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Paradise Found

The You & Your Wedding fashion team headed to the blissed-out tropical island paradise of Kuramathi in The Maldives to give its honeymoon-rating the once over

Take your breath away

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Arriving at Kuramathi island in Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’’ve never been to the Maldives before then nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse of absolute paradise.

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With it’s bluer than blue turquoise waters and white sand-edged coastline; from the window of the seaplane it’ looks almost too good to be true. Don’’t panic if you’’re not a fan of small planes though -– we took a 90-minute speedboat ride to paradise instead, due to our excess baggage!

Walk this way

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Acres of luxurious vegetation, most of it untouched, are what make Kuramathi a uniquely different Maldivian island. A romantic stroll through the narrow winding paths of its luscious gardens is the perfect antidote to baking on the beach -– especially when the path leads to one of the six (yes six!) bars around the island.

We couldn’’t get enough of the signature Maldivian Lady cocktail –- best sipped at sunset –- after a hard day’’s work of course! If you’’re too tired to walk after a stressful(!) day on the sun lounger, there are plenty of golf buggies to ferry you to your sunset spot instead.

Heaven is a hot tub

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Nestled in the natural gardens of Kuramathi, we quickly became acclimatised to our Superior Beach Villas, each with their own private Jacuzzi. The best bit was the open air bathroom leading to the outdoor hot tub -– the perfect place to enjoy a glass of celebratory just-wed champers. Plus, we reckon, the oh-so-comfy king-sized bed means you won’’t have to have your first wedded tiff over who’’s hogging the bed space!

Water, water everywhere

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Kuramathi has nine different styles of villas so be prepared for a tough decision on which one to go for. If you want the ultimate Maldivian experience then a water villa is a must-do.

Built on stilts and with your very own panoramic view of the Indian Ocean, it’’s definitely high on luxury. Plus, when you get too hot on your private sundeck you can always head down your private ladder and straight into the paradise lagoon below. Snorkel at the ready, as there’’s some amazing marine life to check out too.

Deep blue sea

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It’’s not all about lazing around at Kuramathi (unless that’’s the only thing on your agenda!) there’s not one, but two dive schools on the island. From beginners’’ courses to the more advanced, there’s no excuse for not exploring that big ocean out there.

The people at Kuramathi are hugely into sustainability and their environmental footprint too, with an Eco Centre and even hydroponic gardens which provide most of the salad served in the restaurants -– you can’’t get fresher than that!

Swim fan

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Ok so the water surrounding the island is pretty incredible, but we fell in love with the pool at the Kuramathi Spa – check it out in the Oct/Nov fashion story Mad About The Girl.

It’’s a peaceful haven surrounded by beautiful bougainvillea and vegetation, plus there’s a pool bar close by serving delicious fresh cocktails. Check out the Palm Pizzeria & Gelateria next door for some seriously good ice cream and delicious fresh food too.

So spa, so good

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Honeymoon means spoiling yourself at the spa, crucial for unwinding from all that post-wedding stress. Kuramathi spa has 10 treatment rooms and yes this is one of them -– the over-water, open-air pavilion.

Treat yourself to an array of Balinese, Thai and Ayurvedic massages. Hubbie can get involved too with one of the Luxury Experience For Two massages -– pure bliss.

Tune in, chill out

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What we really loved about Kuramathi, aside from the super-friendly staff, great food and beautiful surroundings, was the choice of places to eat and drink -– to guarantee that you’’ll never get bored. Sand Bar was a team hit with its relaxed vibe; great for a mid-afternoon cocktail kickback with the sand between your toes.

Head to the Laguna Bar to watch the stingray feeding every night at sunset -– incredible! Then top it off with a night cap in Fung Bar where you can listen to live music or hit the dance floor Y&YW-stylie at their open-air disco.

Book your honeymoon trip

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Kuoni (call 01306 747008 or visit kuoni.co.uk) offers seven-nights on an all inclusive basis at four-star Kuramathi Island, Maldives in a garden villa including flights with British Airways from London Gatwick, group transfers in resort and access to the lounge in Malé on departure.

Price for 2011 from £1,769 per person based on two sharing. To book please quote: MV174 (from price valid for departure October 2011). Honeymooners also receive a bottle of wine and flower decoration on arrival.

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