The Weekend Luxury Getaway: Marvellous Maldives

It’s all about you in these exclusives tropical oases. Powdery white sand, warm crystal blue waters and vibrant underwater wonderlands are what make the destinations in the Indian Ocean so desirable and unique.

From daily snorkelling discoveries, exotic coconut oil spa treatments, private coves and giant tortoises to dramatic waterfalls and colorful sands, the Indian Ocean’s islands are full of wonder. In the Maldives, sunset cocktails, culinary sensations and romantic moments are the normality not the exceptions. But being in the Maldives, well that is the exception not the normality.

[divider]Cocoa Island by COMO [/divider]

A pure paradise experience perfect for a honeymoon rendezvous
A pure paradise experience perfect for a honeymoon rendezvous

Cocoa Island is for people who want their paradise experience pure. No bling, no shopping, no underwater bars, just a great beach, fantastic snorkelling and simple but delicious cuisines. The beach, in fact, is better than great. It is possibly the whitest sand ever seen and it takes up more surface area than the island itself.

Brilliantly dazzling, the turquoise shade surrounding water painted meticulously with each soothing wave brush just adds to the natural work of art. The snorkelling is definitely pure – Nemo Style. Just swim from your terrace and you will soon be in a giant aquarium. Giant turtles, fish schools with mesmeric colours and patterns, oh and the odd baby shark to surprise you, just further adds to the wonderful amazement that awaits you and your sweetheart. Explore the waters, explore the beach, explore your fantasies. In an island that is just as fictitious as the book your perusing through under that serene summer siesta, with the cool easterly breeze providing a surreal tranquil setting for that perfect Cinderella ending.

[divider]NIYAMA[/divider]

Hedonists rejoice; you will fulfil all your desires at NIYAMA
Hedonists rejoice; you will fulfil all your desires at NIYAMA

The seamless per AQUUM service starts as you are met from the arrival at Male, driven a short distance to the private lounge to await your forty-minute seaplane transfer to island bliss. Taking time to soak up the raw beauty of the unspoilt beaches and blue lagoon is a given. But here you can also sample food to rival the best city hotspots, listen to top DJs, dance underwater with spotlights on the ocean life, workout twenty four hours a day, snorkel at night and grow your own coral in a marine biology lab. Day One. Check.

Day Two. You can kick off by kicking back in the library, letting the kids or inner child loose in the superb virtual gaming lounge, water skiing, sailing, jet-skiing and then taking an exhilarating DIVE trip followed by a complete recharge with a marine therapy in the LIME Spa. Perhaps we need to slow it down. Take your time and veraciously enjoy each experience the island has to offer. Food is special at NIYAMA; Epicure serves all day beach side and has a great wine cellar. There is The Deli attached, perfect for a grab ‘n’ snacks to keep you going, plus a pool bar for casual fare. But most exciting is Edge, an urban-style fine dining concept, yet accessible only by boat and serving up the finest catch of the day. Dine-in is always available if you can’t bear to leave your room. Well what happens on Day Three to Seven, we will just have to leave that to your imagination.

[divider]Six Senses Laamu[/divider]

It just may be the best example of barefoot luxury in the world.

Six Senses Laamu is on an idyllic island in the more remote, southern reaches of the Maldives with some of the most unspoilt reefs and waters in the Indian Ocean. Everything including eight dining venues and the most exquisite villas are all built on stilts above the mesmerizing distinct turquoise sea.

There is a choice between beach villas and water villas. Both are how I would build my own hut – with my wife’s blessings of course – a seductive combination of bleached timber, rattan and thatch combined with a bohemian twist. Water Villas have a glass-bottom bath tub,private water garden and over-water netting. Most importantly all are private and spacious and so well designed that you are totally at home the minute you settle in. There are several bars but the most interesting one is the bar on the main jetty that is entirely constructed of a multitude of layers of green glass and play host to DJs after sunset.

Things to do

Variety and experience are the key words to dining here. There’s ‘Deck-a-Dence,’ a restaurant with spotlights that light up the coral and exotic fish through glass floors and tables. There’s also a restaurant on the beach, next to the organic garden called Leaf – a reference to the extraordinary rocket salad grown right here.

