Reem, the digital creator behind the Instagram handle @840xx, takes us on a serene escape into the Maldives.

Multidisciplinary artist and avid self-researcher, Reem, recently went on a transformative journey during a trip to the Maldives. Collaborating with a dear friend, they embarked on a project titled “We Are Not The Same,” delving deep into the intricate complexities of escaping the clutches of a relentless work-driven reality. Through photography, Reem and her friend captured moments that encapsulated the profound longing for freedom and the inherent human yearning to disconnect from the endless work cycle. Each photograph serves as the universal desire for respite and the significance of taking occasional pauses from the demands of daily life.

Although the Maldives are known to cater for lovers and honeymooners, Reem’s travel guide will probably change your mind, and have you book a trip to serenity whether you’re going solo or with a few friends.

Must-visit spots?  

Exploring Malé City for a day or two at most would be a good start before heading straight to the island. All the islands in the Maldives are mind-blowingly beautiful; I believe it depends on the availability and season, as things get overbooked during the summer.

Choosing to stay in an overwater Bungalow/Villa was the finest decision we made. Far away from everything and everyone, where every shade of blue unfolded before our eyes. There are a few islands that are more populated with locals and tourists and have a more tropical feel, but we were seeking more quiet and serene. 

Must-see beaches? 

Hulhumale Beach is beautiful and has a wide range of interesting water activities.

Thulusdhoo Island is also a place that radiates Caribbean spirits.

During our stay on Thudufushi Island in Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives, we immersed ourselves in the serenity of one of the most secluded islands. An unparalleled harmony – never before experienced elsewhere. All you see, hear, and sense is the nature surrounding. 

Must-do activities?   

Experiencing Seaplanes was very interesting, could be unsettling if you suffer from motion sickness. The landscapes you get to see from above are breathtaking, almost unreal.

Snorkelling is definitely a major activity to participate in, as well as diving. They also do have great beaches for surfing. 

Best places for shopping? 

The shopping scene in Maldives is relatively limited, with a focus on souvenir shops due to its status as a popular tourist destination. You will find the cutest handmade things to remember the place by.

Best places for sundowners?

The resorts have everything you might want during your stay. Our resort had the cutest little lobby bar that made the best piña coladas. 

WHERE TO STAY 

Best resorts and boutique hotels to stay at? 

We stayed at Diamonds Thudufushi Maldives. It is located in Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives and is one of the most uninhabited islands in the Maldives. 

Best resorts to stay in:

١. Noku Maldives

٢. COMO Cocoa Island

٣. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives

٤. Sun Siyam Iru Veli

٥. Vakkaru Maldives

٦. Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences

٧. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Best boutique hotels in Malé City:

١. Jen Maldives Male By Shangri-La

٢. Hotel Lonuveli

٣. Samann Grand

Best spas? 

Mostly visited within the resorts during your stay; they’re great.

WHERE TO EAT 

Top must-visit food spots? 

It is recommended to go for an all-inclusive package which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as beverages. Especially If you are staying at a resort on an island where there is nothing more than the resort to explore or discover. The seafood there is fantastic, and so are the fruits! 

In Malé City, we discovered a cosy 24-hour café that makes great coffee and good breakfast called Ebb & Flow.

What should you avoid?

I would say overpacking and getting anything other than swimsuits. Booking a not all-inclusive package. 

Any other notes?

Far away from everything and everyone, where every shade of blue unfolded before our eyes.

Finally, my anticipation of escaping the chaotic world elevated as I prepared for my journey to the Maldives. Little did I know that this tropical paradise would leave this big a mark on my heart and soul, surpassing all expectations.

While it is commonly regarded as the ultimate haven for honeymooners, the Maldives offers far more than just romance – it presents a peaceful sanctuary and harmonious closeness with nature and the Self. For those who cherish solitude or crave tranquillity in the company of loved ones, the Maldives is the place to go. I vividly recall expressing to my friend the admiration I held for the presence of honeymooners. “We are surrounded by pure love and nature,” I said. It is in this beautiful retreat that my soul, as a multidisciplinary artist and self-researcher, was granted the liberty to explore, create, and go beyond the limits of my imagination.

Rand Al-Hadethi is an art, culture, and fashion writer who approaches all her creative endeavours with a penchant for storytelling. She explores the intersection of fashion, culture, and society and sheds light on talent and cultural movements across the Middle East and the world. Rand also publishes a bi-monthly themed substack newsletter called WebWeaver™. To reach Rand, email her at rand@khamsa5.com or follow her on social media @rundoozz.
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