The Maldives is on everyone's bucket list- and it has been on mine for years. I never thought I would get the chance to come here! It seems like the Maldives is a world away, but the trip there really isn't that difficult. And let me tell you- it is SO worth it.
First and foremost- the moment we have ALL been waiting for, I was finally reunited with Adeiny. For those of you that don't know the story, Adeiny decided to take a deal to play baseball for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan (see more about that here). I was SO excited about this and for our life in Asia together. However, due to very strict Japanese covid restrictions, we ended up being separated for 9 months.
Time apart was hard, but due to busy lifestyles, it went by fairly quickly. I spend those months renovating our new home, moving, modeling, focusing on my e-commerce business Lacy Coe and my digital marketing agency Uprise Marketing. I traveled so much during the year for both modeling and wanderinheels.com. Travel makes time FLY by!
As it got closer to the end of his season, we became more and more anxious to see each other. At first I was told he would be finished in October. But then, playoffs. I am so happy that he got another playoff experience, especially for the Chiba Lotte Marines, but that meant even LONGER without seeing each other. I was going to plan our trip all out to meet at the end of his season, but under new circumstances- I knew I was going to have to move and plan this trip with one day of notice. And that is exactly what I did.
Finally, on November 14th, he called to say they had finished the season, and he was able to leave Japan in just a few days. I got to moving and planning a trip right away. Things are a little bit more challenging for us. Because he does not have a U.S. Passport yet, we can't just pick up and leave wherever/whenever we want. It takes many visas and government approval, especially because he just spent the last nine months in Japan. That created some challenges.
Originally we were supposed to meet in Dubai, but he missed his flight because his visa to connect in Dubai did not come in time. He did not need a visa for the Maldives, but he needed one for the Dubai layover. I was so overwhelmed when I landed in Dubai from my red-eye flight with dozens of texts that he did not make it. Did I really just travel to the other side of the world to NOT see my fiancé? I was in my hotel crying trying to get it all worked out. I went to the Maldives alone the next morning, anxiously waiting for his visa so that I could re-book his flights.
FINALLY, I got the visa, and everything he needed. 15 hours later, I waited outside of our water villa to see him arrive. Being reunited felt SO GOOD, I cannot describe that moment how happy we felt to be together again- especially in THE MALDIVES! I wish I had it on video, but I was too worried about seeing him!
The staff at our resort was so kind to bring us champagne to celebrate, and they even set up a movie for us outside of our villa. We watched Beauty & the Beast under the stars in the Maldives- you could say this was the best date of my life! Link to video: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdjJwkp2/
Besides our little fiasco with Adeiny's visas, getting to the Maldives is a piece of cake. When you look up flights online, it can seem really scary. 35 hours and 3 layovers?! No thanks. Here's the way to do it: you can fly Emirates direct from most cities to Dubai. From the east coast it is 15 hours. Then, you can take a direct flight from Dubai to the Maldives which is just a little over three hours. Dubai is really pushing for tourism, so I have heard that if you plan time for a layover in Dubai they will comp your hotel. I didn't have time to look into this or see if it is true, but it is definitely worth looking into if you have time to plan. It was my first time flying Emirates this trip, and it was unbelievable. I highly recommend!
Both Dubai and the Maldives require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. Both airports provide testing if you do not have one for a fee. You DO NOT need a vaccine to enter either country.
When arriving in the Maldives, most resorts will require a quarantine in your hotel or villa until a new PCR test comes back negative. A representative from our resort met me at the airport and tested me there. I was cleared to roam around the resort first thing in the morning, although I didn't even want to leave our incredible villa!
When choosing a resort for the Maldives, they will come with either a boat transfer or sea plane transfer from Male. Your representative will meet you outside the flight gate and take you to where you are supposed to be. I recommend choosing a resort with a sea plane transfer, if you can, as this is the simplest process. I have heard the waters can be a little rough by boat. Every resort occupies its own island, so it is necessary to communicate the transfer with them. I think that the sea plane is so fun, and you get to see the most amazing views. If you are scared of small planes, no worries, Adeiny is too- and he even said it was easy. The water landing is smooth, and flying over the water is so safe.
