I had to write this one for myself and for everyone. This is gonna be helpful if you have a plan to visit Maldives at the turn of the year or you ever find yourself holidaying in Maldives at that time of the year. Even before attending the party, I had decided to pen it down because when I searched for authentic blogs or detailed first hand account of New Year parties on resort islands or local islands of Maldives, I did not find anything worthwhile. There was hardly any information except promotional, that could help us decide which party to go for. Though, some of the videos did help but nothing was truly convincing. In that situation, the local travel agents were the best people to reach out to. They let us know about a couple of parties happening at some of the resorts that were still open for bookings for the New Year Eve party. By the time we could actually decide, we did not have much option left but to book Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi for $95 per head. We were 7 in the gang so that made nearly $650.
What to do on New Year Eve in Maldives?
Whenever we sat down to discuss as to what the new year party would be like, would it be worth the time and money, what to wear for it, what would the dinner party be like, we had none to tell us. Maybe because everyone who visits Maldives during this time of the year stays on these resort islands and is part of the celebrations by default. They know what to expect from the resort. The tourists who opt to live in local islands have no option but to book one of these packages because everyone wants to enjoy and rejoice on the last day of the calendar and there are not many options on the local islands when it comes to night life. Honestly, we also went for one of these packages to experience a bit of resort island and know what does a New Year eve party look like in Maldives.
Another reason was that all this while we had been staying in Hulhumale, and had visited only the local islands which did not allow alcohol. Our friends wanted to enjoy and indulge. In Maldives, only the resort islands allowed access to alcohol. Maybe, that is the reason why tourists fly away to these resorts. Of course, I don’t drink and my reason was completely different. I wanted to wrap up the passing year in style, with good memories and differently. My husband was along, we had the right set of friends for company and who wouldn’t love to party on these beauty white sand beaches in one of the most beautiful parts of the world?
Just the way it happened
We were told by the boys to be dressed up by 6.30 p.m. as we had to reach the Hulhumale ferry terminal by 7:00 p.m. We had learned from our booking guy that a big ferry would come to pick us from this island. Also the party catered to 400 people, of which 250 were the in-house guests and the remaining 150 were coming from different local islands. These slots were made available for the tourists who wanted to join the fun for one night. Despite being 3 girls in the gang, we made it to the terminal absolutely in time. As far as our dresses are concerned, we kept it smart and casual with minimal makeup. One of the friends wore a jumpsuit, another one wore a short dress and I wore a maxi dress with cold shoulders. Our husbands wore Jeans, T-shirts and smart shoes.
The ferry terminal was literally buzzing with chic boys and girls, beaming faces and lots of laughter. Everyone was well-dressed and seemed eager to join their party at different resorts and different islands. The staff on the speed boats was assisting their guests to settle in, others were asking the groups to form a queue and there were others who were standing with placards. Some of the people left at 7:15, others at 7:30 p.m. We called for the event manager at Adaaran Hudhuranfushi and they assured us that we will be picked in 15 minutes. There were many others who were also waiting with us. This also made us learn that a lot of them were going to Paradise resort, a few to Bandos and others to Sun Island. It also began to rain but thankfully it only drizzled for a few minutes. Soon, the clock ticked 8:00 p.m, and we were still there. This was not a great beginning for sure but we waited patiently to see what the rest of the evening and the night held for us. One of our friend called at the resort and we were told that a speedboat would soon reach us. Finally, it did come at 8:15 p.m. and we settled inside quickly.
The most thrilling, scary and adventurous ride on Indian Ocean
We were only 7 of us in the speedboat. It so happened that a ferry did come to pick other guests from this terminal but they missed picking us up. Even we don’t know how it happened because we had been there since 7 in the evening. Anyways we let that memory pass and were only looking forward to a lively party. I am not sure if any of us told anything to the speedboat driver but he actually took us for an adventure. In this journey of 30 minutes, my heart actually leaped into my lungs a number of times. The Ocean was not at its best. It had rained in the neighborhood and waves were higher than the speedboat. This actually turned out to be one of the most adventurous and daring ride of my life.
