Retreat Magic in the Maldives
Sunrise & Manta Rays - oh my
25th September 2022
Woke up and met one of our party at the beach early. We enjoyed the cooler weather until everyone else was ready for breakfast. We’ve taken to long drawn-out breakfasts and the setup here makes that extremely easy. I knew that all dietary requirements were accommodated here but having a gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free member of our group - I’m seeing firsthand how smoothly they handle this. Without being asked gluten gluten-free versions of everything that gets placed on the table arrive. It’s incredible and for this reason alone, this particular member of our group is already planning a return trip.
After breakfast ended, the group went for a walk through the meditation garden while I met with Carmen from the events team and Rita, the new spa manager. Both are lovely and super accommodating.
Then - it was time to head to the dive Center to head to Hanifaru!
I’ve been so looking forward to this on multiple levels. Of course to share the experience with the group but also - because the day after I left last time whale sharks started showing up! I’ve been keeping the dream alive!
When we got to the dive Center they said there were no mantas in the bay so we decided to postpone. We were gearing up to snorkel from the dive Center jetty when a call came in from the ranger that Mantas had come in - so it was all back on!
A bit of a bumpy ride (after the wall-to-wall sunshine it was a bit Cloudy and breezy today with some waves) but we got there and were straight in the water. Within a couple of minutes, we saw our first manta! It was “Bob” / Baba Ganoush. Distinguishable as he has no tail following a boat accident back in 2018. Shortly after he was barrel rolling and then everywhere we looked we saw another one.
Amazing visit however we saw two on a cleaning station and there were at least 5 free divers up close and around them. Was beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic.
Back on the boat, there were a few green around the gills and everyone else was comparing sightings.
We got back and headed to Chill’d for lunch. We were all a bit in awe of what had just happened. The girls each took it in turns to have massages so I went with one of them to the wellness area. If you request them ahead of time they will turn the steam room and sauna on for you. Despite knowing this was here, this was the first time I’d ever spent time there. A lovely couple of hours putting the world to rights.
We watched the sunset from Baa Bar with a glass of champagne and then as it got dark I was distracted by something from the corner of my eye… when I looked it was gone. Then I saw it again…
I was so excited to see it and have never seen it here before. We walked the length of the beach spotting more and more of it before heading to Barolo for dinner.
Dinner was the seafood set menu from EBC / moved to Barolo as the weather was a bit unsettled. The meal and service were flawless.
I don’t know if it’s because I was with the kids before but this time I am really noticing the specific nature with which service is conducted. One carries the tray while one places the food - and they inform each other which dish goes where so that it arrives as if by magic.
Also impressive that so many of the staff remember my previous orders still!
What a magical day - will be remembered by all of us forever.