Saturday, May 2, 2020

Maldives- The Best Destination For Honeymoon ?


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Hello all future travellers & honeymooners, Maldives . Travel . Journey . Love Travel

Yes, I know exactly your question and Trust! me, it's the best place. Go on reading and you will get to know why Maldives is the best place for vacation and especially for honeymoon. 



Must watch the video at the end of article!

Maldives swooning beauty has always taken my breath due to so many reasons. It has always occupied number one place in my travel bucket list. I always wanted to play in snowy white-sand, turquoise blue water lagoons, palm tree fringed beaches of Maldives. Let me tell you honestly, I was dying to experience Overwater villa with a private pool, and Coco Bodu Hithi resort has always been my first choice for Honeymoon. 
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Coco Bodu Hithi resort is one of the finest and worth going resorts for its beautiful island and exotic overwater villas. Though Maldives has 26 oval shaped atolls and more than 1000 coral islands, where the main business is tourism.

Fortunately the marriage date was in December. And right after marriage we had to reach Bangalore where my husband lives. And the actual trip itinerary starts from Bangalore. We planned for December, which itself was a busy season in Maldives as it is a dry season and Little or no rain occurs at this time and the weather is also awesome in December.

Ideal months or peak season to visit Maldives -

November to April are ideal months to visit Maldives because it will be a dry season and there will be little or no rainfall.

Off-season -May to October
Heavy rainfall and storms may occur this time of the season. Bookings will be comparatively cheaper at this time. So if you are adventurous enough and are looking for a budget trip, you may opt between May to October.
But as we all know honeymoon is not decided by season. And if you got an Overwater villa with a private pool then every season is the best season. Cheers!! 


How did we decide for Maldives ?

Every newlywed couple has a dream of escaping away from everything in the world right after marriage for the romantic honeymoon. And spending quality time with the life partner is on top priority.

Just imagine the beauty - turquoise lagoons, white-sand beaches, well dressed couple, wine bottles, flowers, soothing music, sound of waves and Yeah! you can imagine more and keep on adding to your imagination.
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And now Imagine this- Disgusting balcony, almost broken chairs, dressed up couple, busy road with a lot of sound mashup of street vendors and vehicles, mom screaming from down stairs, kids shooting cricket balls at the window behind you, off course in India and I love it on an ordinary day.


Yeah! you are right, we wanted to go with option one as we both love beaches and natural beauty away from city noise. Decision always goes in favour of the best destination. You won't even hesitate to spend a little extra to have the most memorable time of your life.

Planning to reach a destination is not a big task. If you break it down as list of tasks then it's easier to do:

-Tourist Visa
-Currency
-Flight Tickets
-Medicines
-Snacks 
-Local Transit
-Hotel/Resort
-Photography

Tourist Visa - For Maldives, 30 days visa on arrival is free for the tourists from most of the countries subject to 6 months valid passport ( passport should not expire for at least 6 months from the date of travel)
Three Cheers! for the most beautiful Maldives.


Flight booking - You can book your flight via travel sites like booking.com, makemytrip.com, Easemytrip.com ,Goibibo.com and many more. You can compare flights for the best price from Wego app available on google play store and from their wego website.

Though we booked our flight via goibibo.com based on price & ticket availability. Sometimes few flights are not visible on few websites.
We booked our flight tickets a little late, so we missed flight from Bangalore and we had to take flight from another city called Chennai and then from Chennai to Maldives via Sri Lanka.

And it was Sri Lankan Airlines who took this job from Chennai to lift both of us. 😜 

Flight price breakup for two passengers -

Bangalore to male -
1. Bangalore to Chennai (Spicejet)
Flight price -approx. 5500 to 6000 (for 2 person )
Date & Time 09:55 PM, 19th Dec 2019
Travel journey -1hr 10min
For International flight, Reach airport 2-3 hrs before flight time. So that you can change terminals if required. Check the terminal number carefully for international flights. It takes time at immigration depending on the crowd at that time.

Actual travel time is not more than 2hr 15 mins from Chennai to Maldives. Since we had to change flights at Colombo, we had to lay over in Colombo for almost 3 hrs then we moved to Maldives, Male airport.

2. Chennai - Colombo - Male (Sri Lankan Airlines  connecting flight)
Ticket price -approx. Rs 28000 for 2 people

a. Chennai - Colombo
Date & Time -03:00 AM, 20 Dec 2019 (departure From Chennai)
Travel journey -1hr 20min 

b. Colombo - Male
Date & Time - 07:20 AM, 20 Dec 2019 (Departure from Colombo)
Travel journey - 55 min

We had return flight from Male, Maldives to Thiruvanantpuram, India and then to Bangalore, India.
 Male - Bangalore -

3. Male to Thiruvananthapuram -Bangalore (Spicejet connecting flight)
Ticket Price - 23170 approx. for 2 people

a. Male to Thiruvananthapuram
Date & Time -2:25 PM 24 Dec 2019
Travel Journey - 2 hours
b. Thiruvananthapuram to Bangalore
Date & Time -09:00 P. M, 24 Dec 2019
Travel Journey - 1:30 hours 
       

So, If you are travelling from India then you might get a flight as cheap Rs 30000/- INR (for 2 people) to max Rs-55000/- INR  (for 2 people) for non business class. If going solo then it's half of the amount above.


