It literally felt like a dream when Bash asked me if I was available to go to the Maldives as we were getting ready to go to bed after a very long day of exploring in Bali. MALDIVES?! ME?! I would have never thought, not so soon, not while I’m in the middle of my birthday vacation. But this was when we received the good news!
On the 24th of July, eager and beyond excited, Bash and I missioned to O.R International Airport to begin our journey to the Corona Hidden Paradise. Every year, Corona holds a competition that allows their consumers to stand a chance to win an international trip to a Hidden Paradise which could literally be anywhere in the world. The competition winners literally don’t know where they’re going until they get to the airport! How insane but amazing?!
Bash and I, along with two other content creators were invited as influencers to amplify the trip and the #hiddenparadise2018 campaign, easy stuff. It’s the Maldives, anyone can make paradise look incredible!
From Johannesburg, we flew to Dubai with Emirates airlines, it was my first time flying with Emirates and being in Dubai. As we got to the airport, we were greeted with cute, little carts and Emirates staff handing out the yummiest ice-cream, just what the doctor ordered. We indulged while we waited for our flight to Malé. The trip from South Africa to Malé was about 15 hours with the short layover included. When we got to Velana International Airport in Malé, Maldives. I was shook! As soon as you’ve walked through immigration, you can literally see the pretty blue ocean water. It is quiet a sight, that’s when you really know that you have arrived!
Made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls consisting of over 1 000 coral islands, the Maldives, situated in the Indian Ocean, make for the perfect tropical holiday destination. We took a speed boat to the little island that we would be spending our very short week. It took about 30 minutes to get to Velassaru Island from the airport. There’s also an option of taking a small sea plane to travel to the other islands. Velassaru, an island in the Maldives. According to the staff, they are one of the smaller islands and can only accommodate around 100 guests at a time on the entire island so we literally felt like the only people there.
We stayed in one of their water villas. The room was very spacious with a lounge area, full bar, the biggest bathtub and a private deck with a sun bed. You could literally jump straight into the ocean from the deck! Waking up to the view of the crystal, blue water every morning was definitely a sight that I will never ever forget.
During our stay, we were free to really do what we wanted with a few special Corona Dinners, sunset cruises and sundowners in-between. On night one, Corona hosted a private Mexican inspired dinner at the Etesian restaurant on the island. Our four course meal consisted of reef fish, duck quesadilla, chipotle prawns and a sweet vanilla sponge cake with fresh berries. I was literally in foodie heaven!
We enjoyed the facilities around the island like the several water activities, pool bar & spa. Velassaru has an all-inclusive package that allows you to eat and drink around the island to your hearts content, you do however have to pay for specific activities on the island that aren’t included in this package. Bashy and I went snorkelling, swimming in the infinity pool, jet ski’ing, smoked shisha and really took some time out to rest and relax during our stay.
Set on the waters edge, overlooking the lagoon is a Japanese restaurant on the Velassaru island, Teppanyaki, one of eight restaurants on the island were we had dinner on one of the evenings. In traditional Japanese style, we were able to watch the chefs prepare my fresh Velassaru California roll with crab stick and green mango. yum! While I sipped on my belini, Bash pointed out a few sharks swimming by, I can’t say I will ever get used to casually seeing stingrays swimming anywhere around the island. We spotted really small sharks, sting rays and other tropical fish quite often. There are signs around the island warning us of the sharks – they won’t bite unless you touch them. But it is pretty hard to remain calm when a couple of sharks are lurking so we didn’t take any chances!
Corona also organised a beautiful braai on the beach for us on our last night. The set up was so romantic and the food reminded all of us of home. It was so lovely to sit back and reflect on how amazing the week was while a live band serenaded us. I definitely went back for seconds and thirds of the fresh, braai’d prawns and delectable desserts. You really spend most of your time eating, napping and soaking up the sun while you’re on this island. I really allowed myself to enjoy every element of my stay.
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have some time to myself, so on the final night I went in for a full body massage at The Spa. The tranquil space is over looking the water just like our villa. Before my full body massage, I took a dip in the very freezing plunge pool to get my blood flowing. After my treatment, I was escorted into a quiet room upstairs, and was served a hot cup of tea, diced pineapple and the best mango sorbet I’ve ever had! A trip like this to the Maldives is definitely a pricy one but would be perfect for a honeymoon, anniversary, proposal or major birthday!
I genuinely hope that Bashy and I get to go back again in the future. Peep my arrival vlog on my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and comment!