hi!

i love to eat and travel and document as much of it as i can.

a week in the maldives.

a week in the maldives.

for our big annual trip this year, we decided to go to the maldives! it was a total splurge and unlike any trip we've ever taken before. after three international flights (los angeles > seoul > singapore > male) to get to the maldivian capital, we transferred to a small sea plane to get to our resort island. from the time our plane left the gate at LAX to when we finally got to our resort it had been over thirty hours!

The RESORT

we knew it would all be worth it though because once we landed, our plan for the next six days was to do a whole lot of nothing! (don't worry, we went diving too, but that will be in another post!) our resort of choice was LUX* in south ari atoll and we had an amazing, luxurious and delicious experience. 

 the prettiest shades of blue and aquamarine.

the prettiest shades of blue and aquamarine.

since we were going to be at a resort in the middle of the indian ocean, i was not expecting much in the coffee department, but not only was there a roaster on site, but the coffee was excellent, and even crazier: the croissants were stupidly good. they were perfectly buttery and light and flaky - honestly better than 90% of the croissants i've had in LA.

we stayed in one of their romantic pool water villas, an over-water bungalow with a private pool - this would have been a perfect place for a honeymoon, but a 4th anniversary is a pretty good reason too. ;) the bed was super comfy, there was a dual rain shower, and even a screen that could drop down so you could watch movies via projector. but really, all we cared about was the view and the pool. super luxurious!

lux-maldives-111.jpg

The SPA

i went to the LUX* ME spa three times while we were there. the facilities are clean and beautiful, and i thoroughly enjoyed my massages, facial and body wrap. the relaxing area they take you to after your treatments has a steam room, sauna, two pools and a lovely view of the ocean. if you sit out there long enough you might even see some fruit bats!

The FOOD

breakfast

there are two breakfast options, but we went to East Market every morning, because it was super close to our villa. it is a big buffet with lots of breads, fruit, juices, cold cuts, hot breakfast items spanning various cuisines, as well as stations for dim sum, waffles, noodle soup, omelets, etc. they even had kombucha and house-made jams and yogurts. their baked goods were my favorite (again, those croissants!). 

lunch

our lunches were split between veli bar and lagoon bar. the menus are quite wide-ranging, and there's even the cutest little gelato bar on beach for dessert.

 veli bar's  vietnamese prawn rice paper rolls  with indian ocean prawn, bean sprouts, lettuce, rice noodles, carrots, mint, spicy peanut dip.

veli bar's vietnamese prawn rice paper rolls with indian ocean prawn, bean sprouts, lettuce, rice noodles, carrots, mint, spicy peanut dip.

  traditional maldivian fish curry  at veli bar with chutneys and fragrant rice.

traditional maldivian fish curry at veli bar with chutneys and fragrant rice.

  fish and chips  at veli bar: beer battered snapper, homemade chips, mush peas, pickles, lemon, tartar sauce, malt vinegar.

fish and chips at veli bar: beer battered snapper, homemade chips, mush peas, pickles, lemon, tartar sauce, malt vinegar.

 gelato bar on the beach!

gelato bar on the beach!

 lagoon and bar.

lagoon and bar.

  tuna tartare  at lagoon bar with chilli, black pepper, olive oil, shallots, kaffir lime, avocado, tortilla chips.

tuna tartare at lagoon bar with chilli, black pepper, olive oil, shallots, kaffir lime, avocado, tortilla chips.

  adult kingfish tiradito  with samphire, burn cucumbers, pomegranate, wild lime and tequila dressing.

adult kingfish tiradito with samphire, burn cucumbers, pomegranate, wild lime and tequila dressing.

dinner

we tried as many of the dinner options as we could - senses focused on south asian cuisines, bar rouge was casual global fare, allegria served italian and umami served japanese. our favorite meal was at allegria, but all the meals were really quite excellent.

 hummus at senses.

hummus at senses.

 curries, rice and naan at senses.

curries, rice and naan at senses.

  lebanese basturma  at senses: thin sliced dried lebanese beef, babaganoush, pomegranate, herbs.

lebanese basturma at senses: thin sliced dried lebanese beef, babaganoush, pomegranate, herbs.

part of bar rouge extended over the water and was lit underneath, which was a lot of fun after dusk when some of the small reef sharks do some stalking and hunting.

  FDC oysters  with barrel aged mignonette.

FDC oysters with barrel aged mignonette.

  over the top lettuce wedges  with bacon and rance dressing.

over the top lettuce wedges with bacon and rance dressing.

  maldivian tuna steak  with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

maldivian tuna steak with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

 allegria's  2 king prawns from the wood fire oven  with garlic and chili butter and pangritata.

allegria's 2 king prawns from the wood fire oven with garlic and chili butter and pangritata.

  spicy crab fettuccine  with chili, parsley and lemon at allegria.

spicy crab fettuccine with chili, parsley and lemon at allegria.

  truffle veal cheeks  at allegria: 8-hour braised veal cheeks, creamy mashed potato, braised jus.

truffle veal cheeks at allegria: 8-hour braised veal cheeks, creamy mashed potato, braised jus.

 inside umami.

inside umami.

  sashimi  of local yellow fin tuna, local wahoo, local snapper, local moon grouper and atlantic salmon at umami .

sashimi of local yellow fin tuna, local wahoo, local snapper, local moon grouper and atlantic salmon at umami.

  korean fried rice and wagyu beef soy caramel  at umami.

korean fried rice and wagyu beef soy caramel at umami.

  yuzu curd  at umami.

yuzu curd at umami.

this was my first time doing the whole resort thing. in general, i'm more of an adventurous traveler - i like to be on the move, exploring new places, trying local food. however, i will say that there is definitely something nice about taking a relaxing, pampering vacation. and as i mentioned earlier, we did manage to get some diving in. spoiler alert: it was amazing. hopefully i'll be able to share that part of our maldivian experience next week!

South Ari Atoll, Dhidhoofinolhu, Maldives

diving in the maldives

diving in the maldives

lost at sea, pasadena.

lost at sea, pasadena.