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As the world continues to move at a breakneck pace, the need for meaningful rest and relaxation has never been more pressing. Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there is one destination that stands out as a true oasis of tranquility: the enchanting island of Sicily. With its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and world-class hospitality, Sicily offers the perfect backdrop for a luxurious and rejuvenating getaway.

Discovering the Charm of Sicily

Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is a land steeped in ancient history and cultural traditions. From the towering Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, to the picturesque seaside towns that dot the coastline, the island is a feast for the senses. Venture inland, and you’ll be greeted by rolling hills, verdant vineyards, and charming hilltop villages that seem to have been frozen in time.

One of the key reasons Sicily has become a premier destination for those seeking a truly relaxing experience is the abundance of luxurious villas that dot the landscape. These grand, meticulously-appointed properties offer a level of comfort and privacy that simply can’t be found in traditional hotels or resorts.

Selecting the Perfect Villa

When planning your Sicilian getaway, the first step is to identify the perfect villa that caters to your specific needs and preferences. While the island boasts a wide range of options, it’s important to consider factors such as location, amenities, and overall atmosphere to ensure you find the ideal retreat.

Begin by deciding on the region of Sicily that best suits your interests. Do you envision yourself exploring the ancient ruins of Syracuse, or would you prefer to bask in the sun along the picturesque Aeolian Islands? Once you’ve narrowed down the location, you can start your search for the perfect villa.

Many of Sicily’s luxury villas are equipped with a range of amenities that cater to the modern traveler’s needs. From private swimming pools and spa facilities to gourmet kitchens and expansive outdoor terraces, these properties offer the ultimate in high-end living. Some even come with dedicated staff, such as personal chefs and concierges, to ensure your every need is met with the utmost care and attention.

Immersing Yourself in the Local Culture

While the allure of a private villa may be tempting, it’s important not to lose sight of the rich cultural tapestry that Sicily has to offer. Fortunately, many of the island’s luxury accommodations are strategically located to provide easy access to the region’s most iconic landmarks and experiences.

Take the time to explore the historic city centers, where you can wander through ancient cathedrals, browse local markets, and savor the flavors of Sicilian cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts some of the best-preserved Greek temples outside of Greece.

For a truly immersive cultural experience, consider arranging private tours or cooking classes that allow you to delve deeper into the traditions and practices that have shaped Sicily over the centuries. This not only adds depth to your vacation but also helps you forge a deeper connection with the local community.

Embracing the Art of Relaxation

Of course, the primary purpose of a trip to Sicily’s luxury villas is to experience true relaxation and rejuvenation. To fully embrace this ethos, it’s important to plan your days with a focus on rest, restoration, and self-care.

Start your mornings with a leisurely breakfast, perhaps on the villa’s private terrace, as you take in the breathtaking views. Spend the day indulging in the villa’s amenities, such as the spa or swimming pool, or simply lounging in the lush gardens. If you’re feeling adventurous, venture out for a scenic hike or a leisurely boat tour along the coast.

As the sun sets, savor a gourmet meal prepared by the villa’s private chef, using the freshest local ingredients. Pair your dinner with a bottle of Sicilian wine, and then settle in for an evening of relaxation, whether it’s curling up with a good book or enjoying a nightcap under the stars.

The Perfect Finale: Villas with Spa and Swimming Pool

As your Sicilian getaway draws to a close, consider booking a stay in one of the island’s luxurious villas equipped with spa and swimming pool facilities. These oases of tranquility offer the ultimate in pampering and relaxation, allowing you to indulge in a range of rejuvenating treatments and therapeutic activities.

Imagine starting your day with a refreshing dip in the villa’s private pool, followed by a rejuvenating massage or a soothing soak in the hot tub. Spend the afternoon exploring the villa’s lush gardens or simply lounging on the sun-drenched terrace, sipping a glass of Sicilian wine.

As the day winds down, treat yourself to a session in the villa’s sauna or steam room, allowing the stresses of everyday life to melt away. Cap off your stay with a gourmet dinner prepared by the villa’s private chef, savoring the flavors of the island’s renowned cuisine in the comfort of your luxurious surroundings.

Planning a truly relaxing trip to Sicily’s finest luxury villas is a journey of self-discovery and indulgence. By immersing yourself in the island’s rich culture, embracing the art of relaxation, and treating yourself to the unparalleled amenities of these grand accommodations, you’ll leave Sicily feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and forever changed by the experience.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your escape to the lap of luxury in Sicily’s villas with spa and swimming pool, and discover the true meaning of rest and relaxation.

