Meet Us in Paradise
Westin Maldives Miriandhoo
Travel | March 2nd 2019
I have seen paradise and it has changed me.
That is the impact the Maldives has had on my soul, leaving me with exquisite memories that I keep replaying in my mind over and over again so they never fade.
This is a destination, which makes an appearance on almost everybody’s bucket list, but due to its heavy price tag, it can be a daunting vacation to plan for. But trust me, it is worth every single rupee.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo resort is hands down the most luxurious and visually idyllic resort we have ever stayed in ; located on a coral island in the Baa Atoll just north of Male.
We arrived at the Maldives airport after a quick 2 and a half hour flight from Mumbai before we boarded a sea plane which would take us to our resort.
This is when we got our first and most memorable impression of how precious this country of 1200 islands truly is. The smattering of turquoise coral beds and countless shades of blue took our collective breadths away. We spotted our resort after a short 30 minute flight and as we began to prepare for landing, we realized we were seated just behind the award winning architect Peia Associati who is the Architect of the resort with his two kids and wife who also happened to be the interior designer of this glorious property.
It is from them that we learnt how truly special the Westin Maldives resort is.
He told us that when he first came to the island before it was a resort, they couldn’t land very close so he swam to the shore where the first thing he stumbled upon was a clam shell. It is from this very experience that he drew inspiration for his architectural plan. All the buildings in the resort are built with sustainability in mind with its architecture mirroring the natural elements of the island whilst minimizing the impact on the environment.
The shell shaped structures actually help keep the villas cooler on those hot, humid Maldivian days and the dive shop is actually made of shipping containers that were once used for supplies when this property was being built. Isn’t that amazing!
We stayed in one of the 29 spectacular overwater villas that literally stand over the water with a glass floor window within the room exposing us to the clear sea below. There are also 41 island villas that open out onto the beach spread across the 14-acre resort.
Our overwater villa was pure opulence, the perfect marriage of technology, contemporary design, comfort and style- the deck equipped with an infinity pool overlooking the sea, two lounge chairs, a ladder to help climb into the sea and a lovely coffee table to enjoy drinks at sunset. They even have a wine fridge, an orange juice press and a spare bed for families that travel with kids among all the other amenities one would expect. They also provide a nanny service for when mommy and daddy need some alone time.
The vast villa can be divided into sections using the sliding doors or left open against the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the reef. If you get as lucky as we did, you might even see a school of dolphin swim by at sunrise.
Breakfast is our favorite meal and The Westin really knows how to put together a bountiful spread. Weather you hanker for pancakes, congee, dosa, eggs benedict or a simple smoothie bowl… you wont be disappointed. They have a made to order service as well as an extensive a la carte spread.
You can enjoy the rest of your meals at any of the resorts 4 restaurants: The Library Bar for dinner with a view, The pearl for some fine Japanese food, Hawker for some spicy Asian street food or the Island Kitchen for …. Almost any cuisine really(they have plenty of options on their menu) and all restaurants overlook or are on the white sand beach.
Su and I are the same in so many ways but we do differ on some things. For instance, when given the choice between the Spa or a snorkel trip, I will choose the snorkel trip every single time ( which would explain my deep tan).
For those of you who much like Su, enjoy a nice deep tissue massage- the Heavenly Spa at the Westin is a truly mind altering experience, strategically built over the water and installed with a glass floor to enhance those delicious ocean vibes. The session starts with a cleansing of the feet after which the therapist presented Su with three stones to choose from which symbolize the intention of the massage- Love Hope or Gratitude. Su went with Gratitude ofcourse.
After a 60 minute massage, she was reduced to a puddle of bliss.
At this exact moment I was buns up in the ocean snorkeling around a reef known for attracting sea turtles. Having snorkeled in Seychelles and the Andamans several times, I was super comfortable going off by my self and was the first person to come across a sea turtle. I was taken by surprise and almost swallowed a gallon of seawater in excitement. She was exquisite albeit not too large; dusted in shades of pink and purple, gliding elegantly through the water.
After a few minutes I left her to her foraging and surfaced only to find that none of the rest of our group was near by so I began to swim towards some people I saw bobbing in the distance.
That’s when it happened. A turtle nearly half my length swam towards me, mere inches away.. breaking surface to take in some oxygen. We swam together for what felt like half an hour, her shell dappled with turquoise and gold, glimmering every time the sun hit it at the right angle. It was one of the most majestic things I had ever experienced and I am so glad I got to have this private moment in the Maldives.
Before long, we were back on the large, elegant boat heading back to the resort where we enjoyed the sunset on our private deck.
The common pool is simplistic yet beautiful, set against the beach with comfortable sun beds and a trolley on hand serving up sunblock, lemon-ice water and towels. I especially loved the beach beds placed in the middle of a shallow pool where you can just lie down and read a book while listening to the waves lap the shore.
Another great amenity at the Westin is their stunning Gym with a view. We would be lying if we said we made it to the gym but we did pop in to check it out. They offer workout gear, personal trainers and a bonafide yogi for those who prefer a more spiritual workout.
As our trip came to a close, our hearts felt heavy. It is never easy leaving paradise but the certainty that we would return made the departure somewhat easier. All the kind and wonderful staff at the Westin waved us off as our boat set out from the island and we waved back … See You soon Maldives !