Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

travel to the Maldives


Remember a couple of months ago,  when I wrote that my girlfriend and I were heading off to Sri Lanka and Burma?

Well, as often happens with the best laid plans, a major travel hiccup arose in the form of low water levels on the Irrwadaddy River that runs through Burma.

As a goodly portion of our itinerary  had been cruising through the country by boat, we were, needless to say, thrown for a loop.  

Notice of the cancelation came close to the last minute so I won’t mention the company we were ‘sailing’ with.  Supposedly, this was only the second time they’d been forced to cancel a trip, so we’ll just say Mother Nature has her reasons, and leave it at that.  They did offer us the option of using the boat as a ‘floating hotel’ but that didn’t really appeal to us. After a day or two of frantic emailing and batting back & forth every possible option, we decided it just wasn’t our year to explore Burma.

Instead, we began to see the silver lining in the cancellation, an opportunity to spend a few more days in Sri Lanka, which we were loving and then visit the Maldive Islands instead.

 Not exactly a booby prize. As we had been tearing through Sri Lanka at a break-neck speed up to that point, we reveled in the slowing of our pace and I must say, it was bliss.


travel, Maldives

Flying over and landing in the Maldives is a surreal experience.





travel to the Maldive Islands

This is how one arrives in The Maldives

The pilot was barefoot.



Look at the colour of water as you head closer to land- the photos do not even begin to capture how stunning it is.

‘It can’t be real, it can’t be real’ is the constant refrain in your head



a multitude of blue hues everywhere you cast your eye



outdoor dining

The restaurant and lounge “Blu”





One of my favourite things about the resort was that you get your own bike (complete with your initials in wooden “Scrabble” tiles on the basket, to tool around the island on.


From villa to spa, from  spa to  beach side, from morning to night… it’s a glorious mode of transportation



beach sunrise

Rising with the sun for a little solitude and meditating on the beach before yoga.



I had company.

 Luckily, my contemplative friend was also in a meditative frame of mind.



Yoga every morning in a pavilion perched over azure seas is one namastelicious  way to start the day.

and the spa- that’s another post.


World class snorkeling is definitely one of the many spectacular attractions of The Maldives


the Maldives

There are multiple restaurant options; 4 to be exact, plus 3 lounges,

including the Shisha Bar below


This photo is from the Four Seasons website as for some reason, my photos from the Shisha bar didn’t turn out.

Could it have something to do with the hookah pipe that night?

Every girl has got to be a hookah smokin’ caterpillar  once in her life. 🙂



The food was wonderful.

sushi, the MaldivesSlim Paley photo

Here, a fabulously fresh carpaccio of raw fish



tropical bar, Maldives

Comfortable places to enjoy a cocktail or simply relax and read abound


exquisite beaches



tropical paradiseSlim Paley photo

We carried on our Sri Lankan daily ritual  of ‘ Fresh from the tree’ King Coconut water with every meal.



tropical sunsets

and don’t even get me started on the sunsets…



Slim Paley photo

The allee of palms leading up to the central pavilion of Landaa Giraavaru


sun sets in the Maldive Islands



The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean and are comprised of 26 atolls made up of  1,192 islands.

With the highest point of land being only 8’ft above sea level, some scientists believe the Maldives could potentially be submerged by rising ocean levels in 20-50 years.

From NY it’s a 13 hour flight to Qatar then a 5 hour flight to Maldives International airport, which is it’s own island, and a sea plane from there to whichever resort you may be staying.

The weather is hot, the hotel staff charming and I felt very safe on the island. 

For more information about The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru resort click here




  1. Boy were you holding out on us. The water level in my bath tub seems to have suddenly changed . I wonder what a complaint might bring….
    No words….x

  2. ooooooooooooomg!!!! Me-Maldives-NOW!!!! Glorious post! Maybe you should thank the pesky sailing company for cancelling. As they say: “every cloud has a silver lining”, yours came out platinum with diamond sprinkles 🙂
    I worry a little about the rising water, I need to plan my trip there soon! ALSO, the island I live on here in South Florida is only 7.5 feet above sea level!!! (I assume the rising water hits globally.) The silver lining, I guess, is I might have waterfront property in 10 years!

  3. More than a little bit of heaven. How fortunate to be able to experience it.

  4. So beautiful…… I just moved to Maui and take pictures of the sunsets every night. Your pictures are amazing.

  5. I can’t believe you kept that under your hat for this long! I had no idea you even went there!!
    That’s definitely going on my wish list.

