Leisure in Laamu; Highlights from the Visit Maldives Storytellers' Conference 2023 Sideline Program

The adventure began with a heartwarming experience as the participants were welcomed into a local house in Laamu Gan for a traditional Maldivian lunch. It was a remarkable opportunity for the participants to interact with a Maldivian family, particularly a charming 7-year-old girl 'Aisha' who engaged them in delightful conversations. The lunch, known as "Golha Riha," is a delicacy unique to Laamu Atoll that left all the participants raving about its flavours and authenticity.
“Reveries Diving Village welcomed us with some warm greetings. And then, the Visit Maldives team took us to the local village where we had an amazing lunch with the local family. The girl, the sweet girl from that family, was so so talented and knowledgeable. In fact, I learned so many things from that cute girl.” - Rohan Pavar Ranjan from UK 
The journey continued with a visit to captivating attractions in Laamu Gan island, such as the Paree Fengadu (fairy pond). The participants were enchanted by the beauty of this place, which offered breathtaking views and a charming serenity. Lessons with the locals on the traditional craft of ‘fan vinun’ (weaving palm thatch) added an extra layer of magic to their experience. 
The team stayed at the beautiful Reveries Maldives on the night of the 31st. They were treated to a fantastic stay at this property, which went above and beyond to ensure their comfort. Notably, the staff at Reveries Maldives displayed exceptional hospitality that truly exemplified the genuine island life experience that the participants continued to talk about throughout their stay. 
The following day, the participants embarked on a snorkelling and exploration adventure to Baresdhoo and the nearby ‘Star Wars Island’, all organised by Reveries. Snorkelling at Baresdhoo, the underwater world revealed its wonders as the participants marvelled at the incredible visibility that day. They were delighted by the vibrant array of tiny colourful fish and stunning coral formations. 
The journey culminated at the exquisite Six Senses Laamu, where the participants were treated to two nights of sheer luxury. The accommodation at Six Senses Laamu exceeded all expectations, with its breathtaking surroundings, impeccable hospitality, and gastronomic delights. 
“On day two, I loved snorkelling, I loved ‘Star Wars Island’, and I’m really really really in love with my water villa in Six Senses Laamu” - Valentina Raso from Italy 
The food creations made in the resort use their own home-grown herbs; with an organic poultry farm, mushroom harvesting, their own bottling factory, and even an inhouse tailor and carpenter to ensure that sustainability is the main focus of every activity. The participants were even more awed by Six Senses Laamu’s commitment to sustainability as they learned about marine life conservation and witnessed coral growth in the lab at the SHELL (Sea Hub for Environmental Learning) centre. The SHELL large amphitheatre displaying stunning visuals of the underwater world as a backdrop for the team to tell their stories of the land and waters of Laamu. The presence of lifelike replicas of manta ray’s resident to the region hanging from the ceiling added an immersive touch to their learning experience.
“We went to Six Senses, a very special location, each of us got a special villa so we got to experience the place in a different way. I got an overwater villa, which is very isolated from the other villas. For me, it was my ‘still place’. The place where I could take photos, I could relax, I could have the view only for myself. I really enjoyed it, yes, it was just an amazing day.” - Giuseppe Cannavó from Italy 
The hospitality and friendliness of the Six Senses Laamu staff were unparalleled. Upon arrival, every member of the staff greeted the participants, and the General Manager personally introduced them to the entire team. The participants especially enjoyed the session at the resort’s Alchemy bar, where they learned the hands-on process of creating skin care products. They also had the privilege of enjoying two hosted dinners and one hosted lunch, to connect with individuals from various departments and backgrounds. This unique interaction allowed the participants to gain essential insights into different walks of life and occupations in the Maldives.
The success of the Visit Maldives Storytellers’ Conference 2023 was undeniably amplified by the remarkable experiences encountered by the participants during their sideline trips. The Laamu region, in particular, left a mark on the participants' hearts. From the heartwarming interactions with locals to the mesmerising underwater adventures and the luxurious accommodations, Laamu showcased the best of what the Maldives has to offer. This trip served as a testament to the rich culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality that define the Maldives, leaving all participants with cherished memories to share with the world.
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