How to Book a Maldives Honeymoon, The Ultimate Guide | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

Afternoon! I hope you’re having a lovely week, not long until another long weekend hooray. We’ve had some really great feedback on our trip to the Maldives a couple of weeks back {full honeymoon features on where we stayed here and here} but a lot of you had some questions about how you’d go about booking a Maldivian honeymoon. It’s the kind of place where you really need a travel agent because it’s not an easy DIY trip like you could book in Europe for example. For a start when you land at Male the main airport you’re on an island so you need to be able to get to your hotel! I wanted to share all below, booking a honeymoon is probably one of the most special and memorable trips you’ll ever take and you’re likely to be spending out a lot of money so you want to make sure it’s 100% right. I hope I’ve managed to answer your most frequently asked questions below, there’s everything from how to get there, what to ask your travel agent when choosing an island to when to visit and how much you’ll have to spend…

I thought I’d ask the lovely team, and honeymoon experts, at Turquoise Holidays to help me give you some advice on booking a Maldivian honeymoon;

This small island nation is simply idyllic – our experts will tailor-make your perfect luxury Maldives honeymoon. A string of more than a thousand islands all but skim the Indian Ocean’s surface: tiny dots of paradise, blessed with snow-white sand and encircled by turquoise lagoons. Just 200 of the islands are inhabited, the rest veer between total wildernesses and stunning one-resort hideaways. Super-romantic, many book a luxury Maldives honeymoon for total R&R, a place that is all about escapism, islands on which to slow down, relax, recuperate and spend quality time with each other.

  1. Getting There

The Maldives is the ultimate, iconic Indian Ocean holiday destination. This is one of the few places in the world where the reality will outlive your expectations. No picture can do justice to the colour of the sea and no words can describe the all-consuming sense of peace and solitude that the islands inspire. Its fame and popularity aren’t surprising, but how little people know about the country is. To paint a picture for you, the Maldives is made up of a string of islands stretching over 750km from North to South through the Indian Ocean. You can expect roughly a 10 hour direct or 12+ hour indirect flight from the UK followed by a speed boat (15 – 30 mins), seaplane (20 – 40 mins) or internal flight (30mins – 2 hours) transfer to get you to your chosen resort. So the question is: what’s the best way to get there and where should you go when you land?

  • When planning your international flights, you have three main choices. The first (and easiest) option is to fly direct with British Airways. BA runs their service 3 days a week during high season (October – March). The obvious benefit here is the overall flying time (only 10 hours). It’s also worth noting that you arrive at 9:40AM into Male which is perfect for onwards connections. The downside is the lack of choice for dates (only Sunday, Wednesday, Friday going out and Monday, Thursday, Saturday coming back). Also, if you want to travel between April and September, you will have to look at alternative options.
  • The second choice (favoured by many) is to transit through the Middle East. Etihad, Emirates, Oman Air and Qatar Airways all offer indirect services into Male form London Heathrow. The benefits? With this much competition on a popular route the airlines are all vying for your business which leads to some competitive prices. You will also have access to a wider range of departure / arrival times giving you unbeatable flexibility. Add to this a very reasonable 12 – 13 hour flight time and the exceptional service level the Middle Eastern airlines offer and you’re on to a winner. Also, you could build in a stopover (perhaps Dubai or Oman), often at no additional cost. This breaks up the journey nicely and adds an extra dynamic to the holiday. {editors note – I’ve flown Qatar Airways both times because the price came out cheapest and they flew from Heathrow which is closer to me than Gatwick, they were v good}.
  • Your final option is to travel with Sri Lankan Airlines. This up and coming airline offer some excellent prices and with a flight time of only 13 – 14 hours they are definitely worth considering. This is an especially good option if you want to stay at Shangri La Maldives because it is closer to Gan.
Sea Plan Arrival in Maldives

For onward travel from Male there are three options; a speed boat transfer, a seaplane or an internal flight. Each has its benefits and may depend on the island you’re visiting {see next section}. Some are only accessible via one option, make sure when you book a trip that transfers are included.

