IMG_0016-2Arrive by Seaplane

My feelings about the Maldives are mixed.  On the one hand, the islands are just fabulous with pristine beaches, crystal clear waters plentiful fish, Dolphins, Turtles and more to see.  One is spoiled for choice with top five star hotels on the islands represented by many of the top hotel groups.

Perfect beaches

The beaches really are just as perfect as they look in the pictures and fish swim around your feet as you paddle in the shallow water.

IMG_0814-2Heavenly, pristine beaches

On the other hand, if like me, you enjoy visiting countries for their culture, exploring and finding different restaurants and special places  – you will be bored after a few days.  I dislike, intensely, an ‘all inclusive’ resort.  The mere mention of the word makes my heart sink!  In the Maldives you are pretty much trapped on an island and forced to eat in the resort/hotel complex.  Unless you are sailing and island hopping, of course.

Watersports:

Firstly, the things I did enjoy:   I loved hiring a speedboat with the watersport staff to accompany us and show the best spots for snorkelling and diving.  Sadly, I didn’t have an underwater camera – I definitely intend to buy one!  The seas are filled with Turtles, Dolphins, Stingray and too many fish to name.

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Who wouldn’t enjoy whizzing around on a jetski without any one else to be seen except for a few dolphins!

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Friendly and helpful staff and delicious food.  I’m aware that you will think that I’m living up to my diva name by complaining!  BUT … the terrific staff are woefully underpaid and I for one find it very uncomfortable when relatively wealthy guests are paying more for a bottle of wine that the staff are earning in a month.  I know this is true of many poor areas of the world, but I try and contribute in some way to the communities I visit, and this is not possible here.  The only ones profiting from tourism are the super-wealthy Hotel groups.

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The guests are so well looked after and pampered from the moment they arrive and luggage is whisked away by buggies.

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cocktails watching the sunset going down on the beach, so relaxing, romantic and just magical- there is so much to enjoy.

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This is all very lovely for a few days ….. and then you start to go stir crazy!  Trapped on a small island – you can’t pop out to a local restaurant or visit some sites because there aren’t any!  You can’t go anywhere because there isn’t anywhere to go – particularly if you are staying on an island that is a plane ride away from Male.

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Classic Maldives 

Another downside to staying here is the price.  Now, I don’t mind paying for a top quality holiday – but I feel the Maldives is way too expensive for what you get for your money.   Everything has to be imported and so this makes everything expensive.  There are many places in the world just as idyllic and a fraction of the price.

To recap – you will love the Maldives if you want a complete get away from it all break, enjoy all inclusive set-ups and have a devil may care attitude to cost!  Will I return? well, never say never I suppose!

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Information:

We flew with British Airways http://www.britishairways.com

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Travel Wardrobe for Asia 

I’m busy planning what to take with me to The Philippines.  Obviously, it will be hot and humid so I have to rethink my beauty regime too.  There is nothing worse than getting hot and sweaty with make up sliding down your face!

My latest discovery and one I will definitely put into my suitcase is Jason Wu for Caudalie eau de beaute Beauty Elixir for a smooth and glowing complexion.  This arrived in the post just as I arrived back from the sunny Cote d’azur with skin dehydrated by the sun, sea and salt.  The soothing scent is divine and my skin is instantly revived and looks radiant.

What do you think? I just sprayed it on before taking the photo above with me and Zarya!

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I will use if every day as part of my skincare routine and will put it into my hand luggage to keep my face hydrated on the long journey.  If you want to buy some for yourself click on the link on the righthand side. With thanks to Caudalie UK.

I have the most luscious Serge Lutyens scent that perfectly evokes Asia for me that I just discovered called Nuit de Cellophane so this is going with me too.

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What to Wear in The Philippines

My top tip for what to wear in very hot and humid countries is wear as little as possible!  I only pack lightweight natural fabrics in Cotton, Linen and Silk.

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Lise Charmel Chemise

What do you think of my new Lise Charmel Chemise, bought in Galeries Lafayette?  I think it will be perfect for a hot climate.  My latest discovery for swimwear is a very inexpensive brand that I found on http://www.asos.com  Love them because they have big cup sizes, YAY! So shout out for Wolf and Whistle

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Hermes Shoulder Birkin Bag

I’ll take one of my Hermes bags with an iPad, iPhone and Sunnies
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Well, that is as far as I have planned so far. Perfume, Chemise and Bikini !Hmmmm … I need to get organised don’t I?  I’ll take 2 dresses per day, 2 bikinis and 1 Kaftan per day, shorts and that is about it!  I’ll tell you about my latest buys on here as I get them.

Top Tip to fight off mosquitoes Did you know that mossies detest Vitamin E? take a Vitamin E supplement and slather yourself in Vitamin E cream and they will go a bite someone else!

Hiking boots and flip-flops too!

My Useful Addresses

http://www.uk.caudalie.com  http://www.wolfandwhistle.co.uk http://www.hermes.com