Ever since I have been old enough to travel anywhere outside of my immediate city/state, I have always dreamed about visiting a paradise like the Maldives. Having seen pictures in magazines or social media, it looked just absolutely breathtaking. For our honeymoon in 2017, we decided to make those images a reality. As you will see in my review of NH Collection Maldives Havodda, it was just as expected.
UPDATE (2/27/2024): At the time of our visit in August 2017, the resort went by the name “Amari Havodda Maldives”. On or around August 2023, the resort was rebranded and now goes by the name “NH Collection Maldives Havodda.”
Getting to NH Collection Maldives Havodda
Getting there was a bit of a struggle for unseasoned long haul travelers like us and planning the itinerary took a little bit of work. As I’m writing my review of NH Collection Maldives Havodda significantly later from when we visited, some details may be overlooked.
We flew from Albany, NY (ALB) to Philadelphia, PA (PHL), PHL to Doha, Qatar (DOH), DOH to Male, Maldives (MLE). As we were approaching Velana International Airport, we were already giddy after seeing this from the window of the Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 we were on:
Our Maldivian greeting:
Getting through customs was a breeze. Once we walked out, an NH Collection Maldives Havodda representative greeted us, took our bags and walked us to the shared airport lounge. In this lounge, we were able to finally relax a bit on some decent lounge chairs, get a drink, etc. There was a small area to get food but we didn’t eat anything. Next up was our regional airplane transfer.
So, if you were counting, that is four flights and one boat ride to get to our resort and the same to get back. The prop plane transfer and boat ride itself, as it applies to most resorts in the Maldives, was a couple of hundred dollars per person as well. It seems the farther you go from Male, the more expensive the transfers get. The entire trip took 31hrs (layovers included). WOW! What an adventure! But we’re finally there! Lets dig in to the real details of this beautiful island paradise, shall we?
Checking In at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
We arrived at our resort at 9:30PM local time and were greeted by members of the staff who gave us a sweet drink and warm towels. The whole check-in process took around 30 minutes followed by a guided tour of the island (albeit at night) on a golf cart. The driver took us to each of the buildings (such as dining hall, pool/bar area, spa, etc.). It was a bit hard to remember considering there are virtually no ‘street lights’ on the island but it’s a small island, so how tough could it be?
The Overwater Villa at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
My wife and I had reserved an Overwater Villa on the sunset side for our honeymoon. Since we got in late, we didn’t get to appreciate what this meant until the following morning but let me just share some photos as words don’t do them justice.
The Pool Area at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
The pool area at NH Collection Maldives Havodda was quite nice. This area is also shared with the bar area which is the ‘hub’ for night life at the resort. My wife and I spent a lot of time lounging around this area, playing Jenga, etc.
Once nice change from most resorts with pools is that it wasn’t chlorinated or if it was, it was a small out. There is nothing worse than getting out of a pool and smelling like you just got with a rinse/spin cycle in your washing machine.
The Beach at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
The beach? We talkin bout the beach!? It’s the Maldives, the beach was amazing. The sand is ridiculously fine, no rocks at all. It was like powdered sugar. Meaning, if you stand in one spot too long, you are likely to sink to your ankle in sand as the waves splash against your feet. Simply phenomenal!
The Property at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
NH Collection Maldives Havodda is situated on a relatively small island, compared to others we researched. You could do a full loop of the beach in under an hour or so. However, it is well maintained and staff is always around. There was some construction going on when we were there, but it did not interfere with our stay in the least. There was even a crew that climbed the palm trees near the bar/pool area and cut off loose/old branches so they wouldn’t fall on guests.
Dining at NH Collection Maldives Havodda
Besides the clear blue water and the amazing views, the best part of the whole experience was the all-inclusive plan and the amazing food.
The main dining hall at NH Collection Maldives Havodda is called the Amaya Food Gallery. Here is where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are three other dining options on the island but we didn’t try them as some required reservations, etc.
The food at the Amaya Food Gallery was usually a different theme each day for lunch and dinner. Some days it was European, some days it was more Asian, some days it was even somewhat American (burgers and hot dogs).
As part of our Honeymoon package, we actually had a candle light dinner reservation on the beach one evening where we ate lobster and other delicious foods.
Overall Thoughts of NH Collection Maldives Havodda
In case you couldn’t tell in my review of NH Collection Maldives Havodda, it wouldn’t even be a thought in my mind if I was asked to visit again. Even with the cost being somewhat prohibitive (around $8,000 USD with flight in August 2017).
We both really enjoyed our week stay at NH Collection Maldives Havodda and we definitely plan to visit the Maldives again to further experience the beauty of this part of the world.
Hope you enjoyed my review of NH Collection Maldives Havodda. Have you stayed at NH Collection Maldives Havodda? What did you think? If you were to go again, would you do anything differently? Tell me in the comments below!