PICTURE this: You’re lounging on a white, sandy beach with a bestseller title in one hand, and a gin & tonic in the other. As you look up from your pages, you see a vision of paradise filled with a variety of blues stretching out into the horizon. There’ll never be a more satisfied sigh you’d let out in your life.
Welcome to the Maldives, the reigning destination for romantics, and spa-holics.
But the Maldives is not just an escape for newlyweds or couples renewing their vows. It’s also the perfect place to rejuvenate your senses, with its tranquil surroundings and top-notch hospitality. If you’re looking for a quick sabbatical to refresh and relax, here are the top four resorts in the Maldives that will revive your soul.
The COMO brand is famed for its award-winning resorts dotted around the biggest metropolitan cities. But besides providing an unparalleled luxury experience, their COMO Shambhala Retreats at their various locations are what keeps their guests energised everyday. At the Maldivian outpost, each of their spa suites boasts a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean for the ultimate serenity. As you listen to the rolling waves, your therapist will perform on you a wide array of treatments, including reflexology, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, and dead sea mud therapy.
You can also have the treatments performed in your room – especially calming if you’re staying in one of the resort’s over-water suites. If you’ve spent too much time in the sun without sunscreen, there’s the Sundãri Gentleman’s Facial treatment that infuses your face and neck with nutrients and exfoliates it with enzymes to firm, soothe, and hydrate the skin. At the Shambhala retreat, try taking part in the complimentary yoga classes, or learn the intricacies of meditation through a guided session.
You couldn’t possibly spend just one day at Jumeirah Vittaveli’s Talise Spa; there is just so much to do. The resort in the South Male atoll is just a quick 20-minute catamaran ride away from Male International Airport, so you won’t even need to worry about a long ride even if your flight gets in late. Once you arrive, be sure to book your appointments at the Talise Spa ASAP. The treatments here focus on healing through the elements of light and space, and the ingredients used have been hand-harvested by the local community using traditional farming methods.
If you’re travelling with a partner, you can get your treatments done at the over-water spa suite that has room for two. After you’re done being revitalized at the hands of the experienced therapists, arrange for a pilates, Muay Thai, or aqua spinning session to get your blood flowing. You’re also privy to a complimentary training session at the health club and fitness centre (which is open 24 hours, by the way) so you can maintain your beach-ready abs for the ‘gram.
St. Regis Maldives
The Iridium Spa at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is an institution. Just walking into the lobby will induce in you a sense of tranquility. In the spa itself are six couple’s treatment suites that offer guests an unrestricted view to the endless sea vistas. If you’ve arranged for an Ayurvedic treatment, there are two specially-appointed suites with its own private steam room.
But the centrepiece of the Iridium Spa is the Blue Hole Pool, deemed to be the most expansive hydrotherapy pool in the whole of the Maldives. It’s filled with heated seawater and fitted with an array of whirlpool jets to help you ease off any remaining tension after you’ve finished with your soothing massages.
If you’re also looking for a physical makeover, just pop into the Salon in the Vommuli House that will pamper your every whim. Your partner, especially, will appreciate the work done to her hair and makeup – and no man impresses as much as one with clean-cut cuticles and ruly nails.
Niyama Private Island
If you’re getting a little seasick of the endless ocean views – could you really – then the Drift Spa at Niyama Private Islands Maldives will be the right fit for you. While they do have over-water treatment suites, there are also two exclusive treatment rooms that boast their own private garden sanctuary. A signature at the Drift Spa is the constantly rotating lineup of visiting practitioners that bring along their alternative healing procedures and holistic treatments — Jade Wood and Dr. Rui Pedro Loureiro are set to be the resident practitioners for the coming months. If you’re arriving late to the island resort, the Drift Spa also operates after-dark so you can have your massage under the stars.
But it’s not just all about kneading at Niyama, as they also have a “Slumber Guru” for guests who are experiencing insomnia or jet lag (it’s GMT+5 in the Maldives, so 3 hours behind Singapore / 2 for Jakarta). The therapists here use essential oils like sandalwood and lavender in baths to lull you into a deeper, and better heavenly sleep.