23 Nov The Maldives; A Magical Resort in the Middle of the Indian Ocean
The Maldives was ranked as the top spot to visit by the World Travel Awards in 2020 and after going there on honeymoon, I am not surprised by the accolade.
The stunning, crystal clear turquoise water, white sand beaches, and tropical climate attracts nearly two million tourists a year.
The Maldives is an archipelago that is made up of almost 1200 islands (less than 200 of them are inhabited) and sits south of India in the Indian Ocean.
A new, man-made island was just added to the area. The Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands, Maldives opened its doors five months ago in June and is quickly becoming one of the most sought after luxury resorts in the area.
Once you land at the international airport in Malé, you’re whisked away by speedboat and head north. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the island and, once you arrive, you quickly realize this place is unlike any other.
The layout and design of the beaches, roads, restaurants, and landscape were carefully planned to perfection. There are no cars on the island and the only modes of transportation are bicycles and golf carts. Each villa comes with its own personal butler who helps schedule dinners, excursions, spa appointments or even simple requests such as extra towels.
One of my favorite things about the island is the lack of mosquitoes— the pesky little buggers haven’t made their way to the island yet, because it’s so new.
The island was literally built up from the sea floor. In the beginning stages, sand was piped in from the deep sea to create the island that’s located in a natural lagoon. During the process, builders made it their mission to have as little impact on the environment as possible. Construction crews made sure the natural corals were uninterrupted, and today, because of the resort, new ecosystems have developed. “One of the fallacies is that building a whole island would destroy something, but all it has done is enhance the ecosystem of fish and other elements coming alive,” says General Manager Mark Hehir, who watched the evolution of the island come together from the very beginning.
There are 100 villas ranging from beach to over-the-water bungalows available for guests to book. The spacious suites have solar panels and any excess energy collected is sold back to the solar management company. Plastic is frowned upon at the resort; there are no single use plastic bottles or straws (straws are either made out of metal or wood).
Health and wellness is also a big focus at the resort. You can find the latest, state-of-the art equipment at the gym and outdoor yoga classes and circuit training are available. Trainers are on hand as well to help you stay physically fit.
As far as wellness products, there is a wide range to choose from. Everything from MCT oil to spirulina and camu camu powder is available at breakfast. Fresh pressed juice, smoothies, and protein shakes are available as well and superfoods like dried goji berries and mulberries are also at the ready.
As a woman who is a big proponent of using food as fuel and medicine, I’ll admit I was giddy with excitement over the vast array of products. After years of traveling the world, I’ve learned I still have to pack a suitcase full of supplements and superfoods so I can maintain my healthy lifestyle abroad. However, at this resort, my suitcase of goodies stayed packed up in the room.
A few days into my trip I learned that the man behind the wide selection of wellness products happens to be Hehir who is a man committed to his own, personal journey of health. He says he is constantly researching new products and upcoming trends from leading wellness experts around the world. He admits to using himself as a guinea pig to try new products and if they’re effective, he does his best to bring them to the resort.
“I’m on a constant personal mission to refine myself. If I’m a general manager in the Maldives at the most beautiful resort, I should be open enough in my mind to offer all of these elements to guests and bring them at a premium level; that’s my role. We don’t just provide sleeping quarters, check in and check out, it’s the experiences and the engagement with the people and then these little special wows that you go away saying, wow, I can’t believe you had all these products here. That should tell you a story about our intent and what we want to achieve.”
All I can say is, I was wowed. #thankyou
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
Broccoli and Vegan Law ba go (turnip cakes)
Golden Berries (aguaymanto), Mulberries