Mesmerising Maldives

There’s something therapeutic about staring at the ocean. Even more so if you are being gently doused in a healing aromatic oil by your masseuse, as you lie on the sundeck of your overwater bungalow
By HARINI SRIRAM
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As far as beach holidays go, few countries can trump the Republic of Maldives – pristine shores with several shades of blue as far as the eye can see, spectacular sunsets and lazy days spent lying on a hammock or swimming in the reefs. And if that weren’t enough, you will be pampered to no end at the island nation’s many water bungalows that ooze luxury and style.

Time seems to stand still here; the mornings drawl into afternoons – and a siesta inevitably follows. Evenings are for leisurely swims as you watch the sun go down, and indulgent dinners under inky star-studded skies. Exclusivity is the buzzword here; from private meals at remote sand banks and dining in an underwater restaurant to sailing on a traditional dhoni (wooden boat), or a picnic on a far-flung island, the tiny country packs in a whole range of unique experiences.

You can choose to do nothing and simply be mindful of every moment, be it the cool sea breeze, the sensation of sea water against your feet, the sight of hermit crabs flitting about on the shores…Or you could take up scuba diving, or go dolphin watching, jet-skiing, paddle boarding, or surfing. Island-hopping is one of the most fun things to do here. Most resorts are set on their own private islands, but it’s a great idea to visit some of the local inhabited islands to understand Maldivian culture and way of life. Republic of Maldives is also known for its ‘glow-in-the-dark’ bioluminescent beaches; one such beach is at Mudhdhoo Island on Baa Atoll.

The resorts in the country are destinations in themselves. To up your relaxation quotient, sign up for yoga and meditation sessions, and don’t miss out on the range of soothing massages and wellness packages at the spa. A Balinese massage to unknot tight muscles, an aromatherapy session to rejuvenate your senses, Maldivian herbs and medicinal oils to relieve you of stress, Ayurvedic treatments and deep-tissue massages...You name it, the resorts make it happen for you. All at an unbeatable location.

Maldivian food is subtly spiced and coconut is a commonly used ingredient. You can taste a whiff of the sea in every other dish here, be it the garudhiya (a spiced fish soup) or mas huni (smoked fish). Tuna and mahimahi are among the most eaten fish here, and the locals also dig a mean octopus curry. While resorts in the Republic of Maldives serve up cuisines from across the globe, local specialities always find a place on the menu. Wash it all down with a tropical cocktail or a glass of wurumba (tender coconut water) and relish your stay at one of the world’s most romantic getaways.
 


MUST-TRY SPAS

One&Only Spa, One&Only Reethi Rah
Opt for the Ayurvedic treatments and Southeast Asian therapies. www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Chavana Spa, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
Sign up for the ‘Maldivian Spa Escape’ ritual. www.adaaran.com/prestigevadoo

Over Water Spa at Heritance Aarah
Try the Asian-inspired massages and treatments. www.heritancehotels.com/aarah