What is a honeymoon without the quintessential candlelight dinner? Maldives sure understands every intimate need of married couples who frequent the island nation to celebrate their honeymoon or anniversaries. A candle light dinner in Maldives is much more special because of the stunning landscape of this country.
With a backdrop of powdery white sands and turquoise lagoons, it is not only Maldives water villas on private islands but also hotels on local islands that offer candlelight dinners. Even though these experiences are designed for couples, you can sometimes ask for a similar setup when travelling with your family or group of friends.
One of the most romantic activities to do in Maldives, candlelight dinners are an experience that should not be missed. This type of dinner is obviously set after dark or just before sunset for the effect of the candlelight to stand out.
Your resort will make all the arrangements, including the table décor, the candle setting and the venue. In most cases though, you will be able to choose the food that you eat, unless the Maldives tour packages specifically mention a set menu.
Candlelight Dinner Options Offered in The Maldives
When looking to book activities in Maldives, especially those that are romantic in nature, you will be spoilt for choice. Candlelight dinner is not just a single type of dining experience that you can have here. There are many variations to this offered at different islands in The Maldives.
Sandbank Candlelight Dinner
The most preferred style of candle-lit dining is a dinner on a secluded sandbank. This Asian archipelago has innumerable sandbanks and sand bars, so much so that there are Maldives sandbank tours that let travellers enjoy the idyllic ambience of these strips of sand on the Indian Ocean.
However, unlike these Maldives day tours, a sandbank candlelight dinner is a private dining experience under a star-spangled sky, with only a set of candles to illuminate the table. Many hotels in The Maldives go the extra mile by etching out a heart shape around the table to make it look like an intimate spot, just for the couple.
Additions to the sandbank candle-lit dinner in Maldives may have a canopy or a pavilion over the dinner table for two. Often, the staff also place some dim floor lamps to set the mood and give you some photographic leverage.
Candlelight Dinner at a Restaurant
If you are searching for what to do in Maldives on a budget during your honeymoon, you can think of candle-lit dining at one of the restaurants in the resort that you will be staying at. While private dining experiences are always more expensive, a candlelight setup in a public restaurant will let you have your share of romance without burning a hole in your pocket.
The hotel staff will arrange your table to ensure it looks special as compared to the regular tables around. Along with an attractive red tablecloth or runner, your date spot will be identifiable by a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne resting in an ice bucket.
Pick from a number of Maldives honeymoon packages that offer exclusive romantic dining at a restaurant with a candle on the table. These experiences are generally a-la-carte as buffet-style dining will involve repeatedly leaving your table to fetch your food, pulling you away from your partner in the process.
Candlelight Dinner in Your Private Balcony
Couples who have checked into Maldives’ water villas or beach villas can also opt for an intimate candlelight dining experience on their private deck or balcony. Calling for room service is so much more exciting when you know a date scene will be set up right in your villa!
Many resorts in The Maldives appoint a butler for your villa who will personally ensure all your in-villa needs are met. Private dining at Maldives’ overwater bungalows can either involve a platter that you must self-serve from or an elevated experience of being served by your butler, course by course.
Candlelight Dinner on an Ocean Reef
There are a handful of other bespoke candle-lit dinner experiences in The Maldives that go beyond sandbank dates, in-villa service and restaurant-style dining. Exclusive landscaping by certain high-end Maldives water villas with pools and adults-only resorts allow guests to have an entire ocean reef to themselves.
A candle-lit dinner in Maldives feels more elegant when it is on an ocean reef that is booked just for the two of you. The rock-lined reef with an expansive view of the ocean may also have live barbecue facilities.
Sit with your beloved at a torch-lined enclave where a lone tree has lanterns hanging from its branches. The experience will let you be on the edge of the world, with the vast Indian Ocean before you and a specially curated menu on your table. At present, only Huvafen Fushi offers this type of dining as ‘Rock Dinner’.
How to Dress for a Candle-lit Dinner in The Maldives
Maldives’ history and culture conservative has a leaning. The Muslim-majority island country has Islam as its national religion, mandated across all atolls. However, tourists are free to follow their faith, albeit in private, and dress modestly.
Public islands prohibit revealing swimwear (including bikinis for women and shirtless attire for men). However, on the private islands, you can don your beach favourites. Regardless of what is permitted, some resorts may have a dress code for fine dining.
Since The Maldives is a beach destination, formal dress codes do not apply. However, you may come dressed in your finest business apparel if you are aiming to impress your spouse or wish to pose for a dinner-time photo shoot.
The norm for men is to wear cotton or linen light coloured trousers or shorts and a half-sleeved beach shirt for the candlelight dinner date. Ladies often wear lightweight beach dresses or a breathable blouse with a long or short skirt.
Minimalistic jewellery is recommended as too much gold may appear over-the-top. A small diamond ring and a pendant with a sleek chain are fine. It is best to wear beaded bracelets, statement earrings and a brightly coloured neckpiece if your clothing is muted.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes that let you walk on the sand. High-heels can be very uncomfortable. Flip-flops, crocs or flat sandals go rather well with the smart casual look.
Where to Enjoy a Candle-lit Dinner in The Maldives
Maldives’ weather makes it fun to enjoy a candle-lit dinner by the sea. Night-time is often breezy, and if you are travelling in the dry season of December to April, you will have a rain-free evening date on the beach.
There are many resorts and hotels that offer candle-lit dinner among other things to do in Maldives. Some of the best experiences can be enjoyed at the locations below:
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
Located on Dhonakulhi Island in the Haa Alifu Atoll, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa sure knows how to elevate the candlelight dining experience! They set up your table on a sandy spot away from the water villas and close enough to the ocean.
Expect to have an elegant canopy and a heart-shape etched out in your private patch of sand. Even this heart is lit with sunken lights, giving an ethereal glow to your date place. Candle-lit lanterns are placed around the area for additional warmth.
Kuredu Resort on Lhaviyani Atoll lets you design your own fare for the romantic candlelight dinner under the stars. For USD 190 per person, you can choose the dishes you like from their exclusive Meat Lovers menu. The four-course meal includes salad, soup, mains and dessert.
Choose from Mediterranean salad, Australian Black Angus beef carpaccio and tenderloin, chilled vichyssoise, grilled herb-rubbed corn-fed chicken, chocolate fondant and tropical fresh fruits.
Arena Beach Hotel
Sitting on the local island of Maafushi, Arena Beach Hotel lets you pick from two candle-lit sandbank dinner setups and three food menus. For USD 25, you can have the basic private table setup which includes a heart-shaped candle-lit sand décor and a centrepiece and a candle on the table.
The Executive Setup includes floral décor, a vase on the table and a private gazebo with a rollout lace curtain. For the dinner, you can either choose the items from the buffet for USD 18 or pick the six-course options for USD 22 or USD 50 for seafood.
The Borderless Dining concept at Dusit Thani deserves special mention for its barefoot dress code. Diners are seated around a sunken table shaped out of sand, with similar couch-style seating covered with fabric and some cushions thrown in. The atmosphere is set with tiny lamp tents and a couple of leafless branches planted on the sand, with lanterns hanging from their branches.
The romance of a candle-lit dinner in Maldives cannot be equated in monetary terms. The Maldivian twilight, balmy breeze and soft sands easily melt hearts. Book your romantic vacation with Samudra Maldives for an experience to remember.