Imagine the feeling after 60mins of exhausting HIIT Training, a full-body massage or the first sip of ice cold water after a daylong hike in the mountains. This, and beyond, is exactly the amount of relaxation I felt at the LUX South Ari Atoll. A resort that turned out to be the perfect abode for our sun-soaked honeymoon.
B e s o t t e d
It took a 25-minute seaplane flight from the capital Malé over the small atolls – sticking out of the Indian Ocean like tasty rucola pizzas – to realise that clichés (milky white beaches and aquamarin blue seas, that is) actually exist (in an even more beautiful way!) and I could never think about the Maldives again, without the term PARADISE flashing in capitals through my brain…
S p o i l t
It’s the small things that makes the Lux South Ari an incomparable place on earth: the homemade iced tea you’ll be served upon arrival (while your suitcases are already on their way to your private beach villa, because they’ve checked you in before the seaplane even took off), exotic birds chirping on your way to the island’s own coffee roastery or the slices of dried Mangoes you’ll get after every Spa Treatment. Boy, I ate a lot of Mangoes during these 12 days… And ice cream – because that’s what you gotta do when your hotel has it’s own palm tree gelateria, featuring over 30 flavours of home made ice-cream and the yummiest toppings from here to Great Barrier Reef. Hips don’t lie – as Shakira would say.
I n l o v e
To be honest: The Maldives weren’t on my travel bucket list in the first place. They just felt a bit too much like a picture-perfect Instagram destination to go there but now I know: I was awfully wrong. Yes, this place might be a cliché come true but it deserves the title of „holiday destination of a century“ with every grain of sand. And there’s plenty.
P a r a P a r a P a r a d i s e
It’s not only about the the tropical hydration facials, the steam bath sessions, the delicious Gulha (a Maldivian speciality, mixing fresh tuna and coconut) or the evening dips into the warm, crystal clear ocean. It’s about the fauna & flora – a beauty I’ve never seen before. And it’s about the Maldivian people, the most warmhearted and genuine people, that really touched me.
Yes it’s true, the climate change and tourism has/had a big effect on the Maldives. The corals are just recovering from the coral bleach and you can still find plastic bottles and other rubbish in the sea. But with resorts like the LUX South Ari Atoll trying to make a difference by reducing plastic (no straws or PET bottles), do beach cleanups and helping protect the coral reefs, this small paradise will hopefully survive!
I never thought that snorkeling with manta rays, collecting the most beautiful sea shells and playing with the palm tree shadows that look like brush strokes in the sand, would fill my heart so dearly but now that I’m back in Europe I can trustfully say: Heaven on earth is just a (honey)moon away from home….
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