The sense of smell is supposed to be the most evocative of all our senses for memory and emotion. The Maldives itself will provide an olfactory smorgasbord from salty sea breeze to tropical coconutty delights. LUX North Male sought to distil and bottle these scent sensations by enlisting “world renowned aromatherapist” Shirley Page to develop a special range of essential oils for the resort. Page had a residency at LUX for three months where she refined the collection testing the oils for the Maldives conditions and alignment with feel. The end results are provided to all guests in their rooms. Also, the spa offers a range of signature treatments using these oils perfumed with the essence of the Maldives.
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.
Part of the adventure of an exotic holiday can be the exotic dining that goes with it. First timers to the Maldives will relish the fresh reef fish, local curries and irresistibly fresh tropical fruit. But for longer stays or Maldives aficionado regular visitors, even that can get a bit repetitive. So the top resorts mix it up a bit with some more creative culinary options. When I treat myself to a meal out, I try to choose dishes that I can’t easily make for myself at home (so I avoid the simple dishes and go for the more unusual).
One example of esoteric eatery is LUX North Male Atoll’s Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant INTI and their signature dish “ceviche”. Ceviche is a South American dish of marinated seafood (eg. prawn, octopus), but INTI has extended it in fusion style to Wagyu Beef, vegetables and other ingredients. It is served with a range of sauces (eg. chimichu mushroom, rocoto chili spice, corn, beef au jus, huancaina yella chili). And if you have trouble deciding from their extensive selection, you can have a smorgasbord of a tasting platter including such delicacies as:
- · Fish – white fish, tiger milk, raspberry, sorbet
- · Octopus – Peruvian chili, smoked yellow paper sauce
- · Tuna – Nikkei sauce, sesame oil, tuna, cucumber
- · Prawns – Passion fruit sorbet, coconut milk infusion, mango, soft shell crab
- · Salmon – Avocado, red onion, tiger milk
- · Scallop – Orange tiger milk, red onion, yellow chili
Resorts have a tradition of bestowing welcome gifts to their arriving guests. While many are branded tat pulled from the hospitality bumph catalogue, some properties have made an effort to present more distinctive mementos. As a fan of the art of palm folding, so I was particularly enchanted by the origami palm fish that LUX North Male Atoll presents to kids on arrival.
International Coffee Day. And really who else could we feature but those boss baristas at LUX (this is the 6th “Best of the Maldives” recognition for LUX just in the area of “coffee”?
This time a shout out to their Coffee Cafe. Take-away coffee from 6:00 am through 10:30 am. This is just perfect for me. I often get up early for the quiet morning time to catch up on some email and web surfing. I like to leave the villa because my shuffling around can disturb Lori who likes to savour her opportunity for a lie-in. But I do want a coffee as soon as I get up. I’d rather not go into a restaurant, but just find some quiet corner of the island to stretch out on. LUX North Male Atoll was about the first island I could easily do this with their take-away service. Also, the more insulate, tall thermal cup keep the coffee hotter than a conventional ceramic cup (and the serving is larger too).
And extra bonus, the café offers 4 types of sweetener (see photo below). If this seems like a trivial detail, then you are not a sweet tooth aficionado like me.
If you prefer a more wind driven motif to your land-side maritime motif, LUX North Male Atoll features brilliant red “sails” as sunshades around it villa and main pools which provide a gentle luffing to your lounging. As it happens, LNMA atoll has a special 30% advance purchase offer on now. Sale away!
Fourth of July and the day to paint the town Red, White and Blue (for American Independence Day). Or you can simply bathe in red, white and blue (and purple and green) light therapy at LUX North Male Atoll’s “Me” spa’s light therapy shower. A stream of different combinations of different coloured lights illuminate under the stream of water. And if the different wavelengths don’t do it for you, then maybe the disco vibe will at least put you in a good mood.
International Workers Day today. Lately, we’ve been celebrating a lot of unsung front line and key workers keeping the cogs of society going during these difficult times. As it happens, many resorts still have guests stranded at their properties which means that the workers have to keep going despite limitations on their travel, supplies and other essentials to a smooth operation (LUX North Male still has a number of guests from before the lockdown).
In the past, staff quarters were secondary considerations with typically steerage class standards. Often these quarters were tucked away hidden from the guests. All of the working environment of the resorts’ staff has steadily improved over the years, but I was particularly struck by the high standard of LUX North Male Atoll’s staff facilities.
First of all, they were quite out in the open. Not in the centre of the island hidden, but quite central to daily activity of the resort. And while segregated by some walls, the main entrance (see photo above) is quite open. As a result, you can see that the staff facility is a handsome, modern construction with the clean lines echoing the design aesthetic of the luxury accommodation just yards away.
Great to see quality of staff accommodation rising as the quality of the properties do in the Maldives.
A by LUX North Male Atoll double with another striking wooden feature but today apropos of Arbor Day celebrating all trees. I love these wish trees (Lori and I had one at our wedding). At LUX, your wish not only gets wafted into the ocean breezes of this tropical paradise, but also provides a donation to the local Thalescemia (low hemoglobin) charity.
World Sculpture Day today. In the Maldives, one of the most common places for sculptural aesthetic are the luxurious bathrooms in the super premium properties. I’m a bit of a sink aficionado, so I was immediately enchanted by LUX North Male Atoll’s sink which combined a long, sinewy faucet over an elegantly carved wooden basin.