At an age when self-care and global exploration come together, cannabis-infused spa retreats have emerged as havens of wellness and relaxation. 

Not just traditional spa experiences; cannabis incorporates its therapeutic properties to improve physical and mental well-being. This article covers some of the world’s best destinations where these unique wellness experiences can be had while outlining the benefits associated with various cannabis-infused treatments and their diverse approaches.

Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis-Infused Spa Treatments 

  • Therapeutic Benefits: At the core of cannabis-infused spa treatments is cannabidiol (CBD), an anti-inflammatory and soothing compound. This therapy seeks to relieve stress, alleviate pain and promote skin health without producing psychoactive side effects associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
  • Spas May Offer Diverse Treatments: Spas may provide various services, including massages, facials and body wraps that incorporate CBD-infused lotions or oils. These get absorbed quickly through the skin to relieve localized pain while improving skin quality.

For those wishing to get more insights into cannabinoids such as THCA and their effects, an informative resource can be found on this Merced Sun-Star guide

Exploring Destinations

  • North America: As legalization and acceptance of cannabis use continue, spa treatments in these two nations have increasingly included it in spa services. They often feature expansive settings with stunning landscapes coupled with innovative wellness practices.

Example Retreats: 

  • Its one mountain spa in Colorado provides the ‘High in the Rockies’ treatment, which uses locally sourced CBD oils combined with mountain herbs from Colorado’s own mountains. 
  • Meanwhile, in California, spas combine ocean elements with CBD to offer therapeutic experiences that both grounding and rejuvenate at once.
  • Europe: Although European nations tend to be more restrictive about cannabis use. Certain nations such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, offer exclusive spa experiences focused on holistic wellness with high-grade hemp-derived CBD products.

Example Retreats:

  • One wellness center in Amsterdam uses hydrotherapy with CBD-infused products to amplify its therapeutic effects on water-based treatment
  • In Switzerland, luxury spas include CBD in thermal treatments, which take advantage of hot springs’ natural therapeutic qualities.

Integration of Cannabis Wellness

Many retreats strive to combine traditional spa services and cannabis wellness to create an experience that honors local wellness traditions while further enriching spa services. This brings many advantages: enhanced relaxation for guests and respecting them as part of local wellness traditions.

  • Japan, for instance, has seen some hot springs incorporate CBD-infused bath oils into their bathing rituals. This takes advantage of hot spring minerals and CBD’s soothing qualities to provide customers with a unique bathing experience.
  • Morocco’s traditional hammams have taken an innovative step by experimenting with argan oil blended with CBD as part of a centuries-old bathing culture. This gives a refreshing new spin to their centuries-old bathing rituals.

What to Look for in a Cannabis-Infused Spa Retreat

  • Quality of Products: When searching for cannabis spa retreats, always select those offering high-grade third-party tested CBD products. This ensures their effectiveness, without contamination and marked with their CBD content.
  • Staff: To provide effective cannabis-infused treatments, spa therapists must possess extensive knowledge about CBD properties as well as be familiar with specific techniques associated with their usage.
  • Legal Compliance: Always check local laws regarding cannabis usage, as these could impact both product selection and the legality of application.

Conclusion

Cannabis-infused spa retreats represent an intriguing intersection of ancient wellness practices and modern cannabinoid science, offering their guests enhanced health and deeper relaxation. Nestled into peaceful mountains, bustling cities, or along tranquil seashores, cannabis spa retreats serve as pioneers combining art with healing science in offering experiences to rejuvenate both body and soul. By selecting wisely among the offerings provided, you can ensure an enriching experience that nourishes both mind and body alike.

First-time visits to a spa can be at the same time fascinating and invigorating as well as stressful. Theming always includes the sounds, smells, and overall lighting, and the mere promise of a massage might lure you in, but what if the theme is all that is familiar to you? For those who have no or little experience with a visit to a spa center, this article will explain step by step how to make the best of it and have a great time in Armonia massage & SPA.

