It’s a long way to the Maldives, a far flung destination, replete with sapphire-colored seas and perfect paradisiacal islands (nearly 2,000 of them, many with their own resort havens). Peppering the Indian Ocean, this world of yachts, sea planes, unimaginable luxury, over-water bungalows (some with slides that whoosh you from your deck right into the sea), stellar diving and snorkeling, private island resorts and twinkling stars brighter than you’ve seen anywhere else in the world, embodies exactly what you have in mind for your honeymoon. Exotic and quixotic — that’s what you’re after. You want to go to a place so fantastical you can’t even conjure it in your mind. The Maldives embodies that realm of the inconceivable.
Whether you go now or later, you can make that across-the-world trip to the Maldives seem like a shorter jaunt when you break up your trip with a luxurious layover in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Both Emirates and Etihad Airways (among other airlines) offer stellar and easy-to-book stay over packages to the area, so you can explore the largesse of these remote landscapes, havens of sand dunes and camels, splendorous urbanity, world class culture, swish coddling and stunning hotels. Consider letting the One&Only hotel group pamper you at one of two unforgettable hotels. Both the One&Only Royal Mirage and the One&Only The Palm in Dubai offer two-night “Stopover in Style” packages, created to immerse guests in local culture, from cuisine to wellness to adventurous excursions. One&Only Royal Mirage lies amidst 65 acres of garden, lined by a private beach. A feast of options, from nine restaurants to the immense Health & Beauty Institute, it offers such outings as a Sand Dune Safari, complete with falconry. Arrive by boat to One&Only The Palm, situated on an island enclave. With an Aladdin fairy tale vibe, it offers extravagant repose, including three restaurants, a Guerlain Spa, a beach and pools. Hole up in a cabana by the water, then cap the day with a hot air balloon ride over the desert.
Then, off you go to the Maldives. Honeymoon Part Two. Already far flung, secluded and an easy place to social distance (since most resorts occupy individual islands and design the landscape spaciously and with privacy in mind), the Maldives feels safer than most places in the world right now. Hey, it’s even farther away than Dubai. Take the intimacy you seek to the next level at swanky Baros Maldives, a long beloved resort, just a 30-minute boat ride from the airport. A member of Small Luxury Hotels, this adults-only refuge, a wannabe castaway’s dream, spellbinds with glamorous offerings — like thatched roof suites that straddle the gin clear water on poles and a piano bar that floats on a platform surrounded by the sea. Though three stellar restaurants beckon, you’ll likely prefer room service and sexy picnics atop sandbars — organized by your personal attendant. Experience the Maldives famous dhoni boats on a sunset cruise, sail away to seek dolphins, rays and turtles, learn to dive (they have a PADI center) or just wander the island picking hibiscus flowers to make wreaths for your hair. Want a feel good incentive? (And, we don’t mean stretching out with your beloved in the sun.) Baros celebrates the environment with a notable coral regeneration program and sustainable efforts — such as non-biodegradable products. Champions, they were among the first to be certified as an “Eco-Dive Centre” in the island, chain leading the way for reef protection and sustainability education.