The Maldives – “Paradise on Earth”
The Maldives in the Indian Ocean is an exotic hideaway with palm lined sandy beaches and turquoise waters that many people believe is a “paradise on earth”. The Maldives are made up of over 1200 tiny islands with roughly 30,000 square miles, making it one of the most spread out geographical countries in the world. Most of the islands are uninhabited, but many contain exclusively only one resort on each of its islands. They have developed the country to cater to the high-end resort tourism market and tourism is the main source of income for the people who live here.
As a Westerner, you may have only heard about the Maldives as a holiday for the rich and famous, but Kurumba Resort has changed all of that! Now you too, can experience the lap of luxury at a value point that makes this THE most exotic vacation you will take this year. Oh, and by the way, it has been awarded the Traveler’s Choice Award by Trip Advisor as the #1 All Inclusive Resort in Asia and the #3 All Inclusive Resort in the World, so it is hard to beat!
At the Airport – Team members are readily available and awaiting your arrival with a sign at the airport. One thing that makes this adventure special will be having Kurumba’s private speedboat waiting for you at the Male airport to take you to your island resort getaway, which will only take 20 minutes. Upon arrival to the island, they will greet you at the dock and bring your bags to the main outdoor lobby with a welcoming coconut sorbet, where soon enough, you will be whisked away by golf cart to your beachfront villa.
They have the process down to perfection, which saves you time and puts you into ‘relax mode’ right away on your vacation. And although this resort is one of the oldest in the islands, built here in 1972, they have maintained the property and its landscape to pristine levels and have used that time to perfect its exemplary customer service.
At the Villa – The beachfront deluxe villa that I staid in was luxurious and had its own covered patio with a front row seat to the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters and crystal clear sands that will keep you mesmerized for hours. When you finally move from the king sized bed to the covered patio to the oversized bathroom, you will be delighted that such a wonderful bathroom exists. In all its glory, it has an outdoor rain shower in a garden of sorts, with a soaking, jet-powered tub that has an opening to the garden outside. You can stay in there for hours, but you better not because there is so much more to do.
What is there to do on Kurumba Island?
Spa – The Veli Spa is a true Maldivian experience set in their lush gardens and you should have a spa experience while on the island. I chose the Thai massage, since I was on this side of the world and Thai massages are a bit unusual to get in America. However, they have a complete spa menu for you to choose from.
Restaurants – The resort has many dining plans available, so depending on what you need for the day, they have everything from half board to dine around all inclusive. It is important to remember that they have to import everything on to the island and so the costs involved are increased due to that. There are a lot of choices for different restaurants and they have everything from Japanese to Italian to Thai and Middle Eastern as well as the main dining area with a buffet, so there are no worries about the type of food available. I tried four of the restaurants and Thila, by far, was my favorite, but I also enjoyed the simple pizza I ordered from one of the restaurants.
Activities – There are all types of recreational and sports type packages available
• Sunset and Dolphin Discovery Cruise –A fun evening cruise where we saw quite a few spinner dolphins jumping out of the water for a great show at sunset.
• Daily Snorkeling – The snorkeling is easy with the local house reef just outside the breakers. Snorkeling equipment was provided free of charge and with that amazing reef, you could go alone, with a private guide or a group.
• Diving – Many of the best dive sites are located only within a 5-30 minute boat dive trip from the resort, including the Mana Point wreck dive.
•Male City Tour – Go into the capital city of Male for a tour of this culturally rich, yet bustling city on the tiny, nearby island.
There are many more activities to choose from, however I chose to only mention a few.
I went on this trip as a single traveler, but I did not feel out of place at any time during my visit to this exotic resort. I can highly recommend it for all kinds of travelers, especially if you do not have a lot of time and want to get into ‘relax mode’ right away. There were also many couples and even families there as well.
I wanted to mention that this resort epitomizes the “value luxury” concept, where luxury is king and value is queen. While there are over-the-top luxury experiences in the Maldives, this resort is at the perfect price point and balances luxury with value.
What: Kurumba Resort
Where: Kurumba, Maldives, Indian Ocean
Rooms: 180 rooms from superior rooms to deluxe residences with private pools and everything in between
• Very high quality Molten Brown bath soaps, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion
• Free In-room Wi Fi – it worked amazing well for such a remote island
• Good quality beach towels in the villa
• Free laundry service for 25 items every 4 days
Trip Advisor Rating: #10 out of #171 hotels in the Maldives
Costs: upwards of $300 USD per day for the beachfront villa plus the food program that runs $55 to $155 per person per day depending on the season.
By: Dr. Cacinda Maloney