If we told you there's a secret beach where palm trees reach out for the sea breeze, where… Keep Reading
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
It’s hard not to relax at Amilla Beach Villa Residences, surrounded by the pristine sand and glassy waters of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll. But to go the extra mile, check out the Residences’ Javvu Spa.
Everything on offer at Javvu Spa reflects its commitment to the three pillars of wellness: movement, spirituality and spa. The menu offers a holistic approach, with a wide variety of fitness classes and wellness consultations to boost body and mind, and a carefully chosen range of the best therapies harnessing powerful techniques from around the world.
A luxury villa retreat on a tropical island paradise may not be the first setting that springs to mind when your goal is getting into shape, but Javvu Spa at Amilla Beach Villa Residences is the perfect place to boost your fitness level. The Maldivian Warrior Workout, for example, makes use of the natural surroundings on Baa Atoll to target different muscle groups; climbing, pulling and pushing against trees on the beach, and sea swimming to increase resistance. There’s also powerful kickboxing classes, to whip yourself into shape, and functional training to build up strength in the muscles you use day in, day out.
Of course, we could file yoga and Pilates away under movement and fitness; they’re both proven techniques for improving muscle strength and flexibility. But start the day with a round of sun salutations on a yoga deck in the Indian Ocean, and even a hardened sceptic of yoga’s spiritual benefits will crumble. Private sessions in Javvu Spa’s yoga pavilion focus on breathing and meditation to bring you to a state of complete calm and presence.
Saving the best until last. Javvu Spa’s highly skilled therapists are trained in the Pure Massage Style as well as being fully committed to giving you the best quality treatments with your preferences in mind.
Pure Massage, designed by London-based massage expert Beata Aleksandorowicz, is rooted in the Swedish Massage style, perhaps one of the best-known massage techniques and for good reason. It focuses on healing muscles, with long, gliding massage strokes that follow the direction of blood circulation around the body. These movements not only work out the knots and tensions in muscles, but also decrease toxins and improve circulation,
While the Thai capital of Bangkok is a globally recognised dining destination that’s on the verge of getting its own Michelin star guide, Phuket is no slouch when it comes to delicious and daring food either. The island’s rich culinary heritage can be traced back to the diverse tastes that flourished from the waves of migrant arrivals from across Asia in days past to its current status as one of the top resort islands in Asia.
Some truly talented chefs from Thailand and around the world have added their own creative flavours, colour and panache to the Phuket dining scene. Be sure to try some of these standout dishes at Phuket’s best restaurants if you haven’t already!
The idea behind every dish and drink at Bampot is to take local ingredients and apply the best technique for each ingredient, whether Thai or Western style, and pair complementing flavours and textures to end up with a balanced finished dish.
It’s all about great food and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere
Chef Jamie Wakeford
Bampot is Scottish Chef Jamie’s first solo venture following a career in top kitchens in the UK and Asia.
The Tamarind and Cardamom Smash with Chalong Bay rum, tamarind, cardamom and lime reflects Bampot’s whimsical approach.
With its meticulously presented dishes and unpretentious style, Bampot has become a foodie favourite since it opened near Bang Tao Beach.
Stepping into Suay restaurant in Phuket Town is like entering the home of a friend, with its low-key and welcoming style providing a subtle backdrop to the sensational fusion food that’s about to be served.
Created by Chef Tammasak Chootong, known by many as Chef Noi, Suay means “beautiful” in Thai and his dishes have earned him renown not only for beautiful presentation but for his bold and sassy balance of flavours.
Its easy to be seduced by the glamour of southern Bali with its trendy restaurants and uber-cool beach clubs, but if you have something a little quieter in mind for your Bali holiday, the pristine Sunrise Coast on the island’s eastern shores has a charm all its own.
Peaceful coastal villages nestle amidst banana plantations, lush green rice fields and exotic palm-fringed black sand beaches. A trio of volcanos looming in the distance make the most stunning of backdrops, especially when bathed in the pearly pink light of a Bali sunrise.
TOP THINGS TO DO
The atmospheric seaside town of Candidasa is situated mid-way up the east coast just 60km from the airport. Local art shops sell paintings, handicrafts and wood carvings, while casual open-air restaurants are strung along the shore, some with candle-lit tables right on the beach. Make sure to check out the main temple with a dreamy location on the edge of a lotus-filled lagoon.
Adventure-seekers can trek to the top of Mount Agung – the island’s highest peak, while water enthusiasts can explore Bali’s best dive sites, such as the HMS Liberty Wreck. Adrenalin junkies can get their kicks on a shark dive, or glide through the water with manta rays. The cool waters of Tirta Gangga, an elaborate water palace tucked into the nearby hills, makes a gentler respite with its spring fed pools and water fountains carved from stone.
