Six Senses Laamu - Trip Report

Old Jul 9th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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Six Senses Laamu - Trip Report

I have just returned from a week at this resort and thought I would post a report, since it is relatively new, having just opened around April 2011. I went alone and was treated to a breathtaking week!

Upon arrival at Male Airport, I was greeted by the Six Senses staff who led me to the domestic terminal, a two minute walk outside. My flight into Male arrived around 10:45pm and there was a scheduled domestic flight (Maldivian Air) around 11:30. The resort took care of the domestic flight arrangements and the cost was included in the resort cost. I do not know if this is always the case, but it was a nice convenience. There were about 15 of us waiting for the flight and I thought the plane would be quite small since we were weighed (in addition to our luggage)! The plane had about 50 seats, but I think there are flights with only about 15 seats.

It is a 30 minute flight from Male to Kadhdhoo (KDO) Airport, in the Laamu atoll. Unfortunately, the flights to and from were at night, so other than a few twinkling lights, I was not able to get a glimpse of the islands or ocean. Upon arrival at KDO, we were again met by the resort staff. They took us with our luggage a short walk to the waiting speedboat. We made a 20 minute speedboat ride to the resort, where they were awaiting our arrival. Six Senses is the only resort in the Laamu atoll, there are a few occupied islands, one of which you can see from the resort island and is probably a few kms away.

Upon arrival guests meet their GEM (Guest Experience Maker) who is available to you throughout your stay for anything you might need. My GEM was Rasheed, who was outstanding throughout the week. The island is one hour ahead of Male, so we arrived around 3am local time. The staff was great in realizing that we would all be quite tired, so they kept the orientation to the resort very short. Rasheed immediately took us to our villas and our luggage arrived 5 minutes after us. After a 12+ hour travel day, I know I was very appreciative of their understanding that we probably just wanted to get some rest!

The island is about 750m x 200m with beach and water villas. Since it has recently opened, they are apparently finishing the last of the villas, but if there was any construction I did not see or hear it. There is one 2 bedroom villa with a small pool, which you can see when you walk along the beach is not quite finished but looks to be done shortly. You can walk almost all of the way around the island. There is one part, in front of the spa which has signs to not pass through, which I am sure is for privacy. It is a “no shoes” resort, which is more of a suggestion. None of the staff ever wears shoes (that I could see), but you are not precluded from doing so. I did wear flip flops almost everywhere, which probably half the guests did as well. In reality, if you had more than flip flops your shoes would likely be filled with sand!

I stayed in Beach Villa 82, which was beautiful; it looks just like the pictures. The villa is basically one large room, with the bed facing a wall of windows that look directly onto your private beach. The king size bed is divinely comfortable and housekeeping comes in the morning to make up the room as well as in the evening to replace towels and put the mosquito net around the bed. Although set up for 2 people, I saw a few families with 2 young children, so there is ability for a family to stay in one villa. There is also a sofa and a desk, which is almost a floor level, so when you sit down your legs hang down in a space below floor level and you are looking out onto the beach.

The WC is located within the villa. Glass doors on one side of the villa lead you to the shower and tub area as well as the roof deck, which is above the shower area. The roof deck has two built in lounges and a table that would more than comfortably seat 4 people. There are actually two showers. One is more of just an overhead rain shower which you would use coming off of the beach in order to rinse off. I was a bit hesitant the first time I showered, since it is outside, but it is very private and someone would have to make quite an effort to see you! Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are supplied. I am usually one to seek out non-scented bath products, but these had a very subtle lemongrass scent. I even ended up purchasing a candle in the same scent, which will hopefully remind me of this beautiful place! There was an option to ask for non-scented products or one other scent (I don’t remember what it was).

You are also provided with a rattan beach bag, which is a very useful touch. The villa also had plenty of beach towels (in addition to regular towels), large umbrellas, rain jackets and bathrobes (thin cotton, which is perfect in the heat). There was an in room safe, minibar as well as wireless internet. I asked for extra water, which was replenished each day without asking.

If you have adverse reactions to nature, this is probably not the place for you! The beach villas are surrounded by lush trees and plants about 2.5 meters tall, which makes it feel very much like being in the jungle. There are a few different types of very small crabs along the beach, which are quite funny to watch. There are palmetto bugs (a nice way to call them as I learned when I lived in Florida!), birds and at night there are mosquitoes and I even saw a few bats. Although intimidating at first, I actually enjoyed it as it showed the resort is interested in preserving the natural surroundings.

Everyone is provided with a bicycle to get around the island. If requested, you could get a tricycle. At first I was a bit hesitant of this (it’s been awhile since I rode a bike) but it was actually quite fun. I think a ride around the whole island took about 20 minutes. There is a basket on the bicycle on the front of the bicycle for your bag.

I was on a half board package, which included the room, breakfast and dinner. Two meals a day like this is generally fine for me, so it worked out well. I thought all of the food was excellent, with fresh ingredients as well as organically grown vegetables from the island’s garden. At each meal, you are provided with a “shooter” of the days’ drink, which is a shot of a mixture of fruit juices, vegetable juices and/or herbs. It was always a refreshing way to start the meal. Breakfast was an international buffet with western and Asian dishes, including a large assortment of breads, fresh fruits and cheeses. The waffles were especially delicious, cooked with a slight crunch on the outside and a hint of vanilla flavor. After day 3, the staff knew not to even ask me, they just brought the waffles!

