At 6am in the morning, on a secluded island just south of Male, you’ll find a group of travellers madly searching for a hidden treasure amongst the greenery. This is how we start our day in the LUX* South Ari Atoll resort. Every day at 6am the staff hide 25 bottles. These are not regular bottles though they are special “Message in a Bottle” that are filled with sand and a handwritten paper. Enclosed in this bottle is a surprise prize for those who are lucky enough to find one (believe me they can be quite challenging to find). During our short stay of 4 days we were able to find 11 bottles! Below is a proud picture of me with the 11 bottles we found. The record was set at 14 bottles and that couple found it over 7 days! Even though you find more than one bottle you can only claim one prize so after we chose our prize (a traditional Maldivian sarong) we spent our last day handing out the other 10 bottles to surprise guests with a gift.
It was unfortunate that during the 4 days we were staying at LUX* South Ari Atoll it rained quite a bit, however, we were able to use the little sunlight times to capture some of the amazing moments of our experience here. I’ve included a cool drone picture of our water villa from above. Our villa is the middle (and slightly bigger sized) one.
One of my favorite location in this resort was near the west side. There was an east point and a west point (they were quite far away from each other so we tend to take buggies there). Near west point there were a few swings in the water and this cool slanted coconut tree also with a cute swing attached to it (I’ve always wanted to climb one of these! ticked off another bucket list!).
At the very west end of the island there are some cool water villas. These water villas don’t have their own pool but still overlook the beautiful clear Maldivian waters. There’s even a cool swing by the entrance if you want to relax with a view or you can opt to visit the library or Junk Art studio nearby. During our second day we explored the Junk Art Studio and made some cool art on a pebble. It’s quite inspiring to see the resort using old wood or recycling plastic to make art.
On our third day we explored the world of Maldivian cuisine and coffee art. This was by far the most interesting experience we had during our stay. I normally never cook as I’m a big fan of eating out so this whole experience really opened me up to not only the Maldivian cuisine and culture but also to falling in love with cooking. The Master Chef LUX class was so much fun we got to make a full 3 course menu and I’d definitely recommend this experience.
Now I’ve spoken a lot about the west side above but let’s take a moment to talk a bit about East Point. East point is where we have breakfast (there were two options when we stayed at LUX we could eat at MIXE café (located towards west side of the island) which offered western cuisine or we could eat at East Market (located on the bridge of east point) which offered Asian cuisine. We personally preferred eating breakfast at East Market due to the variety of food on offer. This was also convenient as our water villa was located at the end of the bridge of the East Point. Below you can see our breakfast is overlooking into the water villas at east point.
Oh did I also mention you can have a floating breakfast option? Isn’t that just cool! This has truly been such an amazing experience in the Maldives (it was also my first time being in this country). Even though it rained over the 4 days we were here we were pleasantly welcomed by the friendly staff of LUX resort. Special shout out to our fav staff members Nima (Assistant F&B Manager), Eric and Bon (Chefs) and Daisy (PR manager) for making our stay there extra special. In collaboration with LUX* South Ari Atoll resort and The Asia Collective.