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Maldives 2016

Post Card or Real life? 

Price Point:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Flight/Travel:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Accommodation:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Must Go?:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Maldives Overview:
We visited the Maldives at the beginning of December for 12 days.
Airline:Emirates, Economy to Male. Business to JFK. 20 hours travel time traveling from the East Coast.
Accommodations: Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, LUX* South Ari Atoll

Ashley’s View:

Days 1-6: The trip to the Maldives wasn’t bad at all. We flew from JFK to Dubai, and Dubai direct to Male. The flight was fairly empty, which meant full rows to lay across and sleep. Food was great as well as the service. Unfortunately, our layover was cut shorter than supposed to be which caused our luggage to be stuck in Dubai for a day and not make it to Male until 2 days into our stay. Arriving at Male, Sun Siyam had staff awaiting our arrival and took us to a wonderful lounge where we awaited another flight to a neighboring island that has boats depart to get to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi. It’s about another 4 hours of travel. I’d recommend NOT doing this, and spending a little extra on a sea plane. The ocean is rough and makes the ride so uncomfortable, BUT it is a much cheaper alternative.

Arrival at Sun Siyam was so incredible. The people are so excited to meet you and bring you to their island and answer any questions you have. You hop on a golf cart and they handle checking in for you, just hand them your passport and you’re good to go! Our first stay was in a deluxe beach villa with a pool. There’s an outside secluded bathroom with a glass shower as well as an actual outdoor shower, and a Jacuzzi bath. The room is quite large and there’s an infinity pool directly outside your room with a path to a cabana just footsteps from the crystal clear ocean. The bed has a ‘welcome’ message in flowers and water and snacks available. Breakfast is free, and there’s so much to choose from! A bread, bacon, smoothie, yogurt, juice stations, along with much more. Walking around the island is quick, there’s no cars, and if you prefer to be brought around you can call a golf cart to pick you up and bring you to wherever you’d like.

They give you complimentary snorkel gear so you can explore the reef that surrounds the island. We did this daily. There was always something different to see and it took your breath away. If you have any questions of what there is to do, or to make dinner reservations, you’re assigned to a butler who will go above and beyond to help you. Everything is in USD, so no need to money exchange. It is quite expensive. You have to remember, you’re on a very small island in the middle of nowhere so everything needs to be imported.

Our first dinner was our most expensive. It was the buffet and about $100 per person. Not totally worth it when they have 13 other restaurants right on the island of every different type of cuisine. We learned quickly. The shop that’s there is also really pricey. I needed hair conditioner and it was over $40. Kind of silly. The experience itself was priceless.

We ate at Flavours, Iru, Islanders, & the Trio. All were fabulous, and much more reasonably priced. Each has their own type of cuisine. Trio was my favorite. It is right on the sunset side of the island and their dessert was INCREDIBLE. I’m salivating thinking about it again. There’s so much to choose from, you really cannot go wrong with any of the restaurants. Just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time. They have plenty of excursions to choose from. one day we rented jet skis, it wasn’t really worth it because you’re only allowed to do it in the dark blue part of the ocean, which is super deep and quite choppy. Didn’t make it too enjoyable.

Our second half of our stay was in a sunset water villa. We simply called and asked to be upgraded, and they made it happen. You can’t be in the Maldives and not experience a water villa. These things are what dreams are made of. I can’t say enough amazing things about this part of our stay. First, there’s a part of the floor that is covered in glass so you can see right through to the reef below you. In the bathroom, the windows open completely, so you can take a bubble bath while feeling like you’re right in the ocean. Our water villa came with a hot tub, and a ladder straight into the reef to snorkel. Each afternoon and evening we came back to our villa with cute little animals made out of our towels and sweet messages made in flowers and plants. It’s little touches like that which made us feel special.

We were also given a tour of the entire property. They have a water villa called the “Aqua Retreat.” This has 2 master bedrooms, and an infinity pool built right into the villa. It’s pretty amazing and perfect for those looking to get extra fancy. I spent a solid hour there with my jaw dropped.

My favorite part of Sun Siyam is their spa. It’s the biggest spa in all of the Maldives. It’s like a garden oasis. Filled with green, and flowing water, and endless services to choose from. They also have a sauna and cold and hot swimming pools to use free of charge. This is something you need to experience if you stay here. There’s no amount of words I could use to explain how relaxing and one of a kind this spa was. The best one I’ve ever seen, ever!

Days 7-12: Leaving Sun Siyam was sad because of how luxurious and special those people were. It was intimate and made you feel like you were the only ones on that island. Next up was LUX South Atoll. We had to travel back to MALE, and then took a sea plane to the LUX island. The seaplane is an experience all on it’s own. Taking off and landing in water is pretty freaking badass! Again, we were welcomed by an entire staff with big smiles who were eager to get us started on our LUX experience. We received the all inclusive package which only excludes drinks.

The staff is some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered. They provided us an itinerary of things to do each day we were there, which I highly appreciated because having to plan things and stress about that, is not what you want to do on a holiday. We stayed in the romantic water villa, which was SO COOL. Each one has a private infinity pool and a little swing off the back deck. It’s very spacious and bright. It is a bit of a walk, but they offer you bicycles with locks that you can bring to your room and to any part of the island.

The restaurant, Beach Rouge is by far my favorite here, but every restaurant is delicious. They grow most of their herbs and veggies right on the island, so the freshness cannot be beat. They also have their own coffee café, and gelato bar! HEAVENNNNN! There’s so many different flavors to try of every type of cuisine you can think of on this little island. It’s hard to ever get homesick.

There’s also a sand bar when the tide gets low, which you can walk out to. This was really cool to me because here I am in the middle of the Indian ocean sitting on a sand bar soaking in the gorgeousness of my surroundings without anyone around. Just the sound of the ocean. That’s an experience in itself.

Here, you’re also given complimentary snorkel gear and there’s stairs directly into the reef. I’d recommend doing this at high tide because low side, it’s impossible to swim. It’s about 2 feet deep. Granted, you can go to other parts of the island and snorkel and it’s plenty deep. There’s a lot of reef to see as well as sea life. We snorkeled and scuba dived here. There’s whale sharks here year round, but due to it being rainy, we didn’t get to see any. We did see a massive sea turtle, reef sharks, and manta rays, along with eels and many, many fish. I’d recommend doing these excursions because you won’t see things like this anywhere else.

Lux is special for many reasons. They do things that no other place does to make them stand out and make you feel special. They have this gigantic tree called the “Tree of Wishes.” You write a wish on a red ribbon and tie it to the tree and it’s said that by doing that, it should come true. The tree is filled with red and at the end of the year, the staff picks one ribbon, cuts it off, and that person gets a free stay at LUX. They also do this thing called “message in a bottle.” Every morning they hide bottles in the bushes, you find one, and can get anything from a free bottle of wine to a free massage. They’re all over the island, but a little tough to find. Super cute thing to do though.

There were two things that really stood out to me at LUX. My favorite thing was our private sunset catamaran cruise. They brought champagne and little snacks and took us out into the ocean during sunset. It was really sweet and just happened to be where my fiancé proposed. Lux then organized a 3 course dinner under the moon & stars on the beach for us. They didn’t leave one detail out. My second favorite thing was they organized a master chef class for us, where we went into their garden with one of their top chefs and learned how to cook a 3 course meal. They gave us a tour of the entire garden and walked us through the cooking process step by step.

LUX was a really incredible island with lots to do! This is for those who are filled with the need for adventure. The Maldives is a place I believe everyone should visit once in their life. It’s so incredibly special and will give you memories to last a lifetime.

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