My friends and family think I live a charmed five-star lifestyle. Frequent jetting off to exotic resorts and Palace hotels in enchanting cities and ancient villages. I briefly met Randy Shimabuku, GM of Four Seasons Kudaa Huraa for lunch in Palo Alto when he invited me to visit the two Four Seasons Maldives Resorts Kudaa Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru.
There is usually champagne involved at lunch and I thought I misunderstood him…two weeks, really you are inviting me as your guest for two weeks? A far reaching trek across the world, it took me a few months to organize the time. Nothing prepared me for the beauty of the Maldives. I didn’t expect the GM to greet me at the airport in a yacht with bubbly- but Randy is the consummate hotelier.
A peek at my luxurious lifestyle:
7:30 pm Dinner at Baraabaru Restaurant hosted by Randy and his charming wife. Savor authentic Indian cuisine with the Indian Ocean as your backdrop.
7:00 – 8:00 am Sunrise Yoga with Resort Yogi Salute the sun: energize mind, body and spirit. Try yoga on a floating board, it was not a graceful display!
8:30 – 9:30 am Savor a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Café Huraa.
10:30 – 11:15 am Resort Tour
11:30 – 1.00 pm Baraabaru Cooking Class with Chef Subir Chowdhury, Indian Sous Chef
Learn to cook dishes fit for a maharaja on this mouthwatering culinary journey of India. It’s fun, casual and, of course, lunch is included.
3:00 – 4:00 pm Off to The Island Spa, located just a minute away via a dhoni from the Resort. Refresh, rebalance and rejuvenate with wellbeing classes and pioneering OSEA treatments. I consider it my responsibility to try everything, including spa treatments!
5:45 – 7:45 pm Sunset Fishing Cruise the sunset and catch fish the traditional way, by hook hand line and sinker. This relaxed outing often results in a large catch! Lucky fisherman may ask the chefs of our restaurant to prepare a fish to their liking for a leisurely lunch or dinner the next day. I wasn’t particularly lucky, but it was great fun nonetheless. Seeing the exuberance of the ancient well dressed Asian ladies draw in the most fish was fun in itself, they were experts!
8:00 pm Maldivian Night at Sunset Lounge – Savor the taste of the Maldives with a BBQ buffet night of the freshest seafood and succulent meat set on the beach under the stars.
7:30 – 8:30 am Savor a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Café Huraa.
9:00 – 10:00 am Stand Up Paddle Yoga with Resort Yogi. Improve balance and core strength, enhance mindfulness and focus, perfect yogic alignment with this yoga – experience afloat on a stand-up paddle board at the lagoon
10:30 – 11:30 am Maldivian Village Tour Sail to a nearby village, where fishermen and their families have resided for generations. Stroll the narrow streets and buy local crafts as souvenirs. I loved this, seeing where the locals live, meeting kids on playgrounds. Well worth the short trip across the lagoon. Surprising to Randy, they also guided me to a private fish farm.
12:00 pm Lunch is at your leisure
2:00 – 5:00 pm Ray Talk & Marine Life Safari. Join our marine biologist for an adventure to swim among the rays of the Maldives, cruising aboard our traditional dhoni at two snorkel sites.
5:00 – 7:00 pm Dolphin Talk and Cruise. The waters near Kuda Huraa are frequented by spinner dolphins. Join our Marine Biologist for a short briefing on this marine animal. Hop on board and cruise through the atoll.
7:00 pm Kuda’s Crab Race Come one, come all, test your luck with our island’s hermit crabs!
7:30 pm Dinner is at your leisure.
Day Four 8:30 – 9:30 am Savor a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Café Huraa.
10:00 – 10:30 am Visit the Marine Discovery Centre. The heart of our marine research and conservation. It’s run by our expert team of Marine Biologists who’ll wow you with astounding facts and wondrous sea tales for starters.
11:30 to 1:00 pm Heart of the House Tour Discover how we keep the lights on and the water running in the middle of nowhere on this fascinating behind-the-scenes island tour.
1:00 pm Lunch is at your leisure
2:30 – 4:30 pm Discover Scuba Diving for Beginners. Learn the basics and experience the joy of weightlessness in our safe shallow lagoon. Loved this and my new underwater camera was so much fun to use!
7:30 pm Ghar Ka Khana at Baraabaru – Meaning “homestyle cooking” in Hindi. This theme promises a night of wholesome, fragrant fare from across the Indian subcontinent. From curries and kebabs, breads and biryanis, chutneys and salads to over splendid Desserts.
Day Five 8:30 – 9:30 am Savor a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Café Huraa.
Transfer via seaplane from Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa to Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. The transfer will take approximately 35 minutes.
The routine began again at Landaa- although once they read my previous schedule, the GM suggested I take a break and ride my bike around the island on my own time.
Randy, had me scheduled every hour. I would bump into him on property, he would inquire, how is it going?! My reply: I’m exhausted – you have me scheduled from 7 am and I have dinner with someone from each department every night!
There was a method to his madness, I became an expert on the resort and I can advise my clients on activities and which property would suit them. Actually, I would recommend a stay at both Four Seasons.
The glamorous photos tell my story, this travel has become my lifestyle. How to be an expert? It is moving about a bit and staying in multiple hotel brands, how better to tell our lovely clients – you will LOVE this hotel for these reasons! Or when a cleint calls and says: Gwen, talk me out of this amazing property with rooms that are over $3000 a night – I reply, you must stay, you will never forget the experience, but perhaps you don’t need the star bed on the rooftop!