After my fairytale wedding at Colshaw Hall in Cheshire, we had a wonderful few days catching up with family and our children before jetting off on our honeymoon. We had booked to go to the Niyama Resort in the Maldives for a week, stopping off in Dubai on the way back for two days.
In perfect honeymoon style, we were picked up from our house by a chauffeur driven car and flew business class by Emirates on a eight hour flight to Dubai. The Emirates lounge was all new to me as I had never travelled business class before, but all the food and drinks were fully complimentary and it was the perfect hub to relax and reminisce about the wedding before boarding our flight.
The level of customer care you receive flying business class is unbelievable, You are literally treated like royalty, we didn’t have to lift a finger and just glided through check in and straight to our seats on the flight. I was still in full bride vibe mode and wore a ‘BRIDE’ bodysuit, white combats and my Sophia Webster wedding shoes. I may as well get my wear out of them. We had our own TV, radio, mini bar, duvet, pillows reclining seats that turn into beds, and more importantly a fabulous walk in bar at the back of the plane. I soon kicked of my high heels in favour for my Moschino sliders and sat back ready for take off.
Once we took off we ordered breakfast and sat at the bar drinking champagne, this was the perfect way to start our honeymoon. After watching the Greatest Showman for the first time, drinking and eating as much as we wanted, having a few naps and reading my magazines, we landed safely in the Maldives.
We had another four hour flight to Male, the capital of the Maldives, which looked like a concrete jungle and it was raining, nothing like paradise. Once we landed, we had to wait another three hours for our seaplane to our island resort, and I was also told that due to my suitcase being ‘heavy’ it had to go out on the plane after. Not the best start to our next adventure!
I suffer terribly from anxiety when I fly, so there were a few tears about boarding the seaplane. Not only was the plane a tiny 16 seater, but the pilot wasn’t even wearing any shoes. Once we got on the plane I wanted to get off. It was only a 60 minute flight to the island but it was terror for me. I thought we would be skimming the sea, but we ascended as high as a normal commercial flight and with any gust of wind the plane shook and swerved. We had been travelling for 18 hours door to door and I was mentally and physically exhausted, but it was also a huge eye opener that all these little islands looked like small grains of sand in this huge blue sea and that’s where we would be living for the next 7 days. Its crazy to get your head around the fact this part of the world exists.
As soon as we landed on the resort, I was greeted with an amazing cocktail while we waited for our Maldivian butler, which they called a Thakuru. We had finally landed in paradise, and we were lucky enough to have booked one of the only four over water villas on the island which was simply stunning. It was bigger than our house! We had an open plan dining room, kitchen, reception, double bathroom and a floor to ceiling window in our bedroom showcasing a full view of the Indian Ocean. Outside we had an infinity pool, al fresco dining area and steps into the clear blue sea. I nearly cried walking through this sprawling villa, it was literally paradise.
Once we unpacked and became familiar with our opulent surroundings, we had a meeting with our butler in our room to give us a guided tour of the island. We were so surprised to see that we had two bikes waiting outside for us, with our names carved on them, to get around the island. The Niyama resort is one of the largest resorts of the Maldives and we purposely chose this island as it had a lot of amenities for us to do for 7 days, we were a little worried about getting bored! Paul and I are used to nightlife and we knew this holiday was about relaxation, reconnecting and experiencing a new adventure together.
We cycled to the bars, restaurants, the fitness centre and the spa so we knew our route for the next few days. The first night on the island we decided to try the African restaurant, Tribal which was ok, but not one of our favourites. Other restaurants we dined in were Nest, an amazing Teppenyaki dining experience we loved so much we dined there three times. One of the best dining experiences we had was the underwater restaurant Subsix, 20 feet under the Indian Ocean which you can only to get to by boat. Dining with fish swimming up to your table was phenomenal. Every evening we chilled in the Fahrenheit bar sipping cocktails listening to chillout house.
