Best of the Maldives: Perimenopause/Menopause Retreat – Amilla

Amilla - Menopause Retreat

Today is June’s New Moon and it fall right in the middle of Amilla’s newly introduced “moon” of it own. There are “honeymoons” for starting the chapter of your life with your “honey”, “babymoons” for starting the family one, and now Amilla has introduced the first ever Maldives “menomoon” for ladies embarking on that “The Big Change”. Which is an especially apt name as the root “meno-“ in “menopause” comes from the Greek word “menos” meaning “month”, and the word “month” comes from the Old Norse word “menon” meaning “moon” (which is itself, coincidentally, “meno”). So really, it is a “moonmoon”.

And if my experience with Lori going through that “certain age” is any indication, then if there is ever a time a women could use an idyllic retreat, it is then.

Amilla describes:

  • “Even though it is a natural stage in life, many women find it daunting to navigate changes in their hormones during perimenopause and menopause, and all that comes with it – hot flushes, mood swings, lack of sleep, brain fog, weight gain around the middle, anxiety and dwindling confidence. But help is at hand! Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences is the first resort in the Maldives (and one of just a handful of resorts around the world) to have created a women’s perimenopause and menopause retreat…The three Perimenopause/Menopause Retreats at Amilla Maldives Resort will run between June 23rd to July 7th, 2022. It will be led by renowned naturopath and wellness coach, Claire O’Sullivan. The five-day journey has been developed to give women the tools they need to adapt to the changes in their bodies in a healthy and positive way, enabling them to tune into themselves rather than fight nature. With these tools, they will address physical, emotional and lifestyle issues, improving their habits and renewing their energy.”

  

Best of the Maldives: Ocean Bound Plastic Items – Amilla

Amilla - ocean bound plastic

Some of Amilla’s complimentary items are a gift to the guest and the planet. They provide a variety Mon India bags for guests’ use and some for guests to even take home made out of plastics that would otherwise be destined to end up in the ocean that surrounds their visit:

  • “We have started making bags and accessories out of Ocean Bound Plastic Recycled Fabric. We have developed an ethical supply chain, with our partners collecting plastic bottles and other kinds of plastic and preventing them from entering the seas and ocean. Recycling the collected plastic into fine polyester fabric. Once the fabric reaches us, we make Bags and accessories out of it.”

Amilla includes laundry bags, hairdryer bags, toilet roll bags, table covers and beach bags from Mon India for the guests’ use. And the kids get a welcome back pack (see below) inspired by the local star wildlife resident, the White Long-Tail.

Amilla - kids recylced plastic back pack

Best of the Maldives: Facemasks – Amilla

Amilla - facemasks

One of the most useful complementary items we’ve received in the Maldives in the past year was especially apropos to the headline event of the past year – face masks. Lot of companies have produced logo’ed facemasks as a combination of courtesy and promotion, but Amilla’s were special vented versions the big advantage of which is that they didn’t fog up your glasses (if you were passing your transit time reading) or your sunglasses. As a result of this benefit, this mask is one of the ones I have used the most when I came home.  And their light, white material made them especially suitable for the tropics.

Best of the Maldives: Room Eggs – Amilla

Amilla - room eggs

Happy Easter! Time for easter egg hunts. And there is perhaps no easier egg hunt in the world than Amilla! Its bronto-sized egg is one of the most distinctive design features in its villas. Not just for its size, but also for its curiosity. The first question one has is “What is that??” Well, I know it’s an egg! But what is it for?? As it turns out it is also a Maldives distinction as probably the most artistic luggage rack! By far the biggest egg we have seen in the Maldives…or anywhere for that matter.

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Breakfast – Amilla

Amilla - Maldivian breakfast

Amilla not only sends you off to dreamland in style, but welcomes you back to the land of your dreams with equal distinction. In particular, it has completed mastered the “Indian Ocean” breakfast vittles’.

The heart here is Maldivian Mashuni. A light pancake, fresh tuna, chillies and coconut morning delicacy of the Maldives. Lori is a particular afficionado and has it at every resort that serves it (which is pretty much every resort). She declared that Amilla’s was definitely up there as one of the top execution.

Then, we move to another breakfast buffet standard – the breakfast curry. In most places, I’ve tried this dish out of curiosity and I do like a curry, but in more cases they just seem like re-heated leftovers from the previous dinner layout. Amilla’s version is light, fresh rendition which really suits the early hour and was especially tasty.

And to complete the Laccadive trifecta, they also serve a Sri Lankan Pani Pol Egg Hopper. A charmingly local (well, nearby) variation on the your morning eggs.

Best of the Maldives: Sleep Pillow Treats – Amilla

Amilla - Sleep pillow treats

International Pillow Day today. Just the time to settle in for an extra special slumber. And to help you on your way, Amilla treats its guest to sleep pillow goodies. Each take pillow chockies to a new level made with ingredients meant to facilitate your dozing. Each one includes its own message with a sleep tip, eg. “Increase your exposure to natural light to help readjust your sleeping patterns.”. They include:

  • Tart Cherry Chocolate – Tart cherry juice has been proven to increase the body’s levels of melatonin, a natural hormone which helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
  • Roselle Macaroon – Roselle, a type of hibiscus, has many nutritional and medicinal values. This natural antioxidant may help reduce blood pressure and aid in the digestion of complex carbohydrates.
  • Coconut Turmeric Shots – Coconut can help regulate sleep hormones and provides lauric acid, linked to more restful sleep, while turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Sweet dreams!

