Travel is more than just visiting a beautiful place, taking a selfie & leaving. In order to have meaningful experiences, you must invite travel to seep into your bones, blow your mind, change your perspective!
I promise you, if you travel in this way, life will never be the same. You’ll always crave the depth that adventure naturally brings you & the unlikely, life-long connections authentic travel provides.
For years I have dreamt of hosting my very own SALTY LUXE Group Retreats. I’ve visited almost all continents with my partner Chesh, so I know the value & impact shared experiences can have on us.
The goal was to curate something truly special. To bring people from all over the world together to access places & moments thought impossible. Ultimately, we wanted this to be the trip of a lifetime for our guests!
Earlier this year, my dream came true. We hosted 30+ amazing people in one of my favourite, awe-inspiring travel destinations …THE MALDIVES! Bucketlist moments were experienced, life-long friendships were made & we had the time of our lives.
Here’s a recap of what the retreat looked like, where we stayed, the best moments and a cheeky way you can join the waitlist for our next one!
Please note that some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made (at no additional cost to you). Of course this blog captures all my own personal thoughts and feelings and if you’d love to know more about anything, please reach out to me!
SAII LAGOON RESORT
The first 3 days of our Salty Luxe Retreat consisted of soaking up paradise, getting to know each other & exploring our incredible 5 star resort accomodation, Saii Lagoon. Mornings started with sunrise yoga, nourishing group breakfasts & swimming from the comfort of our private overwater villas.
Days were spent snorkelling, participating in sustainability activities & relaxing, before ending each day with sunset cocktails and dinner on the beach. The first few days were all about spoiling our guests, indulging & discovering the luxurious side of Maldives resorts & we did just that. Total perfection.
Check out Saii Lagoon Resort & book your stay here.
Whilst we were at Saii Lagoon Resort, we organised a coral planting session with the islands Marine Biologists. Our Salty crew learnt about different coral species, coral propagation techniques & how we can all help in regenerating our marine environments (one small step at a time).
After an amazing information session, we got hands on & each planted our coral into the nursery, to support the islands reef regeneration project.
THE BAREFOOT ECO HOTEL
After living out our Maldivian luxury resort dreams, we flew to local island, Hanimaadhoo. As our flight began to descend, we realised just how remote we were, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest & fringing coral reefs.
For the next 3 nights The Barefoot Eco Hotel would be our eco home-away-from-home. We stayed in sustainable wooden beach huts, set among endless palm trees with views to the ocean.
Here we spent a lot of time relaxing beach side, exploring local dive sites and hosting our first ever photography and social media workshop. We never missed a sunset & most evenings we spent hours on the beach chatting, taking photos & soaking up the last of the days magic.
We were spoiled with traditional Maldivian dinners & each night we would retreat to our jungle oasis with full bellies & even fuller hearts.
Check out The Barefoot Eco Hotel and book your stay here.
REEF DIVING WITH A MARINE BIOLOGIST
A highlight of our Hanimaadhoo stay would definitely be our information session with the islands Marine Biologist, before heading out to free dive the islands vibrant house reef.
We saw an array of corals, along with some rays, black tip reef sharks, eels and hundreds of different species of fish. It was like being in a real life aquarium & our group was left totally speechless.
We flew over breathtaking atolls from the north, arriving at world renowned whale shark destination & stunning local island, Dhigurah. WOW! What a way to end the trip. This was jam packed with adventures and activities and the group was thriving after some down time at Hanimaadhoo.
We stayed at the beautiful White Sand Dhigurah guest house. Only a short stroll to the beach for salty swims, beach hangs and photoshoots with the crew – we just couldn’t get enough. We spent our time diving, enjoyed a traditional palm weaving session with some locals and had the most incredible beach breakfast you’ve ever seen!
Check out White Sand Dhigurah and to book your stay here.
WHALE SHARK DIVING & ISLAND EXPLORING
After travelling and diving with locals & marine biologists during our trip & having met The Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, we had gained valuable insight into the lack of conservation & regulation surrounding whale sharks in Maldives.
It was important to us & our group to have a natural interaction with these majestic creatures, so we set out with a local marine biologist & whale shark advocate to ensure our encounter (if we were lucky enough to have one) was a positive one!
It must have been our lucky day, as we actually saw 2 whale sharks & 17 sea turtles on this dive – we simply couldn’t believe our eyes.
After swimming with whale sharks, we continued exploring hidden reefs & islands with our local guides. We saw so much marine life, including turtles, black tip reef sharks, grey nurse sharks, rays, octopus, eels, a range of coral and more.
In the end, we were loving the day so much, we missed lunch, returning to Dhigurah 5 hours late after the best day of our lives. Time went by so fast as we jumped from the boat & swam together in remote, pristine lagoons.
Our Salty Luxe Maldives Retreat was a dream come true & it could not have been possible without our beautiful friend Kristie from Indulge Maldives who helped organise everything! We recommend Indulge Maldives to everyone, because Kristie is quite simply THE BEST!
From local islands to luxury resorts, Kristie has extensive knowledge & is a wealth of information, having lived in Maldives for many years now. If local islands are your thing, Kristie can organise you accomodation from just $50 per night (which I highly recommend you experience if you want to curate a trip like ours, where we visited 2 local islands!).
Kristie lives on the beautiful island of Thulusdhoo – if you’re ever on the island, don’t miss her famous smoothie bowls, juices & healthy treats at her new cafe Indulge Thulusdhoo.
We look forward to hosting many more trips in the future!
If you want to join us on our next Salty Luxe Retreat, sign up to our mailing list here, so you receive early access and don’t miss out on future details!
See you soon! 🙂
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