W.A indulged in a candid chat with the accomplished actor and TV host Samir Kocchar who recently planned a romantic escapade for his beloved Radhika Kocchar in the picturesque Maldives.
A trip to Maldives: Maldives was special. It was a romantic escape that I planned for my wife Radhika. We have both been on our toes ever since we welcomed our baby boy in our life. She had been quite involved with being a mom, and work kept me tied as well. I lied to her in the beginning. She packed for Sri Lanka, oblivious to all my plans. I showed her our tickets to Maldives after we landed at the Columbia Airport. You can imagine what the feeling must have been like! It was epic; I could see the joy shining on her face.
Accommodation: I planned a getaway from the rest of the world and booked an accommodation for us in JA Manafaru. This luxury resort is the farthest escape heaven from the city of Malé. You can take a speedboat or a seaplane to travel the distance from the Maldives International Airport to the resort. We spent five nights in this stunning resort.
The experience at JA Manafaru: We were on the seaplane on our way to the resort and looking down at the crystal blue water was heavenly. The hospitality is amazing, a well groomed butler showed us to our accommodation, ‘a water villa’. The villa was connected with these stairs that leads you directly into the blue water. The floor is made up of glass and we enjoyed the mesmerising sight of marine life from our room. The bath was elegantly made and we had separate plunge pools to enjoy the impossibly blue waters of Maldives. What an elegant escapade! They literally spoil you for choices. Almost everything they have, the apple, the pineapple, the tables, even a tooth pick is brought in from the city of Malé. The experience is something else, it’s magical. We went snorkelling, we enjoyed scuba diving, and we were served by the well trained waiters who would appease to all our needs, even when we ordered from the middle of the sea.
Shopping Experiences: If you are looking for a shopper’s heaven you have to visit Malé. That’s where all the shoppers flock to. This place is a complete island shaped into a hotel, fifteen to twenty acres of land washed with the aristocracy of their services. There are rooms all around the islands, rooms above water (like the water villa we sojourned in), restaurant areas, pools, golf course, areas to chill, but there is hardly any option or need to shop in the middle of the heaven.
The Best Splurge: Booking the water villa. We could have stayed on any other room of the property but when you have travelled all the way to Maldives, you should experience the bests’ of it. Otherwise, it’s incomplete.
The Perfect Season to visit: I think the best season to visit Maldives is in the months of May, June, July or October and November.
Dishes you loved at Maldives: The food was next level awesome. But I specifically loved the steaks I tried there. Honestly, there are some recipes from my Maldives diaries I still dream about.
Culture of Maldives: All of the people working there are migrants. Many of them come from India and others from different South Asian countries. The locals are really interesting people. Imagine living your entire life on an island, growing up amidst so much scenic beauty. They are very simple and down-to-earth people. They have lived their entire life amidst the blue of the clear sea, boats and ships and somehow the few parameters they live around suffice all of their needs. When we traveled to the city, a lot of people recognised me and walked up to me, bestowing compliments about what I do, it felt great. I truly recommend the fantastic experience here. The warm reception and the thrill of splurging on your self is a must do at least once in a lifetime.
Five things one must do in Maldives: Number one, stay in a water villa. Second, when you choose the option of ‘how to get there’ from the airport, choose the ‘boat’. We hopped on a sea plane but I would recommend the experience of getting to the hotel on a boat instead. The third on my list – snorkelling. Get on a boat with your special person and head out to the ocean. Find the right spot, take a dip into the water, and snorkel around. Sign in for the four to five days course to learn scuba diving in Maldives; you will feel the most magical underwater experience of your life. Four – food! You cannot miss out the treats Maldives has to offer to you. The sea food, the steaks, you must, must and must indulge in the tastes. Five, explore the city of Malé. Something I would like to add to the top of the list – experience Maldives. The photographs, Google searches, word of mouth, nothing does enough justice to the experience of spending days and nights amidst the scenic beauty.
‘Travel’ – Uncountable moments of Inspiration: It’s not just about one trip, every time you take a trip, beyond the borders of your country or in different parts of India, you discover so much about the culture, the kind of people living all around the world, and their lifestyle. I am talking to you while I am on a trip to Kashmir right now. I can’t believe even after hosting 3 travel shows in India, it’s taken me thirty-four years of my life to come to Kashmir. Sometimes you are awestruck by the beauty nature showers on you, sometimes you are inspired by the people you meet. Travel always helps you evolve as a person.