Saturday, June 22, 2024

Honeymooning at Heritance Aarah, Maldives 💙 | Naomi D’Souza

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Ever since my sister and I visited the Maldives in 2017, I knew I wanted to go back there again with the love of my life. There’s so much to add in this article but I don’t want it to be a storybook, thus, I’ve divided it into a summary, traveling in this pandemic, weather, and costs.

After a cancelled wedding, a cancelled bachelorette trip, battling COVID, and all the general shittiness of 2020/2021, this was one dream that finally came true – Honeymooning in the Maldives with my husband 💕

5th May 2021, Jake and I went to Maldives together. The peace that I felt after landing here, just watching that crystal clear water, it’s indescribable… We stayed at the MAGNIFICENT (HUGE understatement!!) Heritance Aarah ❤️ Seriously you guys, this might be one of the best hotels we’ve EVER stayed in. Imagine waking up to the soothing serenade of the ocean above crystal clear pure turquoise waters… We booked the ocean suite – which apart from including a private plunge pool, a jacuzzi, a sun deck and an oversized day bed – also came with OUR VERY OWN BUTLER (everyone gets one!) 😩

Heritance Aarah, and all other islands in Maldives are mask-free zones. Safety protocols are followed everywhere, and in order to enter Malé airport AND the resort you have to present a negative PCR test.

The best part about this hotel is, that it’s all-inclusive, which meant everything was included apart from a few extras like shisha, some water activities, and catch-of-the-days. So we went to a different restaurant for every meal, because we wanted to experience EVERYTHING, obviously 🤪 Prashant, our butler, was literally a WhatsApp away, if we needed ANYTHING (even to just come and click our pictures), he would be right there.

Although everything was pretty much a highlight, I’ve managed to select my ABSOLUTE Top 3 favourite moments from here to talk about, so that you guys wouldn’t have to read 55 billion paragraphs 😂 Enjoy!

1. Our Floating Breakfast

Just in case the image didn’t do justice in conveying how absolutely magical this was, I’ll describe it to you 😂 Our personal butler set up a literal floating breakfast for us in our private pool, which overlooked the stunning Maldives waters 🥺 The tray had everything you’d want in a breakfast – from eggs, waffles and sausages to fresh juice, coffee and even champagne 😩 These guys legit think of everything!

2. Snorkelling

Snorkelling is honestly such a serene experience 🤿 If it’s something you can do, I highly recommend you try it at least once! There’s something about being surrounded by clear blue waters, gorgeous fish and beautiful corals that just transports you. I’ve never known calm like this before. P.S. If that wasn’t exciting enough, they take you to the point by jet skis (if you opt for it)! 🚤

3.  Finding Dolphins

The whole thing trip took around 3 hours, and we were boiling under the sun throughout, but being able to see the beautiful dolphins just swimming all around you freely is an incredible experience. Worth every second 🐬💙

Traveling to the Maldives During the Pandemic

All tips and pointers mentioned below are scheduled to change by law, so please do your research too.

  • Avoid booking or researching on Island hopping. We wanted to do that too but laws change on a weekly basis if not daily. I know of people who’ve been stranded in islands just because the law changed the previous night.
  • If you have all the necessary documents (i.e. negative PCR report, hotel confirmation receipt, seaplane or speed boat departure from airport to resort, and IMUGA Bar Code) your airport experience will be swift.
  • Jake & I are Indian passport holders and residents of the UAE. We got our Maldives visa on arrival.
  • We booked through Emirates, so if we had any issues, they would get resolved seamlessly through their contact center. E.g. Jake and I got COVID the first time we planned the honeymoon, we simply had to call Emirates and got our refund in 1-2 months.
  • Maldivian currency is Rufiyya, but all resorts and the airport accept dollars.
  • Initially, it was mentioned on the Emirates and Maldives website that we don’t need to present a negative PCR test if we’re vaccinated. Everything changed one night before when Visit Maldives issued a circular that we do need one. We rushed to get our test done.
  • We visited Kings College Clinic in Jumeirah as I’ve heard they give the results the quickest. We got ours in less than 12h. Ensure you ask them to email you the report as well for the airport.
  • The flight as per my observation was kinda at full occupancy with social distancing protocols met. We had an entire row to ourselves so sleeping was perfect!
  • It’s 3.5-4h from Dubai to the Maldives with no stopovers.
  • I’ve heard the farther the resort from the Malé Airport the clearer the water is. Keep that in mind when you book a hotel. If it’s closer to the airport you will be taken by speed boat, if it’s farther, it would be a seaplane. Heritance Aarah was about 50 mins by seaplane from the airport.

Weather

  • It’s recommended to go to the Maldives between October to April, for pleasant weather.
  • Needless to say, before travels, we ALL look at the weather. Jake and I were wee bit disappointed since we couldn’t go in April, but at least we chose the first week of May. As per our weather app, every single day in the Maldives would have rain and thunderstorms. We still booked our tickets HOPING it wouldn’t be as bad. When we reached, Prashant told us the Maldives is a tropical country. More or less, every Island has different weather. Although there were indeed heavy thunderstorms and rain in other islands, we just got a slight drizzle one of the days. We were SO glad!!!
  • You will never really know which island gets what weather, it’s best to call and check your resort I guess. But having rain every single day will ruin your experience since you will barely be able to walk on the bridges above the ocean, be able to dine outside, or go to the beach, do water activities freely, or get good pictures! So just be careful since it’s a LOT of money.
@naomi.dsouza

If only it was this easy 💙🌴 goodbye #maldives 😞 #honeymoon #fyp #maldivestiktok #jumpcuts

♬ Vacation – Dirty Heads

Cost

  • We wanted to go to the Maldives from May 6 to May 10. A one-day change from May 5 to May 9 saved us AED3000, due to the Eid break. We paid around ~AED6000 in total for Jake & I.
  • The room rates differ from room to room. It starts from $600 per night, all the way to even $10,000. The most affordable room at any Maldivian resort is the Beach Villa since it only has access to the beach. The one couples opt for the most is an Ocean Suite / Ocean Villa, since you have a private pool, and access to the ocean, right from the stairway of your villa. Those can cost roughly $1000 per night. We were staying at an Ocean Suite, click here to see the rates of other rooms at Heritance Aarah. It may be expensive but remember, this is an all-inclusive hotel (alcohol + food)! When I went with Jade last time, F&B was all on top.
  • Floating breakfast is ~$150 per couple. Snorkeling was free of cost because we paid $300 (per couple) for the jet-skiing. Click here for water sports rates, and here for spa rates.
  • We bought a memento (a magnet) from the Maldives airport for AED15. We were super hungry during our departure to Dubai from Maldives. Our Burger King bill (2 burgers & fries) was AED150.
  • Jake and I had to take 3 COVID tests in a week. AED150 each in Dubai, and $150 in Maldives. The third test at the Dubai airport once we landed was free. Although we had a negative test already from the Maldives, we still had to get a test done in Dubai. And… yes, we HAD to take the test in Maldives else we wouldn’t be able to depart.
@naomi.dsouza

hubby asked me to take him to Maldives 😜🌴💙 #maldivestiktok #honeymoon #fyp #tiktoktravel

♬ original sound – katerina & yinon


I hope I answered all your Maldives questions here. If you want to see our memories in live, visit my Instagram highlights.



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