Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island flight south from Malé International Airport and a short speedboat ride brings you to a place of unique, untouched and simple beauty. At Six Senses Laamu, 97 water and beachfront villas are constructed of sustainable materials and spread around the palm-fringed island paradise.
Barefoot serenity! White sand, turquoise water, untouched beaches and lush vegetation. Six Senses Hotels and Resorts was voted recently by the readers of Travel+Leisure Magazine the Best Luxury Hotel Brand in the World in 2017 and Six Senses Laamu lives up to the hype.
At the end of July, I have been invited for a short media stay at Six Senses Laamu. Having been in Maldives before this trip, at another very famous resort brand, somehow, I doubted that this experience would be significantly different. The fact that Six Senses won one of the most prestigious awards in the industry (at the Travel+Leisure Awards) somehow rang a bell and I had the sense that, I was IN for a different kind of travel experience.
First, the Six Senses brand is a whole new travel experience, one that makes you more environmentally conscious. The 97 villas on the island are built from eco-friendly, recycled materials, and the main concern for the hotel management is reducing the waste quantity. There are no plastic bottles on the island, as the water is purified and packed in glass bottles. I didn’t have any waste to throw in the trash after my 4 nights stay, and it was only then, that I realized the importance of eliminating plastic waste from our daily lives.
Immediately after you return home, you start changing your habits, and this is due to your stay at Six Senses, it is only then when you realize that the experience was unique and extraordinary in its own way. Thus immediately after my return, I gave up plastic water bottles, bought an Edelwasser water purifier, and started keeping my water in glass bottles.
After my visit to the spa and a consult from their very famous sleep doctor I even changed my evening habits. I stop using my laptop and smartphone half an hour before I go to sleep, instead I meditate and listen to relaxation music. As the human body is made of 70% water, the studies implemented at Six Senses show the invisible bond between music and water. This is the reason why relaxation music, played at a low intensity calms you down and helps you fall asleep faster. Think about the many times you were at a concert and had trouble falling asleep, even 2-3 hours later. It is all connected to the bond between water and body.
The Six Senses Spas are world-famous for their holistic approach to health. You don’t receive a relaxing massage, you receive a consultation with an Ayurveda healer, who tries to pinpoint your stressors and eliminate them using naturopathic methods. It was here when, I heard for the first time about ashwagandha, a plant from Himalaya, which does wonders for your anxiety, and this plant has become now part of my daily routine. You can find it as a powder, which you can add to your morning smoothie, or as a capsule.
Sleep at Six Senses is an innovative program, created for those with sleep difficulties. It is a groundbreaking program, and the doctors at Six Senses will recommend you Yoga Nidra relaxation techniques, which help you relax each part of your body consciously. It is rather challenging at first, but it all comes down to concentration and determination.
Six Senses is not for those who prefer opulence and luxury, but for those “discerning travelers” among you, looking for new experiences, relaxation, peace and quiet and a simpler way of life. For complete immersion to our natural roots, almost nobody here wears shoes, not even for dinner. “Barefoot serenity” is very significant, and after spending a few days barefooted, even a pair of comfortable Yeezy’s seems too much.
The attention to detail is overwhelming. Each villa has its own butler, which you almost never see. He discreetly waits until you are away to clean the room and to surprise you with some chocolate candies created by one of their Chefs. The sandy colors reflect everywhere, both outside and inside, and the discreet decorations entice you to supreme relaxation. You’ll find your own CD with relaxation music in the villa, and their selection is both impressive and unique. I regret not using Shazam to identity the playlist, and I only recently found out that the music can’t be found on YouTube or iTunes, as the entire musical selection was created especially for Six Senses.
The cuisine is amazing with a focus on health foods, locally grown and harvested in the resort. Unlike many other resorts, there is no food waste, not even after breakfast. There is a limited and sufficient selection of the buffet items, and you can also order a la carte. You can choose between warm granola with figs, plain yoghurt, nuts and honey (the best I ever tasted by far) and pick one of the may special detox juices. My favorite was the one with mint and ginger. The staff is so detail oriented that they even remember your name, and on the third morning they even remember your morning habits. I had just sat down at the table, when the waiter already brought me fresh lime and ginger juice, and at the end of my meal a cappuccino with lots of milk foam.