The speedboat was literally jumping a few meters in the air, crashing with the waves and then returning to the surface with a thud. I had done a couple of ferry and speed boat rides and I knew what to expect. This was different from other experiences and I felt scared. My husband was enjoying it but I felt uncomfortable. The two reasons that accounted for this kind of experience was, either the water was actually very choppy or the maneuver had been told to bring us the fastest speed that he could manage and he made us a guinea pig of all his stunts. This experience will stay with me for long. So much so that me and my girlfriends feared returning in the speed boat and insisted on a big boat (One that had a capacity of 80 people and that traveled slow).
What happened at the Island and what was the dinner buffet like?
The resort looked lovely. We could see the Ocean Villas, all decked up vibrantly. There were blue lights all around. We descended from the boat and walked up to a warm welcome. A orange color band was tied on one of our wrists. Soon, one of the staff members directed us to the party area. There was no one there but we could see the theme decorations and other arrangements. He walked past that arena and took us to a larger, brighter and happening section. This was the open garden area where the dinner was taking place. The kitchen was noisy but looked bright and beautiful.
We could smell some great food and most of the guests were already seated around the round tables. The staff member helped us with a table and formally welcomed us to the party. The dinner had opened at 8 p.m. We were late by an hour but now that we were there, it did not really matter. The event manager apologized for the delay and we accepted the apology gracefully. This definitely helped us to enjoy and make the best of the rest of it.
Soon some drinks were served on the table and we toasted to a great holiday, to a great beginning and to lots of travel. I was eager to check out the lavish buffet. With all the buzz and lovely decorations and the big kitchen in the background, I was hopeful of a great treat. And, I was hungry too. In no time, I found myself walking through the display of salads, breads, fish, meats, desserts, fusion food, local as well as the global cuisine. I remember coming back to the table and telling my friends, “We will have a good time because there is lots of good food.”
Those who know me also know my love for food. It makes me happy. The food was sumptuous with a good variety. There was enough for vegetarians too as my husband is one and he dint complain even once. There was no dearth of sea food and I was happy to see egg hoppers and Kothu. The taste of Indian tourists had been looked into as one could find dal, naan and lots of vegetables as part of the main course. I wouldn’t know what is the menu for the other parties but I enjoyed and relished this one. I tasted a couple of desserts and loved digging in the crepes. We literally ate till we realized that most of the crowd had moved to the other area and the musical gigs had become. One of our couple friend had a baby boy and it was his 2nd birthday that day. They had already arranged for a birthday cake and we wrapped up our dinner soon after the cake cutting ceremony.
The musical night began at 11 p.m. and was supposed to go on till the morning. Everyone let their hair loose. There was a small stage in one side, there were music being played by different artists and people could be seen dancing, enjoying, drinking or simply enjoying the ambiance. The beach was right at the left corner. There were sun decks too to lay down and hear the waves of the Ocean and there was white sand all around. One had a choice to either enjoy the music or just go and sit in the sand. I actually did all of it except drinking.
The clock had been ticking all this while and soon we could hear the emcee make a countdown to 00:00 hours. The date had changed, the month had changed as well as the year. Everyone wished Happy New Year to each other and danced together. There was some light and crackers show too and all of us ran towards the beach side. We could also e beautifully lit sky because almost all the islands were celebrating and we could see some of their grandeur in the sky. I sat down under the stars and thanked the Universe for making a memorable night. It was utterly beautiful to celebrate the moment with people from all over the world in one of the most gorgeous destinations.
For the next one hour, I danced and made merry with my friends. By 1:30 p.m. we had to wrap up because our drop was scheduled for that time. We all walked to the same area from where we had entered. The ferry and speed boats were ready and soon we were good to go. We had an option to go by speed boat but we refused. The ride back home to Hulhamale ferry terminal was very comfortable on the bigger boat. Thankfully, we did not experience any scary jerks this time.
Overall, it turned out to be a nice experience. It may not have been a spectacular one but it was a very somber and sophisticated party. I will always remember it for it was a different experience. I think I will always talk about it whenever Maldives will be discussed on my table.