My thoughts on Six Senses Laamu
By Tomas Cochrane
Six Senses Laamu is a magical place. While the concept is rustic barefoot luxury its slick and refined. It’s also the most perfect island. Rich in foliage and jungle, surrounded by bountiful beach with soft sand, an inviting lagoon, dramatic waves crashing on the reef and a house reef you can easily access from an over water bar. It’s the perfect Maldives resort island and has all the natural assets most other resorts can only dream of.
Firstly, the transfer there was quick and comfortable. So much nicer than catching a sea plane. I transferred to the Domestic terminal and boarded my flight within 1 hour. There are up to 4 domestic flights running to Laamu every day, so it is well serviced which is perhaps why it works better than some of the other domestic flight resorts which do not have such a regular service. The domestic flight was comfortable, spacious, while still affording spectacular views you get in a sea plane. I have never travelled so far south in the Maldives before and I have to say it does feel extra special here.
It’s in a particularly beautiful Atoll, untouched by large development projects. After being in the very busy Male Atoll, it’s a welcome relief. It just looks pristine. Every island you see, whether it’s a local island or an uninhabited one catches your eye and stokes the imagination. The whole experience of getting to Laamu was extremely pleasant and hassle free. The first thing you see when you arrive is the very impressive over water complex with bars, restaurants, dive department, surf department and the reception. All made from treated worn wood and beautifully designed. There are chill our sections, over water jetties with seating for star lit dinners, wine and cheese rooms, a real smorgasbord of different dining options. This acts as the main central hub and has a lively buzzing atmosphere at breakfast and dinner. This is something I think other resorts sometimes lack. In the evenings they open it up to feel something like a market. I was there for Asian food market night and wandered around the large complex of walkways and service stations with a plate filling up on Sushi, Korean hot pot, Maldivian short eats, Sri Lanka hoppers and dumplings. All of which was delicious, and the atmosphere was incredibly fun and lively.
Drawing comparisons with Soneva Fushi, the following concepts have been carried over and maintained by Six Senses. “No news no shoes” is optional. “Fresh in the Garden” or “Leaf” restaurant which is a tree house connected by a rope bridge and surrounded by lots of herb gardens and a sugar cane plantation.
“Cinema under the stars” which is showing movies every night on the beach next to the main hub area. The chocolate and ice cream rooms which are free and open all day to guests. (particularly popular with children) The “Earth Lab” where the eco friendly nature of the Laamu is revealed. Here, all the glass on the island is recycled, old towels are soaked in concrete and converted into ornate vases, while many other materials are repurposed for use on the island. There is a large chicken coup which supplies most of the island’s eggs. There is also a stitching room where old materials are made into coasters, seats, cushions all in the Six Senses style.
There are is a large team of Marine Biologists on the resort, and they not only talk to guests, but they also train the staff and locals on the fragility of the Maldives eco system and the importance of
protecting it. Sea grass for example is incredibly good for marine life. Turtles feed on the grasses and its shows a healthy lagoon. Laamu has a large sea grass patch between the water villas which is great for snorkelling and you are almost guaranteed to spot Turtles. Many resorts try to get clear the seagrass completely as guests complain. Laamu is trying to change attitudes and has started a petition to maintain sea grass with 25% of the resorts in the Maldives signing up. Its going to take time and I think its important that clients are educated on their value and not consider it to be a negative. I didn’t see any grass washed up on the beach and it only covers a certain patch of the lagoon so perhaps Laamu is lucky in the amount that it has. Certainly, a Six Senses guests will be more open minded to this.
I had a 2 bedroom beach villa with pool and it was that rustic style with natural wood furnishings, and a tree house lookout which is nice for sunset drink. Whether they are 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom
all the villas are similar in design and all have the tree house lookout. They are very private surrounded by plenty of foliage and mature trees that offer shade.
The marine life is excellent, and I had a guided snorkelling excursion from in front of the main bar. I saw the largest Hawksbill turtle I have ever seen. They grow much bigger in the south and this one was relatively small by Laamu standards. I also saw a couple of flipper dolphins who had strayed from the main pod. There are also pinnacles (under water mountain tops) which you can swim to from the house reef easily and they harbour plenty of coral and marine life themselves.
In conclusion, If I was to go on holiday myself in the Maldives, I think I would probably choose Laamu. With a total of 97 rooms, the island is large but not so large that getting around it becomes a chore. Everyone gets a bicycle on check in and it’s a real pleasure to cycle around the island, through the vegetation, and along the over water jetties, enjoying beautiful sunrise and sunsets. I found myself just getting on the bike and going for a ride for the fun of it. It was also a good way to burn off a few calories after yet another feast. I would also really like to spend a week there and learn how to surf. I can’t think of a nicer place to surf. The Ying/Yang wave is a 6meter high, pro level break, accessible throughout the year. While on the lagoon side there are smaller waves to sharpen your skills. Laamu is the resort for the discerning, eco conscious traveller who is looking for an experience like Soneva Fushi but with more affordable rooms.