Once I returned from my trip, I already started to plan my next visit to Six Senses Laamu during the autumn of next year. Somehow, these unique and sensory travel experiences are addicting, and this is backed up by the fact that many clients return once or twice a year, for their portion of “quiet and relaxation” after months and months of chaotic and challenging projects.
The story of Six Senses
From its beginnings in 1995, Six Senses quickly became recognized as the hospitality industry’s pioneer of sustainable practices, demonstrating that responsibility can be successfully wedded to uncompromised high-end facilities. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas are discovered in some of the world’s most unique and beautiful places. Whether it be a Six Senses resort on a remote private island or a Six Senses Spa in an exciting urban setting, the touch-points are always decidedly the same. And while being part of the local fabric and culture, Six Senses is very much in tune with the wider world. It offers crafted guest experiences to stimulate, energize and revitalize the human spirit, delivered by global experts from a wide range of backgrounds.
Six Senses resorts are intimate, offering an emotionally intelligent approach to service that begins with empathy. The Six Senses aesthesis has a touch of quirkiness, which supports delightful and unexpected surprises, delivered out of constant curiosity and willingness to challenge the norm. The responsible and caring attitude of Six Senses is intrinsic to the brand and extends to employees and local communities in which Six Senses operates. It is committed to preserving the environment through sustainable operations, guided by overarching goals and values.
Six Senses is committed to sustainability and its obligation to the environment and the community. Widely recognized as having established the initial benchmarks for the hospitality industry showing that a leisure lifestyle could be successfully embraced by the very top tier of resorts, Six Senses has shown that it is possible to enhance the guest experience by showing respect to nature. Through careful consideration of the effects that operating systems, materials and purchasing policies have on the environment, Six Senses is continually developing new initiatives and procedures to minimize our ecological impact.
Under the leadership of Amber Beard, vice president of sustainability, Six Senses remains at the leading edge of sustainable tourism best practices. These include environmental performance tracking and measurement at each property, support for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage and enhancing social and economic benefits to local communities where Six Senses operates. The Six Senses commitment to sustainability addresses the carbon emissions resulting from guest travel and hotel operations and invites guests to share the responsibility to offset that footprint. There are programs in place to conserve energy, re-use water for secondary applications and to re-cycle waste materials produced by resorts. Responsible purchasing means that only eco-friendly chemicals are procured for use in the operations, while food and beverage products are produced locally, and wherever possible, packaging is kept to an absolute minimum, or re-usable.
Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu offers an individual and natural style along with a wonderful sense of privacy. Villa accommodations provide an environmentally sustainable yet well-appointed interior design with spectacular water views. Every little detail has been carefully considered and designed with a minimalistic touch.
The resort also offers unique experiences such as private dining or cocktails on the sandbank, sunken table or candlelit dinners on the beach.
Six Senses Laamu has fostered strong relationships with the local communities that inhabit the surrounding atolls. In particular Six Senses works closely with a school located on a nearby island and gets them involved in sustainable activities. Six Senses hosts present seminars on zero waste, ocean preservation and other relevant topics. In addition, students are frequently invited to Six Senses for tree planting, beach cleaning or watching movies on sustainable topics before treats of picnic lunches.
Six Senses Laamu has 97 beachfront and water villas, carefully
designed to complement the outstanding natural beauty of
the island. They offer privacy, coziness and luxury. True to the
Six Senses’ philosophy of being in harmony with the environment,
the villas are crafted from local and sustainable materials.
• King/twin sized bed • Air-conditioning • Bose entertainment system • All villas offer full sea view • Hair dryer • Non-allergenic pillows • In-Villa safe • Lighted make-up/shaving mirror • Multi-line telephone with voicemail • Tea/coffee making facilities • 37-inch flat-panel TV with satellite channels • Minibar and fresh beverage facilities • IDD telephone and WiFi • Outdoor bathroom and rain shower
Six Senses Laamu’s dining alternatives have been designed
to take the best advantage of the island’s idyllic beauty with
panoramic views and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The
over-water amenities facility of Six Senses Laamu is the largest
in the Maldives, offering many options. In addition, organic
meals served around the organic garden on the island.
