At some point in your life you will have a dream about the Maldives. Possibly the most Instagrammable place on earth, each way I turn looks entirely photoshopped and beyond perfection.
Bright, blue and calm, even the sea had so little movement I felt like I was walking into a highly edited photo. The sheer disbelief of such beauty took my breath away. I am not ashamed in the slightest to tell you that I cried my eyes out as our sea plane landed on Niyama Island. I had never seen anything quite like it.
We were greeted by our Takuru Youssuf (Maldivian butler) and welcomed onto paradise. We chose to stay 5 nights in Per Aquum Niyama, a set of twin islands described as heaven on earth and a hot spot for wealthy honeymooners and royalty.
Per Aquum is one of the few resorts that allow and cater for children. As the Maldives is very much a honeymoon location there’s a massive demand for ‘adult only’ resorts and the islands are mostly made up of them. Per Aquum is in the minority and that’s a positive. Now, I’m not keen on screaming kids or places where the interior design is based around primary colours and oversized dinosaur murals. I wanted a gorgeous, natural, high end location that just so happens to understand children and have a few spaces they will also love. Per Aquum is exactly that. Not a dinosaur decal in sight and not even another child. In the 5 days I was there I literally didn’t cross paths with another tiny human. Infact it was a tough task to see any other people at all. Apart from when you venture to one of the 9 restaurants the islands are so privately planned out you really do feel like you’re the only person there – Perfection.
Despite having always dreamt of those picturesque water bungalows, my one year old son had just started to walk and I figured there’s nothing more dangerous then the combination of a toddling baby and a water bungalow. Instead I opted for the private beach studio with pool and I quickly discovered what is overrated – those water bungalows! They’re incredible looking, but you potentially sacrifice your own pool and private beach space. I am so pleased we choose to stay on land and will certainly book the studio over the water bungalow again. If you have a child it’s a no brainer – throw open the back door and kids can run into the pool and beach butt naked and enjoy privacy, security and calm.
Now, when It comes to whether a place is overrated or not it gets personal, so I’ve broken the overrated factor into three key points. Yup I’m serious…
- How much people rave about it vs How honest they were.
- How much you expected vs What you actually got.
- How much you paid vs How much you get in return.
If you meet anyone who has ever been to Maldives, they will tell you it’s the most beautiful location on earth. That’s because it is. They say it is mindblowingly beautiful an there’s no need to exaggerate. Infact and the photos don’t even do it justice. They were honest in terms of beauty, it’s most certainly not overrated.
I have high expectations, I’ve always dreamt of the Maldives and I expected a dream holiday. I cannot even attempt to put into words how perfect the entire holiday was. I can only tell you that there was a genuine moment on this trip where I contemplated changing careers. I was willing, for the first time ever – to give up my job to live on this island. I was so convinced I pitched my imaginary swap to the nursery nurse who had left humble Wales to work caring for holiday maker’s children in the Maldives. I offered her all the glitter and glamour of Television for a straight swap…She declined.
I tried to make friends with the staff who live amongst the palm trees and find myself a job, any job, I would happily clean toilets to live in the Maldives. When it comes to what I expected vs what I got I certainly got way more than I expected.
Turns out life is somewhat complicated and I can’t just trade everything in for cleaning toilets in the Maldives, I have to pay to go there.
It’s not cheap, it’s not even close.
I think it’s worth being brutally honest here – Expect to drop 10k on a five night stay. It’s insanely expensive, but by no means overrated.