Here’s to honeymoons – ones that can be celebrated every year or every month if you so wish. Here’s to celebrating the exquisite crazies you live with and redefining love and togetherness in whichever way you deem fit – let’s unleash the skinny dips, flower-laden baths, beach-side breakfasts, and the bubbly 🙂
I know what you’re expecting and I don’t blame you. I can’t help swooning over new places when I start penning an article. But I’ll surprise you – I won’t start this one with a reverie about a sun-hazed paradise that is Outrigger Konotta Maldives. Instead, I’ll preface it with a confession!!
Vid and I never really went on a honeymoon. I don’t know whether it’s because we didn’t have a stressful wedding that needed recovering from or our inherently rebellious spirits but we were both resolutely opposed to the idea of a honeymoon, followed by an inevitable return to ‘regular’ life.
But we try and do something special every year on our anniversary – after all, there are few things that are better than celebrating your partner enthusiastically, every single year. So far we’ve spent anniversaries educating ourselves about wine in Parisian suburbs, driving around olive groves in Italy, hiking in the rolling hills of Scotland, and exploring historic Spanish towns. Each holiday has been special but we’ve spent most of those holidays on long drives, reading about historical attractions, and discovering cultural idiosyncrasies. But this year, I decided to surprise Vid with something unique – an impossibly romantic getaway on a tiny island in the midst of the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean.
At the beginning of this year, we decided languor would be our mantra for the year – we would relish every second and try to appreciate the thrumming rhythm of slow life. Keeping this in mind I wanted something well and truly spectacular on this anniversary. And what’s more romantic than being marooned on a tiny private island, positioned strategically between Asia and Africa. A tropical getaway boasting of golden sands with tides lapping at the shore – is there any better way to cut oneself from the daily grind?
Outrigger Konotta Maldives: Resort and Rooms
The journey to Outrigger Konotta Maldives is a long one (1 domestic flight and a boat ride from Male Airport) and the staff seem to be aware of that. That might be why we were greeted with smiling faces enquiring about our journey and a board that read “Welcome to Paradise”. And so it is.
We were fully intent on crawling into our bed on reaching the resort but 5 minutes and a welcome drink later, we couldn’t stop ourselves from exploring the island that is part of the southern Maldivian district of Gaafu Dhaalu. It’s hard to say no to sparkling turquoise waters, lingering waves, sun-kissed beaches, and verdant greenery that make up this tiny island paradise.
We opted for a signature overwater villa – no doubt you’ve seen photos of these villas, surrounded by azure waters, plastered all over Pinterest. Let me tell you something – they’re every bit as dreamy as they look on the internet. Each unit, surrounded by crystal-clear waters, could well be a microcosm of the universe for a couple on a romantic getaway.
The luxurious villas have everything one might need – spacious living rooms, oversized bathtubs, generous wardrobes, coffee machines, king-sized beds, flat-screen televisions, and an inimitable patio, kitted out with an infinity pool, dreamy gazebo, and a distinctive hammock suspended over the Indian Ocean. It’s the perfect sanctuary for a couple, one you needn’t leave for the length of the holiday if you don’t want to. You can order gourmet food and delicious cocktails in the villas and you can even go snorkelling and explore the house reef just under the villas. If you want, you could spend your entire holiday without bumping into another soul, in a world entirely your own.
As for us, we spent countless hours gazing at the variegated shades of blue from the comfort of our infinity pool, reading books amidst billowy white curtains, napping on our hammock, or just relishing the rhythm of mellow waves.
Nights were reserved for stargazing. Outrigger Konotta Maldives is just 30 kms away from the Equator and the remote location ensures the absence of light pollution. No wonder then, the chances of seeing a star-spangled sky and the elusive Milky Way are very high. We didn’t see the Milky Way but here’s what we DID see:
As you can probably tell by the photos, we spent a lot of time cocooned in our li’l private paradise. But we explored the entire island when we finally ventured out of our villa. This isn’t a hard task – it’s possible to walk around the entire island in less than fifteen minutes. The size is what makes this private island resort really special and ensures a relaxed and pristine vibe, wherever you go.
