Luxebook September 2023

which are often held here. Private island bliss Hidden away is the Four Seasons Maldives private island Voavaah, a short boat ride from Landaa Giravaaru, that can be privately booked out for US$45 million for a minimum stay of two nights. It comes with its private 19 metre yacht, dive centre, spa, Beach House, seven bedrooms, resident pod of dolphins, and can be booked for up to 21 guests. Done up in Balinese style, some of the bedrooms come with attached private pools. Besides, there’s a grand drawing room, a tropical forest outside, and its fit for an intimate wedding venue, or the most memorable party with friends or family. Four Seasons Maldives has three properties in the country, Kuda Huraa, done up like a traditional Maldivian village, the newer, swankier Landa Giravaaru, and the private island Voavaah, accessed from Landa Giravaaru via boat. To arrive in style, the Four Seasons has its dedicated lounge at the airport to receive you, with good coffee and WiFi access, and their own seaplane called Triggerfish and Boxfish in a bright yellow or blue to greet you at the airport, much more comfortable than the other options. Sandbank parties & surfing Once you arrive, prepare for a true immersion into paradise, with their island spa, the wellness resort called AyurMa, if you are in the mind-frame for an advanced Ayurveda holistic programme including dietary, exercise and mindfulness activities. How gorgeous is the dream of awakening your kundalini to the sound of the waves breaking nearby even as the sun rises in front of you, filling the sky with a coral hue as bright as some of the corals you may find below? AyurMa, a retreat at the resort, is built around the four pillars of yoga therapy, ayurveda, wellness and planetary wellbeing, and it is a great excuse to connect with your true self. I came back believing in an alternative lifestyle, one in which was possible to use innovative techniques to ancient wisdom on a journey to health and happiness. AyurMa in its essence, believes in reconciling ancient practices with modern lifestyle, strategies that would help us cope with the stresses of modernity by using their approach without having to live the life of a sage. Says Dr Arun,“Meaning “mother of life,” AyurMa invites you to reset your awareness and embark on a path to health, harmony and happiness, where the emphasis is on loving the earth as you love yourself. Alongside an award-winning team of Ayurvedic doctors, naturopaths and yoga therapists, it is the perfect setting to overcome whatever issues are holding you back during tailored therapeutic programs. The gurus at the retreat do not believe in the same old traditional ways to finding balance in life. Their anti-gravity yoga makes you believe you can ‘fly’, doing gravity defying poses from suspended hammocks. Then they have the beginner friendly saltwater pool aqua-yoga, with hatha postures. The aqua float yoga is done with floating mats, which helps challenge you and improve core strength, balance and range of motion. Marine wildlife and conservation The Baa Atoll is widely popular for the largest manta ray population in Maldives, over 1600, and it isn’t uncommon to find them in schools of hundreds swimming in the area. Landaa Giravaaru established the Maldives Manta Ray Project, and during manta season guests can be part of a fun activity called ‘manta-on-call’. Upon arrival, divers are provided with small phones which then can be utilised to contact them whenever mantas are spotted by the dive centre who keeps a watch. Otherwise, there are plenty other marine animals that may be spotted, such as dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, among others. Children can spend the day shadowing the marine biologists on site which makes for a scenic summer vacation project, while adults can learn how to conserve corals with the projects ongoing at the dive centre. They inaugurated Maldives’ first turtle rehabilitation centre in 2011, and have identified 350-plus The Sea Bar is where the resort has a ritual ‘shark feeding’ session. Believe me, when I say, those sharks don’t look like they need feeding. Unlike many resorts that you would find in the Maldives, the sharks of the Baa Atoll, around the property are huge, and the diversity in reef fishes that swim around the property has to be seen to be believed, from groupers, boxfish, triggerfish, snappers, sting rays, parrotfish, to others. While a thing or two can be said about the sunset, sitting on the hammocks over water, it is far more thrilling to come see the fishes come and dance around in an attempt to get away with the maximum meat. The Maldivian resort life The property is home to over 100 accomodations, from water to beach villas of various sizes.The resort has been designed by renowned architect Murad Ismail, and is an Al Barakat at Landaa Giraavaru Al Barakat at Landaa Giraavaru Blu Beach Club Beach at Landaa Giraavaru Chef Gaetano Trovato-Blu Beach Club Beach at Landaa Giraavaru 32|LUXEBOOK|SEPTEMBER 2023 SEPTEMBER 2023 |LUXEBOOK|33