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Magical Maldives at Mercure Kooddoo

As my flight soared upwards, high over the glimmering Gold Coast beaches of Australia, I contemplated the possibility that I may have made a big mistake by booking a trip to the Maldives.

Why, when we have such beautiful, pristine, white sand beaches, with crystal clear water did I need to travel over 9000km for a beach holiday?

Landing in the dark in Male, I emerged to a salty, warm and gentle breeze and an even warmer welcome by staff, who walked me via a quick visit to the lounge, to the domestic terminal next door, for the one hour flight to Kooddoo airport in the southern tip of this chain of flat sandy islands. Then it was simply a three minute buggy ride to the Resort.

My research showed me, that the Republic of the Maldives consists of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,200 coral islands. As I landed directly on Kooddoo, I didn’t then have to get on a speed-boat and travel 1-2 hours to some of the more isolated southern island Resorts, for which, after the long journey, I was grateful.

As my eyes adjusted to the light when we entered the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, I was led down a wooden walkway, over the water to my overwater room. As the door opened I could hardly believe my tired eyes. It was just like a stylish beach house, but with pops of colour everywhere and huge glass doors and windows. A huge comfy bed beckoned, with a welcome note laid out painstakingly, made from strips of foliage, but my eyes were drawn outside to the infinity sparkling pool that was all mine.

As I stepped outside into the inky steamy air, the water views just kept on going, way out over the Indian Ocean into darkness.

Morning broke and the colours of the ocean and lagoon were spectacular hues of blue, so a swim in the sea down my ladder was a must, before I headed for breakfast weaving through the fragrant native trees, to arrive at Alita Restaurant.

First on the agenda for the day was an extraordinary culinary experience – with a personalized cooking class from the Resident Chef, who took me on a short journey through the rich culinary heritage of the Maldives and Indian Ocean region, and then the tantalizing lunch was served in the share on the deck.

After lazing by my pool and pinching myself, at sunset we set sail on a traditional dhoni and drifted lazily around the island and the lagoon, enjoying champagne and canapés. The perfect day finished with the most astonishing display from mother nature at sunset and a BBQ dinner on the beach.

Sleeping soundly, and with the sun waking me early with pastel watercolours, I breakfasted early and headed to the watersport’s bure. I skimmed silently over the water on my canoe, spotting little reef tip sharks, colourful fish and corals. On my return I amped it up a bit and took a jetski for a spin and amused lazy onlookers with a lame attempt to learn to windsurf.

To keep you busy during your stay there’s an all-day restaurant overlooking aquamarine waters, a waterfront pool and pool bar hosting a band every evening, and it overlooks the most picture perfect Insta designed swing for two, that is framed by a spectacular sunset show each evening. Chill in the spa, work off the cocktails in the gym, or on the tennis court, and explore underwater life from the fully equipped dive centre.

All the postcards and photos I’d seen were not as good as seeing it with my own eyes and relaxing into the slow island life for four days.

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