I’d been hearing more and more about the Maldives, these magical islands out in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Seeing photos invited an escape, a reminder that beauty exists in all corners of the earth, and that there are actual real live people from here. Could you imagine? Out of all the times you’ve been asked in life, “Where are you from?” you could’ve answered “The Maldives.” Better luck next time.
There are 1,200 islands in the Maldives, ranging in size and function. A few hundred miles south of India and Sri Lanka, the Maldives is known as the lowest country on the planet with an average ground level elevation of five feet above sea level and a peak elevation of eight feet – the major factor of why it’s a collectively sinking ship. Literally, the Maldives are sinking thanks to global warming. Scientists predict the country will be gone before the end of the century. Go now before this paradise is under water!
Now that we’ve gotten that history lesson out of the way, it’s time for the good stuff. What to do, where to stay, how to party? Like a rockstar, obviously. YOMO, people. You Only Maldives Once (most likely), so make it count. Where to head first? Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, of course. There is no other answer.
After departing the bustling city of Singapore, lounging for a week on a Maldivian beach was mouth-watering. I was especially ready to arrive after the safe landing of MH Flight 177 from Kuala Lumpur. Sound somewhat familiar? I’ll recap that adventure later, but after four hours in the air obsessing over every little ounce of turbulence and sound, I was exhausted.
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa staff whisked us away from the Male airport via speedboat (complete with complimentary wifi!) to arrive at a vibrant garden island with the charm and intimacy of a traditional Maldivian village. A leisurely walk down a sandy, shady lane was all it took to arrive at my bungalow. It’s set up like Pleasantville with staff members driving by in golf carts giving a friendly smile and a wave. Passerbys on foot are meandering to one of three places: dining terraces, pool, beach. Ahhh, island life. Don’t ever let me go.
Bungalow 10 is set up on the shores of the Indian Ocean. With a bathtub the size of my Argentina apartment, two showers, two rooms and a private outdoor patio, I had officially arrived in heaven, a rainy heaven, that is. I had apparently traveled all this way during one of the rainiest months of the year. I couldn’t complain. With the kind of water my eyes were seeing…I’ll take more water where that came from, thank you!
With eight different styles of eateries on the island, you’ll need a good week to discover them all. Don’t you hate that – a vacation in the Maldives for a WEEK?! Ugh. Allow me to present my top three dining experiences on Kuda Huraa: Cafe Huraa serves up some breakfast alright – champion style. I’m talking exotic fruits, homemade granola (gets me every time), eggs any style, honeycomb, any pastry under the sun, etc, etc. Baraabaru takes guests straight to India as they dine on a deck above water and under the stars. Lastly, what’s tropical cuisine without being able to dine in the center of it all? Reef Club allows you to order poolside, which just so happens to be beachside, which just so happens to be Adults Only. Score!
Activities & Excursions
Where to even begin? One of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get to Kuda Huraa, besides it’s geographic location, was that it was packing some water sports. I’m not talking the run-of-the-mill kayak, water polo, maybe a jet ski if you’re lucky. Think jet-packs, seabobs, jetblades shark & turtle safaris, and if you’re feeling extremely lazy – dolphin cruises and whale submarines! These are water sports of the future. Tell me something. Have you ever seabob’ed before? I didn’t think so.
Don’t even get me started on diving in the Maldives. Dazzling coral walls, magnificent caves and brightly colored fish await you when you get down to the reef. Deeper waters manifest manta rays, turtles, sharks and, drumroll please, the whale shark. The best part? The water is so warm divers don’t need a wetsuit. Head to the middle of the Indian Ocean for some fun under the sun ASAP.
Water logged? Try out sunrise or sunset yoga along with a cooking class. Get educated on the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program, a government endorsed initiative that aims to protect, monitor and rehabilitate the turtles of the Maldives!
With so much to do in one of the most romantic places the world can offer, it should come as no surprise that Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa comes in at #1 on my list for exotic honeymoon destinations/resorts – for those who like a little adventure in their lives, needing something more than a beach and a piña colada each day. It also happens to be the #1 question I receive via email (or at least top 5!) “Lesley, where should we go on our honeymoon?” Answer: Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa. And there you have it.
The Island Spa
Oh wow. You know your spa is on another level when it’s on its own island. I embarked on a 2 minute pleasure cruise across the bay via traditional Maldivian boat. Once I arrived, Rose the talented masseuse gave me a massage with a blend of techniques from all over Asia including Thai pressure point, Filipino hilot, and Malaysian urut. I think it probably help that I had the spa music going and the ocean floor as my view. Talk about sensory overload and pure bliss.
How To Get There
A plethora of airlines serve Male, the capital of the Maldives. Even though it’s quite far from everything else around it, plenty of people still manage to set aside the time and money to visit. With over 105 resorts, 25,500 beds and over a million arrivals in 2013, tourism is the most important economic activity here.
After arriving to Male, Four Seasons staff will pick you up for a 30-minute speed boat transfer to the hotel, complete with free wifi!
If you’re flying within the Maldives, Maldivian Airlines serves the 10 domestic airports around the region. Get ready for an old school prop plane! Note: Book a window seat. Aerial views over the Maldivian waters are beyond stunning.
With two land-based resorts, Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru, and the Explorer – a liveaboard dive boat – the Four Seasons has a huge presence in the Maldives. The resort also has a seaplane available to ensure that guests make it to remote dive spots and the best waves. Cowabungaaaa, dude.
Friendly Four Seasons Faces
They did it again. Each time I visit a FS property, the staff goes above and beyond, and at the very least, I’d like to address them by name if they don’t mind. A huge thank you to Waseem, David, Rose, Martin, Goose and all those working behind the scenes for making my stay so memorable. Who knows, maybe I don’t just Maldives Once, and we’ll meet again soon.
The Road Les Traveled was welcomed to this property as a guest, however, my opinions are as always, my own.
Get inspired – see more photos from my time in the Maldives below!