Best of the Maldives: Hydrotherapy Pool – Cocoa Island

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 1

In the land of endless water spectacles, Cocoa Island’s hydrotherapy pool might just be the biggest indoor water feature in the Maldives. It certainly is the biggest hydrotherapy pool in the country, and in fact it claims to be the biggest in Asia. It’s the biggest I have seen and I am a connoisseur of spas around the world. Even Lori was impressed as she uses hydrotherapy pools professionally as a part of her therapy practice. It includes bubble loungers, drench fountain, back massager and a whole array of relaxing water jets. It is available to all guests on a complimentary basis and fresh ginger tea is on tap non-stop.

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 2

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 4

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 3

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 7

Cocoa Island - Hydrotherapy Pool 6

Best of the Maldives: Moonlight Massage – Velaa

Velaa - moonlight massage

Tonight is the “Flower Moon”. Also called Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, and Corn Planting Moon. It marks a time of increasing fertility with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom.

The perfect time for one of Velaa’s “Moonlight Massages”. It is only offered once a month on nights with a full moon. And tonight’s would seem particular apt to stimulate your own personal blossoming.

With this post, I’ve added the new tag of “Moon” for all those lunar luxuries.


Best of the Maldives: Massage Head Support – Velaa

Velaa - massage head support

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.

Best of the Maldives: Shower Experience – Velaa

Velaa - spa shower experience


Happy Thai New Year! The Thai celebrations include a number of traditions typical in many cultures ringing in the calendar milestone – feasting, visiting families. One ritual distinctive to “Songkran” is cleansing. A bit reminiscent of the new beginnings and fresh starts embodied in New Year’s Resolutions. People go to Buddhist temples to wash away their sins and bad luck. The custom has grown quite lively with a now iconic water festival where people splash each other with water.

If you want to wash away your sins and bad luck, the best place in the Maldives is Velaa’s My Blend Spa by Clarins. This indulgent facility includes a number of innovative features from its snow room to its “cloud pod” to its steam room-with-a-view. But one of my favourites was the “Soaking 4 Ways” (my term). Quattro Fradicio.

In a single room, they offer 4 different soaks…

  1. Rain Shower
  2. Waterfall Shower
  3. Hand-held Shower
  4. Bucket (!) – see above

The “Bucket” seems to be the ultimate in drenching. Possibly the culmination of an ever intensifying trend. First there were “normal” showers. You turned them on…water came out. Then came the power showers and massage showers which pushed that spray a bit more firmly. Then, came the soaking “rain” showers. With twice as many and larger outlet holes, the water poured down on you sumptuously. The next obvious step was the “Waterfall” showers where the flow-impeding holes were done away with entirely. Now the “Bucket just drops the entire dose of water on you instantaneously.

Velaa - spa shower experience 2

Best of the Maldives: Longest Spa Water Feature – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - spa path with Victoria Lopyreva

Water defines the Maldives and so island water features that maintain that aquatic feel even in the interior are always a fitting touch. A number of spas a have added lily ponds and fountains to their spas to bring that fluid tranquillity to their treatment retreat. The longest spa water feature I have ever ambled across is JA Manafaru’s Calm Spa (one of the most expansive in the Maldives) where it meanders through lush foliage and colourful flowering plants. The equally sinuous Victoria Lopyreva (Miss Russia 2003) posted a snap of the fashionable runway herself during her recent visit.

15 Romantic Suds

Atmosphere Kanifushi - tub

Happy Valentines Day sweethearts everywhere.  But especially in that global hotbed of romantic paradise, the Maldives

Get your clothes off for a hot and steamy, sensual delight, with a touch of perfume, bubbly, and flower petals. Yes, a romantic bubble bath. Here’s a not-so-dirty dozen of the best in the Maldives…

I’ve also added a “Maldives Tub Art” board to the Maldives Complete Pinterest so I can add more sexy suds as I find them.


1. Atmosphere Kanifushi [above]

2. Cheval Blanc Randheli
Cheval Blanc Randeli tub

3. Vakarufalhi
Vakarufalhi - tub

4. Coco Bodu Hithi (thanks Paola)
Coco Bodu Hithi - tub

5. One & Only Reethi Rah
One & Only Reethi Rah - tub

6. Centara Ras Fushi
Centara Ras Fushi - tub

7. Kuramathi
Kuramathi - tub

8. Anantara Kihavah
Anantara Kihavah Villas - tub

9. Amilla Fushi
Amilla Fushi - tub

10.  Centara Grand
Centara Grand - tub

11. Loama Maamagili
Loama Maamagili - tub

12. Sun Siyam Irufushi
Sun Siyam Irufushi - tub

13. Hideaway Beach
Hideaway Beach - tub

14. Zitahli Kudafunafaru
Zitahli Kudafunafaru - tub decor

15. Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Best of the Maldives: Kids Wellness – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - child wellness 1

Universal Children’s Day today. Dedicated to “welfare of the children of the world”. And Six Senses Laamu offers a program to enhance their welfare every day they stay there. A special programme of wee-one wellness includes…

  • Aesthetics – eg. music class with singing bowls
  • Activity – eg. specially adapted yoga, basic tai chi movements
  • Nutrition – eg. interactive games to teach better foods to eat
  • Treatments – eg. specialized massages, mini-manicures, hair braiding