Introduction

Suppose you have the opportunity to step into a serene environment to free your mind and soul from the pressures of everyday life. A visit to a spa is not only a sheer indulgence, but it is also a much-needed retreat for the body, the soul, and the spirit. Here, we provide a general first-time spa-goer guide that will assist in making the first visit a pleasant and unforgettable experience. By reading this article you will learn about the first treatment, how to select the right one and how it works in general, as well as how to behave in the spa.

Booking Your Appointment

Thus, once you have decided on the particular spa, the next logical step is to make the appointment. It is worth mentioning that most of the spas provide online booking options, which certainly is one of the perks. Choose the treatments you want in advance; however, do not feel awkward to call the spa if you require any advice. From the above-stated services, the staff can suggest services that suit you and those which you would prefer to access.

Planning is essential. It is advisable to make the appointment in advance, at least a week before the intended visit so that you can get your preferred slot. If you are not sure of anything that has been prescribed for you then do not hesitate to call the spa to seek advice. Most spas have various treatment programs that come with a lower price than individual treatment since they cover several treatments.

Preparing for Your Visit

There are ways how you can prepare for your spa and thus improve your spa experience. Dress appropriately for the activity level of the day and change into more comfortable clothing when the occasion calls for it. If a certain treatment or facility requires swimwear, then pack it along for the day or the entire trip. While most spas offer flip-flops while in the facility, it is advisable to carry your own to enhance your comfort.

This means therefore that you should take a lot of water in advance so that you do not fall short during your trip to the park. Always be prepared to come at least 15 minutes earlier in case there are forms to complete and to begin the process of unwinding. It would be advisable to avoid having a big meal before the appointment time to be comfortable during the session.

Understanding Spa Etiquette

Some of the following rules are considered appropriate to be followed when in the spa: Make sure everyone turns off their mobile phones to avoid any disturbance during the session. Please, do not speak loudly in the spa areas, since this is against the quietness of the atmosphere. Knock before entering any room that might contain other guests who are being treated in the different treatment rooms. This is specifically because you are supposed to tip depending on whether tipping is allowed in a certain place like the spa and the level of service you received.

Conclusion

Going to a spa for the first time is simple and can be a very beneficial process, which will help you to relax. Following the tips listed above will help to choose the right spa and follow all the recommendations to have a good experience. Whether you are in the mood for a massage, a facial, or a full day of pampering then Armonia Massage & SPA is equipped to provide for all your needs.

Going to a spa is a very wise decision as a person is spending money for their good. It’s an opportunity to leave the daily work routine behind and think about one’s needs and desires. Therefore, breathe freely, calm down, and let your route to a new, less stressed, and more invigorated person begin.

Whether you are looking for the latest wellness product, heading off to a retreat to reset or want to try the newest fitness studio, we’ve got you covered. Our Wellness Editor, Anji McGrandles shares the skinny on all the hottest wellbeing news.

Connect at The Yards

Connect at The Yards is the perfect event for those passionate about wellness, fitness, and enhancing their overall wellbeing.  

Taking place in the heart of Covent Garden on Sunday 7th July, attendees can enjoy unlimited access to a carefully curated program of wellness and fitness classes, talks and workshops, art exhibits, live music, and a wellness marketplace, spread across multiple venues within The Yards, from 9am until 6pm.    

Brands and partners bringing the event to life include; Lululemon, WeGLOW by Stef Williams, The Glow Space by Madeleine Shaw, Heartcore, Allbirds, Digme Fitness, JAB and Yogarise. Pineapple Dance Studios have curated a fantastic fitness program including Pilates, Yoga, Barre, HIIT, Boxing, Dance and Meditation.

Ticket holders can also enjoy exclusive discounts on lunch and dinner at select restaurants within The Yards, such as rooftop restaurant Ruccola at The Conduit, Gura Gura, Oriole, Le Bab, Fairshot Café, Lahpet and many more, and attendees will have the opportunity to take home a bumper wellbeing goodie bag. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here. House of Coco readers can get 20% off using the code HOUSEOFCOCO20 at the checkout.

Four Seasons Age-Old Wisdom for a Modern World

Four Seasons is dialling up its wellbeing offer with the launch of lots of fabulous retreats and programmes across 2024.  Here at House of Coco, we love the sound of their Mexican offer where you can learn the secrets of the traditional Temazcal or “house of heat” – at Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, and Naviva, A Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita

Led by a shaman, guests are guided through this ancient ritual that has been used for centuries since pre-Hispanic times in Mexico to cleanse the body of impurities and toxins and enhance one’s spiritual being through transformation.

