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Yin and yang in the Maldives

July 17, 2023 - The shimmering beauty of the Maldives never fails to seduce. Reimagined resort Six Senses Kanuhura joining Six Senses Laamu offers even more reasons to enjoy island enchantment. Regional General Manager Marteyne van Well gives us the lowdown.

Double (or triple) the fun 

Imagine a scenario where one plus one equals three, and you’ll begin to understand what’s waiting for you in the glittering Maldives. Complementing our idyllic palm-fringed Six Senses Laamu is a new heartthrob, Six Senses Kanuhura. Home to one of the largest and most iconic powdery-sand natural beaches in the Maldives, days are lived adrift, sun-soaked and sandy, surrounded by luminous waters.

Regional General Manager Marteyne van Well tells us, “I’ve lived at Six Senses Laamu for 12 years and that makes it a very special place for me.” But she certainly has room in her heart for Six Senses Kanuhura, as she goes on to say, “I believe our offering is enhanced with each new resort, and Six Senses Kanuhura has taken the core elements and brand ethos to create a consciously refined and classily designed resort. It’s the very best example of sustainability in a reinvented, polished package.”

Tropical ocean living

As the only luxury resort on the atoll, Six Senses Laamu fills you with wonder and fuels your wanderlust. Electric-blue waters are the ultimate draw, enticing you with promises of awe-inspiring marine life encounters. With an enriching offering of experiences on the waves and underwater, you’ll soon dive down to the soft depths to rub fins with turtles, manta rays, and tropical fish and wonder at the technicolor coral reefs. Even when not in the water, you’ll be gazing at the sapphire seascapes, communing with the hidden depths of a tropical expanse of the Indian Ocean. 

Villas, filled with creature comforts, are mostly perched on stilts over water. Others are only steps from the sea, inspiring unity with the natural abundance all around you. The resort’s dining experience is a refined culinary adventure filled with fresh, fun, and imaginative menus at Leaf, our adults-only restaurant, and Zen, specializing in modern Japanese Omakase cuisine.

From declarations to celebrations of love, underwater thrill-seekers to families with older children who want to take to the waves, Six Senses Laamu is paradise found. 

Sun-kissed beach days

Under the watchful eye of General Manager Bryce Seator, Six Senses Kanuhura is the social butterfly, an existing resort reimagined and reborn in an elegant fashion, a visual feast for unforgettable vacations, and just the ticket to lift mind, body, and spirit. Not only steps away from an unrivaled natural beach, the resort also encompasses another two white-sand private islands, one for intimate desert island dining, the other for the ultimate castaway escape. 

For families, couples, or friends traveling together, time here will be well spent beneath a gently swaying palm tree, interrupted only by the lure of food, fun, “me time” in the spa, or “we time” with loved ones or a passing turtle. 

With 91 beachfront and overwater villas, including 12 new Beach Retreats, everything is crafted from local and sustainable materials with a bold, polished design that effortlessly combines a tropical island feel with feet-up comfort. Marteyne tells us, “Of all the beaches across the islands, our resort beach, which is set on the beautiful Lhaviyani atoll, is truly outstanding.”

Away from the sands, there are fun and educational Grow With Six Senses activities to keep young children giggling. At the same time, teens can kick back and plug in at the Island Hideout, leaving grownups the time and space to feel their best selves after locally inspired treatments at Six Senses Spa or a romantic dinner under the stars. 

Later, you’ll all come together for family cooking classes, watersports lessons, or private beach dining, enjoying precious time with your tribe for the ultimate vacation memories.  

Changemakers yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Since opening in 2011, Six Senses Laamu has galvanized the Maldivian tourism industry through meaningful marine conservation efforts based on research, education, and community outreach.

Across the islands, there is an urgent clarity surrounding sustainability and conservation. Something Marteyne understands, “My passion is marine conservation and at Six Senses Laamu, we had the opportunity to make a big impact. We were able to set the tone and determine what needed to be done and then bring people along.” This ability to set the agenda has resulted in positive change within local communities, from conserving vital seagrass to protecting turtles that were once considered a delicacy. 

One of the initiatives Marteyne is most proud of, what she calls her passion project, is the Sea Hub of Environmental Learning in Laamu (SHELL). Seven years in the making, it houses the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), a marine conservation collaboration between Six Senses Laamu marine biologists and partner NGOs. Always free at the point of use, it enables the next generation of conservationists to learn, safeguard species, and shape the future. She elaborates, “It touches the hearts and the minds of everyone who enters: the local community, hosts, guests, and NGO visitors. If you can engage people on that level, then you’re able to drive positive change while making it an uplifting experience.”

Driving positive change is vitally important to Six Senses, and it will continue apace at both Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura. As Marteyne says, “Healing the ocean requires understanding first. The environmentalist Baba Dioum once said, ‘In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.’ SHELL makes it possible, and that sends a message of hope to us all.”

Yin or Yang?

Having trouble deciding which resort to visit? We say there’s no need to choose; keep an eye on our Offers page at Six Senses Laamu for next year! We can’t wait to welcome old friends and new ones too. 

 

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