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Niyama Private Islands Maldives

by Jocelyn Zuckerman

The water surrounding Niyama Private Islands resort in the Maldives, is nothing short of astonishing—friends back home thought I’d Photoshopped my pictures—and there’s something innately soothing about inhabiting such exquisite beauty, whether biking along the white-sand paths or lounging on the deck of your villa.

The over-water treatment rooms, accessed via a charmingly unkempt tropical garden, feature floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the ocean breeze. Products from Anne Semonin combine aromatic essential oils, trace elements and marine ingredients, and local coconut oil and salt invariably find their way into the sundry scrubs and rubs. Offerings include alternative healing and holistic beauty treatments, epigenetic testing for lifestyle and diet recommendations, therapies rooted in reflexology and crystals, and a whole lot more. It’s paradise, in every sense of the word.

Still, anyone who’s seen The Island President, the 2011 documentary about the efforts of then-President Mohamed Nasheed to address the impact of rising sea levels on the Maldives, knows the country is uniquely vulnerable to climate change. Participating in Niyama’s Adopt a Coral program, wherein the resident marine biologist schools you in the ecosystem and you snorkel out to a nursery to choose and name living coral that gets transplanted onto the resort’s damaged reef—photos will keep you updated from back home—is one way to do your part. Since 2007, some 3,000 corals have been added to Niyama’s reef. niyama.com

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