Additional information on booking and the cost of the Temazcal experience can be found here.

Smart supplements

Get your essential vitamins and supplements in a quick, convenient way with Diso strips.  Simply pop a dissolvable strip on your tongue and all the essential nutrients go directly into the bloodstream rather than through the gut for faster more efficient absorption.

Packed into compact tins, Diso dissolvable range includes Collagen, Probiotics and Multi-vitamins.   can be popped out on the go whether you’re in the office or on a morning walk.

Delicious and nutritious, the full range can be purchased here.

Harness the Essence of Nordic Wellbeing

Those looking for some Scandi wellness will love BÄR, a haven for organic luxury skincare, body products, and home fragrances inspired by the breathtaking Nordic landscapes.

BÄR brings the magic of Scandinavia directly to your home through its online store. Carefully selecting and curating a range of like-minded female-founded brands, including MANASI7, RAAW ALCHEMY, DJUSIE, SEES COMPANY, AIVA, BODYOLOGIST and L:A BRUKET – BÄR takes you on a journey of wellness, as you discover the Nordic touch, and reconnect with the simple beauty of nature.

Shop the range here.  

Reset and Reconnect with your Soul in Santorini

Designed in partnership with mindful movement community, Sanctum and renowned wellbeing experts such as the world-leading acupuncturist Ross J. Barr, this retreat is a 3-day holistic transformative experience to push physical, mental and spiritual boundaries to release, heal and self-celebrate.   

Located in the stunning Andronis Concept Wellness Resort, expect activities that supercharge Western modern fitness methods with Eastern wellbeing practices such as breath work, Pilates, fire ceremonies, Kundalini yoga, primal fitness, acupuncture, astrology-themed somatic groundings and soundscapes.

From £4,765 (this includes 4 nights in a Finesse Suite, all activities, complimentary acupuncture, a Kosmos Box & all F&B meals). Full schedule is here. Book Here.

Unwind and Relax with Da Lapa

Da Lapa candles not only smell amazing, but they are made using only organic, vegan ingredients, ensuring that they not only exquisitely scented but are also kind to the planet.

From the natural coconut wax to the glass packaging, every component is carefully selected to minimise environmental impact while maximising the sensory delivery.  Our favourite is the Lemongrass range.

Shop the range here, prices start at £8.

The global wellness market is currently estimated to be worth a whopping $6.6 trillion and one of the biggest trends emerging is the rise of wellbeing workspaces.  Soho Farmhouse, The Ned and Soppers House are the new wellness offices where members can find a trendy backdrop to hop on a Zoom, impress a new client with drinks and catch up on emails before hitting the gym to decompress or indulge in a massage after a tense week.

New on the working wellness scene is Champneys.  Renowned as a spa destination, it has launched its new luxury lifestyle membership, Cloud 9, designed to redefine the way you work and your wellbeing.

Wellbeing Workspace

More than just a spa day, Cloud 9 is a passport to work from exceptional surroundings while experiencing indulgence, relaxation, and enhance your overall wellbeing. The Cloud 9 membership gives you access to every Champneys location (Tring, Forest Mere, Henlow Grange, Springs, Eastwell Manor and Mottram Hall), with no pre-booking required.  I spent the day at their Tring outpost to check out this exclusive membership.

Set amongst lush green grounds and gardens you instantly feel calm and relaxed which sets the tone for a productive day.  Inside there’s lots of spaces to pitch up and work.   You can enjoy unlimited access to world-class spa facilities, cafes, and lounge areas across all their locations, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Members can invite up to 24 guests throughout the year so it’s perfect for holding meetings or catching up with clients.

Need a break from your screen? Take a refreshing dip in the pool or unwind with a yoga session in the dedicated wellness area. Trust me, a quick stretch or a few laps can work wonders for boosting creativity and reducing stress.  The fitness facilities here are first class.  Choose from over 20 classes a day or hit the fully equipped ground floor gym for a workout.  There’s a newly refurbed ‘Uban Gym’ great for a free weight session and a stretch.  There are dedicated Reformer Pilates and spin studios. If you need a bit of fitness inspo book as PT with one of the fitness team.  I spent one hour with lead PT Tom, who is full of tips and tweaks to get the most out of your training.