  6. oh, my! you lucky girl, you….stunning…is it one of those places where there are other guests but you rarely see but a sprinkling of people? oooh, I LOVE those places! deserted beaches all to yourself in the early morning…peaceful, quiet…the water colors remind me of Bonaire and the out islands of the Bahamas…surreal…oh, we did a barge trip in France in the Loire Valley where the King had chateaus on the river Cher…never even occurred to us that water level may be a deal breaker…2 weeks before our arrival, the guests had similar issue to yours and we were told they decided to use the barge as a stationary hotel…not quite the same experience to be sure! A case of “where one door closes and another opens” ……

    • “where one door closes and another opens” Exactly.
      and yes, it’s one of theses places where you’re barely aware of there being other guests. They manage to strike a perfect balance, at least when we were there.

  7. Slim I am simply reeling from the beauty of this island paradise. (still can’t believe you did not invite me!) Every image is more inspiring than the previous. The Four Seasons could not do it any better than this haven they have created in The Maldives!

    Art by Karena

  8. I have always wanted to go to the Maldives…until I actually looked into how long it would take to get there from Philadelphia. I might have to rethink this after being reminded how beautiful it looks.

  9. I hope you brought back the “Please service my villa” bag to house your hair clips or some other talisman of ordinary daily life.

  10. Fantastic Slim. How I wish I wasn’t so fair and sun adverse, I could easily retire to this spot but no point to living under an umbrella. Looks absolutely incredible in every regard and I love the bike method of transportation. You are such an adventuress! XO

  11. I just booked the trip. Thinking they should give you a commission on all trips booked after your blog!
    My big question is do I go alone?, With hubby? or make it a family trip?……LOL

  12. Thank you for taking me to paradise this morning! Wow….what a beautiful place, it hardly seems possible that it’s real!

  13. Absolute Paradise, what a lovely image to start the weekend. The sunset and that water..yes it hardly seems possible that it is real. Stunning pics every one . Lucky you , and thanks for sharing.

  14. Ahh! I’m trying to plan a trip for my graduation in December, and every time I settle on a destination something comes up and changes my mind! I was pretty keen on Paris, but after reading this I am officially “undecided” once more!

    • As much as I adored the Maldives, for celebrating graduating-if you’ve never been before, I’d have to throw my vote to Paris Rachel.

  15. Wow those photos are breathtaking, I have never seen such pristine beaches and clear water. So much blue!

  16. Ok, this whole post brought tears to my eyes with all that blue beauty… You have such deeply inherent talent for translating what you see so others can follow… Of course, the observation that your pilot was barefoot was key 😉

  17. Just a little speechless at all this. It’s so beautiful. Trying not to wallow in the ugly envies and just be glad that you finally shared! 😉

  18. Dear Slim

    These are some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen The many blues are so lovely and there is such a dreamy tranquility you’ve captured.

    Maldives tourism has come a long way since we visited in 1981. Over 30 years ago, they didn’t have the grand luxe you’ve shown. Acommodation was much more basic. But the beauty hasn’t changed. I remember sitting on a beach at a rickety table with little waves lapping over our feet while we ate very simple but perfect grilled lobster with a lime quarter on the side.

    Because we were there for work we spent some time on Male, the capital. Everyone back in Sri Lanka where we were living at the time asked us to bring them back some Maldive fish, (dried and very smelly) but a great delicacy in Colombo. So we spent quite a bit of time asking where we could buy Maldive fish, only to realise that of course all fish bought on Male is Maldive fish. We finally located the source of the dried kind and took a suitcase full back to Colombo. Before leaving Colombo we had filled it with cheese and other treats, products not then easily available in the Maldives, for Australian volunteer aid workers who were on the islands where Maldivians themselves live. When we returned to Colombo and divvied up our loot amongst local friends and our household, we discovered we could never use that suitcase again!

    Best wishes, Pamela

  19. I wondered what happened about Myanmar> wanted to compare notes with you. I was there earlier this year. I did get up the river. Anyway the Maldives look gorgeous, there’s something about those intense tropical colours and the very white sand.As always your photos are sublime.

  20. Slim! I was in the Maldives in 1981 and the highest elevation then was 9 feet. The sea IS rising. I for one, am a bit glad you didn’t make it to Burma quite yet – the post would have been, how can I say it? similar to Sri Lanka? These images are unreal….

