My husband and I recently spent 10 gorgeous days in the Maldives. We spent our honeymoon there 10 years ago and returned to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary.  It was just as beautiful as I remembered.

The view from our room
The view from our room

The Maldives are located South-West of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean on the equator and are made up of over 1000 islands of which only 200 are inhabited. Blessed with unbelievably blue waters, a near perfect climate and an abundance of coral and marine life, water activities are a key attraction for many travelling there.

Pristine waters of the Maldives
Pristine waters of the Maldives

We chose to stay at Kanifinholu, a small island about 30 minutes by speedboat from Malé the capital. The one resort on the island is run by Club Med, known as Club Med Kani.  As food is an important consideration for us when deciding where to stay, we chose Club Med as they offer a diverse range of eating options including European, Asian and local cuisines. The other great feature Club Med offers is that everything is included in the package price, including food and alcohol.  Like many exotic destinations, the Maldives is incredibly expensive for eating and drinking so to have food and alcohol included was definitely the way to go.

Maldivian Sunset
Maldivian Sunset

The resort boasted a buffet restaurant, and a smaller a la carte restaurant. Most evenings we dined at the buffet restaurant, as the a la carte restaurant was very difficult to get into as it only seated about 40 and the resort was at its maximum capacity of 400.

As far as buffets go, I would rate this one close to 10 out of 10. Each evening the buffet was a different theme – Ocean, Asian, International, etc. There were choices for every taste regardless of the theme, from pizza and pasta to curries and barbequed selections.

Fresh local fruit
Beautiful buffet, featuring fresh local fruit

Quality produce was used, and this was reflected in the quality of the food. At lunch and dinner a generous selection of French cheeses was offered, and included my favourites Munster, Pont l’Eveque and Livarot. Served with real French baguette, they went down a treat! The seafood was plentiful, diverse and incredibly fresh. On most evenings raw fish (in particular tuna) was offered, in many forms including sashimi, sushi and marinated Tahitian style.

The view from the buffet restaurant
The view from the buffet restaurant

One evening each week the buffet restaurant is relocated to beachfront and we dined under the stars. The buffet theme that evening was “Ocean” and an amazing selection of seafood was available including local lobster. It was just divine dining en plein air listening to the gentle sound of the ocean.

Beachfront dining
Beachfront dining

Each evening we enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails either at the Beach Bar or the Terrace Bar. Most cocktails were included, so Caprioskas, Mojitos or Martinis were the order of most days.

Local fresh fruit featured highly on my breakfast plate – I particularly enjoyed the local papaya with local limes. For lunch every third day or so they had a beach barbeque, where the chefs grilled local fish as well as meats and vegetables. Very civilised, eating lunch on the sand in your bikini!

Hubby enjoying a pre-lunch drink
Hubby enjoying a pre-lunch drink

The only disappointing dining aspect was the complementary wines. Both restaurants offered a white, rosé and red – all French wines and very non-descript.

The dining highlight was the evening of our 10-year wedding anniversary, where we opted for the Romantic Dinner (at a considerable extra cost).

Pre-dinner drinks on our 10th wedding anniversary
Pre-dinner drinks on our 10th wedding anniversary

A beautiful table was set up on the beach and we assigned a personal waiter. The meal comprised of entree of a mixed cold plate of fois gras, smoked salmon, cured meats, fine cheese and other goodies. Main course was a whole large lobster, which was cooked to perfection. For dessert the Executive Chef (who I had befriended earlier in the week) arranged a beautiful anniversary cake – enough to feed about 20 people rather than 2! It was a perfect balmy evening with a gentle breeze, the moon almost full and the water less than 10 metres away – it truly was a memorable dining experience.

10th anniversary cake
10th anniversary cake

The local Maldivian waiters were absolutely charming and nothing was too much trouble for them. On our last evening they laid a special table for us, as can be seen in the photo below.

As part of their activity program, the resort offered cooking demonstrations 3 times per week. The dishes being demonstrated were Maldivian Fish Curry, Sushi and Creme Brulee. I opted for the first two (as I consider myself fairly competent in the Creme Brulee department). The Maldivian Fish curry was made with super-fresh fish, various spices and coconut milk and was rich and delicious. The Sushi Class was fun, as I put my hand up to roll which I had never done before and am now inspired to try it at home!

