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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our Honeymoon Plans: We're off to the Maldives & Sri Lanka!

I'm ecstatic because in just over two months time Dan and I will be newlyweds and jetting off on our honeymoon! Our original honeymoon plan was to spend three weeks up the Great Barrier Reef and we'd booked an amazing trip that included Hamilton Island, Cairns, Fitzroy Island and a few nights on a live-aboard where we would scuba dive multiple times a day on the reef. I, being completely OCD was reading up on recent reviews of our luxury apartment on Hamilton Island and much to my horror discovered that it was literally a construction site for the rest of the year with new apartments being built and the pool having been damaged in the last cyclone. This was not the honeymoon I'd imagined and so we made the decision to cancel/postpone our trip to the Great Barrier Reef and book the destination I'd always dreamed of honeymooning at: the Maldives!! We also decided to add a week in Sri Lanka onto our honeymoon as well as it is so close!

LUX* South Ari Atoll Pool Water Villa

We were initially really disappointed when found out about our accommodation on Hamilton Island, so much so that it put a dampener on the rest of the trip. We tried to be positive and source other accommodation but as we were travelling during peak season, all of the hotels were booked and there wasn't many other options. We managed to get refunds for all of our accommodation and tours with the exception of our flights so we were really happy about that! I know we'll visit the barrier reef soon but this time just on a holiday rather than for our honeymoon.

Heart Reef Queensland

Once we decided to book the Maldives, we'd basically completely forgotten about our old honeymoon plans! I spent days and days (actually probably more like a week) researching the many hotels and resorts in the Maldives because I wanted to find the absolute perfect hotel for us. I am sure all of the hotels are absolutely incredible but we have pretty high standards after staying in some pretty incredible hotels during our travels such as the Westin Europa & Regina Venice, Mezzatorre Resort & Spa Ischia, Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona, Eagle Brae Log Cabins in the Scottish Highlands and Nostos Apartments in Oia, Santorini.

The Westin Europa & Regina Venice bedroom
Mezzatorre Resort & Spa Pool and Tower Ischia
Cotton House Hotel Barcelona RoomEagle Brae Log Cabin Interior ScotlandGirl at Nostos Apartments Oia Santorini

I poured over reviews on all of the travel booking sites and scrolled endlessly through Instagram accounts until we finally settled on our dream hotel, LUX* South Ari Atoll. LUX* is literally the perfect hotel for us and we were lucky enough to book it at an amazing rate of 60% off on their honeymoon sale that they were having! It still costs more than anywhere we've ever stayed in all of our travels but I have a feeling it will be the best place we've ever stayed (and maybe ever will)! It'll be the first time on a sea plane for both of us as well and we can't wait to see the beautiful islands and atolls of the Maldives from above! The hotel has eight restaurants and five bars which we can't wait to try and I think foodie Dan has literally memorised the menus already. I'm so excited to explore the waters around the island too as every photo I've seen literally looks like the epitome of a tropical island paradise!

Oh and did I mention it is all inclusive and there is an epic cocktail list which I plan to get through in a week...

Seaplane Maldives
LUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives PoolLUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives Beachside diningLUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives Water villas
LUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives beach

LUX* South Ari Atoll is a Maldives dream hotel! We've booked one of their stunning Romantic Pool Water Villas which is our own water villa with private infinity pool, a cosy love-nest and direct access into the beautiful lagoon! I am literally drooling every time I look at photos and think the hotel will have to physically drag me away at the end of our 7 nights! LUX* South Ari Atoll is going to be the perfect barefoot luxury we are seeking and all I need to do is pack my my bikinis and we're set for the honeymoon of my dreams!

LUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives Water villa

We're actually visiting Sri Lanka for a week prior to the Maldives but I'm yet to lock in the final details of that leg of our honeymoon. We decided that Sri Lanka is so close to the Maldives that it would be the perfect opportunity to visit a country which has been on both of our bucket lists for a long time! It's also a good chance for us to get the perfect combination of adventure and sightseeing with luxury and relaxation.

As with the Maldives we've got seven nights in Sri Lanka. We know that this definitely isn't enough time to see even a tenth of what the country has to offer and so we've chosen a few highlights and will just have to come back one day to see the rest! We are flying directly into Colombo and have booked the stunning Movenpick Colombo and I am so excited for their rooftop infinity pool which overlooks the whole city and ocean!

Movenpick Colombo Infinity Pool

From Colombo we are heading inland to experience some culture and to visit the iconic tea plantations around Ella! We've read that there are some magnificent waterfalls nearby and so we are hoping to do some hiking around there too.

Ella train Sri LankaTea plantations Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is said to be one of the best countries in the world outside of Africa to go on Safari! We've done quite extensive research on the best national parks and have decided we will visit Udawalawe National Park as it is on our way between Ella and the South coast and is said to be one of the least touristy national parks and also has one of the biggest populations of elephants in the country! We've never seen elephants in the wild and so I am sure this will be a highlight of our honeymoon.

Elephants Udawalawe National Park Sri Lanka

From Udawalawe we are heading south the coast where we plan to find a luxury hotel where we can relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches, do some exploring and Dan can also surf daily which he is really excited about. After a few days on the coast we will then head back up to Colombo and fly to the Maldives for a week in absolute paradise!

Sri Lanka BeachSurfing in Sri Lanka

We feel so good about our honeymoon plans now that we made the decision to change to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. If anyone has been to Sri Lanka and has any tips or recommendations of amazing hotels and sites in the places we are visiting we would love to hear from you as we are planning to book these over the next week or two!

LUX* South Ari Atoll Pool Water Villa at Sunset

*Maldives photos credited to LUX* South Ari Atoll

Where did you honeymoon or where is your dream honeymoon destination? x


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Our Honeymoon Plans: We're off to the Maldives & Sri Lanka

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