Say goodbye to sad desk lunches and hello to tasty meals crafted with your health in mind. Whether you’re craving a nutrient-packed salad or a delicious smoothie to fuel your day, Cloud 9 Champneys has got you covered. Plus, their on-site cafe serves up a variety of snacks and beverages to keep you energised throughout the day.

The spa is a serene space, ideal for unwinding after a long day.  There’s an extensive treatment menu that includes everything from facials to body wraps – all using Champneys products.  I had a signature massage and floated out the door.  If you need to squeeze in a blow out for the weekend you can book into their on-site hair salon and leave feeling a million dollars.  Members receive four complimentary treatments each year, curated to individual preferences.

But perhaps the best part of working at Cloud 9 Champneys is the sense of community you’ll find here. Gone are the days of feeling isolated behind a computer screen. At Cloud 9 Champneys, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for wellness and productivity. As a member you get exclusive access to wellness events.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, all of this sounds amazing, but is it affordable? Cloud 9 Champneys offers flexible membership options to suit your needs and budget.

I loved working out of Champneys, while I made full use of the facilities I also got lots of work done and met some interesting people.  I left feeling energised and I think that came from being in a new work environment.   It’s easy to see why wellbeing workspaces are on the rise, they are the perfect antidote to busy work days.    So grab your laptop, pack your yoga mat, and get ready to take your productivity to new heights in the most zen workspace around!

The Cloud 9 Membership can be requested online via the Champneys website and is available on an annual basis, with prices starting from £1,777, depending on location.

For more information visit Cloud 9

For countless people, visiting ‘Lapland’ is a bucket list destination most people are keen to tick off early. However, with this part of the Nordic region sparsely populated, it is hard to know where to start. If you are looking for an authentic nature adventure, look no further than Muonio. With around 2,300 residents and an area of 2,039.97 km², social distancing is never an issue there.

Muonio, Finland

What makes Muonio unique? You can breathe the purest certified air in the world. They have over 200 pristine lakes and over 20 fells, and only in Lapland will you experience eight different seasons.

Where to stay in Muonio?

A great base for your arctic adventures is Harriniva Adventure Resort. They’ve been established since 1973, on the edge of Muonio village. The hotel is synonymous with wilderness adventures. Their five decades of experience have meant they’ve fine-tuned the very best outdoor adventures for their guests. You can enjoy fast-paced action with their snowmobile and husky tours. You can go white-water rafting in Europe’s longest free-flowing river, the Tornion-Muonionjoki. You can go ice-fishing under the midnight sun. They offer multi-day wilderness tours for those who want to spot exotic wildlife. Alternatively, you can just enjoy a relaxing stroll on the frozen river and get inspired by the northern lights and the multitude of stars.

What is great about supporting Harriniva Adventure Resort is that you are supporting a third-generation family business who are passionate about the surroundings. Their restaurant serves up the best of local cuisine including toast Skagen with white fish roe and reindeer served with mushroom sauce. They also have a dedicated vegetarian menu. Their resort is also great for those seeking relaxation with two riverside saunas and outdoor jacuzzis, offering tremendous views of the locality.

Saunas in Muonio

Another place to consider visiting is Jeris Lakeside Resort. It is situated by the mystical lake of Lake Jerisjärvi. It is considered sacred in indigenous Sámi mythology. Snowmobile is a great option here through the snow-covered forest and to the lake. The jewel in their crown is Arctic Sauna World. Sauna is a religion to the Finns and this is the equivalent of a shrine for locals to worship in. 

Their saunas are named after Finnish folklore gods: Tapio, Ukko, Ilmatar and Vellamo. They represent the elements: earth, fire, wind and water. For example, the most traditional smoke sauna belongs to Ukko, which is the fire sauna. They also have a Northern Lights sauna, which includes a two-floor panorama view experience. In the winter, they have ice holes for you to take a dip in before, during and after your sauna experience. It is supposedly ideal for improving blood circulation and the suppleness of your skin.

Hunter experience

If you want to experience activities like ice fishing, you need experienced guides like the teams from Hunter of the North. You’ll be transported to your fishing spot by sleigh or snowmobile. There are numerous lakes in Muonio to choose from. They will provide all the equipment needed whether it is traps and nets or fishing rods. The kind of fish you can expect to catch include whitefish, perch, pike or burbot. They will also show you how to handle and prepare the fish, before savouring a homemade lunch by the campfire.

