Four Seasons Maldives Private Island – Voavah

A heavenly hideaway, a sublime sanctuary offering the utmost in privacy and iconic Four Seasons pampering at the world’s first exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway, Voavah. A seven-bedroom private island Maldives home, the sojourn includes a 62-foot luxury yacht: Voavah Summer and a marine territory that’s utterly your own! Voavah, private island is a welcome addition to the two luxurious Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives.

Our mantra on the art of the opening act, your arrival sets the stage: with a personal VIP Seaplane, alighting on the pristine pure white sand, your private beach! Tip toe over the scuttling white shelled hermit crabs and the delicious dilemma develops, what shall you do first: laps in the pool, a discovery afternoon of diving or casting, or snooze until sunset? Decisions, decisions!

Sneak peek: accommodating up to 22 guests in seven bedrooms, with its own chefs, staff, private spa, and a 65-foot-long PADIequipped motor yacht with a dedicated dive master. This extraordinary five-acre, island paradise is your private playground – retreat or indulge in the total privacy as a castaway!

Explore the outstanding wonders of the sea with incomparable diving – an overflowing menu of possibilities including snorkeling with manta rays, scuba diving, fishing, paddle boarding, hunting for brilliant turtles and afternoon dolphin safaris on your private motor yacht. As the day ebbs, prepare for a shimmering canvas of five-star sunsets or stargazing under a midnight blue sky illuminated with a necklace of sparkling stars. Nighttime skyglow is magical in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives hover just above the equator.

Privacy is everything at Voavah. Let us whisk you away on arrival in Malé with CIP services for immigration clearing and access to a VIP seaplane for the 40-minute onward flight to Voavah.  Privacy and protection certain due to Voavah’s 24-hour on-site security, night-vision cameras, CCTV and regular patrols, guests can indulge and begin checking off the long list of pleasurable activities from the moment they arrive. Voavah’s single entry point means no one arrives without staff knowledge. Medical Services – All of the guests have access to a 24-hour doctor on call, as well as access to Landaa Clinic (20 minutes away).

This incredible location in the remote Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve, Voavah offers the freedom of a castaway in a luxurious setting, a private paradise. A blissful over-water spa, the yacht Summer, a staff of more than 20, including a team or personal butlers and an epicurean chef. Three stunning villas accommodate the guests. Cleverly configured to host extended family and friends or your fashionable entourage in a three-bedroom beach front villa, a two-bedroom over-water bungalow and a crucial beach house containing a suite and a bunk room for up to four children, perfect for the nanny.

Just steps from the powder sands, the Three-Bedroom Beach Villa at Voavah is a sight to behold. With a massive sunbathing pool, al fresco living room and master bedroom with ocean views on three sides, the vast beach-chic interiors ooze effortless style and an undeniable at-home vibe. The master bedroom has an attached study/children’s room, while the two additional bedrooms are each housed in their own separate pavilion.

Divide your time around the two-story Beach House and the broad expanse of sugar white sand, gin clear seas and the rich reef teeming with marine life, the ultimate castaway lifestyle! The Beach House living room merges outside with inside, a library and loft lounge, a dining room, gourmet kitchen, an expansive pool deck, and a rock star gym. The  seven bedrooms span three separate venues over the lagoon, on the beach, or in the Mezzanine Suites. The most elevated position on the island, the two Mezzanine Suites at Voavah overlook the vast beach, turquoise lagoon and Biosphere Reserve beyond. Located at either end of the Beach House upper floor, each suite’s ocean-view outdoor sea-view shower and panoramic balcony deliver the height of residential chic. The Mezzanine Suites flank the Loft Lounge, a lovely in-the-eaves chill zone complete with comfy seating, pool table and views that stretch forever. Just off the Lounge, the Bunk Room has beds for up to four children, creating a great kids’ floor for larger groups.

The Voavah Vibe is all about satisfying and spoiling the guests, providing the ultimate in bespoke experiences. Last minute plea for sundowners as an exceptional sunset signals the closure of another perfect day, the chef will oblige! Kiddos dying for a pizza class, yes, of course! Sunrise on the sandbar, consider it done! Heard your friends are dining at Blu at Landaa Giraavaru, it’s a 25-minute cruise to the Four Seasons resort under a black sky twinkling with diamonds.

