Best of the Maldives: Tok Sen – Amilla Fushi / Anantara

Anantara - Tok Sen therapy

สวัสดีปีใหม่

Happy Thai New Year! And what a year it has been for Thai visitors to the Maldives. Thailand is the fastest growing country of origin for Maldives visitors with a 233% growth (!) making it the 5th highest Asian source (while being only the 10th largest Asian nation). Amari, Anantara, Centara and Dusit Thani are all Thai based properties with multiple properties in the Maldives.

For a truly Thai treat, Anantara and Amilla Fushi both offer the distinctively Thai Tok Sen Thai therapy…

  • Tok Sen Ancient Thai Therapy, which originates from Buddhist Monks, creates healing vibrations through rhythmic pressure on Thai acu-points applied with a special wooden tapper to relax stiff bodies, providing pain relief and deep release for the body and mind.

Lori had some of this work on her feet years ago when we were visiting Prague. It about sent her to the ceiling. If there was a Mohs hardness scale for massage treatments, it would look something like this (going from softest to hardest)…

  1. Reiki
  2. Aromatherapy
  3. Relaxation
  4. Swedish
  5. Shiatsu
  6. Sports Massage
  7. Deep Tissue
  8. Hot Stone
  9. Tok Sen

So for those really tough knots from a particularly enthusiastic new years celebration, ask for some Tok Sen.

Best of the Maldives: Wellness Villa – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - wellness villa

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.

Amilla Fushi - wellness treehouse

Best of the Maldives: Tennis Club – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - tennis club 1

The Australian Open is in full swing this week kicking off the 2018 Grand Slam season. For a bit of Aussie tennis in the Maldives, the best courtside seats are Amilla Fushi. A number of resorts have invested on some pretty sophisticated tennis facilities, but Amilla Fushi has the biggest range of tennis amenities I have seen at their “LUX Tennis” club

  • ·Two floodlit tennis courts, nestled amid tropical trees – Amilla allows guests improve every aspect of their game through personalised tennis programmes and events. Amilla has partnered with LUX Tennis, which provides professional tennis coaches to luxury resorts and private clients worldwide for a tailored solution that manages all tennis activities.”

The “club” offers lessons and player partners with ATP Pros, exhibition matches by visiting ATP Tour players, kids instruction, ball machine (see photo below)and serve speed radar. Not to mention a range of rackets and tennis wear including shoes. A bit of above and beyond by the resort from down under.

Amilla Fushi - tennis club 2

Best of the Maldives: Triple Shower – Amilla Fushi / Finolhu

Amilla Fushi - outdoor shower

Innie, outie and innie/outie. Dual indoor and outdoor showers have become pretty much table stakes at the five-star properties. A few of the higher end properties have introduced the drench waterfall showers. But Amilla Fushi and Finolhu not only feature the drench showers, but also have a triple shower combo with outdoor showers on both the front and back decks.

Amilla Fushi - in out shower

Amilla Fushi - indoor shower

Best of the Maldives: TRX Training – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 1

If you need a bit of help waistline effects of sumptuous holiday treats, then Amilla Fushi can firm up both your body and your discipline…

  • “TheTRX was birthed in the Navy SEALS, a 60minutes suspension training body weight exercise that develops strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously. TRX is a fabulous training tool that leverage gravity together with your body weight to increase fitness, strengthen and tone muscles. An intense full body workout just for you.”

Sir, yes sir!  TRX, a treat!  

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 2

Best of the Maldives: Pizza Toppings – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - pizza oven

Pizza is a pretty popular food around the world and no less so in the Maldives. We’ve had a wide variety in our world travels, our regular trips to Italy and our Maldives tours (so much so that with this post, I’m adding a special “pizza” tag). While many menus offer classic or special combinations, pizza is a pretty popular make-your-own affair. I’ve don’t recall having quite so much variety of ingredient as Amilla Fushi’s “Joe’s Pizza” at its Baazaar (allusion to the “Baa” atoll there) restaurant. Items I’ve never made a pizza with like lamb meatballs, harissa yoghurt, capsicum, spiced pumpkin and silver beet. They even have a sweet pizza with Nutella and Banana (why is this not more common?). And if you want more cheese, never mind the “Quattro Formaggio”, Joe’s offers 8 (!) cheeses (“Otto Formaggio” anyone?) – mozzarella, pecorino, ricotta, brie, gorgonzola, provolone, feta, bocconcini. Small pizza is $20 and a large is $24.