You can also try the reindeer herder experience. You’ll get to feed reindeer in the wilderness as well as learn invaluable knowledge about this majestic animal.

Animal farm

If you are thinking of tours with huskies, reindeer or horses, then you need to check out Polar Lights Tours. They are a family-run business and have designed these experiences for all seasons. They can be paired with other activities like picking berries or paddling through crystal clear waters. They even own an aurora wilderness cabin, where you will have a chance to observe the northern lights from the comfort of your bed.

Embracing nature

If you want to learn more about local nature and culture, you should pay a visit to the Nature Centre of Kellokas. They provide in-depth information about Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and nearby is Finland’s oldest hiking trail. The exhibitions focus on how dependent people are on nature and promote respect for Finnish wildlife. The national park is Finland’s most popular national park and was established in 1938 and includes hiking trails of varying difficulty and atmospheric campfire areas.

Whether you are a winter or a summer person, Muonio has so much to offer for outdoor aficionados.

For more information, visit the website

Just a 20-minute boat ride from Male airport and surrounded by crystal clear waters is Gili Lankanfushi. With a Robinson Crusoe barefoot luxury philosophy, this award-winning eco-resort is a destination within a destination.  

The whole Gili experience is seamless and from the moment you arrive, you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of life.   It’s intimate and luxurious with a castaway vibe.   As you set foot on the jetty you are greeted by your Mr or Ms Friday, a dedicated butler whose job is to ensure your stay is second to none. 

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
www.sandrobruecklmeier.com

With just 45 sumptuous overwater villas, including seven Crusoe Residences and The Private Reserve, it feels like a private paradise.    The overwater villas are nothing short of fabulous, with split-level decking that opens out directly onto the ocean.  Inside the generous space comprises of an open-air lounge, bedroom and an impressive bathroom with an outdoor shower, free-standing bath and double sink facing floor-to-ceiling windows.  The private roof terrace is the ideal spot to soak up a spectacular sunset.

Gili Lankanfushi
www.sandrobruecklmeier.com

One of the standout features of Gili is its world-class spa and wellness facilities.  Tucked away on a secluded bay and perched across the ocean is Meera Spa, a tranquil haven designed to bring the outdoors in with glass-panelled floors, endless views of turquoise waters and open-air walkways.  Here you can experience a customised wellness programme that incorporates a range of global therapies, drawing on age-old cultures and knowledge.  

To celebrate the launch of their new spa and wellness menu, House of Coco caught up with spa manager, Ni Wayan Eka Rianti to find out more.

Rianti tells me that unlike other spas, Meera is focussed on creating a bespoke wellness experience that is tailormade to suit guests’ needs.  “In addition to our diverse range of treatments, spanning relaxation, Ayurveda, body and face care, journeys and therapeutic treatments, our skilled therapists curate personalised experiences modified to each individual’s needs.”    There are immersive one-to-five-day wellness journeys, that include a range of curated restorative experiences with long-lasting benefits. Journeys range from a lavish five-day detox retreat, aimed to purify body and mind with a host of treatments and healing experiences, to a one-day Ayurvedic remedy journey, which revives weary travellers through therapeutic massage. New active programmes combine surfing or scuba diving with tailored spa treatments to allow guests to reach their full potential whether under the sea or riding the waves.  Rianti concludes, “Our team goes beyond traditional therapy, they become your wellness buddy treating you with genuine smiles, love and care.”

Away from the classic massage, the spa team has designed a collection of distinctive treatments.  Rianti explains, “Our Deep Muscle Fusion is a massage created for athletic, sporty guests who require complex techniques including stretching, myofascial release and trigger points to address stiffness and detox lactic acid.”  In addition to this, launching in April is a Pairing Journey.  “This is a synergy of Eastern and Western traditions that enhances the overall benefit of the treatment. This approach is adapted from the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind). For example, Earth Journey will help the guest feel grounded and calm with Shirodara and foot reflexology massage.” She says. 

For anyone feeling jetlagged or struggling to sleep the spa team are on hand to help.  Their Mindful Sleep Journey is designed to enhance the quality of sleep incorporating breathing exercises, sound healing, relaxing massage and aromatherapy.

Throughout the year, visiting practitioners specialising in healing and wellbeing take residency at Gili hosting curated programmes.  Rianti explains, “Previous practitioners have included energy healers, reiki specialists, Watsu therapists, acupuncturists, and crystal sound healers. Our ever-changing roster of visiting practitioners represents Gili’s commitment to offering world-class service and amenities amid the tropical splendour of our island.”