Tips: Use credit or debit card points to book tickets & Resorts. After all, every penny matters. To get more points, do your shopping through your credit or debit card.


There are direct flight facilities provided by some airlines but we were late in booking so we missed that. But, no worries if you are late and missed booking a direct flight  then you can book connecting flights like we did, if travelling from India. 
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The flight journey to Maldives was in itself an awesome experience. Believe me, you will start feeling the fantasy destination from your flight. Maldives landscape features looks so exotic, heavenly and pristine.The visual appearance of the sea and beaches from above was trippin. 

The blue color sky above and the aqua-blue color sea beneath, white sand, coral reef resorts, greenery at the island was very mesmerising. 

 I felt like I am going to enter in some other heavenly world😀. The island was visible from the sky and looked like beads scattered amidst the ocean.


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Tourist visas are granted for all nationalities on arrival to Maldives. As such, a foreigner travelling to Maldives as a tourist does not require pre-approval for the visa. However, the person must satisfy the basic entry requirements to get immigration clearance upon arrival.

The basic entry requirements are as follows; 

1 A passport or a travel document with at least 6 months validity.
2. A pre-paid hotel booking/accommodation.
3. Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in the Maldives.
4. Confirmed onward/return tickets to home country or to country of residence (not applicable for valid resident permit holders).

Must check on the government website if there is any additional requirement based on your country of residence. 

The maximum number of days granted on arrival would be 30 days, unless agreed by any bilateral means or treaty. This period of stay is not for the visitor to claim, but lies at the discretion of the Maldives Immigration to grant any number of days less than or equal to 30.

Medicines - You must carry few medicines anywhere you travel. Specially for fever, digestion related etc. If you are allergic to certain things then it's always better to keep your medicine with prescription.


Snacks -  If you are foodie then you must carry plenty of snacks and fruits. Local islands have malls and shops but everything is too expensive and your resort may not have any shop. 
You will have good food at the resort as per your package. So, keep chocolates, cookies, salted snacks etc as per your taste.

Local Transit -

In the Maldives, Most of the resorts, villas and hotels check-in time  is 12'O noon or 2 pm. So plan your journey accordingly for the hassle free check-ins. 

Book your flight ticket as per your check-in time. If check-in is at 12 pm in the afternoon then your flight must reach Male airport by 8:30 am to 10 am the same day morning. Immigration & Sea transit takes 2 hrs at-least in total.

You can check-in if you are late, but why to lose booked hours after spending so much.

Transfer from Male Airport To Resort or Local Island

We pre-informed the flight schedule & flight number to the reservation advisor at the resort via email for the smooth transfer arrangements to the resort. You must do it to reconfirm your booking & to reconfirm speedboat transfer arrangements at-least 48 to 72 hrs before you start travelling. 
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Speedboat transfer is expensive but there is no choice for private resort bookings. If your resort is far away then you will have to pay for Seaplanes. So, book a resort as per your budget and distance from male airport. 

If you booked a hotel which is on a local island then you can save a lot of money. You have to book a cab to Male and from male to Maafushi. And from Maafushi, you will get government run ferries at a very cheap rate. Transit is easy and non-tiring.

Speedboat will cost you not less than 100 dollars for a couple up and down included and Seaplanes will cost you around 400-700 dollars up and down included for a couple, depending on the distance of resort or hotel and season. 



Read all booking information carefully. Specially additional taxes, Speedboat or Seaplane transfer charges and food info in your booking package.

Tips: They charge a huge amount of tax on bookings. So read terms & conditions carefully. Sometimes booking amount shows that it's cheaper but taxes are multifold and sometimes it shows all inclusive in booking amount.

Transfer from Resort or Local Island to Male Airport 

Inform the front office of your resort about your check-out date and flight timing. They will plan your schedule and they will arrange the speedboat or seaplane at recommended time. Make sure you collect all your belongings and pay any due bill before you leave the island. 

Tips: There is a difference of 30 mins to 1 hr in time zones of male airport and different islands. Make sure you correct your watch as per local time and reach the airport at-least 2 hrs before your flight timing. 


Speedboat ride -

After clearing immigration at Male airport, we came outside where we found hotel and resort counters for transfer arrangement. Counter serial number with attendants. Don't get scared of people standing for you with boards. 😀

we went to the resort counter number #24. Counter #24 belongs to the coco collections. Their Airport representative came to receive us and other guests of coco collections as soon as we came out of the airport. 

He guided us to the shared transfer. We have booked speedboat transfer to the resort, no other choice. Your mode of transfer depends on distance from the airport - if it's near, resorts will offer speedboats, if the resort is far, they will offer a Seaplane and it will be mandatory.
You can avail ferry if your hotel or resort is on a local island where local people also live. 

You will find Maldives cheaper if you choose local islands. It's always good for a budget and solo trip. You can travel island to island by changing government ferries every half hour. Islands are well connected. 
Also, plan your timing with ferry timing as you may not get ferry service at night.

