Located south of Sri Lanka in the Arabian Ocean, the island nation of the Maldives is one of the most remote destinations you can imagine. It is made up of over a thousand tiny islands, only about 200 of which are inhabited. A few decades ago, luxury resorts started popping up on the islands, offering unparalleled service, beauty, and isolation to whoever could afford it. What used to be an isolated, forgotten corner of the world became one of it’s most sought-after holiday destinations, particularly by newlyweds looking for an unforgettable honeymoon.
Nowadays, the number of resorts has grown and the offerings in each one have developed. As the resorts compete with each other for the title of ultimate romantic getaway, magical experiences like underwater dining, nighttime diving, and private island rentals have become increasingly common. These, combined with the dizzying array of restaurants, activities, and entertainment on offer, make a trip to the Maldives a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Of course, one of the best things about the Maldives is how easy it is to do nothing at all. Enjoy a private villa perched on the glistening water, lazily lounging in the sun with nowhere to be and no one to disturb your peace. This combination of relaxation and excitement, privacy and entertainment, is what makes the islands an ideal honeymoon destination.
There is one downside for gay visitors, and that is that the Maldives is a conservative Muslim country under Sharia law, where homosexuality is illegal. However, this is entirely ignored in the resorts, where gay couples are just as warmly welcomed as anyone else. This means that, while some may be uncomfortable visiting the country on principle, the notion of a gay Maldives is becoming an increasingly popular destination for gay visitors, especially those looking for a romantic getaway.
Technically, the Maldives is not a gay-friendly destination. As a country under strict Sharia law, homosexuality is illegal under threat of severe corporal punishment and prison. This may seem scary, but many gay visitors are not put off – the reality within the Maldives’ many luxury resorts is very different.
Designed to welcome visitors from around the world – and providing a large chunk of the country’s income -, the privately-owned resorts are allowed to bend the rules. This is why, despite Sharia law forbidding alcohol and having strict dress codes, you’ll still find couples in swimsuits tanning cocktails in almost every resort in the Maldives. In the same way, gay couples are welcome and able to be openly themselves in essentially every resort on the island.
Practically, what this means is that you should absolutely be careful when outside a resort – this includes the airport and the capital of Male. However, the second you arrive at your final destination, you can relax and enjoy your gay Maldives holiday. The local staff are well-trained and are far too fond of their jobs to have any issue with gay relationships, and no one will bat an eye at a same-sex couple. This is especially the case in any hotel managed by a large international brand.
With its pristine beaches, impeccably azure waters, and decadent luxury resorts filled with every sort of experience you can imagine, it’s no wonder the Maldives have become one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations in the world. Isolated on your island resort, with little to do but enjoy the sea, sun, and entertainment, you can truly relax and leave everything else behind.
As mentioned above, gay couples do not have to worry about booking a honeymoon in the Maldives, despite the strict Sharia law. The resorts are usually owned by international brands and are more or less above the law. No resort is likely to be anything but welcoming, and the staff will be trained to go above and beyond for newlyweds. Indeed, most resorts offer some kind of honeymoon package, which may include a special suite, restaurant meals, or spa treatments.
If you want to be extra sure of a resort being gay-friendly, look out for reviews by gay visitors. Alternatively, check out the list of our best gay-friendly Maldives hotels, all of which are fabulous choices for your dream honeymoon.
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