We arrived in the Maldives late in the evening, and stayed over in the hotel on Male island, right next to the airport. It was just an overnight stay, since the next morning we would catch a domestic flight over and actually start our honeymoon :) At US$290, the airport hotel is the most expensive hotel I’ve ever stayed in when you compare against the quality. It’s basically a 3-star motel – so barren except for a bed and a desk, and an old-looking bathroom. Totally bland, but it served its purpose since we’d only be there for about 8 hours.
Fortunately, they had a lovely restaurant upstairs that served a great buffet breakfast, so managed to fill ourselves up in anticipation of the day ahead. The chef whipped up a delicious omelette with “the works” and a crispy waffle with chocolate sauce. We were well sated :)
Breakfast at the airport hotel
Pretty view, but totally pales in comparison to what we would see later that day
Breakfast dessert :P
After breakfast, we went down to reception to check out.. and a guy wearing a white linen shirt and cream linen pants came up to me (whilst I was waiting for Chris to check out) and said “Mrs Burgess?” A bit startled, I replied “…..yes?” and he introduced himself as from Shangri-La, and would look after us until we got to the resort. And so he took our bags and popped us into a waiting van, and 2 mins later we were back at Male’s airport. There, he arranged for our check-in and our luggage, and brought us to Movenpick cafe to wait – where anything we ordered would be with “compliments of Shangri-La” How lovely!!! And so, we proceeded to tuck into LOTS of ice cream :P You know what’s so delightful about this? Back when Chris proposed on Hamilton Island last year, we had free Movenpick ice cream the whole time we were there.. so this was a wonderful co-incidence :)
A little over an hour later, the guy came back to escort us right onto the plane. We were seats 1A and 1B – right down the front :) I was surprised to notice we were the last few on the plane, as we boarded at 10:30AM and the flight was scheduled also for 10:30AM. Turns out they seated everyone else on the plane, then just before they take off, they come and escort us on board – so we don’t have to fuss around with boarding and finding our seats like everyone else. It’s a small thing, but really made us feel so well taken care of and an awesome way to kick off the honeymoon :)
Movenpick ice cream and desserts… with compliments from Shangri-La
Oh nom nom nom!
(pic taken with my BlackBerry)
The last to board the plane :P
Up, up and awaaaaaay!!!
1.5 hours later, we see the beautiful islands
(or ‘atolls’, as they’re called by the Maldivians)
And so, our honeymoon REALLY begins :)
We arrived on the island of Gan 1.5 hours later, and were whisked off by speed boat to the Shangri-La resort, an 8 minute ride away. It was 8 looooong minutes though, because nothing can describe how excited we were to finally see the Shangri-La and where we would be lounging around honeymoon-ing for the next 8 days….
All lush greenery on the island of Gan
Short 3 min coach ride to the jetty
Our smiling hostess Sunny awaits at the speedboat
Picture perfect waters
8 mins by speedboat to the Shangri-La resort!
As it is, we were already so impressed with the beautiful pristine waters around us, and the gorgeous views… but it was nothing compared to the Shangri-La resort and our water villa….