We cycled to the Surf Shack most days which was a reggae inspired bar on the boarder of the island where we watched the sunset to mix it up listening to the sounds of sea. It was the most romantic setting I have ever experienced, and after a few rum cocktails it was always the end to a perfect evening.We hit the gym every day after breakfast for a workout, grabbed and fresh juice from the deli and sunbathed in our villa every morning. I am forever working and eating well whether I am on holiday or not. I enjoy it, in fact I love it. It makes me feel good and sets me straight for the day. It also allows me to feel guilt free when drinking and eating what I want in the evenings.
One of our wedding gifts from Paul’s company was half a day in a spa full of treatments and a champagne lunch. They had arranged an outdoor bath and jacuzzi for two and we stayed there all afternoon being pampered, preened and sipping bubbles.
By day four of the holiday it was time for a bit of adventure, so we booked to go snorkelling in the Indian ocean. I also have a fear of the sea, so I wanted to do this like a hole in the head. I knew it was something Paul wanted to do, so I tried to put it aside so we could experience this togehter. Once we got out to sea, I could see the weather turning grey. I held it together and took the plunge into the water. I bobbed up and down putting my head in the water to see the fish. The coral was only small, and once I saw it I was done. The waves were getting higher and I felt something was a little off, so I called it a day after 15 minutes and swam back to the boat. Once I was on the boat the heavens opened up and it poured with rain so heavy it was bouncing off the waves, which by this time was making the boat nearly fall sideways. We got a call from the resort to head back as a matter of emergency, so everyone boarded and we set off in torrential rain. What should have been a 10 min boat ride back was 45 mins. We couldn’t get back due to the tide being so high and we had to divert. I was crying, screaming and soaking wet. Its safe to say I will never go snorkelling again. But I took one for the team! After the shock of the snorkelling, I was happy to be back on land, head back to the villa have a long bath and get ready for dinner.
There are so many amazing memories of our honeymoon, such as dining in the underwater restaurant, spending days on the beach with no one else around, watching sunsets I’ve never seen so beautiful, but more importantly we didn’t got bored. We enjoy each others company so much, we laughed, ate and drank our way though the honeymoon making plans for our future and I couldn’t wait to get back to start putting them into place.
The Maldives makes you feel like you’re so far away from home, and with having the boys at home, some days we missed them terribly, but your mind is soon occupied by the most amazing experiences it makes it all worth it.
Our next and final stop was Dubai for two nights, after the tranquillity of the Maldives we were really looking forward to a bit of nightlight and the bustle of a city. We checked into the Grosvenor House hotel and were taken to the honeymoon suite which again was littered with champagne and chocolates and headed straight to the pool for an afternoon of sunbathing and relaxation.
When you stay at this hotel you also gain access to the Royal Meridian hotel, which means more amenities and a better choice of sunbeds! A few cocktails later we decided to hit Barasti, a local European beach bar with a lively atmosphere. After a boozy afternoon and lunch by the pool, we headed back to the hotel for a power nap as we had dinner reservations at Buddha Lounge and Bar.
This restaurant ticked all the boxes for me, amazing Thai inspired interiors, sexy sushi, Balearic beats and more importantly a great table for people watching! I dined on edamame beans, sushi and steak washed down with a bottle of Lauren Perrier Rose champagne. Next stop was Siddhartas bar which is a rooftop venue at our hotel with a very lively Sex & the City vibe.
The next day we both had a little bit of a champagne hangover, but it was Sunday which only meant one thing, Nikki Beach Dubai! Our wedding was Nikki beach themed because its our favourite place to visit around the world. We have been to Marbella, St Tropez, Miami, Ibiza so Dubai was next on our list.
Nikki Beach Dubai didn’t fail to disappoint. It was a huge venue, bigger than most we have visited and we had booked an Opium bed for the two of us where we spent all day relaxing, and soaking up the Dubai sun. With it being Ramadan is was pretty quiet and the music wasn’t exactly ‘going off’ but the chilled beach vibe was perfect for a Sunday.
The next day we were up early to catch our flight to the UK. We were collected from the hotel by a driver and taken back to the Emirates lounge at the airport for more food, but coffee over champagne this time. We will go back for our 5 year anniversary and keep making more amazing memories.