The resort describes

“A different wellness activity will be available daily in the Den, the children’s club. These include an introduction to meditation during a music class, how to create sounds with singing bowls, basic tai chi movements and many more. A yoga instructor will offer specially-designed yoga classes for children, during which youngsters will be taught some basic yoga poses.…Nutrition experts have created interactive games that will teach children which dishes are better for them, why they are better and where ingredients come from. The children will also have the chance to make their own healthy juice by visiting the organic garden. Here, they will hand pick their favorite ingredients and add them to their own juice or smoothie…Six Senses Spa Laamu offers children’s treatments including head, foot, hand and shoulder massages just for kids plus children’s facials, mini manicures, pedicures and hair braiding. Young guests from 9 to 16 years of age are always welcome at Six Senses Spas when accompanied by an adult.”

Six Senses Laamu - child wellness 2

Best of the Maldives: Vinotherapie – Velassaru

Velassaru - Vinotherapie


Alcohol, at its most generic hydroxyl chemical functional group level, has a couple of properties which make it for popular for stirring the senses. First, it is volatile. This enhances aromas as it evaporates quickly. Second, it bonds to both water and fat, making it a great catalyst to bringing out the flavours in food. It seems creative applications have been conjured up to excited nearly every sense – the spectacle of sight, the aroma of smell, the titillation of taste. And Velassaru gives you the opportunity to experience the epidermal emollience of its “Vinotherapie” spa treatment…

“The Spa at Velassaru, Maldives offers couples the chance to experience sensual bliss through a full body scrub, wrap and a massage, with its newly launched wine therapy – Vinotherapie. This indulgent treatment uses red and white wine as its main ingredients and is followed by a specially prepared candlelit bath to enjoy, complimented with a delicious bottle of wine. This three-hour sensual therapy allows couples to enjoy serene and rejuvenating moments together to rekindle intimacy and romance at only USD 640 per couple.”

A cheeky little number for your cheeks.

Best of the Maldives: Asian Massage – Sun Siyam Irufushi

Sun Siyam Irufushi - asian spa

United Nations Day today. Celebrating the diversity of cultures as well as the ambitions of that global organisation to enhance health and welfare around the world.

When we first starting visiting the Maldives, a spa was actually a rarity. My first massage there was from an Australian masseuse they had contracted in and gave her a remote villa garden and massage table. Now the spas are some of the most elaborate parts of the resorts and many of the properties incorporate ‘Spa’ right into the name. With all these choices have come many variations on the theme. Anantara has tapped its Thai roots for more Thai oriented treatments. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru has an aruvedic theme.

But the veritable United Nations of spa treatments are to be found at the Sun Siyam Irufushi. The brochure describes “Personalized Spa Experiences – Guests can create their own spa journey.”

Of the 147 different treatments offered The Spa by Thalgo, it features 9 different massages from traditional Asian cultures including:

  • MALDIVES – Maldivian Massage
  • PHILIPPINES – Filipino Hilot Massage
  • INDIA – Crystal Healing Ritual
  • CHINA – Restoring Yin-Yang Therapy
  • JAPAN – Shiatsu Massage
  • THAILAND – Thai Massage
  • INDONESIA – Balinese Massage
  • SOUTH PACIFIC – Aroma Island Massage
  • ASIA – Oriental Back Massage (fusion of oriental techniques)

When we visited, I was especially impressed by the Thai Massage room (see photo above). A spacious area with not only a proper Thai matt, but also two elegant ropes for the therapist to use for balance while walking on your back. I am a devotee of Thai Massage (aka. “Lazy Yoga”) and this was the finest treatment room (not over the water) for that discipline that I’ve visited.

Best of the Maldives: Sauna/Steam View – Velaa

Velaa - spa steam view

If you are into steamy views, then Velaa’s spa is the just the vista (though the guy in the official picture below seems to be enjoying more of yesterday’s kind of view than the outside beauty of the Maldives)…

Most spa amenities like the steam rooms and saunas are tucked away in the back recesses of the facility. I guess the conventional thinking goes that people want privacy and the focus of the room is enclosing heat. As a result, the more closed off, then the easier to pull off. I have to admit, that a sauna and steam can get a bit tedious. Yes, I realise that I could just enjoy the sensually soothing heat, but I still find staring at four walls a bit tiresome.

Velaa’s spa is one of the most inspired that I have been to in the world never mind just the Maldives (which is, admittedly, turning into a bit of a global spa smorgasbord). I’ve already featured its beachside blizzard “Snow Room” and “Spa Pod”, and my recent visit turned up several more distinctions like this post.  You don’t have to sacrifice enjoying views of the Maldive water as you can sit with in the steam room gazing out at the sun drenched, azure-dappled sea.

Today is just the day to highlight Velaa’s spa. Because today IS the “future”. Well, “Back to the Future Day”. The long anticipated “Back to the Future” day that Marty McFly travels to in his DeLorean. And, Velaa is the DeLorean of Maldives resorts with its sleek, edgy, innovative design. Furthermore, it is arguably the most futuristic of the Maldives resorts with its space-age “Spa Pod” and its alien-spaceship-like Tower (another inspired vista). And, like Velaa’s stylish guests to its steam room, the car arrives and departs in a cloud.


Velaa - steam room