Imagine Chic Castaway setting and surroundings, barefoot luxury sums up the picture-perfect description of this rustically beautiful Six Senses Resort. With good reason, if you peruse the leading island getaways, you will find the Maldives on top of every list for an unspoiled hideaway escape.
Located deep in the Indian Ocean, on the remote Laamu Atoll on the island of Olhuveli, a flight from the Male airport and a 35 min speedboat ride drops you at Six Senses. Boat Captain provides a linen bag for your shoes, the message is clear – chill and relax! The blueprint of the resort is compact, your personal bicycle provides the perfect transport around the sandy paths, do mind the road and stay to the left!
The village footprint clusters the social spots i.e. restaurants and boutiques gathered on jetty’s which extend into the cerulean seas, you may feel you are floating and totally untethered here, which is a good thing! One with nature as the restaurants merge inside with outside, there are clear plastic rollers in the event of rain or wind; indoor merging with outdoor is by design at the Six Senses. Snuggle into the deep cushioned booths literally floating above the crystal-clear seas, your singular distraction may be a dolphin cruising past your orchestra seat on the sea. Guests lingered in these comfy large cushioned sofas, it was abundantly clear that the chill potion was in effect!
I stayed in an overwater bungalow and a lagoon/ocean villa, I like both for various reasons. Lagoon Beach Villas look onto the lagoon, Ocean Beach Villas are on the other side of the island, with uninterrupted ocean views. Lagoon Water Villas are along three jetties, offering the most privacy and best views of open water, a trio of eagle rays sailed past me while I was reading at my lagoon villa. Overwater Bungalows are very private and require using a ladder to the sea below.
One admirable Six Senses trademark is its devotion to sustainability and eco-friendly environments at all of its resorts. Villas are carved from local wood, many have roof top star decks, my overwater bungalow featured a stunning outdoor glass bathtub, I could literally spy on fish swimming below my tub, all have multiple outdoor rainforest showers. Fancy a day of reading from your over water hammock, check! Glass panels are installed in the floor of the loo and in the cubby dining tables on the deck. Bohemian chic, with a high level of service and ultimate comfort in every respect. The overwater bungalows are some of the most private I’ve ever visited; natural screens protect you from seeing your neighbors. The overwater bungalows are sited with specific views, either sunset or sunrise, the larger bungalows at the end of the jetty have their own infinity pools. Spectacular views from your elevated bed or deck are mesmerizing and unsurpassed. I loved the soothing and calming background music of the ocean lapping against the pilings. I managed to balance the breeze by keeping all my windows and doors open, never using the ac. Families may prefer the two-bedroom beach villas, many have plunge pools and al fresco dining rooms and are just steps from the protected sea, a leisurely beach walk can be accessed from the beach villas.
DINING – Several restaurants are on the main jetty, Chill Bar is the perfect cocktail and sunset location, you may be transfixed by the iconic atoll shaped glass floor. Sushi aficionados will be sated at the Japanese restaurant Zen, popular items are the sushi boats and tempura. I loved lunch at Sip & Sip, with swim up pool bar, a near the beach setting, the fish tacos are fresh & scrumptious! My favorite dinner was at Leaf – although I didn’t cross the suspension bridge dangling over the organic garden, the beach stairs make you feel you are ascending into an enormous tree house. Ultimately chicer than the Swiss Family tree house offering delectable dining, the center open kitchen drew many guests, but I like the under the stars corners perched above the sand and sea. The extensive organic garden surrounding Leaf provides most of the vegetables served at the resort. Variety is the spice of life and Six Senses offers abundant choices, do order in and perch over the glass floor on your over water deck, I thought about sleeping there my first night! Oh, did I mention the ice cream bar where free ice cream is served all day long, 46 flavors, try them all! See post here: https://www.gwenbooks.com/tag/six-senses-resorts/
I loved the freedom of riding my personalized bike around the island to dinner or to the spa, I have to say the personal GEM (Guest Experience Maker) kept track of where I may have left my bike each evening as it was propped outside my door every morning, like a homing pigeon! Buggy’s are on call if you prefer to be driven.
ACTIVITIES This is the perfect spot if you are a wind surfer, like SUP or kayaking, the Marine Center is fully stocked. Snorkel or take a scuba class, wake boarding or waterskiing, water sports are fully covered at Six Senses. If you prefer indoor exercise, the glass walled gym will make you think you are outside. Yoga is available on the roof top studio, including aerial classes, resting lounges and the juice bar are right next door providing pristine views of paradise. Prefer a private picnic on a deserted sand bar, easily arranged! One very unique feature is the jungle cinema screenings under the stars, curl up on a bean bag or a lounge and settle in for a movie! Kids can pretty much roam free here and attesting to the kiddy bikes, there were quite a few staying. Although during the day, I thought the resort was deserted, guests were busy with activities…I realized by seeing diners in the evening that the resort was almost sold out. The Kids Club had an amazing list of activities and based on the colorful wall art, they offer a plethora of drawing and painting classes. I would be tempted to take a class, the art work was that spectacular & creative!
I took a tour of the local village accessed by boat and I would recommend a visit. It’s a quiet island life, mostly sustained by fishing, the small school was populated by friendly kids interested to see their photos replayed on your phone or camera.
Spa – Six Senses Resorts are highly regarded for their spas and I can attest to this from my visits in the Douro Valley in Portugal and Zighy Bay in Oman. My bike led me to the spa by following a fragrance trail, located within a patch of lush greenery. Treatment beds are ensconced under enormous vine covered trellis resembling an inverted bird nest, with, of course a view of the turquoise seas, nirvana!
As usual, Six Senses did not disappoint! I am completely surprised by how much I loved visiting the Maldives, it truly is a very special paradise.