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How one Maldivian resort relies on the science of happiness to create the perfect escape

By Ashley Pearson  |  May 27, 2021
emerald maldives

With the vaccine rolled out and some light at the end of the tunnel, many of us are dreaming about the idea of travelling again, and a little hope is sorely needed. The emotional rollercoaster we’ve all been riding was reflected in a recent study in which the number of people who admitted to depression-like symptoms was tripled.

With this in mind, one Maldivian resort is working overtime to do all that they can to boost happiness. Set on a stunningly private island with an otherworldly lagoon and wrap-around coral reef, Emerald Maldives Resort has created a new programme abundant in new mood-boosting activities and treatments designed to re-energise the body, increase happiness levels, and optimise health for the long run.  

emerald maldives
Emerald Maldives boasts 120 luxurious villas, both contemporary and tropical in design, divided into 60 beach villas and 60 overwater villas.

In a part of the world already famous for its natural beauty, there’s more to this philosophy than pure and simple luxury – Emerald Resort’s new programme is backed up by science. Happiness researchers know that humans adapt to even the most amazing, unique experiences, something called hedonic adaptation. It means that if a beautiful experience is at first mind-blowing, by the tenth or eleventh time you see it, it won’t affect you nearly as much, and you may even stop noticing, therefore, even when in paradise, it is imperative to mix up experiences.

That is why in this little corner of paradise, Emerald is launching a host of new activities and opportunities to keep guests continuously inspired every single day. Below is a pick of some of our favourites.

Detoxifying the body and mind at Emerald Spa  

Rooted in ancient healing practices, Emerald SPA can be found on a secluded corner of the private island and offers a full range of Balinese, Ayurvedic and Thai based rituals in the privacy of villa-style treatment rooms along with a jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish baths. Highly recommended is Emerald’s Detoxifying Ritual, designed to rejuvenate the body and calm the mind via a full body lymphatic drainage massage and metabolism boost, body contouring and skin softening. Following the body exfoliation and clay wrap, guests will experience a blissful head and scalp massage that will aid reaching a state of complete relaxation.  

emerald maldives
The spa offers a full range of Balinese, Ayurvedic and Thai based rituals in the privacy of villa-style treatment rooms along with a jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish baths

Energising with new beach workouts  

One of the best weapons against the seasonal slump is exercise, better if outdoors, so that the body can be exposed to sunlight and absorb Vitamin D, a nutrient that is linked to clearer thinking and better emotional health. The resort, located in the Raa Atoll, is surrounded by 1.5 km of soft white sand and the on-site trainers have studied a fun-filled outdoor workout that includes running in the sand and functional exercises for the whole body, while the resort’s certified yoga instructors are taking the practice to the next level with Aqua Yoga in the turquoise ocean.

Refuelling the ‘Blue Way’

The resort offers guests a choice of four themed restaurants, in addition to a Sunset Pool Café and Sunrise Café. The perfect post-workout superfood to recharge and refuel, the resort’s spirulina-based smoothie is a guest favourite and can be found in the Blue Zone, the new healthy food corner in the resort’s signature beachfront dining spot. Here guests can relax after a day in the sun with delicious and healthy dishes inspired by the Blue Zone Diet, famous for its longevity-related benefits and for promoting brain and body health.  

emerald maldives
There are a multitude of ways in which to relax at Emerald Maldives and a sunset dinner is one of them

And finally, just letting go

Heading out onto the tranquil Indian Ocean on a luxury boat or exploring the pristine lagoon in search of tropical fish and manta rays, rubbing shoulders with the resident marine life and checking out the colourful coral on snorkelling trips is all part of the experience here. Helpfully they are also included in the resort’s all-inclusive signature plan, and the five-star diving centre is the perfect place to head to. Adventurous travellers can head out into the deeper ocean on a diving excursion or try their hand at windsurfing or kayaking at no extra cost.

And for a bucket-list experience, the resort’s general manager Mr. Srikanth suggested that we book a private sandbank lunch which we enjoyed barefoot and just steps from the sea. Also recommended, one of the high-end recurring ‘Wine Tasting in the Sea’ events. Delicious wine and picture-perfect nature? Pure bliss.

For more information or to book, visit