Sitting here in my office, it’s hard to believe that all the planning and preparations for our wedding are over, and we’re home from the most magical honeymoon we could ever have wished for. I know everyone who has been married before warns you that it flies in but wow, it really did just go by so quickly. I had lots of private messages about our honeymoon while we were away, so I will fill you in on where we chose, how we booked and our thoughts on the resort too.
Choosing where to honeymoon –
I had always said that if we got married, I would want to travel to somewhere that resembled paradise. You know, white sand, clear water and lots of palm trees. We researched the Maldives, Mauritius and even the likes of Fiji. The Maldives always stood out for us and so we decided to start looking at resorts online. Our biggest worry was that May was the start of what they call the rainy season in the Maldives, so although it would be warm, we weren’t able to guarantee sunshine for our trip. That panicked me of course, as we get enough rain here in Ireland and the last thing I wanted was to be stuck under an umbrella for our honeymoon. After chatting to people who had been before and reading online reviews, it seemed that although there was a high chance of rain, it generally only showered for a few minutes and cleared up quickly. I wont lie, even up until we were on the sea plane to our resort, I was nervous as the iPhone weather app was telling me that everyday had an 80% chance of rain. In the end, it rained twice in our whole time on the island, both for no more than 10 minutes. We were absolutely blessed with the weather for our stay.
Once we decided on the Maldives, I headed on to Booking.com to check out resorts. I use Booking.com for majority of our trips, whether its for holidays abroad or work trips to the UK. I just find it super easy to use and navigate, and I have built up points with them now that I end up getting discounts on hotels if we book through them. Just to be clear, I have never worked with booking.com and none of our holiday was sponsored in any way. We paid for everything ourselves, from flights, transfers, resort etc. We ended up getting a deal with Booking.com for 5 nights at Lily Beach Resort and Spa for roughly €4750 (they charge in US dollars so I just used a currency converter to get the price in euro) This was for a Deluxe Water Villa with private pool and was also all-inclusive for all meals, drinks, alcohol etc. It was more than we would ever spend on a holiday but as it was our honeymoon, we said we would treat ourselves.
Getting there –
Once we decided on our resort, I went on to Emirates website and checkout out our flights. We had to fly from Dublin to Dubai (7 hours), and then from Dubai on to Male (3.5 hours) which is the main island of the Maldives. We booked economy seats for these flights and it cost a total of €1717 for both of us, for the 4 flights. I had never flown with Emirates before this honeymoon. Once arriving in Male, you had to arrange a sea plane to get to your resort as each resort is on its own island. The minute my booking.com reservation went through, the front desk at Lily Beach sent me an email to arrange the sea plane transfer for us which was super easy. All we had to do was give them our flight details and they said they would meet us at the airport. The cost of the seaplane is $405 US dollars per person for the return trip. This can be paid when you arrive at your resort.
Two days before our trip, I received an email from Emirates offering us a Business Class upgrade for the Dubai to Male flight for €340 per person. I decided to surprise Paul and book it as we had never flown Business class before. I can tell you now, it was SO worth it. It was a real treat and pure luxury. The Emirates staff were outstanding and flying both economy and business class with them was an absolute pleasure. I couldn’t fault them on anything. We loved Business class so much that when the upgrade email came in for our return flight, we jumped at it. It was worth every penny in my opinion, especially for a special trip like your honeymoon.
As for the seaplane transfer, I wont lie, I was petrified at the thought of it. I don’t mind flying on large planes but have never had the nerve to fly in a helicopter or seaplane. As it was the only way of getting to the resorts, I had to suck it up and put my big girl pants on! In the end, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. The planes are small, noisy and fly higher than I had expected but our trip was only 25 minutes and when we arrived in paradise, it made it all worth it. They land and let you out on to a jetty floating in the middle of the Indian ocean and then the resort send a boat to pick you up and transfer you and your luggage to the island. The jetty was an odd experience, as it looked like a few palettes stuck together and floating in the middle of the ocean but again, all worth it.
