One of the perks of working at the home of the world’s best holidays is that every so often you’ll be sent on a ‘work assignment’ to get an in-real-life experience of a hotel that really knocks your socks off. So, escaping the very questionable Melbourne weather, Luxury Escapes recently jetted me off to that idyllic tropical dot in the ocean known as the Maldives where I worked really, really, really hard to make sure that I experienced all of the all-inclusive perks that the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives has to offer.

First Impressions

From Melbourne, I flew to Singapore and much to my delight found that Malé is located a quick four-hour flight away. Using my time wisely, I spent those last four hours in transit daydreaming of the blue waters, soft sand and just pure Instagrammable loveliness that Google images has always told me awaits in the Maldives.

Arriving in Malé, blurry-eyed with that post-flight, timezone confusion feeling, I was more than relieved to see that the resort has their own dedicated desk at the airport with staff that greet you personally and look after you from the get-go.

Centara is located a quick 20-minute speedboat ride from the main island and seeing the hotel for the first time in the distance is a sight I’ll never forget. “It’s even better than the pictures,” I squealed to myself as we glided over turquoise waves to the sandy island.

The Room

If I’m going to the Maldives I’m going all out and that’s why I booked the upgraded Deluxe Water Villa for my stay. Wow. The moment I walked into the room my jaw just hit the floor as I laid my eyes on the amazing ocean views from the sundeck. The first thing I did was change into my bikini and head straight down my own private wooden stairs into the warm lagoon below.

The Food

Six meals a day. SIX! So much food is included in Luxury Escapes’ Centara package and I was more than prepared to stuff. my. face. I know this is controversial but I would actually go as far to say that the food at the Centara is better than the food in Melbourne.

The staff went above and beyond to make sure they remembered everyone’s morning coffee orders and preferred table at breakfast while scones and other tasty treats were provided at the morning tea.

Foodies won’t be able to resist the lunch and dinner spreads at the hotel. At Al Khaimah, you’ll find Middle Eastern cuisine served in a really cute, candlelit Bedouin tent. This was by far the best Middle Eastern I’ve had in a long time. The chef is from Egypt and the servings generous so it made for an amazing experience.

My absolute favourite meals were at La Brezza, the Italian restaurant in front of the ocean. My hubby has never really been a huge fan of pasta but he loved the fresh cannelloni and now he just wants to eat Italian food for every meal!

The Drinks

Unlimited alcoholic beverages from 11am-11pm. Tell that to any millennial/beer fan/human and they’ll be there faster than you can say ‘mojito’. As a wine lover I was a little worried that the resort’s selection might be lacking, but I was wrong. The resort has some great South Australian wines and I even became a mixologist creating my own cocktail by adding vodka to one of their mocktails – genius!

Island Activities

The snorkelling at the reef’s drop off point was like something out of Finding Nemo. We saw stingrays, gummy sharks, turtles and so many colourful fish that it put my recent Great Barrier Reef holiday to shame.

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