From there, the operation was extremely Covid-aware, the new measures so smooth they were almost imperceptible. Hotel reps with hand sanitizer greeted us every step of the way, from the arrivals hall to the speedboat to the island (each resort has strict quarantine laws: any staff passing through one to the other must isolate themselves for two weeks) without ever crossing in the “patches” of the others, each delivery takes place at a distance. And so, with every arriving guest having tested negative (now double vaxx and with a negative PCR test result), life in the resorts operates at something like normalcy – at Anantara Dhigu, a sweet five-star luxury normalcy, with staff wearing no-complaining masks so guests don’t have to. Return-to-station PCR tests were costing 25% of those in the UK at the time, with results within an hour. With this approach, it is not surprising that despite the closure of borders around the world, the Maldives have managed to keep their openness.
And so, as you might have guessed, as we entered our first full day, we also realized that we wouldn’t have to prematurely interrupt our trip, and when the clouds cleared, we got on our bikes to push the island and set off for the sea. Salt.Fire, the hotel’s overwater breakfast restaurant, where the buffet has been temporarily replaced with lovely table service, carts hostess filled with delicate pastries, platters of tropical fruits and cold meats, and the theater of a live cooking station, and where the open-air restaurant tables are surrounded by fresh air more fragrant than habit.
As we lingered over a shakshuka and coffee, bathing our eyes in the myriad of blues that had replaced the wintry grays at home, a baby reef shark lazily swam past and a school of excitable tuna. took turns to get out of the water in the middle of the year. distance. I could feel the weeks and months of lockdown stress beginning to wear off, reinforced later in the morning with a visit to the spa for the Thai Ritual of the Four Elements of Anantara, and, treat of treats, a pedicure (with all UK lounges closed, both had the added appeal of forbidden luxury, and I pampered every moment). A few days later, out of pure curiosity, I returned for the Purifying Sound Vibrations treatment. While friends mock the impact of Tibetan singing bowls, I was skeptical. Muayad Najemeddin, the Anantara Wellness Master, healed my cynicism by delivering a profound experience that moved me to tears.