Why are spas such an important part of the Maldives experience?
Think for a moment about what the Maldives has to offer its many visitors. In a word, it's serenity. The Maldives offers the simple pleasures of an encircling beach of pure white sand, a crystal clear lagoon, an unpolluted ocean and the utter peacefulness that comes from being far away from the urban scene. Spas are a natural extension of that tranquility, promoting an even deeper sense of utter relaxation.
The Cost of Spa Treatments
The cost of a spa treatment varies depending upon the resort. The pricier a resort is, the more expensive the spa treatments. A few all-inclusive packages will include a low-end spa treatment as part of the deal, but most list it as an extra you will have to pay for out of pocket. Some all-inclusive packages don't include spa treatments as such, but do include significant discounts for spa treatments.
At a three star resort, you can expect to pay roughly a pound for every two minutes of spa therapy. A 60 minute body scrub and wrap, for example, will set you back approximately 30 pounds.
At a five star resort, expect to pay upwards of 50 pounds for a 50-minute treatment.
The Best Destination Spas In The Maldives
Lime Spa: Huvafen Fushi
The Maldives has long been famous for its overwater pavilions with glass floors through which you can watch fish swim while technicians pamper you with a wide assortment of beauty treatments. The Lime Spa takes this concept one step further with two underwater treatment rooms.
Yes, they really are built under water. You can watch clown fish, parrot fish and black reef sharks float by as you enjoy any one of the exotically named signature treatments like the aromatic scalp and body massage called the Marine Wave or a full body exfoliation with sea salts and botanical oils called Pulp Friction. The combination of the beautiful marine life and the pampering treatments is unlike anything you've ever experienced before.
Other treatments include jet lag treatments, various types of massages including Swedish massage and foot reflexology. Treatments are pricey, and staff recommends booking before you arrive at the resort.
Jiva Grande Spa: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
The Jiva Grande Spa gives an Indian twist to standard beauty treatments like manicures, pedicures and facials by using exfoliants and balms made from exotic ingredients such as papaya, orange blossom and cardamom extracts. Scrubs and wraps use sea salts combined with herbs, botanicals and essential oils.
The spa also specializes in a full line of soft tissue and deep tissue massages to relax and detoxify your body. Some massages use the ancient Indian technique known as ventoz, or cupping, in which a heated glass is used to create a vacuum that eases tension points that cause chronic pain in muscles.
Treatments are devised in accordance with the ancient principles of a traditional Indian healing technique called Ayruveda.
There is also a Bihar yoga school on site at the Jiva Grande where spa guests can practice asanas, breathing exercises and meditation.
Away Spa: W Retreat & Spa
Away spa treatments take place in a pavilion with a wraparound sundeck that overlooks the tranquil waters of the lagoon. Massages, herbal wraps and facials are designed to relax and detoxify the body, stimulating the metabolism in beneficial ways and enhancing remineralization of bones and teeth. The Away Spa uses Comfort Zone products. These products recently won the title of "Best Spa Cosmetic Product" at the European Spa Exhibition in Monaco.
The Away Spa also offers Ayruvedic health treatments designed to restore the necessary balance between body, mind and soul. Additionally, it offers something no other Maldivian spa offers: painting lessons! Guests can learn to channel their inner Picasso with paints and canvas in an hour-long session on the sun deck
Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat: Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
The Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat features a combination of Western-style beauty treatments and Eastern-style health treatments, inspired by traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
Body renewal treatments such as scrubs, wraps and deep tissue massages are designed to cleanse the body's energy fields, thereby strengthening the body's immune system by stimulating the body's circulatory and lymphatic systems. Other treatments such as massages are designed to promote a sense of deep wellbeing by helping the body replace tension and stress with relaxation and comfort.
The Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat also offers tantric treatments that revive feelings numbed through the hustle and bustle of daily routine. The Kundalini ritual for couples harnesses male and female energies for the ultimate sensual reawakening.
Private yoga sessions on the deck overlooking the water emphasize breathing practices and simple postures that relax the mind, and balance and stabilize the spine. Complimentary morning yoga sessions and evening meditation classes are available to all guests at no additional charge.
One&Only Spa by ESPA: One & Only Reethi Rah
One&Only Spa was recently named to a list of the world's 20 best spas by readers of the prestigious magazine "Conde Nast Traveler."
The spa's beauty center offers a full range of holistic and traditional hair and nail services, including manicures, pedicures, hair coloring and styling.
Full body treatments are available that combine the most innovative aspects of western medicine and Ayurvedic treatments. The ESPA Firming Hip and Thigh Treatment helps the body fight cellulite by stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic systems that cause fluid retention and uneven skin texture. The ESPA Body Detox Duo Combination uses the purifying properties of marine algae to eliminate toxins and excess fluids, and exfoliate the skin.
The Maldives Spa 'Ban' - Repealed Before It Started
In January 2012, every spa in the Maldives closed its doors for a matter of days. Protests from fundamentalist Islamic factions had caused the Maldives government to order spas to cease operations, with suggestions that spas in cheaper resorts on local islands were fronts for prostitution and corrupting local men and women. This was clearly untrue for the vast majority of professionally run spas in the quality resorts. Fortunately after an outcry from the tourism industry - a vital part of the Maldivian economy - the spas reopened a few days later because they are an essential part of the Maldivian tourist industry, which draws 800,000 visitors to the archipelago every year who spend well over 650 million pounds annually.
The Maldivian Minister of Tourism has assured resorts and tourists that there are no plans to shut down spas in the future ever again.