I learned in Physics class a long time ago that water is the color blue because the sun’s white light hits the surface and colors with longer wavelengths such as red and orange are absorbed by the water and the shorter wavelength blue is reflected back. But the color of the Maldivian ocean seems to be a mix of divine intervention along with science at work. The shallow waters over beds of fine, white sand render the ocean waters a blissful baby turquoise, a blessing for the senses in every way. In fact, endless miles of the pristine white sand coastline kissing the stunning blue waters make Maldives almost too spectacular to be anything but purposefully designed by man based on a lucid dream. But isn’t that the enigmatic quality of Mother Nature; she waves a magic wand and dreams up places no man could.
Taj Exotica is on its own private island
The startlingly blue waters and skies
Greeted by the percussions of a drum as we set foot on the island
Top Honeymoon Destination
The setting we chose for our honeymoon, however, was a wholly man-made resort set on a private island. We contemplated a lot of options for our truncated honeymoon after our big fat Indian wedding that would involve a complete lack of anything to do. We asked ourselves:
- Why the Maldives for our honeymoon
- Maldives or Seychelles – which is better?
- What were the top Maldives honeymoon resorts?
Try as we did, we couldn’t find a better option that was more convenient to travel to. Pictures of villas on stilts, set in tranquil lagoons beckoned to us and we were seduced. Moreover, we told ourselves, the Maldives will be underwater in a few years if we continue to torture our planet at current rates, so it’s now or never. Somewhere between postcard-esque pictures and concerns about our environmental destiny, we found ourselves at the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa
for three nights of secluded and blissful luxury.
The Republic of Maldives, the smallest Asian country, is a group of around 2000 low-lying islands. Being that the Maldives is a 100% Islamic country, resorts on private islands circumvent the strict Islamic laws to serve liquor to tourists (tip: we tried to bring in a bottle of alcohol we got as a gift and it got confiscated at customs so don’t bother!). When we landed in the bustling Male airport, we were quickly whisked away with a few other couples on a speedboat to the South Male Atoll. Once there we were greeted by the percussion of drums as we entered our sun-drenched home for the next three days.
The next three days were spent in a reverie of seductive vistas, thoughtful service and a refreshing lack of anywhere to be or anything in particular to do. We were worried at first if we could entertain ourselves on a remote island with limited variety but quickly found ourselves endlessly enthralled by our surroundings and pining for very little else. Our villa complete with a swimming pool overlooking the lagoon was spacious and well composed. The vast bathroom had a tub overlooking the lagoon for sleep-inducing soaks.
One of the many surprises left for us in our room everyday
The cocktails never disappointed
The food was also surprisingly fantastic across the few restaurant options available to us. 24 degrees, the all-day restaurant served up a mix of different cuisines that always met the mark. We also splurged on a Mediterranean meal at the beachfront Deep End restaurant with a 3-course menu of well-crafted plates. Even though the skies opened up on us that evening, we found that even a tropical thunderstorm was magical when we had nowhere else to be. Our culinary highlight though was a private dining experience where we cooked Maldivian curry with a chef in a beautifully lit garden setting. We cooked up a vegetarian curry crackling with the flavors of Maldivian curry powder and chilis cooled by creamy coconut milk. We left with the understanding of the profound influences of Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine in Maldivian food, which created something recognizable but still so unique in flavor.
Enjoying yet another gorgeous sunset
How long to stay
Four days was just enough time to develop a routine and not get bored of it. Afternoons were best spent at the beach bar with its beachside pool. Platters of food and drinks were served up on comfy lounge chairs. Sunsets were best watched at this resort at the Equator Bar with its Mediterranean vibes and a deck set on the beach. With an array of cocktails to satisfy any palette, we capitalized on the early evening happy hour specials every day.
Priceless sunsets to be seen from Equator bar with cocktails in hand
Having given the man-made resort its due, let me take it back to the reason this resort delivers so spectacularly: the setting is a natural miracle. Apart from the picturesque shorelines, the island was blessed with almost no humidity and persistent ocean breezes which make being outdoors a pleasure. Although we were disturbed by storms in the evenings on a couple of nights, it didn’t seem to dilute the island’s beauty one bit. It helps that I am a sucker for a brooding stormy sky with its ubiquitous rain clouds.
We loved the honeymoon special with jet skies and fun tubes
Getting ready for a snorkel in the Indian Ocean
We splurged on a few activists including 2 snorkel adventures and a honeymoon package that included jet skis and a fun ride on inflated tubes. We were blown away by our snorkeling experience; I have been snorkeling in many parts of the world and was pleasantly surprised by the water clarity and the biodiversity of the Indian Ocean in these parts. Baby sharks are frequent visitors in these parts and we found them right up against the shores quite a few times. Baby blacktip sharks also swam about nonchalantly and we found them right up by the shores several times.
We left the Maldives feeling lighter somehow. The reverie was broken as we boarded our flight out of paradise but we were still feverish with the memories of that magical feeling of being present in our surroundings with nowhere to be. While the Taj Exotica resort isn’t your cheapest accommodation on the island, it is truly bewitching and I highly highly recommend it for your honeymoon or your next special occasion where you can afford to splurge a little. If anything, you will leave with a thirst for a perpetual vacation as real life can’t ever be that shade of blue.