It’s true. The colour of our blood may lean towards a rich Wego green but travel runs through our veins and is pumped by a heart that quickens at the very thought of a sneaky getaway or new adventure. When our Chief Commercial Officer and Wego co-founder Craig Hewett took off with his wife and beautiful baby son to the Maldives, he was more than happy to share his experience with us all. Here is his account of an amazing destination just a few hours flight from Singapore.
The beauty of living in Singapore is the amazing array of quick getaways on your doorstep and while I’m always tempted to return to destinations I’ve previously enjoyed, the lure of the unknown (even with an eight month old baby), is difficult to resist.
I recently took my family to the Maldives and, as this was our first visit, wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was conscious that as a country of collective islands if you select a resort that’s less than pleasing you could well find yourself stuck with a rather depressing holiday. Luckily for us we made the right choice.
We found heaven just a little over four hours flight from Singapore at the Anantara Dighu Resort & Spa. After landing at the capital Male we were very happy to discover that our speedboat connection to our slice of heaven was conveniently just on the other side of the airport’s exit doors. It meant no taxis, no connecting flights, just a very pleasant thirty minute ride across the water, and when you’re travelling with an eight month old, you thank heaven’s for small mercies!
The real beauty of Anantara, apart from the incredibly transparent ocean that surrounds it, is the choices on offer. The resort is spread over three islands connected by a quick boat transfer, so there’s a lot of options for dining and other activities. You almost feel like you’ve received a bonus with your holiday being able to move around so freely and to suit your moods.
We decided to spend the first two nights in one of the stunning over the water villas which sit above that magically-hued turquoise blue sea which just buzzes with an abundance of sea life. While taking in the wonder of the water around our villa on my first morning I watched a shark idly swim by. You don’t often witness that with your morning cup of tea. It’s incredibly surreal to feel so close to the ocean, you feel an overwhelming sensation that you are part of it.
For our final two nights we decided to go all out and spoil ourselves with a stay at the Naladhu Resort, which is the flashest and most premium of the three islands that make up Anantara. This was the definite jewel in the crown, the perfect cherry on top and the highlight of our visit. The Ocean Pool Villa is stunning. The interior design had touches of exotic Indian elements framed by Hamptons-like whitewashed wooden ceilings, opening onto a private pool which our son lived in for most of the day.
We enjoyed the meal options throughout the resorts but our highlight was an evening at Baan Huraa Thai Restaurant at Anantara Veli Resort (the third island). Perched above the ocean a little way offshore, this was quite possibly the most amazing Thai meal I’ve ever enjoyed. We were not expecting such high quality Thai cuisine in the Maldives and I couldn’t recommend it more. At night the restaurant’s lights attract an amazing array of reef fish and stingray which makes it quite an original dining experience.
My wife and I are avid travellers and really enjoy our beach resort holidays but all of the three island resorts at Anantara really impressed us. No matter which you might select for your stay, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it. If you’re happy to pay a little extra then I would definitely suggest Naladhu for its fabulous luxury and intimacy, consisting of only 19 villas.
We’re already planning our next visit to the Maldives, and you guessed it, we’ll indulge in a complete stay at Naladhu this time. After all, you only live once right?