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Client Blog: Jordan and Samantha’s honeymoon in the Maldives and Dubai

Jordan and Samantha are the current record holders of the Jo Shayler Holidays “longest period of time between initial enquiry to date of departure” award. This is not a record I wish to encourage others to attempt to beat!

They kept their cool throughout, often having to deal with the horrible upset of their wedding plans alongside travel restrictions, and were a pleasure to work with.

It was a huge relief and brought a warm fuzzy feeling to hear things had worked out well and I'm looking forward to planning their five-year anniversary and contemplating whether to start now!


We first contacted Jo in 2018 to discuss our honeymoon with the intention of travelling in 2020. This was our first time booking with her and we were after something as luxurious as possible within our budget.

The honeymoon was unfortunately changed several times due to Covid. Jo was incredibly helpful throughout, providing reassurance, regular updates, and advice on the ever-changing situation.

Fantastic images of the Maldives had made it somewhere we had always dreamed of visiting and was a big factor in our honeymoon choice along with the confidence of a strict Covid policy. Dubai also ticked our boxes, and with us not having been to either, it was a perfect combination.

Our wedding finally took place in June 2021, and after an anxious time hoping we wouldn’t catch Covid and fail the PCR tests we eventually got to head off on the honeymoon in October 2021. Jo had been fabulous in the build-up, keeping us updated about different travel restrictions and making sure we had a plan B in place, if required.

We passed our PCR tests locally in Inverness before flying to London Gatwick, staying overnight and heading with Emirates to Dubai. After a short stop and feeling more comfortable travelling, we continued to the Maldives where a very windy boat transfer tested our newfound confidence to the max.

Our home for the next nine days was the magnificent OBLU SELECT at SANGELI, and we were blown away from the minute we arrived.

We had wondered if the Maldives would live up to the hype and it didn’t disappoint - it was fantastic from beginning to end.

The hotel was incredible. Our first four nights were spent in a deluxe pool villa before the special experience of life over the water in a magical honeymoon ocean villa.

We could not have been looked after any better - the service and staff were exceptional and made us feel like royalty.

The food was delicious with the steak meal at the Just Grill restaurant one of the greatest ever.

Other highlights included a snorkelling tour, sunset fishing and simply being able to lose ourselves and all sense of time amongst the palm trees, white beaches and turquoise water. It couldn’t have been more picturesque.

A completely different, yet equally absorbing experience awaited us in Dubai, with a five night stay at Rixos the Palm situated on the iconic Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

Jo had arranged a private transfer to collect us from the airport and we were very pleased with a lovely Seaview room, all the amenities we could wish for and panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, the city’s skyscrapers, the Marina and the amazing architecture of the Palm Jumeirah itself.

Close to the popular tourist destinations and entertainment districts, we crammed plenty in, going up the Burj Khalifa, visiting the water parks, shopping, eating, golfing and swimming with dolphins. The service and people were excellent everywhere and we would definitely return.

Our return to the real world went very smoothly and we could not have asked for a more memorable honeymoon experience; it was totally worth the wait.

Both resorts were superb, and Jo was simply amazing. She was there whenever needed, answering all our queries, keeping us calm and reassured, even through the most uncertain times. We would highly recommend her to others. Thank you so much, Jo.

Jordan & Samantha


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