During the course of wedding planning, there’s inevitably a conversation about the honeymoon: hold a beat, go right away, take a close-by minimoon and then a one-year extravaganza, go for broke? These options all have merit, but as far as the destination, opt for a sure thing: the Maldives. The collection of 1,000-plus coral islands in the Indian Ocean is very far from America, yes. It’s expensive, yes. But live a little, splurge, go. It’s breathtaking. If intimacy, excitement, romance, and some of the most insanely colored seawater in the world are what you seek, you can’t be disappointed.
There are of course slight downsides to every place you could pick for your once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but if you play your (credit card) points right, you can turn the halfway-around-the-world-long trip to the Maldives into a positive. Snag splurge-worthy Emirates business-class seats and the honeymoon begins the second you set foot into the airport. You’ll be sipping champagne almost immediately (don’t miss the view just before landing in Malé), and a few multicourse meals later, before you know it, you’ll be on a paradisiacal island beach with yet another glass in your hand.
In the Maldives, each island has its own resort, and there are oodles to choose from. Because the setting is so postcard-perfect, it’s almost hard to go wrong. Many are more than stunning and offer that Maldivian signature: the overwater villa. The new St. Regis Vommuli’s are sleek and contemporary, with blond-wood interiors and decks and a slightly futuristic shape. The slightly more affordable bungalows at Baros are more traditional in looks, with arched infinity pools that blend into the ocean and horizon. Beyond ocean bungalows, the Four Seasons has the Explorer, a live-aboard luxury catamaran for real overwater adventures.
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