In the middle of the Indian Ocean, about an hour’s speedboat ride from Maldives’ Velana international airport is located the tiny white jewel known as the Kagi Spa Island, in keeping with Maldives’ one island-one-resort concept. Located in on Maldives’ North Male Atoll, Kagi, which is part of the Crown and Champa Resorts, is a new property. It was in November 2020 that Kagi Spa Island opened for business. It’s a partially reclaimed island, with stunning white beaches encircled by coral reefs which lend an aquamarine shade to the ocean. The island with its 50 villas, 40 of them standing on stilts over water, is a quiet, luxury getaway. The overwater villas fan out alongside the pier, which extends into the sea. Each villa comes with its own plunge pool and sun deck and sun loungers. While one can step into the ocean straight from the deck for a swim in the overwater villas, one has to step out on the beach to reach the ocean from the beach villas.
The well-appointed villas incorporate the nature in their décor and are a mix of white and grey, with a stunning view of the ocean from both inside the room and the sun deck and plunge pool in front of the room and facing the ocean. The grey-marbled bathroom is luxurious, and is nearly as big as the bedroom. Not to forget the enclosed “outdoor” area with an extra shower to wash off the sand after a swim in the ocean and a bathtub to laze in. The stress is on the nature here, with even the toothbrush handle custom-made, from wood. The total area of each villa is 105 square metres, or a little over 1,130 square feet.
The resort has been designed by the New York-based Japanese architect and designer Yuji Yamazaki, who has aimed “beyond the conventional beach resort design and committed to place unique emphasis on the wellness of human mind and body in the world’s best tropical setting”.
The centrepiece of the island is the ring-shaped Baani Spa Wellness Centre, spread over 1,500sq m or over 16,000 square feet. Baani means the “ocean swell” in Maldives’ Dhivehi language, and the spa stands over water on stilts, with the massage beds offering an untrammelled view of the ocean. The spa and wellness centre has a lounge for relaxation, massage rooms, yoga and sound-therapy studio, steam rooms, a beauty salon and a boutique. The spa experience comes with a selection of yoga, fitness and mindfulness based classes. The masseuse and instructors are Balinese, who offer a range of massages including Balinese, Thai, Zen Shiatsu, reflexology and aromatherapy, apart from detoxification treatments. Among the sound therapies they have “Sound Chakra Balancing” and the “Sound of Baani”, where they use “the sound and vibrational energy of gongs, bowls and other musical instruments” to “help still the mind and allow the body to deeply relax”.
Kagi offers its guests plenty of choices in terms of food and drinks. It has a “Nourishing Complex” overlooking the ocean, which comes with its own herb garden. This two-storey structure has an infinity pool, poolside bar, restaurants, and a Piano Bar on the first floor, which is a place to relax in the evening with drinks and hors d’oeuvres with some live piano music. The island offers an amazing array of seafood, from batter fried calamari to grilled tiger prawns. The cuisine is international—American, continental, Middle Eastern and Asian including Indian. The Noo Faru buffet restaurant has designated cuisines for buffet dinners on different days of the week, out of which one dinner is reserved for Indian cuisine. Even the Baani spa comes with its own Spa Corner, which serves “simple healthy farm to table cuisine”. All dishes at the Spa Corner are “modern”—both local and international, with some special focus on Japanese. The “Nourishing Complex” also has the “Wine Cellar”, with a huge collection of alcoholic beverages meant for the guests.
Kagi offers a whole menu of “experiences” as well, from the sunset cruise to see dolphins to water sports such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, kayaking, catamaran sailing and stand-up paddling, among others. All activities are conducted by trained guides belonging to Euro-Divers. It is possible for even non-swimmers to participate in these activities, under the expert guidance of the trainers.
Children are allowed on the island, but only if they are 12 and above.
If you are looking for a laidback holiday of solitude, silence and wellness in the middle of a vast and azure ocean, Kagi is the place to be.
Disclaimer: The visit to Maldives earlier this year was on invitation by the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation of the Maldivian government.