Last week was my dream vacation.
The most beautiful and thought out place I have been in 24 years. The Maldives itself is a pretty mind-blowing, eye-popping destination; azure blue oceans surrounding private islands built for the specific purpose to relax and enjoy the world at it’s most stunning.
The St Regis hotel located in southern Dhaalu Atoll opened in November 2016 with a ‘barefoot luxury’ approach to the style and feel of the resort.
I took my mum for a three night stay; 4 hours from Dubai and a 40 minute scenic seaplane journey from Maldives airport, Male, and we had arrived. The waiting room at the seaplane terminal sets the tone for the trip – I went last year to visit some beautiful resorts but nothing matched up to this first experience.
Greeted with friendly faces, a glass of champagne and the first ‘wow’ moment of the Island.
We spent our first two nights in one of the beach villas with a private plunge pool leading out onto the pristine white, sandy beach.
The bathroom left little to be desired with an indoor and outdoor shower (naturally the indoor one didn’t get a look in!), the most alluring marble bath tub and ‘his and hers’ sinks. Or in our case, mother and daughter!
We had taken a night flight but the adrenaline from being in a slice of heaven surpassed any sleepy eyes. Mum and I headed to the pool where ALBA, the main restaurant was situated.
Double height and super sleek metal-panelled, glass doors are quite the statement. They are softened by long, white sheer curtains that move with the breeze, tranquil to say the least.
A quick sunbathe and a helping of frozen grapes and we headed to our first lunch at The St Regis.
For me, the first meal is always a turning point at a resort – it makes or breaks whether I am going to have a good, or an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Thankfully, the food quality was undoubtably excellent and made for two very happy girls!
The menu options are plenty, with Mediterranean, Indian, Asian and Italian on offer and all cooked to perfection. The fish comes from all over the world depending on where the best quality is; sometimes Australia, sometimes Dubai and of course some local.
If you order the lobster (and I do recommend it!) be prepared for a feast. None of this half portion with a side of everything to fill up the plate! Expect one and a half lobsters to eat your heart out with. If only every hotel in the world could adopt the same.
Crispy calamari, melt-in-the-mouth beef bresaola on top of a bed of spinach and green beans and a simple yet pristine tuna main course.
It was a very good start!
The first day went by in a flash … a bottle on Minuty rosÃ© will do that to you in paradise like this!
After some perfect weather sunbathing …
I took to the quiet beach in front of our villa and filmed a tough upper body number! You can check that out here.
So much to do and so little time!
The island has everything you’d ever want, from a fully equipped library with an incredible selection of the best books in design, fashion, architecture, food and more to antigravity yoga and hydrotherapy pools!
We tried our best to experience as much as possible.
But first, breakfast.
And when I say breakfast, boy do I mean breakfast. The St Regis has thought about everything, expect to find 5 different types of homemade granola, 5 varieties of pancakes that I didn’t even know existed, pastries from around the world and don’t forget the banana and guava jam! And then just to top it all off, an a la carte menu that will keep you pondering for at least 10 minutes. I tried as many of the dishes as I could … naturally!
Then a chance to cycle off the mountain of food we consumed each morning on the way!
After the exquisite feast (possibly a little too soon after!) we made our way to the signature St Regis Iridium Spa. Not your typical “walk down one wing of the hotel and push a door open” type of spa, we’re talking an overwater sanctuary, a place designed for pure bliss and elegant tranquility. The spa is equipped with couple treatment rooms with private pools overlooking the ocean that are bigger than my bedroom at home!
The Architecture is simply breathtaking.
The blue water pool is where we began our spa journey. The largest hydrotherapy in the Maldives, it’s heated seawater and has high pressure whirlpool jets that are as good as any deep tissue massage.
Not to mention the view is something to be inspired by!
After an hour in the hydrotherapy pool, we both took to an indulgent caviar facial (superb for youthful skin apparently!) and had a moment to bask in the peaceful surroundings.
Lunch was another full of flavour seating. To start, tuna tartare and then Mum had a king prawn salad (look at the colour on those!) and mine, a surprisingly light Indian choice of tikka prawns with yoghurt dip.
Dessert may not have been ‘light’ in the sugar sense but it was certainly worth the spoil!
I’m a sucker for lemon desserts and this lemon ‘pie’ which was made up of fluffy merengue was to die for! I managed to help mum with the passion fruit CrÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e also!
For those who know me well, I’m definitely a HIIT girl when it comes to training. I rarely make time for my body to do yoga, pilates or anything similar … so when I walked into the inviting light-filled anti-gravity yoga room at The St Regis, I thought a session might be worth giving a shot!
I can’t say I was a natural.
Or even close.
But with a helping hand – I managed to get a good stretch on and experienced a completely new sensation. I highly recommend a try and if you’re going to do it anywhere, I’d bet you you’d be hard pushed to find somewhere quite so pretty!
Dinner that night was at the Orientale restaurant, where we ended up going for our final night too because the food was so delicious. Featuring mainly exquisite Asian food, with live Indian and Chinese stations too.
We’re rather early diners hence the restaurant was at its most peaceful! Situated right on the beach, you can hear the waves as they break the shoreline and enjoy some truly unique dishes.
My favourite of the entire stay was the nori-crusted sirloin, a combination I have never used and will be taking with me through the years!
It’s a magnificent restaurant with outstanding service and food!
The day we moved into the over water sunset villa.
But before, a quick morning workout in the gym and an indulgent breakfast as per! You can check out the legs and bootay workout we did on my Instagram here.
Pancakes and eggs Benedict (wait until you see the one I had on my last morning!).
Then to THIS!
Four over-water hammocks, sun loungers, private pool, floor to ceiling views of the ocean and tranquil bliss.
Blow away is probably a slight understatement!
A glass of champagne and red Alexandra Miro swimsuit later, and mum and I were ready sink into the hammocks.
A day in the sunshine and I had finally picked up a little colour! My family are always amazed when I come home ‘sans tan’ given I live in one of the sunniest places on Earth – truth is we always take where we live for granted!
I popped down to the beach to have a meditation session with one of the in-house masters and breathed in the warm, fresh air of our last evening.
Before cocktails at the mesmerising Whale Bar, I took mum downstairs into Decanter, the underground wine cellar. With a prized bottle of red from 1755 on show, it’s quite the decor! A gorgeous Italian marble table seats 12 for private wine and dinner pairing evenings that can be totally customised. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to try out the food and vast wine selections but if it’s anything similar to the rest of the restaurants – you’re in for a special night!
The Whale bar is a spectacular over water sunset spot fully loaded with it’s own DJ, tapas and cocktails. It represents the majestic whale shark and immerses you completely into the ocean.
Lie back loungers and open air seating to enjoy every second of the view.
Rarely do I go away and dread the flight home, to me there’s something final and lovely about being able to appreciate the time away from our hectic life but I’m always excited to get back into work and every day life! This, I must admit, was a little different!
I tried something on the menu for our final breakfast that I had been spying up all week; the special Maldivian eggs benedict. Paired with soft shell crab, coconut infused hollandaise and sliced tuna instead of ham, it was a hell of send off.
The sea plane was waiting with open arms and mum and I, rather reluctantly, stepped off this beautiful island.
We will be back, I very much hope.
Did you enjoy reading about The St Regis Maldives? Do you have any questions or comments? If so, please leave them down below!
You can find out more about the St Regis through their website here.
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!