- Introduction - The Planning
- Getting there: Penang to Male
- Sea-plane Adventure
- Living the dream
- Maldives back to Penang
Sometime in late 2009, US Airways started selling miles on the cheap with their never ending miles promo. Their award chart for regions in Asia was also pretty good. Maldives was in the same reggion Malaysia where we would be starting our honeymoon making the miles redemption a VERY good deal. For 30k miles round trip, we would be able to fly from Penang to Male in Business Class. At this point, we were set on having a Maldives honeymoon. We have never flew in the front of the plane before and being able to do this first time for our honeymoon was pretty cool.
With Singapore Airlines stopped flying to Penang in 2009 (giving the route to their non Star Alliance subsidiary SilkAir), Thai Airways was the Star Alliance carrier serving Penang. The only Star Alliance to serve Male (capital of Maldives) was Singapore Airlines. This made the flight routing to Male slightly circuitous and longer than usual. We had to fly Thai Airways to Bangkok first before flying off to Singapore and finally to Male. We weren't too upset with this as this gave us more time and opportunities trying out the various lounges and business class flights!
Next up was looking for the resort itself that we would be staying in. We spent a couple of months looking the various websites and forums online. One key factor was that we wanted an all-inclusive resort to keep costs down. Most (if not all) of the resorts in the Maldives are "self-contained" islands. They could charge exorbitant prices for food and drinks and you would have no choice but to buy it. The prices itself would also be naturally expensive as the food and drinks had to shipped in from the city. All-inclusive options in the Maldives are pretty limited with only a handful (less than 10 I think) offering this option. We ended up picking Dhiggiri Resort which ended up costing ~$300 USD for a beach bungalow on expedia for both of us all-inclusive. We also upgraded for $50 USD a night to a over water bungalow (which was not bookable via expedia) on arrival. We were partly worried and skeptical as this resort was slightly older and did not have the modern and new renovations and fittings some of the more expensive resorts that were out of our price range. However, we ended up loving the place! We'll share more on this in the future post.
Some teaser pictures to start of the trip report: