An island country and archipelago in the Indian Ocean covering 298 km2.
Its location – southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea. Encompassing a territory spread over 90,000 square kms and with 26 atolls, It’s one of the worlds most geographically dispersed countries. With an average ground-level elevation of 1.5metres above sea level, it’s the planets lowest, yet possibly most beautiful country. In fact, its jaw-droppingly gorgeous!
A kaleidoscope of colours and earthly pleasures.
Landing at Male airport reminded me of landing at the old Hong Kong airport – minus the skycrapers? Well almost. Nervously gripping my seat as the plane landed, my eyes grew wide from the windows view. I was confronted with an interesting and quirky surprise. A runway not much longer than a football field and a capital city that resembled a crowded concrete jungle on an island the size of a postage stamp! The ultimate juxtaposition.
With mixed feelings of excitement and intrigue I collected my bags and was whisked away to the waiting seaplane. After a cool 25mins with what felt like floating through the air over a giant turquoise bath, we arrived at our island, Dhidhoofinolhu.
Lux* South Ari Atoll is the only settlement on the island and this was to be our home for the next 2 weeks. A beautiful world class resort that is to be the epitome of barefoot luxury.
Accommodation is simplistic yet luxurious. Thatched roof suites are scattered amongst lush green foliage within touching distance of pristine, unspoilt beach and coral reefs. Or if being over water is your thing, make your dreams come true in an ocean perched villa where you can descend right into the turquoise world below directly from your balcony.
Abodes aside, here are my top reasons to love Lux*.
STAFF SO GOOD YOU’LL WANT TO TAKE THEM HOME
The level of service on this island is excellent, across the board. Nothing is too much trouble and everything is backed up with a sincere and infectious smile.
I plead guilty when it comes to the pleasures of my morning coffee. It is an essential part of my daily ritual and can often make or break me! Café Lux has revolutionized the world of hotel coffee. With specialized baristas & coffee artists, their beans are freshly roasted and ground on site. Need I say more!
WHEN THE TUMMY GRUMBLES
There are several restaurants and bars to tempt the pallet with a mix of island street food, or fine dining. Most options are light and fresh, without the heavy over indulgent extras. For Japanese that will leave you speechless make sure you say Konnichiwa to the newly opened fine dining restaurant Umami. The 8 course degustation menu was perfection, but make sure you arrive hungry. It’s a marathon of delicious taste explosions!
FEELING ALL LOVED UP
Spoil your significant other with a beach BBQ and private chef, in your secluded fare tent. Feet in sand or water, its up to you! Men take note, if there is something special brewing in the air with you and your sweet love, this is the perfect place to pop the question!
Hammocks hanging from coconut trees, beanbags on the beach, earthy rustic huts…there’s a rainbow of quaint choices to chill out and read a book, or simply just watch the colorful world pass by…In slow motion!
The islands sanctuary for nurturing your health and wellbeing, me time!! Whether its spa, fitness, yoga, meditation or nutrition, you will leave here feeling Zen and energized! The “Detoxification” package is a must. Complete with body scrub, massage and super cleanse detox facial. Heaven. You can ask for a treatment room that is perched over water for a surcharge of USD20.00. Definitely a priceless experience!
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
Each day there are 25 bottles to find around the island. The bottles contain a message that discloses a secret gift just for you!
TREE OF WISHES
A magical banyan tree adorned with wishes on bright red ribbons. The locals believe the Banyan Tree brings luck and if you make a wish, it will come true by the next full moon. Guests can meet each Thursday and Monday to make their special wish and then tie it to the tree.
PHONE HOME BOOTH
An old style telephone booth available to guests to call family and friends anywhere, anytime, for as long or as little as you like. No charge!
The unblemished lagoons provide a prime spot for snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and whale shark spotting. Lux* also offer additional unique water sports which other resorts may not, such as Flyboarding, wakeboarding, rubber rings and banana rides. If you feel like living it up a little you can explore further afield with a private catamaran trip, or picnic parties to neighbouring islets. Rockstar style.
GYM – LUX ME FITNESS
A bright and welcoming fully equipped gym complete with a dedicated personal trainer. If you feel like keeping it outdoors you can join the 7am running class or get creative in the islands very own Jungle Gym.
LEAVE YOUR SHOES AT HOME
This really is barefoot luxury. I am a self confessed shoe addict with an endless love affair for shoes, so naturally I packed eight pairs of flats. All except for one pair returned home with me sparkling and untouched. The philosophy here is simple: No news, no shoes.
And so here it is…paradise. The luxury of informality, no schedules, no need to dress up and show up, the feeling of freedom and simplicity without sacrificing comfort. Until next time…