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The Blues And Whites Of Maldives

Updated: Jun 5, 2023


Welcome to my travel blog, where I take you on unforgettable adventures around the world! Today, lets dive deep into the crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches of the Maldives, a tropical paradise like no other. Join me as I take you on a journey to this breathtaking archipelago, where palm-fringed islands, luxurious resorts, and vibrant marine life await. Picture yourself stepping off the plane onto the tarmac, greeted by a warm breeze carrying the scent of exotic flowers. As you make your way to your resort, you can't help but marvel at the surreal beauty that surrounds you. The Maldives, a collection of 26 atolls nestled in the Indian Ocean, boasts a postcard-perfect landscape that seems straight out of a dream. Once you settle into your overwater villa, you'll be captivated by the panoramic views of turquoise lagoons and coral reefs teeming with life. With each passing moment, you'll find yourself succumbing to the laid-back rhythm of island life, where time slows down and relaxation takes center stage.




Maldivian History

But first, let me give you a quick history about Maldives. This tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean holds a captivating history that spans over 2,500 years. From its earliest settlers of Buddhist origin to the arrival of Islam in the 12th century, the Maldives has witnessed the influence of diverse civilizations. Over the centuries, the islands were ruled by local sultans and encountered colonial powers such as the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Despite these encounters, the Maldivians successfully preserved their cultural identity, leading to independence from British rule in 1965. Today, the Maldives stands as a sovereign nation, celebrated for its commitment to environmental preservation and its harmonious blend of cultural heritage and modern development.


When To Visit

The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This period offers the perfect combination of warm temperatures, abundant sunshine, and calm waters, creating an ideal environment for indulging in water activities like snorkeling, diving, and swimming. The months of December to March are particularly popular, as they provide the most consistent weather with minimal chances of rainfall. However, it's important to keep in mind that the Maldives enjoys a tropical climate, so occasional showers can occur even during the dry season. Nevertheless, visiting during the dry season ensures a higher likelihood of enjoying the stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and breathtaking scenery that this paradise destination has to offer. We visited at the end of April, when it was low season. The temperature was a constant 85 F throughout the day (and night) and humidity was a 100%! Although we experienced cloudy skies (and no rainfall) throughout our trip, they made for some stunning sunsets each evening.


How To Visit

To visit the Maldives, there are a few key steps to follow. First, determine the best time to go as mentioned above. Once you've decided on the timing, check the visa requirements for your country of residence. No visa is required for US citizens. Next, book your flights to Malé International Airport, the main gateway to the Maldives. There are numerous direct flight from India. We visited Maldives when we were visiting Bangalore, India, and it was a quick 2 hour flight from there. For travelers arriving in Maldives, one of the requirements is to have completed the Immigration declaration form, IMUGA. This can be done atleast 96 hours prior to your arrival in Maldives. From Male, you can reach your resort or local island by either a domestic flight or a speedboat transfer arranged by your accommodation. It's advisable to make these arrangements in advance.


Where To Stay

While researching resorts in Maldives, our main criteria where three-fold : it had to be an all-inclusive, so we didnt have to worry about food and drinks; it had to be close to the airport, so we didnt have to waste precious vacation time to catch another domestic flight to the resort; the price of the speedboat or flight should be included in the all-inclusive price, as many resorts add it on as a hidden fee, and that can bloat up your final bill quite considerably. There are also a number of hotel options in Male itself, but they do not give the vibe of being in the middle of a tropical oasis. Hence, these hotels are more budget-friendly.


OBLU Xperience Ailafushi, a laid-back, 4 star all-inclusive resort, satisfied all of our requirements, plus, it was brand new, as it had opened in October 2022. We booked a 3-night, 4 day vacation, as that seemed sufficient based on the reviews.

Water villas of OBlu Xperience

OBLU Xperience Ailafushi

Airport Transfer

Almost all resorts in Maldives can only be accessed by speedboat or seaplanes. For resorts located in remote atolls or further away from the main island, seaplanes are often used for transportation. Seaplane transfers offer a breathtaking aerial view of the Maldives as you fly over the turquoise waters and scattered islands. This mode of transport provides a unique and memorable experience, and are the most expensive.

For resorts closer to Malé or those located on nearby local islands, speedboat transfers are the most common means of transportation. Speedboats offer a convenient and efficient way to reach your destination, whisking you across the sparkling waters to your resort in a relatively short time.

