Lots of people dream of their perfect honeymoon.
But what if that perfect honeymoon ends up lasting so long that you can’t quite work out whether it’s become… a bit of a nightmare?
This is the dilemma facing newlyweds Olivia and Raul De Freitas who set off last month for their honeymoon at a five-star resort in the Maldives. (FYI the Maldives is basically the closest to paradise that you can imagine).
Having just married in South Africa, they were planning to stay for six days. The 27-year-old teacher and a 28-year-old butcher told the New York Times that the holiday “was an extravagance.”
The pair had considered the mounting travel restrictions that have been imposed in light of the Covid-19 outbreak around the world. But nothing specific had been announced that would affect their plans, and their travel agent allegedly reassured them that they should still go.
...You see where this is going, right?
Long story short, as the couple were trying to enjoy their honeymoon, the world as we know it ground to a halt. They were the only remaining guests in the hotel when the Maldives announced their own lockdown. The Times reports that the pair were told that if they left the resort, they might not be allowed back in. So they stayed.
Stranded, the couple reached out to the South African Consulate in the Maldives.
A representative told them that their only option home would be to hire a chartered jet, at their own expense, for $104,000… which wasn’t a realistic amount for them to cover, even if it was split between more people.
The hotel is really fancy. (Like, super fancy)
Rooms at the Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives, which normally is at capacity this time of year, start at $750 a night.
The resort’s full staff are still having to work, because of the presence of the two guests…
The Times reports that government regulations won’t allow any Maldivians to leave resorts until after they undergo a quarantine that follows their last guests’ departure. Seeing as the guests haven’t departed, the staff can’t leave.
Most of the staff dote on the couple ceaselessly and their “room boy” checks on them “five times a day”. Every night “performers still put on a show for them in the resort’s restaurant".
The report reads:
At breakfast, nine waiters loiter by their table. Hostesses, bussers and assorted chefs circulate conspicuously, like commoners near a celebrity. The couple has a designated server, but others still come by to chat during meals, topping off water glasses after each sip, offering drinks even though brimming cocktail glasses stand in full view, perspiring. The diving instructor pleads with them to go snorkelling whenever they pass him by.
So how do they feel about it?
Ms De Freitas said that having this “extra time” has been “incredible”, but she’s worried about the bill. They’ve been paying a discounted rate, but it’s all adding up.
Everyone says they want to be stuck on a tropical island, until you’re actually stuck.
It only sounds good because you know you can leave.
On April 5 the couple were taken by speedboat to another five-star resort with other South Africans in the Maldives. The local government told them it would subsidise a large portion of the cost of their stay.
On social media, lots of people thought the story was pretty wild and had sympathy for the couple.
But others thought it was kind of bad that the staff were still required to wait on them hand and foot…
As of right now, the couple still don’t know when they’re returning home to South Africa.