Friends often ask me if I´m still nervous when I´m travelling or if it has already become a routine. I AM nervous every single minute and I think it is one of the most important things about travelling. And if I´m not excited enough I just go and get 3 coffees and my heart´s bumping again. Easy like that. Well this time I was extra nervous without having a single coffee. I was travelling alone for the first time. To a tiny island where everybody comes with it’s favorite company. There are also a couple of families and singles staying at the Robinson Club Maldives, but most of the guests are honeymooners. Or at least people who aim to kiss the whole day. I was not that sad about (not) kissing, it was more like: “Ok, who is gonna take the typical Inna posing pictures then?” (at least I´m honest). And you know what: I never had so many posing pictures like after staying a couple of days at THIS place!You have a choice of either staying at the water bungalow (with a glass bottom near your bed, a huge terrace and some stairs right into the water) or – if you prefer sand on your feet- a beach or a garden bungalow. I have some pictures of a beach bungalow on my last post.First day was all about exploring the island. Our island Funamadua was only 450×240 m and you could walk around it in 20 minutes. When thinking about the Maldives I always had these amazing pictures from above on my mind: just an island, some water bungalows and nothing around it. So I prefered flying around it with a parasail fixed on a boat for the first impression. It´s really a good way to take some pictures to show off. Make sure you are flying between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a clear day, otherwise the colours won´t look that bright.Another cool thing about flying over the island was the only possibility to get to see the 240 sqm presidential suite at the end of the water bungalows. Hey there, can I land in your pool?The restaurant always offered a huge international buffet but they also had a local corner with a maledivian cook explaining you what it is and how to prepare it. The Robinson island has it´s own vegetable and herbs garden, a bakery and they produce drinking water by filtering the water from the Indian Ocean (so the food container only has to come once in two weeks). This is how they manage to save 400.000 plastic bottles per year. I don´t want to sound like a teacher, but these things are important since every island of the Maldives is located only one meter about the sea level and it keeps rising every year. Once a week the crew shows you around and explains how the island “works”, in case you are interested….If you are staying at the beach bungalow, you always have a little beach just for yourself. No building on an island is allowed to be higher than the highest palm. You can find the fruits everywhere in the sand.After only a single day I felt like a biologist knowing every tree and every flower (and every hammock!!!) on this island. And always meeting some new people during my expedition.There are two perfect places to enjoy the sunset on the Robinson island. The first one you see on this picture, the second one by the end of the post.I was lucky enough to arrive at the day of the captains dinner (always on fridays), so all the stuff was dressed up as a sailing crew and the guests were asked to come in white. The funny thing about knowing so many people by the end of the day was that the party felt like hanging around with friends and nobody had to do the washing up haha.What I already learned as a kid: Always make friends with the ice cream guys (yep, this ship is made of ice cream). But I´m kinda out of training: they didn´t want to deliver it to my room…During the night you can watch little baby sharks coming really close to the island.At the second day I finally tried out the water. No comments about it, hate people always writing about how blue the ocean is. I mean it´s obvious, you can see it on the picture. But it was really warm (between 27-28 degrees), so you could stay there for hours.Why don´t I look sexy even though I´m trying? This tree was full of spikes. So I rather felt like a yogi man without a matcha tea than a relaxed beach girl. This day might look really lazy to you but I was diving and snorkling between the posing and I will show you the pictures on the next post. I got a new underwater cam for my birthday and I was very excited to finally present it to the sharks.This is the second sunset place I was talking about: the Sundowner Bar with a DJ playing some house chill out music. I´m not too romantic or something but this place was really WOOOW.Thank you, Robinson Club Maldives, for having me. Thanks to the amazing crew, there are so many stories I would love to tell but I know they gonna kill me haha (“what happens on the Robinson island, stays on the Robinson island”).
To talk about the prices: One week All Inclusive starts from 2299 euros/per person (including the flight). I was flying with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul and I can highly recommend this airline. They got voted for the best european airline for the third time last year and it´s totally true. Economy so feels like business with them.
I don´t really believe in all these top tens or top somethings. The worst ones are the “things to see/do/smoke before you die”-tops. But sometimes they do give you some really good suggestions. The “Fish Shack” in the Shanti Maurice Resort (South of Mauritius) got voted under the top ten world´s best beach bars. I discovered it by walking through the resort after a giant breakfast and didn´t even know it was so famous. It first looked more like a wedding location to me. But by night it turned into something really magic…This is how the “Fish Shack” looks during the day… Pretty enough for fooling around.The “Fish Shack” opens when the sun sets. You walk a long path lightened by some torches and when you start thinking you got lost some white tents and wooden ships full of food appear. It all looks really surreal, like an oasis in the middle of the desert, but then you hear the waves and they remind you of where you are. The good thing about this beach bar (which actually is more a grill restaurant): everybody can book a dinner there, no need to be a guest of the resort. They put on the grill what they caught in the morning (but there are always lobster, shrimps, marlin) or what they got from the market the day before (the marinades are to die for). But even if it just was a burger and a beer: the atmosphere beats everything!