Best of the Maldives: Staff Art – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - garden 2

  • What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney

At most resorts, the staff give at bit of themselves every day to make the visit by the guests memorable and distinctive. At Amilla Fushi, this investment is expressed indelibly in a unique exhibition of creativity and personality.

The Mystique Garden is a chef’s garden where you can enjoy special meals prepared and served for you al fresco. But your nook is more than the lush greenery of an equatorial paradise. It accented by a collection of striking art works suspended in the tropical canopy. These pieces are the works and gifts of the resort staff themselves.

When the property was near completion and the new team of staff being assembled, the management got everyone together and presented them with a challenge to design and produce pieces of sculpture to adorn the Mystique Garden. The resort provided any tools and materials that they needed. The staff were assembled into department teams as the project was a way to bring the group close together prior to the opening with a focus on thrilling the impeding guests with something out of the ordinary. The teams worked for over a month and the top pieces were selected for inclusion in this open air gallery. The pieces featured and the teams that created them are…

  • Chandelier by Management
  • Morovian Star by Engineering
  • Peace Sign by the Spa
  • Dodecahedron by the Front Office
  • Silver Mobile by Recreation

I’ve been to lots of chef gardens in the Maldives (in fact, with this post, I am adding a new tag for them “Chef Garden”, but Amilla’s is a bit extra-magical, surrounded not just by the natural beauty of the location, but also by these inspired pieces which offer a personal welcome from the hearts, minds and souls of the resort team to their guests.

Amilla Fushi - garden 1

Maldives Tour 2017: Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - tour

Everything old is new again. Amilla Fushi has taken contemporary to a new level in the Maldives. It features simple lines, open and flowing interior spaces, generous use of light. And like all good modern architecture, it nouveau style is inspired by traditional reference.

The Maldives has become synonymous of late with thatched roof water villas, but actually that motif was imported from Bali. Like all tropical cultures, the locals certainly did use pervasive palm fronds in many constructions, but more recent and more prevailing architecture was based on a truly indigenous masonry. The Maldivians would create their own cement by burning coral and charcoal. The resulting mixture would be formed into white blocks out of which the homes were constructed. The practice is now banned to preserve the precious reefs, but you will find more coral block constructions around the inhabited islands than thatched huts.

It turns out that the very name “Amilla Fushi” means “Island Home”. Mind you, the sheer elegance and grandeur of these villas might be more fitting of island royalty. The staff are actually called “Katheebs” which translates to “Island Chief”. The implication is that an island chief can do anything. This designation underscores how empowered they are to get things done to satisfy the guest. You will certainly live like a chief during your stay.

While the island has an extensive (and growing) array of distinctive features and offerings, it is also the sister resort of the imaginative Finolhu property in the south of the Baa atoll. As a result, guests are welcome to enjoy all Finolhu also has to offer as well…only a 30 minute speedboat ride away. A number of the “Best of the Maldives” distinctions that I identified on my Finolhu visit are shared by Amilla Fushi as well.

Best of the Maldives: Water Camo – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - water villa camo

Now you see it. The camouflage of the animal kingdom always fascinates. We came upon the king of camo a chameleon on our South Africa safari. We would never have seen it had the guide not pointed it out. In fact, even when the guide did point it out, we struggled to see it at first. And the Maldivian masters of masquerade are of course the octopi. Lori and I spent a delightful snorkel watching an octopus move around the coral croppings constantly changing his color scheme and his very skin texture to match the new coral he was next too.

The octopi of the resort world is Amilla Fushi’s water villas…

  • Anyway, it has its own magic: it is a mirror that reflects the surrounding colors!! Can you see the magic? — at Amilla Fushi.”

More literally hidden wonders of the Maldives. Thank again to Paola – she knows all the Maldives secrets!