X No Thanks

How to Honeymoon: Abu Dhabi, Dubai & the Maldives

by Travelbag on 12 December 2019, 13:12PM

Maldives seaplane

If you’re planning your 2020 honeymoon, then grab a cup of tea and get comfy – we’ve got some top tips for you. One of our team, Anita, has just returned from her incredible honeymoon to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Maldives, and we asked her to lift the lid on her dream holiday.

She said: “Our honeymoon was all we could’ve wished for, and more! We decided to make two stops on our way to the Maldives. You can’t fly direct from the UK to the Maldives anyway, and we thought it would be nice to break up the journey. Plus, we wanted to appreciate the Maldives without any jetlag – the flight from Dubai to Malé is only four hours, so this worked perfectly.”

Thinking of booking your own romantic getaway? Read Anita’s top tips on how to honeymoon, and start planning...


Abu Dhabi

Jumeirah Saadiyat Island

We landed in Dubai about 7am, and hopped in our private 90-minute transfer. When we reached Jumeirah Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, our host greeted us with cool towels and a drink. We were then escorted into the stunning reception area which had high ceilings and a marine-inspired glass sculpture. The large windows at the far end of reception looked out on to the pool area, and the beach looked incredible – the perfect start to our honeymoon.

Check-in time at Jumeirah Saadiyat Island is 3pm, but by some luck – or simply because the hotel was amazing – we were taken to our room immediately. Our host showed us around our Ocean Deluxe Room, where we had a lovely honeymoon welcome including a bottle of bubbly, chocolate cake and fruit platter. There was excellent Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and there’s also an ‘E-butler’ available via WhatsApp. You can message the butler with any questions and make dinner reservations at the hotel – really handy if you were out for the day.

View from Jumeirah Saadiyat Island

We had booked the half board basis. This included breakfast and dinner in the main buffet restaurant, White, which had a large outside area with lovely views of the ocean. The breakfast buffet was amazing, with stations serving eggs, pancakes and frozen smoothies. There were more pastries than you could eat, and the coffee was some of the best we’ve ever had. For dinner, there was a ‘Dine Around’ option – this means you can either eat at the White buffet place, or visit Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and dine in their main restaurant. For a small supplement you could also eat in Mare Mare – this Italian restaurant had the best pasta and pizza we’d ever tasted – or Tean, a traditional Arabian restaurant.

The hotel had a lovely rooftop bar which was the perfect place to go in the evenings – you could watch the sun go down, and enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and Abu Dhabi. The bar also had a very affordable happy hour from 8pm until midnight, which included a range of beer, wine, Prosecco and cocktails.

Day trips in Abu Dhabi

While we were in Abu Dhabi, we took a speedboat tour – with The Yellow Boats – which was a fantastic way to see some of the city and its impressive skyline. We were even lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins! We also visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It’s free to enter this spectacular building – I’d suggest visiting at sunset, as you can take some very beautiful pictures. We also took a trip over to Ferrari World, which is home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster. It was a really fun experience – and it was quite nice to get out of the sun for a little while!

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque



Sofitel the Palm

After a few days in Abu Dhabi, it was time for our transfer to our next stop – Sofitel The Palm in Dubai. When we arrived, once again we were greeted by a host who helped check us in. We were lucky enough to stay in a fantastic room with views overlooking The Palm. We were staying on the half board basis, and enjoyed dinner in several of the hotel’s fantastic restaurants – there are 12 in total. A few of the bars at Sofitel The Palm also had great happy hours, which we took full advantage of!

Day trips in Dubai

While we were in Dubai, we visited the Burj Khalifa to watch the evening fountains. The display starts around 6.30pm, and continues every half an hour – the show was amazing, and a must-see for anyone who visits Dubai. We also visited the Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium, which was a really fun day out. Afterwards, we had dinner at Seafire Steakhouse in Atlantis The Palm which was a brilliant experience – the food, wine and service was all fantastic! We even got to select our own steak knife from a selection of knives from around the world.


Seaplane views

The Maldives

You & Me By Cocoon

After our epic UAE adventure, we flew to the Maldives. From Malé, we had a seaplane transfer to our hotel. The 45-minute flight was a fantastic way to arrive, because we had stunning views of both inhabited and deserted islands below. If I ever come back to the Maldives, I would definitely do this again.

You & Me By Cocoon has many overwater villas, and even their standard room is over the water – unlike many other hotels in the Maldives. We stayed in an overwater villa with a private pool, which was absolutely stunning. Each villa had its own steps directly into the sea which was fantastic for snorkelling – so you could really make the most of your complimentary snorkelling equipment. And the whole place is adults only, so it’s perfect for honeymooners!

The hotel is also one of the only hotels in the Maldives to offer a full à la carte experience, which is great value for money. There’s one bar and five restaurants to choose from. This might not sound like loads of options for a week-long stay, but the menus change regularly and there’s a themed night once a week, so we had no problem finding plenty of variety. The main restaurant has a broad menu and daily specials, but our favourite restaurant was Rising Sun. The Tapinyaki was cooked right in front of us and it was a really intimate meal, as only five couples can fit around the small cooking area. You do have to book, but it’s definitely worth it. And, if you’re staying at You & Me on an all-inclusive basis, meals here are part of your package, as well as drinks.

