At Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives, you can spy on darting fish from your glass-bottomed bath tub, watch movies in the jungle and while away weeks with watersports and island expeditions: sunset dhoni cruises, private picnics and sand-dune dining.
Varied dining options
A 30-minute foot massage or body scrub for two
In the know
Also need to know:
There are compulsory Gala Dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (both charged at an extra cost)Dentists, shield your eyes: the hotel has its own ice-cream and chocolate rooms. Heston, eat your heart out: there are 48 flavours of ice-cream to explore, including tofu, wasabi and sour cream, orange Campari, and watermelon with feta cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds. Take tippling to the next level with one of the hotel's whisky and chocolate spirit masterclasses and cocktail-making sessions.
Mrs Smith: nail clippers and jewel-bright polish to maintain your shiny holiday pedicure despite all the barefoot beaching (shoes are confiscated on arrival, to fast forward your Crusoe mindset). Mr Smiths: linens and lemony cologne. Both Mr & Mrs: something to impress the deck-spinning DJ (and dance in) at Chill Bar.
Threads that will take you from beach to bicycle. When the sun sinks, throw on a pretty frock/light shirt for the restaurant. Unless you want to blend in with the surrounding jungle, steer clear of green.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this tropical hotel in Laamu and unpacked their sunglasses and sarongs, a full account of their luxury beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives…
We’re wordy types, normally, but when it comes to Six Senses Laamu, we find ourselves swapping verbosity for visual, two-word phrases: ‘jungle cinema’, ‘private island’, ‘white sand’, ‘blue sea’, and so on. These little nuggets transport us from the normal to the tropical, quicker than you can reach for ice.
Island castaways of all ages will feel like lords of Laamu, as soon as they remove their shoes (no news, no shoes – that’s the philosophy here) upon arrival and put soles on sand. But before you start picturing a bare beachy paradise involving just sun, sea and sand, let us remind you of the weeks' worth of activities on offer here: more watersports than you can shake a dolphin at, a cinema in the jungle and plenty of on-demand romantic experiences, should you want to make paradise a bit more, erm, paradisiacal: a sunset cruise on a dhoni, for example, dinner for two on a deserted beach, or a private picnic on your own island.
If you need further proof of the hotel’s desire to dazzle you, just listen to this: all guests are ‘given’ a bicycle to wheel around the island on, and every guest’s bicycle has their own initials on it, and cushions on the pedals to protect your bare feet. Whoever said ‘less is more’ clearly hadn’t seen Six Senses Laamu.
Olhuveli Island, Laamu, Laamu Atoll, 20015
162.9 mi / 262.8 km from city centre
- Aerobics instruction
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
Longitude, open for breakfast and dinner, occupies an airy, overwater space. This relaxed restaurant serves a generous breakfast buffet (waffles, pancakes, eggs any which way, just-baked croissants, smoothies and so on); dinner is usually à la carte, but twice a week there's an impressive buffet dinner with live cooking stations. Leaf is perched above the organic garden: to get to it, you'll need to walk through the garden, up some stairs and across a rope bridge. Lunch at Leaf has a Vietnamese bias; dinner is more Mediterranean: dishes include grilled jumbo prawns with sangria jelly and roast lamb with black-olive crust. There's also a Japanese restaurant, Zen, on an upper deck by Chill Bar; its small but comprehensive menu ticks off Japanese classics. Sip Sip rises resplendent from the swimming pool, offering fresh-from-the-oven pizzas, salads, burgers, pasta dishes and desserts – including home-made ice-cream and sorbets.
Some like it hot: if you're one of them, opt for Leaf's Chili Table Dining Experience and sit in the organic garden at a communal table, surrounded by 12 types of chili. Post-meal, stake out Chill Bar's overwater hammocks and drowsily wave-watch.
Dinner is served until 10pm at Zen; 10.30pm at Leaf and Longitude. Late risers: head down for breakfast before 10.30am or you’ll miss out. Sip Sip opens from 10am to 8pm, and the bar serves drinks until your thirst is quenched (or you fall over).
Order nibbles to your room between 11am and 11.30pm; choose from from Longitude’s menu or pick from the à la carte in-villa-dining menu, which features Mediterranean, Asian and local dishes. Parents can also order salt-free treats for tots.
We love a bar that boasts 14 signature cocktails, especially when they include flirty little libations such as Laamu Beach Party (a muddle of whisky, rum, cranberry, mango and ginger) and Atoll Punch, a raspberry and vodka concoction that honours the local islands. (If you over-indulge and need a cold-water fix, the sea is just beneath you.) Chill Bar's open-air space has big comfy blue day beds overlooking the sea, plenty of wooden furniture and an expert resident DJ who serves up Cinematic Orchestra and the ilk at lunch, jazz in the afternoon and party tunes later on. Wine buffs will love the wine cellar (more a temple to the grape stuff), which towers 6.4m high and houses more than 400 types of wine, as well as a deli offering European cheeses and peppery cold cuts: perfect for picnic provisions. Wine tastings can be arranged. Sip Sip's list of famed cocktails runs like the credits to a boozy film and their original concoctions, made with freshly squeezed juices, are tempting – the Ron Lassie (rum, mango, yoghurt, honey and cinnamon) cools with a kick. The mocktails are equally good.