In the Mood for the Mal­dives

A new re­sort com­bines the ul­ti­mate in so­phis­ti­cated pam­per­ing with the most ca­sual of dress codes. Leave your cares - and your shoes - be­hind.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Luxe Travel - By Re­becca Mor­ris

Imag­ine a place where you just need to tell your host how you’re feel­ing and events un­fold to ac­com­mo­date you. This is the con­cept be­hind a new re­sort’s Mood Din­ing, where a choice of five ‘moods’ pro­vide an ar­ray of in­dul­gences to put you in the per­fect frame of mind - and body.

The place is Mi­laid­hoo Is­land in the Mal­dives where, un­sur­pris­ingly, the most pop­u­lar mood din­ing op­tion is Deep Sleep, which be­gins with a peace­ful spa treat­ment in the early evening, fol­lowed by a light din­ner in your villa with a menu of in­gre­di­ents cho­sen for their sleep-in­duc­ing prop­er­ties. Af­ter din­ner, the re­sort’s res­i­dent yogi con­ducts a pri­vate moon­light med­i­ta­tion ses­sion on the deck of the villa. A scented can­delit bath is the fi­nale of an evening that will sweep away the ir­ri­tants of life back home.

On awak­ing bright-eyed next morn­ing you may be ready for a Sun­rise Awak­en­ing, with an en­er­gis­ing break­fast that in­cludes a bot­tle of cham­pagne.

The five-star re­sort, in Baa Atoll at the

heart of a UNESCO bio­sphere re­serve, opened at the end of 2016 to com­bine the epit­ome of lux­ury in a dress-down am­bi­ence; a con­cept it de­scribes as bare­foot lux­ury.

A 30-minute sea­plane flight takes guests from the in­ter­na­tional air­port to the pri­vate five-hectare is­land, where 50 roomy vil­las, de­signed in con­tem­po­rary Mal­dives style and with cus­tom-made fit­tings, are sited on stilts over the la­goon and among the trop­i­cal green­ery on the beach. All vil­las have pri­vate pools and a host to at­tend to res­i­dents’ ev­ery need.

Three restau­rants and two bars in­clude the sig­na­ture fine- din­ing Ba’theli restau­rant, which is the coun­try’s first mod­ern Mal­di­vian restau­rant. Creative cock­tails and wines sourced from less fa­mil­iar bou­tique winer­ies also as­sist to keep the taste­buds fresh.

The Serendip­ity Spa com­prises four treat­ment suites set over the la­goon - us­ing nat­u­ral, or­ganic prod­ucts, of course - and there is daily com­pli­men­tary yoga and med­i­ta­tion.

In ad­di­tion to a pro­gramme of events, such as con­ser­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties and yacht trips, there is an ar­ray of wa­ter sports and a must-do trip to Han­i­faru Bay to spot whales and the sea­sonal in­flux of manta rays - one of the largest group­ings in the world.

The re­sort is de­signed with cou­ples in mind, although chil­dren above nine years old are wel­come. Prices start at US$1,575 (S$2,200) per night for two peo­ple. www.mi­laid­hoo.com ≠

This and fac­ing pages: Mi­laid­hoo has its own coral reef, which en­cir­cles the is­land, is a pro­tected area and is noted as an out­stand­ing snorkelling and div­ing site in its own right.

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