Going to the Maldives to stay at an overwater bungalow has been on my bucket list of mine since I started travelling around the world. Back in 2021, Marriott opened a new resort called Le Meridien Maldives which is a category 5 hotel. For those who collect points and miles, this is a rare chance to redeem your points directly on an overwater bungalow. Immediately, I decided to seize this opportunity and used up my points to make a booking for May 1-6 in 2022. I didn’t know if the pandemic would end by then or if travel is possible. However, I wasn’t going to pass up this rare opportunity. And while there were numerous obstacles to making this trip happen, I was able to go and I only have good things to say.
VIDEO – Le Meridien Maldives Experience – Country #95 To Visit All Countries
Flight from Colombo to Male
To go to the Maldives, my flight from North America would first have a stopover in Sri Lanka. After spending 4 days there, Karen and I excitedly boarded our flight going to the Maldives.
The immigration was jam-packed with tourists. It’s as if the pandemic is over and travel is back to normal. Luckily, Karen and I rushed to the immigration counter as soon as we landed as the line-up was quite massive to enter the Maldives.
Getting our checked bags also took a while. It was frustrating to wait for so long because Karen and I didn’t want to miss our seaplane going to the resort.
Seaplane from Male to Le Meridien Maldives
As soon as we exited the gate, a woman who works for Trans Maldivian Airways escorted Karen and me to the desk where they would check us in for the seaplane flight to the resort. The woman’s customer service is average at best. I found her to be on the unfriendly side.
She then took us to the Trans Maldivian Airways desk to check in our baggage. We were then informed that due to bad weather, our flight would be delayed and they would take us to a lounge to wait and see what happens.
After a short drive, we arrived at the lounge where we waited patiently to see if we would be able to board the seaplane going to the resort.
At first, we were given the bad news that due to bad weather, we will need to stay in Male and lose one night at the resort. This is when this Arab couple exploded and bitched out the staff working for the airline.
Eventually, the airline caved in to their demands and boarded us onto the seaplane.
The angry Arab couple sat in front of me and to this day, I feel conflicted about them. On one hand, they got the job done and we were flying to the resort thanks to their rude behaviour. On the other hand, I’m against people treating other people like shit. And, this couple doesn’t seem to see the airline and resort staff as humans. We also witnessed other Arabs in the resort behaving similarly and it made me wonder if it’s a cultural thing.
Beside Karen is this poor guy who puked his guts out during the short flight.
After a short 30-minute flight, we made it to the resort.
Day 1 – Arrival, Instant Noodles, Camping Food, Champagne, and Chocolates
The seaplane doesn’t normally fly in the dark so our situation was an anomaly according to the check-in staff. After a comfortable check-in process, we rode a buggy to our room. We were upgraded to the sunset overwater bungalow from our original sunrise overwater bungalow booking which was neat. Our luggage arrived at our villa on a separate buggy.
The room was spacious enough for Karen and me as we admired the decor.
We were also presented with champagne and chocolates as a welcoming gift. Karen and I don’t drink but we had some champagne just for the hell of it. And of course, we scarfed down the delicious chocolates.
After the tour of our room was complete, the resort staff left. We selected the 4-day half board meal plan for $65 USD per day (we get free breakfast thanks to having Platinum Status). As a result, our first night did not include dinner.
Karen and I planned for this and brought instant noodles and camping food to eat for our first night. We were dead exhausted from flying here and didn’t want to leave our villa anyways. Karen’s instant noodles were perfect. However, the camping food I ate turned out to be much bigger than I anticipated and I was way too full trying to finish eating it.
Day 2 – Fitness, Breakfast, Dinner at Velaa Bar and Grill
The next day, we admired the view of the overwater bungalow as we made our way to the fitness centre.
We knew we would be eating way too much food so we decided to keep up with working out to balance the calorie consumption we were about to indulge in.
The path toward the dining area was pretty with plants all over the place.
For breakfast, it was a buffet of various dishes ranging from Southeast Asian food to Indian food to American food.
There was also an absurd amount of sweets and desserts.
To no one’s surprise, Karen and I went to town eating all this delicious food.