The eco-conscious ethos of Gili Lankanfushi extends to the spa, Rianti tells me that sustainability is at the heart of their operations.  “We have aligned with VOYA, Sodashi and Ocean R, a product line committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Furthermore, we foster partnership with several local brands to contribute and support the local business community.”  She concludes, “Some ingredients used in our treatments are sourced internally from the resort’s organic garden.”

What sets Meera apart from other resort spas is not only the amazing treatments but the way the natural beauty and surroundings are showcased.  “Each of the treatment rooms has strategically placed glass panels, positioned directly below massage beds so guests can enjoy the beauty of the ocean while experiencing a relaxing touch at the same time,” says Rianti.   The Ayurveda champa is an outdoor treatment room covered by lush green bushes by the beach.  Here guests can indulge in a treatment with natural sounds of birds, wind and the sea.   Rianti tells me that one of the guest’s favourite spots is the relaxation area.  “You can relish in unobstructed views, watching the waves breaking on the reef while sipping our signature ginger tea post treatment.”

Gili Lankafushi is a luxe oasis for discerning travellers looking for a relaxing, rejuvenating retreat.

Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,397/$1,722 based on two adults sharing a Villa Suite with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit Gili Lankanfushi

House of Coco travelled to the Maldives via Dubai with Emirates.  London Heathrow to Male return is £1,749. This is based on Premium Economy from London Heathrow to Dubai and then Economy from Dubai to Male. Prices subject to change. 

The Maldives has been on my bucket list for a while so when I received an invite to visit not one, but two prestigious resorts in the heart of the Indian Ocean, I jumped at the chance.  It didn’t disappoint, it’s one endless picture postcard with dusky pink and peach hazed sunsets, overwater hammocks and endless blue skies.  What I didn’t expect was for the place to touch my soul and stir up so many emotions. With its sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, it’s not just a vacation destination but a soul-soothing haven for resetting and recharging.

www.sandrobruecklmeier.com

From the moment I arrived at Gili Lankanfushi I felt a mental shift.  This award-winning eco-resort is a destination within a destination.  With just 45 sumptuous overwater villas, including seven Crusoe Residences and The Private Reserve, it feels intimate and exclusive.    Their Robinson Crusoe, barefoot luxury philosophy extends to all guests having a dedicated Mr or Ms Friday butler service, ensuring you have everything you need.  The service here is immaculate, it’s so discreet it’s invisible.  At one point during my stay, I did wonder if the staff had been given ninja research training because the personal touch is second to none, from the bar tender knowing your favourite drink to a personalised breakfast menu.

Post 16 hours of travel I needed a boost, and an Integrative Massage with visiting wellness practitioner, Virginie Claret was welcomed.  Virginie is a Reiki Master with over 15 years’ experience in massage, specialising in energy healing.  I’m well versed when it comes to massages having been fortunate as Wellness Editor, to road test many, so I don’t say this lightly when I say it was the best massage I have had.  Virginie has healing hands.  Focussing on the meridian lines of the body she works on balancing your energy, any blockages and restoring peace.   Within minutes I had dissolved into the bed, any post flight tension was lifted as I went into a deep state of relaxation.  Six weeks prior to traveling I had suffered a bout of Covid and as a result had ongoing chest pains and a persistent cough.  I was astounded when following my treatment with Virginie the cough stopped and I no longer had chest pains.  It may have been a coincidence, or the sunshine and the break I needed, either way I felt a lot better.

Meera spa is a holistic haven set on a secluded bay away from the villas. Over-water treatment rooms are airy and light, with expansive views and sea breezes.  Glass bottom floors allow you to catch views of the marine life while experiencing a relaxing massage.

The spa offers a selection of Ayruvedic treatments. This 5,000-year-old alternative medicine system is designed to correct imbalances in the mind and body. With a dedicated champa for Ayruvedic treatments, that use local herbs you can go on a one-day personalised Ayurvedic wellness journey or let the therapists recommend something bespoke to restore your body, mind and spirit.  I experienced a full body massage using a warm herbal poultice massage, this hits different to a regular massage and quickly soothes any aches.  The warm oils and herbs penetrate the skin to help increase blood circulation and detoxification.  The therapist works her magic and I float out of the spa and back to my villa.

