On my many trips around the world, I have reached destinations that look perfect in pictures, but in reality, they haven’t been so dreamy: stifling air and horrible smell, noise, dirt, dangerous areas, inaccessibility to tourists and many more “fun” surprises.
Apparently that’s what happens when one filter and minimum effort turns every beach into a paradise. HOWEVER, when I got to the Maldives, I had entirely different experience- I honestly am still looking for the right words to describe the beauty and charm of this place!
The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean and have 1992 islands, of which only 200 are inhabited. This is the perfect place to have a relaxing beach-and-sun type of vacation: white sand, warm water that changes color to all turquoise shades that ever existed, colorful fish that cannot be missed through the transparent water, coconut trees and endless peace. The Maldives are considered one of the best diving locations in the world, but the purpose of my trip was to relax from a busy exams period, so I preferred to minimize attractions and devote myself to the calmness and quiet in this isolated island.
From Mala airport in Mala, we flew by a water helicopter to the resort, located on a deserted island- from which moment we didn’t leave for a whole week.
We arrived at Lux * South Ari Atoll– a luxurious 5-star hotel with 193 private villas, some of which are scattered on the white sand, surrounded by tropical vegetation, some of which are located right on the transparent water. From the very first moment on our way to the island, we were welcomed by a lovely staff member who accompanied us personally and was always available by phone throughout the entire stay. She led us to the beautiful lobby and carried out the check-in process, including restaurant bookings, scheduling a massage at the spa and coordinating all the other plans for the duration of the stay. From there, she took us by car to our villa.
During our first 3 nights at the hotel, we stayed in a beach villa with a private pool.
It is hard to describe in words the beauty of the villa, which includes a huge and luxurious bed, an amazing exterior with quick access to the beach, and a back yard with a magical private pool and a white bath- the fulfillment of every blogger’s dream. The villa has three (!!) different shower options – the amazing white bath tub, an outdoor shower by the pool and a “regular” indoor shower. From the moment we reached this villa we did not feel like leaving it.
On our last 3 nights at the hotel we stayed at the water villa.
A water villa is probably the most identified thing with the Maldives and represents a truly Maldivian holiday experience. The excitement starts from the moment you start walking on the tree ledge that leads to the villas, with the hypnotic water all around. The villa itself is charming, a bit smaller than the beach villa but with a completely different atmosphere- a soft and amazing bed, a white bathroom surrounded by marble surfaces with sea views, and the main attraction- a wooden porch with steps down to the water and a dream net spread-out over the turquoise water. The concept of “relaxation” takes on a whole new meaning once you first experience the sunset from this amazing balcony, with the sound of the fishes swimming and jumping in the background, the birdsong and an unbeatable serenity.
The hotel has many different types of restaurants, so everyone can find something to eat: an Asian buffet restaurant, an international buffet, a Japanese restaurant, an Italian restaurant, an Indian restaurant, a Mediterranean tapas restaurant and of course room-service. Our favorite was the Mediterranean restaurant (Beach Rouge) for lunch or dinner, and the Italian restaurant (Allegria) for dinner- we enjoyed the authentic Italian food, varied menu and huge dishes, so we returned to Allegria 3 evenings in a row.
Maybe some of you are thinking, “It sounds boring to be a whole week on an island without doing anything.” First of all, of course, it depends on your personality and the “vibe” you want in your vacation: If you’re looking for a vacation with intense activity and a tight schedule, you will probably not find what you want in the Maldives. But, if you’re looking for a calming vacation and still want to get things done during the day- the Lux Hotel offers many more attractions than other hotels in the Maldives. besides the many pools and beaches on the island, you will find a wide range of activities every day, some are included in the price and some are at an additional cost: snorkeling and diving with whale sharks, sunbathing, sunset fishing, local’s island cruise, yoga, meditation, spa, cinema nights, different workshops etc.
We have chosen to minimize our activities- we felt that every activity creates a “schedule” that harms the feeling of absolute calm, and the ability to rest and just do nothing,.
Funny enough- we have become addicted to resting: In contrast to the busy daily life, and unlike other vacations that include trips and visits to various sites, this time we could just wake up whenever we want, enjoy the villa, pool or sea with a good book in hand, eat, watch the sunset and… eat again.
The activities we did were sunset cruise, a 60 minutes massage and a private dinner at sunset, each of which was beautiful and unforgettable.
I want to dwell on the private dinner, which was the most amazing dinner I’ve ever experienced: the hotel staff has set up a lovely table right on the beach, surrounded by heart-shaped lamps and ornaments that seem to have been taken from some fairytale. A private chef cooked us a BBQ dinner, which included a first course of shrimps, a main course- grilled meat and seafood with potatoes and corn, and an amazing dessert made of chocolate in several textures. The meat was extraordinarily high quality, and the seafood… well, we did not expect a different level from a country of 1192 islands. I strongly recommend not to miss this experience, and to book a private dinner on the beach facing the sunset– you won’t regret it!
We booked the entire vacation through the travel agency Livne Tours– the official agency representing the Lux Hotel in Israel. Livne and Gal were available for any questions on WhatsApp and by phone 24/7, and made sure everything was perfect throughout the entire vacation. They recommended that we divide our stay to 3 nights in a beach villa and 3 nights in a water villa; We would not think about this possibility alone, and it turned out to be a brilliant idea (and recommended!) that allowed us to experience the hotel and the island in the best and most comprehensive way. I highly recommend using the services of the agency, and enjoy excellent service and great prices.
So, to conclude, a vacation at the Lux Hotel is perfect for anyone looking for a complete break from the routine and from everyday stress, an eternal summer, spectacular views of turquoise sea and white sand, water sports, excellent food, pampering spa and incomparable service. The hotel is suitable for honeymoon, wedding proposal, romantic vacation and family vacation, with or without children. So basically- for everyone! Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the hotel or the Maldives