It is perhaps one of the most beautiful infinity pools for the myriad of opportunities it offers. But it is not the main asset of Huvafen Fushi. A unique spa in the world, an oenological den and a surprising izakaya – where sake is elevated to the rank of divinity. Follow our dive, without bottles but with a glass, in the heart of this small jewel case. From Malé, head north, thirty-five minutes by speed boat.
“Indulgent Dreamscape”: to commune with the self, the self and my other.
It is because it is one of the only underwater spas in the world that this hotel on the northern atoll is known by aficionados of out-of-the-ordinary experiences. And in this area, the team of therapists at the Pearl (that’s its name) has done it right. By focusing their products on communion, the reconnection between… couples. It all starts as soon as the sun’s rays hit the ground. Just as the great underwater wild beasts begin to feed. At the end of a grey mouse pontoon, a few steps below the sea. The experience with your loved one begins with an invigorating elixir of herbs and spices to alert you, senses and taste buds still curled up in the Indian night. Then follows a polysemic exploration of the untranslatable term “togetherness”. Surrounded by the silent ballet of the Maldivian fry as it gathers its corolla, it is time for meditation. The voice of the chief yogi leads into the depths of relaxation and transcendental meditation. Once the subconscious mind has been soothed, a 100% natural breakfast compensates for the need for carbohydrates. To gain vitality and arm yourself for the next step, the PURE Massage. A method developed by Beata Aleksandrovicz who plays on a score of complex and complementary techniques. Deep tissue massage, trigger point activation, myofascial release, quantum healing (derived from mindfulness) and energy work. For this fervent advocate of holistic alignment between consciousness, mind and body, the body has an intelligence when it comes to self-defense and self-healing. This is the whole meaning of this “climaxing” whose itinerary starts from the head and ends at the feet, with special attention to the neck, back and shoulders. Two hours are thus necessary to map all the body tissues of the lucky recipients with the hands of the practitioners as the only GPS. We are in couple for a very sensual road map. Then follows a facial treatment with Teresa Tarmey products (please…) and a foot massage to re-energize the body so well pampered. Coming back to the surface is then a simple formality.
Vinum Bonum Laetificat Cor Hominis*
But the empire of the senses does not only lie in the treatments. In Huvafen Fushi, there is also the culture of great wines. And beware, there are heavy, very heavy wines. At Vinum, one of the six restaurants of the resort. And once again, everything takes place under water, or rather under the sand. Seven metres below the surface, Vinum, the aptly-named Vinum, is home to some seven thousand bottles. The superstars of Bordeaux, the stars of Burgundy, the top of the Champagne class or the prime donne du Piedmont are all invited. So yes, you can cross a breathtaking Romanée Conti from 1995 at $28,000, an imperial Mouton Rotschild born in 2001 at $39,000, or an opulent Dom Ruinart Rosé from 1985 (!) at $1400. But the very large cuvees are shared and do not overshadow the cellar’s must drink. Price is not necessarily a marker of pleasure. An impressive list of Australian Syrah and Shiraz from the Barossa Valley (whose vines have never known phylloxera), New Zealand Chenin or surprising South African Mourvèdre occupy most of the shelves. And for the latter, the prices, which are quite reasonable, will enchant a meal celebrating twenty years of free union.
For God’s Sake
For those who only take pleasure in the strict, straightforward striking of a sake or shochu, Feeling Koi is the place to be. A long deck open to the horizon. Michito Kaneko on the palate with a very sharp selection of junmai daiginjo sake such as the very incisive Kokoryu Sake from the Fukui region. Other alternatives are possible via aging shochus. Just ask your guide who is known to have received the prize for the best bartender 2015 to guide you and enjoy the map.
Rejuvenated, reassured, comforted, exhilarated by so many demands on body and mind, it remains to find his soul mate in one of the forty-four bungalows of the complex. A cool and relaxed atmosphere skillfully maintained by the staff emerges. On firm sand or on stilts, they are all of excellent quality. Banished neighbours and the Bose audio system invite itself into every room for a teasing playlist. Only the view varies. What do they have in common? Each has a kitschy blue pond mic and is guaranteed 100% fish-free. Maybe this pool is actually just a pretext to enjoy a flute of Cristal Roderer while watching the sun bathe while eagle rays and some of the twenty-six species of sharks that cross in Maldivian waters frolic. After all, Huvafen Fushi’s amphytrians only have to press the imagination button to invent a present for themselves with even more communion.
* Good wine gladdens a man’s heart,
To consume with moderation.