Living a Dream

BY Beth Weitzman | August 29, 2016 | Feature Features Travel National

Experiences are something never forgotten and always cherished. A trip of a lifetime is found among nature's wonders in the Maldives, with a stopover in the grandeur of Dubai, where we check in and check out three Jumeirah resorts.
LAP OF LUXURY Jumeirah Vittaveli's Ocean Suites are built on stilts in the lagoon, accessible by complimentary boat service.

From the United States, getting to MalĂ© International Airport (the gateway to all Maldivian resorts) means connecting in either Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Doha, Qatar; London; or Singapore. My travel companions and I are flying Emirates, with a stay-over in Dubai. Booking business or first-class tickets on Emirates comes not only with priority boarding and access to Emirates’ well-appointed lounges, but also outstanding in-flight service, spacious flatbed seats with your own stocked minibar, an entertainment/TV system boasting 2,500 HD channels, a menu of gourmet fare, free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Champagne at your seat or in the lounge and, possibly my favorite perk of all, complimentary airport chauffeur service to and from the airport for all Emirates-booked legs of the trip. Now that’s stylish travel!

Thanks to the expeditious business-class fast pass and airport chauffeur service, we quickly get through customs and immigration at Dubai International Airport, are whisked past the supersize buildings of this impressive city and arrive at the Madinat Jumeirah by 9pm. We’re staying at Dar Al Masyaf—one of the four hotel options that comprise this multifaceted megaresort—set in traditional Arabian courtyard-style homes along meandering canals. My butler shows me straight to my impeccably designed and spacious room. I settle in and order room service. Butter chicken, hummus and freshly baked naan bread arrives promptly. I indulge while taking in the views from my private balcony, top off the evening with a bubble bath in the grandiose marble bathroom, then melt into the decadently plush bed. Morning comes quickly, and we head back to the airport for the four-hour flight to our Maldivian adventure. Dar Al Masyaf rates from $330 per night

The world’s lowest-lying nation is composed of nearly 1,200 white-sanded coral islands off the western coast of India, along the Indian Ocean. Due to global warming and a rising sea level, there’s an alarming possibility it will disappear within 50 years. In short, now is the time to experience the Maldives. The tropical paradise offers five-star accommodations on individual islands, surrounded by the most beautiful turquoise water, pristine beaches and abundant coral reefs teeming with marine life. The airport is situated right on the water, so a 20-minute boat ride brings us to the first of two distinct Jumeirah Maldives properties in which we’ll stay. Magical memories and unforgettable experiences await.

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