The Resort –
As I mentioned, we booked a Deluxe Water Villa at Lily Beach for 5 nights. When we arrived by boat, we were greeted by the staff playing traditional drums and they had hand towels and fresh fruit smoothies waiting for us which was much needed after the long journey. They brought us straight to the lobby and assigned us a member of staff to go through all of the hotel amenities with us. This is also when they took a copy of our marriage licence which enabled us to avail of a complimentary honeymoon upgrade. This includes Spa vouchers, two meals in restaurants not included in the all inclusive package, and two excursions including sunset cruises, diving lessons, dolphin spotting, glass bottom canoes and more. So if you’re going on honeymoon please be aware to take a copy of your marriage licence with you. Once our room as ready, we were driven by golf buggy to the door of our villa, where our luggage was already in our room. The villa was breath taking – even better than I had imagined. You walk through the door to a glass floor overlooking the bluest water and fish swimming directly below. We had our own private jacuzzi pool, two sun loungers, an outdoor seating area and steps down to the ocean. The villa has one large four poster bed in one room, and then an open plan bathroom with double sinks, another indoor jacuzzi bath, separate shower and toilet. Both the shower and toilet were outdoors which was amazing, but cordoned off for privacy of course. From our terrace, you can see nothing but the indian ocean in front of you. You can’t see any other villas or parts of the hotel which makes it so secluded and romantic. We were in room 317 which we were told when we arrived was much loved as it had views of the sunset each night too.
The food options were amazing. There was the main buffet restaurant called Lily Maa which is where breakfast and lunch were served, along with a different themed dinner buffet each night. As buffets go, the food was impeccable. Such a huge range of fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, sushi and of course dessert (my personal fave!!) You could sit indoor or outdoors at Lily Maa. They also had a live lobster tank for anyone who wanted to choose their own lobster for the chef to cook, but this came at an added cost and was not included in the all inclusive package. Then there were 3 more restaurants at different parts of the island. Aqua bar was down by the water villas and was adults only. It had an outdoor pool area and served lunch and dinner each night, again included in the package. Then there was a large bar called Vibes which as on the opposite end of the island where the kids area was. It had another pool which had a kids area too, live sports on the screens and served lunch and dinner each night.
Our favourite place to eat however, was their Indian/Asian restaurant called Tamarind. With the honeymoon package you got a free 4 course meal here which we availed of. We then decided to book it again for our last night, at a cost of $60pp. The food was some of the best I’ve had in a very long time and the restaurant itself was beautiful and romantic.
In terms of activities, they had something for everyone. Paul booked some private tennis lessons with the resort coach which he loved. We also went snorkelling around our water villa too. All of the equipment is free to avail of from the water sports centre on the resort. They also offer diving, glass bottom canoes, jet skis and even the jet blade experience. They have a full state of the art gym, and offer fitness classes from Zumba to morning Yoga throughout your stay.
If you visit Lily Beach, you cannot pass up the opportunity to try out their spa. Set over the indian ocean, it truly is the most incredible looking spa I have ever visited. It had the glass floor too, and stunning individual water its for each treatment. We decided on a couples massage for our second day. They started with a foot cleansing ritual overlooking the water, and then went inside to a double treatment room for our main massages. When you lay down on the bed, you’re looking down at the aqua water going by for the whole treatment…pure magic. After our massages, they took us back out on to the private terrace where they had prepared a jacuzzi overflowing with bubbles… which we got to enjoy in private for another 30 minutes.
In the evening, we would have dinner and then frequently went and watched the Manta Ray and sharks being fed, something the resort did every night at 9pm. There was live music some of the nights which was so much fun…. I had pains in my legs the next day from dancing so much!!
You wont need any cash for the resort but the local currency they use is US Dollars. We prepaid for most things in our all inclusive package, and then covered any extras we availed of using out bank card at check out.
When it came time to leave, it was safe to say both of us were very sad to be going home. It really was the most magical place and the staff couldn’t have done enough to make our stay as special as possible. I know it is not the most affordable holiday but if you’re looking for somewhere extremely special then I couldn’t recommend the Maldives enough. We already said we want to go back for our
I hope I have covered everything here for you, but if you have any other questions about the trip or need advice on anything, please get in touch with me on Instagram or from my website directly.
I am so sad that it’s over, but also feel so blessed to have experienced such a wonderful part of the world…
Rosie (Quinn) !!!! x