Amilla Fushi takes villa innovation a beyond architecture and design to entirely new concept with its Wellness Tree House. The villa is more than accommodation, but better described as an entire experience centred around well-being:
- “The one bedroom Wellness Tree House by Bodyism at Amilla combines a secluded spa, fitness and healthy eating experience in the treetops so that your entire wellbeing is holistically cared for.”
Refreshing the body and spirit isn’t confined to a few appointments at a spa, but instead is woven into nearly every part of your stay. The villa package includes trainer who visits and all of the sodas and energy drinks and junk food are removed from the room and replaced with healthy ones.
Also, with its rare tree house setting, certainly the most uplifting stay in the Maldives.
You have to use Google Maps satellite imagery to see the entire expanse of spa treatment rooms at Sun Siyam Irufushi which features more than any other resort with 20 pavilions in its wellness complex. They are all connected with sinuous water-lined paths snake across the palm-shaded estate.
Maldives resorts themselves are adorned with aesthetically enchanting white sand. One of the most distinctive are the long, narrow spits of sand jutting out into the ocean. The longest stretch of sand (as a opposed to a long beach on a long island) extends from Finolhu’s southern side for an entire 1.8 kilometres. Typically, such arenaceous promontories lead nowhere in particular except an expanse of blueness. But Finolhu’s takes you to a number of resort treats including the best parts of the house reef and the its first rate Crab and Fish Shack.
Maldives resorts offer a number of ubiquitous features – jetties, infinity pools, pina coladas but that doesn’t mean they are all the same. A major motivation for my “Best of the Maldives” series is exploring the incredible variety across sometimes very simple amenities. Like the foot rinsing that every villa has to cleanse feet from beach walks (or walks anywhere on the sand covered property really). The simplest are tubs to dunk your feet in. Sometimes they add a locally-inspired hollowed out gourd ladle. But the most elaborate I have come across is Dhigufaru’s double cleanse station. A faucet (not too uncommon) coupled with a flexible shower hose. The latter is especially helpful for sand on the legs or elsewhere if you have interrupted your walk with a leisurely sand wallow.
“God is in the details.” – Anonyous
Another wall cover, though this one is at the smaller end of the size spectrum. One of the things I enjoy celebrating in the “Best of the Maldives” series is the array of little touches that make a property distinctive. A great example is Soneva Fushi’s electrics cover.
When you renovate or build a house, you quickly figure out that the biggest costs can be in the finishes. Depending on your taste for elegance and quality, simple fixtures like knobs, trim, fixtures and even light switches can get very pricey. They are like mini pieces of art with which you interact every day. And when you need bunches of them across the building, the costs really add up. I loved Soneva’s approach which was not only in keeping with its all natural design, but also put their money into local carpentry rather than importing some extravagant Swedish designs.
Kandima not only has a distinctive horizontal surface, it also boasts one of the most striking vertical surfaces in the Maldives (in fact, you can also see one of the walls behind the table in yesterday’s post). Such hanging gardens are as wonder-ful now as they were in times of Babylon. Last spring, we visited Singapore who’s signature attraction are such gardens draped over giant palm tree shaped frames and illuminated at night with colourful lights set to music. That’s taking natural materials and green design to an entirely new level (well, at least the second floor). Thanks Paola.
Today’s “Best Of” is sort of a “half” have-seen. Like the one in the 12th edition of “Haven’t Seen Yet” (#2) with the ocean inspired table at both Kandima and Kanuhura resorts. I call it “half seen” because while the style is precisely what I thought ideal for a Maldives resort, my fantasy is one constructed based on the actual topology of the island (and its underwater house reef).
When it comes to subcontinent vibe, Taj Exotica is the most authentic slice of India in the Indian Ocean. In fact, it by far the most popular resort for the Bollywood starlet with 5 out of 25 of yesterday’s list visiting Taj Exotica (no other resort has more than two). The character is not surprising as the Taj chain itself is based in India. The whole property is infused with Indian touches and flavours. For example, The Presidential overwater suite (photo above) features “Ghanta” bells considered to be an auspicious sound. Other India distinctions, I have already highlighted in previous Best of the Maldives pieces…
Taj Exotica isn’t alone with some India flavoured distinctions so with this post, I’ve added the “India” tag for all those Indo-culture fans out there.