Amilla in London

Amilla - london launch

One of my many motivations for doing Maldives Complete is to be transported away from cold and less sunny England immersing myself in all things Maldivian for a several hours a week. While my escapism is usually digital, this week I was treated to some real bits of the Maldives live here in London. Amilla hosted an industry event to update its UK partners and friends on the latest and greatest at the resort.

Amilla announced its acceptance into the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection among other enhancements and new features. It wasn’t just press release and presentation, but an actual taste of Amilla hosted at Michelin-trained Kirk Haworth’s “Plates” restaurant whose ethos of sustainable, healthy and yet decadently sumptuous culinary creations fit right into the Amilla vibe. So much so that Haworth was hosted by Amilla earlier in the year and is scheduled for a return residence in the coming months. We were treated to such Maldives-worthy delicacies as “carrot & yuzu bellini crumpet, smoked carrot, seaweed caviar, champagne jelly” and “BBQ potato with sea lettuce, aioli, pickled shallots, nori powder” and “organic cocao and lion’s mane sponge, whipped coconut, hibiscus sherbert.” And all of the dishes were accompanied by rainbow (white, red, rose and orange) of locally produced organic wines.

Other featured Amilla residencies joining the festivities included style guru Kat Farmer (see photo) who recently hoted a fashion show with a Maldivian designer there. And the parting gift was an herbal bath tea from Amilla’s own garden. But the quintessential touch of the Maldives itself were the leadership team which personifies appreciating, investing in and sharing the Maldives – Jason and Victoria Kruse.

Best of the Maldives: Coconut Weight Machine – Amilla

If you want to build your appetite or beef up the Swiss Family Robinson way, Amilla puts the ‘jungle’ into ‘jungle gym’ by putting its gym into the jungle. I’ve seen a some of these charmingly natural fitness devices in other resorts, but not the coconut weight machine.

  • “Our Jungle Gymnasium features fun, island-made, ‘Flintstonian’ fitness equipment including barbells, a coconut weight machine and monkey bars.”

Amilla - coconut maxhines

  

Best of the Maldives: Ethical Meat – Amilla

Amilla - ethical meat

Many people are reducing their consumption of meat for a variety of reasons, but one of the most prominent is their concern over the ethics of the meat production on both the animals and the planet. While some have completely eliminated meat from their diet, for others going completely cold turkey (or cow?) is a bit too challenging. As a part of their ethos to help guests take step to great sustainability, Amilla is offering a range of ethical meats on its menus:

  • BEEF – Cape Grim Beef from Tasmania “is proud collective of beef farmers throughout Tasmania, King and Flinders Islands, [who] have a commitment to ethical practices and are audited by a third-party. They nurture the finest quality cattle, without harming the pristine environment.” As an extra bonus to the quality they are only grass fed, and the cows don’t have to walk distances for their grass (because it rains so much) resulting in a distinctive level of fat marbling. Finally, the air in the location is the cleanest in the world.
  • PORK – Dingley Dell Bacon from Suffolk, UK whose operation is built around a “philosophy of animal welfare, taste and sustainability.” Also, Dingley Dell have planted 33.2 hectares of their farm in wild flowers so the bees have food.
  • POULTRY – I’ve already written about Amilla’s luxury poultry accommodation for its chickens, “Cluckingham Palace”.
  • CONDIMENTS – Amilla uses bananas and coconut sugar from the island to make the ketchup as well as a island produced BBQ. The homemade versions not only reduce the food-miles, but also avoid the the caramel colour (gluten) and refined sugar of the commercial versions.

Best of the Maldives: Personal Water Hammocks – Amilla

Amilla - personal water hammocks

One of the biggest trends in Maldives tourism is move from shopping for a resort to shopping for a villa. Maldives distinguished itself years ago with the concept of “One island, one resort”. People decided on which resort island was for them and they knew that their entire Maldives experience would be contained in that microcosm of aquatic terrain.

This concept contributed strongly to the development of Maldives Complete. Because you were segregated on a single island, choosing that island carefully was all the more important. It wasn’t like choosing a city hotel where the hotel part of the city break was just a small part which also included restaurants, shopping, sights, etc. outside the hotel. Furthermore, because the property was so clearly delineated, it also made developing a database on the characteristics of the resort easier as everything on the island was specific to that property.

But as I have noted on numerous occasions, guests now seek out “villas” with the same discernment that they used to seek resorts themselves. In the early years, each island only had a few room categories – Standard, Deluxe, Water Villa, etc. – to choose from. What distinguished your holiday was the island you chose and the rooms were more uniform within the island. I wrote a post in 2010 about Kurumba having the most room types with 8. Today, I don’t know of a single new property that has launched with less than that. Soneva Fushi has 27 room types today!

In 2012, I launched the Room Type database to help guests with the task that was now an order of magnitude larger of choosing a room type as opposed to just choosing an island. Just this past October, I amended the popular “How to Pick the Perfect Maldives Resort” post by removing the criteria of whether the resort had a pool or not. This characteristic was one of the very first ones I researched extensively in the 90s before all this Internet stuff as we knew that our kids loved to pay in a pool. Now all but a couple of resorts have a pools. The real question is whether you want your villa to have its own personal pool.

All sorts of special amenities that used to be distinctive for resorts are now available in your own villa (for the premium rooms on the rate card). I remember when spas were just starting to be introduced in the Maldives. Often a therapist on contract given and room and a table to work at buried in the island interior. Now some Presidential suites have their own in-villa spa rooms.

The latest distinction to have gone personal are water hammocks. First spotted at Anantara Dhigu in 2011. In 2016, I was able to post a collection of water hammocks at various resorts. Now, Amilla has added personal water hammocks outside a bank of its water villas!