Some attractions start before you even get there. So was my trip to the Maldives last week. I was on the plane approaching the islands (there are 1196 of them) after a loooong flight via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, looked out of the window and was just: Wow. Doesn´t matter what is expecting me on the next few days, this view has already been worth the whole trip. The stewardesses were not strict at all and let me switch seats during the landing all the time, so I could take some nice shots I would like to share with you. We landed near Malé. It is the capital with the biggest population per qm (75000 inhabitans on 5,8 qkm) of the world. You will recognize this island from the plane as soon as you see it because it doesn´t fit into the landscape at all. The are boats going to Malé and other near islands on the opposite side of the airport exit but I had to take another domestic flight of 1,5 hours to get to “my island”. The Robinson Club Maldives is located near the island of Kaadedhdhoo, which is 400 km far away from Malé (even Sri Lanka is closer). And for the first time of my life I was happy about an extra flight – because it meant even more air pictures for me!Another 30 min on a boat and I was finally there. In my princess beach bungalow with my princess bed and my princess bathroom – located in the garden and all open.I took some minutes to watch the sunset from “my beach” and then had a shower under the stars. Not too bad for the first day almost spent on the plane…
Talking about holidays in the Indian Ocean, a road trip is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But in comparison to the other two honeymoon islands the Maldives and the Seychelles, Mauritius is the most suitable for just picking a car, driving around and stopping at the beaches or places you like. Why? First of all Mauritius consists of one large island and it´s landscape and vegetation change a lot due to the mountains and different winds. You can´t really check the weather forecast for the whole island. The North is normally minimum 5 degrees warmer and much calmer than the South. We started our road trip in the South as it is well known as a perfect watersports spot and I wanted to take some kitesurfing lessons. The only national park of the country Black River Gorges and the highest mountain Black River Peak (828 meter) are also located here. You can climb it up easily in a couple of hours, get an amazing view all over the island and safe the money (450 euro) for the heli-flight. So my plan was: work and sports first, then the relaxation! But already from above it didn´t look like work at all…Even after a 12 hour flight (from Berlin via Paris with Air France) I still had enough energy to jump out of the car every second and take a picture. Poor driver… After 30 minutes we finally arrived at St Regis Mauritius Resort and found out there was actually no lobby. The idea behind it is to make guests feel like they come back home. Your buttler offers you a welcome drink and brings you directly to your villa (almost like your Mom) and looking at the infinity waterfalls at the entrance indeed reminded me of my apartment in Berlin…The thing I loved most about the villas was the bathroom (surprise, surprise!). The fact they have two huge wash bawls makes it easier for couples to stay a couple even after their holidays. And I could see the ocean while brushing my teeth and didn´t have to look into the mirrow which was also a big plus especially in the mornings. The South is told to be the windy part of Mauritius, but as St Regis is hidden behind the mountain of Le Morne Brabant (556 meters) you can only feel a light breeze on the beach. Le Morne Brabant is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008 because of it´s sad history. In the early 19th century it used to be a refuge for runaway slaves. After the abolition of slavery in 1835 a police expedition traveled there to inform the slaves that they had been freed. Many of them misunderstood the message and jumped from the rock. The hotel has six restaurants and if you book half-board you can have dinner in three of them without paying extra (Floating Market, The Boathouse Bar & Grill und Le Manoir Dining Room). On the first evening we were just walking along the beach watching the sunset and at the end we ran into Simply India, the signature restaurant of St Regis with the Indian star cook Atul Kochhar. But since I was the only who one liked Indian food we had to switch to Le Manoir Dining Room which offered French-Mauritian fusion cuisine (in the picture above: mauritian chilli cake, crusted red tuna, fresh coconut, caper, tomato). In the picture below the same restaurant during the breakfast.On the second day of our stay my kitesurfing lessons started. St Regis has the first luxury kitesurfing school in the world: Club Mistral Prestige. Your teacher drives you to a windy spot few minutes away from the hotel and during the lessons he all belongs to you. After fife days you can do it. I only had two days to practice but at the end I was able to steer the kite and make it pull me through the water, which was already a great experience. This spot is really perfect for beginners: the water stays flat for a long time and the wind is stable. The pros normally try to catch the famous One-Eye-Wave a bit further out.The hotel had a library with some serious 1000 pages books as you can see…and their own cinema called La Palme D`Or where you could either watch one of the three movies they showed per day o just book it for yourself (popcorn indluded)…This ist the Boathouse Bar&Grill restaurant at night. The cool thing about it: you could just walk down to the beach with one of your courses and have it there if you liked.On the last day I finally had some time to walk around and test the water. And to be honest I could hardly imagine the beaches in the North were supposed to be even better…On the last evening we decided to try out The Floating Market which turned out to be my favorite one among all restaurants. It was located on the water and the spaces were connected by bridges. That´s what we had: lemongrass crab cake, roasted spiced duck breast with baby vegetables and the best desert on planet (because it is actually fife deserts): the lolly-pop mix.