Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Pool Maldives. All photos NHYM 2018.
Welcome Back! And hope everyone has had a wonderful and relaxing Easter break! We have just returned from one fab trip to the Maldives. Again. I know, it’s really not original, but it’s the one place I go where I don’t have FOMO. People are always telling me, ‘Oh, go there [fill in the blank], it’s just like the Maldives,’ but then I go and I say ‘It’s not the Maldives.’ Yes these are very first world/1%er/I-can’t-believe-I’m-writing-this-there’s-a-war-in-Syria musings, but the Maldives are truly my HappyPlace. So here I am writing about it – mostly in denial of our f*up world – but also because I am hoping to live off my ‘Maldives High’ for a few more days…
We decided to go to the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa not because it is the best/most beautiful/most unique island, but because it is so nice & easy. Some people have told us the Four Seasons Landaa is nicer and bigger, but it requires waiting for a seaplane after a 14 hour flight+layover vs. a 20 minute boat ride which starts your holiday. Having gone on a seaplane last time and knowing about our flight’s layover, I just wanted to get to the resort ASAP. It is still beautiful and with small children, Kuda Huraa just ticks tons of boxes and you can rarely go wrong with the Four Seasons, because it is reliable, has great service and great food.
What makes it so great, and the Maldives in general, is that I can spend one week barefoot and my children have complete freedom on the island. It is quite a small island which makes it really easy for the kids to go to the kids club, the pool and our Bungalow all by themselves. And traveling with my almost 70-year old mum, she was quite happy not to do too much walking. And my kids LOVE the kids club there. To the point where at 8:45am they went to the kids club and were told to come back in 15 mins when it opened at 9am. (One small caveat – the kids club is great for young children, but for older children there are bigger islands with more catered towards older kids).
The bungalows all have traditional, thatched roofs which I really like since I am not really into ultra-modern design hotels – I am more Robinson Crusoe than Ian Schrager – and all have private pools. The only slight downside is that the bungalows are all a bit close to each other. But my daughters loved that: one afternoon I was closing up our room and couldn’t find one of them. She had wandered over into our neighbour’s pool for a pool party with one of her new friends.
The inside is spacious and immaculate with wood features and of course the typical outdoor shower that the kids loved.
The beaches are beautiful but what makes the Maldives so unique is the sea-life and the lagoons. If you’re not into snorkelling and diving, this may not be the right place for you, but as a lover-of-oceans, this is truly my paradise. On our trip, despite coral bleaching, Tsunamis and general coral degeneration, we saw hundreds of spinner dolphins, a pilot whale, turtles, stingrays, hundreds of fish and lots of black tip and white tip reef sharks. The underwater life is what really brings me back here every time and is so unique to the Maldives.
At Kuda Huraa there is a whole Marine Saver Centre with Marine Biologists who look after injured and sick turtles. My daughter spent a day with them, which is just so cool, feeding them and giving them medicine, as well as trying to help regenerate the corals, which are sadly all dead. And while she was helping to save the oceans, I was happily diving and surfing.
Yep, that’s me on my surfboard, chilling out, waiting to catch a wave… The Maldives are really the ideal place to learn to surf, first with a lagoon lesson and then out on the waves. Amazing! The combination of surf & diving is just unbeaten. My kind of heaven.
Adults only pool and in the distance is the Four Seasons Explorer.
While we were there, we were lucky enough to go on the Four Seasons Explorer for a visit. For those who don’t know about the Four Seasons Explorer, it is a live-aboard boat that travels around the Maldives, taking you to unspoilt and undiscovered places to dive/surf/swim. What a way to get to know the Maldives. (I loved hearing about a 16 year old who threw her 16th birthday party on the Explorer. That’s one sweet 16th.)
All Aboard! Back deck of the Four Seasons Explorer.
The rooms looked very comfortable and cozy.
Main restaurant on the Explorer.
Every night at sunset we had our routine of the shark feeding and the crab race that the whole family loved. We were happy, our children were happy, what else can you ask for? As we said when we got back to London: The Maldives (and the Four Seasons) didn’t disappoint. That’s the thing with the Maldives, you know you will always have a magical time, and it is really a place where worries don’t exist – except whether to go swimming or to go to the kids club for the kids and diving or surfing for the adults – and for a few days, you can convince yourself again that the world truly still is an awe-inspiring and peaceful place.
Until next time Kuda Huraa…