ON a stressed-out planet, experiencing nature's untainted beauty first hand may well be the ultimate bauble to attract the well-heeled tourist's dollar. But the trouble with most tourists is they come with crowds of other tourists, and even getting close to nature can have some uncomfortable drawbacks just ask any foot-weary adventure traveller. A resort strategically located miles from nowhere, on limited land, surrounded by boundless ocean, might then seem the logical way for the upmarket tourism industry to go.
Huvafen Fushi is just such a remote tropical retreat. The resort was conceived and designed by architect Carl Ettensperger and together with splendid isolation offers spas, treatments and diving, and caters to every epicurean whim.
"The developers, Per Aquum, wanted a six-star retreat for a young, hip crowd and the project completed in one short year. It also had to offer every high-tech trapping," he says. "Other than that, I was pretty much given carte blanche."
The resort has 40 guest bungalows, 16 on the beach and 24 on the water, as well as three larger, further-removed guest pavilions. There is a small lobby, four restaurants, a spa and treatment facility, a large infinity-edge swimming pool, and a flotation pool.
Individual residences offer every pampering advantage, from wireless internet and wireless lighting controls to full air-conditioning and an infinity-edge plunge pool. The resort is not designed for roughing it.
But Huvafen Fushi also offers some highly individualistic features, as if the setting and accommodation wasn't enough. A flotation pool is set out on the water, almost resembling a mini atoll in its own right. The pool's 30 percent concentration of salt allows occupants the paradisiacal feeling that they are levitating under the stars. Equally intriguing is Huvafen Fushi's treatment room, which forms part of the cutting edge spa facility. The expansive room is actually set underwater, to the ongoing amusement of local marine life. Alongside the usual steam rooms and saunas is a less conventional Cold Room, providing the perfect foil to the Indian Ocean's warm, dry climate. There is even a slow-moving ice cascade in the spa facility, allowing guests to plunge their hands into its welcome coolness.