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When you get to a resort, there’s always the question of “Now what?” And when you’re in such an isolated and exclusive place as the Maldives, you really need to make the most of your time there. When I was able to score a fantastic redemption at the brand new St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort last year (just 32,500 Starpoints per night for an overwater villa; the current rate is 90,000 Starpoints per night for that room), I almost immediately started planning what I was going to do.
Compared to other properties I’ve stayed at in the Maldives, like the Conrad and the Park Hyatt (full review coming soon), the wide range of activities at the St. Regis really set it apart. From traditional Maldivian fishing to zero-gravity yoga, there’s something to keep everyone occupied when you’re there. Here are four activities I enjoyed while I was at the property:
One way to live like a Maldivian is to do as the locals do: fish. The Maldivian version is pretty simple, but it takes a lot of luck. When you go Maldivian fishing, there’s no pole — just a line, hook, some bait and knowing when to pull.
I had a fantastic time, and my travel mate and I came back from our excursion with five freshly-caught fish — not bad for a couple of first-timers.
In addition to the spectacular sunset we were able to witness from the back of our boat, the best part was being able to chow down on our fresh catch the next day. Our fish was prepared and served right on the back deck of our overwater villa. And, I must say, it tasted great — Barracuda may not be the most attractive-looking fish, but it’s delicious. Especially when you’ve caught it yourself.
We chose a private sunset fishing trip, which goes from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and costs $800 for up to six guests. If you’re looking at a more budget-friendly option, there’s also a general sunset fishing tour that lasts for the same amount of time and costs $105 per person.
The Super-Luxe Iridium Spa and Hydrotherapy Pool
The treatments I received at the St. Regis Maldives’ Iridium Spa really took my trip to the next level in terms of relaxation. Rejuvenating in a private outdoor tub is a great way to de-stress.
Arguably, my favorite thing about the spa was the hydrotherapy pool. And with views of the Indian Ocean like this, it’s hard to top.
The treatments here aren’t cheap, but they’re worth it. A 90-minute “Iridium Signature Touch” massage will cost you $245, while other, less-expensive options, such as the “Deep in the Tissue” massage, which also last 90 minutes, go for $225. The Iridium Blue Hole Experience, which is where you’ll experience the hydrotherapy pool, costs $60 for 120 minutes, or you can pay $350 for a private 60-minute experience.
Back in 2013, I became certified as a PADI scuba diver and first tested out my skills at the Conrad Maldives — unfortunately, I was there during the island nation’s rainy season. This time around, I was looking forward to getting in the water on a sunny day. The Maldives is one of the best places in the world to go diving. And I’m always amazed when I see its beautiful underwater world. The colors and creatures are just incredible.
A single dive costs $80 per person, whereas a package of 6–11 dives goes for $75 per person and 12 or more dives brings the price down to $70 per person. If you’re not certified, you can also sign up for beginner courses — a discover scuba diving course costs $195, while scuba diver certification is $600. But, I recommend getting certified before you go so you can maximize your time there and save money.
The Fitness Center and Zero-Gravity Yoga
One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2017 was to stay fit while traveling. I admit that making yourself work out when you’re on vacation — especially in the Maldives — is tough. But the St. Regis has a great fitness center, featuring everything from basic cardio equipment to free weights and strength-training machines.
The highlight of my time spent in the gym was the yoga studio. For the first time ever, I tried zero-gravity yoga and I was very impressed!
I was a bit hesitant at first, given that I’m 6’7″ and didn’t want to hit my head on the ground, but I was surprised by how great the workout was — and how graceful a tall person like myself can look while doing it. Lesson learned: Don’t judge something before you try it — including zero-gravity yoga. The activity costs $80 per person for a 75-minute session.
Since I’d gone scuba diving and I wanted to check out some other water activities, I ventured to the jet skis. Jet skiing is so much fun, and even more so when you’re in the Maldives surrounded by the beautiful scenery. If you’re staying at the property, it’s worth it to rent one and see the island from the water — you won’t regret it.
Jet ski rentals at the St. Regis Maldives cost $195 plus tax for 30 minutes or $290 plus tax for one hour.
Along with its incredible overwater villas, one other thing that the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has going for it are the activities. From the local experience of Maldivian fishing (and being able to eat your catch) to zero-gravity yoga, there’s something for everyone to do at this very special piece of tropical paradise.
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