Maldives

18 May 2015

I took a liking to the ScruCap wine, handpicked for LUX* by chief sommelier Kent Scheermeyer, and had a quick browse through the in-house magazine, which has a look that would fit in seamlessly on the shelves of a lifestyle boutique, alongside independent titles and coffee table tomes

had to take in the Maldives in stages. As a first time visitor here, I was almost suspicious of the natural landscape. The shock of the gleaming turquoise lagoons, forming a halo around the island; the glow of the immaculate white sands; and the density of the tropical flora framing the cerulean sky, each competing for my attention. Gazing out, I spotted a lone palm tree leaning into the beach, creating the archetypal postcard image. I felt the urge to send my friend a quick photo text, “Wish you were here!” I gradually joined all of these pieces together and acclimatised to the beguiling Maldivian colour palette. Welcomed with a cold towel and a fragrant iced tea, with a side of summer breeze, I understood why people flock to these coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. This is the place for respite, a site of preternatural calm.

LUX* MALDIVES

During check in at the lobby, I immediately noticed Café LUX* to my left, a speciality coffee bar serving its own blend, roasted on the island. I observed the barista, perfecting his latte art, and knew the resort was decidedly modern in its approach. Upon arrival at our water villa, I took a liking to the ScruCap wine, handpicked for LUX* by chief sommelier Kent Scheermeyer, and had a quick browse through the in-house magazine, which has a look that would fit in seamlessly on the shelves of a lifestyle boutique, alongside independent titles and coffee table tomes. Here, an easy insouciance and contemporary style prevails. My favourite corner of the island was a lounge and bar called Senses, serving a menu with Maldivian, Sri Lankan, and Indian influences, complete with an infinity pool facing sunset and unhindered ocean views.

luxresorts.com/maldives

CONRAD MALDIVES

The chance to enjoy not one, but two pristine, palm fringed islands gives this classic resort and spa its edge. Joined by a 500m footbridge, the main landmass Rangalifinolhu connects to neighbouring Rangali island. If I had to pick a favourite, I’m partial to Rangali for its exceedingly laid back atmosphere and the quiet zone, an adults-only tented lounge on the beach. I have a fond memory of wobbling back to my room after a champagne and lobster barbecue, vowing to detox the next day, only to wake up and dive into a Japanese breakfast bento box. The meals are quite memorable here. Over on Rangalifnolhu, lunch at Mandhoo was something of an unforgettable experience; dining in an open air, over water restaurant balanced on stilts, 100m out in the Indian Ocean, with baby sharks and sting rays swimming by.

conradhotels.com