  21. How interesting. By chance, tonight on French Channel 3 was an excellent program called “Faut pas rever” (and we never watch TV here because truly, one of the biggest shows is about a short person angel who makes dreams happen) and it was about where? No, not the Maldives but Sri Lanka. This being France, they decided not to focus on all of the wonderful aspects (despite the aforementioned angel) but rather the rough side of things. And that included your incredible pre-dawn pilgrimage, which looked far rougher than how you presented it. So, chapeau bas as they used to say here (*imagine Yves Montand doing a swirly gesture with a courtier’s hat).
    Et Bon Weekend…
    PS. If I have nothing to say about this post itself because it has left me absolutely speechless. Such beauty is beyond what anyone can take in really unless they have been there. Now I know how much you deserved it!

  22. ‘It can’t be real, it can’t be real’ is the constant refrain in your head. Exactly what I was thinking as I looked at your photos. STUNNING! Thank you for sharing all about your trip. Your blog is so much fun – I never know where you will take us!

  23. This place most certainly leaves a stirring in one’s soul. Your photos and comments are a profound reminder that this world is such an extraordinary place. I am moved beyond words at the greatness of what mother nature evokes. It truly is a reminder of our connectedness each to the other. I see these photos and I am calm……

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! for sharing. Wow!!


  24. Most travel books,tv shows etc are written by men and they don’t ever show the things women are really interested in……hence you really need to do a book, tv show, or something and go to different places and showcase things WOMEN like…..I am not into the typical historical sightseeing etc but the tucked away places and beautiful gardens and scenery that you do so well on your blog……..this is one outstanding post and worthy of your traveling more to do some books. I would buy them all even if I had no intention of traveling there. Thank you for letting us be voyeurs on your trips! Linda in Idaho

  25. Actually Slim your post reminds me we have a tropical paradise on our doorstep, The Great Barrier Reef, I haven’t been there for years. Perhaps I should consider it, winter is coming. Head north!!

  26. I’m not a tropical holiday person (I know, it’s strange) but that could convert me and make me a believer. The color of the ocean looked unreal. So beautiful.

  27. Slim, As one of your multitude of fans, who you make feel more like a friend, I have a small request. Can you add another Cloud Category easily? Restaurants. Often, you show a picture from a delicious meal when you are out and about. When I am traveling, I often think, Slim may have eaten in this city, but it is hard to look through the blog just for restaurants. It may be too difficult to add in at this point. On the upside for me, I do end up looking back at some of your beautiful old blogs about food which can never be a bad thing…it just makes me hungry! As always, thank you for sharing with us all.

    • Thank you for the great suggestion Miss Kate.
      I will do that. Look for it in the next week or so (I have one more graduation coming up this weekend!)

      • Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating Younger Son’s success! I didn’t mention in my earlier comment that we went to the Maldives in 1987 on our honeymoon. Times have changed but your pictures remind me of how beautiful it was. I had forgotten that there could be so many perfect shades of blue. Since I am clearly into food, I still remember the eggs fresh from the hens on the island. They tasted fishy because they were fed fish! Time to go back and enjoy it in 2012 luxury.

  28. Wow beautiful…… I was looking forward to see Landaa in your eyes and experience………. Thank you for blogging us. Its been raining since a week though….. its grey contrast everywhere another beauty of Landaa….. Its beautiful anyway…. Please do visit again…….

  29. Visited the Maldives 1989. Stayed at beautiful Cocoa Island, which was leased by a playboy photographer after having done a shoot and falling in love with the place. The most fabulous resort at that time. Amazingly beautiful!!! But because it is a Muslim Nation, there were no women that served on the island. Our swim suits would have been a bad influence, and no doubt our more free behavior, not desirable. For the whole week we ate white fish, served many ways, and none of them memorable. Only wine was offered. But yes, the snorkeling was an underwater Eden. I’m so glad I was there before the bigger resorts moved in. But Slim, your resort makes me definitely want to go back!!!!

  30. I just checked out Cocoa Island now. SOOO different. There were about 8 lovely sand floored, grass roofed “bures” as we say in Fiji. They have greatly increased the island population with the water units. Sad.

    • I couldn’t imagine anyone NOT loving Landaa Giraavaru- it’s all so tastefully done.
      I saw a private beach home in a magazine recently with a sand floor- romantic and fabulous, but I realistically, I wondered how practical that would be?!

      • There were large flat stepping stones going from one end to the other, and the sleeping loft was upstairs so plenty of time to shed the sand. The floor was “groomed” throughout the day and was like a zen garden.

Would love to hear from you!