Although there are several options or special arrangements that can be made for dinner, there are 2 main restaurants. Longitudes (where breakfast is also served) is the main restaurant. On five nights, there is a 3 course menu with choices such as fish, pasta and beef for the main course. The dishes have different influences, so it makes for a good variety of choices. Although not a strict vegetarian, that is how I tend to eat and there were plenty of delicious choices. Twice I had the special maki roll starter (slightly different every night), which was lightly grilled and tasty. The reef fish, which is a mild flavored, flaky white fish was also excellent. The deserts range from chocolate mousse to ice cream to fruit. On two nights there are buffets (one was Asian and one was Seafood), both first-rate. The other main restaurant is LEAF, which is built above the organic garden, which has an impressive array of chilies. This restaurant is more of a Mediterranean flavor and again excellent. There is an extensive wine list. There are only about 4 choices each of red and white by the glass, which was a bit limiting but if you ordered a bottle and did not finish it, the sommelier would have kept it in the wine cellar for you for another night or you could take it back to your villa.

Since breakfast and dinner are just fine for me, I cannot comment on the lunch menu. There is an ice cream store with at least 30 flavors of ice cream and sorbet and a do-it-yourself toppings bar. The bar / lounge area has different types of areas to relax: chairs and tables, two-person size lounge sofas overlooking the ocean and nets that are over the water than you can relax on.

I did indulge in the spa, which was has a wonderful environment and definitely promoted the relaxation that I needed! The massage rooms are individual huts that are located along the beach. The are semi-enclosed so that you are shaded from the sun and not exposed but open enough so that you can hear the waves lapping on the shore. I had two different massages during the week (Thai and Bali, which is more like a traditional massage). The relaxation area is a deck facing the water of about 6 lounges and includes a juice bar for before or after your treatments. You are provided with a thin cotton bathrobe (perfect for the hot and humid environment) and there is a sauna, shower and dressing area with a blower dryer (if you want to attempt that in the heat!). There are no lockers for your own clothes, but you can use your beach bag to easily keep your clothes with you. The cost of treatments is in line with what I would expect for a 5 star resort. If you enjoy spa treatments, the service and cost was well worth it. There is a small but well equipped gym and a pavilion for Pilates, yoga or other classes, some of which are complimentary.

Since I was alone, I did not take part in some activities that would be more suited to a couple. For example, there is a very small private island where you can have a picnic, bbq, etc or things such as a sunset cruise. Several of the activities were priced based on two, so I assume they are geared towards couples, but I did not ask if there could be pricing just for one, so I cannot comment on this definitively. There is every type of water sport that you can think of: windsurfing, sailing, surfing, diving, snorkeling, etc. The diving school provides lessons, so beginners can learn.

I did not dive, but I did quite a bit of snorkeling, which is one of my absolute favorite activities. You can obtain snorkeling equipment free of charge from the dive school, which you can keep and return just when you leave. I was able to walk 10 meters out of my villa into the ocean and snorkel, as well as get into the water from other access points on the island (anywhere on the beach, off the jetty for the water villas or off of the bar/lounge area). The house reef was very nice and I saw quite a lot of fish, including a giant sea turtle. There is some bleaching of the reef, which probably occurs in any place that humans have come into, but overall I think they have done a very good job in not disturbing it as much as possible. I did take a snorkeling trip with the dive school (cost was US$45 for 2.5 hrs). We went about 20 minutes off of the island by boat and snorkeled in two locations. Both had beautiful, colorful coral and plenty of fish. I was within 5 meters of an enormous eagle ray and a very curious sea turtle came within a meter of us. I was able to take some very nice underwater photos.

Prior to check out you are provided with a bill and schedule for the last day, including when your luggage would be picked up, when you need to be at the dock and the flight details back to Male. Upon leaving, the staff waves you off from the dock.

There is very little to complain about, with “complain” being too strong a word. There was a Bose system in which you could plug in your iPod (or borrow one from the resort) and there were speakers in the villa and the outdoor shower area. I would have loved to have speakers off the back of the villa, so I could hear it when lounging on the beach. If you open the windows, you would hear the music but then you risk bugs entering the villa. There are two sockets on the side of the desk that would accept any power plugs (so you do not need an adaptor). The only issue is they way they were set; some plugs would not sit into it properly. The movies at the jungle cinema (open twice a week) seem to alternate been western and Chinese movies. The one evening that I went it was a Chinese movie, but it was quite violent, war movie, which seemed like an odd choice to me (especially because there are children at the resort).

If asked, I would have a difficult time in recommending that someone choose the beach or water villa. I loved being able to walk a few feet into the ocean, but the water villa would have been spectacular. Plus, it probably caught a bit more of the ocean breeze since it is more exposed. There are 3 jetties if water villas. If you stayed in one, I would try to avoid the middle jetty, just because I think you can look across to see the water villas on the other jetties, but in reality they are far enough away from each other where you cannot see into the villa.

I had a magnificent time. The staff, including the general manager Antony, is first rate and they impressively remembered your name and preferences (let’s say I drink lots of iced tea!). My only regret is having to leave and return to my real life!
Lizzie_17 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2011, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for reporting back to us about this lovely resort. It sounds like paradise!
Kathie is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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How much was it a night?
dogster is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2011, 11:30 PM
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I am paying in HK$ and I paid for 5 nights with 2 for free. Converting, it was about US$580 for 5 nights, so the total was US$2900 which is about $414 averaged over 7 nights.
This included room, the half board and domestic flights (which look like the cost about US$120 each way).

Paradise is the right description!
Lizzie_17 is offline  
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