Few experiences could be more soothing than the Sacred Water Ritual at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. The three-hour massage takes place in one of the resort’s four above-water treatment pavilions, so while a therapist uses a coconut-milk massage powder to work out the kinks in your body, you can watch clown fish and Oriental sweetlips swim under the pavilion’s glass floor.
This treatment is one of several paths to relaxation at the Four Seasons, which opened in 2006 on a remote northeastern island of the Maldives. In one of the 60 beach suites or 42 over-water villas, you can listen to the meditative sound of breaking waves while reclining in a deep soaking tub or outdoor daybed. Even the air-taxi ride to the island can be calming, if you allow yourself to be mesmerized by the brilliant blue of the ocean during the 30-minute flight from the Maldives’ international airport to this 44-acre spit of sand and palm trees.
At the Four Seasons’ Ayurvedic Retreat, set within the spa complex, the resort offers more active means of improving your disposition—and your doshas, the energies that, according to the ancient Hindu philosophy of Ayurveda, control the body and mind. The resort’s resident Ayurvedic physician oversees the program and advises guests on ways they can employ Ayurvedic practices—such as massages, yoga, herbal scrubs, oil baths, and breathing techniques—to improve their physical and psychological health.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, +960.66.00.888, www.fourseasons.com
On a private island in the Indian Ocean, 30 minutes by plane from the Maldives’ Malé International Airport.
Most of the 102 bungalows, villas, and suites have their own plunge pools and outdoor living spaces.
Four restaurants including an Italian fine-dining venue overlooking the resort’s lagoon and Al Barakat, which specializes in Moroccan and Lebanese food and sits over the water.
Four of the 10 treatment pavilions are over water; three others are located at the resort’s Ayurvedic Retreat, where experts in ancient Indian therapies treat physical ailments and prescribe remedies for spiritual shortcomings such as impatience.
Tennis, swimming in the ocean or in one of four pools, and water sports.
$1,200 to $6,600