For some, the Maldives is the ultimate vacation destination. Somehow everyone wants to go there, because the fear that your dream islands will sink into the sea before you can organize flights, a hotel, or even the necessary little change is all too real. reisen-EXCLUSIV author Simon Sever was somewhat relieved. Also because she thought this holiday world could bore her very quickly. Only beach, sun and water. No shopping, no big city, no hustle and bustle in the streets? Well, another way to let yourself get carried away, shopping is not that important and the big city can wait. strike.
It seems that the world is still standing. Floating in the blue of the underwater world at least two meters below the surface of the water, among the diverse groups of fish, presents me with patterns and color combinations as dazzling and unexpected as I would have imagined possible in real life. I think I just lost my appetite for fish fillets. My new friends are almost on hand, but every time I reach out to them, they bow out.
I float with my arms raised towards the surface of the water, my legs with fins extended towards the sea floor. At least three meters tall. All around me, like Easter eggs in a garden bush, a black and white striped pennant fish dangles in the liquid sky, as its name suggests. A turtle is rowing toward the reef when suddenly I hear a sound next to me, some kind of big bang. Then I saw a white fart coming off the back of a parrot fish. Yes, the truth is sometimes a surprise: because my underwater friend produces a white sand beach in the Maldives! In fact, about 85 percent of Dream Beach is made up of young parrotfish. This hunt nibbles on the algae found on the reef, which is actually lime only. What goes in must come out again, and so the parrotfish eventually excretes the coral limestone, well sedimented and pulverized, the perfect beach sand.
Pure Place on an area of 70 square meters
I’m at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa on Furanafushi Island, just 15 minutes by speedboat from the main island, the capital Male and the airport. My Beach Bungalow 213 gives me pure bliss on an area of 70 square metres. The outside bathroom alone is worth a visit. The highlight is an invisible rain shower, from which water drips so gently that I almost have to cry. Of course there is everything else you might need. I think I ended up in heaven.
Who would have thought so. In fact, beach holidays and the cold aren’t really a thing. But! And “but” has meaning in this case, because it completely turns all clichés and prejudices on their heads. ‘But’ is already ready with my head held high when I wake up in the morning and my bare feet touching the warm room floor, which is not cold at about 30 degrees outside, despite the air conditioning. After only three steps from the bed high in the clouds I reached the wooden veranda. Three small steps are clicking and my feet are standing in the middle of the coral reef highlighted by the parrotfish.
On the left and right, hibiscus bushes, palm trees, and bananas obscure the view of the neighbours. Its more than twenty steps to my beach chair, which is cushioned softly among the palm trees and gives me the privacy that I so much appreciate. Depending on the water level, it’s either three or four steps at most into the water and I’m actually standing in the middle of it in the clear turquoise color of the sea, which is called the Indian Ocean here and feels like my own bathtub. Now in the hammock waiting for me in the clear water. Meanwhile, below me I see a school of fish made of glass. I didn’t even know there was such a thing.
lightness of being
It is very early in the morning. I just woke up today and the sun is shining in a clear sky. No soul on the beach yet. What a luxury it is to walk barefoot alone on the beach in the warm sunlight. I’m beginning to understand what the Maldives is doing to its visitors. Everything has something magical. And as if the magic wasn’t tangible enough, I watch a reef shark swim through my bathtub while I give the baby some space in my head and sit on one of the many swings hanging here. The lightness of being is gaining momentum.
Avatar meets the Garden of Eden
The spaces at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa are not really far and remind us of the Avatar-inspired Garden of Eden. In the evening, the trees are lit up like millions of lights. It’s a magical world I walk in. Take a deep breath and get some momentum on one of the hammocks before you head out to dinner.
The choice here is massive: international at the Feast, Mediterranean at Anchorage Bar, Chinese at Chopsticks, Thai at Baan Tai, Indian at Masala Hut. In the lofty “sea salt” under the palm trees, the finest freshly caught fish are on the luminous menu, making reading in the dark a breeze.
In the blue-lit waters, reef sharks keep an eye on what’s going on at the tables. And I think of my new friends of color who I never wanted to eat again. But the carpaccio on my plate does not remind you of the colorful fish you encountered in the afterlife and unfortunately it tastes excellent. A perfectly chilled glass of rose, warming the wine glass for a moment in the heat of the night, helps clear my conscience. The lightness of being quickly brings a smile to my face again, as if I no longer have all the slides on the fence. You can do that in the Maldives. No, you have to do it!
As if I wasn’t relaxing enough, the spa treatment at Shine Spa for Sheraton is right into my lavish daily schedule, filled with floating in the water, relaxing in my beach chair, lounging in a hammock, snorkeling in the underwater world or indoors. Let the child swing. Now I walk on the tropical island past the “honeymoon garden” where lovebirds, doves, lovers and an engaged couple wrote their names on wooden pendants. However, I will not do that.
Places that feel happy
The Shine Spa for Sheraton is located on a separate small island which I access via a long wooden boardwalk. I welcome tea and frangipani flowers. The view from the treatment room is harsher than the view from my bathtub bay. Here the waves break, white mist appears and palm trees sway in the summer wind. Only the green is as lush as the palm trees in front of my bungalow balcony. The meditative sound of the waves, the balanced pressure on my stress points, the devotion of the moment – then I drifted away.
On the way back to my private place of well-being 213, I sit for what feels like an eternity in the big swing of my motorbike at Banyan Tree. I think this is number one for me. Or the one at Kakuni Hut, or the one at my front door? Do I really have to decide?
immerse yourself in bliss
Yaya and Mango, the two guys from the water sports centre, convinced me on a recent trip with a traditional Maldivian dhoni that I had to dive again today. Of course I’m there and I’m on time with the snorkeling gear at the marina dock. Arriving at Banana Reef, I can’t wait, and while others slide slowly down the stairs into the water, I just jump, because I know: Bliss awaits. And indeed, on my last day, I saw three sharks beneath me. How do you cry happily underwater?
Last sunset, last sunset cocktail, last boat ride. I shed more tears, then finally I must leave the paradise I found.
To this day, Maldivian dust or, more frankly, a parrotfish fart, still hangs on my red suede shoes. The Maldives will not let me go.
Beachfront Cottage costs around €410 per night including breakfast. Here you can find more information about Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.
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