Oops, I did it again!
If you would have said to me a few years ago that I would, in my lifetime, have the opportunity to ‘holiday’ in the Maldives seven times I would have looked straight through you in disbelief and yet, here I am, writing and sharing with you another whirlwind escape to the heavenly islands.
‘Pinch me’ moments aside I am now somewhat of an expert when it comes to the Indian Ocean and the paradise pockets of white sand that make up The Maldives. I am still just as in love as I was on my first visit but the beauty of the islands natural scenery is just a small portion of what makes them so enviable and the destination so sought-after.
With year-round warm weather and tropical landscapes that force you to rub your eyes checking ‘it’s real’ there really is no place in the world quite like it. This is why some of the world’s best hotel groups have chosen the country to set up their own bespoke versions of a utopian retreat.
Just last month I was immersed into a whole new paradise, The St Regis Vommuli Resort.
The five star, award winning resort is a forty five minute seaplane ride from the international airport of Male and as soon as the aircraft touches down on the water you are greeted with the resorts undeniable beauty, not just of the island but also the smiling staff that are there waving hello to greet you.
St Regis Vommuli Resort is one of the smallest islands I’ve visited in The Maldives but one of the most beautiful. The beaches are bright white and kept immaculate at all times, the palm tress grow tall and lush with life, the ocean is crystal clear and turquoise (even during frequent cloudy spells) and the architecture throughout the resort is nothing short of spectacular.
For me, this is what sets the St Regis apart from the other hotels in The Maldives, the entire resort is like walking through a live version of Architectural Digest. The structures are all pieces of art within their own rights, all uniquely designed with the ocean at the forefront of the architects mind. The spa is shaped like a lobster from a birds eye view, the sunset bar is in the design of a whale even the rooms themselves all play a role in the oceanic ethos of the resort, it’s such a special touch.
During our stay we spent our evenings slumbering in one of the hotel’s dreamy Water Villas.
The luxury of staying above the ocean never loses it’s magic, no matter how many fortunate times I’ve woken up above the waves beneath me I never take for granted that feeling of pure tranquility and grateful awareness of the environment that you feel when you wake up in a water villa.
The standard sized water suites at St Regis are the largest I’ve stayed in throughout the world for this category of room, you feel as though you’re in one of the presidential suites in fact. There’s a huge open spaced living, dining and bedroom area which has sliding glass doors out to the sea spanning from left to right and then a huge bathroom with couple sinks and separate bath area, as well as a dressing room and vanity area.
The room even comes complete with your very own butler service, our ‘Man of the Maldives’ was a charming chap called Eddie and he made us feel as though nothing was out of our reach from the very moment we checked in, he even offered to unpack our cases for us in the room!
With the suite there’s a payable mini bar and free tea and coffee making facilities there’s also the standard wonderful luxuries of staying in a five star resort with slippers, robes, flip flops, sunhats and a beach bag all provided. The bathroom amenities were some of the most extensive I’ve had when staying away from home, they even provide you with their very own brand of sunscreen. We showered multiple times a day and never once had to re-use a single fluffy towel and the turn down service always left us with a novel treat, be that a cute towel animal or a drawn bath full of petals, there was always a personal touch to return ‘home’ to.
The room’s wanderlust wow factor is displayed, I hope in these pictures, but it was the personal touches that made the St Regis stand out from the crowd for me, they even offered daily complimentary clothes pressing, which when you have a busy schedule of sunbathing followed by snorkeling was an amazing way to ‘take a load off’ 😉
We spent all four nights in a water villa and the novelty of being above the ocean is something I would recommend to all first time visitors to the Maldives. The resort does also feature a selection of stunning beachfront villas as well, including some two story family options. We didn’t get to tour the properties but we did get a glimpse from the beach into their gorgeous outdoor pools!
The spa at the St Regis is World famous, not just because of the unique lobster shape design but also because of the stunning Blue Hole pool. You plunge into infinity with a team of powerful jets to soothe your aches and ailments, all the while with that awe-inspiring view of the Indian ocean.
The treatment rooms are all set up as private water villas, complete with outdoor bathrooms and unobstructed views of the ocean and the treatments themselves are just as dreamy and rejuvenating as your stay.
