Tranquil escapes, luxurious retreats, and sustainable bliss: our latest trip to the Maldives

A Tranquil Escape to Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Nestled in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives is a true paradise on earth. From the moment I set foot on the powdery white sands and gazed upon the crystal-clear turquoise waters, I knew this would be a stay to remember. The resort’s commitment to sustainable luxury was evident in every aspect, from the eco-friendly overwater villas to the locally sourced, organic cuisine.

Each day began with the gentle lapping of waves against my villa and the warm embrace of the morning sun. Snorkelling in the vibrant coral gardens and encountering majestic sea turtles and colorful marine life was a surreal experience. The attentive and friendly staff ensured that every need was met, allowing me to fully unwind and immerse myself in the tranquility of the surroundings.

Speaking of staff, to fall in line with the Robinson Crusoe theme of the island, once your villa has been allocated, guests are provided with their very own Mr Friday (Crusoe main character in the book) They’ll cater to your every need throughout your stay.

We stayed in the much sought after Villa number 9 which has a prime location in resort and amazing views of the lagoon, and the open air sitting area upon entering the villa, is a sight to be seen.

The culinary journey at Gili Lankanfushi was a delight for the senses, with fresh seafood and international cuisine served in stunning locations, from intimate beachfront dinners to romantic treetop dining. The holistic Meera Spa provided a rejuvenating escape, offering traditional healing therapies in an idyllic setting.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the resort came alive with enchanting candlelit pathways and mesmerizing starlit skies, creating an atmosphere of pure romance. Gili Lankanfushi is more than just a destination; it’s a haven for those seeking unparalleled luxury, natural beauty, and genuine hospitality.

Leaving Gili Lankanfushi was bittersweet, but the memories of this ethereal retreat will forever linger as a reminder of the Maldives’ unparalleled beauty and the serenity found at Gili Lankanfushi.

The resort is just a 20 minute boat ride from the international airport, and the nice surprise was they encourage a barefoot living while you stay with them. This was a great concept, but perhaps not for everyone.

The Island is ideal for Families with older children, couples, Honeymoons and groups of friends and generational travel.

Sheena's Gili Lankanfushi Gallery

Experiencing Paradise: A Luxurious Retreat on Velaa Private Island, Maldives

Velaa Private Island is a haven of tranquillity and luxury. From the moment I arrived, I was captivated by the natural beauty that surrounded me – crystal-clear waters, pristine white sand beaches, and lush tropical greenery stretching as far as the eye could see.

My days began with breathtaking sunrises and leisurely breakfasts overlooking the ocean. The island’s attentive staff made sure that every moment was filled with comfort and relaxation. Whether it was snorkelling in the vibrant coral reefs, indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment in their world class spa and wellness centre, or simply lounging by the infinity pool, there was no shortage of opportunities for blissful serenity.

The culinary experiences were equally enchanting, with a variety of world-class restaurants offering everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine. Each meal was a culinary journey, complemented by the panoramic views of the ocean and the starlit skies. It’s worth mentioning that Velaa is home to the Maldives overly high-rise Restaurant, wine cellar and roof top bar. They also house the only Golf Course in the Maldives. The shining star of the resort has to be their overwater restaurant which pairs as a champagne bar. It’s like something out of a old fashioned movie, and is a must when staying on the island.

We had the pleasure of staying in Villa 52, which was a one-bedroom beach pool villa, and ideally located with a view of the water villas, which are formed in the shape of a turtle. Velaa means Turtle in the local language and there are references everywhere on the island.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the island came alive with enchanting evening entertainment from their in-house DJ, to the piano player and late night band. There is also peaceful ambiance provided the perfect setting for romantic strolls along the beach or simply unwinding under the vast, starry sky.

Vela’s Private Island in the Maldives is a true paradise, where every moment is infused with luxury to the core of the island. My stay was an unforgettable escape into a world of natural beauty and unbridled relaxation, leaving me with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Most suited to couples, families and large groups. They boast some of the largest living quarters in the Maldives and have x 4 four bedroom villa options. Honeymooners would have a blast here too!

