Monday, October 18, 2010

Absolute Heaven on Earth!


1: a remote beautiful imaginary place where life approaches perfection : utopia

2: a distant, idyllic & secluded hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness.

Shangri La in the Maldives sure lives up to the description! If there is a more beautiful place on earth someone please tell me where it is!

We recently spent our second week in the Maldives at the Shangri La. While we really loved our first week at Alila it just can't compare to the Shangri La as it's honestly one of the most incredible spots we've ever been fortunate enough to visit. We went last year for my husbands 50th and loved the Maldives so much we ended up coming back.

We went to Shangri La last year and were among the first guests at the hotel for it's opening week. At the time it was almost flawless with just a few slight imperfections that quite honestly we expected being the first week and all. They told us to come back in a year and see how they could improve things to perfection. So we did :)

After leaving the first resort we saw many other couples going to other resorts that we hadn't visited yet and were lamenting and wondering if we should have tried something different as we rarely go back to the same spot twice. (too many resorts, too little time) All of those worries went away as we stepped off the jetty and were greeted by the friendly smiling faces of Jens the Manager, Raja & Barbara who we had met last year and were wonderful!! They welcomed us back and we felt like we had come home! They very generously offered to upgrade us to a tree house suite and it was completely amazing!! The villas and rooms at Shangri La are among the nicest we have ever seen anywhere!

Above is a video of our to die for treehouse with views of the amazing Indian Ocean and the sound of crashing waves on the beach. Sheer unadulterated bliss :)

private pool with tanning shelf...

Our villa host Iman was completely amazing and catered to our every whim all week long. I can't say enough about him and all the staff at the resort. Many remembered us from the previous year and we just felt very special and pampered all week long. They even gave us a cell phone to call Iman anytime we needed anything from anywhere on the Island.

Iman and Raja picking us up at our water villa to take us to the spa...

The spa was out of this world! My husband couldn't stop raving about his massage and my treatment was incredible as well. I did a yoga session in the morning in the beautful air conditioned yoga pavillion overlooking the ocean and the treatment in the afternoon. I've never been so relaxed and felt so peaceful and tranquil.

As much as we loved the tree house villa we wanted the chance to experience the overwater villas too and moved to one for the last two days of the stay. It was completely amazing as well.

They are on the lagoon side of the Island so you have the incredible turquoise waters and sunsets every night. Also, there is a wonderful day bed under a covered patio where we loved spending time day and night.

Sunsets from our deck in the overwater villa were stunningly gorgeous!

Each villa has it's own bikes and definitely part of the charm is riding them to breakfast, the spa or gym but you can also take buggies if you prefer. The buggies were everywhere and even waiting outside the restaurants when you leave like taxis in case you didn't want to walk or ride your bikes.

Hitchhiker on my bike after breaky :)

Last year when we went, I went on the Dolphin Cruise and it was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Completely beautiful and surreal as hundreds of dolphins swam with our boat the entire time. They were so incredible and words can't describe it. They are spinner dolphins so they jump out of the water a lot and spin in the air. They love swimming with the boat and playing in the waves. My only regret was that my husband had missed it, so of course this year I was dying to go again and have him see it for himself.

The weather wasn't great as it was quite windy so it got postponed a couple of times. Then when we finally went they really couldn't guarantee that we would see them which is understandable and obviously not something you can control. After about 1/2 hour of searching for them I was so disappointed as we didn't see any and last time they had already been swimming with the boat for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Then, we saw one jump so we headed in that direction and bingo, dolphins everywhere!! It was so beautiful and we got so lucky as there were hundreds again and they stayed with our boat the whole time until we finally had to go back...

Some videos of them jumping, spinning and swimming with the boat.

Everything about this resort is completely top notch and the food is no exception. Chef was so nice and we managed to get a few recipes from him too to add to our repetoire plus some extra couple of pounds to take home as well :) I think half my pictures from this resort are of food! Thank goodness for the amazing gym or we would have been even larger when we left.

We found another perfect spot to watch sunsets in front of the bar on the beach. 

. I honestly can't think of one bad thing to say about this place as no detail has been overlooked and although we very rarely go to the same place twice we were so glad we went back here and would even consider going a third time as well!! If we thought this place was flawless the first time it's now a well oiled machine. If heaven is better than this then boy are we in for a treat! :)