Jun 10, 2021
AFTER THE ABSOLUTE BUST OF 2020, my family and I wanted to go big – really big – in 2021. In choosing the Maldives, we were aiming for total immersion in that big blue beyond for which the country is famous (and for which Covid lockdowns at home definitely were not). Aside from a bit of an admittedly “treat yo’self” mentality, we also wanted a retreat, a place that would feel soul-soothing and mind-cleansing and allow us to commune with that elemental part of nature: spending time in sea water, after all, is good for the skin, can calm the nervous system, reduce stress, reduce pain, help breathing… the list goes on.
And so we went to COMO Maalfushi, and the Indian Ocean outpost of this luxury wellbeing brand did not disappoint. Our time there was inextricably intertwined with our aquatic surroundings. If whale sharks on speed dial and bioluminescent night snorkeling sounds like your jam, we’re kindred souls. Here are five ways that COMO Maalifushi ensures that its guests are one with the ocean.
1. Swimming with whale sharks
Never has a phone call been as exhilarating as the one I received when whale sharks had been sighted in nearby waters. After COMO Maalifushi guides rang me with the alert, I hurried to the dock, and was whisked away for a night swim with these magnificent marine animals. The Maldives’ clear water allows for an aquarium-like view of the whale sharks in their natural habitat, and watching them feed under the boat’s floodlights is other-worldly.
2. Practicing open-air over-water yoga
Health and wellness is serious business at COMO resorts, and the brand does not skimp on atmosphere, either. Anxiety melted away as I practiced daily alongside COMO Maalifushi’s internationally accredited yoga instructor in their open-air over-water pavilion. COMO understands the importance of strengthening mind and body, and through its highly acclaimed COMO Shambhala program, offers a plethora of wellness practices and treatments to realign any soul.
3. Surfing secluded, best-kept-secret spots
Ever wanted to catch a break in a spot with special significance? During the surf season of April through October, COMO Maalifushi is home to a full-time instructor who is brilliant at teaching all levels. Beginners master the basics in the resort’s calm lagoon, and, when ready, travel out to a contoured, reef-corner that delivers ideal waves. The Surf Pass allows more experienced surfers to tear it up at more than a dozen of the finest breaks at three atolls in the region– how’s that for exclusivity?
4. Conscientious coral regeneration
After learning about the devastating impact that rising sea temperatures had on coral reefs in 2016, my family and I worked alongside COMO Maalifushi’s marine biologist to collect coral, build, and plant a frame on the seafloor. Sponsoring coral propogation created a lasting positive impact not only on the environment, but our travel experience.
5. Snorkeling under the stars
Don’t be fooled by the setting sun, because the awe you’ll find here does not set with it. Intent to see what goes on after dark, I took to the house reef at night armed with an underwater flashlight and the company of the marine biologist. Wondrous creatures that hide during the day – lionfish, squid and Moray eels – came alive. And when we turned off our flashlights, the glow-in-the-dark magic of bioluminescent plankton and marine life took over to reveal a truly extraordinary underwater light show.
comohotels.com; starting room rate for double occupancy in a COMO Maalifushi Beach Suite is US$710 per night, excluding taxes, including half-board meal rate.