WHY THE MALDIVES IS NOT JUST FOR HONEYMOONERS

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Beautiful sunsets, overflowing cocktails, overwater villas and snorkelling with baby sharks – it’s easy to think the Maldives is the perfect destination for your honeymoon. And it is. But after visiting recently, and solo at that, I was very surprised to learn the Maldives is not just for honeymooners. Read on to find out why. FOR FAMILIES I couldn’t help but notice the Maldives is the perfect playing ground for families; my sister and her kids would love to holiday there! There is literally so much to see and do to keep the kids (and the big kids) entertained; snorkelling, cooking classes, swimming, tennis, cocktail hours, massages and beauty treatments, cycling, reef shark tours, kids clubs and more. Somewhere like Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa is perfect.

FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS The Maldives is the perfect destination for solo travellers. There are many resorts to choose from, including resorts for adults only (aka no screaming kids) such as Centara Ras Fushi Resort. This is ideal for switching off and enjoying some down time. On the flip side, if you're more like Muriel from Muriel's Wedding and want to slosh down a few cocktails and make some friends, there is lots happening to keep you busy and in good company; clubs, tours, bars, restaurants - the works.

FOR GROUPS OF BESTIES Holidaying in the Maldives with your group of besties (link to other blog post) is probably the best idea – ever. Because there is so much to see and do, because all meals (and drinks) are included, and because the weather is perfect all year round, your friends will be thanking you for years to come for the best girls (or guys) vaycay in years.

Where to stay? During my trip, I stayed with Centara on two different islands in the Maldives atoll – Grand Island Resort & Spa and Ras Fushi Resort. Both resorts are all inclusive, which means you literally do not have to pull out your wallet the entire time you’re on these islands. Everything is included – food, drinks, and activities. It’s incredible!

Centara Ras Fushi Resort is for adults only, and is located just a short 30 minute boat ride from the main island (and airport) of the Maldives, which is perfect if you don’t want to jump on another light plane to get to your island. Although the disadvantage here is that you don’t feel like you’re in the middle of the ocean because you can still see the main island. For rooms, there are villas located on the beach front and there are overwater villas as well. There are a few restaurants on the island as well, and you need to book in advance as they have been known to book out a day or two in advance. I highly recommend Suan Bua for the best Pad Thai of your life and Al Khaimah for the best Moroccan food you'll ever eat - promise.

Out of the two, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa was my favourite. To get to the island I had to jump on a light plane with Trans Maldivian Airways, which took about 45 minutes. The island was absolutely gorgeous and whilst it was not adults only, there were less rooms and overwater villas so I rarely saw other people when I roamed around the island. The water was as clear as I've ever seen it and it was just a bit more lush - both in the experience and the local flora. If I had to choose, I would come back to this resort in a heartbeat!

Travel Tips? When travelling to the Maldives, you might find yourself stopping through Singapore. If you do have a few hours spare at the airport, you definitely need to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge where you can pay to use their luxury lounge. Such a great idea if you have time to kill! On the flip side,  if you know you will need to rush between flights, pre-organise their Meet and Greet service; you'll be picked up at your gate and whisked off to your next gate on an exclusive golf buggy. It was such a life saver for me because I only had 30 minutes spare between flights and the airport is so big! The Plaza Premium Lounge has locations all around the world, so definitely have a look here to see where you can drop in, have a shower and enjoy their wifi.

On another note - the Maldives truly is a special place and if I could do it again, I would highly recommend getting an overwater villa for it’s privacy, luxury and novelty. They are the most expensive rooms available, but for many, the Maldives is a place you’ll only visit once (or maybe twice if you’re lucky) so you may as well save a little longer and get the best overwater villa you can! Need some convincing? Check out my photos below...and enjoy!

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa: Photo Diary

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Centara Ras Fushi Resort: Photo Diary

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