A visit to Finolhu, Maldive Islands

Maldives is the type of holiday destination you always have in mind when choosing a special holiday to celebrate a special occasion.

After years of fantasising about its white sand & crystal blue water, I was beyond excited to finally be visiting it.

Maldives are a group of islands which sits perfectly between Europe and Australia, making it the ideal stop off point between a long haul flight. When my partner mentioned stopping off there, I decided to do a little research. I had an impression the Maldives only consisted of a maximum of three different chain resorts, but boy was I wrong! There was pages upon pages of different types of accommodation, ranging from commercial chain resorts, to authentic private bungalows - one could literally spend hours viewing them all!

After searching through pages of resorts / hotels - we began to feel overwhelmed with all the different options. We narrowed down our search to an overwater villa with a pool, so we could experience the full magical Maldives impact.

The listing which stood out to me the most was Finolhu.

Following the recent death of my beloved pet dog Hansel, I had spent the whole plane ride to the Maldives in great distress & couldn't stop crying as the news sunk in. I was beginning to think that the holiday idea wasn't such a good idea, given my state. I didn’t think I could shift this upset state at all, I was at a really low point. When I arrived on the island however, I felt this natural urge to resist my phone (& all the photos of him on it which would trigger me to get upset) and instead was in awe of all the natural beauty on the island. It made me feel present and almost in a state where I could reflect and celebrate his life, instead of mourn it.

When my partner and I arrived on the island, we were greeted by several staff all waving - it was such a sweet welcoming! After refreshing ourselves with cool scented towels & a welcome drink, we felt right at home ;). With a schedule in our hands & a personal golf buggy driver to escort us to our private villa, we knew the next few days was going to be a lot of fun!

The overwater villa look like everything I had ever imagined them to be & it was also a direct seaplane flight minutes from the airport. This hotel also recently partnered with 1Oak which provided me with an instant flash back at all my good times in Los Angeles at that club. From a first impression, I was very happy - a hotel that could provide both relaxation & a little fun too!

For anyone choosing the option of getting all exclusive food/beverage package, I would definitely recommend going for it. It was such a delight not having to worry about cash on the island. Also, the cocktail options are so creative & delicious! I began to treat eating / drinking as an activity each day as I really looked forward to it that much. The hospitality team go above and beyond to look after your dietary requirements & put so much love and effort into what they serve to the guests. We were absolutely spoilt with vegan options on the trip, so for any vegans out there - I can assure you, that you will be well looked after! :)

The overwater bungalow was an experience in itself, it’s so tempting not to leave the room when you have a set up as beautiful as that. Each morning we would wake up and dive straight into the ocean, such a fantastic way to start the day!

For the days that we did venture outside the villa, we managed to discover how beautiful the island was, with its variety of restaurants / pool bars & cabana’s. My favourite experience would have to be sunset drinks on the beach, whilst enjoying live music playing in the background. My area of choice was definitely the pool bar cabana, which protected me from the sun & provided enough shade for me to read a book in comfort.

Each night they provide different types of entertainment for guests, whether it’s a live DJ set, full moon party, fire shows or themed buffet dinner nights. However, I did always try to get to bed before midnight so I could feel awake / active enough to participate in the day activities ranging from; swimming with dolphins & turtles, pottery classes, snorkelling, massages, jet skiing, yoga or even personal training in the UFC gym.

If you are looking to visit Maldives for the first time, I would definitely recommend going all out and experiencing it in a beautiful villa over looking the ocean at Finolhu resort. The fun atmosphere at the resort helped create such a positive experience. We were able to relax & recharge whilst at the same time socialise and enjoy evening cocktails & still go to bed without hearing any outside noise.

It was quite hard leaving Finolhu resort, the experience on a whole was like no other. My partner and I both agreed that it felt like we had lost sense of time whilst we were there (a period of 4 days felt like 2 weeks!). It’s the perfect place to disconnect from everyday stress & just allow yourself to be in the present moment. I really believe it helped with the mourning process of Hansel, I spent most my time surrounded by beautiful nature & reflecting back on all of our happy memories together. It turned a negative situation, to a loving memory which I will now look back at in a positive way. It truly was a meaningful holiday for me, celebrating Hansel's amazing life.

They say a picture says a thousand words, yet no picture could compare to the beauty of the island which I experienced. I have created a video, in hope that it can help share my amazing experience with you all.