There are so many reasons to travel to the Four Seasons Giraavaru in the Maldives. This remote part of the world is a treasure of 26 atolls made up of 1,192 islands floating in the Indian ocean. It's a ‘wow' experience. There’s sun, surf, spa, diving, and snorkeling – but switching off and re-connecting with the part in ourselves that feels fine about doing absolutely nothing - now that’s what we define as real wellness!
But how good does it feel to take time out to cleanse and rejuvenate your being at one of the most luxurious resorts in the world? Reached only by seaplane, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru houses a first-class Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat with healing, anti-aging, spa, yoga and detox.
Accommodation-wise, you can stay in the classic over-the-water villas but we loved our beach bungalow-style villa with pool located a few footprints in the sand from the sea (taking a dip in the calm bath-like warm waters at sunrise is such a uplifting way to greet the world). The beach villas come with all the essentials to help you cultivate the art of doing nothing including a hammock, a massive bathtub, tropical outdoor shower and your own private pool – strip off, go barefoot and feel free!
Enter the Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat that has been medically accredited, and meander through three acres of serene greenery, a herb garden and clusters of spa spaces including open-air pavilions and an Ayurvedic Pharmacy. Slow down, breathe and hear the rhythmic sound of OM vibrating throughout the gardens.
As the Maldives is only an hour’s flight from Southern India, the birthplace of Ayurveda, it makes sense that this ancient Indian medicine system features highly on the menu. The ethos here is all about immersing oneself in wellness and Ayurveda is centric to the spa. What’s distinct, however, is the high-level of thought and creativity behind these results-based experiences.
Every resort guest has the opportunity to take up the complimentary consultation with the resident Ayurvedic physician. Note that to become an Ayurvedic Physician in India requires one to not only study conventional medicine for six years but also yoga, nutrition and herbal medicine – with training in how to understand the health of a person through observation, pulse diagnosis, sound and touch. It’s one of the oldest and most holistic health systems in the world.
Want to tread gently into the world of Ayurveda? We recommend one of the Ayurvedic Immersions such as the 7-day Explore, 14-day Absorb and the 21-day Commit. These include accommodation, meals, transfers etc. and health consultation followed by a prescribed series of treatments, herbal medicines and tonics, yoga, nutrition and cooking classes. However, if you feel ready to go the next level with your health then book into a 14-21 day intensive Panchakarma retreat that are supervised by the Ayurvedic Physician and entail detoxifying treatments, cleansing foods and medicines.
Tantra also derives from Ayurveda-India and here they have transformed some of the aspects of this ancient practice into sublime 90-minute Tantric Traditions that can be taken solo or with a partner. The Devi Bhavani Tantric Tradition, for example, is delivered by two female tantric therapists and consists of massage, mantras, cleansing steam, bathing, sacred song and healing sounds - all tailored to empower your femininity. For couples, the Kundalini Ritual, is designed to release blockages and deepen awareness.
With seventeen complimentary yoga classes held each week, this modality is also central to the wellness offerings. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru was the first luxury resort in the region to launch the Anti-Gravity Yoga, where you basically hang upside down and swing on parachute–style fabric. The motion of doing inversions and postures while suspended feels amazing. Easily unlocks muscle tension and gets the blood flowing as you float and fly.
Some of the other yoga styles include Ashtanga, Power, Haatha, Aqua, Pregnancy yoga and yoga nidra and meditation. With some sessions held on blissful spaces such as an over-water deck, it’s not hard to be tempted to stretch your mind and body to the sound of lapping waves surrounded by the natural elements of sun, water, moon and sky.
It’s always reassuring to see the Ila-Spa brand on the shelves at a spa and the seven two-hour Chakra Ceremonies menu that have been curated from these products are fantastic. For something enchanting (and sleep-enhancing), book Landaa Giraavaru’s Om Supti Night Spa Ritual that is only preformed at night in a private jungle clearing. Imagine the sensation of bathing in Ila-spa Himalayan salt crystals in an outdoor stone bath under the stars – where else in the world would you rather be?
In the end, it’s the hospitality of the people that make a vacation at a resort so memorable. The Maldivians are traditional islanders who seem to impart a relaxed and upbeat energy. Even if you do absolutely nothing here, you are bound to return home re-energized and glowing with life-force.
Pure TDA Facials
Rossano Ferretti Hair Salon
Situated on a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
Complimentary wifi (if you must)
Marine Discovery Center
Family & Kids activities
Young Adults Center