Inspiration for 2023. City and Sapphire Seas, Maldives.

Like our unique fingerprints, there is a property for each of us.  Where to go 2023? Snippets from some of my most memorable Journeys. – Maldives – do not tell me it is too far! So many of our clients have visited Four Seasons Bora Bora and The Brando- it’s not much farther and is so well worth the time.

Maldives Four Seasons

Nothing prepared me for the beauty – this is a perfect time to add another country to visit – city and beach, Singapore and Sea!  It is worth the distance to reach the luxury properties surrounded by the pristine gin clear waters.

The Four Seasons Maldives properties offer the highest level of Luxury, it’s time to begin plotting your winter and spring escapes!  Consisting of two hotel properties, which I love and if you need an exclusive Private Island amid the indigo seas, the Four Seasons also has a scrumptious private island home. 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! 

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the staggering natural beauty of the Maldives fully and accurately. From the air, nothing prepared me for the extraordinary glimpse of the turquoise seas, the oval halo of atolls and islands, in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, crystal clear seas in a thousand shades of indigo, accented by white sugar sandy beaches…it was breathtaking!

Met by a dazzling Four Seasons motor yacht, Ahoy, Captain! Leave a trailing foamy white wake behind as you are whisked a mere 30 minutes to the very elegant paradise of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Resort. One barely has a minute to sip a glass of bubbly or refresh with the scented towel! Rarefied Luxury awaits! The nation of the Maldives stretches a thin 510 miles and the footprint of Kuda Huraa is not as large as their adjacent property Landaa Giraavaru, yet the grounds are a beautifully landscaped utopia; imagine fragrant plumeria, bright blooming bougainvillea and towering date and banana trees. A quiet breeze ruffles the leafy fronds all day.

Arrival to Landaa Giraavaru, an utterly different Four Seasons island experience. Arrive either by the Explorer or take a dhoni out to the floating seaplane dock mere minutes from the Four Seasons Kuda property for a quick 10-minute seaplane flight to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru.

Landaa Giraavaru is charming and in its own way, a bit more laid back, truly tony barefoot chic. The smartly decorated beach villas have plunge pools, deep plots of jungle with an outdoor tree house structure for al fresco dining or lounging, hammocks are dangling under shady palm fronds, a double chaise welcomes you at the beach. Over water bungalows are also featured here and are low to the ground for a quick dip in the sea.

Landaa Giraavaru island is larger than Kuda, adding meandering sandy paths laid out in the inner perimeter of the jungle island; good signage directs your bicycle adventure to the spa, various restaurants, dive shop, the Marine center and the medicinal herb garden.

Dinner for Two Blu Maldives Four Seasons

Nothing prepared me for the extraordinary glimpse of the turquoise seas, the sweeping ring of atolls and islands from the air; in the middle of the vast Indian ocean, crystal clear seas in a thousand shades of indigo, many accentuated by white sugar sandy beaches…it was breathtaking. The Four Seasons Maldives Resorts are gems in the midst of the turquoise seas. I’m certain the mixture of the natural splendor of the islands and the warm welcoming people, the Maldives will enchant and cast a spell over you! The Maldivian Magic can’t be expressed by words or in pictures, a visit is essential!

Maldives Four Seasons How to be a Resort Expert

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.

Four Seasons Maldives, Kudaa Huraa

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.

Day Two

Nothing prepared me for the beauty of the Maldives.

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.

An aerial view of an assortment of Indian food at Baraabaru Indian Thali
Signature Dishes and Ingredients at m Baraabaru

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.

Day Three

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.

Evening view of Baraabaru restaurant dining patio on the water, with tropical flower arrangements, lanterns
Baraabaru Restaurant

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.

Outdoor entrance to restaurant, with illuminated steps, blue sky at desk, two planters
Cafe Huraa

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

Kandu Grill at night, with candlelit dining tables under a towering palm, perched on ocean and infinity pool

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.

Poolside Bar

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!

Only one of my diving videos- the water is gin clear!