Paradise Found: The Maldives

Early last year when Chris and I were honing in on our travel plans for 2017, we decided to use our upcoming milestone birthdays as a good excuse to select some extra special destinations. We both have a Big Birthday this year (eek!) and decided we would each choose a Big Trip to commemorate our respective days in a super fun way.

For his pick, Chris decided on a place that has held a top spot on our bucket lists for quite some time: the Maldives. No need to twist my arm on that one – I immediately got to work researching and planning!

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For most people, planning a trip to the Maldives mainly involves choosing accommodations, starting with the decision to stay at a hotel, a resort, at a guest house, or on a liveaboard. We tend to stay at vacation rental villas when we head to the islands, but we decided to try resort life in the Maldives since resorts comprise the majority of accommodations in the atolls. And the ease of an all-inclusive just sounded so nice compared to my characteristically intricate travel itineraries.

Chris and I held a very official planning meeting (a.k.a., lounging around in the living room) where we discussed our requirements, and we ended up with the following list: somewhere completely relaxing and quiet with a smaller number of adults-only guests, an over-the-water bungalow, a beautiful house reef for snorkeling, and a good restaurant/bar.

Dream vacation wish list in-hand, I did a good old-fashioned Google search and scoured popular travel forums to come up with our perfect spot in the Maldives.

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The number of resort options in the Maldives was pretty overwhelming, but having a list of requirements definitely helped to narrow things down. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect Maldives destination, too, I recommend making a quick list of must-haves (e.g., budget, family programs, scuba dive center, private pool, etc.) and starting your search from there.

One of our own requirements indeed narrowed the choices down significantly: adults-only. It was important to us to find a utterly tranquil environment for this trip. We initially aimed for resorts that seemed to have a more relaxed vibe based on reviews, but my ideal preference was to find a strictly adults-only resort just to be on the safe side.

At the time of my search, it was a little difficult to find information on exactly which resorts implemented an 18-and-older policy, but Komandoo is one that was mentioned most frequently in travel forum discussions. Lucky enough, Komandoo also fit the bill as a smaller, laid-back resort. After seeing photos of their gorgeous overwater villas and reading rave reviews about their house reef, food, and service we were sold!

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While we typically take advantage of shoulder season for a lot of our trips, we decided to book peak season in the Maldives to give ourselves the best chance for good weather. We finalized our choice back in March of 2016, booked and paid, and began the loooooong countdown.

Fast-forward to February 2017 and we were finally off to our own little slice of paradise. Getting to the island was a bit of work and an adventure in itself. Our route took us from Washington-Dulles to Dubai, then onto Malé and finally Komandoo. We had the pleasure of flying on a double-decker A380 for the first time, and we ended our journey with a stunning seaplane flight from Malé to Komandoo. Landing directly on the water was quite an experience!

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Stepping onto Komandoo’s floating “airport” and being whisked away by boat pointed toward the resort was just the beginning of our wonderful time in paradise…stay tuned for a detailed overview of the resort!

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  • AdrienneMarch 8, 2017 - 3:32 pm

    Oh my, looks like paradise indeed! The Maldives are high on my list – it’s probably not going to happen for us for a few (or five or ten) more years but that doesn’t stop me from looking at photos of all the resorts on TripAdvisor and dreaming about snorkeling there some day. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!
    (And now I’m super curious what the Big Trip you picked out is! ;))

  • SusanMarch 10, 2017 - 12:49 pm

    Adrienne, you will love it! I’m curious to see how the Maldives will compare to Bora Bora for you. As for my own Big Trip pick, I’ll give you a hint – it’s south, and it’s a big must-see destination for most travelers, famous for its ruins. I’m finally going to go see it! 😉

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