Our PR Manager, Clair, recently headed out to the Maldives for the first time and reviews the new Six Senses Laamu.
The Maldives had never really appealed to me as a vacation destination before. As a red head I could never see the appeal of a fortnight on a beach. I usually shy away from ‘sun vacations’ opting for the safety of the ski slopes and cooler climes for fear of sun burn and two weeks dipped in factor 50. I also thought I would be desperately bored. There’s nothing to do in the Maldives, right? How wrong I was.
Deep in the Indian Ocean, the Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in Laamu atoll. It’s an adventure to get to and a little harder to find than the main swathe of island resorts you see popping up out of the turquoise coming into land at Male. I definitely felt a pang of excitement as we climbed into the tiny twin-propeller plane with local Maldivians that would carry us further south still, towards the equator.
The remoteness of the resort is a part of the Six Senses Laamu’s charm. You really do feel a million miles away from everything. It also felt hotter, more tropical than some of the other resorts we visited during the trip.
The resident marine biologist later told us during a snorkeling hopping excursion that the coral around Laamu were some of the healthiest in the Indian Ocean because of clean waters from the lower amount tourism in the area. And indeed they were stunning, vibrant coral gardens home to hundreds of species of fish. As I snorkelled along I started to think how incredible it might be to see a turtle… then there he was gracefully passing me by. I’m sure it was a ‘him’. I just wished I had invested in an underwater camera.
Laamu features the Maldives largest over-water structure, a really impressive feat of architecture that combines sustainable materials, wood and stunning glass woven together as the centerpiece of the resort. Its home to the chilled sunset cocktail bar which serves delicious, fruity twists on the traditional mojito, the main restaurant, much visited ice cream parlour and towering glass wine cellar, Altitude, which houses over 400 bottles.
Everywhere the design has been cleverly thought out. You can’t help but love the fresh feel and quirky design of the over-water villas, each with a huge bed looking over the water, basins encased in vintage looking suitcases, an outdoor rain shower and glass bottomed bathtub!
Each villa even comes with a pair of bikes with which to explore the island’s nooks and crannies, ours had personalized number plates and now sit on the mantelpiece at home. A lovely touch.
The vibe of Laamu is young and active; great for families and couples alike. While I relaxed at the sensational Six Senses spa with a massage in a spectacular tree-house nest perched high in the tropical vegetation, my other half, Michael, hit the surf.
The Maldives isn’t the first destination you think of when it comes to surfing, but just beyond the calm waters of Laamu’s lagoon are some of the Maldives most famous breaks, the challenging Yin Yang, and smaller waves for beginners. No wet-suits are required with the sea temperature a delicious 29 degrees, but t-shirts to protect the skin are a must.
Under surf instructor Steve’s able tuition Michael, a complete beginner, was able to learn all the basics including the tricky bit – pulling yourself onto the surf board, before heading out by boat to ride a few easy waves before falling off, his pride barely dented. After the 3 hour session he was hooked although the chillier waves of St David’s, Pembrokeshire have a little less appeal.
One night before the end of our stay we headed out to the beach for a surprise. There underneath one of the most incredibly clear nights was the resort’s resident astrology expert with a powerful telescope. I gasped as I looked at the rings of Saturn, fiery Mars and the moon’s craters for the first time in HD.
After an action packed few days with barely any time kick back and pick up my book, I realised I was wrong, very wrong – and I’m proud to admit it. Laamu offers such a vast array of activities for everyone that boredom isn’t a word in the islander’s vocabulary. When can I go back?
For more information on our customized vacations to the Six Senses Laamu contact our Maldives specialists on 020 8682 5075.