For the second part of our Maldives trip, we stayed three luxurious nights at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa thanks to some generous family donations (THANK YOU THANK YOU Grandpa, Grandma Linda, Momma & Bill for buying us a night each) and using some of my horded Starwood points (I’ve been saving for years and years for something and this seemed like as good a time as any to cash a few in).
We arrived James Bond style on a speedboat. After taking the government ferry to get to Thulusdhoo for our first night, the speedboat felt so high class and definitely the way to travel around the Maldives. Well, after the seaplane I assume. I will have to wait till next time to experience that mode of transport.
The Sheraton Maldvies is amazing!!!! From work travel over the years, I’m a SPG Gold member, so we were greeted with delightfully refreshing welcome juice cocktails before heading over to our room. We could’ve been the only pair of friends on the island (the Sheraton, as with most hotels in the Maldives, is it’s own island) but it didn’t matter. It was so luxurious! As you know by now, we’re on a tight backpacker budget and stay in hostels or cheap guest houses/hotels, so the little luxuries of having our own full sized beds, hot showers and fluffy white bathrobes made us giddy with excitement. Oh, and staying in a fabulous resort on a beach, overlooking the bluest water I’ve ever seen, steps from your door isn’t half bad either!
We took advantage of all the amenities – pool, beach, ocean swims, gym (Danielle), spa (me), evening shark and manta ray feeding and of course, the wine special – 3 glasses for $15!
I even did two dives with the Sheraton Dive Center – Euro Divers. It was rad! The visibility wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty clear (apparently the best diving is during January to April when there is no plankton and daily the vis is around 40m in all directions) and we saw lots of amazing, colorful fish, huge swimming rays (both manta and spotted) and FIVE sharks!! Most of them were baby white tips, but it was really neat. One was about five feet from me just chilling on the sandy bottom.
I had been communicating with the Sheraton Maldives and their Director of Sales & Marketing, Peter Foreman via twitter about our upcoming stay.
We were able to meet up with Peter on our second day and he treated us to cocktails as we swapped RTW travel stories (he did a RTW trip right after university) and talked about the wonder of the Maldives. I shared with Peter the story of how when I was in NYC for work back in 2007 (PBR & Amp’d Mobile…yeaaahh) and came back to the W from dinner and the turndown service had put on the W channel where it shows all of the W’s around the world. The channel showed me the W Maldives, I fell in love and dreamed of going to the Maldives and staying in an over the water bungalow at the W.
After drinks and dinner, we came back to our room to find the MOST AMAZING surprise. EVER! Peter and the Sheraton had sent us a chocolate cake where they printed out our RTW countdown clock and travel map using edible ink. They had come to the blog and found it. ANDDDD…they left us a card that said they were upgrading us the next morning to an Ocean Villa. We jumped around for at least 20 minutes celebrating this awesome fortune!
Our Ocean Villa was hands down the most amazing hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. Über luxurious and the patio was to die for! We had our own private plunge pool over looking the ocean. It was magnificent.
Once we checked into the room, we didn’t leave until dinner (and even then we toyed with just ordering room service, which we had done for lunch). We were perhaps the only guests who may have taken jumping photos into our pool. After a delicious fish dinner, we went back to our Ocean Villa haven and right back to our fluffy white robes. I sat on the patio in my robe with a glass of wine, watching the ocean and listening to the waves crash onto our deck. Basically, heaven!
We had a little pool time in the morning before we had to leave for our flight. We were just trying to squeeze every second of time we could on our private patio and in that plunge pool.
Since I didn’t bring any breakfast snacks with me, I ordered the buffet every morning and took full advantage of the delicious buffet breakfast. These photos showcase my love/hate relationship with buffets (trying to get my moneys worth/gorging myself silly). I guess you can tell I’m a backpacker here. Ha!
All in all, the Maldives was one of the best decisions we ever made! I can’t wait to go back again. And take a seaplane to stay at the W!