Alicia Evanko-Lewis, show director for The Travel Group, just returned from her honeymoon, where she dined at the Burj Al Arab and soaked up the sun in the Maldives. Here’s her romantic recap.
My husband, Greg, and I decided that we wanted two things from our honeymoon: experience a destination we wouldn’t likely return to and a romantic, luxurious oasis. After months of research and friendly advice, we decided on Dubai and the Maldives.
One of the best things about flying business class on Emirates is the vacation begins the moment you arrive at the airport. Ours began at the Emirates Lounge in JFK airport, with a champagne toast and lovely breakfast. Business class seats recline into 78-inch beds, have 17-inch TVs, ample personal storage space and an amenity kit with Bulgari products. The delicious food and incredible service surpassed all of our expectations.
We were greeted by a representative from Madinat Jumeriah at Dubai International Airport. After a 20-minute drive—complete with cold towels, chilled water and a friendly driver—we were greeted by Arabian horses, which lined the way to the entrance. We were whisked away to our Gulf Summer House Ocean Suite, one of the 10 rooms in the villa on the beach. This is perfect for honeymooners—it’s secluded and offers 24-hour butler and concierge services. On the balconies overlooking Jumeirah beach, we were treated to stunning views of the Arabian Gulf as we sipped our morning coffee.
Dubai is lined with buildings that look like the “dream project” of the architects who designed them, and the Madinat Jumeirah resort is no exception. The layout and construction of the villa we stayed in was perfect, not to mention the incredible view of the Burj Al Arab, just across the beach. It’s truly a sight that has to be seen to be believed.
The Burj Al Arab, located some yards out into the ocean and accessed via a long bridge, is a truly opulent hotel. It gets no more decadent than Al Mahara, the hotel’s signature restaurant. We feasted on the finest seafood adjacent to an aquarium filled with exotic fish (be sure to ask for a table next to it).
Bidding adieu to Dubai, we were off to the Maldives. Upon arrival in Male, we were met by a representative from W Retreat & Spa-Maldives, who led us to the Maldivian air taxi. A 25-minute flight later, we arrived at the W on Fesdu Island in North Ari Atoll. We were greeted by name by the general manager at the dock and escorted to our room.
We split our stay between the Beach and Ocean Oasis rooms. For those who prefer terra firma, the Beach Oasis bi-level beachfront retreat is steps away from the beach. The second-story viewing deck with a swinging daybed was our personal favorite. In our Ocean Oasis room, we loved the private deck, which jutted into the Indian Ocean and had its own infinity plunge pool. All room categories come with a barbecue. One evening, we had meat and fish delivered, which we cooked ourselves for the perfect romantic dinner. We also loved the seafood extravaganza at Fish restaurant, where we ate many a night after watching the sunset at Sip Bar.
Note: W Maldives does not allow children, making it the perfect honeymoon destination.
Everything went on as planned and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was the honeymoon of our dreams and, now, we can’t wait for the next 50 years!