[divider]W Retreat Spa[/divider]

Theatrical, sexy, fun, W Retreat & Spa in the Maldives has made its mark by daring to be different.
Theatrical, sexy, fun, W Retreat & Spa in the Maldives has made its mark by daring to be different.

The W Retreat & Spa opted to go bling. Situated on Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll, it’s the kind of place where your wife can wear a little Dolce&Gabbana number for dinner. W created an island that gets dressed up at night. The W Maldives brings a bit of city sophistication to paradise. For example, the over-water bungalows could be lofts in Manhattan, if it were not for the thatched roof, the private deck and a personal plunge pool. FIRE, the barbecue restaurant, lays claim to being the longest single grill in Asia. FIS is a much quieter affair, found on a a pier over the reef, it’s entirely illuminated by fibre optics embedded between the planks, and the food could give Nobu a run for its money. During the day it’s not just an island paradise; a speck of jungle surrounded by a white sand border in turquoise water, it also has some of the best snorkelling in the Maldives. It is Paradise Lost now found by you. 

Step into Paradise – A Message from W Retreat & Spa

Get away from reality. W Retreat & Spa – Maldives is a tropical playground in the Indian Ocean that’s perfect for relaxing, playing, and recharging for your next adventure. Connect with inner peace and go along with the pace of island life. Succumb to an inviting concept of dazzling blue waters, spectacular reefs and pristine sands infused with style and soul – you’re no longer part of the everyday.

[divider]One&Only Reethi Rah[/divider]

This really is the ultimate in beach-side luxury an no-ocean-polished pebble has been left unturned with regards to your well-being and comfort.
This really is the ultimate in beach-side luxury an no-ocean-polished pebble has been left unturned with regards to your well-being and comfort.

Stunning views of the Indian Ocean, gently lapping onto sparkling white sand, make for an extremely relaxing and Zen like experience. The meditation moments don’t stop there because you’l be living in luxurious villa accommodation designed to promote a fusion between nature and modern technology using minimalist Asian style.

Once you’ve stopped stroking the sleek linear décor of your villa’s interior you may be tempted outside to contemplate life from the comfort of your verandah or netted hammock. You don’t need to stray far to experience a wealth of dining opportunities that can be enjoyed over water in the Japanese, Tapasake restaurant, or on the land at the Reethi Restaurant. Both temples to cuisine are thatched on the outside and purely wonderful inside with a wide range of Asian Pacific and Mediterranean dishes that are fresh, innovative and composed with passion and flair. Walk-in wine cellars, holding more than 900 labels, indicate just how seriously this resort takes its guests’ welfare and the experienced Sommelier team will be more than happy to extend your palate.

[divider]Huvafen Fushi[/divider]

If this hotel had been around in the Sixties the Beatles surely would have dedicated a psychedelic song to all its strange and dream-like qualities.
If this hotel had been around in the Sixties the Beatles surely would have dedicated a psychedelic song to all its strange and dream-like qualities.

The first among these is the underwater spa. The LIME Spa has treatment rooms that are literally underwater, so that guests can be surrounded by the world that makes the Maldives so special.  Offering rejuvenating therapies using only natural products by expert therapists plus yoga and pilates that take place on the roof with a stunning sunset view, this is your time to excel, mind and body. Then there is Vinum, the underground wine cave with one of the best collections in Asia. There is a private beach residence called Cube, the library/lounge called The Lair and glass bottoms feature in all the Ocean Bungalows as well as in the hotel’s kayaks. Likewise the Cinema Paradiso is a movie night like no other- moonlight and gentle breezes accompany your popcorn and cocktails in a cinematic experience that provides high definition in its purest sense.

At the Huvayen Fushi, ‘too much is never enough’, and it continues with the many options for dining. Salt as the name suggests, is a seafood restaraunt, Raw is the innovative raw cuisine restaurant, Celsius offers laid back dining on a sand-covered platform in the lagoon, and Fogliani’s a wood-fired pizza restaraunt.

Hamyar

Hamyar

In-House Editor

To say Hamyar has traveled would be something of an understatement. His passion for travelling has taken him from Tanzania to Dubai and an enviable number of places between, and the memories he captures always make for interesting reading. As well as travel, other subjects which fall into his expert remit include culture, design, fashion and cars - in other words, a born globetrotting who is destined for great things if his aspirations so far are anything to go by.

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