Arrival at Landaa Giravaaru, Maldives

Landaa Giravaaru is a totally extraordinary resort!   Travelling in by seaplane and speedboat is actually a very fitting way to arrive –  It’s certainly not the norm!    But then, nothing about this hotel is the norm.

the name's bond...
A refreshing drink on arrival…

I don’t think I’ve ever been shown to a room that made my jaw drop more than this one.

In fact you couldn’t really call it a room.  It was more like a house.   Parked outside were a pair of his and hers bicycles, with our initials monogrammed on the front!  I guess, when you have an island to explore, the most scenic way to go is by bike!

bike 2
One of our trusty matching bicycles…
not a bad pad...
Not a bad pad I suppose…

front doorarrival and landaLandaa swimming pool

The room was situated on a HUGE plot with lushly planted front and rear gardens – much bigger than our back garden at home –  with the added benefit of a path that meandered down to a secluded beach!  We had a large swimming pool all to ourselves.  The room also came with a pavillion style ‘outhouse’.  Underneath the canopy were a myriad of chairs and loungers plus a table for snacks or a game of cards.  A winding staircase took you up to a mezzanine balcony, complete with large sunlounger and hammock – just the place to curl up with a good book, or be lulled to sleep by the hypnotic rythmn of the sea.

Crows Nest
The ‘outhouse’
the cat that got the cream
Cat that got the cream…
and relax
Well, it was bound to happen…

spectacular

Our home for 4 days
Our ‘Room’ with a view!  Incredible.

The only challenge we seemed to be faced with over those fleeting few days, was choosing exactly where to relax…there were just so many options.

Although we knew there were other guests at the hotel, somehow it felt like you had the whole island to yourself.  The beach was a stretch of pristine white, powdery sand, gently caressed by the calmest of turquoise waters.

The restaurants and eateries were amazing – the highlight being an incredible Italian, called Blu, which gave you the feeling of being suspended over the ocean.  I’ll never foget eating one of our meals in the middle of a tropical downpour – giggling at the frantic race of the waiters to batten down the hatches and shut up all the shutters!

curves
Nobody about…
Just before dinner
Just before dinner…

For a mother of four, who spends her busy days running the kids here, there and everywhere, doing school runs, countless trips to the supermarket, cooking meal after meal and wading through endless piles of laundry – it felt as though I’d just been given the greatest gift!  Four days of total relaxation.  I will always be grateful that I had these moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Off to Landaa Giravaaru

Our prize-of-a-lifetime, trip for two to the Maldives was doubly sweet.  Spending 3 nights in the beautiful Kuda Huura Hotel was only just the beginning.  The next leg of the journey, was a four night stay in the exclusive Four Seasons resort, Landaa Giravaaru.

It was sad to say goodbye to the Kuda Huura, and we were given a wonderful send-off.  Yet there was a sense of excitement for what was next in store.

restaurant
Not an easy place to leave…
see you soon
I hope so….

Our transfer was in a tiny Maldivian Sea-Plane.  This in itself was an incredible experience!  I have never taken-off or landed in the sea before!  It was all a bit of an adventure, to say the least.  We had to wear ear plugs that looked a bit like cheesy Watsits!

cheesy watsits
Cheesy Watsits!
captain
About to take-off!

flying about

Flying over the Maldives is an astonishing sight.  Atol after atol like shimmering pearls amidst the irridescent jewel-like ocean.

birds eye view
Atol after atol…

Around 40 minutes later, our destination came into view.  We had certainly arrived in style!

landaa
Birds Eye View of the Landaa Giraavaru

Two years  later, I still look back and pinch myself.

Off to the Maldives

We were all packed and ready to go.

I’d finally got my head around leaving the children.  The four of them would be spending the week with various family members.  Everything was neatly arranged.  All that remained was to try and get a good night’s rest before a day of gruelling travel.

And that’s when the puking began.  It was about 3:30 am.  All of a sudden, our four-year-old, Emily, appeared at our bedside and announced that she was going to be sick.

She was absolutely right about that.  Poor little angel.

What on earth were we supposed to do now?  Perhaps this was a sign…that we shouldn’t be going?  I’d never felt so torn.  What if she had a bug?  How could I leave her with my parents like this?  “Hi mum and dad – Thank you so much for looking after our child – Here’s her suitcase….Oh and here’s a sick bucket…”

At about 7am, I nervously called my parents to explain the situation, half expecting that we would have to cancel the trip.

Of course, they insisted that we still go…Let it be said, right here, right now, my parents are absolute heroes.

And so, choking back the tears, we said our goodbyes.  My heart was in knots as I watched little Emily wave us off, tightly clutching hold of her beloved Winnie The Pooh Bear.  Saying goodbye, even if just for a week, is the hardest thing to do.  But nevertheless, we were off to the Maldives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Hat!

IMG_20160514_192111

It was an ordinary evening when my mobile phone rang.

“Hi Love, it’s me!”

I hadn’t expected to hear from Nathan – he was attending a Four Seasons Promotional event up in London.

I detected an air of excitement in his voice, but was not the slightest bit prepared for what was to come.  Most people would only dream of receiving a phone call like this.

“You won’t believe it!” he said.

“What?” I implored, the tension mounting.  “Tell me!”

“I’ve just won a trip for two…to the Maldives!”

A trip for two?  But that would mean leaving our four children. Who would look after them?  I couldn’t possibly ask my parents to have them again, could I?  

“Noooo way?!”  I said, in the most cheery voice that I could muster.

“Yep…it was the top prize!  All our name badges were put into a hat and mine got pulled out!  I’ve been praying that we could see the Indian Ocean…We’re off to the Maldives, baby!”

I gulped.  We were off to the Maldives.

“Oh wow!  That’s…fantastic!”

Now my husband knows me all too well. “Hey, don’t worry about the kids!  This is the trip of a life-time!  It’s only for a week.  They’ll be fine.  I’m sure your mum and dad would be happy for you to go.”

He was probably right.

It dawned on me.  Most people would be running around the house whoop-whooping at news like this.  And there was I, standing motionless, like a sack of old spuds, almost wishing that this wasn’t happening to me.

But it really was…