Best of the Maldives: Family Spa – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli spa

Congratulations to Jumeirah Vittaveli who officially opens today with a gala ceremony. Their announcement described…

“Receiving its first guests on the 10th December, the ultra luxury resort catering for couples, families and small groups is the second Jumeirah property to open in the Maldives this year.”

Pleased to hear about their Michelin-starred Executive Chef Kai Boeddinghaus. I think for any resort aspiring to ‘ultra luxury’ status, Michelin distinction is a pre-requisite. But what stood out for me as I explored their revamp of the place was their embrace of families. This emphasis warmed my nostalgia recollection of the island which I visited over a decade ago on my first trip to the Maldives and my family discovered ‘house reefs’ there (where we were staying at Laguna Beach now Velassaru didn’t have much of one)

Half of the text in the Vittaveli opening announcement talked about special offerings and features designed for children of all ages and families holidaying together. And my favourite was their ‘Aila Time’ concept at their Talise Spa

“Even Talise spa has introduced special treatment programmes for families. ‘Aaila’ is the Maldivian word for family, ‘Aila Time’ invites families to enjoy an awakening of a personal reconnection, whilst the ila ‘beyond’ journey educates young adults aged between 12 and 16 about the joy of spa, preparing them for a lifetime of wellbeing.”

A few other resorts, like Conrad Rangali’s ‘Ice Cream Spa’, have special kids offerings at their spas, but this is the first ‘family’ treatment concept I have come across. There have certainly been plenty of times in our family’s history when we could use some family therapy. And our periodic adventures at the Maldives definitely go down in our collective memories as one of our times for ‘reconnection’ walking, snorkelling, discovering, star-gazing, and game-playing together.

Though it does bug me that Jumeirah has no proper pictures of the spa on their web site. Big pet peeve of mine when resorts use useless generic, close-up, still-life, arty-farty photos on their website instead of showing us the product.

Welcome to the neighbourhood Jumeirah family!

Best of the Maldives: Bath Menu – Kanuhura

Kanuhura bath

“Your bath is drawn, m’lady”

You don’t need a butler at Kanuhura to get decadently pampered including having your bath drawn for you. Not just any bath, but your choice from their signature ‘Villa Bath Menu’ which include choices of “Veyoge Absolute Flower Bath”, exotic “Kanuhura Flower Ritual” or “Enchanting Breeze Flower Experience”.

“Drawn by the villa host at the guest’s chosen time, illuminated by a scented candle or oil burner, the water strewn with petals and accompanied by Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries as well as a kids bath ceremony with milkshakes, cookies and a bedtime story.”

I don’t think my kids would protest at bath time with that sort of luxurious enticement.

Best of the Maldives: Night Spa – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Ahmed Amir
Perfect accompanying photo by Ahmed Amir – Full Moon over Kuda Huraa spa

This week’s full moon was at its farthest point from the Earth this year making it the smallest Full Moon of 2011. If you follow these sorts of celestial events, then you should follow the five stars to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa for their Night Spa just launched this week…

“The Island Spa’s Night Spa treatments are very different from treatments you might experience during the day. In fact, they’re probably different from anything you’ve experienced before. From the moment we collect you from your villa to the moment we bring you back, you’ll be wrapped in the nurturing embrace of the tropical evening air. Relax beneath the stars in the Night Spa’s torch-lit lounge, then indulge in one of four open-air lunar rituals devised by Sodashi to attune the body to nature’s rhythms. Each lunar ritual can be enjoyed at any time but will provide the greatest benefit during its linked lunar phase. Available from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am nightly, Night Spa treatments must be booked a minimum of 24 hours in advance.”

Their treatments include…

  • Reflect – “The new moon is a time of commencement, new beginnings and renewal.”
  • Nourish – “The waxing moon is a good time to nourish and strengthen the body.”
  • Harmonize– “During the full moon, the body’s healing potential and the skin’s ability to absorb minerals are at their highest.”
  • Release – “The waning moon is the ideal time to eliminate toxins and negativity.”

I never like to take spa treatments during the day in the Maldives because it is just less time in sunshine and being out and about in paradise. But the night time is a bit more limited to strolls through the paths and by the ocean and a great time to ratchet the stress down that further gear.

Also recommended for vampires and werewolves.

Best of the Maldives: Romantic Treatment – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru tantric chakra

Maldives is arguably the most romantic place on earth. Today is the most romantic day of the year. So where precisely do you want to be?

Well, I would propose Four Seasons’ Landaa Giraavaru’s Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat. They offer a striking array of treatments impressive even on Maldives standards (a few years ago Maldives was awarded ‘Spa Capital of Asia’). But one stands out on this day of lovers – ‘Tantric Traditions’.

Now anyone who’s read Hello magazine on the flight over will be familiar with Sting’s infamous advocacy of tantric practices in a loving relationship. While in the West, ‘Tantric’ is most commonly associated with romantic intimacy, it is actually part of a larger tradition and practice “channel [divine] energy, within the human microcosm, in creative and emancipatory ways

Landaa’s session involves two therapists, male and female, working together with a couple…

“Our Tantriks in LG, seek to work with the life force energy or prana by means of yoga asanas, pranayama, meditation techniques, mantra chanting, invigorating massages etc in their rituals resulting in channelizing the prana along the nadis and activating the chakra points, the ultimate aim being to stimulate the kundalini. However this is only an attempt in that direction. The positive outcome of the treatment in a modern sense is the attainment of optimal autonomic balance leading to peace and relaxation.”

Landaa emphasizes that everything in the session is completely conventional and respectable. But what each couple choose to take back to the privacy of their own villa for further practice is up to them…

Best of the Maldives: Tub – Dhonakulhi

Island Hideaway Tub 1


One popular feature that I do adore is the al fresco bathing. It is not an uncommon luxury feature of tropical resort, but they are typically secluded to a sheltered back garden. But if you want the experience with elegance, style, comfort and a view, the Island Hideaway at Dhonakulhi has really nailed it with their Hideaway Water Suite. The tub is perched right on the best view of the ocean.

It reminded me of our stay at Londolozi Game Lodge in South Africa where the designers had smartly put the elegant tub by a big window overlooking the river down below. You could watch the elephants bathing while you had your own scrub.

And if you can’t or don’t want to spring for the posh Water Suite, you still can partake of a lagoon-vista’ed soak at their Mandara Spa (see below).

Dhonakulhi Island Hideaway Mandara Spa