What sets Gili Lankanfushi apart is not just the breathtaking scenery but the curated wellness experiences that cater to the body, mind, and soul. As the day unfolds you might find yourself participating in mindfulness workshops, guided meditation sessions, or even indulging in a moment of peace, barefoot in the soft white sand, soaking up the unparalleled views.  One of the standout features is the presence of visiting practitioners. These experts in holistic wellbeing are renowned in their field and host curated programmes providing guests with the opportunity to design their own wellness plan. Gili is a stunning, serene sanctuary that scoops you up and envelopes you in tranquillity and love.  You arrive a guest and leave as family.

Just a 45-minute sea plane ride from Male is Six Senses, Laamu.  Here wellbeing takes centre stage and is integrated into your overall stay from the food you eat, to your sleep hygiene and activities you experience. My wellness journey started a few weeks prior to travel when I received a digital package with a complimentary jet lag plan, journal and a questionnaire on my preferences for room scents, pillows and the option to request additional toiletries, yoga mat and eye mask.

On arrival you receive a warm welcome on the jetty from the team and your very own Guest Experience Maker or GEM.  Hamza, my GEM was on hand the whole stay, assisting with dinner reservations and experiences.  Laamu is a big, spacious resort offering plenty of choice for food and drink as well as activities, so you’ll never be bored. 

I checked into one of the over water villas with large split-level decks, an infinity pool and roof terrace, perfect for yoga and stretching.  From the decking you can access the ocean, where avid snorkellers can spot black tipped sharks, turtles, mantas, and some of the prettiest marine life.  Inside, the spacious interior has been designed to bring the outside in, using natural fabrics and lots of wood.  There’s an outdoor shower that looks over the ocean, but the show piece is the glass bottom bathtub.  Indulge in the views and watch the fish swim below while you soak in the tub.

Six Senses is synonymous with wellbeing and the resort offers a layered approach to wellness, combining some of the best holistic treatments, with the healing benefits of the environment and expert knowledge of their spa team to create a bespoke programme.  I started with a non-invasive health screening, which measures your key physiological biomarkers. I was strapped to a couple of machines and within 15 minutes, following some simple exercises and instructions I had my results.  The screening highlighted high dopamine and endorphin levels and low serotonin which reflects my lifestyle.  As a regular gym goer, I wasn’t surprised my endorphins were high.  Tech overload and my ongoing need to hit targets and results exposed the high dopamine levels and a bout of poor sleep coupled with a busy period at work was no doubt a factor in my low serotonin.  It was an opportunity to step back and make a few changes.  The Maldives is the ideal destination to do this, and I spent the next couple of days thinking of small adjustments I could make to be a little gentler with myself. The great thing about Six Senses is they can design a wellness program based on your results and goals. My wellness therapist recommended some dietary adjustments to boost my serotonin and ideas to support my sleep and switch off.

After a restful sleep, I start my day with a Pilates class surrounded by the soothing sounds of the ocean.  There are various classes available at the resort including Aerial Yoga, Yoga Nidra meditation and Thai Chi, all gentle and restorative. 

My GEM booked me into the resort’s award-winning spa for a tailor-made, therapeutic full body and scalp massage including face reflexology. The spa makes full use of the outdoor space with uniquely designed treatment ‘nests’ dotted along the beach or among the lush landscape.  Once I was ensconced in my nest, sound bowls and aromatherapy scents helped me tune out.  Around 15 minutes into my massage I had fallen asleep, a sign I am calm and at peace.  Following 60 minutes of utter bliss, I retreat to the juice bar for a gut soothing shot and views of the beach. 

There’s a unique energy at Six Senses, that resonates with the rhythm of the ocean and the pulse of nature. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, allowing you to press pause on the chaos of everyday life and focus on the simple joy of being. With its powder white beaches and crystal-clear ocean, It’s canvas for self-discovery and renewal.

Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,397/$1,722 based on two adults sharing a Villa Suite with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit Gili Lankanfushi

For more information on bookings at Six Senses, Laamu please contact reservations-maldives@sixsenses.com or visit the website

House of Coco travelled to the Maldives via Dubai with Emirates.  London Heathrow to Male return is £1,749. This is based on Premium Economy from London Heathrow to Dubai and then Economy from Dubai to Male. Prices subject to change.