You have most likely seen beautiful pictures of an array of villas on stilts that hover over crystal clear lagoons. As we started researching the feasibility of getting to this magical land, we realized quickly that we had already seen many pictures of the Maldives before we were even aware of it. We had been in touch with Six Senses Laamu, a resort that operates on one of the southern Atolls, or ring-shaped islands. To get there we would fly into Malé, one of two international airports, and then transfer to a smaller plane with the other guests going to the Six Senses Laamu. Once we landed at the small local airport, it was a quick 15 minute boat ride garnished with cool hand towels and homemade lemonade. It was a long trip, having traveled overnight from Morocco, but as soon as we were greeted by the friendly staff we almost forgot about the 18 hours of taxis, crowded buses and long haul flights.
Our room was on pier C which has twenty two villas branching off of a central wharf. They are thoughtfully designed with privacy as an obvious priority. A giant outdoor shower and a glass bathtub let you see straight down to the coral reef underneath the room. Our first morning we saw a massive stingray and a sea turtle cruise right by on their way out to the barrier reef. It is very difficult to consider the geography and ecology in a place this remote until you are here and see how delicate it really is. Even more than most places, the land and ocean are very sensitive to modern technology that we’ve all come to expect. It was reassuring to hear about ways that Six Senses Laamu is committed to environmental sustainability such as establishing recycling/refuse programs, a desalination process to provide guests water, and numerous contributions to the neighboring islands communities.
After meeting a couple from California and finding out we had a common passion for surfing, we arranged to take a Zodiac out to a remote reef break called Ying Yang. We were committed to documenting the experience, but after a sketchy landing of the drone on our tiny little boat, we decided to put the cameras away and get wet. The waves were chest-head high and glassy. This was a day for the books.
Throughout our experience at Six Senses Laamu, we ate delicious food from the gardens and interacted with the incredible locals, many of whom live on neighboring islands atolls and are proud to support families at home. It was an incredible experience that we’ll be daydreaming about for the rest of our lives, all thanks to Six Senses Laamu.
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Great to see you guys made it to the beautiful Maldives (a place I called home for two years).
I’d like to add a correction to your article – there is in fact two international airports in the Maldives. Male’ international and Gan international in Addu Atoll.
Gan airport was upgraded a few years ago, to an international standard. This was done in part to offer better access to the southern atolls, which has seen quite a bit of resort development in the last 10- years.
Thank you so much for the correction! I will add a note now – sorry for the delay on this 🙂