Expanding horizons, The Oceans of Consciousness Spa offers bespoke over-water spa therapies and rituals; yoga, meditation and pranayama classes; high-end beauty treatments; and Rossano Ferretti hair consultant on call. Private and perched over the glistening lagoon, the Spa offers bespoke treatments by ila inspired by the five pathways to consciousness: Truth, Wise Choices, Love, Peace and Compassion. Sink into your inner bliss with tailored treatments attributed to a specific pathway.

Devote delightful days discovering the undisturbed UNESCO paradise, Voavah Summer will introduce you to snorkeling or diving with whale sharks, year around manta rays; surfing on unknown breaks, casting for a sea banquet, exploring local islands, basking in sensational sunsets on the Baa Atoll, pleasurable moments are never-ending.


Imagine Bliss!


Pestana Palace Lisboa

Pestana Palace Lisboa – The Royal Suites are upstairs in this main building

Catching up with my delightful two weeks in Portugal. I was pleasantly surprised to stay in so many Palace hotels in Portugal, whether in the city or the countryside, Portugal has a plethora of charming historic palaces. Of course, location matters, some of the hotels require transportation to the city centre, a few are centrally located, the question arises – would you prefer a picturesque view of the Tagus River and the dramatic skyline or would you prefer to walk right out the door and be in the midst of the city scene, including tourists if you visit in summer.

Elegant Suites in main building Pestana Palace Lisboa

One of my favorites in Lisboa, is the elegant Pestana Palace, built in 1904 by a coco baron who enhanced the extensive garden with subtropical trees and shrubbery. The grand Palace is also classified as a National Monument and has added fame due to the lengthy stay of Madonna and her children while her nearby home was under renovation. Even if you haven’t attained Marquis status, you will definitely feel like royalty at the Pestana Palace!

Casa de Lago, it overlooks the pool at Pestana Palace Lisboa – Breakfast & Lunch served in summer

Located on the banks of the Tagus River encompassing views of the 25th of April suspension bridge, the residential neighborhood is quiet and a marvelous area for long walks through small parks. A massive 12-year renovation adding two modern wings was finished in 2001, the original Palace contains four royal suites upstairs with terraces and decorated with grand canopied beds. Opulent and classically French-inspired design details include beautiful stained-glass windows in the circular entrance hall, a massive marble stairway leads to several discrete salons intended for afternoon tea or evening cocktails. To say you feel like you are in a Merchant Ivory film would not be out of character; however, the new wings with 176 rooms and 13 suites are more modern, decorated with tasteful antique furniture.

Amid the graceful gardens is a Turkish spa, a fitness center, an indoor swimming pool and amid the beautiful lush garden is a large curved swimming pool which was originally a garden lake. Restful and relaxing even if it isn’t summer, it was delightful in November.

Pestana Palace pool

Dining, the Bar Allegro on the upper floor serves cocktails and light meals – a marvelous spot for an evening nightcap while listening to the piano. The restaurant Valle Flôr, in the sumptuous family ballroom serves traditional Portuguese dishes. In summer, wander to the Oriental red pavilion, Casa de Lago, it overlooks the pool and serves light meals and snacks all day.

I loved my stay and enjoyed being able to walk around the quiet neighborhood where the locals in the park reflected the stylish neighborhood – children playing and a few tables of elderly gentlemen enjoying an afternoon card game.

Do add a performance of traditional Fado music and dinner at O Faia, while you are in Lisbon. Taxi driver can be organized by the hotel, you won’t be able to find the location on your own, the twisty narrow streets of nighttime Lisboa are packed with locals…most of the bars are so small, everyone congregates in the streets, it’s very festive! The hilly avenues barely allow passing, let alone rounding a corner without encountering a guest casually enjoying an after dinner drink with absolutely no regard to the car brushing by her chair.

Pestana Palace, this was my favorite spot for pre and post dinner drinks…a slice of Royal life!

Pestana Palace Lisboa Fresco ceilings enhance the Salons

Pestana Palace favorite location for afternoon tea

Bar Allegro Postana Palace Hotel Lisboa

Do walk around the refined neighborhood, there aren’t any shops, but it’s a little hilly, exercise guaranteed!

Saturday locals gathering for a friendly card game.

Stylish, elegant and a slice of royal life Pestana Palace Lisboa, highly recommend!