We all know that Berlin winters are cruel and merciless. I talk about it all the time. All that said I’m apologizing for having just returned from the most awesome summer vacation ever. The Maldives are stunning.
Snow-white beaches, coconut palms, tourquoise water – what more can the heart want? I had the chance to check out two very special resorts, Kurumba and Velassaru, both belonging to the same hotel group. Each resort has its very own island where they self-sustain and treat their guests like royal blood. From wonderful spa massages to adventurous Jetski safari rides right into the Indian Ocean and, my personal favorite, scuba diving with turtles while planting coral reefs.
It was great. Especially Velassaru with all it’s sleek sexiness had my chest beating with desire for more nature like that. And definitely more water sports. Once in a while, the Baltic Sea can simply not cover the need to be in ocean water. If you’re longing for a luxurious, romantic time-out: trust me, this is your place to be. Beware though, you’ll never want to return… unless you’re single. Then it may be a little bit depressing.
On the other hand, Kurumba – with a very different, more homey and comfortable concept of a luxurious resort – is the oldest intact resort on the Maldives. They’ve only recently celebrated their 40-years anniversary, quite an astonishing result. They will spoil you with all sorts of activities without reducing the stay to romance or honeymoons. A great place to visit with friends and family.
Yes, it’s paradise, and yes, it can be relaxing or exciting – depending on what you want. You can spend weeks on the islands without doing anything at all, but I’m too giddy for that. While swimming and baking in the sun is a good waste of time, I wanted to see some of the Maldivian culture. After convincing the chefs on Kurumba to dish out a special proper Maldivian meal (which was amazing, by the way – more tourists should ask for that!) we also headed out to the capitol-island, Malé. Everyone kept telling us to avoid the city – I didn’t quite understand why as it holds some fantastic sights and a rich culture as well as friendly people. Undeniably, it might not be the most attractive to those who just try to forget their daily routine back home. Malé is busy and hectic like any other capitol, but it’s charming in its own petite way. The city is 6 km2 (2 sq mi) large and has a population of 100,000 people. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND. That’s about the same amount of people that try to get into Berghain every Friday. You can imagine how small an island becomes when that many people are stacked upon each other. Malé holds the worldwide pole position on dense populations – still, it felt spacey enough to wade through the urban developments.
One thing that is undeniably recurrent throughout Malé streets: the colors. As I’d noticed in Cape Town, there are some people on this world who understand the simple minds of the human species. Colors = happy, no colors = German grumpy people. I could say a ton of more stuff about Malé, but unfortunately a two hour tour was not nearly enough to indulge in all the different things one could cover. One thing is for sure: without our tour guide Ahmar Mohamed, an architect and songwriter, born in Malé and really enthusiastic about his countries beautiful legacy, I wouldn’t have discovered the diversity of the city. “Small” is only relative to walking distance, isn’t it. He’s been working on some sustainable projects which will hopefully kick off some profitable dynamics for both his company and the Maldives. He showed us around town with all its quirky sides and anecdotes. I think everyone involved truly had a great time. The feeling of being in a city such as Malé is unique and a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
If you ever have the opportunity, grab it and enjoy a fantastic vacation as well as exclusive culture.