  • Flexible, fast and easy, a speed boat transfer is a great way to get to your chosen island. After passing through customs you will be met by a resort representative who will guide you to the appropriate boat. Your bags are whisked away, not to be seen again until you reach your room and generally the whole process feels slick. Unlike an onwards flight, resorts will often organise a boat transfer for each international arrival / departure so waiting times are normally very short and you can really make the most of your last day if you have an evening flight home. Total transit times vary but are usually around 15 – 30 minutes. The only noticeable downside is the relative lack of isolation. Compared to some of the more remote resorts you definitely don’t really get that “Robinson Crusoe”, middle of nowhere experience. Nearby islands and views of Male in the distance are unavoidable (not from all sides of the island however). {editors note – We had a speedboat to Baros Maldives and were glad to jump straight on a boat after our plane journey}
  • For a more unique experience though what could be better than starting your holiday with a short 20 – 40 minute flight to your resort in a plane that takes off and lands on water? The views over the islands and corals below are exceptional and the sense of perspective is truly unique. The experience itself will be a highlight of the holiday and you haven’t even reached your resort yet (did I mention that the plane lands on the water?!). Seaplanes have one major flaw: their inability to fly (or more specifically land) in the dark. If you have a flight arriving late or departing early from Male then you will have to make alternative arrangements. And seaplanes can be more expensive and could leave you hanging around for a while once you’ve landed into Male.
  • The final option you have is to take an internal flight from Male to another Atoll. If you’re looking for the ultimate, middle of nowhere, desert island experience this is the way to get it. The level of isolation will be unparalleled and you can go whole days without seeing anyone from outside of the resort. Cut yourself off and relax; “no shoes, no news”. The pitfalls here are fairly obvious. Internal flights are far less frequent. The total travel time is much longer. But when you get there, it will all be worth it. {We did this to Shangri La Maldives}

2. Choosing an Island

Once you’ve decided on honeymooning in The Maldives and found out the best way of getting there, the next thing to talk to your travel agent about is narrowing down which island you should stay on. There are hundreds of resorts but how do you decide which one will be perfect for you? Do you want to do a two centre trip where you combine a couple or just stick to one for the ultimate relax?

I’ve laid out some questions you should ask in helping to find your dream island;

  • Budget – Set your budget from the start and then only look at islands which are within this. Prices vary so much depending on facilities and star ratings.
  • Do you want children on your island or an adults only escape?
  • Do you want an all inclusive holiday where you won’t have to worry about alcohol? Not all islands offer all inclusive packages.
  • Do you want somewhere near to Male so you can shorten your speedboat time or do you want somewhere really remote that might include a seaplane?
  • Do you want a small boutique island or somewhere a bit bigger?
  • Do you want somewhere with a party vibe or somewhere quieter?
  • Think about what is important to you as a couple and what you want from a honeymoon, be as honest as you can to your travel agent so they can help match you with the best island and trip possible.

Once your travel agent has given you some ideas of islands and the corresponding prices then I recommend reading up about them on review sites like TripAdvisor to see what others have thought and to get more of a feel. I spent a good chunk of time on Tripadvisor before our honeymoon to make sure our island was right for us.

Turquoise Honeymoon Island Round up

  • Best island for all inclusive- Constance Moofushi
  • 7 nights All Inclusive from £2,959 per person in Low Season. 7 nights All Inclusive from £4,199 per person in High Season. See https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/constance-moofushi-resort/offers for more offers
  • Best for incredible snorkelling and house reef- Baros. Prices are based on a Deluxe Villa including international flights and speedboat transfers. 7 nights bed & breakfast from £1,759 per person in Low Season. 7 nights bed & breakfast from £2,749 per person in High Season. See https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/baros-maldives/offers for more offers.
  • Best for barefoot luxury- Six Senses Laamu Stay 7 nights Half Board from £2,999 per person in Low Season • Stay 7 nights Bed & Breakfast from £3,499 per person in High Season. More offers and honeymoon deals here https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/six-senses-laamu/offers
  • Best party island-  Finolhu (retro-chic island paradise for fun-loving couples, recently opened in June- Cara Delevinge was given exclusive use of the island for all of her friends, lots of guest DJs and events) 7 nights from £3,825 per person, based in a Lagoon Villa in low season. More here https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/finolhu/offers
  • Best for affordable luxury island- Velassaru.  7 nights Bed & Breakfast, in a Deluxe Bungalow from £1,389pp in low season or 7 nights all inclusive in a Deluxe Bungalow from £2,375 per person. https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/velassaru/offers
  • Best for an authentic Maldivian experience– Milaidhoo (just opened in November- very up and coming, incredible food) . Prices are based in a Water Pool Villa including international flights and seaplane transfers. 7 nights half board from £4,790 per person in Low season. 7 nights half board from £5,758 per person in High season.https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/milaidhoo/offers
  • Best spa and wellness– Como Maalafushi (COMO Shambhala spa). 7 nights, half board from £2,139 per person including flights and transfers. https://www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk/themaldives/maalifushi-by-como/offers
  • And I’d like to add; Best for all RoundShangri La Villingili Resort.

The Turquoise Holiday website is super helpful when researching your honeymoon. All hotels have a prices section and details of special offers as well as a section on why it would be the perfect honeymoon island for you. You can click here to see a list of all of them.

