The Luxurious Resort
We all work hard in our lives, so every now and then it is time to reward yourself am i right? I will admit, before our travels I had no idea where or what the Maldives was... Apart from knowing it was a stunning place in the middle of a vast ocean with houses built on wooden stilts atop crystal blue waters (because the internet is full of magical imagery like that!). The more I looked into it the more I just had to go. But surely those photos are edited or enhanced or something, right? Wrong.
After scouring the internet and trip advisor reviews there was one place that stood out from the rest with a very rare 5 out of 5 rating; the Six Senses Resort on Laamu. I learnt it was quite a trip to get to the Maldives so if you are going to go, you want to do it right! Quite a big trek indeed it was; after an 8 hour flight to Singapore and 5 hour trip to Male we were exhausted. Then we hopped onto another 30 seater propeller plane (yes, I was terrified) and a speed boat which finally took us to our destination atop the Laamu Atoll. Don't get me wrong, it's a hell of a long way to travel for a short week of stay but that is long forgotten within seconds of arrival. This place is so picturesque and magical that you could give a disposable camera to a five year old and they would struggle to take a bad picture. Those photos on the internet I thought were edited were actually doing this place an injustice because it is much more beautiful than I had ever imagined.
It became quickly apparent just how Six Senses have earned their 5/5 review status as soon as we met Mufaz our GEM (Guest Experience Manager). There are more staff than guests on the island and they are so attentive they think of things before you can even ask for them (and they have you fill in a big sheet before you arrive so that everything you could even ask for is exactly as you like upon your arrival!). This resort is as exclusive as it is inclusive. Included in the cost of your room is the most amazing buffet breakfast, various different island activities like kayaking, snorkelling, yoga and fitness activities, an outdoor moonlight cinema with popcorn, free ice cream from their parlour at any time of day and free transport around the island in the form of a chauffeured buggy or very cute bicycles personalised to each guest with their initials. We hadn't even made it to our Villa yet and we were already very impressed.
We were very lucky to have been offered an over-water villa with a private pool; but that being said, even the cheapest villas at this resort are beyond your imagination. At the tip of the jetty our villa jutted out at the furthest point of the resort into the ocean with the most breathtaking fairytale views that you could only dream of. Each Villa is perfectly positioned to make you feel like you are on a (luxurious and relaxing) deserted island with absolutely nobody around; that is until you order room service or breakfast by your private pool and the waiters come running to your beckon call!
Truth be told though it is so private and serene that your shower is actually outdoors next to your very own glass bottomed bathtub! The only prying eyes that will witness you in your birthday suit are the schools of fish, sea turtles and crabs that occasionally visit your personal slice of paradise. Aside from those luxuries you get a glass-walled, private, infinity pool above the ocean, two ladders down into the sea and a staircase up to a rooftop verandah; yeh sorry guys, we aren't coming home. That actually got me thinking... as we are building our new house in Melbourne at the moment I'm considering scrapping the plans and just filling our block with turquoise blue ocean water and building a villa like this on stilts above it. I wonder if the City Council would approve?
There's a huge variety of food on the island ranging from Japanese to Mediterranean; so that you can eat to your hearts content and never get bored. The Breakfast buffet is held at Longitude restaurant which is laid out on one of the largest 'overwater' buildings in the Maldives overlooking the ocean. The options are endless with a fresh fruit section, French crepes with any topping you could wish for, eggs cooked to your liking, Maldivian food, smoothie and fresh juice bar, salamis and cheeses, french toast, cereals and muesli; anything you want you can have at this incredible buffet. For the honeymooners who dont want to leave the comfort of their bedsheets but need to replenish their energy you can even request to have breakfast served in your villa!
The pool area is best for lunch where you can find a chilled bar/cafe called 'Sip Sip'. They speak my language fluently there (my language is pizzas and burgers). You can watch as they make your pizza in front of your eyes. If you are feeling a little healthy you can get a Nicoise Salad with a generous fillet of freshly seared tuna! They also have their burger of the week option which is a must as they base it around their home grown produce with crispy fries. Don't forget to try their delicious cocktails as well, my favourite is the Mojito (or the 'Nojito' if you get too tipsy and want it without the alcohol)!
There are 4 main restaurants to choose from for dinner time; Longitude (al carte), Chill Bar (Vietnamese), Leaf (daily chefs special set menu), and Zen (Japanese). We did not have a single bad meal on the island and all restaurants are overseen by the same head chef and work with quality ingredients and locally grown greens. We loved Zen restaurant for its authentic Japanese feel. You must book to get a seat here as it is highly sought after on the island.
Most massage spas in Australia play artificial rainforest and beach sounds for ambience; this one had 9 treatment rooms set amongst lush gardens along the beachfront so they did not need aromatherapy, speakers or air-con and there was nothing artificial about it! Gianni and I sat in the reception of the Six Senses Spa sipping our refreshing pre-massage tonic with incense burning as we filled out the guest experience forms. Most massage places you fill in the forms before-hand and walk out an hour later thinking 'they didn't even read a single thing I wrote did they?'. Well my amazing masseuse Piyana was from Thailand and learnt her craft from her mother... After 60 minutes of the most simultaneously relaxing and energising massages ever she said "the minute I saw the areas of tension you had indicated I knew what you needed, and I could tell you were a lawyer!" Apparently us legal professionals carry around the weight of our clients and cases like luggage and she could tell! Now that is experience, and it translated into the best massage either of us had ever enjoyed.
If I can change my construction plans and build my very own Six Senses Villa in Australia you are all invited... That may not happen this century though so until then I will definitely be returning to this incredible resort whenever we get a chance!
Six Senses Laamu