If there is one image on Instagram that has defined the influence of this social media site on travel habits, it is the iconic image of overwater villas over crystal clear blue waters with exotic tropical fish in places like The Maldives. This is an aspirational experience and one on most people’s bucket list. The team at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has clearly understood this fact and it was no surprise they’ve built substantially more overwater villas in their recent $20 million renovations.
When Team Coco stayed at the resort, we tested out both their cottage with garden view and their mesmerising water bungalows. There are positives with both types of accommodation. The former option is surprisingly pocket-friendly with a dreamy outdoor garden en-suite that celebrates your arrival to a tropical paradise. There is an alfresco rain shower which you can enjoy along to the sounds of native birds.
When we moved to the water bungalows, it felt like we were finally at The Maldives, everyone has been daydreaming about. You could be the worst photographer in the world and still come up with masterpieces here such is the picture postcard-perfect scenery. The warm Indian waters are just steps away from your balcony and schools of tropical fish are easy to spot.
If you are worried about dining options being stuck on a remote island, fear not. Firstly, they are on one of the largest islands in The Maldives and they provide 7 varied options to cater for all tastes and whether you are looking for something more casual or formal. Lovers of Asian cuisines are extremely well-catered for here with Thai, Indian and Chinese restaurants available.
There are culinary experiences not to be missed at this resort and the first one is their lagoon lunch. You are sat on an idyllic wooden bench with your legs submerged in the balmy lagoon waters with small, friendly reef sharks swimming in the distance, there are beautiful floral decorations on the table and an attentive server who brings you Champagne and 5 top-quality courses.
The other dining experience, which is utterly unmissable is a visit to their Sea Salt restaurant. They have a fresh seafood tank where you can pick the fresh fish or lobster you would like to sample. Their seared tuna and scallops starters are serious causes of hypersalivation whilst the superlative seafood platter is a seafood lover’s paradise.
With all this mention of food, you might wonder what sporting activities there might be on offer. Non-motorised water sports like kayaking, snorkelling are all complimentary but if you’ve never tried jet-skiing, then this would be the perfect opportunity. You can drive this powerful beast out into the open waters with supervision from their staff.
There are plenty of less adrenaline-inducing activities such as a sunset dolphin cruise and you won’t struggle to spot these majestic beasts as there will be dozens swimming around your boat. You can have a morning yoga class on the sandy beaches on the island or you can visit their Shine spa which is on a separate private island where you can enjoy ayurvedic treatments and soothing massages.
With prices starting at £315 per night, the Maldives dream is much more affordable than you think and something you should tick off the bucket list in 2020.
Nightly rates at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa (www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/mlesi-sheraton-maldives-full-moon-resort-and-spa/; +960 664 2010) start from $400/£315 per night based on 2 people sharing a Deluxe Garden View King Room on a B&B basis.