Vi­ta­min sea

Head to The Mal­dives for a spot of hol­i­day heal­ing

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION LUXURY -

seafood or grilled meats at Kandu Grill, as spiny lob­ster, king prawns and wagyu rump beckon. The 1kg Aus­tralian Tom­a­hawk steak could well be in your sights. How­ever, for guests like me, still re­cov­er­ing from break­fast, the Reef Club might be more your style; perched by the picturesque pool, it of­fers mod­ern Ital­ian din­ing with an is­land twist. My oven-baked Parma ham, rocket, parme­san, cherry tomato, mush­room and spinach pizza topped with ri­cotta cheese and pine nuts, is only to be out­done by my wife’s choice of pan-seared prawns, scal­lops, fil­let of reef fish and braised fen­nel in a shell­fish vinai­grette. Both restau­rants are also open for din­ner. OK, so it’s time to lie down.

Where bet­ter to sleep than the Kuda Huraa spa? Af­ter a short boat ride I ar­rive on a tiny isle for my co­conut oil mas­sage. In­di­vid­ual treat­ment rooms are ar­rayed over the ocean with glass pan­els in the floor through which fish pass so slowly they ap­pear to be saun­ter­ing. The com­bi­na­tion of warm co­conut oil, the mes­meris­ing marine life and the ther­a­pist’s ex­pert hands has me doz­ing off within min­utes.

Our din­ner choice is Baraabaru, fea­tur­ing southern In­dian columned decor and tra­di­tional table­ware. Lo­cated on a pier and lit by fire torches, the wa­ter gen­tly laps be­neath din­ers as a mes­meris­ing ar­ray of bright stars light up the clear, dark sky. Scrump­tious hors-d’oeu­vres, cur­ries and seafood dishes ap­pear, each out­do­ing its pre­de­ces­sor, from yo­ghurt frit­ters flavoured with roasted cumin, co­rian­der and car­damom to tan­door spe­cial­i­ties and bas­mati rice birya­nis stud­ded with reef fish, shrimps and lob­ster.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion at Kuda Huraa con­sist of beach and wa­ter bun­ga­lows as well as spe­cialty suites. Sun­rise and sun­set bun­ga­lows with pri­vate pools loom above the la­goon on stilts and of­fer breath­tak­ing views across the ocean. All gue­strooms are beau­ti­fully fin­ished with teak fur­nish­ings and fea­ture clas­sic Mal­di­vian thatched roofs. Light, airy and com­fort­able, most come with a pri­vate pool, and all have easy beach ac­cess or a short trip by golf buggy will have you any­where on the is­land in mo­ments.

Lan­daa Gi­raavaru, the larger of the two re­sort is­lands, pro­vides op­u­lent sun­rise and sun­set vil­las as well as fam­ily and beach­side op­tions with all room types avail­able with or with­out a pri­vate pool. Like the ac­com­mo­da­tion at Kuda Huraa, our beach­side villa is bright and spa­cious with a mix of lo­cal and con­tem­po­rary-luxe decor and a gen­er­ous-sized pool and out­door area. Lan­daa Gi­raavaru is densely veg­e­tated and comes com­plete with jun­gle re­treats and your own bi­cy­cle for ex­plor­ing the is­land. How­ever some of the big­gest dis­cov­er­ies come off­shore

Pool at Four Sea­sons Kuda Hu­raa, top; snorkelling at Lan­daa Gi­raavaru, top left; beach bun­ga­low with pri­vate pool at Kuda Hu­raa, left

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