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MALDIVES


ABOVE: Me Spa, Lux South Ari Atoll RIGHT: Lagoon Villa, Finolhu Baa Atoll FAR RIGHT: Ocean Reef House, Amilla Fushi


offering you a free spa treatment or bottle of wine. Or you could have just finished a morning yoga session when, on the way back to your villa, an ice cream cart pops up out of nowhere to give you gelato made on the island. You could even stumble upon a bowl of fresh coconut shavings on your way to the Tree of Wishes – a signature across all Lux properties. Inspired by Japan’s ancient Tanabata


festival, wishing trees and Brazilian Bonfim wish ribbons, the Tree of Wishes is where guests go to make a wish as they place a ribbon around a branch with their initials written on. At the end of the year, one ribbon is picked and its owner wins a free holiday.


Hidden treasures are everywhere at Lux, and if this all sounds a bit like a fairytale, that’s because it is. At the centre of it all lies Lux Café, a tranquil hub where groups meet to go snorkelling, paddle boarding, diving with whale sharks or kite-surfing. It’s also a great spot to sample some home-roasted coffee or try your hand


56 — aspire september 2017


at latte art – a skill that still eludes me despite patient tuition. While the experts were sculpting foamy 3D teddy bears, I struggled with a love heart. As night falls, head to Umami for


sensational sushi and live music before catching a buggy to Beach Rouge, where DJs play ambient music and waiters bring round cocktails until bedtime. Simply heavenly, it was tricky leaving our magical paradise.


FINOLHU BAA ATOLL


But leave we did. And after a 30-minute seaplane journey we arrived at Finolhu Baa Atoll, where once again we received a warm and enthusiastic welcome – the kind you’d expect only a famous face to receive. Part of the Small Maldives Island Co, Finolhu is an uber-cool island, with pastel signs pointing to Sunset Boulevard and Route 66, smooth funk music playing and spa rooms in the Cove Club named after famous divas. Everything has a 1970s LA vibe to it, from the outdoor gym


While the experts were sculpting foamy 3D teddy bears, I struggled with a love heart


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