When my fiancé and I were thinking of our honeymoon the Maldives was at the top of my list. It took a little convincing my now husband but in the end the all-inclusive package we found definitely helped the decision be made. Last January we flew out of Christchurch on the new A350 aircraft that Singapore Airlines uses on the route and after a transit stop in Singapore we arrived in Malé, the capital of the Maldive Islands, 24 hours later.
For those who are travelling from Wellington, I highly recommend flying via Christchurch instead of Auckland. Christchurch is a nice, easy-to-manage airport. It has both international and domestic services in one terminal which means quicker transfer times, and there's a good range of eateries and shops including a quiet area with yoga equipment so you can stretch out before your flight. There is also a premium lounge that you can pay to access if you wish.
Transiting at Changi Airport in Singapore, which is one of the great airports of the world, also provides plenty of things to refresh and entertain you. Among its amazing attractions, we visited the rooftop Sunflower Garden overlooking the runways and the enclosed tropical Butterfly Garden which is home to up to 1,000 butterflies from 40 species.
'The adults-only Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa offers 140 overwater and ocean front villas with tasteful decors that blend harmoniously with the island's green interior and its white powdery beach.'
Our four-hour-and-40-minute onward flight from Singapore arrived in Malé, the capital city of the Maldives, at 10:30pm and we were met by resort staff who showed us to a waiting speedboat for a 25-minute transfer to the Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa in North Malé Atoll which would be our home for the next week. On arrival at the resort we were welcomed by more staff on the jetty and taken to the reception lounge and given a cold towel and refreshing herbal tea.
As we had purchased the Gold all-inclusive package, we were given armbands to wear for the duration of our stay. The package included all meals with the flexibility to choose from five dining options: buffet, which is an international and Asian menu, Thai, Italian, Turkish as well as meals at the casual pool bar. Room service and private beachside dining were also available. The package also offered a choice of beverages including beer, wine, soft drinks, cocktails and speciality coffees. And I mustn't forget details like free Wi-Fi, two pieces of laundry per day and a credit for spa treatments and diving excursions.
Welcome formalities completed, we were taken to our Deluxe Overwater Villa by golf cart and waiting for us in our room was a welcoming bottle of Champagne and chocolates. Our bed was also decorated with leaves and flowers in a heart shape. It wasn’t until the following morning that we got to see the stunning views of our surroundings. The adults-only resort offers 140 overwater and ocean front villas with tasteful decors that blend harmoniously with the island's green interior and its white powdery beach. We found our villa was the perfect romantic retreat. After breakfast, which consisted of a full buffet including an egg station and an Asian food station, we selected our snorkel masks and fins which we had complimentary use of for our stay.
'A turtle quest and snorkelling excursion took us by dhoni, a traditional Maldives sailboat, to a nearby soft coral reef where turtles were feeding.'
Our honeymoon week flew by with activities that included snorkelling off the steps of our overwater villa, a 3.5-hour couples' spa treatment consisting of a relaxing body scrub, body wrap, milk bath, facial and massage, during which we both fell asleep as the relaxation after our long air journey kicked in. We also went on a turtle quest and snorkelling excursion which took us by dhoni, a traditional Maldives sailboat, to a nearby soft coral reef where turtles were feeding. We were lucky enough to view four turtles which was a definite highlight of the stay for me. We also did a parasail off the back of a boat, which is a great way to view the lagoon and the resort from above, and my husband had a catamaran lesson. It isn't as easy as it looks, especially if there isn’t much wind.
On top of everything we did there were plenty of other optional paid excursions such as snorkelling with reef sharks, and a Malé city tour. Other free daily activities at the resort are daily fish feeding, a weekly Manager's Cocktail Party and twice-weekly beach movie nights. Love Actually was one of the films on show.
Whatever your favourite cocktail, the lovely staff at the swim-up pool bar and 360-Degree Bar will make it and will get to know you during your stay. You can also lie in an overwater hammock, watch the amazing sunset and listen to live music. All of this made Centara Ras Fushi Resort a great-value all-inclusive overwater bungalow experience and for us it was the ideal honeymoon spot. Returning to the Maldives is also a definite addition to our bucket list.