The moment I came aboard the luxury ship that was to take us to the One & Only resort, I knew I had a lot to look forward to. Leather chairs, a magazine to read, and staff that would fulfill my every wish. I felt pampered like a princess. 😀
A welcoming party awaited us at the pier, one member of which was playing a large gong, which made me feel even more princess-like. One & Only invested a lot of money into the Reethi Rah island. Three quarters of the island’s area have been rebuilt and the remaining quarter of the original landscape consists of a few of the curved beaches.
As a side note, the Reethi Rah island has been remodeled to vaguely resemble an octopus and offers 6 km of shore with 12 different beaches. There’s a total of 130 villas, 32 of which are built on stilts over the water.
I had a great lunch in a restaurant on the beach. When I asked for the lunch menu, they brought me a giant free standing placard of the kind that Czech pubs and restaurants use to advertise their menus. It took me a while to decide but in the end I had the catch of the day with a baked potato and grilled vegetables. The interior of the restaurant was designed in white and blue, and the harmonious play of the colors all around me put me in a very relaxed mood.
This was probably the first time in my life that I saw a Sun Spa, where you can get prepared for staying in the sun. It was a small shack on the beach with an info board showing how strong the sun is at different times. All that was left afterward was to pick one of the nice canopied ‘beds’ on the beach, which give the place a somewhat fairy-tale look..
One & Only has probably the best fitness center I’ve ever seen. At the entrance there is a touch screen that provides you with an interactive introduction to the fitness center and what it offers. You can even have a personal trainer here. There were two, and both were a joy to behold. You can also get various small refreshments, of course, such as fruit, nuts, and some special soft drinks that enhance your exercise. At the end of your training you can get a protein drink. I was most surprised by the fact that they have punching bags out on the beach. I had to try them out immediately but it wasn’t easy in the heat.
After a thorough exercise session, you have to let the body relax in a bath. The place is a marvel to behold. A huge open area with hammocks and deck chairs as far as the eye can see. Espa is one of the largest baths in the Maldives with more than 10 different rooms outfitted for different procedures.
This was the first time I encountered WATSU (WATer shiatSU), which is deep relaxation while exercising in water. It’s part massage, part yoga stretching in water heated up to 36 degrees Celsius while enjoying spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.. It helps relax your muscles and improves blood circulation and increase range of motion.
I love yoga, for which they have an open bungalow out on the water. Too bad I didn’t have enough time to stay a while and exercise a bit while listening to the soothing sound of the sea.
Being a proper woman, I had to check out their local boutique, of course. They had beautiful shoes, dresses, and jewelry. The prices weren’t quite so nice, though. $500 for a dress is a tad out of my reach. 😀
One&Only offers a plenty of activities not just for adults but also for kids. You can find here tennis courts, a golf simulators, 8 metres tall climbing wall. Younger guests, aged 4 to 11, can play a variety of sports at KidsOnly and OneTribe, where a clubhouse, swimming pool, dining area and supervised playground give children ample space to have fun.
Teenagers can choose a tailor-made programme of sports and excursions at the recreation area, ClubOne. ClubOne Activities for teens embrace the island’s natural amenities, including treasure hunts, beach volleyball and football. Children can even learn to make their own pizzas, sushi, cookies, and snacks during organised cookery classes.
Bicycles are given to each guest to explore the island’s 44 hectares. Because of an octopus shape of the island I managed to get lost few times, but on the other hand I was able to check other villas. While cycling around I found that this resort is probably the only one to have a saltwater ‘river’ in the interior of the island. Given the local crystal-clear water, it was a sight to behold. See for yourselves.
The accommodation waiting for me was grand. No tiny little villa but a very roomy mansion with high ceilings. There was nothing dividing the rooms and the whole thing had a very unified, awe-inspiring look to it. Outside there was a nice swimming pool, canopied deck chairs, swing chairs, and a hammock. I’d love to stay for a year but I don’t think I could afford that. 😀
In the afternoon we took a boat trip to the neighboring island for a bit of diving among sea turtles. I was surprised to see a great variety of fish that I hadn’t seen elsewhere before. I was beginning to lose hope when finally about 10 turtles passed by us, serenely gliding through the water and nibbling on corals. That was one of the best diving sessions I’ve had so far.
There’s a total of 6 restaurants on the island offering various cuisines, such as Japanese, Mediterranean, and Arabic. I mustn’t forget to mention the vine cellar Epicure, which offers more than 4000 bottles of wine of 700 different brands.
We had our dinner in the chef’s garden. The tables were interspersed among the trees, vegetables, and herbs, which are grown there to be used in the food. I ordered a grilled lobster with fusion coconut sauce and I couldn’t get enough of it. The combination of the different tastes was indescribable.
We finished off the evening with a drink and a desert in a Japanese restaurant. We had the local specialty, which was essentially a big ball of ice with fruit, ice cream, chocolate, hot chocolate rolls, and various other goodies in it.
The next day’s breakfast was in the form of a large buffet and then it was time to get ready for the flight back to Male. See you again someday, One&Only Reethi Rah!