ESCAPE TO THE SPA RETREAT

An indulgent escape for the senses; relax at an adults-only spa villagePamper yourself with zen-inducing indigenous treatments in glass-floor suitesDine at the spa’s restaurant, serving organic dishes geared to balancing your energy flowThere are many reasons why the Conrad Maldives is a sybarite’s dream destination, and chief among them is the Spa Retreat, an indulgent escape for the senses with that encompasses both a spa and organic restaurant, off the tip of Rangalifinolhu Island. The adults-only spa village was designed by Harvard-trained Thai architect Lek Bunnag. Though the floor-to-ceiling glass walls and plunge-pool-size bathtubs of the 21 water villas on stilts are plenty enticing, treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind Zen revelation and walk over or snorkel to the Retreat. The dramatic arrival through the spa’s long, unlit tunnel, facing out to sea, truly jump-starts the island-idyll vibes. In the sunny overwater treatment rooms with glass floors, you’ll be pampered with indigenous Maldivian treatments (we love the muscle-melting massage with hot coconut sticks and the organic body scrub made from pineapple and papaya). Next, it’s time for lunch at Mandhoo Spa Restaurant, where dishes are made with organic and biodynamic ingredients based on traditional Chinese medicine’s “five elements” philosophy and geared to balancing out your energy flow. Between your crabmeat salad and your panfried sea bass, you’ll be craning your neck at the waters’ edge, watching baby sharks, trumpet fish, and the occasional stingray swim past. Linger over made-to-order Indian lassis made with apples, kiwi, pineapples, and mint, all filled with antioxidants and vitamins to fight inflammation. Once you’re feeling and looking your best, suit up and snorkel back to the “big” island, passing kaleidoscopic schools of blue and yellow angelfish and iridescent green and violet parrot fish in transit.