[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]International borders are bound to open up, sooner rather than later. The global population’s lockdown and confinement indoors is showing signs of easing. Give it another 20 to 40 days (till the first half of June) and a decent argument can be made in South East Asia then that we have gotten over the hump. Rough patches and some turbulence may be experienced along this path of easing. Still, with well-defined protocols, including safe distancing and proactive cleaning, we will be able to see and experience freedom.
“No borders, just horizons – only freedom” Amelia Earhart
With lives and dreams battered down here since early January, the period till end May has, and will continue to test the bonds between a family, between loved ones, and including one’s sanity. This lockdown is not the ‘break’ we needed and it most certainly is not a ‘break’ in any other sense. We need a genuine respite, a reward and a clean slate. Road trips within one’s country, and for Singapore – trips into Malaysia, will be the flavour for all.
Beyond rubber and tar, we firmly believe the Maldives will turn out to be the next hotspot destination for Southeast Asian travellers. Whatever shape or form future mandatory checklist may take for the ‘new normal’ for international travel, the Maldives as a destination will score the highest for 2020’s travel warriors. Here’s why:
- All the resorts in the Maldives are on their own islands spread across the atolls that form this beautiful nation – a ‘one island one resort’ approach! This philosophy leads to seclusion, exclusivity, control and better management of guests.
- The advantages do not limit to exclusivity. Limited crowds, spaced out recreational venues, spread out villas, everyone’s own private pool – it would appear that the Maldives was designed with social distancing in mind!
- These specs of terra in the middle of the Indian Ocean have perfect beaches, exactly the right amount of sunshine (as per a certain President of a country, there is a claim that sunlight kills the… I don’t know I’m just saying), privacy, excellent cuisine, mind-blowing experiences above and below the waterline and high eco-credentials. Have fun after the lockdown, scuba and snorkel, catch endless horizons, dream of dreams that go beyond four walls and into a million shades of blue. Sign us up please.
- The Maldives has never been about volumes. Small islands, small resorts, intimate settings, small boats, small seaplanes – only big smiles. Volume traffic is what needs to be avoided in 2020—all the more reason to visit or re-visit the Maldives.
- New and Blue! 2019 witnessed the arrival of many excellent resorts to the Maldives – Baglioni Resort, Pullman Maldives Maamutaa, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, The Residence Maldives, InterContinental Maldives, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo and Lux*North Male Atoll Resort & Villas, to name a few. Many luxurious resorts are slated to open in the Maldives this year. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Capella Maldives (2021) and Patina Maldives Fari Islands (early 2021) shall provide ample playground for us all. Brands that can demonstrate high standards of social distancing, deep-cleaning and international protocols one would expect any serious hospitality player to implement globally would be the winners. Resorts that can apply seamless and quick airport-to-villa door transfers with minimum touch points would be favoured. Guests having access to private butlers during their stay would be an advantage. Less fear – more fun.
- The Maldives offers experiences that are uniquely its own – underwater suites, scuba diving in pristine reefs and channels, world-class wellness, quirky villas with slides that drop one into the water and guided stargazing.
- The only way to get here is either on a direct flight or a private jet. As the Maldives is close to most Southeast Asian countries, including Mumbai and Dubai, flight time is between 3 to 5 hours. No long haul needed.
We are expecting a superb Q4 for the Maldives this year. Enjoy the flexibility hotels are currently providing for bookings. It is always recommended to book directly on the resort’s website as this gives an assurance to us travellers that any change needed, refunds, deals and customisations do not get lost in transition between the many portals and agents.
Further note:The government of Maldives has been aggressive in containing the pandemic within its borders. As per the Ministry of Health, as on 30 April, the country has a total of 280 cases till date with 17 recoveries and 1 death. ◼
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© This article was first published online in May 2020 – World Travel Magazine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]