A chic resort on an exclusive private island nestled between the turquoise waters, a world away from the world with nothing but lush greenery, tranquil blue oceans and skies painted by the sun, the moon, stars and clouds everywhere you look- if I had to describe what Heaven looks like, I'd say this has to be it. I spent my last Birthday at The Residence, Mauritius and it was a spell binding experience, so when I had to choose a destination for my Birthday this year I couldn't think of anything other than The Residence in another location. Now Maldives was on my bucket list, and it gave me free visa on arrival. plus, it's Maldives we're talking about here, how can anyone not be enchanted just by the thought of exploring this little piece of heaven on earth? Read on if you're looking for some inspiration for your destination wedding or somewhere exceptional to go for your honeymoon, a location for a bachelorette party, a birthday getaway, or just some place to go for a vacation.
Designed in harmony with the natural environment, the resort seamlessly blends traditional Maldivian architecture with contemporary elegance and modern comforts. I stayed in a Water Pool Villa- the ones nestled in the turquoise lagoon providing the pleasure of slipping straight from your deck into the cool, clear waters to reach your own private lagoon. Wake up to unending views of the sparkling crystal clear waters, revel in the breath-taking sunrises, sunsets and frequent rainbows painting the skies in spellbinding displays of art, watch a movie by the ocean under the star-studded sky, swim in the ocean, go snorkeling to explore the outstandingly beautiful coral reefs and the underwater ecosystem or to simply get up close and personal with a friendly shark! Go dolphin spotting, or sip on cocktails and read books on the beach, or just luxuriate in an indulgent spa session, there’s endless ways of living the best island life here. Maldives at The Residence, Falhumaafushi is going to be nothing short of a visit to paradise. A big, heartfelt thank you to the team at The Residence for hosting me again.

Here's how I spent my days there. I started my first morning by enjoying the ocean breeze and the warm sunshine with a hearty breakfast right by the sparkling ocean at The Dining Room. 

And then I grabbed my bicycle (each room gets one to use around the property) and headed out to explore the resort. The island is private and small and can easily be walked around, however cycling seems like a more comfortable option when the weather is hot. The pristine beach wraps the whole way around, so you have access to the beach all around the resort. Also, the resort boasts of having one of the best house reefs found on any island in the Maldives.
An indulgent dinner with delectable food and dessert and a small birthday cake is what I ended my night with. This entrancing candle-lit Birthday dinner was set for me under the stars, out on the beach with the waves washing up against the sand just a few steps away from me. I can't describe in enough words just how surreal and serene this experience was! Tiny (and harmless) crabs peeking curiously through their holes in the sand were my silent companions. Fun fact, Maldives beaches are cleaned by crabs! Many, like the ghost crab, live on the beach burrowing holes in the sand. These are the crabs that you will see scuttling away if you take a late night stroll. This army of crustaceans eat small particles of food and waste and assist in keeping the beach clean.
The next day I had a Picnic lunch booked at The Castaway Island. As the name suggests, you're taken to a secluded little island a little away from the resort where you can go snorkeling, swim in the ocean, sunbathe, enjoy a little picnic basket with cold drinks and sandwiches too. 
Next I hopped onto the resort's Dhoni Boat to sail out into the sea, relishing a glass of champagne in the middle of the ocean while watching the breathtaking sunset, and then we spotted some magnificent dolphins swimming into the sunset! what a day! 
But that wasn't all, dinner was at The Falhumaa, The Residence’s fine dining restaurant that boasts of a sumptuous specialty menu of Western dishes. This secluded restaurant is mindfully separated from the rest of the island and is set in the serene Indian Ocean with outdoor tables on a deck that opens to the views of the ocean. An intimate, elite and dazzling setting which is absolutely ideal for a romantic evening dinner or afternoon tea, this experience will leave you smitten.
The next morning started with an In-Villa Floating Breakfast experience for me! Served to your private pool on a floating tray, you can bask in the sun, laze in the pool and dig in to your croissants and pancakes looking out into the lagoon, and quite frequently the view is complimented by a rainbow in the sky or a lilac colored sunrise. I kid you not, this was by far the most astounding breakfast experience I've had in this lifetime.
I spent the rest of my day snorkeling, all I had to do was to take a dip in my pool, climb down the stairs into the lagoon, and swim towards the reef! Surrounded by a beautiful, untouched reef and set on the unlimited horizons of one of the deepest and richest atolls, with more than 250 species of coral and 1,200 species of marine life including manta rays, sharks and turtles, this resort offers exceptionally lavish diving and snorkeling spots. The Residence Maldives has a fully equipped Water Sports Centre. They have a diverse range of water activities – windsurfing, surfing, body boarding, snorkel, scuba, night fishing, everything for motorized and non-motorized water sports and activities.
And then there was a movie under the stars, right at the beach, with endless popcorn and cocktails! What is this life?! So unbelievably magical, so peaceful and yet invigorating. What I wouldn't give to have this as my life everyday!
The following day was marked by an indulgent session at the first and only Spa by Clarins in the Maldives at The Residence. The Luxury spa sits serenely at the end of a jetty, overlooking the calm waters of the lagoon and a rainbow of coral reefs. Comprising six separate pavilions and an en suite hair salon, the spa offers an array of holistic treatments, pampering massages, and hair and beauty services that will rejuvenate your body and mind. And well what's a trip to Maldives without a luxuriating spa experience anyway?
My last evening here was an evening under the stars, literally, I went for the Beach BBQ Dinner at The Sunset Grill. Freshly grilled sea food prepared to your liking, a glass of champagne, a full moon in a star-studded sky, and the sparkling ocean underneath were all ingredients for a rather spectacular last supper on this enchanting island.
Of all the places I've traveled to so far, Maldives will leave a permanent, deep, heart-clutching, beautiful mark on my memories. With it's impeccable beauty, turquoise water, powdery white sand beaches, gin-clear lagoon, and breath-taking experiences, this trip will be impossible to get over. 
My villa was lavishly divided into 3 parts- The living room, which is the first area when you enter your room, then the sober yet modern and elegant bedroom, which lies in the middle, and then the opulent bathroom on the right most. While the living room and bedroom open out to a private deck and pool right on the lagoon, the bathroom windows open out right to the lagoon underneath. The outdoor deck is generously sized, complete with sunbeds and a table with an umbrella. Although the Bathroom was complete with inexhaustible walking and dressing space, a separate toilet area, and two showers, one of which was an open-air rain shower on a wooden deck, the stand alone bath tub was the most stunning feature of the bathroom. It faces the water, and since my villa was the west-facing one the view of the sunset was really spectacular while soaking in some bubbles in the tub. 
Waking up to a Maldivian sunrise over the sea, diving into the ocean set on fire with the colors of the sunset, catching sight of a magnificent rainbow fill the horizon, gazing at the star-studded sky while taking that midnight dip in your private pool surrounded by the sound of the waves lapping up against your villa's wooden deck, or just enjoying the presence of the ever so warm, welcoming and friendly staff on this gorgeous island- Maldives is all about the experiences, and this is an experience of a lifetime that will linger in your senses for the rest of your days.