For many, travel is all about experiencing other cultures, understanding different traditions and learning about a country's rich historical tapestry. It's about throwing yourself out of your comfort zone, assaulting your senses with new sights, smells, sounds and really getting beneath the skin of a place. Yes, yes that's all well and good thank you very much but what if you just want to head to the sun and partake in some serious self-indulgence? What's so wrong with wanting to lie on a pristine white sand beach, swim in a crystal-clear ocean and head to the spa to be preened and pampered to within an inch of your life? Nothing at all, we say. Nothing. At. All. And there is surely no better location on the planet for getting away from it all and having some quality you time than at the hyper-luxurious hotels of the Maldives. Heading spa-wards in the Maldives also doesn't have to be all hum-drum foot massages and facials (who am I kidding, they sound amazing). You can still step outside the box and experience something new from the comfort of the spa. Here are our top four most unusual spa treatments and experiences in the Maldives…
The Lime Spa, Huvafen Fushi
As one of the most luxurious hotels in the Maldives, Huvafen Fushi is not one to be outdone on the spa front. Oh no, it does in fact play host to what has been billed as the world's first underwater spa. Treatment rooms have been built beneath the water's surface with huge glass windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding marine life. Enjoy any number of fandangled (and highly relaxing) treatments from purifying body scrubs to turquoise explosions (I'll leave that one to the imagination) as you gaze upon all manner of tropical fish swimming in amongst the beautifully colourful coral. Definitely not your average spa experience, I think you'll agree.
Om Supti Night Spa Ritual, Four Seaons Landaa Giraavaru
Calling all insomniacs - this is the spa treatment for you. On a scale of one to ten on the weird-o-meter this may come in at a solid 12, but please do bear with… designed to induce a deep and peaceful night's sleep, guests head out to a secluded jungle clearing where they'll find an outdoor bath and swinging bed set. The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru masseurs will then go to work with treatments that calm the nervous system, relax the spine and reduce your stress levels so you can drift off to dreamland without a care in the world.
Aerial Yoga, Six Senses Laamu
Aerial yoga. For me, this phrase induces visions of terribly elegant cirque du soleil acrobats hanging from the ceiling on plumes of beautiful ribbon. It's actually more like stretching in a hammock while suspended a couple of feet off the ground. Still, baby steps. This rather unusual take on yoga at Six Senses Laamu combines stretching, breathing and meditation with gymnastics and aerial arts. The result? Guests will gain, and I quote, 'deeper body awareness and the release of happy hormones'… which roughly translates into feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Marvellous.
Caviar Facial, Baros
Our final contender for the unusual spa treatment in the Maldives award is the caviar facial at Baros. Yep, you read that correctly, this facial uses Russian caviar… what could be more luxurious than having fish eggs smeared across your face? This anti-ageing treatment also uses pearl extract and Escutox (an alternative to botox) to do away with any pesky wrinkles. Let's just hope caviar doesn't turn up on the restaurant menu…
So there you have it, the Original Travel guide to some of the most unusual spa treatments and experiences in the Maldives.