This open air, two-story overwater dining venue begins each day with a bountiful breakfast. Dinner is an a-la-carte international menu of fresh catch, grilled meats, pastas and Asian flavors. Twice a week, the resort’s chefs create a unique buffet experience for guests, with local and fresh ingredients. Each Tuesday is a seafood buffet and an Asian buffet is featured on Fridays.
Perched above the organic garden, talented chefs work with local ingredients sourced from Maldivian fishermen and farmers to create innovative dishes. The restaurant features an ever-changing Mediterranean menu for dinner.
Sip Sip with its sunken bar and adjacent poolside seating, emerges from the swimming pool and offers a great casual all day dining alternative. Homemade pizzas, crisp salads, juicy burgers, a variety of pasta and locally inspired desserts.
Six Senses Spas offers a layered approach that unites a pioneering spirit with treatments that go beyond ordinary.
From tailored treatments provided by global practitioners and expert yogic masters to functional fitness, anti-aging and nutritional programs, everything is centered on the guest.
Six Senses Spa Laamu offers nine private treatment nests, either
with an ocean view or tucked away in the lush nature that surrounds them. Awaken the senses with locally inspired and Ayurvedic treatments, massages, yoga and fitness classes or
workshops. Highly skilled Six Senses Spa therapists use a synergy of natural products to provide a comprehensive range of award-winning signature procedures and journeys, plus rejuvenation and wellness specialties of the region. Visiting practitioners offer guests lifestyle consultations and specialized holistic sessions.
• Explore the underwater world and enjoy the clear waters by diving or snorkeling. Water sports include kayaking, catamaran sailing, windsurfing and stand up paddling.
• Surf’s up! May to September is the time for the best waves.
The YinYang Surf Break, the most famous break in Maldives,
is only a few meters away from the resort. Daily boat trips are
organized during this season.
• Early morning fishing, sunset fishing or big game fishing! Whatever the catch, talented chefs will prepare it to order!
• Guests can embark on a true Robinson Crusoe adventure to their own island for a day and enjoy a picnic on a deserted beach.
Saving the Sea Grass
Home to tens of thousands of fish and an important source of food for turtles, the sea grass around Laamu Atoll is vital, so the resort has pledged commitment to a conservation program, creating a role model for the Maldives. Six Senses Laamu recognizes the ecological importance of sea grass habitats and pledges to play an active role in the conservation of sea grass beds around the resort island.
Six Senses Water
As a company committed to sustainability, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa treats, purifies, mineralizes and bottles its own drinking water in order to mitigate the negative environmental and social aspects associated with imported water in plastic bottles.
Each bottle of Six Senses water is produced to the highest international drinking water standards and is processed on-site at each Six Senses property. Following stringent filtration requirements the initial first step is reverse osmosis. It is followed by further ultra-violet purification and re-mineralized to provide healthy still and sparkling water for guests and hosts.
Water is bottled in glass only, no plastic, which is sealed with an airtight stopper clipped in place with a metal clasp, then dated for freshness. Although the use of glass may be the costlier alternative requiring cleaning and sterilization before reuse, the positive environmental impacts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transport and plastic (which is not easily recyclable in some Six Senses locations) along with the financial returns of reducing outgoing costs for disposal of plastic far exceed the initial cost of buying branded bottled water.
Six Senses water is provided on a complimentary basis in all Six Senses accommodations in Thailand, Vietnam, Oman, the Maldives; Chengdu, China and Douro Valley, Portugal.
Chilled water served in restaurants has a charge which is significantly less than imported bottled water. And 50 percent of the revenues from water sales go directly into the resort’s sustainability fund.
The Sustainability Fund, which is established on each property, is comprised of 0.5 percent of revenues, soft toy sales (in villas) and 50 percent of water sales. This money is used locally on social and environmental projects. The water sales are earmarked for use in projects which bring