Romance in the Maldives

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Romance in the Maldives
Few locations pull off romance like the Maldives, one of the world’s top spots for honeymooners. From candlelit dinners on the beach to kisses on deserted sandbars, there's no shortage of ways for sweethearts to flirt or connect.
Photo courtesy of Conrad Hotels & Resorts
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    Enjoy Your Own Personal Butler
    Many Maldivian resorts designate butler service for their premier suites. These skilled stewards can streamline a vacation in plenty of ways, including coordinating surprises for couples. Breakfasts in bed, a bottle of chilled champagne just in time for sunset, or an outdoor bath filled with rose petals seem to appear effortlessly. To top it off, most butlers are available 24 hours a day. With such efficient help behind the scenes, it's small wonder that the Maldives is a popular place to pop the question.
    Photo courtesy of Conrad Hotels & Resorts
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    An Island of Your Own
    Castaway fantasies are reality in the Maldives, where couples can spend an entire day on a private island. The day begins with a sail to a sandbar, where lovers are dropped off with a picnic lunch, chairs, and an umbrella. The next few hours are spent snorkeling, exploring, and enjoying each other’s company before the boat returns to whisk the couple back to the resort for dinner. An overnight stay on the W Retreat & Spa's Gaathafushi Island is a true Robinson Crusoe experience in terms of privacy, if not austerity: Couples sleep beneath a thatched roof and enjoy meals prepared by a private chef. Alternatively, the Rania Experience is a "private island residence" that is only enjoyed by one party at a time, and has a price tag to match.
    Photo courtesy of W Retreat & Spa Maldives
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    Couple's Spa Treatments
    A couple’s massage is a classic way for a pair to unwind, but few couples can say they’ve shared the experience underwater. LIME, the spa at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi resort, has overwater pavilions as well as the world’s first underwater treatment rooms. Couples achieve new levels of serenity while watching the graceful movements of fish and turtles, then return to the surface for a rejuvenating yoga session overlooking the water. Resorts such as Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu bring spa treatments to the privacy of couples' own rooms, and the Lily Beach Resort & Spa and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas build the cost of such treatments into their all-inclusive plans for guilt-free indulgence.
    Photo courtesy of LIME Spa at Huvafen Fushi
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    Dining on the Beach
    With such stunning stretches of sand at their disposal, resorts in the Maldives are uniquely equipped for romantic beach dinners. If dining on the beach is not enchanting enough, make sure to enhance the experience with fresh lobster or premium wine. Cocoa Island by COMO sets up couples on a private jetty or beneath a canopy tent, while guests at Gili Lankanfushi can pick their own wine pairings thanks to the hotel's underground wine cellar. The cellar holds more than 500 types of wine, and the sommelier hosts tastings and suggests dinner pairings. Giving a tropical twist to the "Farm to Table" concept, Sip Sip at Six Senses Laamu has "farm to pool" offerings where chefs based the menu on whatever has been harvested from the resort's garden that day.
    Photo courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
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    See the Maldives from Above
    To truly put the Maldives into perspective and see how thousands of tiny islands seem to have been sprinkled over the Indian Ocean, view the archipelago from above. Many people arrive at their resorts via seaplane, but those who don’t should not miss the opportunity to take to the air. Take a trip with Trans Maldivian Airways to enjoy spectacular aerial views. Their services range from 15-minute photo flights to excursions to remote sandbars. The noise of the engine is a small price to pay for the breathtaking views of blinding-white atolls surrounded by jewel-colored water.
    Photo courtesy of The Maldives Tourism Board
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    Cruise the Maldives on a Private Yacht
    Channel the perceived life of the rich and famous by cruising around the Maldives on a private yacht. High-end resorts—such as the W Retreat and Spa, and Conrad Rangali—rent their boats out for anything from half-day to overnight excursions. (A night on a yacht includes, naturally, a king bed and private chef.) If that doesn't sound like enough time on the water, check into the Four Seasons for an all-inclusive cruise on the Explorer, a floating resort. The ship holds a maximum of 22 guests, each of whom can pick from a menu of snorkeling, diving, fine dining, and private sunset sails.
    Photo courtesy of Conrad Hotels & Resorts
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    Hand-in-Hand on the Sand
    The Maldives has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to picture-perfect beaches. These quintessential views are the reason many guests make the long journey to the islands, and to make the most of the trip, lots opt to spend a day on a sandbar. A walk along a deserted shore is a chance for couples to reconnect, and adventurous lovebirds can wade through the warm water to a particularly isolated sandbank. Kuramathi Island Resort is famous for its long wisp of sand, and One Palm Island at Gili Lankanfushi features just that—one symbolic, postcard-perfect palm tree!
    Photo courtesy of Kuramathi Island Resort
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    Your Private Infinity
    Book a five-star suite in the Maldives for an incredible amenity—a private infinity pool. Perfect for those who want to cool off while contemplating the ocean, these gorgeous pools are set right off the balcony for privacy, yet clever design means they afford breathtaking views of the water. At the W Retreat and Spa, each room has its own plunge pool, regardless of room category. High-end resorts have large infinity pools for the enjoyment of all guests, but at resorts like Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, these pools are practically private anyway—most visiting honeymooners are happy spending time in their rooms or off on private excursions.
    Photo courtesy of W Retreat & Spa Maldives
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    Champagne on Deck
    A sunset sail is a particularly appropriate way to cap off a day in paradise, and every resort in the Maldives offers some variation of this excursion. Couples can hop on a dhoni—a traditional Maldivian fishing boat—as the sky comes alive with bright oranges, pinks, and reds. Chilled champagne complements an unforgettable view, and the very lucky may even spot a pod of dolphins bursting out of the clear water. To amplify the romantic angle, several resorts offer the option to charter a private boat, among them Baros Maldives and One&Only Reethi Rah.
    Photo by Kazuya Tanaka/age fotostock
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    Underwater Weddings and Overwater Vows
    Destination weddings are taken to an extreme in the Maldives, and the W Retreat & Spa even takes theirs underwater. Their Deep Love package provides couples with diving gear, then escorts them 15 meters underwater, where the witnesses are coral and the guests are fish. A wet wedding isn’t for everyone, so the resort also provides opportunities to exchange vows on its private yacht or simply on the beach. However fantastic, these ceremonies are purely for show: Only Maldivians can legally get married in the country. Those celebrating an anniversary may opt for a vow renewal, and resorts like Velassaru and Kurumba offer packages including a ceremony, photographer, dinner, and traditional dance.
    Photo courtesy of Kurumba Maldives
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