Danish author Isak Dinesen once wrote, “The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears or the sea”. Such was the case at the Maldivian sanctuary Leanda Rathmell stayed at recently – though, it must be said that while the sea featured heavily (and, yes, a little bit of sweat), there were definitely no tears!
One of four properties in the Four Seasons Maldives collection, Landaa Giraavaru sits on 44 acres of wilderness in the secluded Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Surrounded by one of the country’s largest lagoons, these shallow waters are full of life and hold witness to many of nature’s miracles, from magnificent coral formations to some of the largest manta ray gatherings in the world. Inspired by such a rich ecosystem, the resort puts wellbeing at the heart of its ethos.
Landaa Giraavaru’s location in the UNESCO reserve places guests in close proximity to several virgin dive sites and just a short boat ride from renowned manta ray and whale shark hotspots. The PADI Five-Star IDC Dive Centre offers the full spectrum of courses – from Seal Team AquaMissions (for eight years and over) through to Master Scuba Diver (the highest non-professional PADI ranking).
Those looking to stay dry can check out the recently launched DeepFlight Adventures; the world’s first DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S is a personal pressurised submarine that eliminates the need to equalise and has a 360-degree viewing dome. With a professional pilot at the controls, passengers can reach a depth of 120 feet, exploring coral formations and cruising alongside dolphins and shoals of kaleidoscope fish, as well as encounters with the likes of turtles, sharks and manta rays.
Back on land, you get to learn more about these magnificent creatures at The Marine Discovery Centre, and also of their ongoing projects from the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Program and Maldivian Manta Ray Project, to coral transplanting and ornamental fish breeding.
Sweat, baby, sweat
Landaa Giraavaru provides the perfect spot to unplug and explore a myriad of different yoga practices. The resort’s four Indian-trained yogis conduct 17 complimentary classes each week including classic Sun Salutations, evening Yoga Nidra and supportive Aqua Yoga, while private sessions are also available for classic Hatha, Ashtanga and dance-like Vinyasa. In 2014, the resort became the first in Asia to offer the dynamic practice of AntiGravity Yoga, while 2015 saw the launch of the Yoga Energy Trail – a 75-minute guided group class that covers a rigorous 15-station yoga circuit across the island.
If sport is more your thing, there’s a fully-equipped water sports centre, floodlit tennis courts, bicycles and an Olympic-sized swimming pool to get the blood pumping!
With a keen focus on natural healing, the resort’s guests are encouraged to open their minds to the nutritional, physical and emotional benefits of Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medical systems and holistic sciences that aims to restore the natural balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
With a team of credited therapists, physicians, acupuncturists and yogis at your service, you’re guided in identifying ailments and imbalances, followed by suggested therapies or simple take home methods to help restore the natural state of equilibrium; these can range from extensive multiday Ayurvedic Immersion programmes to simple lifestyle changes such as introducing a particular herb to the diet or breathing and stretching practices to implement in your everyday routine. Complimentary Ayurvedic consultations are offered to all guests, and there’s a unique Ayurvedic food labelling system in place on all the restaurant menus to help you keep your gut on track even while on holiday.
Get your dose
Singapore Airlines offers direct daily flights from Singapore to Malé. Upon arrival, guests are escorted by Four Seasons on a 35-minute seaplane to Landaa Giraavaru. Rooms start at US$1,700 per night.
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