Shangri La Maldives

3. Should you go for an Overwater Villa or a Beach Villa?

Once you’ve decided on an island the next question will be; Should I have my own little private beach in which to soak up the sun or jump off my deck into the turquoise ocean below? We’ve all seen the amazing images of overwater villas and dreamt of staying there but the question is; is it worth it? The simple answer is it all depends. It depends on you, on the resort you’re going to stay at and the specific villa you’re going to stay in. There are however a few key things to know before answering the all important question.

One thing to be aware of when making the decision is just how significantly the cost can vary depending on which resort you choose to stay in. The choice you’re making on the upgrade could be anything between just a few hundred pounds up to a few thousand and even in certain cases such as Six Senses Laamu and Constance Halaveli an overwater villa can actually be the cheaper of the two. This will undoubtedly be a crucial issue in your decision making process.

There is a major difference between a hotel room on the water and an overwater villa. A truly special overwater villa can make for an unforgettable holiday. If you’re laughing at the sheer possibility of ever being able to afford an overwater Pool Villa in the Maldives then don’t worry there is no need to put a line through the Maldives as a destination for you. Opening up the sliding doors of your spacious beach villa, feeling the sand between your toes and walking directly into the warm Maldivian waters in front of you will definitely put a smile on your face and can come with a surprisingly smaller price tag than you may think.

So is it worth the extra money? That’s up to you to decide. A great option that includes the best of both worlds would be to split your stay across a beach and an overwater villa for a few nights in each.

4. Turquoise Holiday’s top 5 tips for a honeymoon in the Maldives

1. Stay in an over water villa. There is nothing more romantic than waking up to the gentle lapping sounds of the Indian Ocean all around you. Draw back the curtains and take in the panoramic views of the ocean. Enjoy private access to the warm waters below for an early morning swim before having breakfast on your villa deck.

2. Forget your shoes. Most hotels in the Maldives actively encourage a ‘No Shoes, No News’ policy on their islands. Of course you can wear shoes if you wish…but once you step off your sea plane or speed boat transfer, you will arrive in Robinson Crusoe paradise, no need to worry about anything but starting your new life together, toes in the sand, cocktail in hand!

3. Stay on Half Board.  Each of the islands we feature at Turquoise offer a range of meal plans for you to choose from. We highly recommend booking either half board or all inclusive before you arrive, as it takes away the stress and worry of an ever growing food and bar bill whilst you are there. Although food options are more limited as you are on a small island, the food quality and service is world class, therefore all the more reason to enjoy it to your heart’s content! {editors note – that being said if you are on a tight budget then look up menu prices in advance as it may make more sense to stay on B&B then pay for food out there. Do whatever is the least stressful for you.}

4. Book a Multi Centre Honeymoon. The Maldives is a fabulous destination to twin with a whole range of other destinations. If time permits, why not make the most of flight routes and have a stopover en route to your paradise island. If you are looking for a city beach option, a stop in Dubai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi or Singapore is easily combined with a honeymoon in The Maldives, or if you fancy more of an adventure before total chill out we would highly recommend twinning with Sri Lanka, Malaysia or Thailand.

5. For value, Travel in the British Summertime. Although the British summer wedding season is typically low season in the Maldives, we still highly recommend considering the months of May and September for honeymoons. As this is shoulder season (peak is October – April), honeymoon rates are incredibly affordable, and the weather is beautiful. You may get the odd shower of liquid sunshine, but no more so than you would expect to get in peak season – you are on a tropical island after all! {editors note – I honeymooned in July after we got married and saved a lot of money. We had some rain but still plenty of sunshine}

5. A few of Rebecca’s Top Tips;

  • Speak to an agent you trust but also shop around for quotes. Whilst I remain true to the fact that if an agent has done a lot of work for you in creating a dream honeymoon itinerary it is bad practice to then go and book elsewhere, you still want the best price. Turquoise, and any good travel agent, should be competitive so just have a quick look before booking to check you’re getting a fair deal whilst keeping everybody happy.
  • Remember to tell them that it’s your honeymoon for extra special deals and treats whilst you’re out there.
  • Consider a honeymoon gift list service or asking your guests to contribute. We did this and paid for our honeymoon this way. Turquoise have a great service where they’ll send you little cards to send with your invites. More on that here.

I hoped that this piece has helped to answer some of your honeymoon booking questions. Do let us know if we can give you any other advice. And as always I can’t recommend Turquoise Holidays more, I booked my own honeymoon through them a few years back and I know lots of others who have done too. P.S if you want an extra special treat on booking then you can mention my name Rebecca Sterling on booking. And also look out for their honeymoon sale every February for some amazing deals.

R <3 xx

{with thanks to Turquoise Holidays for helping me put this post together. They’re an agent we’ve loved and used for years}