Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

An Island Romance; It's Still a Top Choice for Honeymooners, but Which Maldives Resorts Are the Ones to Fall in Love with? SAM WYLIE-HARRIS Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

An Island Romance; It's Still a Top Choice for Honeymooners, but Which Maldives Resorts Are the Ones to Fall in Love with? SAM WYLIE-HARRIS Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: SAM WYLIE-HARRIS

AS I sink back into a turquoise beanbag almost the same colour as the glistening Indian Ocean ahead of me, I relish the silence and seclusion of my secret island escape.

Only days earlier, we'd arrived at Velassaru, an elegant boutique resort that can easily be reached in 25 minutes by speedboat from Maldivian capital Male.

But as it turns out, my husband has even greater treats in store.Armed with snorkelling equipment, bean bags, a glamorous muslin tent and luxury hamper, we head to a private island for a romantic adventure.

While we swim in the water, our talented crew create a cabana with bamboo poles to shade us from the midday sun, and prepare a picnic of champagne, sushi and sashimi.

Looking out across crystal-clear waters, we sip bubbly and get to grips with our chopsticks, as small sand crabs gatecrash our private party.

It's just one of many romantic moments during our stay at Velassaru.

The resort itself has a laid-back vibe and sleek, modern furnishings with a palette of white and turquoise. There's a beautiful infinity pool framed by hammocks strung between coconut trees, but we prefer the privacy of our luxury beach villa with uninterrupted views of the lagoon.

The beach is only metres away, and every day we snorkel along a house reef teeming with tropical fish.

Come nightfall, the 21-acre coral island gears up for intimate dining experiences that make you want to fall in love all over again.

From five restaurants, our favourite is Sand, where we dine under a private beach pavilion lit by torches and candlelight. While burying our toes in the sand, we enjoy culinary delights such as king prawns and fillet steak from the stone grill, finishing off with an exquisite chocolate dessert.

One night, our seats and table have even been sculpted in the sand, with seawater used as glue to seal our sunken thrones. …

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