When I was first diagnosed with chronic illness in 2018, I wondered if travel would ever be possible again. I scoured the internet for information that could reassure me, but I couldn't find the answers I needed. That's why I started this platform dedicated to sharing insights, tips, and resources for those dealing with chronic illnesses and their daily management during travel. This is the first place I ventured to give me that hope and reassurance.
Discovering Kurumba Island Resort
During a particularly cold winter in the UK months after diagnosis, I was in desperate need of sunshine, relaxation, and a change of scenery. I opted for Kurumba Island Resort in the Maldives, even though it was on the pricier side, simply to test wehther I could travel at all despite having hEDS, PoTS, chronic migraine (and many other health issues). This resort promised not only an idyllic getaway in March 2019, but also relatively good accessibility (which is a cruical thing to consider when you have a chronic illness). After this successful trip, I ended up travelling around Thailand islands for three and a half months, so it was certainly a great proof of concept to put all my strategies to the test before going more off the beaten track.
Those whose symptoms improve in the heat
Travelers seeking a relaxing beach getaway
Individuals with limited mobility, and variable or dynamic disability
Guests with allergies or dietary requirements
Lovers of tropical marine life
Getting There: A Breeze
One of the standout features of Kurumba is its ease of accessibility. It's a mere ten-minute speedboat ride from Male International airport. Depending on your departure location, you may even find direct flights. We made a stop at Dubai airport and used their mobility service which was a buggy to get between terminals and gates. Upon arrival, the hotel arranges speedboats for passengers from each flight, though it's not completely step-free. This makes it ideal for ambulatory wheelchair users or those with dynamic disabilities and variable mobility.
Getting Around the Island: A Walk in Paradise
Kurumba is so compact that you can leisurely stroll around the entire island in less than an hour. The pristine beaches are sandy, but if you use a wheelchair full-time, I recommend bringing one suitable for sand or rough terrain. Please note that the resort has one sand-suitable wheelchair for hire but you'd have to book it in advance. The smooth, fine sand ensures a super comfortable walk. Additionally, the resort offers buggy services for all guests that you call upon request, ensuring that you can get around freely despite limited mobility.
Each room comes with its own designated section of the beach, complete with sun loungers. This means you can roll out of bed and be at the ocean's edge in less than 20 meters. This convenience allows you to save energy for the activities you want to enjoy, even during a flare-up.
Dietary Requirements and Allergies: Exceptional Service
Kurumba Resort in the Maldives stands out for its outstanding handling of dietary requirements and allergies. Upon arrival, two chefs took note of all my allergies and even shared their WhatsApp contact to plan my meals. Despite having paid for a buffet package, all my meals were à la carte. The level of accommodation was extraordinary, with chefs willing to prepare anything I desired. This attention to detail greatly enhanced the quality of my stay.
Activities: A Paradise for Physiotherapy
As someone who benefits from low-impact activities like swimming for physiotherapy, I found the sea just a few meters from the villas to be a paradise. The crystal-clear blue water is not only beautiful but also home to incredible coral and underwater sea life just 50 meters from shore. For those with mobility challenges like mine, parasailing is an option, offering breathtaking views and gentle, controlled descents. The resort also offers a spa for relaxation and motor boat excursions, including snorkeling tours, sandbank picnics, and sunset dolphin tours.
Spectacular Sunsets and Sunrises: Easy Access
Due to the island's small, circular shape, you can effortlessly catch both the sunset and sunrise each day. The spots to watch them are easily accessible, especially with the buggy service to take you when mobility is flaring up.
In Conclusion: A Perfect Paradise
In summary, I cannot recommend Kurumba Island Resort enough if you're seeking a relaxing beach holiday with activities at your doorstep. This resort is the easiest Maldives island to access, eliminating the need for a seaplane. If you have a chronic illness, benefit from the heat, have limited mobility, or have allergies and dietary requirements, Kurumba is the place to be. With its exceptional attention to allergies and dietary restrictions, a plethora of on-site activities, and a welcoming atmosphere, it's an ideal destination for those who crave tropical marine life and a stress-free vacation.