In a last of three blogs about his recent trip to the Maldives, Neill Ghosh recounts his experience at the soon to be opened Six Senses Laamu on Laamu Atoll to the south of the Maldives. Read parts 1 and 2 about Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili.
After leaving Soneva Fushi, we made the journey down to Laamu Atoll in the south of the Maldives to visit the yet to be completed Six Senses Laamu. After two plane journeys and a speedboat transfer, we arrived at the hotel in one of the remotest areas of the islands (the only hotel on this atoll) and the location did not disappoint. Sat on one of the bluest lagoons you will ever see, and away from all civilisation, this hotel promises to deliver a very different experience from the other Six Senses hotels in the Maldives. Despite its remoteness, the transfer from Malé is not too tiring. It consists of a 40-minute flight by small plane followed by a 20-minute speedboat ride.
It is somewhat hard to pass judgement on a hotel when it is not open yet, but a whirlwind tour revealed some impressive touches that suggest that this will be a welcome addition to the Six Senses portfolio: a first of its kind glass cube wine "cellar" raised above the water; the largest over-water structure in the Maldives that will serve as the communal space for the hotel, and will house such rare treats as a chocolaterie, home-made ice cream parlour and resident 'mood jockey' (as opposed to a disc jockey); and beautiful villas, both on land and above over-water.
What really excited me about this hotel is the location and the potential for some incredible diving. Unfortunately, I was unable to get into the water as the person who will run the dive centre does not arrive for two weeks and the centre itself is not finished. But the waters around Laamu are largely uncharted from a diving perspective. Some liveaboards do pass by but the potential to be out there discovering new sites is hugely appealing. The location too, at the southern opening of the Laamu Atoll, where mantas and whale sharks are likely to be regular visitors, is a big plus.
It remains to be seen whether Six Senses Laamu will live up to the reputation of the other Six Senses hotels in the Maldives. The focus on the communal areas and a more resort-like feel is very different and may attract a different crowd but is an exciting experiment. And at a significantly lower price point, this resort is not in direct competition with Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili. With 100 rooms, it won't be as small and intimate as the others, delivering a different, but no less enticing experience.
We will wait and see how Laamu turns out. I for one hope to return once it is up and running. The prospect of the diving on offer is incredibly exciting and I don't doubt that this hotel will be a welcome addition to the Six Senses, and indeed Dive in Style, portfolios.