A few kilometers inland from Candidasa, the 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan is home to the Bali Aga, the island’s first inhabitants. It is quite a cultural attraction these days, but still provides a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life and is justly famed for its beautiful ikat weavings.
The small coastal village of Jasri is home to Charly’s chocolate factory. You won’t find Willy Wonka, but you will find delicious chocolate (try the Narkabo dark chocolate nibbles) and great photo opportunities thanks to a quirky assortment of cone-shaped bamboo houses clustered in a grove of coconut palms right on the beach. Nearby, a bumpy dirt road winds through verdant forest to emerge at Pasir Putih (white sand) rightly crowned as Bali’s most beautiful beach. Bathe in the turquoise sea, soak up the rays from a deckchair and indulge in fresh fish for lunch, barbecued right in front of you.
Not just for lovers, these enchanted islands also set the scene for idyllic family holidays. While not all resorts in the Maldives are kid-friendly, some, such as the stunning Amilla Beach Villa Residences are heaven-sent for family holidays.
Invite your kids to experience an island escape with endless things to do and tons of independence in a world-class destination. Don’t worry, it’s a relatively small island and you’ll all be looked after royally.
This sublime family holiday destination in Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biospere Reserve with pristine beaches surrounded by the richest marine life in the Maldives. Powdery white sand begs to have sand castles built upon it, hermit crabs play hide and seek, boat docks call for exploration, pools invite swimmers, bikes need riders. Nature lovers can snorkel, dive, join a turtle safari, go dolphin watching or swim with mantas.
If that doesn’t appeal to the whole family, let your kids discover the fun of Sultan’s Village Kids Club, a mini resort just for them with a wade pool, whimsical playground and plenty of sand. The air-conditioned fully-supervised club house is packed with toys and games.
The Kids Club team have come up with all kinds of fun activities to keep children of all ages entertained for hours. From island-wide treasure hunts to pizza making and snorkeling trips, they are the pros on things to do with kids in the Maldives.
Bigger kids and teens in the Maldives may prefer hanging out at Empire Beach Club where they can shoot pool, play table tennis or get into arcade games, football, volleyball and frisbee. Watersports like wake boarding, parasailing, jet skiing and kayaking are also a guaranteed hit!
There are plenty of eateries for everyone to enjoy. Kids love the relaxed tropical vibe of The Baazaar with its collection of restaurants fanning out around a giant infinity pool. There is something for everyone, with options including The Fish and Chips Shop, Joe’s Pizza, Barolo Grill, and Wok. Many parents love holiday multi-tasking here, gazing with heart-shaped eyes at their independent happy children whilst enjoying adult company and cocktails expertly prepared by mixologists at the Baazaar Bar.
Going for a family holiday in the Maldives doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy a romantic candle lit dinner on the beach,
Yoga is a must-do in Bali, but you don’t need to go all the way to Ubud for an authentic experience. Canggu is a vibrant coastal district located close to – but far enough away from – the busy streets of Seminyak. It’s a popular destination for a relaxed holiday.
Canggu is best known for its surf beaches, trendy shops, casual cafes and restaurants, but a growing number of beautiful yoga and Pilates studios are making their way to an evolving wellness scene offering a range of classes for the healthy Canggu community. Whether you’re looking to break a sweat with Pilates or just to calm your body and soul doing yoga in a stunning setting – there is a class for you. Be ready for beach yoga poses like Canggu’s Instagram yoga babe Yogavive_ (SEE ABOVE, FEATURED IMAGE) in no time.
The highly experienced teachers will ensure you the get the most out of your exercise whether you are a beginner or an expert. Many of the studios feature holistic treatments, onsite spas and healthy cafés to round off your experience. Drop in early to reserve your space, or book a private class beforehand for more intimate exercise. All the studios provide mats and other equipment, so all you need to pack is comfortable, stretchy clothing.
Five yoga classes in Canggu, Bali
HATHA YOGA CLASSES
PERSONAL GROWTH TO THE MOON AND BEYOND
The Practice offers three Hatha yoga classes for varying levels of practice;
Typical class length is 90 minutes.
In addition to the Hatha series, yoga programs include Yin, Restorative and Complete Practice, as well as the occasional Yoga Fundamentals workshop tailored to those discovering yoga.
The stunning open-air bamboo studio amidst rice fields (and just few steps away from the beach) also hosts yoga teacher training as well as community groups and life-enriching events. Cute giftshop and yoga-wear for sale here too.