As city life has become increasingly stressful, and the ability to balance work and private life remains an ongoing challenge, especially with long working hours and added pressure through social media, treating yourself to a wellness retreat has become a regular option for many stressed-out urbanites. For the last decade, many retreat-goers looked towards South-east Asia for wellness retreats, whereas a paradise destination such as the Maldives was reserved solely for honeymooners. But the latest movement shows that travelers want to experience wellness and keep up with their fitness goals even when they are enjoying life in the most heavenly destination.
Therefore, experiencing the 3-night Cellular Rejuvenation Retreat at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, was the perfect escape. I was able to take part in the resort’s wellness and fitness classes, as well as enjoy some of the best spa treatments I’ve ever experienced. But I also indulged in the surrounding nature and took in some of the most mesmerizing and soothing turquoise colors, and enjoyed outdoor activities that took me out of my comfort zone and my thoughts off my emails and social media.
Nestled within the palm-fringed island of Veliganduhuraa and surrounded by the lapping Indian Ocean, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort offers simplicity (think barefoot luxury) in a charming tropical island setting with the softest white sand, just a 35-minute speedboat journey from Malé. As one of the few adult-only islands, this beautiful gem offers undisturbed downtime for couples and solo travelers who want to recharge, unwind and enjoy quiet time. The resort is a relaxing island hideaway with 67 luxurious overwater bungalows with dazzling vistas, direct lagoon access and some even come with their own private pool.
Guests can also relax at the Balance Wellness Spa by Anantara, located at the heart of the island, and enjoy a range of healing treatments and massages based on ancient Ayurvedic techniques, as well as results-driven signature facials by Biologique Recherche to beautify and revitalize with its fragrance-free formulations that contain high concentrations of active vitamins, minerals, botanicals, marine and biological extracts. The lush and tranquil spa area, which boasts five luxurious treatment suites with soaking bath and relaxation garden by a waterfall inclusive of steam room, sauna and hot and cold plunge pools, invites you to unwind and let yourself be soothed and cared for with bespoke spa experiences and personalized wellness. Choose from a number of wellness programs designed to rejuvenate, restore and revitalize. Furthermore, the resort also features a fitness center, tennis, badminton and volleyball courts, as well as meditation and yoga classes.
If all the activities make you hungry, rest assured that there is a multitude of fabulous dining options with international buffet nights at 73 Degrees, authentic Thai food at Baan Huraa and theatrical Teppanyaki dining and handmade sushi at Origami. You can even design your own menu with a chef and enjoy gourmet dining on a deserted sandbank with a backdrop of a jaw-dropping Maldivian sunset.
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All wellness retreats at Anantara Veli Maldives incorporate an array of water sports, such as World-class diving, snorkeling, surfing and paddle-boarding, allowing you to experience the spectacular plethora of sea life in the crystal clear lagoon or taking you out to sea for half-day excursions to swim with dolphins or nurse sharks.
Anantara Maldives is actually made up of two separate islands, each with its own unique charm and facilities. Guests can choose between Veli (romantic adult-only) and Dhigu (family-friendly) and can take short boat rides throughout the day to use the other island’s facilities. So guests staying at Veli can also dine at Dhigu’s Fushi Café, which offers international buffets and live cooking stations, Sea Fire Salt, positioned over the lagoon, serving seafood and meat cuts from the grill, Terrazzo, the loft restaurant which specializes in Italian cuisine, or Aqua, located at the poolside, which provides beverages throughout the day as well as light snacks. Are you undecided about which island to choose? No problem, dine in the overwater Thai restaurant, situated between Veli and Dhigu.
Spoilt for choice during my 3-night Cellular Rejuvenation Retreat, I was able to experience the best of both worlds – acro yoga and yin classes to the sound of lapping waves, private outdoor bootcamp sessions, and healthy wellness meals on Veli, a snorkelling tour to swim with dolphins, lounging in the overwater hammock on Dhigu, followed by a delectable Mediterranean feast at Sea Fire Salt, as well as nurturing and soothing treatments at Balance Wellness Spa by Anantara on Veli, which turned out to be my favourite part of the retreat.
The Cellular Rejuvenation retreat allows you to push the restart button and rejuvenate your metabolism, your skin and your mindset. Working with the clinical skincare brand Biologique Recherche to rediscover a youthful glow, the treatments complement the movement, breath and yoga sessions designed to increase your energy levels.
The two treatments I experienced were exceptional. Even though I had trouble sleeping and arrived a tad stressed out, my abhyanga treatment quickly took care of that and reset my body. Drawing from ancient Ayurvedic healing wisdom, the warm oils and medicinal herbs all help to address anxiety, circulation, and detoxification, boost mental alertness and stamina, and uplift the mood, leaving your skin silky and smooth.
My Biologique Recherche Essence of Youthfulness Facial Soin Lift CVS also blew me away. The session began with a unique Biologique Recherche analysis of my skin, followed by the actual treatment, which exfoliates, lifts, restructures, firms, hydrates and protects against external aggressors. A manual face lift that re-sculpts the face with smoothing, pinching, vibrating and modeling movements, this treatment stimulates the epidermis, leaving you glowing for days.
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Come for a wellness retreat, the azure waters, romantic outdoor cinema nights, or underwater adventures, and rest assured that you will have an amazing time, with memories to last a lifetime.