- A couple from South Africa ended up getting stranded in a luxry Maldives resort amid the coronavirus lockdowns.
- They stayed there for 3 weeks and fortunately, the hotel gave them a discount.
- They eventually flew back home via a chartered flight.
Raul and Olivia De Freitas have just tied the knot when they headed to Maldives for their honeymoon. Arriving from South Africa, the lovebirds planned on staying there for only 6 days. Little did they know, however, that they would get stranded there for weeks because of the pandemic.
In a New York Times feature, we read that Raul and Olivia described Maldives has always been a “dream destination” for them. So they eventually saved some money and made it there after their wedding.
Their Maldives trip was immediately approved since authorities considered a non-risky area. They booked a stay at the five-star Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives for $750 per night.
Much to their surprise, however, South Africa later decided to close its borders to curb the spread of coronavirus. That meant their flight back home had just been canceled. Soon thereafter, Maldives also announced a lockdown and so the pair had nowhere to go even when other resort guests started leaving one by one.
“We were worried, angry, and anxious about not knowing how we were going to get back,” they told NYTimes.
To cut the story short, the couple ended up being the only guests left at the hotel – and they had to stay there for 3 weeks.
Fortunately, authorities in the country instructed hotel workers not to leave until the last guests have checked out and so Raul and Olivia had the entire place to themselves. They had superb meals and drinks, the diving instructor took them snorkeling, and they were even treated to private shows by performers to keep them entertained.
The obvious downside, of course, was that they were still worried about booking a flight home. Plus their hotel expenses kept adding up.
Fortunately, Cinnamon Velifushi gave them a discount.
On day 21, they finally flew back home via a private charter with other stranded “South African and Mauritian tourists.”
Looking back, the honeymooners said it was indeed an “incredible experience” but also a very expensive one.
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