Even the restaurants are carefully ensconced in areas that allow guest to sit back and unwind. Nala Rah, the resort’s teppan grill and sushi bar boasts of stunning ocean-views. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down while sipping on cocktails or sampling artisan sushi and sashimi platters. At Blue Salt, the resort’s multi-cuisine restaurant, there are no rushed buffets (or the queues that inevitably accompany buffets). All meals are served à la carte. We loved the freshly-squeezed juices at breakfast. As for lunch and dinner, there is a variety of delectable dishes on the menu – cold and warm soups, Sri Lankan and Maldivian curries, grilled meats, and a variety of seafood including lobster. Vid loved the pan-fried calamari with chorizo and the chocolate fondant (he ordered it every night, yep EVERY night!!). I couldn’t get enough of the refreshing watermelon gazpacho and their signature tropical fruit platter.
Three course lunches were followed by lazy afternoons at the immaculate white beach and the adjoining spa, perfect for a leisurely detoxifying massage (or 3). Vid loved the sunset cruise offered by the hotel on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat because we had a fiery sunset and a brewing storm. If you are lucky, you can also see dolphins jumping out of the water 🙂 One afternoon we rented snorkelling equipment, explored the house reef, and made friends with brightly-coloured fish. This proximity to nature would have to be my favourite part of our trip to Maldives.
In this part of the world, every luxurious experience is aptly complemented by nature. Sun-hazed days, cerulean skies, sparkling warm waters, and spectacular sunsets are almost guaranteed, making it a no-brainer for a romantic holiday. But leaving it isn’t that easy. A whirlwind of perfect weather, unhurried couple massages, private picnics, and candlelit dinners later, who would want to leave this utopian island paradise?! 🙁
- Curl up on the beach and enjoy a sunrise or sunset
- Go skinny dipping in your private pool because being a little risqué never hurt anyone
- Go for a sunset cruise in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat and watch dolphins jump out of the water
- Have a candle-lit dinner on the beach overlooking the ocean
- Run a bubble-bath, complete with fresh flowers, in the oversized bathtubs
- Go for a spot of early-morning yoga on the beach
- Indulge in a calming, detoxing massage at the Navasana Spa
- Witness Indian Ocean’s spectacular marine life and go snorkelling or diving
- Cocktails in your private pool
- Huddle under star-laden skies for a spot of stargazing
- Getting There: The hotel’s representatives greet guests at Male Airport and take care of the luggage, check-ins, and other logistics. It takes a short flight (1 hour) and a boat ride (25 minutes) from Male Airport to get to Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. Both the flight and the boat ride are arranged by the hotel.
- Outrigger Konotta has lounges for guests at both Male and Kaadedhdhoo airports. Tea, coffee, snacks, and wifi (you know me, I’m always looking for fast wifi 😉 ) are available. The hotel’s representatives escort guests out of the lounge minutes before the plane is about to take-off.
- The island resort has both Maldives’ signature overwater villas and beach villas. We have a soft spot for the former but a couple of guests we met preferred the beach villas for their proximity to the beach.
- Overwater villas have coffee machines, oversized bathtubs and showers, hammocks, sun-loungers, and king-sized beds. The infinity pool, kitted with jet massagers, is our favourite part of the overwater villa.
- We suggest opting for the half board package that includes breakfast and dinner. Pay for drinks as you go along. Opt for the all inclusive package if you intend to drink a fair bit on holiday. Room rates start at $600. Book your stay at Outrigger Konotta Maldives here
- Rooms have sockets for both UK and India chargers.
- There are no ATMs on the island. US Dollars are accepted everywhere. Carry US dollars or a credit/debit card.
- Since traveling between islands is very expensive in Maldives and most hotels offer a range of activities, it’s not possible (or advisable) to have much of an island-hopping itinerary or explore the country in the traditional sense of the word – you just need to choose a hotel of your liking and book a stay there. Enjoy all the activities offered by the hotel and relax 🙂
And before you go, here’s a vlog of our stay at Outrigger Maldives:
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