Months. Weeks. Days. I patiently counted until my last working day, the day of my birth and the day we fly to one of the destinations high above almost everyone’s travel list- MALDIVES.
On an instagram post, I have stated that I am really not keen on celebrating big or going on trips for my birthday. Although Chat and I would like to think of our previous trips as our pre or post birthday celebrations, we never really celebrated on the exact day elsewhere than in our humble abode. But when this year’s Eid holiday fell exactly on the day of my birth, I guess it was only fitting that we align it with our annual vacation and fly off somewhere we could de-stress and unwind. It was only a brief stay, but from the moment we stepped outside Velana International Airport, saw the surrounding turquoise water and inhaled the salty air, we seriously felt the stress leaving our bodies completely.
Maldives being a top holiday destination can be pretty intimidating when it comes to affordability, but an extensive research (and also residing in a major hub where ticket prices can be fairly reasonable) did the trick for us. We initially planned to stay in an inhabited island where it can be cheaper as opposed to staying in a luxurious private island – the latter in which Maldives is best known for – and then stay for a day or do a day trip in an uninhabited one. In the end, we ditched the inhabited island idea because of our short stay and thankfully found Meeru Island Resort & Spa – an affordably priced private resort in Meerufenfushi island in the North Malé Atoll. We were whisked away from the airport by a speedboat and took a 55-minute scenic route to the island. We availed of their all-inclusive plus package and stayed in their overwater villa for a night and then later moved to the beach villa where we spent the rest of our trip. They also generously let us stay in one of their garden rooms on our last day while we waited for our late flight back home. While the service provided by Meeru has it’s minor flaws, we still had a grand time and would highly recommend staying on this island. They offer full board and all inclusive packages and they were both equally worth it no matter what you choose. There are also a range of activities both inland and on water, but we unfortunately didn’t have the time to do them all.
While Chat and I are used to doing trips à la Amazing Race, we were more than happy to sit back and relax on this one. We were also joined by one of our favorite couple friends who not just added more zest into our vacation, but also made it one of the most memorable ones (I seriously think we maxed out on our laughs for the year during this trip). 😅
Additional info as per our time of visit (August 2018):
- Meeru Island is divided into two parts – the family and adult-only sides. Both our accommodations were situated on the family side, but we spent most of our time in the adult-only where it was quieter and more serene.
- Buffet meals are catered in two different restaurants and you’ll be assigned depending on where your room is located. If you’re not traveling with kids and was assigned in the family side, you can request beforehand to be transferred to the adult-only restaurant during meal times. Although in the adult-only it was quieter, we thought that there were more variety of food in the family side restaurant – especially, the dessert selection 😝
- We unanimously agreed that the Sunset Cruise is the best activity in the island so don’t miss out on it! It is part of the all-inclusive package and it is scheduled regularly.
- Meeru Island has a dive center and offers free trial dives to guests who sign up early.
- Free snorkeling trips to the island’s house reef is scheduled twice daily. Just make sure you are equipped for currents as it can get real strong.
- There is also an abundance of coral reefs and marine life under the water villas especially on the northern side.
- Maldives is a Muslim country so while it is okay to flaunt your abs and drink alcohol in a private, uninhabited island, please be more respectful of their laws and culture when visiting the inhabited islands.
- Maldives offer a free thirty day visa upon arrival to almost all nationalities provided you possess the necessary requirements (i.e valid passport, return ticket and confirmed accommodations). You can check their website here for more immigration laws.
- Please check out our Maldives video here 👍🏼