s known for its grilled meat and selection of fresh seafood. This restaurant allows guests to experience its continental cuisine while sitting on beach sand and surrounded by an ocean view.
  1. The Palm restaurant – Offers an eclectic collection of sensational culinary delights from Mediterranean shores. This restaurant serves a range of island-grown salads, pasta, traditional Italian pizza and homemade ice-cream for dessert.

The Maldives has many different ways for guests to relax and soak in the ocean breeze. Whether it’s taking a walk on the beach or spending time at the spa, the Maldives has an ocean view to accompany each relaxation activity.

Top five ways to relax 

  1. Bottomless cocktails while relaxing on a hammock or a swing bed on the beach or in the communal Infinity pools at the resorts, will make you feel like you’re finally on holiday.
  1. Spa – At each resort guests can get a massage or manicure and pedicure, while experiencing scenic ocean views.
  1. Taking a walk on the beach –  Capture the beautiful sunset and sunrise the Maldives has to offer is one of the iconic things to do on the islands 
  1. Yoga – Takes place on the beach while giving one the opportunity to experience the rising sun’s rays on one’s skin while meditating.
  1. Floating breakfast – Each villa has its own private pool which allows guests to enjoy a floating breakfast while sipping champagne.

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