From Metro UK
Tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colours are darting past us in every direction.
We’re drifting through the brilliant blue ocean outside our wooden hut, our home during the honeymoon of a lifetime.
In that one peaceful moment, the pressure of planning a wedding feels a million miles away – and trust me, if there’s anything more stressful than sorting out a wedding, I haven’t experienced it yet.
It’s all worth it in the end, of course, especially when you can cap off the best time of your life with the dream honeymoon – which is exactly what we found in the island of Kani in the Maldives.
Late night walks on pristine white beaches; nightcaps on the balcony as you take in the eerily calm sea; laughing and dancing to strange but catchy music from all corners of the globe; you’re guaranteed to have some of the most memorable dates of your entire life. It’s not a bad way to start a marriage.
Paradise is a concept that’s overused in today’s Instagram-obsessed world, but it’s no exaggeration to say that’s what we experienced on the luxurious island of Kani.
Picture perfect views cover the entirety of the landscape, from the gleaming blue of the ocean to tall banyan trees that I could swear were plucked straight from a jungle.
From the moment we dock at the all inclusive Club Med resort courtesy of a private boat from Male, the Maldives’ only airport, we are made to feel like the only guests on the island.
Welcome cocktails at the Manta Lounge, an exclusive bar for guests staying in the wildly beautiful ocean huts? Tick. A bottle of champagne waiting for us in the villa? Yep. Rose petals sprinkled on the bed? Uh huh.
Let’s face it, the overwater villas that hang over the sea aren’t your standard holiday accommodation. And they’re just as impressive on the inside.
I mean, seriously. Just look at this bath.
But forget the aesthetics, if you can, for just a second. The huts give you completely privacy, with the only interruptions coming from cleaners and waiters who bring a pre-ordered breakfast straight to your door every morning.
Where we stayed
We stayed in Kani’s overwater suites, which includes access to the Manta Lounge and a private beach.
Prices for an overwater suite for two adults for seven nights, departing from London Heathrow, start at £5,562. Visit Club Med’s website for booking enquiries.
Of course, the resort isn’t exclusively for honeymooners. But the romance of the Maldives is effortless – the mood sets itself and doesn’t feel manufactured in the slightest.
Here’s how to make the most of it.
Go swimming with turtles and manta rays
Once in a lifetime experiences don’t often feel that way in the moment, but swimming just a few metres away from an enormous manta ray was exactly that.
The waters surrounding Kani are a snorkeller’s fantasy – you wouldn’t go to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, so don’t visit the Maldives without snorkelling at least once.
The experience is nothing short of incredible.
Swimming around a reef untouched by man, we glimpsed thousands of fish, which were more than happy to emerge from their homes to say hello.
We frantically try to get one another’s attention underwater so no sights are missed, especially when we spot a couple of turtles swimming around nearby.
But the highlight is seeing a manta ray – a rare sight, we’re assured when we get back to dry land. Proper bucket list stuff.
Or skim along on top of the water instead
In the Maldives, the sea is your playground – and thrill seekers won’t find themselves with nothing to do in Kani.
If swimming isn’t your thing, you can learn how to sail, hire a jet ski, or jump on a boat to try to spot some turtles.
We were looking forward to taking a kayak tour around the island, and though it was sadly called off due to high winds, we were still allowed to take a two-person kayak out for a spin – which turned out to be one of the best ways to take in the island’s sheer beauty.
Dance the night away
Entertainment is a huge part of life at a Club Med resort, and fuelled by an endless supply of cocktails (this is where all inclusive comes in very handy), it’s not hard to get into the party spirit.
Every night, workers put on music, dance or comedy shows for guests – the resort’s general manager Youssef Tobrouki, who seems to be everywhere all the time, is usually at the centre of the fun.
Sure, the entertainment is on the cheesy side – it almost has to be to cater for an international audience – but you’ll have a brilliant time provided you leave your stiff upper lip behind at the airport.
Without doubt, Kani’s best, most lively evening is the white party, where guests and staff dress in all white (surprise surprise) and restaurant tables are moved out onto the beach.
After a meal by the shore, a live band set up by the beachside bar and start playing under the night sky. Perfection.
Pretend you’re an Instagram influencer
You may be celebrating committing the rest of your life to the person you’ve fallen in love with, but let’s not forget the real reason you’re in the Maldives – Instagram, baby.
We spent so much time laughing and joking as we posed for the most ridiculously over the top photos.
It goes without saying that any island in the Maldives is an Instagrammer’s dream, and Kani is no different.
Your stage is truly set, whether it’s the swings suspended over the waves, hammocks between two palm trees, or the island’s stunning natural beauty.
There’s more than enough photo opps that will leave your followers foaming at the mouth in jealousy.
Walk along the beach at sunset
Sunsets in the Maldives really do need to be seen to be believed.
They’re fleeting, but once you’ve worked out what time it happens, it’s a sight you don’t want to miss.
Yellows and pinks shine over the glimmering water, making it the perfect time of day to take a hand-in-hand stroll along the shore with that special person.
Do absolutely nothing and soak it all in
It’s oh so tempting to do close to nothing at all – I could have spent entire days lounging on the Manta Lounge’s day beds just a few feet above the sea, rum punch in hand.
While there’s no shortage of opportunities to exercise – the island has a gym as well as daily organised runs and power walks – importantly, there is no pressure whatsoever to be active.
If you want to spend the time relaxing with your new husband or wife in your villa, finding out how many cocktails you can see off in a day, or having a swim just outside in the ‘back garden’, as my wife called it, no one’s going to stop you.
After all, how many chances will you have to enjoy life on a desert island?