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Maldivian memories made

https://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/cirm/

It has become a way of life now. We spend hours a day scrolling through social media and looking at the most amazing destinations in the world. Looking longingly at these images and thinking, how amazing it would be to go and visit them and experience the beauty in person.

In January 2019 I was lucky enough to go to do just that. My Mum decided that after a tough year with our Dad passing away, we all deserved the holiday of a lifetime.

I had met Tony Chant several times through advertising in VantagePoint magazine, and various networking events, he was always very approachable and knowledgeable of all the destinations he talks about. I realized that none of us had ever planned a holiday like this, it was usually Dad who sorted out the final details, it was clear from the start this was going to be a pretty large task. I needed help.

Mr. Chant was the only man I trusted to do the job.

As a family, we knew we wanted to go to the Maldives, and we all know what we like. My mother enjoys good food and wine, I enjoy the adventurous and active side of a holiday and my sister is content to lie in the sun from dawn until dusk. This really was all the information I had to present Tony with.

A couple of weeks later, Tony came back to us with a quote of where to stay, it was a hotel that encompassed all aspects of our preferences.

Our balcony, with the plunge pool

Tony had booked us into the Centara Grand Hotel. He had ensured we were booked in for Ultimate all-inclusive package, which meant access to the best restaurants on the Island, the best watersports and a lovely quiet pool with panoramic views of the crystal blue ocean and white sand. We also had our own Sunset Villa, which was a pod over the ocean, we had our own private plunge pool on our balcony where we could cool off, after some midafternoon sun. To the side of the pool were some steps that led straight down into the Indian Ocean. The room came with snorkels and flippers which you could use free of charge, as soon as you were in the water you were on the coral reef, with an array of Marine Life.

The steps by the plunge pool on our balcony 

We discovered we were Club members; therefore, we were invited to eat at the Club restaurant for all our meals should we wish to. At lunchtime we were asked to make our dinner selection.  We had a choice of a meat or fish option every day, as well as a fresh buffet for lunch with different choices, including an impressive breakfast selection, of cooked and continental selections ensured a good start for the day ahead. Not only was the food impeccable, the service of the team was second to none. Learning our names and preferences by the first day. They learnt early on, we are a family who drink a lot…of water…. (during the day) and made sure our glasses were always full when we were by the pool.

Two of the best features of being Club members was the $100 voucher we had to use in the spa each day. Which meant we could book in for a massage at the end of a ‘stressful’ day. The masseurs had a great deal of experience and made sure we were very looked after in all our treatments.

By far the highlight of this trip was the Whale Shark snorkeling trip we went on. We set out at 8:30am and travelled right out into the Ocean. Dhiley, the watersports manager, a firm favorite of the whole family took us and a few others out on this excursion. We sat on the top deck of the boat and I got to hear about how he had got to where he was today, it was a truly humbling story and one of pure success through hard work and a passion for what he does. We arrived at a site where the whale sharks had been spotted, he grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me into the water. As soon as my eyes adjusted under the water, there it was. The most majestic site, the whale shark gliding through the crystal water,  right underneath me.

The sunset villas, over the Indian Ocean

We got back into the boat, minds absolutely blown at what we had just experienced. Dhiley was aware that my mother and a few others had not yet seen it, he ensured everyone in the water and on the boat caught at least a glimpse of the Whale Shark.

Throughout the holiday Dhiley looked after us all and made sure he accompanied us on excursions we wanted to go on, as well as letting us know the best spots to snorkel and what you would see at different parts of the Island’s Reef. We also had access to paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and tried our hand at wind surfing, again all included within our package and available for us to use throughout the day.

To travel to the Maldives, we had to get a flight to Dubai, then go to Male, and then get a sea plane to the Island. Tony arranged all of this for us, ensuring my Mum had assisted travel as she is registered disabled, he made the whole process so easy for us, and kept us up to date with every step of the booking. On our way back we missed our connecting flight from Dubai back to the UK, due to delays in Male. Tony was great and made sure he kept in touch with our progress, as well as showing genuine concern, despite it being 1am in England. We were, in fact, all fine and having a whale of a time having an extra night in Dubai. It was the perfect way to end the perfect holiday and we wouldn’t have known about half the things we experienced without Tony’s help.

The club members pool, overlooking the ocean and the beach.

Whether you are looking for the holiday of a lifetime or a weekend getaway, get in touch with Tony. He really is a brilliant, honest, organized gentleman who goes above and beyond to ensure you are happy with the process as it happens. We are already looking for our next holiday!

Thank you, Tony, for allowing us to create memories that will last a lifetime.

To plan your own holiday, get in touch with Tony:

01428 748440

tony.chant@notjusttravel.com 

https://www.traveltony.co.uk/

 https://en-gb.facebook.com/NotJustTravelTonyChant/

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