Where We Stayed
We were so fortunate to stay at my DREAM villa in the Maldives at Soneva Fushi. How we got this villa so last minute- a blessing from God. My amazing friends Nia & Daniel Booko were so kind to recommend using VUE Maldives to help us book the best resort for us. I have received so many messages asking about pricing for the Maldives, and it is hard for me to say since I booked this trip so last minute. It was pretty pricey for us but we booked it with only a few days notice. However, I looked at the same rate online for our villa and it was marked up x 10 😱. If you reach out to VUE, they will help assist you with the best resort for your particular needs/wants and budget. Let them know that I sent you for special prices! I was also able to get a better deal through them than any other website. They made sure that we were all taken care of once we got there with all of the transfers and everything as well. I highly recommend taking advantage of this service if you are planning a trip to the Maldives! For booking email email@example.com and message them the code alisonbowles for a discounted offer.
I had seen this insane resort on lots of travel blogger videos and I never thought I would actually get the chance to stay here. I figured- go big or go (stay) home. We stayed in the 1 Bedroom Water Retreat with Slide - yes you heard that right, ONE bedroom. This entire 6,292 sq ft villa for just two people?! Yep.
There is one bedroom in this villa, however, there are 4 daybeds throughout the villa that could sleep multiple people if you wanted to travel with kids or others. There is a little kids room within the master that is so cute! There are also at least 4 daybeds outside on the deck and I don't remember there being any mosquitos 😉. You can get a full tour of the villa on my TikTok.
The water slide was definitely the best part of the villa. The tide got very low during the time we stayed here later in the day, so you do have to watch for that. The tide was low when we took the photo above, and when Adeiny slid down the slide he ended up with rocks in his pants, hahaha. The slide was awesome though, and goes very fast! Its not the kind that you can slow down! The villa also had some other really cool and unique features, such as the ceiling opening up to view the stars over the master bedroom! So cool!
I highly recommend staying in an overwater villa when visiting the Maldives. The best part about this is that you really don't have to go anywhere or do any excursion. Everyday we would grab our snorkel gear and swim out to the coral reef right in front of our villa. We also found so much cool marine life underneath our villa. We found octopus, large clams, puffer fish, stingrays and more. It was such a cool and unique experience.
Once your covid test comes back negative (usually the next morning) you are free to roam around the resort. Our resort, and most in the Maldives are by bike. I thought that biking around the island together was so much fun. Sometimes we would throw our snorkel gear in the basket of our bikes, and snorkel on the other side of the island too. There are many sharks in the water, but they have not been known to attack. The coral is beautiful and the fish are so colorful! Breakfast is included here and it was AMAZING. There was a breakfast buffet where you could choose from many different cuisines with the incredible chefs they have there, a fruit room, cheese room, pastry room, AND chocolate room. Everything at the resort was organic and healthy. They even had a wall of herbs that they would use to make natural medicine, healthy tonics & teas. The fruit, cheese, and chocolate room were available 24/7. Can you guess which room we visited the most often?
During covid, inter-island travel is very limited. However, I was just fine staying at our overwater villa and roaming the resort. There is so much to do there and so many activities available. They also have incredible dining experiences with Michelin star rated chefs. For the full moon, our resort booked us a romantic dinner on a private island just a few minutes from the resort. This was a beautiful experience and you can definitely trust them to make your dinner special!
Other experiences Soneva Fushi offers:
Vacay in the Maldives
The Maldives is the best place to relax and take in the beauty of Earth that God has given us. Adeiny and I only had time to stay four nights, and I think that was plenty of time to feel like we really got to enjoy it all. An ideal vacation here would be 4-7 days, but many of my friends stay longer! Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions about booking your trip! You can message me on Instagram or via email.
I made some dreamy art in the Maldives and I wanted to share it with you! You can now feel like you're on a private island in the Maldives from home. You can order canvas prints or digital prints to download as a photo background or print out to frame in your home. Custom orders are available! You can customize size and image. Glossy panels are available per special request. Send any custom requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girl by the Water Multi-Canvas Prints
Girl by the Water Multi-Canvas prints will be printed in high quality.
42" x 24" Triptych (3 - 14" x 24") Canvas with 3/4" Thickness.
Drone shot of me on a private island in the Maldives!
Custom options available. Please email email@example.com
Girl on the Beach Digital Download
Download a high quality digital version of 'Girl on the Beach' to use as a print to frame for your home or as a screensaver. Available by INSTANT download to your phone or email.
Girl by the Water Digital Download
Download a high quality digital version of 'Girl by the Water' to use as a print to frame for your home or as a screensaver. Available by INSTANT download to your phone or email.
Girl on the Beach Canvas Print
Girl on the beach canvas print 24 x 36 Inch.
Canvas print is in high quality.
Drone shot of tiny me on the beach in the Maldives!
For a custom piece please inquire to firstname.lastname@example.org