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Real Honeymoons: The Maldives & Dubai

After the craziness of wedding planning, Emma and hubby Robert decided to relax and take time out in the Maldives, before jetting off to experience a bit of the high life in Dubai.

Date of honeymoon: May/June 2010

Average temperature when you were there: 38°in Maldives, 42°in Dubai!

Price range: €6000 approx.

Travel time from Ireland: Normally 14 hours in total to the Maldives but with ash cloud complications it took us a lot longer!

Why did you choose this location?

We chose this location as we had heard that the Maldives were very naturally beautiful and utter paradise on earth.....we were not disappointed!  We chose to stay a few nights in Dubai at the end of our stay as we had heard lots of great reports from friends that it was a ‘must see’ city.

Where did you stay? And would you recommend it?

We stayed on Kuramathi Island in the Maldives. We would definitely recommend it.  It was just a stunning location for our honeymoon, a once in a lifetime destination...pure opulent luxury combined with amazing natural beauty and wonderfully warm and hospitable people.  In Dubai, we stayed in the Mina A Salam hotel in Dubai, it is part of the Jumeirah beach resort.  It was a beautiful, luxurious hotel with excellent customer care. The staff exceeded our expectations in all aspects and we received lots of special little extras such as complimentary flowers, champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival!

Was it all inclusive?

We went ‘Select’ all inclusive in Kuramathi which was the highest all inclusive option. It meant we could eat at all of the islands eight a la carte restaurants without any restrictions. We would highly recommend going select all inclusive as it meant we were not restricted to the buffet restaurants. In Dubai, we stayed on a half board basis. 

What were the main attractions?

The main attraction in Kuramathi was pure relaxation! There was an amazing spa where we could enjoy treatments in the open air. Snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as fishing trips and sunset cruises, were the main attractions. The island is all about totally unwinding and enjoying romantic meals, walks etc. Dubai is a shopping lover’s paradise! There is nothing you cannot buy there! We did a little shopping but not too much as there were so many other amazing attractions. We enjoyed some great experiences there, like swimming with dolphins and afternoon tea in the world’s most luxurious hotel, the Burj al Arab, Dubai.

What was the best part?

It is hard to pick the best part as the whole trip was so special. I celebrated my birthday whilst in the Maldives and the staff made it really special, baking me a whole cake (just for me!) and decorating our room for our arrival and on my birthday. We went snorkelling which was a truly amazing experience, as was the romantic sunset cruise complete with champagne!  The spa treatments were the best we have had anywhere in the world! In Dubai, afternoon tea in the sky bar in the Burj al Arab (purely for the experience!) and also swimming with Dolphins in Atlantis Hotel, Dubai was an unforgettable experience!

What was the food like?

We ate an eclectic mix of cuisine in the Maldives, there were restaurants catering for all types of food. The speciality there is seafood, including beautiful lobster, oysters, crab. In Dubai we ate in various hotels in our resort complex which were all beautiful but very expensive, (€15 for a bottle of water!)

Any downsides to the location?

There are no downsides to the Maldives! We felt Dubai was a little overrated and the prices of some activities did not represent good value for money. Some of the restaurants seemed to charge excessively high prices and the quality was not as good as other countries we have visited. Having said that, we still had an amazing time there and would visit again.

Would you recommend this honeymoon location?

If you get the chance to go to Kuramathi or any of the Maldives, take the opportunity, you will not regret it! We hope we will get the opportunity to go again someday, it is a very tranquil island which is exactly what we needed after the big build up and excitement of the wedding!

Any tips?

We booked our honeymoon through travel counsellors with a lady named Fidelma Brady and cannot recommend her highly enough, she made the planning of our honeymoon effortless and really surpassed all expectations in the service she delivered! Another tip would be that Dubai was exceptionally hot at 42°most days we were there, for us it was too hot to sunbathe, so that’s something for couples to consider if they do not like destinations which are too hot.

Want to share your Honeymoon experiences with other Wollies? Please email [email protected] with your honeymoon date and where you went!

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