Sheena's Velaa Private Island Gallery

Sustainable bliss meet’s Robinson Crusoe

I experienced the epitome of barefoot luxury at Soneva Fushi. Nestled amidst the azure waters and lush greenery, this eco-friendly resort offers a Robinson Crusoe-like experience with a sustainable twist. From the moment I arrived, I was enveloped in the embrace of nature, with powdery white sands tickling my toes and the melodious symphony of the ocean soothing my soul.

They too encourage a barefoot policy (Non restrictive of course) on the island – One of the larger islands in The Maldives, it could take you several days to get around and even if staying a week, you would likely struggle to fit in dining at their 12 different outlets.

The food was to die for an freshly prepared, stand outs were surprisingly their buffet, but far from the ordinary, from live cooking stations to a chocolate room (Yes, I said that) fresh ice creams daily and the freshest seafood. So well done. Down to earth was my favourite. Some of the best pasta I have ever tasted and their chicken tandoori was immense.

We stayed in Crusoe villa 25, which was the size of a house and could easily fit in a family of 4, what made it special was the outdoor bathroom, which is one of the nicest I’ve seen In all my visits to the Maldives.

Soneva Fushi’s commitment to sustainability is truly commendable. Their eco-friendly initiatives, such as waste-to-wealth programs and locally sourced materials, seamlessly integrate with the island’s natural beauty. I relished each moment knowing that my indulgence was in harmony with the environment.

Embracing the spirit of Robinson Crusoe, I explored the island’s untouched landscapes, indulged in world-class dining experiences, and reveled in the simple joy of stargazing. Soneva Fushi is a sanctuary where luxury and sustainability intertwine, leaving an indelible mark on anyone who seeks a truly enchanting escape.

As the island comprises of villas with 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 9 bedrooms, there isn’t really anyone that the island isn’t suitable for. It’s a 5 star from us.

Sheena's Soneva Fushi Gallery

Small island, big surprise finish

Located just 40 min boat ride from Male, Como Cocoa Island is a breathtaking paradise that offers an unparalleled experience. During my recent stay, I was captivated by the resort’s signature scent of local flowers and soothing aromas that instantly transported me to a world of relaxation and luxury. The scent is their signature smell and is all of their hotels around the world.

Just 33 overwater villas, each elegantly designed with traditional Maldivian thatched roofs and luxurious amenities, provided the perfect sanctuary for romance and tranquility. It’s like living in a boat house, with white walls, décor and little port holes, which made for a unique feel.

One of the highlights of Como Cocoa Island is its mesmerizing house reef, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the Maldives. snorkelling amidst the vibrant marine life, including colorful coral formations and exotic fish, was a truly enchanting experience that left me in awe of the natural beauty that surrounded me. Here we saw sharks, stingrays, every kind of fish and were also treated to a sunset fishing trip, which is a must

The resort’s intimate setting, with its 33 water villas, creates an ambiance of seclusion and exclusivity, making it feel like a private island retreat. Ideal for couples and honeymooners. The attentive and discreet service from the staff further enhanced the feeling of being in a secluded haven, allowing us to unwind and Savor every moment.

As I reflect on my time at Como Cocoa Island, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to experience such a paradise. The resort’s unparalleled beauty, combined with its exceptional service and amenities, has left an indelible mark on me, and I am already yearning to return to this idyllic haven. For anyone seeking the ultimate honeymoon escape, Como Cocoa Island is without a doubt a destination that will create memories to last a lifetime.

It’s true what they say, big things do come in small packages, and it was truly the best way to end the trip in paradise.

Sheena's COMO Cocoa Gallery

Contact Sheena for more information:

Founder & Managing Director

Sheena Sumner

Tel: +44 (0) 1332 494 602
Mob: +44 (0) 7367 277 426

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