The staff was very concerned about our safety and gave us a life jacket to wear, helping us to board the boat safely. 
We sat back and enjoyed the amazing beauty of the islands, passing coral reefs, lagoons. Water was so pristine, clear and heavenly. The spray of water splashes along the side of the boat was very exhilarating and photogenic. I took some of the pictures, well you can make Instagram videos if you are on a ferry due to being bigger in size than a speedboat. 
The boat ride was very joyful and took around 45 minutes to reach the private resort island. The variations in sea color along the ride was very exciting.

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The round-trip cost of a speedboat per person was around 220 dollars. The cost may vary and can be cheaper in the off-season.


Hotel/Resort -

We booked our resort through flipkart.com. Flipkart is not much known for travel booking but we did a lot of research and we found that only flipkart.com has overwater villas booking available at Coco Bodu Hithi island resort. And the deal was also perfect. 
Flipkart was the last hope as there were only 2 overwater villas booking left with them. It wasn't available on top booking sites we checked. 

The booking cost for 4 nights was around 2524 dollars equals to  Rs 1,79,423 approx. Inclusive of service charges and GST. The booking cost included breakfast and dinner charges as well.

Please note -rates may vary during off-season.

We received a warm welcome by the staff members with a pleasant smile on their faces, which took away our long journey tiredness. We were led to the reception where we were greeted with welcome drinks and were given full information about the resort & our package and sometimes complimentary upgrades.

You will have to pay for transit from airport to resort or hotel as you reach.
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 They gave us the full map of the coco collection . Even they mailed us mobile concierge- which includes information on multitude of experiences available at coco bodu hithi, like -romantic private dinner, over exhilarating water sports, relaxing Spa treatment etc. You can book it all at the ease of your fingertip through your mobile concierge! You will also find notifications of any special events that may occur.

Tips: While booking, make sure that there is no additional charge for the Gala dinner or festive dinner arrangement . If you want to attend the gala dinner then it's your choice. The dinner for the couple will be around 400 -500 dollars additional to your booking amount including limited liquor. 

Then we were led to our Overwater villa and had our luggage dropped for us. We were well informed about everything about the villa by one of the staff. 

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The Overwater villa with a private Pool! Oh my god! It was exotic and luxurious with full amenities! The most romantic honeymoon destination for anybody in this world.


Breakfast and Dinner - For breakfast & Dinner we had to go to Coco's Air-restaurant all dressed up in a smart casual way. Few resorts follow dress codes at dining halls. They have all sorts of delicious cuisines ,desserts, ice-creams, fruits and what not.

You won't be disappointed with food. If you are a pure vegetarian -No worries! You can get all sorts of cuisines like Indian, Italian, Continental etc. Almost everything changes with the menu.
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Tips: You may avoid booking lunch and you can only book breakfast and dinner in your package. As mostly lunch gets skipped due to heavy breakfast. Your snacks will help if you require extra munching.

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Drinking water is free at the breakfast area but during dinner you have to buy it. You will get 2 -2 bottles complimentary in morning and evening. It was sufficient for both of us. We did not buy any more bottles.

Activities- There were plenty of activities for power babies and water babies like - jet skiing, water skiing, snorkelling, surfing, parasailing, big game fishing etc. 
Besides these paid activities, coco collection use to organise some fun activities like bed making competition, painting competition, Christmas tree decorations etc. Few musical activities, fire activities,  dance  and festival activities etc

Photography -

As I am a photography freak, I wanted to keep Maldives memories forever with me and I decided to hire a photographer to click some pictures of ours. 

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The amazing picturesque landscape, sapphire blue sky, azure sea, sun-kissed snowy white-sand beaches with hammocks, and the amazing Overwater villas in itself were perfect backdrop for those instagramable moments that will leave you in awe!

There were a variety of photography packages. Among them we chose the dollar 60 package. And cheers! We got some of the amazing pics from our trip.

Some points to keep in mind before travelling to the Maldives
-

1. Carry sunscreen along with you while traveling. As Maldives climate is humid and tropical and may cause tanning.

2). Don't carry liquor along with you. It is prohibited in the Maldives as it's an Islamic country . Though you will be served liquor at the private resorts.

3. Don't carry any sort of religious idol.

4. Respect Maldivian custom and culture and do not wear revealing clothes at  local islands.  You can wear them at your resort and private areas.

5. carry flip flops, and a few good shoes if you are newly-wed.
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6. Always keep extra cash of at-least about 200 dollars to meet any unforeseen events which usually don't happen.

7. Do take care of your personal belongings as these private island resorts are not under CCTV surveillance.

I tried to make you familiar with the place, if you are planning to visit Maldives in near future. Hope I have been successful! in doing that.

Tada! Enjoy the video of the trip!!





Have a blissful journey and stay at the resorts in the Maldives.

For any future queries, you can ask me or DM me in Insta. Also subscribe to our blog for future posts on resorts in the Maldives.

Insta handle -Kalarota

Author-Neelam Mishra (LLB & P.G. in Economics)

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