There is no place I have been where romance transcends your every moment the way that it does in the Maldives. All that I could see from the shoreline of our private island was the horizon, just beyond the bluest of oceans. A sense of isolation that I had never felt before.
The Republic of Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean and encompasses a group of about 1,200 islands. Traveling there from the United States is no joke - especially from the West Coast. Once we arrived in Male (the capital of the Maldives), my husband and I journeyed by seaplane to our resort. These seaplanes act as taxi’s and can make up to several stops dropping off guests at various resorts (or islands). With a layover in Istanbul, Turkey, it took us about 28 hours to get from San Francisco to our resort villa.
When you travel to the Maldives, there is a good chance that you will spend the vast majority of your time, if not all, at a single resort. This is due to the geography of the country. Many of the resorts are situated on their own private islands. That was the case with ours. We spent our time at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
When Cameron and I finally stepped foot off of the seaplane and onto the dock, we were instantly rejuvenated. It was as if we just woke up from the best nap of our lives (even though we hadn’t). There was a host waiting for us to help us with our check-in process. The service was outstanding. It was as if Cameron and I were royalty. I don’t believe we ever had to ask for anything once because everything was offered to us before we could even ask. The resort staff was unbelievably accommodating, making us feel as if we were at home even though home was about 10,000 miles away.
Our resort was actually spread across two islands that were connected by a single bridge. As soon as we were done with the check-in process, one of the staff members offered to take us on a quick tour of the two islands by buggy. After our tour, we were taken to our private villa. The room was absolutely incredible. It was more like an oasis. Every villa on the island either has direct access to a private beach, or is situated directly above the water. Because of our Hilton status, we were placed in a Deluxe Beach Villa which had its own private jacuzzi and back patio with a path leading to the private beach.
Dining at the resort was practically our only option for consuming food. But, with 8 restaurants spread across two private islands, for only 152 guest rooms, finding incredible food was never an issue. While all of our dining experiences on the island were outstanding, there was one experience that topped the rest.
Ithaa, the world's first undersea restaurant, rests 16 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by curved glass panels for an unforgettable dining experience. Sadly enough, Ithaa only has 10 years remaining on it’s estimated 20-year lifespan. Guests are asked to remove their shoes before entering the spiral staircase that takes them down to the dining area. We lunched on reef fish, lamb shanks and other exotic flavors. Chefs from across the globe are flown in to put their mark on Ithaa’s menu.
Many researchers estimate that the Maldives won’t be around forever and will be swallowed by the rising waters in our oceans. Some have predicted that Maldives could only be around for another 100 years.It is sad to think that this exotic paradise could turn into the next Atlantis.