After breakfast, we went over to the snorkeling shop where they loaned free snorkeling gears to tourists.
Shortly after, Karen and I joined an aquafit fitness class in front of the Velaa Bar and Grill.
The class didn’t feel challenging but we burned a lot of calories doing it. Not to mention it was surprisingly fun.
Since it was our first full day in the Maldives, we had no dinner reservations yet. We ended up getting the 9 pm time slot at the Velaa Bar and Grill which was quite late. Karen was starving to death while waiting for dinner time to come. Luckily, the resort staff gave us a welcome dish which helped tide Karen over before our late dinner.
For dinner, I ordered lamb chops while Karen got the steak. Because I’m lactose intolerant, I was given sorbet for dessert while Karen ate ice cream.
The overwater bungalow in Le Meridien Maldives is beautiful at night as we walked our way back to our villa.
Day 3 – Yoga, Breakfast, and Dinner buffet at Turquoise
The next day, Karen decided to sleep in while I went to join the 6:15 AM morning Yoga. It was so cool to do yoga by the beach. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience.
People in this resort were very friendly. The tourists here are from different countries and they were all down to Earth. The staffs were also easygoing and often gossiped with us. The resort included the tip as a percentage when you book to stay in the resort so you never feel pestered for a tip by staff members.
The breakfast buffet was delicious as usual as I continued my rampage trying all the different kinds of food.
We were also surprised by a giant turtle swimming near our villa.
During the afternoon, Karen and I went swimming on the beautiful beaches. It was a dumb decision as we both ended up getting sunburnt. No wonder everyone went for a swim in the morning instead of the afternoon.
The dinner buffet at Torquoise was decent but it’s not as good as their breakfast or meals at Velaa Bar and Grill.
Day 4 – Breakfast, and Lobster Dinner at Velaa Bar and Grill
On the 4th day, I felt excited because it was lobster night. After another awesome breakfast, Karen and I decided to just relax the entire day.
We did get a chance to watch the incredible sunset. I made sure to capture it by making a time-lapse video with my GoPro.
For dinner, we ate lobster. We were surprised it cost extra but the resort told us we can save money by not getting the appetizer or dessert. The lobster dinner was well worth it for that one night we had it.
At night, it rained quite hard which was quite nice and soothing when trying to sleep.
Day 5 – Breakfast, Snorkeling, Kayaking, and Dinner buffet at Turquoise
On our last day in the resort, we vowed to try snorkeling and kayaking as we’ve been too lazy to do them.
We didn’t get a chance to snorkel by the reef because we missed the low tide. But, we did get a chance to see a baby shark while we did snorkeling by the shore.
Shortly after, we went to the dive shop to borrow a free kayak.
We didn’t kayak too long because Karen got freaked out by the strong currents.
On our last night at the Le Meridien Maldives resort, we took tons of pictures for memories before eating a decent buffet at Torquoise.
Day 6 – Departing Le Meridien Maldives Resort
On the day of the departure, we ate another big breakfast. It was a bittersweet feeling knowing it was our last meal here. Our experience has been fantastic and we have fallen in love with the Maldives.
The flight back was nice as we got to see many different atolls and resorts on the way to Male.
The resort representative took us to the gate where we would be boarding the flight out of Maldives to our next destination.
Unfortunately, our trip to paradise didn’t have a good ending and the next 48-hours would be a huge nightmare.
Staying at Le Meridien Maldives was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone planning on going to the Maldives. I spent 3-4 years saving up enough Marriott points to stay here for free. The only thing we paid for were tips, the half-board meal plan, and the seaplane. To reduce the cost of the seaplane, I also spent over a year saving up enough Scotia Rewards points (now called Scene+) to cover this expense. I have no regrets and I easily put the Maldives in my top 10 favourite countries of all time.
I would like to come back in the distant future and stay at another resort. One of the staff members in Le Meridien Maldives told me used to work for a resort called Vilamendhoo Maldives. He said the management there sucks but it’s hands down the best place to stay to see marine life. I love marine life and I will save up money to stay there in the distant future.