The Iridium Spa is also where daily yoga stakes place and where I took full advantage of a morning stretch. Every one of my days started with the sea breeze in my face as I strengthened my mind and soul. The classes are free to sign up to and I was lucky enough to be the only person in the class on a few occasions meaning I was treated to some one-on-one expertise and attention. There’s no better way to start the day. They also offer evening sunset yoga and for those of you looking for more of a challenging work out, the gym at St Regis was fantastic, I worked out every day and the facilities were amazing, everything you needed and all the while with air conditioning and a palm tree view 😉
The Maldives is all about the dreamy daytime lazing and escaping from the effort of physical and emotional action. The evenings simply extend the tranquil act of ‘doing nothing’ and it’s fabulous.
At the St Regis there’s a beautiful guest tradition of watching the sunset from the magnificent whale bar. The stylish bar (that is fondly designed in the shape of a whale so immediate bonus points from me!) is a stunning place to hang out in the evenings when the sky teams up with the sun to paint a one-of-a-kind painting across the gorgeous backdrop of the resort. There’s either live music or a DJ filling the space with the perfect beach club style ambiance and there’s also an extensive cocktail list with a-la-carte snacks. All in all it’s a perfectly charming place to park yourself for a few hours 😉
It’s a rarity to get me out of my room past 7pm in the Maldives but we were excited to sit and sip here every night and on each occassion we were treated to a sabre show, a St Regis tradition all over the world. It dates back to the battles of Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously opened champagne with his sabre in both victory and defeat. The tradition was continued on by Madame Verve Cliquot and then by Caroline Astor, mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV. It was especially gorgeous to watch the champagne pop over the ocean (with an eco-conscious ribbon attached don’t worry) and even more glorious when they handed a glass each to us afterwards 😉
What’s the food like in The Maldives? A question I’m so often asked. Well that depends on the resort my lovelies and in the case of The St Regis Maldives, the food is blooming fantastic!
The breakfast has won awards for it’s deliciousness in fact and rightly so, I’ve never in my years as a travel host and blogger enjoyed breakfast time more than here. The setting is stunning, the chic open air design with billowing fabrics draping over the windows and palm tree ocean views is breathtaking and then the food is on a whole other level of excellence. There’s a large walk-around buffet indoors with a wide spread of pastries, breads, cheeses, hot foods, fruits, salads and dairy. Then there’s a 7 page menu of a-la-carte dishes to make your brain work overtime trying to figure out what to order. The good news is you can order as much as you like and I can promise you now, ordering four or five dishes is the only way to make it out of breakfast without a searing headache, it would be impossible to chose otherwise!
Each and every dish that was delivered with a smile to me was delicious. The combination of flavours and tastes was remarkable and considering all I planned to do for the rest of the day was horizontal based (either on a sun bed or in the ocean), I happily overindulged every day.
Lunch was either an easy pizza or wrap by the beach (or pool) or a more formal dining experience in the resort’s main restaurant, Alba. We were, if I’m totally honest always too full from breakfast to even think about lunch on most days however!
Dinner was a real treat at the resort with a number of different dining options to chose from after dark. The St Regis has 6 restaurants in total but when it comes to dining in the evening the most novel and exciting of them all, in my opinion, is the Jungle Cinema. For this unique treat you’re whisked into the central island Jungle where a projector screen it set up beneath palm trees and a small dining table and sofa area is set up for your evening meal. Your private waiter then plays a film of your (pre-ordered) choice whilst serving you a delicious five course meal. Headphones are set at the table so that you can hear the movie clearly (similarly to a silent disco) and you just sit and watch, whilst feasting, in your own little paradise cinema. It’s definitely one of the coolest dining set ups I’ve ever had in The Maldives and it was a great alternative to a romantic candle lit dinner for us especially, travelling as mother and daughter.
I bring this whole story of words to life in my latest YouTube video here:
Disclaimer – This trip was partly paid for by the lovely team at St Regis Maldives. The flights and additional nights were paid for in full by us. All views are unbiased and my own.
I own the rights to all these pictures.