We decided to swim to lunch. Our over-water bungalow at Anantara Veli had two entrances: a door to the dock and a half-submerged ladder on the back deck. My husband and I chose the latter to backstroke across the lagoon to the Thai restaurant, Baan Huraa. Anantara is a Thai chain, and flies in ingredients daily from Bangkok.
One appropriately-spicy pad thai and penang curry later, we returned to the room via the sugar white sand beach. Our biggest decision for the day: whether to snorkel or hang out beside our private pool. We had planned to go out surfing but the waves failed to arrive.
We chose Anantara partly for its access to surf spots along the South Malé Atoll. The waves did not pick up during our four-day stay…yet we found other things to do.
Bottom line, it is hard to have a bad time in the Maldives. It is easy to do nothing and enjoy it. My husband and I stayed here for four days on an anniversary trip, which we found to be perfect amount of time. I can only lounge about for so long.
Well if you would have forced me, I could have stayed a few more nights in an overwater bungalow on a private island resort. 100 hours, however, turned out to be the sweet spot for our trip. See below for tips on how to pick the right resort in the Maldives for you.
And a note about the kiddos: this destination is more for baby-making than baby-taking. 😉 There do exist a number of family friendly resorts with activities for the kids, such as Anantara Dhigu, which has water sports, a kid’s club and babysitting.
We decided on Anantara Veli after some careful research—I will not confirm or deny the existence of an Excel spreadsheet–comparing hotels. One can drown in a turquoise sea of luxury choices available: almost all resorts offer some sort of overwater villa, exclusive dining options, private atolls, remoteness, modern room furnishings, even butler service.
You have to choose your priorities.
In our case, we had three:
Get us to the beach. Now! Some resorts require a lengthy sea plane flight from Malé to reach your final destination.
Overwater villa or bust! This is the Maldives’ comparative advantage and how I see a Platonic version of a hotel room from this island chain in my head.
Three: Get us to a surf break. As I mentioned, this didn’t work out, and we still had a FANTASTIC time.
Note: Anantara Veli is adults only. It’s sister property, Anantara Dhigu lies on the next island and is easily accessible by swim-yes, really-or a pontoon shuttle that plies the 100 meters or so between the two islands. Guests have access to both resorts.
Despite our careful planning, I had an overnight in Malé waiting for my husband, who was flying in to join me from a different location due to work. The dense city streets of the Maldivian capital provided an interesting contrast to the luxury resort I was about to visit. The estimated 155,000 residents live on an island of less than six square kilometers, making it one of the densest cities in the world.
The city may pack in its residents yet it still remains possible to take a pleasant stroll. You can easily circumnavigate the island in less than one day.