July 11, 2019

The Robinson Club Maldives: Not Just A Honeymoon Destination

 

 

Without a doubt, this was the most relaxing holiday I’ve ever been on.

I didn’t realise paradise actually existed. Yes I’ve watched The Beach, and yes I’ve seen pictures of the Maldives tagged on Instagram, but nothing prepares you for that real-life feeling of squishing your bare feet onto a private island’s sandy beach in the middle of the ocean, miles away from the mundanity of normal life. Everything felt so remote, so instantly calm, and so so far away from my every day life. When we stepped off the boat, after taxis, trains and three flights, we were greeted with champagne, necklaces made of palm leaves and the biggest smiles from the staff at Robinson. I didn’t realise I would cry when it was time to leave.

Apparently it’s been scientifically proven that it’s difficult to feel stressed while looking out at the sea. Looking out to a liquid blue horizon is humbling, because you are reminded that you are one person, one small speck on planet Earth, and reminded just how vast and big the world is. We woke up every day to the sea and only the sea. We woke to the sound of the sea splashing around the legs of our bungalow. It rained sporadically, which felt cosy because it never got cold. We had our breakfast out on the terrace most mornings, and could spot people already out and about having an early morning snorkel.

I knew there would be clear sea and sandy beaches. But I had assumed it would be a bit like Disney-land, a man-made escapism, like stepping into a perfect postcard. But it didn’t feel like that at all: the island felt real and unspoiled. It is a beautiful resort and incredibly well looked-after but so much real untouched nature was all around. By the end of the week, we felt like we knew most people on the island. Especially the amazing people who work there.

This is a definite relaxation sit-by-the-pool slash beach holiday: but there was also loads to do. I personally could never get bored of lying down on the beach, or reading in the pool, but my partner Paul is someone who likes to keep busy. I really enjoyed the activities on offer too. Living in a bungalow floating above the sea, you can’t help but want to explore what’s beneath. We had a great time snorkelling — there were steps going down from our bungalow into the crystal clear sea. We also went on a ‘turtle quest’ boat trip to look for turtles. I saw two up close. We also saw a shark, and although I couldn’t help but feel scared (even though reef sharks are totally fine) it definitely felt like a memorable experience. I got to say I saw a shark and feel like Bear Grylls for at least five minutes.

I really enjoyed paddle-boarding and also kayaking. You have to be careful not to go too close to the reef, but the kayak had a glass panel below your feet so you can could see the wildlife as you cruised along. It was fun going on a two-person kayak with Paul, although I must admit I didn’t do much. Going around the island on a kayak or paddle board while the sun sets makes you realise how small the island is. You can go around twice in an hour, and you can walk from one end to the other in around ten or so minutes.

I loved the island was full of couples yes, but also groups of singles who were there to explore, do morning yoga together and go on boat trips. It was so nice to see a resort accommodate for solo travelling as there is such an upward trend in that demographic, plus it can feel a bit stale when everyone is at one resort for the same honeymoon reason.

Another lovely way to fill your days is going to the spa. It was insanely good. The leafy entrance is very grand yet tranquil, with water trickling out of fountains into ponds. We had a couples massage followed by an outside bath with champagne! One of the most relaxing experiences ever, we felt like the only two people on the Island.

There was live music every night, something that feels like a real treat. I rarely listen to live music and if I do it normally means being squashed in a room with other sweaty people. This live music was played on the beach, with an orangey-pink sunset in view. It was perfect.

Lastly, I need to tell you about the food. We were there for a week, and every night we had something totally different. I really liked that each night had a ‘theme’ and everyone on the island really goes all out. Some nights it is a pre-set five-course dinner(!), and other nights it is buffet-style with so much to choose from that you will definitely go up for seconds (or thirds… ahem). All the food was incredible, and it was amazing having the option of fresh fish every day. The wine menu was delicious and the fact that you can eat outdoors every night is a real bonus. For anyone who likes to know what they’re doing in advance, the Robinson Club app is really brilliant and tells you what’s for dinner every night of the week in advance. It was quite nice to have a routine, you don’t need to think about anything – which to me is the point of a holiday.

One thing to be aware of: it’s a long journey to get there! But that is the magic of it. You have to travel far and commit to the distance because you are rewarded at the end with the feeling of being so removed from everything. We flew with Turkish airlines to Istanbul, changed, then Istanbul to Malé, then boarded a sea plane, and then a boat.

Thank you Robinson, it was the best holiday ever and I can’t stop thinking about it. Hopefully one day I’ll get to go back.

*We paid for our own travel but Robinson Club Maldives kindly hosted us in return for an honest review on my website and Instagram.*

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