Male airport and speedboat terminal

OBLU Xperience resort offers convenient and efficient speedboat transfers from Malé International Airport to the resort. Upon arrival at the airport, we were greeted by the resort's representatives who assisted with the transfer process. We were asked to wait for 30-45 minutes until other resort guests arrived at the airport. We were then ushered in to our speedboat. The speedboat transfer took about 20 minutes. During the journey, we sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the scenic views of the azure waters and surrounding islands. The speedboat was comfortable and equipped with necessary safety measures to ensure a smooth and enjoyable transfer. Upon arrival at OBLU Xperience, we were warmly welcomed by the hotel staff with refreshing welcome drinks before being shown to our rooms.

Sunset over Oblu Xperience


The main dock of OBlu Xperience

The main lobby building of Oblu Xperience

Rooms

OBLU Xperience offers a range of luxurious and well-appointed rooms that cater to different preferences and group sizes. The accommodations range from Ocean view rooms to beach bungalows to over-water villas. We stayed in a water villa, and prior to arrival, I had requested one closer to the beach, and not deep in the ocean, so the water wouldnt be too deep at low tide. Our water-villa had uninterrupted views of the ocean, direct lagoon access, and private outdoor decks with loungers to soak up the sun. The interiors were tastefully furnished and equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning, flat-screen TV, minibar, and a luxurious semi-outdoor bathroom. It was a great blend of contemporary design with elements inspired by the tropical surroundings, creating a harmonious and inviting atmosphere. We absolutely loved how we could jump into the water whenever we liked. We could watch the sun rise over the Indian Ocean right from our bed. It was like being in a cruise ship stateroom, but only more luxurious, and bigger. The room also came with some useful knickknacks, such as umbrella, a backpack, bathrobes and beach slippers.


Walkway that connects the water villas

Sunrise from our balcony


Direct access to the water from our villa

Dining

Our dining experience at OBLU was nothing short of spectacular. Being an all-inclusive resort, OBLU Xperience offered a number of dining and drinking re warmly welcomed by the resort staff, completing our seamless journey from the airport to our luxurious island options. Element X provides a luxurious buffet dining experience with an ever changing menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner from all parts of the world. Everything tasted delicious and the dessert spread each night was what dreams are made of! The culinary traditions of the Maldives draw influences from neighboring South Asian countries, Arab, and African cuisines, resulting in a delectable fusion of flavors and spices.

Dining and buffet area at Element X


The beautiful lagoon with plentiful fish across from Element 360 Dining area.


The lagoon at Element 360.

Sunset and a drink - whats not to like?

There were other dining options, which were not covered by the all-inclusive plan, the fanciest of them being Only Blu - an underwater restaurant with a prix fixie menu. Drinks (alcoholic and non) were included as part of the plan, and were readily available at the pool, disco lounge and at the various restaurants.


Activities

The resort offers a number of water activities, from kayaking and snorkeling to deep sea diving and dolphin tours. We did not indulge in any of the activities, as our plan was to just relax and enjoy the resort. Hubby had just returned from a grueling Annapurna Base Camp hike in the Himalayas, and all he wanted to do was relax on the beach. We spent hours on end on the satiny-white sand beach hunting for shells. What was unique about the beach at Oblu (and maybe throughout Maldives), was that the beaches were covered with cowrie shells along with some of the most colorful and unique looking conch shells. While not shell-hunting, we spent our time off-beach snorkeling. The emerald green waters of OBlu Xperience is like an aquarium. We saw and swam with some of the most beautiful and colorful fish we had seen, including nurse sharks, manta rays and eels.

Pool area at the resort

Dolphin cruise offered by the resort


The lighted path to the over-the-water gym


The watersport center at OBlu

Hotel Guests and the Maldivian people

We noticed that a large percentage of the hotel guests were Europeans, with a smaller percentage from the Indian subcontinent. Although Maldives is famous as a honeymoon destination, the guests comprised of couples, to families to large and small groups of singles. Since we did not leave the resort during our stay, the only locals we encountered were the resort staff. With their warm smiles and genuine hospitality, the resort staff made us feel welcomed, valued, and taken care of.


Many photops at Oblu

In conclusion, our stay at OBLU Xperience in the Maldives was truly a dream come true. From the moment we set foot on the island, we were captivated by the breathtaking beauty, warm hospitality, and exceptional experiences that awaited us. Whether it was waking up to stunning sunrises, snorkeling amidst vibrant coral reefs, or indulging in delectable culinary delights, every moment was filled with wonder and enchantment. The resort's luxurious accommodations, world-class amenities, and attentive service surpassed all expectations, leaving us with memories to cherish for a lifetime. OBLU Xperience truly exemplifies the essence of a perfect Maldivian getaway, where paradise meets unparalleled hospitality. It's a destination that has stolen our hearts, and we already find ourselves yearning to return to this slice of heaven on Earth.

A "dhoni" bobs lazily at sunset



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