Mostly AI is about relaxing. Not worrying about the charges mounting as you order your next pina colada. In fact, not worrying about any of your budget as you go about enjoying your holiday. But we’ve never opted for the all-inclusive package because the things that they include don’t worry us much. We are not big drinkers and we are pretty happy managing our outlays for excursions and extras. One of those extras where we always have to be sensitive to the price list is the spa. We could go to the spa time after time enjoying the unique experience of ultimate relaxation in the surroundings of tropical sounds and atmosphere. Fortunately, Kandolhu has introduced a “Spa AI” package which includes spa treatments:
- “At Kandolhu Maldives, guests now have the opportunity to further indulge in the healing powers of touch therapy with its newly refined spa program, Well Inclusive Spa. The new offering provide unlimited access to the entire range of spa treatments including VOYA body experiences, YonKa facial treatments, skincare options and a wide range of specialised massages. Skilled therapists personalise daily treatments and activities according to the guests’ wellness needs. By unlimited, no restrictions are applied from visit frequency to type of treatment. Curated instructional videos, Manduka towels and mats, specially designed wellness beverages and healthy mixed fruit plates are provided to all guests booked for this package.”
My kind of AI.
In most spas, the obligatory jacuzzi for some soothing bubble relaxation is tucked away in some back corner. I’ve enjoyed some massage treatments over the water on open pavilions, You & Me’s spa jacuzzi is the first I’ve come across with such pride of place. Sunset facing too!
Most spa pools are little plunge affairs. Sometimes resorts will put in extensive water features, but they are ornamental ponds for fish to swim in not guests. Sirru Fen Fushi’s Willow Stream Spa includes a serenity pool that is longer than many property’s main pools:
- “A dedicated Olympic size Jacuzzi pool is provided for Spa Guests for pre or post treatment immersion. Our 50-meter long serenity pool is enhanced by natural sounds and light, soothing aromatherapy scent, and water temperatures varying from tropical warm to refreshing cool.”
- “After your rejuvenating treatment, enjoy wellness refreshments and freshly-prepared herbal teas in our sea view relaxation lounges. Our 25-meter long serenity pool is enhanced by natural sounds and light, soothing aromatherapy scent, and water temperatures varying from tropical warm to refreshing cool. Nestled in a total of 2000sqm wellness area, it enables guests to rediscover their energy, providing indoor and outdoor spaces to reconnect you beyond the treatment experience.”
A number of properties now have more than one resort pool, but Joali has two room categories with two pools for your own individual use:
The beach residence has one around back for a bit more privacy if you prefer, or the one in the front provides a lovely seafront view during your dip. The ocean residence allows you shift to the perfect spot for catching rays (or if the kids are fighting, you can segregate them each into separate pools).
Some people like a pool for a refreshing dip while others just enjoy sitting around the soothing water feature. Dhigali’s two-tier pool has something for both. Especially, if you are a part of a family where you like a bit of relaxing lounging while your young one wants to splash in some shallow water. Double pleasure, double fun.
The pool is one of the most central components of a Maldives resort. The Maldives Complete website’s earliest origins were a spreadsheet I assembled from research about which resorts had pools and which didn’t because our kids loving playing in the pool all day (and Lori and I could lounge comfortably on the sides while they did). Yes, Maldives islands are surrounded by one big giant natural pool called “the ocean”, and it’s lovely, but sometimes the salt, sand and sun (it’s easier to get protective parasols closer the water with a pool than the sea) just can just a bit too much.
If you want the comforts of a pool with the added bonus of a natural feel, then Dreamland Unique has topped its unique water feature with a unique “Biotop” model:
- “Dip into the first ever freshwater lake with a Biotop Pool (1st ever in Asia) in a Maldivian resort. This picturesque lake is surrounded by 20m high mangrove trees on one side and 20m high palm trees on the other side. This island with its fresh water lake and the rich vegetation is unique in the Maldives. There is no other island like this in the Maldives.”
The inventor, Biotop, describes the construction:
- “Plants and micro-organisms within an additional regeneration area directly adjacent to the swimming area act as environmentally-friendly filters, thereby ensuring that the water always stays clear.”
At Dreamland you can have the natural seafront at the beach and the sensation of lakefront by the pool.
Lifting you higher is Soneva Fushi’s Villa 37 with its 11 metre tall viewing tower and Moonlight Table. Just one prominent example of its “Elevation” distinction.
Part of the fun of having visited the Maldives for two decades and written about them for over a decade is seeing the dramatic changes. As someone who studied development economics at university and first cut his teeth in travel writing posted in Togo, West Africa who were trying to build their economy with tourism dollars, the Maldives has been a brilliant and diverse case study of this evolution. For example, I first encountered the charming “Birds Nest” swing at Lily Beach years ago. In a matter of years, it seemed like standard fittings for the luxury properties. Now Waldorf Ithaafushi has pushed even higher (literally) with elaborate birds nest lounges for people to sip their sundowners in while enjoying an elevated vista over the ocean.
It takes more than a leap to get to the top of the coconut tree, but instead traditional climbing as featured by Fushifaru’s Coconut Climbing Competition. Maldives Insider reported…
- “Fushifaru Maldives on Friday hosted Lhaviyani atoll’s very first Coconut Climbing Competition. With contestants from all around the atoll, including Innahura, Cocoon, Kanuhura, Hurawalhi, Kudadoo and Fushifaru, it was a fantastic day to bring everyone together to celebrate Maldivian culture. There was no better way to revive this Maldivian tradition that hasn’t taken place since 1985! The contestants were asked to climb the coconut tree all the way to the top, come down safely and then husk a coconut all under time pressure…Fushifaru’s very own Maldivian Coconut Climber Thoha took away the winner’s trophy as he completed his round in only 42 seconds!”
Prizes included a cash award for first and free nights at Fushifaru for second and third.