Sushi cooking class
Sushi cooking class

Maldivian Fish Curry (serves 4):

Ingredients:
30ml vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
10g ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
10g chilli powder
30g curry powder
15g ground cumin
10g ground turmeric
500g firm white fish (eg snapper) chopped into bitesized pieces
150ml coconut milk
Salt to taste

Method:
1.    Heat oil in a frypan or wok over a high heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook until the onions are golden brown.
2.    Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, chilli powder, curry powder, cumin and turmeric and cook until fragrant.
3.    Add the fish and the coconut milk, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until the fish is tender, stirring occasionally.
4.    Serve with rice or chapatti.

We managed to dine one evening at the à la carte restaurant and I must say it was lovely to be served a meal at the table for a change instead of queuing up at the buffet. The restaurant juts out over the water, and we were lucky enough to score the best table in the restaurant and watched the fish and the reef sharks circling for food while we dined.

Dining at the a la carte restaurant
Dining at the a la carte restaurant

Food highlights during our stay for me include fois gras, super-fresh tuna sashimi, lobster, excellent variety of French cheeses, beautiful French bread (made the way it should be), local fruits including mangosteens.

In summary, I can highly recommend Club Med in the Maldives. Apart from being an idyllic location with luxury accommodation, the food was first class for a resort of its size. The diversity of food offerings means that there is something for everyone, even the most discerning foodie.

Pristine blue waters and luxury accommodation
Luxury accommocdation in an idylic location

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18 Comments

  1. Congratulations Gail & Paul on your 10 year wedding anniversay!! I can’t believe 10 years has slipped by so quickly. The photos and story of your trip are absolutely stunning. You and Paul both look in very good health, and very happy 🙂
    lol Caroline

  2. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary Gail & Paul. What a lovely holiday, It looks just like a postacard!
    Aimee

  3. Thanks Caroline – yes 10 years has gone very quickly. Did you recognise the dress in the photo of the 2 of us? My wedding dress that I had shortened. Still fits – yay!

    Thanks Aimee. It is unbelievably beautiful there – every photo a postcard shot!

  4. Hi guys,
    Julli hebben zeker een hele leuke tijd gehad.
    Jammer dat het weer voorbij is. Nog vee gelukkige en gezonde jaren toegewenst

  5. Thanks Ma and Pa for leaving a comment.
    To translate for those that don’t speak Dutch:
    “Looks like you’ve had a great time. Too bad it’s over. Wishing you lots of happy and healthy years.”

  6. Hi my dearest, thank you for sharing the photo’s this quick. As I said yesterday, you guys don’t need any holiday destinations, but this is (close behind the UK) a nice runner up. It looks out of this world. Hope to see you both next year, you will appreciate your homeland even more. Big hug and kisses, Ira

  7. Hi, congrats on your 10 th honeymoon anniversary!!
    Beautiful pictures in a stunning location!
    Are you Dutch? I a a Flemish Belgian!
    I absolutely love your blog!!

  8. What a way to celebrate your 10th Anniversary, Gail and Paul. The photos took me away to a dreamy place! Congratulations to you both good friends.
    Fond wishes
    Mary

  9. Hey Gail and Paul
    Congrats! That looks like the most perfect place in the world.
    John

  10. Hi Ira – yes it was out of this world. Definitely warmer than your part of the world!

    Hi Sophie – My husband is Dutch and I lived in Amsterdam for 3 years. Ik speek en klein beetje Nederlandse! Glad you’re enjoying my blog – thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi Mary – yes it was a very dreamy place – definitely paradise.

    Hi John – thanks, I can highly recommend the Maldives!

  11. congratulations on 10 years, who looked after the dogs and cats!

  12. Keri Skeggs says:

    How wonderful, I am so pleased I was at your wedding, and now able to share 10yrs with you both. You both look just as in love as the wedding day.

  13. Hi Duo Dishes, it was very “wow”, truly a beautiful place to visit!

    Hi Geoff, thank you! Cats & dogs were looked after by their Grandparents!

    Hi Keri, hard to believe our wedding day was 10 years ago!

  14. Thanks Robin and thank you for your advice with the dress – I was very pleased with the result.

  15. officially maldivian says:

    first of all congrats on your 10th anniversary, glad u enjoyed our little country. wish you a very happy life now and forever. hoping tht you would come back on your next vacation

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