Step into the Maldives with Abbi & Ash…
So, the wedding plans are all ticked off that long list and it’s time to start thinking about your honeymoon. Booking our honeymoon was a tough decision, feeling like it’s one of the most important holidays’ you’ll be booking and wanting to make it full of memorable, once in a lifetime experiences, I felt the pressure!
THE MALDIVES IS THE EPITOME OF PARADISE…
The only thing I knew is that we wanted to go long haul and with so many amazing places to choose from in the world, the options were endless and a little overwhelming at times. We delayed our honeymoon for a year, so we could save a few more pennies following the expense of our wedding, so this gave us plenty of time to research.
After visiting various travel websites, stalking resorts on Instagram, asking lots of friends and family, we decided upon the Maldives. Being that typical person who wasn’t sure if they’d ‘get bored’ being on such a small island in the middle of the turquoise, Indian Ocean, how wrong was I?!
The Maldives is the epitome of paradise and I soon realised this within a few minutes of arriving on our first island. Before our stay, I didn’t know much about the Maldives at all and I didn’t realise there were so many islands to choose from, there are 129 in fact! Flying over these small islands in our sea plane is an image that will stay with me forever. It really is true paradise.
WE STARTED OUR HONEYMOON AT FUSHIFARU…
Trying to find a resort that felt right for us was a tough decision when they all look so amazing! After chatting to ‘Visit Maldives’ we confirmed our stay at two resorts. The first being the Fushifaru located in the east part of the Maldives. This special island, home to just 49 villas opened just over a year ago. A 35-minute transfer via sea plane from Male (the main airport in the Maldives) to Fushifaru really is a piece of tropical paradise.
On arrival, we were greeted with the sound of the traditional Maldivian horn, drum players and were given flower garlands. Whisked into the main reception, we were handed cold towels to refresh (which was much needed after the long journey) and their signature welcome drink. Within minutes of arriving we both felt super relaxed.
We were introduced to our host for the week who would cater for all our needs and would be on hand if we had any queries.
STYLISH DECOR WITH A MALDIVIAN TWIST…
Escorted to our beach villa which was literally 8 strides away from the sea, we couldn’t believe that this would be our home for the next few days. There are 3 room categories at Fushifaru which all have outdoor bathrooms, with free standing baths and not 1 but 2 showers! For the first hour, we sat on our decking area looking out at the still, calm sea, a little overwhelmed with how perfect it was.
Even though the Fushifaru Maldives resort is only 1 year old, the giant green palms and island vegetation make it feel like it’s been established for many years. At times I felt like I was walking through a tropical rain forest (without the rain!) which ends with soft white sand at every point.
As this is a new resort, the rooms, restaurants and bar area all have exceptionally stylish décor but with a modern Maldivian twist. We were super excited to explore the island, home to a stunning infinity pool,’Fanihandhi’ which is the relaxed poolside bar and ‘Korakali’ restaurant, offering scrumptious breakfast buffets and international cuisine.
A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE…
Each morning we would stroll around the island at sunrise which took approximately 7 minutes and we would visit the cool #instagramspots which gives this island an edgy, on trend feel. With hanging hammocks, vintage bikes and even an underwater swing, it really is an Instagrammer’s dream!
We spent our days chilling on the white, powder sands, listening to the relaxed vibes at .Fanihandhi bar’ whilst lounging around the infinity pool making our way through the cocktail list. When feeling a little more energetic, we would snorkel around the island looking at all the amazing tropical fish and turtles, explore the ocean on one of their glass bottom kayaks and we even had a little trip to their own private sandbank, where they offer a castaway overnight experience! Another once in a lifetime experience.
WE WERE INSTANTLY RELAXED…
The Heylhi Spa is situated in the heart of the island. Entering the spa, with piped music but still hearing the sea (you can constantly hear the sea on an island this small, it’s so nice) you instantly feel relaxed. Complete with various treatment rooms and plunge pool, I enjoyed a full body coconut soother massage which after a long journey, was a great way to start off the honeymoon relaxation.
The service at Fushifaru is impeccable. All the waiting team remember your favourite tipple, your name and even your favourite bar snack! One evening we dined at their grill restaurant (Raakani) and the chef personally came out to announce each dish in hand. It was exceptional and such a romantic setting. There was various entertainment in the Fanihandhi bar in the evenings, one night we enjoyed a cinema night with popcorn and ice cream!
This resort already has returning guests which is without a doubt due to the amazing setting, laid back atmosphere and service. This intimate resort really does have the right balance of luxury, style and relaxed vibes. Their motto of ‘visiting our home’ and ‘creating your own style’ really does ring true and after a few days, the island feels like home and the staff feel like friends.
We were sad to be saying bye to Fushifaru after a few days. The island had become like home and we waved to all the staff as we boarded the sea plane to begin our next adventure.
