Most couples travel while they are expecting a baby. The common theory is that life changes completely after the baby is born, you can never get to travel in the same way as before.
And if you suggest to anyone the idea of travelling WITH your 3-month-old baby, perhaps they will ask who allowed you to be a parent.
But, this is exactly what we did.
I had to return back to work after my maternity leave soon. When the husband said he had booked a week in Maldives, it couldn’t have been timed better. Both sets of grandparents baulked at the idea. Only the paediatrician encouraged us, ‘It only gets more difficult. So yes, travel now.’
What can I say about this paradise that hasn’t already been said? Some of the best white-sand beaches in the world. Luminous water, shifting from hues of turquoise to teal blue to deep sea green to aqua. Some of the best snorkelling and diving to be experienced. Every resort in Maldives is its own private island, so seclusion and luxury are unparalleled. Maldives is a destination for a holiday of a lifetime.
Most people consider the Maldives to be primarily a destination for honeymoons and couples, but it’s also extremely popular with families.
We chose to stay at the Taj Exotica. A 15-minute ferry ride from the airport, this hotel is spread across the Emboodhu Finolhu island in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in Maldives. I admit we were apprehensive about getting on a small boat with the baby and had chosen the hotel basis a short ride from the Male airport. The boat ride went smoothly.
Stay at Taj Exotica
There are 64 sea-view villas and suites that are luxurious and lavish. Within villas (also referred to as Rooms on their site), you have the option of Lagoon villa, Lagoon villa with pool, Premium villa with pool (with an exclusive beach) and a Deluxe Beach villa with pool. There are one and two bedroom villa suite options, both on the ocean and facing an exclusive beach.
We had stayed at the Lagoon villa – it had picture-perfect views of the Indian Ocean from the bed and the bathtub, a private sun deck and enough space in the room for a baby-crib.
Food at Taj Exotica
The resort has a multi-cuisine restaurant, named 24-Degrees. Multi-cuisine restaurants can be hit-and-miss at times. However, during our one-week stay, we dined several times at the 24-Degrees restaurant, tried a wide variety of cuisines from Continental to Maldivian to Pan Asian to Indian, and enjoyed all the meals.
Deep-End restaurant, on the south side of the island, offers fresh seafood and grills. The Poolside-Bar-And-Restaurant is a good option for a lazy day by the pool when you want cocktails and finger food served to you. The Equator-Bar, besides a good collection of wines and cocktails, offers a patio for spectacular sunset views.
The resort can arrange for private dining experiences against breathtaking backdrops on the beach or over the sea, to give you lasting memories.
Activities at Taj Exotica
Maldives has some of the best snorkelling and diving sites, so let go of your hesitations and take a dip in the crystal-clear warm waters. I went for a short snorkelling session with a dive instructor and it was fun. The myriad hues of corals, the schools of fish swimming by – so gorgeous!
And if diving or snorkelling is not your cup of tea, don’t despair. I saw a lot of marine life, including a baby shark, just on an early morning walk around the island. The water is an astonishing shade of aquamarine thanks to the island’s setting on one of the Maldives’ largest lagoons, and it’s calm and safe for small children.
We also took a boat ride to see dolphins. It was heartwarming to see them jump out of the water in pairs and race with our boat.
My husband and I tried our luck with windsurfing. It is tougher than it looks! The property has nanny services on offer, and we decided to use this one day to schedule a basic wind-surfing lesson. We had timed the lesson basis my daughter’s feed and nap time. Alas, half an hour into the lesson, we got a call on our boat that my daughter had woken up, started howling on seeing a stranger in the room, and I had to rush back. I guess first-time parents can get too ambitious!
The Jiva Spa offers various treatments – Indian and Ayurveda treatments, Yoga and meditation in a serene setting. I look back at my massage session with bliss.
The best part about being in Maldives – you don’t have to do anything active if you don’t want to! Read a book, laze at the beach, whisper sweet-nothings in the ear of your partner, watch the sky get fired each evening with hues of reds and orange, and relax.
What puts a smile☺
I was travelling with my 3-month daughter, for the first time. Even by Taj standards; the staff at this resort took care in every way to make our stay comfortable. From the cot-bed in the room to the nanny service while we were trying wind-surfing. From the chef asking whether he could make some khichdi (Indian dish made of rice and lentils) separately for the baby to the restaurant staff rocking her in the carry-cot so that my husband and I could finish our meal in peace. The service was unparalleled.
My compliments to the staff for making the Babymoon perfect!
Website: Taj Exotica Maldives
Have you visited Maldives? Which was your favourite resort experience?
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