Review – Wellness in Paradise – We Test the Tailored Wellbeing Offerings at Anantara Maldives
Set in the North Male Atoll amidst the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, the tropical island of Anantara Dhigu offers the perfect location for a stress-busting getaway…
Just a 30-minute speedboat ride from the Maldivian capital of Malé, Anantara Dhigu shares a tranquil lagoon with its sister island Veli and the exclusive private island Naladhu. 110 spacious beach and over-water villas dot the island – all offer the high standard of luxury you expect in the Maldives – with private decks and terraces, picture-perfect views and direct access to powdery-white beaches and the ocean.
Island culinary offerings include Sea. Fire. Salt. – an ocean-side seafood grill – and the Fushi Café which serves up hearty breakfasts and world-themed evening buffets. You can also venture across the lagoon to Veli, where you’ll find BAAN HURAA – a romantic, lantern-lit Thai restaurant perched on stilts over the water and Origami – a high-end Japanese eatery where the fresh sashimi, sushi, Wagu beef and Black Cod will leave you wanting more… You can also take advantage of Anantara’s ‘Dining by Design’ – where the team will set up a dining experience at a location of your choice – complete with a private butler.
Anantara Maldives take its spa and wellness offering seriously – and it shows. There is a choice of two island spas – plus a dedicated Medi Spa serving the three Anantara islands. Treatments and therapies cover everything from holistic massages and TCM to anti-ageing facials and IV infusions. A treatment highlight is the indulgent 24-Carat Gold Facial – which combines a diamond microdermabrasion, LED Light Therapy and a 24-carat gold face mask – resulting in the most luminous glowing skin.
Daily yoga and fitness classes come part and parcel for all guests to enjoy, and you can also partake in a whole range of water sports – including diving with sharks, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking.
‘Nam Jai’ is the core of Anantara’s wellness philosophy – which in Thai culture refers to ‘sincere kindness and helping others without expectation’. This philosophy shines throughout the spas. Staff, therapists and practitioners are both knowledgeable and empathetic – each going the extra mile to ensure you get the best from your wellness experience. In-house experts include an Ayurveda specialist, a qualified nurse, a naturopath and a nutrition expert. The spa also has various visiting masters throughout the year.
Signature spa journeys include the blissful Anantara Massage which combines movements to stimulate circulation and restore the flow of energy or ‘prana’ along the meridian lines – and it’s a true jet-lag buster. Other journeys include the Sundari Healing Ritual which combines pranayama (yogic breathing) with Abhyanga massage techniques to balance your core chakra.
As well as the impressive therapies, treatment and fitness offerings, the island spas have recently launched a series of dedicated wellness retreats. Headed up by spa director Bodina Qureshi and the highly regarded naturopath Kelly Manning (previously of the iconic Thai wellness retreat Kamalaya), programmes have been designed to deal with common issues such as burnout, stress and sleep as well as gut health and digestion, weight management and blood sugar balance.
Designed to help clients achieve their wellness goals the ‘Anantara Well-Balanced’ programme is designed to address issues such as weight, hormones and physical and mental health – with the aim to help guests create and sustain a healthier lifestyle. The 7-day programme includes an in-depth wellness and lifestyle consultation (this includes anthropometric testing using a Tanita scale monitor – with a check on BMI, cellular hydration, muscle mass and metabolic age), a fitness assessment, colonic hydrotherapy, personalised treatments, fitness activities and a follow-up consultation at home.
If you’re looking for an ultra-luxe wellness getaway ‘Reset by Naladhu’ offers just that. Set on an exclusive private island – with coastal chic beach villas (each with a private pool and private chef) the programme comprises a naturopath consolation, tailored detox and Ayurvedic treatments, IV infusions, as well as bespoke nutrition and fitness plans.
British Airways offer direct return flights from London Heathrow to Male from £769 return. Please visit www.britishairways.com to book.