WE WERE EXCITED TO EXPLORE ANOTHER PARADISE ISLAND…
Arriving back into Male, we were greeted by a representative from Huvafen Fushi and taken to their exclusive airport lounge to await our transfer to our next paradise island. We boarded our private speed boat and started the 30-minute transfer. Arriving at sunset was the perfect timing to start the next chapter of our honeymoon. As we docked at Huvafen Fushi, we were super excited to explore another perfect paradise island. We were greeted by the resort staff, and our Thukuru (butler) who would look after us for the next few days.
Huvafen Fushi means Dream Island and that it is! This established resort oozes in style and luxury. Our Thukuru escorted us to our room which was just a dream and felt totally luxurious. From bang and Olufsen speakers, to the outdoor bathroom which was huge! Complete with plunge pool, free standing baths, rainfall shower, we had arrived in paradise.
This established resort is in the top 10 resorts to stay in at the Maldives and has a collection of 44 rooms; A mixture of beach bungalows and stilted suites at sea, Huvafen Fushi also has the ‘Play Pen’ (the newest addition to the island) which is the most expensive and luxurious penthouse in the whole of the Maldives. It really is breath-taking!
The resort even has a unique cave (called the Vinum) located 8 meters beneath the heart of the island, which has 6,000 wines across more than 900 labels with rare vintages and hidden gems!
THE ONLY UNDERWATER SPA IN THE WORLD…
On our first evening we experienced one of their themed taster menus on the beach. It’s here that we had our first taste of the cuisine at this resort and we were totally blown away. This relaxed atmosphere, with lit trees, flaming lanterns and sand between our toes added to the romance of this island.
Breakfast in Celsius each morning was a great start to each day. A round building perched above the sea with stunning views. We loved starting off each morning here, excited for the day ahead. With a waited service, we enjoyed choosing from the largest selection of breakfast options I’d ever seen on one menu! We often started with a detox juice, followed by fruit, a selection of cakes, breads and then onto the main. It was a true feast and we enjoyed working our way through this vast menu. I had the best ricotta pancakes and still dream about these today!
The Huvafen Fushi & Pearl, is the resorts stunning Spa. ‘The Pearl’ is the first and ONLY underwater spa in the world! Yes, in the world. On the morning of our couples’ massage, our Thakura escorted us to the spa. Walking down the stilted wooden walkway I was excited to be experiencing this unique, once in a lifetime experience. Greeted with a welcome drink, robes and slippers we were taken down to the treatment rooms underwater. Totally overwhelmed by the aquarium like feel we both felt truly mesmerised as we watched such an array of fish. It was like being on the set of ‘Finding Nemo!’ We enjoyed a relaxing couple’s massage and a refreshing drink after our treatment in this underwater area. It really was a surreal, dream-like experience.
Our days at Huvafen Fushi were spent chilling around the infinity pool, enjoying lunch at Forno which has a rustic, boho vibe to it. They made the most amazing stone baked pizzas, made with the lightest of doughs, which Ash enjoyed daily! Whilst we lounged around the pool, the staff were so attentive, bringing us cool water, refreshing towels, fruit kebabs and even rearranging our umbrellas if needed. Their attention to detail is second to none!
There is plenty to keep you occupied at this resort, with diving trips and escorted snorkelling trips to their house reef. They even have stingrays feeding each day on one part of the island which is such a memorable experience. It was lovely to be up so close to these creatures in their natural environment. The resort also has a couple of Dhoni boats (traditional Maldivian sailboats) which we got to experience one evening. We boarded the stunning wooden boats and enjoyed champagne and canapes as we circled our island and watched the sunset on what had been a perfect day.
THE MALDIVES IS TRULY MAGICAL…
On our last evening, we had cocktails on the stingray beach and then dined at Feeling Koi. This restaurant offers Japanese dining in amazing surroundings; a stilted restaurant out in the ocean. As we walked down the long wooden jetty, we approached Feeling Koi which was lit with pretty lights. Feeling a little apprehensive about Japanese food (as we don’t eat fish or sushi), however, within minutes of our arrival we were assured by the chef that although it’s a Japanese restaurant it is a ‘quirky’ take on this style of cuisine. He talked us through the menu and the food he would be cooking for us shortly. It all sounded amazing, from wagyu beef nachos to truffle salad, ending with a bento box of Japanese desserts. I can honestly say this was the best food we’ve ever tasted and the whole experience was magical. Perched above the sea, the restaurant has open sides and the most luxurious of champagne bars attached. There is something quite magical about the sea at night and with the ocean floor lit, you could sit and watch all of the sea life below. It was the most romantic evening and like being on the set of David Attenborough at the same time!
Huvanfen Fushi is a luxurious, timeless resort which offers impeccable service and cuisine but also has a relaxed rustic, Maldivian vibe. I don’t think we’ll ever experience luxury and this level of service again but that’s what made our stay even more memorable. A perfect ending, to a perfect honeymoon.
ABBI & ASH'S MALDIVES TIPS…
• Don’t spend a fortune on shoes. In fact, I was barefoot the whole time!
• Take a waterproof cover for your phone or camera to capture those amazing underwater moments – the sea life is out of this world!
• Check if they have any special extras for honeymoon couples. Lots of the resorts offer a special private dining experiences, breakfast in bed and some even offer complimentary honeymoon photo shoots.