The 5* Maldives health retreat where wine and chocolate are encouraged

The 5 star Maldives health retreat where wine is encouraged, the all-inclusive minibar is stocked twice a day and you won’t be judged for eating chocolate

  • The Pullman Maldives Mammuuta resort offers a first-of-its-kind five star all inclusive experience 
  • With the price of a room, guests are treated to all their meals, an extensive wine list and a full mini bar 
  • The newly-opened hotel launched a health and wellness retreat in January to kick-off its fitness program 
  • The #UpYourGame challenge took guests through unique workouts inspired by the island’s natives 
  • Paddle-boarding, jogging, Zumba, water aerobics, dancing and aerial yoga are also on offer  

For many, the idea of a January health retreat to purge the sins of the festive period and kick-start the New Year with the right intentions is just what the doctor ordered. 

For others, the thought of spartan instructors screaming in their faces, demanding push ups and tree poses with nothing but a green juice to look forward to after a 12-hour day is, quite rightly, torture.  

So imagine a health retreat so gentle and all encompassing that you can pick and choose your daily workouts, spa massages aren’t only encouraged but are part of the package AND you get to indulge in Pinot Grigio and Ferrero Rocher in your room for no added cost.

Now imagine it in a majestic, serene setting on a private, 18-acre island in the Maldives. 

That’s exactly the fairy tale that Pullman, a hotel chain best known for its urban properties, has built on a once baron atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

A world-away from the comfortable corporate space it normally occupies, the Pullman Maldives Mammuuta resort is a haven for the weary. 

It is the first of its kind in the Maldives to offer a 5*, all-inclusive experience which actually means all-inclusive and is of astounding quality and generosity.

The Pullman Maldives Mammuuta resort offers a first-of-its-kind program for anyone wishing to indulge in all-inclusive luxury and get fit 

The newly opened resort is nestled on a once baron atoll in the Maldives. It’s remote location means it is completely unspoiled and entirely private to the staff and guests there 

One of the spectacular villas at the island which boasts several bedrooms, living rooms and room for staff 

Meals at any of the three island restaurants are included along with a vast selection of wine (80+ varieties including Argentinian Malbec, French rose and champagne, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand). All of the rooms – or ‘villas’ as they are luxuriously dubbed – have Nespresso machines and the minibar – stocked with Smirnoff, Jack Daniels, San Pelligrino and fruit juices – are restocked twice a day.

And the all-inclusivity stretches far beyond food and drink.

Stay for five nights and you receive a free, 60 minute massage in the dreamlike spa. A stay of 8 nights bags you two. Activities, including all non-motorised water sports are part of the package and soon, the hotel hopes to offer guests a free skydive with a stay of 8 nights or longer.

All of these creature comforts are enough to put even the most faint-hearted fitness fan at ease when they arrive for a health program.

I visited in January for part of a 10 day wellness retreat with star trainer and Pullman’s resident fitness ambassador Sarah Hoey.

Among activities on the extensive list of options is water Zumba, water aerobics and, of course, swimming

The hotel group’s wellness ambassador Sarah Hoey demonstrates part of Raviera workout which is based on the daily routine of a coconut picker 

She gently led the group through unique daily workouts including a session on the beach that is inspired by the routine of a coconut picker. It’s called the Raviera workout and involves lifting weights carved by hand out of wood, climbing trees and, of course, using a bag of coconuts as a weight.

Jen Smith does aerial yoga at the Pullman Maldives #UpYourGame health retreat in Januar

To get our blood pumping before the session, we were treated to an unforgettable warm up of Boduberu dancing complete with drummers, a singer and traditional Maldivian sarongs. 

Not only was it great fun but it had the group of 10 – which included at least two personal trainers – dripping in sweat.

To put together a workout program in the Maldives without incorporating its inimitable waters would be a crime. Naturally, there are paddle boards, kayaks and freestyle swimming races to be enjoyed by all.

The most intense portion of our program was an island adventure race which started with a 1k run around the over-water villas. In the beating heat of the morning sun, this was enough to put even the healthiest members of our group through their paces.

Soon, there will be outdoor workout stations dotted around the property where guests can workout themselves with guidance from signage in the unique setting of an island jungle.

For a more tranquil workout, aerial yoga is also being brought introduced. 

Our workouts are among the dozens that are already being offered to guests as part of the weekly schedule. Aqua aerobics, Zumba, body combat, sunrise yoga and HIIT are laid on for no added charge.

The fitness experience at Pullman goes hand in hand with three other core components of wellness; food, sleep and spa.

Sleep was an easy one to master. The sumptuous king-sized beds in all of the rooms are cloud-like and with blackout blinds and no outdoor sounds save for the lapping of waves from your ocean stairs, the land of nod isn’t hard to find.

The spa, with its aromatherapy workshop and bright and breezy reception is another heavenly spot to while away a quiet afternoon in the capable hands of the resort’s therapists.

A sunset meditation session on a Dhoni, a traditional Maldivian sailboat 

An aerial view of one of the resort’s communal pools, set next to the beach, while guests partake in some yoga

One of the most unique rooms on the resort is the aqua villa, a two bedroom suite where one of the bedrooms is underwater

The view from the bed in the traditional over-water villa, one of the many types of rooms on offer

Beach villas are a fantastic option for families with young children who do not want direct ocean access 

Healthy breakfasts and evening cocktails can be enjoyed at Sol Rising, one of the restaurants at the hotel

The food is one of the elements which sets Pullman Maldives Mammuuta apart. Aside from the aforementioned generosity of the all-inclusive package, the food focus on the island also serves as an example of its commitment to sustainability.

At Phat Chameleon, the sophisticated, dinner-only vegetarian restaurant, nearly all of the produce is taken from its newly planted garden. The menu there is creative and exciting. Avocado and cream cheese ravioli with spheres of bursting Thai basil, chocolate soup made from the purest cocoa bean and red pepper gnocchi which is as satisfying as a steamy bowl of bolognese are all on offer.

Sarah Hoey, the brand’s wellness ambassador, does sunrise yoga with another of the expert trainers on the island

The resort chef, Philippe, is committed not only to a successful hotel launch but to the future of the beautiful island. He hopes to bring in an army of worms to replenish the soil and to eventually build a wind farm. 

There were hopeful talks of eventually producing the island’s own brand of chocolate to sell, another potential stream of revenue which would offer countless more precious jobs to the charming and very skilled locals

In Melange, the most casual restaurant of the three, the concept of a tired hotel buffet takes on a new form. Homemade paratha are served along fresh paneer on the Indian counter. Made to order pasta can be found in one spot, and the designated dim sum chef is always happy to tell you what he’s made that day. There’s homemade kiwi ice cream and the chef will tailor the menu depending on religious or international holidays. Russian Orthodox Christmas fell during my visit – we celebrated with pork and honey cake.

There is a firm focus on products that are native to the island – coconut and tuna are always in abundance.

Should guests want to try yet another cuisine, Souq Oven offers a more formal experience and has an impressive wine cellar. Most of those are also included in the per-night price.

While health and fitness are at the forefront of the property’s priorities, there’s plenty more to enjoy. 

The beaches are kept in pristine condition by a staff who rake them daily and there are enough sun loungers scattered around the island for anyone to idle away a few weeks. 

All of the rooms are luxurious. 

There are beach villas with their own pools that are adjacent to the sand, a wonderful choice for families with young children, and over-water villas with direct access to the ocean.

For more information, visit the resort’s website here. Prices vary depending on season and villa type, but the most affordable option is around $1,000 per night. 

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