When I was searching for the most luxurious hotel to stay in during my stay in the Seychelles, Maia was one of the first to pop up. Listen, when you travel from far distances to get to the Seychelles, you want to be able to fully embrace your experience, and part of that is staying in a place that offers all of the common necessities and then some. Since I was a kid, it had always been on my bucket list to experience the Granite Islands of the Seychelles, pictured below. There was a massive allure to visit this place, so when I had the chance to visit the Seychelles on my Expedition, I made it a point to go out and see them. A word of advice; book your travels to/from the island in advance. Since I was only in Seychelles for several days to speak to the university students, I sadly, did not have the opportunity to visit the islands. It takes a full day to get there and back, and it comes at a price if you want to go through a hotel like Maia. If you’re going to travel all the way to Seychelles, please visit the Granite Islands for me!
The above picture shows me about to embark on what would be the greatest massage journey of my life. I grew up having massages; my mom used to practice massage and reiki and whenever we went on a family trip to Florida or St. John, we would all get massages. As I got older, I learned to appreciate what I like, and what I don’t. Now, I tend to get more deep tissue or sports massages, and when I say deep, I mean business. If you’re one of those people who enjoys a thorough deep tissue, or even whether you enjoy the most relaxing massage of your life, then don’t miss out on Maia’s therapeutic massages. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the masseuse, but he was the head of their spa. He studied massage in Thailand and had traveled all over to master the art of massage. This massage was the best I’d ever had in my life, even to this very day. He upheld the very most respect (trust me, I’ve had my fair share of sketchy massages by men), he went as deep as I craved so that I felt like a whole new person afterwards, and let’s not forget the atmosphere. This was an outdoor massage facing the rocks and waterfalls. It was quiet, serene, warm and smelled wonderful and tropical.
During my time in the Seychelles I did manage to stay at one other (terrible) resort. Comparing that one to this is a no brainer. Maia is luxury. You have your own personal Butler and chef who makes delicious meals in your villas kitchen, and a wonderful lounge area outside. I’m not one who enjoys personal chef’s, mainly because I enjoy my privacy too much and I myself find cooking, even while traveling, therapeutic. But for those of you who are seeking an all around, catered experience, then look no further.
The overall rating that I gave Maia was a 7/10.
What I loved: The villas were astounding; clean, spacious, with beautiful decor and a private Jacuzzi. I loved the outdoor awning and the macaroon treats, fruits and champagne upon arrival was a nice touch. The food was great. Perhaps I didn’t get the best villa, as there were others up on the mountain that looked stunning. But for the basic one, it got the job done.
What Set It Back: The beaches were dirty and the seas were too rough to have a swim. There was a full blown refrigerator floating amidst the shoreline. For me, the Butler service was a bit too intrusive for my liking. But most importantly, there were no efforts to be a sustainable hotel, which of course is always a disappointment.
Overall: The best, most sustainable luxury hotel to stay in within the Maldives. Perhaps even more so than their sister hotel, Soneva Jani (also in the Maldives).
What makes a sustainable or regenerative hotel? A reverse osmosis water system, farm to table produce, supporting local dairy and meat farmers, engaging with local non-profit or community organization endeavors to address an issue within the country or community, energy efficient lighting, low pressure water systems, recycling, employing locals and offering fair and equal pay, replanting what was lost during the construction, use of biofuel (for boats), engaging guests in local cultural experiences and making them aware of environmental and cultural needs, LEED Certification, educating staff on importance of sustainability (turning off lights, observing for wasteful practices, etc.), reducing bathroom amenities waste (using bamboo toothbrushes instead, locally made/organic soap, shampoo and conditioner that help the environment), the list goes on.