Celebrity Real Honeymoon!

Newlywed soap actors Ben Freeman and Jennifer Biddal share their romantic honeymoon in the Maldives with Y&YW

Paradise lost


“We arrived at Malé and immediately travelled north by speed boat to the Coco Palm Bodu Hithi resort in the Maldives. The island is small, made up of only a hundred or so water and beach villas, all either hidden from view cleverly by palm trees or arranged beautifully jutting out from the edge of the perfectly white sand into the ocean. Also on the island, again hidden from view, are five fantastic restaurants serving seafood (obviously!), sushi, French-Asian fusion and a nightly buffet.”


Villa living


“Our check-in took place in our villa with a complimentary Maldivian foot massage and glass of chilled champagne! The villa itself is on stilts facing the ocean with a large bedroom, bathroom, living room, dressing room and a huge outdoor decking area with an infinity swimming pool. The room style is Robinson Crusoe-luxe! It is spacious, incredibly luxurious and light, and is designed to make the most of its incredible surroundings. There is an iPod loaded with songs specifically for us and you can choose between 10 different types of pillow!”

Foodie heaven


“On the first full day of our honeymoon, we woke up early and opened our curtains by remote control from the comfort of our massive bed, to watch the sunrise up over the ocean in front of us – it was quite spectacular! Breakfast can be had in your room, at an a la carte restaurant or in the main buffet area. We decided to make our way to the buffet to see if there really were any more guests on the island. After satisfying our curiosity (and our stomachs) we went down to the scuba centre to book a dive. They cater for all standards of diving and we booked a reef dive for the next day.”

His and hers activities


“Most of our first day was spent on our decking area. With direct access to the sea from your villa, not to mention your own pool, you can see why the island seems so empty at times. Ben went to the gym however, which hovers above the ocean on stilts with panoramic views of the ocean, and I joined a yoga class before we had an amazing joint massage, scrub and flower bath. A truly revitalising and romantic way to end the day.”

Romance on the reef


“Our reef dive was just fantastic, and as picture-perfect as a postcard. Packed full of fish and turtles that you can swim right up to, it’s like being inside an aquarium. In the evening we went on a private sunset cruise around the island where we got to sit back with a glass of champagne and canapés and watch as the sun turned every colour imaginable.”

Be our guest


“There is an overwhelming sense on this island that nothing is too much to ask for. All the staff are fantastic, from the resort managers to the cleaners. It is difficult to get used to this level of attentiveness, but it is something the people here are extremely proud of and more than happy to offer. Our butler, Asadh, asked us if we would like to watch a movie tonight, which sounded great, so he organised dinner on the beach for us and set up a 20ft screen in a private enclave for us to watch What Happened in Vegas (the perfect honeymoon-flick). Popcorn was even included!”

Meet and greet


“As we got further into our holiday, we met some of the other guests, including other honeymooners as well – paradise has universal appeal! There is more to do though than you might think, and after a fishing trip, where Ben managed to catch us dinner (!), we headed to the wine cellar for a fantastic evening of wine tasting with the sommelier.”

It’s a date!


“Today was a brilliant day! After watching the stingrays and sharks at feeding time and making that difficult decision about where to eat for lunch, Ben surprised me by taking me to a private island for dinner! It’s a sandbank a couple of miles from the island, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where our dinner was cooked for us, served by our butler and then we were left on our own to enjoy the food and wine, watching the sun set and the stars come out. It was definitely the most romantic thing I have ever done, and Ben scored major brownie points!”

Time to leave…


“The day before we left, we decided to snorkel as much as possible and also to book into our favourite restaurant for the last time. Although we were so sad to be leaving, we were secretly ready to go home and make everyone jealous with our tans! I cannot recommend this place highly enough, whether on honeymoon or not. It’s truly magic!”

Book your own romantic island retreat…


BA offer 7 nights at the 5* Coco Palm Bodu Hithi, Maldives from £1709 per person based on departures between 25 April and 31 July 2011. This includes return BA flights from Gatwick, in-resort boat transfers and accommodation including breakfast. For reservations visit ba.com/maldives or call 0844 493 0758


Bonus offer: The above deal includes two free nights plus $150 credit for food and beverage per room per stay.