We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant, La Pasta. The menu offered five different courses and you could order as much or as little as you would like. It’s a much more sociable experience than a buffet, which is particularly lovely while you’re on honeymoon. The food was fantastic too! Cheers Bar had a huge range of drinks including cocktails, wines, beers and branded spirits. The drinks throughout our whole stay were fantastic, and there was such a wide variety that we never got bored.

The hotel also has an underwater restaurant, H2O. We decided not to visit as the menu wasn’t quite to our taste, but we spoke to a few couples who went, and they said that dining underwater was really fun and worth the extra cost – H2O isn’t included in the all-inclusive package. 

During our stay, there was a ‘Maldivian theme night’ where tables had been set up on the sands, and there were three beach huts serving Maldivian food. The first hut served starters, and you could go up and pick as many different options as you wanted. We ordered our main course from the à la carte menu, and then went up to another hut later for desert.

Maldives sunset

Day trips in the Maldives

While we were in the Maldives, we took a boat over to a deserted island for dinner and drinks, which was a fantastic experience. The boat trip took about half an hour, and on the island we had a bonfire, music, a barbecue, and unlimited wine or beer. It was really romantic and a must-do for any honeymooners.

We also went along on the complimentary snorkelling trip out to the reef where we saw an abundance of fish, marine life and coral. You & Me also offers some fantastic honeymoon benefits, including a romantic set-menu dinner for two on the beach, a complimentary room upgrade – subject to availability – and a 25-minute couples massage, during which we could see the fish through the glass floor. They also leave a bottle of chilled wine in your room – perfect for sipping on your balcony as you watch the sun go down.


Packing tips for a multi-centre holiday

  • Take as many essentials as you can, as you can’t buy much in the Maldives – and anything you can buy is fairly costly. If you’re worried about your luggage allowance, you could always buy more supplies during your stopover. We ran out of sun cream, so I would take more next time.

  • Keep shoes to a minimum, as a lot of the resorts are entirely sand – we lived in our flip flops in the Maldives! Taking fewer shoes also gives you more space for your essentials.

  • If you’re going to the Maldives, take your own snorkelling mask. The hotel-provided ones are fine but if you use them a few times a day they tend to fog up. Several other couples had their own masks, which didn’t seem to fog up – the masks also had a built-in mouthpiece which made them easier to carry around. There’s no need to take your own flippers, though – the hotel ones were perfect.

  • Take a reasonably sized piece of hand luggage (like a wheelie suitcase) and pack all your stopover clothes in there, as this will save you from unpacking and re-packing your large suitcase.

  • Also, take a small bag that you can tuck into your hand luggage. When you land in the Maldives, both your hand luggage and your checked bag is taken away – so having an additional small bag means you can keep your valuables with you.


Feeling inspired? Take a closer look at our honeymoons or check out our exciting multi-centre holidays

6 Places to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Read More

A Hop Around the World’s Beers

Read More

Top 10 Things to do in Vancouver

Read More

Antigua: Paradise at the Right Price

Read More
Post of the month
by Tourism Australia More

Email sign up

Register to receive holiday offers, cheap flights deals, hotel offers and more.

Travelbag Travel/Leisure London

01 Jan 00:00 Read More
Travelbag's Twitter
Common Tags
24 Hours 48 hours in 5 Reasons Abu Dhabi Activities Adventure Holiday Africa Alaska America Antigua Argentina asia Auckland Australasia Australia bahamas Bahrain Bali Bangkok Barbados Beach Holidays Beaches beer Bolivia Bora Bora Borneo Botswana Brazil California Cambodia Campervan Canada Cancun Cape Town Caribbean Central America Chicago Chile China City Breaks Colombo Colorado Cook Islands Costa Rica Cruise Holidays Cruises Cuba culture Dining Dominican Republic Dubai Ecuador Europe Family Holidays Festivals Fiji Florida food Food Trip Gold Coast Grenada Hanoi Hawaii hiking Ho Chi Minh City Hoi An holiday reading holidays Honeymoon Hong Kong India Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Luxury Holidays Indonesia Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Koh Samui Krabi kuala lumpur Langkawi Laos las vegas Latin America Literature los angeles Luxury Holidays Macau Malaysia Maldives Mauritius Melbourne Mexico Miami Middle East Montreal motorhome holidays music Myanmar Namibia Nature New England New York New Zealand North New Zealand Northen Territory Oman Oregon Orlando Penang Perth Perth Beaches Peru Phuket Qatar Quebec Queensland Queenstown Rail Travel Ras Al Khaimah Reading on holiday Road trip Safari San Francisco Scuba Diving Self-Drive Seychelles Shanghai Sightseeing Trip Singapore snorkelling South Africa South America South Australia South Carolina South New Zealand Southeast Asia Sri Lanka St Lucia Surfing Sydney Tahiti Tasmania Tennessee Texas Thailand Things To Do Tokyo Top 5 Things to Do Toronto tour trekking UAE United States USA USA Roadtrip Utah Vancouver Vietnam Vietnam Beaches Virginia Washington DC Western Australia whale watching Wildlife Wine Winter Sun
Please Wait...

We use cookies
Read more

Cookies: We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our site cookies.
See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Would you like a call back from one of our experts? X
chat with our experts
0871 703 4698
Call us until today

Schedule a call back


Please Select a Date


Please Select a Time


Please supply your First Name


Please supply your Surname

Phone Number

Please Check the Number and Try Again


Please Select a Destination


Dear , our experts will call you on , on to chat about your trip. In the meantime, feel free to explore our site for inspiration