Luxury Hotels


It’s super-Saturday food day, folks, and we are still in The Maldives, first at ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH. The arrival welcome, to villa 207, had included a magnificent white and dark chocolate gateau inscribed to Girlahead – see it on Youtube.. At breakfast, as the finale to a help-yourself buffet, a platter was brought.  It bore Girlahead’s logo, dark chocolate on white chocolate, and absolute-favourite fruits. That’s luxury, folks.

As is ambience. At LUX* SOUTH ARI ATOLL, one wall of the enormous indoor-out sand-floored breakfast area is decorated as if a night club rather than a wake-up venue (see above). That’s also luxury, the setting as well as the edibles, the choices of everything, including salads.

Food in The Maldives is spectacular (Soneva CEO Sonu Shivdasani cites it as one reason for his having the only two resorts in the islands to make it into the so-called World’s 50 Best Hotels).  And breakfasts are world-beating, though, to be honest, at some resorts breads are sometimes soggy and/or tasteless.

Breakfasts are nearly all buffets, outdoors with roof-over areas, the spreads way past the levels of the best in Europe, anywhere. There are invariably dedicated breakfast cold rooms, for fruits and dairy, and salads. Elsewhere there are egg chefs, pancake makers. There are gluten-free and vegan corners, and kids’ specials. Girlahead established a routine. Pour a glass of green juice or kombucha, and put it over healthy hotel-made granola (though there are invariably a range of milks). Add a well-labelled jar of whole fat yoghurt. Wait for the ‘plain cheese omelette’ which of course never came unadorned. Deviating temptation did arise, say from a buttercup yellow asparagus and fresh pea frittata at one place: already portioned into six, and presented with a  crinkly leaf that is so dayglo green it can’t be real.

ANANTARA VELI does not do buffets. There, Cumin, one of several single-storey spaces, is only recognisable as the breakfast venue by a couple of servers moving around. Eat under cover or out on the sand, looking out at white-crested reef waves. With the blues of sea and sky, it’s pure David Hockney. Wave symphony is amplified by tapes.

Wood tables are only set with  linens cloths for those on the way out: the soon-to-be-departed are shown to cloths  decorated with coloured sand. A blue bird holding a green sprig has a sign saying SEE YOU SOON. The yellow-covered menu is enticing and while looking at it a two-level curate’s stand bears, upstairs, baked goods and, lower level, a panorama of exotic fruits. Requested items come at lightning speed. Small pasteurisation jars hold, firstly, a detox muesli, with chia seeds, beetroot purée, green apple purée, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds,  banana, blueberries: another jar holds a yummy mixed berry and creamy Greek yoghurt parfait, with more sunflower seeds

Sometimes Girlahead thinks eating in The Maldives can’t be real.  But then she doesn’t know which day it is, or what time it is. She’s been to two resorts already that are on ‘resort time’, one hour ahead of Male time. Electronic clocks did not change. Then, after a 15 minutes’ speedboat to another resort, both MacBook Air and iPhone changed of their own volition, simultaneously. confusing….