You might never want to leave...
Belinda Carlisle once said that heaven is a place on Earth. You know the song that I'm referring to. Although it's a catchy tune, I've often questioned Belinda's words as I've stood squished on the central line on my way back to my overpriced flat where my bedroom sits directly adjacent to my kitchen.
However, having taken a trip to Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, I now know exactly what Belinda's on about. Heaven truly is a place on Earth, and it's many, many miles away from London.
From the second I stepped foot onto the island, rather delirious from an overnight flight might I add, I could feel myself holding back tears over what appeared in front of me. Who knew that this kind of beauty existed? (No, I'm not talking about my sweaty reflection in my iPhone camera).
All I could see was sandy beaches and water so blue that it was giving my tropical desktop background a run for its money. The staff were there to greet us as soon as we landed with a glass of ice-cold champagne and a hot towel. I felt right at home straight away. Want to know more about this trip of a lifetime? Keep on scrolling...
I wasn't joking when I said that Fairmont Maldives makes my tropical desktop background look incredibly average. Everywhere you turn there is an Instagram photo waiting to happen. It's quite literally picture perfect. In terms of the rooms, think tropical island escape meets luxury resort. Home to 120 villas, you can choose from the popular overwater options, beach villas or jungle villas, if you want to become one with nature.
In fact, the philosophy behind the design is to ensure that guests reconnect with nature's elements. Ornaments and woodcarvings represent the deep-rooted authenticity and flowless spirit of the Maldives, while the hanging rope lights dotted around the island and inside each villa are there to inspire hope.
I stayed in one of the dreamy beach villas, complete with an outdoor bathtub, my own private pool and a bed big enough to fit my whole family in. It's safe to say that leaving was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
Although the room itself was spectacular, it was the little details that made the trip so unforgettable. I loved the Nespresso machine, as it meant I could enjoy a cup of coffee every morning as I sat listening to the waves. When the evenings came, I made sure to make use of the Bose speakers, blasting out my favourite tunes as I did my makeup (wearing the complimentary robe and slippers of course). There was also a yoga mat included so I could stretch while watching the sunrise. Bliss.
The resort has a total of three restaurants for you to choose from, so there is something to suit everyone. If you're into seafood, I couldn't recommend Azure enough. If sushi is more your thing, then you have to check out Kata, the resort’s signature Japanese restaurant.
For a casual evening, Raha Market offers buffet-style dining right on the beach. There is everything from seafood, salads to traditional Maldivian food. Make sure to leave room for dessert, as you won't want to miss the selection of cakes on offer. Of course, the resort can also set up private dining experiences, which would make the perfect date night on holiday. Oh and did I mention there's even a kids section to keep the little ones happy.
If you want to reach the height of relaxation, you have to check out the Willow Stream Spa. I had a full body massage, and - I'm not ashamed to say - it was so good that I fell asleep right on the massage table.
Aside from the spa, you can also go snorkelling on the resort’s 9km house reef. I was lucky enough to see turtles, dolphins and an array of tropical fish during my stay which is an experience that I'll treasure forever. While you're in the water, make sure to explore the Coralarium, an underwater art gallery and coral regeneration project. It was designed by British eco-artist Jason deCaires Taylor, to help restore and rehabilitate the reef.
There is also a swimming pool (the longest one in the Maldives by the way), an art studio, gym, table tennis and more, so you'll never find yourself stuck with what to do.
If there's one thing that sets this resort apart from everywhere else, it's definitely the Sustainability Lab. A hub of eco-education, the lab turns plastic waste into bespoke souvenirs and unique products while educating guests and empowering local communities.
The resort's incredible mission is to recycle all of the plastic waste it, and the local community, generates whilst also removing ocean plastic from the Maldivian environment. What's more, Fairmont Maldives have partnered with seven local schools to educate pupils on the importance of marine conservation and climate change.
The good news doesn't stop there. I travelled courtesy of luxury travel brand Luxtripper. They will calculate the carbon cost of your trip, and the number of trees required to offset it. If you choose to offset by planting trees, Luxtripper will match your pledge so you'll only pay half the cost of the service. As you travel, you will see a specific number of saplings planted on your behalf in key locations across the world, so you can relax and enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that your carbon emissions will be offset within the next ten years. How cool is that?
How to book
Seven nights at the Fairmont Maldives staying in a Beach Villa on a half board basis starts from £6,799 per couple. The cost includes return flights from London Heathrow with Emirates Airlines and includes Sea Plane Transfers with TMA (Trans Maldivian Airways). For further details head to luxtripper.co.uk or call 020 4538 2013.
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Grace Lindsay is currently Junior Beauty Editor at Who What Wear UK and previously was Marie Claire UK's E-Commerce Writer. With over three years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, she covers everything from the best make-up and skincare deals to how to shop the stand out trends of the season. When she's not typing away at her laptop, Grace can be found shopping her favourite vintage markets IRL, or catching up on her never-ending list of books to read.
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