There are places you look forward to visiting in your life. Some are secluded in a mountain town, some are by the beach, some are buzzing 24 hours with City lights and the list goes on. For many travelers Maldives is one such destination with its turquoise blue waters, amazing resorts , good food and everything you need for a perfect relaxing vacation. So when Yesha told me we can plan a quick detour from our visit to India and explore Maldives, I said yes before she could ask the question.
I had seen quite a few pictures of Maldives by my own research, through my friends and family who had been there and Yesha herself had been to Maldives multiple times before so I was really looking forward to heading out there. We had to be creative with respect to our itinerary for Maldives as we were trying to balance it with limited number of days we had in our trip. And as usual, Yesha made it a point to find our perfect getaway vacation.
The Maldives consists of atolls, coral reefs and low-lying coral islands. There are 22 geographical atolls comprising of about 1200 islands which are divided into 20 administrative units. Not all islands are inhabited. In fact only about 200 islands are inhabited. And many of these islands actually contain some of the finest resorts in the world. Since each resort has its own charm and offers unique experiences, we decided to check out two of the resorts during our visit.
To get to Maldives, there are some direct connections from major cities in south east Asia. We took Srilankan Air as that was matching our timelines. Note that the main airport of Male is the main city but all the resorts usually require you to travel via speedboat or take a seaplane/domestic flight operated by Trans Maldivian Air (TMA). Make sure you look up the transit options to & from airport to your hotel to avoid long waiting hours at the airport.
For the first of our hotels, at JA Manafaru we had to take the seaplane, and for the other one in Coco Bodu Hithi a speedboat was required. The Seaplane to our first hotel itself was very scenic as we could see numerous island resorts on the way. JA Manafaru itself is located at almost extreme South end of Maldvies atolls, so the flight was about 80 mins.
Once we got to the island, we were given a warm welcome by hotel staff and they took us around the property in buggy and helped us identify different facilities in the room. Both Yesha and I were super excited about the villa and immediately were able to spot many colorful fishes and coral reef in the ocean. Each of the rooms had its own pool and direct access to the sea so you can get up from your bed and hit the water for a quick swim 🙂
There are plenty of things to do in the resort from sports, spa, water sports to aquatic getaways to a sandbank and one can figure out the details with whatever they are interested in at the property. Some of the things are complimentary such as getting a snorkeling gear and depending on the package you have selected, some meals will be included as well. It is highly recommended that you plan for meals ahead of your arrival working with the property, and same should be done for the transport between airport and hotel property as that can be quite expensive
We had researched different options in the property prior to our arrival and Yesha had planned many things but none better than in room pool breakfast which was quite an amazing experience. It was the perfect thing as we woke up the next day with the most perfect setting for a breakfast. In fact, our chef was kind enough to offer us some Indian delicacies as well.
We had planned other relaxing activities in the villa such as the massage at their spa facility which was another retreat. The entire ambience at the location was perfect for a relaxing body and soul. Our package also included different meals and we made it a point to explore different restaurants at the property. On one such fine evening, we actually found reef sharks right next to us. While I was a bit scared looking at it, Yesha convinced me down as its not dangerous.
JA Manafaru also has some amazing pools along the coast so we made sure we head out here multiple times during our stay. There is a nice little pool bar that serves some really nice drinks so don’t miss out on them while you are here.
After a wonderful stay in JA Manafaru, it was time for us head to our next destination of Coco Bodu Hithi resort in another island in Maldvies. For this we actually first had to take a flight back to main airport and then transfer via the speed boat to our resort.
We got in late at night for this one it was only until the morning till we could see the magical view from our room. This was yet another resort where we had taken the water villa so we had our own pool and access to the sea from our room.
Just like the previous resort , Coco Bodu Hithi resort had a lot of activities for the tourists from spa with a beautiful view to water sports or simply doing snorkeling. There were some great views from the spa & it is advisable to pre-book the same. We decided to do more snorkeling in this resort and were amazed to see such incredible marine life. The weather was on our side for most of the day except when it rained hard on 1 day.
There are various places in the property which are perfect for a date night or a fine evening with some great food and drinks. We decided to check some of these out during our stay and just like the previous hotel, Yesha had already taken the package with meals which made things convenient at the property.
There is also small sandbank along the shores and there are active tours that the hotel operates if you want to plan a getaway trip in the middle of nowhere. 🙂
We stayed in JA Manafaru for 2 Nights & in Coco Bodu Hithi for another 2 nights after which it was time for us to head back home. There is another airport called Hanimaadhoo nearby which operates some short distance direct flights to India and other SE Asian counties in case you want to see connections closer to your hotel. Our flight was from Male Velana Airport so we took the boat to get there and catch our flight. As we head back home, we were taking a lot of memories back with us from the trip with a plan to come back to this magnificent country all over again.