Maldives may be the ultimate honeymoon bucket list destination but it’s also fast becoming a veritable babymoon hotspot.
Maldives may be the ultimate honeymoon bucket list destination (especially for Egyptians who require no visas to access the paradise isles) but it’s also fast becoming a veritable babymoon hotspot. The idyllic Indian Ocean getaway is perfect for when you’re on the precipice of having your entire life turned upside down by a small human.
SceneTraveller teamed up with leading Egyptian travel company Travista and the Anantara Veli Maldives Resort to dispatch Gabriela Asquith - the mum-to-be founder of online travel guide purveyors ‘Story Unheard’- off to the Maldives to find out what all the fuss is about. Clearly it was a big ask, but someone had to do it…
I’m always one for uncovering every nook and cranny on holiday, no stone unturned you could say, but this was no regular trip. This was a babymoon. Our first babymoon. And the allure of avidly exploring a hot Mediterranean city was slowly diminishing. So, as you can imagine, when the opportunity of sitting on a beach in the Maldives presented itself, we leapt at it.
A holiday without fomo. How refreshing, I thought! Because let’s be honest, unless you have a bottomless pocket of casheesh, there’s nothing really to do in the Maldives except to swim, sunbathe and read, right?! Especially, if you’re a big bouncing soon-to-be-mamma. Oh, how wrong I was. For the three full days we were there I had fomo every day. I wanted to see and experience everything. And for my poor husband who had geared himself up for a promised long weekend of doing absolutely nothing other than just ‘sitting and being’, we began singing a very different tune within minutes of arriving at the resort. Graciously, he soon started singing mine.
The first thing all babymooners should know is that it was actually a breeze travelling to the Maldives from Cairo. Travista (https://travistaegypt.com) could not have made it easier with booking our flights and making sure we got the king of all rooms, the Deluxe Over Water Pool Bungalow. Travista had also coordinated our meet and greet with the resort so that the minute we walked out into the arrivals hall a representative was there to take us and our bags to a little waiting room where we checked-in with a much-needed coffee before being led off to the nearby harbour outside the airport (about a 3-minute walk, if that) where a smart speed boat was waiting to carry us over to our new home in the Maldives.
We rocked up to Anantara Veli to a very warm welcome of beating drums and singing. Now I know everyone says the Maldives is aaaamazing, but oh my gosh, I really didn’t quite anticipate just how paradisiacal it really is. It’s absolutely breathtaking and one of those places that look even better in reality. The resort we were staying at is adult-only, however its sister property, Anantara Dhigu which is just a five-minute boat ride away, is family-friendly for babymooners with kids. When it comes to lavishness and serenity, Veli definitely takes the cake, however Dhigu hands down has the most beautiful beaches as well as cute hammocks and swings out in the middle of the lagoon. Most of the water sports and excursions are also organised from Dhigu.
Despite visiting during their wettest season, we were blessed with blissful days of sunshine. We spent the next three halcyon days snorkelling and wading through waist-deep kingfisher blue water, strolling hand-in-hand along white powdery beaches, refreshing dips in our private plunge pool, catching up on reading from our gorgeous balcony with sweeping ocean views and direct access into the sparkling lagoon, and kayaking to Picnic Island, where you can snorkel and have a cocktail at its little bar shack. On our last day we asked our villa host service (aka a butler you share with a few other bungalows) to book us in for snorkelling with nurse sharks. ‘But you’re pregnant?!’ you may ask, but fear not, these sharks are perfectly harmless. If we had another day there we would have gone snorkelling with either whale sharks, manta rays or turtles.
After sundowners at our bungalow we would saunter over for lip-smacking Thai at the overwater restaurant Baan Huraa (it was that good we had to go there twice!) or the insanely delicious Japanese at Origami. Everyone was incredibly accommodating and thoughtful. Needless to say it was the babymoon of dreams.