By Shereen Shabnam
As one of the few countries currently open to tourists, Maldives has become the best place to be for GCC travellers with no quarantine, well-coordinated safety measures and in-resort PCR testing. We travelled to two different Islands to and find that Maldives as a travel destination is doing all it can keep the tourism industry alive safely during this pandemic.
After a four-hour flight with Emirates taking all precautions, we arrived at the Grand Park Kodhipparu taking a 20-minute speedboat ride from the airport. The first view of the island left us breathless with pristine beaches and stunning scenery while the welcome music and drinks put us into holiday mode right away.
Grand Park Kodhipparu is located in North Male Atoll famous for its dive sites, abundant marine life and enthralling underwater experiences. It is a one-island-one-resort destination and an oasis of tranquility.
I stayed in one of the water villas that has a spacious and modern interior and a warm, rustic exterior. Highlights were direct lagoon access, a private plunge pool and an over water net for lounging. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of turtles, stingrays and hundreds of colourful fish species directly from our water villa.
A fully equipped Dive & Water Sports Centre includes a team of PADI certified professionals to introduce some of the best diving spots in the Maldives, suitable both for beginner and advanced divers, and a wide array of water sports activities, such as catamaran sailing, jet skiing parasailing, banana boat riding, kayaking, windsurfing and more.
The resort is also family-friendly with a wide array of children’s facilities including a kids club with dedicated staff offering engaging children’s activities. Babysitting service is available upon request.
For recreation, there is a gymnasium, yoga deck, games lounge, sauna rooms and of course a great meeting point is the 45m long infinity pool located at the Breeze Poolside Dining & Bar. Here we enjoyed welcome drinks, sundowners as well as post dinner drinks that came with live music.
Ocean front dining is a must for visitors to the resort at the pool bar, on the beach where couples can organize a candlelight dinner under the stars or head out for fine dining at Fire Door with a view of sharks and other marine life swimming while the chefs prepare a delectable meal in an open kitchen. Every meal at Grand Park Kodhipparu was a culinary delight.
Highlight of my trips abroad is always the spa experience. The warm ambience of treatment rooms at the Grand Park Kodhipparu were ideal for our massage with friendly therapists who helped us select the right oils for relaxation.
We were indeed sad to leave the Resort as we felt safe and at ease throughout our stay with social distancing in public areas, QR code menus and regular sanitisation all around the island. For tourists looking for a safe haven to rest and relax, Grand Park Kodhipparu offers an island sanctuary with pristine natural beauty, waves crashing against the shore, palm trees swaying, seclusion away from the crowds and a laid-back island life.
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