Nestled somewhere on everyone’s bucket list is the Maldives. An exotic, once-in-a-lifetime destination, the Maldives holds a unique place in the hearts of those who visit. For me, it’s not just a dreamy getaway—it’s a best-kept vacation secret.
An invitation to join a select group of travel advisors in the Maldives sparked the adventure of a lifetime. The idea of exploring multiple atolls and resorts was too tempting to resist.
The journey to the Maldives is undeniably long. I opted for a 14-hour flight on Qatar Airways. I had a 9-hour layover in Doha, giving me the chance to explore the city despite the 113-degree temperatures. Surprisingly, my quick stop in Doha left me yearning for more.
Another late-night 5-hour Qatar Airways flight took me to Malé. Warm sunny weather and humidity – the perfect Maldivian welcome. I met with the other travel advisors and soon found myself on a speedboat, heading to my first resort.
I wasn’t going to let the moment escape. I relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views while feeling the wind in my hair as we sailed across the stunning Indian Ocean.
Our destination: Patina Maldives, a luxury resort that redefined my standards. While I’ve seen the beauty of white sand beaches in the Caribbean, Patina’s allure was unparalleled. Every detail exuded opulence, from the welcoming dock staff to the personal concierge escorting me to my overwater villa.
I did a happy dance when I found out my first stay of the trip was in a luxury overwater villa with a private pool. The room exuded an understated luxury with its sophisticated neutral gray tones. Comfortable furnishings with unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean. Fresh fruit and a bottle of champagne were there for my pleasure. The oceanfront pool deck was stunning. A magnificent scene of comfortable seating, lounge chairs, and delightful swings. It was an irresistible invitation to relax.
I added my concierge’s cell number to my phone in case I needed anything after a villa walkthrough. There was only one thing left to do. Open the champagne, relax on the deck, and enjoy the endless oceans after the long journey.
The spa at Patina Maldives is a soulful place where carefully designed treatments aim to enhance your well-being and lead you to a calm state of mind. Zen is included. Art installations dotted the property. The Skyspace Amarta by James Turrell was a highlight for me.
The gastronomic experience was heavenly. Sunset cocktails on the beach, a sumptuous dinner under ambient lights, and breakfast that will leave you full until dinner. The Maldives earns its top spot on countless bucket lists.
Staying at Patina Maldives embodies a way of life. An exquisite retreat suitable for families in multi-bedroom suites with exclusive beach access. It’s a romantic escape for honeymoons and anniversaries. Or maybe you just need a solo trip with staff that anticipates your every whim. That’s Patina—a sophisticated, casual luxe vibe. View Patina’s Maldives digital brochure.
In the following days, I visited different resorts, atolls, and private islands by speedboat and seaplane, discovering hidden gems along the way that will make trip planning much easier. Many perceive the Maldives as a luxury haven, and rightfully so. I get it. However, there are affordable resorts that offer the same pristine beaches and jewel-toned ocean views.
Overwater or Beach Villa
For Instagram enthusiasts, the former is a must. But as a beach lover who doesn’t swim, the latter holds my heart. A quick step onto the sand and into the ocean suits my preference. I’m more of a beach villa aficionado. I like my toes in the sand. If you’re all about swimming, snorkeling, and being one with the water, the overwater villa won’t disappoint. Or do both. Stay a few nights in an overwater villa and then move to a beach villa. There are a few resorts that offer villas that sit partially on the beach and in the lagoon. The best of both worlds.
When traveling with young children, it is important to note that there are no safety rails or barriers from the deck to the water in an overwater villa.
Natural or Man-made Island
The Maldives is a barefoot experience. Leave your shoes in the villa and enjoy the rest of your stay with your toes in the sand. That includes dining, cocktails, and the bar. When staying on a man-made island, the “sand” you’ll find there is crushed coral. It won’t be as soft as what you’d find on a natural island. Patina Maldives sits on a beautiful man-made island.
Speed Boat or Seaplane
You’ll travel from Male to your Maldivian resort by speed boat, seaplane, or both. The mode of transportation depends on how far away your resort is. Picture disembarking from a seaplane onto a platform swaying with the Indian Ocean’s rhythm, then transitioning to a speedboat. It’s a scene of cool composure. However, preferences do indeed make a difference. Seaplanes provide unparalleled views, while speed boats offer a more direct route. Your comfort level, especially with children, might influence your choice.
If you’re afraid of swaying platforms in the Indian Ocean or have a fear of water, choose a resort that only needs a speed boat transfer. Non-swimmer here. The first time I did it, I was quite nervous. Each time after, I felt like a pro.
Best Time to Visit
The Maldives experiences two seasons: dry (November through April) and wet. My trip fell during the wet season, with brief rain on just one of my ten days. While the dry season promises the best weather, it comes with a higher price tag.
The Maldives is a hidden gem for vacations. Dive in the turquoise waters, and you’ll feel like part of Nemo’s world, with Dori just around the next reef. It’s a place where service goes beyond expectations. It’s the stuff girlfriend getaways are made of. Dream weddings and honeymoons begin here.
The Maldives isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime destination; it’s the destination—for everything you desire in a vacation. The secret’s out, and we’re experts at helping you plan it.
Want to see more of Patina Maldives? View the Photo Gallery.
Margie Jordan is a certified Maldives expert. Let me plan your Maldives vacation.