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The Maldives are an incredible natural wonder and really are as beautiful as they look in photos. I wasn't really sure what the fuss was about before visiting them for the first time (where I was lucky enough to review lots of different islands) but, having been there, I completely understand why most people want to honeymoon there: you just unwind the minute you step onto that beautiful sand, with the incredible aquamarine sea, white sand beach and lush tropical greenery. On my trip to the Maldives I also got a clear picture of what travellers to the Maldives might not know when they book their perfect honeymoon and that’s what this article is all about, I want to help you pick the right place for your perfect trip.

So read on to find out about the right hotels to choose, as well as the advantages of different room-types at the hotels. Also I’ll give you advice that you almost certainly WON'T get from other travel agents, so make sure to book with us at Love2shop Holidays!

Photos © Ian Bush: left one shows the view over deepwater from a water villa, right hand shows the view from a beach villa through trees, the beach to the sea (looks much nicer in real life!)

The first thing, I personally felt, on my trip to see many hotels in the Maldives, is that beach-villas are preferable to over-water villas (even though over-water villas are usually a higher-category room type.) In fact I interviewed the hotel management, who all said that British travellers tend to prefer beach-villas to water-villas. The important thing about beach-villas is the view: imagine seeing lush greenery from your deck, leading to a beautiful white sand beach which meets the amazing azure lagoon. In a water-villa, you are in the lagoon surrounded by the sea and don’t get a view of lush greenery or a beach scene, as you are usually facing out to sea. You can sometimes step down into the lagoon from your water-villa; but from my experience, the bits of lagoon you can step into from the water-villas were never as nice as the bits of lagoon you step into directly from the beach.

Another upside of choosing a beach-villa over a water-villa is that they tend to be much cheaper than water-villas in the Maldives. You could put the money you save on your room type towards getting a much better hotel for the same overall cost! That’ll give your trip an extra dimension of unforgettable luxury. So I tell my clients: unless you really, really want a water-villa, the beach-villas could be a much better option for you. Can't choose? Then let us book you a few nights in one and then a few nights in the other!

Photo ©Ian Bush: a very natural beach scene on one particularly beautiful Maldives island

Another important consideration for your holiday or honeymoon to the Maldives is to make sure you go to a hotel that is a decent distance away from the main island of Male. If you are too close you will get a view of smoke from the capital city's waste-burning site and a built-up city in the distance, which spoils the 'paradise island feel' of your trip. Some of the most expensive, 5 star Maldives hotels are incredibly close to the main island of Male, so I personally advise against travelling to any of these. Below is a photo taken from a traveller review, on the Tripadvisor website, of an ultra-luxurious 5 star Maldives hotel. The hotel gets superb reviews but I wouldn't send someone there if there was a better option for them elsewhere Here's why: in the photo below, on the horizon-line, between sea and sky, you can see the main built-up island of Male in the distance, together with smoke rising into the sky from the municipal waste-burning site just off Male (and please remember things look further-away in photos than they do in real life; if you were standing on that beach you would see the smoke and buildings much more clearly!) That really isn't my idea of paradise.

Photo courtesy of a reviewer on Trip Advisor.

Another important consideration is to choose only those islands with the most natural scenery. Many islands have significant anti beach-erosion measures in place, which can be floating pontoons around the island, sandbags or even concrete walls. Quite simply, the more natural the island, the more like paradise it will feel. We always try to send our clients to those islands with the most natural scenery. In the photo below, you can see one popular island that is completely surrounded by artificial sea defences. Not ideal.

Photo shows a popular Maldives island but which is surrounded by artificial sea defences – not the most natural scenery!

So, in summary, to make sure your Maldives holiday or honeymoon is the paradise you deserve, contact Love2shop Holidays now to book and take advantage of our Maldives expertise. And also take advantage of our free wedding gift list service at Gift2us as well – no fees for you for the gift list, no credit card fees for your guests contributing to gifts, and no card fees to you when booking your honeymoon.

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