I’ve been comprehensively cataloguing glass floors in the Maldives for years, and LUX North Male Atoll’s is the first I’ve seen in a fitness centre. Years ago, all fitness centres were stuck away in some remote, claustrophobic centre of the island making one’s effort to work off last night’s pina colada binge all the more excruciating. More recently, top resorts have moved their gyms to a pride of place with an ocean view with the spectacular vista as inspiring as any video on a little screen. LUX provides not just views of the sea beyond, but also the marine life below (or the gives the fish below a framed shot at the fit bodies above, depending literally on your point of view). And it is not just a token little portal, but an expansive area that covers the entire entry area to the centre.
The favorite, even iconic, holes in the boards in the Maldives are the infamous glass floors of the water villas. But, Safari Island has lifted this feature with its indoor glass table. Sure beats a coffee table boo of underwater photography to instead sit down and gaze at the real thing. It’s a nice twist so that you can linger, perhaps over a cuppa or a cocktail to real savour this special view instead of staring down at your feet.
The heart of any Maldives trip is the unworldly seascape and resorts do everything to bring with water wonderland front and centre – snorkelling, glass bottom boats, decks overlooking. One of the hot features at the glitziest water villas is the glass floor. A portal to this maritime magic even when you are sequestered inside. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy this fancy foot-level fenestella. The value priced Embudu resort sports lovely versions in their Water Bunglows. And there is plenty to see. We watched a couple of puppy reef sharks and a baby stingray during our short stay. The most affordable glass floor water villa in the Maldives.
It’s hard to find any fault with even the worst massage. But if I do have pet peeve with spa treatments, it is the face hole in the massage bed. The worst ones are barely padded or use an awkwardly rolled up towel. At the end of the massage, you have a big, red, aching indentation mark across your forehead. But Velaa has figured out the ultimate head support at its spa…
1. Glass Floor View – Good. If you are going to stare straight down for an extended period, then have something pleasant to set your eyes on is a treat.
2. Coral View – Better. A couple of resorts do provide glass floor views for their over-water spa treatment rooms. In every case that I’ve seen the view is just a sandy bottom (not the good kind). The sandy deserts of the lagoon floor have very little marine life to gaze upon aside from the stray white fish. But Velaa has situated its view directly over some fine coral croppings for an enchanting spectacle of small tropical fish darting to and fro.
3. Gel Mask – Best. Wow. I’ve had all sorts of face pads on massage beds from the aforementioned hard board to plush cushiony affairs. But you don’t get any more soothingly soft than a gel mask. Perfect.
One of the classic “wow” features of the super-deluxe properties are the glass floors in the water villas to peer down on the aquatic playground below. Soneva Fushi’s lack of water villas hasn’t stopped it from it from offering its own version of a truly ‘glass’ floor in its yoga pavilion. Down the centre of the room are glass floor panels. But instead of maritime life beneath, it has a sparkling canvas of crushed glass recycled from the island. It’s like an aquamarine carpet. Just another example of Soneva’s glass ingenuity.
Glass floors have become a signature design feature in Maldives water villas, but Six Senses Laamu has literally raised the concept to a new level. Their Lagoon Water Villa has transparent portal into the colourful lagoon below, but by making it a table, it’s easier to sit down and enjoy the spectacle with a tropical cocktail.
Today’s post has triggered the addition of a new category tag of the best “Tables” in the blog.
GlassFest started yesterday featuring every imaginable translucent creation. But for the bottom line (or should I say ‘bottom plane’?) on glass, then the heartland of glass flooring is the resorts of the Maldives featuring portals to the aquatic wonderland below. When you come to the islands, so enchanting is its beauty above and beneath the water, you just don’t want to take your eyes off it. And the resorts there do everything possible do that you don’t have to. Here are a collection of the best in every imaginable nook and cranny of an over water stay…
The Private Reserve is also long on its own distinctions.
- Largest – Not just the longest, but the largest water villa in all of the Maldives (1,400 square metres)
- Long Stays
- Longest Glass Floor (see below)
- Largest Bathroom – the 100 square meter bathroom is larger than over a quarter of the entire villas in the Maldives
A water suite of Stonehenge proportions.
When I added the ‘Room Type’ database and profiles, two of the first characteristics that I catalogued were whether the room had (a) a Jacuzzi/pool, and (b) a glass floor (for water villas). Well, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu features a ‘two-for’…a water villa pool WITH a glass floor. Kind of an aqueous parfait. Look through water to see…water.
I was alerted to it by eagle-eyed Sakis Papadopoloous of Dreaming of Maldives in his post this week titled ‘Your TOP 10 Maldives Dreamy Resorts in 2012’ where his dazzling photo (see above) graced their runner-up entry.