This is the ultimate wellness getaway in the Maldives. Find out why it holds such a special place in my heart.
Anantara kihavah from above
The Maldives has been high on my bucket list for some time now. I mean, I think whenever anyone sees this place it automatically makes the bucket list cut.
It’s an absolute paradise. The Maldives is made up of over 1000 little islands, surrounded by beautiful crystal clear blue waters. Each resort is its own island, and on each one, you’ll get a bit of a different experience.
Now, I’m going to be totally honest with you. Before I left for the Maldives, I thought I was just going to a luxury destination where I could take pretty pictures, lie on the beach, and go home and say “I’ve been to the Maldives!” (and cross that one off my bucketlist.)
Don’t get me wrong, when you come to the Maldives you can definitely experience luxury and beautiful beaches, but what I experienced was so much more.
I stayed at Anantara Kihavah for three magical nights that I can only describe in words to be somewhat life-changing.
My friend Mel (@mvandersluis on Instagram) and I arrived at the resort jumping for excitement when we walked into our stunning water villa complete with an outdoor pool and hammocks overlooking the vast ocean. We even had a stingray come hang out in the afternoon (he was so easy to spot in the clear waters!)
Our first day involved lots of exploring, (by bicycles which the resort provides) taking photos, and repeatedly saying “omg I can’t believe where we are!” It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.
You can walk or bike through the jungle paths under a lush canopy of greenery to get to all parts of the island. There’s everything you could imagine: spa, fitness centre, restaurants, pools, and even a garden filled with fresh herbs. The island has it all!
Day two was where things started to get a little interesting. We started our morning off meeting the holistic wellness chef, Eric Lecras.
There are some people in the world who exude passion and positive energy and you can feel the love they put into their work. Eric is one of them.
His energy was infectious as we all took shots of kombucha and jamu juice together. (A detoxing juice made with turmeric.)
Kombucha & jamu juice
Later that morning Eric prepared us his special holistic whole foods breakfast basket filled with activated nuts, fresh fruits, dehydrated fruits, wheatgrass, homemade buckwheat granola, and the most intricate (and delicious) chia pudding I’ve ever seen in my life! (Yes, I will be making a similar eric-inspired recipe on the blog soon!)
Seeing someone so passionate about plant-based cuisine reminds me why I do what I do, and how important it is to take care of our bodies and nourish ourselves with wholesome foods. There’s no better feeling than eating foods that nourish your body and leave you feeling energetic and full of life!
Next, we met Greg Allen, resident wellness consultant, and fellow Canadian in the Maldives! (Which was exciting in itself, you don’t find many Canadians here across the world!)
Greg immediately had such a vibrant, erratic energy. Greg’s work history was inspiring in itself (this guy has done more than you can even imagine!), especially having over 20 years of experience and such a passion for healthy living. Greg’s outlook on life really hit home with me and left me feeling inspired.
The last member of the wellness team we met was visiting practitioner Dr. Rui, a Chinese medicine doctor.
Dr. Rui has an extensive background, having studied and practiced Chinese medicine around the world. To be honest I thought he was a psychic when we met since he was able to look at me and tell me things about myself that there would be no way for him to know! (I was a little taken aback at first!)
baby sharks swimming outside the spa
Mel and I were really excited to be able to do a health assessment with Greg and Dr. Rui, which included a body composition test, giving in a hair sample to be sent and analyzed by a lab and inform us of any types of deficiencies we may have and a plan to optimize our health.
The body composition test was pretty simple. It consisted of standing on a digital scale, (called Tanita) that calculates your results of muscle mass, body fat percentage, and water composition. (Among a few other things too.) This really helped give me an overall idea of how healthy and fit my body is. I did well on this test so I was happy! (Thank you yoga practice!)
Next came the results from the hair sample test, which….let’s just say I didn’t score an A+ on. In short, I have some vitamins and minerals I need to incorporate more into my diet. (One of them being magnesium)
The spa from above
This test was pretty eye-opening for me. For someone who tries to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle, it was great to see where I was getting my nutrients from, and where it was lacking. The test also suggests a list of foods to avoid for 90 days, that may be blocking me from absorbing nutrients. (These are not food intolerances, but just foods that are recommended to avoid for a short period of time.)
This process was followed by some acupuncture, to help with some health issues. For me, this was to help with some tight knots and pain in my shoulders and help me to sleep better at night.
I’ve never done acupuncture before, so this was definitely a new and interesting experience for me!
For the record, no it doesn’t hurt. Though some needles felt slightly more uncomfortable when they were placed in. (For me they were placed in my leg, ankle, hand, arm, and between my eyebrows.)
I definitely felt a release of tension after the session and a sense of serenity that I was not feeling before. It’s an experience that I would definitely recommend everyone try at least once!
Headed back to the villa after the day I had a big fat smile plastered across my face, feeling overwhelmed by the positive energy of these individuals and eye-opening wellness experiences I had just been exposed too.
The wellness dream team! (from left) Dr. Rui, Greg, and Chef Eric
This magical day ended with a movie under the stars, where Mel and I sat and watched guardians of the galaxy 2 (one of my favorites!) in a private outdoor jungle movie theater! (A must if you stay at Anantara)
We spent much of our time the following day and a half with the wellness team, laughing, drinking kombucha shots, and discussing everything from our health, to the environment, to the vastness of energy in the universe. It was so nice to sit and have such great conversations with great people.
When the afternoon came that it was finally time to leave, I felt sad, not just to leave the beautiful villa and beach, but more so to be leaving the beautiful people and connections I had made.
I came to the Maldives expecting to find just luxury and leisure, but what I found was so much more.
I found a new sense of self. I found opportunities for the future. I found connection with other beings. And I found a place on this earth that was able to sprinkle a little magic into my life.
It’s funny how sometimes you can find things in places you don’t expect. As lavish and alluring as the Maldives can be, I found a humbling and eye-opening experience on the special island of Anantara Kihavah.
Following the Maldives I spent two weeks in Sri Lanka. Here is my two week Sri Lanka travel guide!