Mind, body and spirit benefit from the serenity of a holiday in the Maldives especially when this is enhanced with relaxing and rejuvenating sessions at a resort’s spa. There are an estimated 110 top quality spas at island resorts plus some spas in Male’ and even one in the public terminal at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, as well as informal ones catering to guests staying on inhabited islands.
Exploring the Spas
In the Maldives, a spa has become much more than its conventional meaning of a commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatments. Resort spas not only match the luxurious standard of the resort’s accommodation, they go beyond it in design and location.
There are spas built on stilts over a lagoon enjoying panoramas of infinity; spas surrounded by lush tropical vegetation; spas on their own islands; spas on the beach and in temple-like sanctums; spas serenaded by babbling water, and spas of classic or contemporary décor. Every spa seeks to convey a breath-taking ambience of secure serenity where exotic therapies defy the imagination.
To enter a spa is to pass through a portal transporting a guest from the holiday routine to a place of deeper bliss. Immediately overwhelming is relief – at being able to relax in the hands of trained professional therapists who listen, understand and pamper, inspiring a glow of well being that completes your holiday contentment. The spa of a resort reflects the peacefulness, tranquillity, and unique quality of its host establishment.
Since the therapies are designed specifically for resort guests, they incorporate many elements of the Maldives, influenced by the rhythm of the tide lapping the lagoon’s shore, the natural oils of tropical plants and the purity of lush island ambience.
The spas of the Maldives deliver a unique experience unmatched by spas elsewhere, because of the inspiration of the island location and the skill of expert therapists. All kinds of treatments are available from the spa menus, many incorporating Reiki, a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body with an effect on Chi, the circulating life force.
What’s different about a spa treatment in the Maldives? Treatments are designed specifically to meet guests’ concerns, often using island-sourced ingredients. Most spa therapists at the resorts have long experience observing the effectiveness of the treatments and products available so they can offer the best.
For instance, Anti-Ageing facial therapies usually have the same techniques and ways for a basic facial. What’s different in the Maldives is that the ingredients used during the course of the treatment are chosen to treat a sun-stressed or mature skin according to the patient’s age, to achieve a joyful sense of rejuvenation.
Properly advised and applied therapy can visibly reduce lines and wrinkle depth, helping guests to return home looking younger. A treatment can define radiance and facial contouring by increasing the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Anti-ageing facials can be especially effective in the benign, tranquil ambience of a resort’s spa.
Some resorts feature complete spa packages such as a Detox programme of special therapies complemented with a diet by the resort’s chef to encourage regeneration of the body’s well being.
Every resort spa has its own signature treatment provided by therapists from around the world as well as from the Maldives. Spa therapists are experienced in infusing universal remedies with natural, botanical, sea and herb based products to inspire a unique experience to balance mind, body and spirit.
Popular therapies are body wraps involving a sand scrub and being immersed in a mixture of papaya and pineapple or enveloped in a tropical cocoon of energising seaweed. Conventional anti-cellulite treatments with a Maldivian accent, pedicures and manicures are also popular. And the Maldives is one of the best places in the world to enjoy and benefit from therapy to help dispel jet lag.
There are independent spas in Malé and several on inhabited islands frequented by tourists. Such spas are more informal, sometimes involving treatment on a sun lounger under a thatched parasol. They specialise in conventional therapies and less intensive treatments.
The first underwater spa in the world was created in the Maldives, in a resort in North Malé Atoll only a 25-minute speedboat ride from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
This features two glass-walled underwater treatment rooms with panoramic views of a coral reef and curious fish, and a soothing design inspired by the colours and textures of the sea. The signature underwater spa experience lasts a heavenly three hours of treatment with indigenous island coconut, lime and mineral oils followed by a melting application of ice, and relaxation while marvelling at the views of clownfish, stingrays and other exotic marine life. Set 100m from the resort’s shore at the end of a wooden promenade, the spa’s treatment rooms are eight metres below the surface. The benefits of such a spa go much deeper.
Ayurvedic philosophy is based on the idea that the development of everyone from birth is governed by a combination of the five basic forces of nature: water, fire, air, earth and ether.
In the privacy of the spa, you have a consultation with the ayurveda doctor who determines your body constitution and selects relevant oils and therapies in accordance with dosha, the energy circulating in your body. Treatment comprises potions made from fresh, natural ingredients, but also oil massages, steam baths and bathing in herbal waters.
Treatments are particularly beneficial for patients suffering from migraine, insomnia, arthritis and gastritis, but can also help in cases of paralysis and practically any affliction. Treatments available at some spas include Abhyanga, a warming full body massage incorporating long and vigorous massage movements stretched over the entire body, utilising ayurveda massage oils to relax and rejuvenate the muscles and joints.
A Shirodhara treatment entails having heated ayurveda oils drizzled over the forehead and scalp to alleviate tension and slow down the brainwaves for total relaxation. This deeply relaxing treatment focuses on stimulating “the third eye” and can aid sleep and reduce stress. Ayurveda treatment not only cures, it provides immunity too. It cannot be hurried so a relaxing holiday at an island resort is the ideal way to experience and benefit from this purely Asian natural therapy.
No matter what spa package or treatment you are looking for, on Visit Maldives you’ll find the best recommendations.
I so cannot wait to leave for the Maldives, refueling my energy, feeling all balanced, fit, relaxed and healthy again. <3
source: Visit Maldives
photo credits: Fredrik Rubensson (flickr) CC BY-SA 2.0; Tobias Wutzow (flickr), CC BY 2.0; yashima (flickr) CC BY-SA 2.0; Kemal Kestelli (flickr) CC BY-ND 2.0; http://www.minorhotels.com; Visit Maldives