Paradise in the Maldives
The Maldives is somewhere I have always wanted to visit; with its hundreds of small islands, crystal clear seas and white sandy beaches I always thought it would be my kind of holiday and I definitely wasn't disappointed!
We were lucky enough to travel there with Emirates in Business Class on their amazing new A380 and I can thoroughly recommend it. From start to finish the service was fantastic and standing at the bar sipping a cocktail I almost forgot I was on a plane! Even though we had to change planes in Dubai, it was a very smooth transit and gave us chance to do a quick bit of shopping as the Emirates Terminal has a massive range of shops.
When we arrived at Male airport we were met by a representative from Soneva Fushi and whisked to their lounge in the Seaplane Terminal and after only a short wait were taken on their own seaplane for the short 30 minute journey to the hotel. Travelling by seaplane is a great way to see the Maldives and I captured some amazing photos of the atolls and islands.
We were welcomed by our 'Miss Friday,' Natsumi, who would become indispensable to us throughout our stay; nothing was too much trouble for her. The hotel has a 'No News No Shoes' policy; you take your shoes off when you arrive and don't need to put them on again until you leave, which is true relaxation.
Soneva Fushi Fushi is a large island and most guests get around by bicycle, I haven't been on a bike for nearly 20 years so was a little worried about this but after a wobbly start I quite enjoyed the feeling of going back to my youth!
All the rooms and villas are built using natural woods and materials and have a fantastic open air bathroom. They are all located on the beach and provide the ultimate in privacy, in fact you can go the whole day without seeing another person. In the middle of the island they have their own large vegetable garden where the organic Fresh in The Garden Restaurant is located, suspended above the garden and accessed by a rope bridge. Whilst you are there I would recommend a trip to the observatory which is an amazing experience, the light pollution is virtually nil which makes the stars so clear and bright you can even see the rings of Saturn.
One of our favourite restaurants was Sense By the Beach, with tables located literally at the water's edge, the perfect setting to enjoy delicious food to the sound of the gentle waves.
One of my personal highlights was the weekly cocktail party on the nearby sandbank. We were whisked there by speedboat just before sunset and enjoyed champagne and canapés with the other guests and staff whilst watching the stunning sunset, a fantastic end to a perfect holiday.