How to Maldives? Mind, Body and Play

Written By Pooja Shah Talera, Founder of KOSA Wellbeing

Images Author's own

Thought Bubbles is a channel to share with you, insights into our lives, thought processes, and the way we see things, through the KOSA lens. As a company, we truly believe in living our philosophy. Beauty and wellness are such personal and intricate parts of our lives and it’s important for you, our community, to get a bigger window to our ethos and inspiration. Here you might see personal memoirs, travelogues, art, culture, design, and milestones. We are fluid, ever-evolving. See this change here. In this edition, I shared how I designed my stay in Maldives - post-pandemic, with a toddler in need of a holiday that gave me all.


READ TIME: 8 minutes

Maldives Patina James Turrell Skyscape

Up until the pandemic, Maldives never crossed my mind as a location I’d pick for a short getaway. But after 2 years of no break - a baby and the digital arm to KOSA, Maldives just made sense. Exotic properties, each better than the one I would see before, cerulean Indian ocean, dramatic skies, and outstanding hospitality. I will talk about the skincare I brought with me. So if you’re in just for that, scroll all the way down or continue to get the full juice.

I wanted 2 experiences. Design, art, and an adult vibe. Food, nature, and toddler feel (we were just reeling in from her two-two celebration). Taruna Seth from Encompass Experiences was the best person to guide me on how to plan this. We picked Patina Maldives for the first leg and Soneva Jani for the second leg with a short scenic charter to take us from the first to the second.

The mood at Patina Maldives Fari Islands is subtle and sexy. Our sunrise water villa felt like a private villa sanctuary, giving us the much desired isolation but the verdant landscaping gave us a sense of belonging. Pro Tip: If you are an early riser like me, choose a sunrise villa.


It’s a dream to wake up to the dawn skies and start with breath work that goes into a rejuvenating vinyasa flow. A cool off in the sea, pool dip, and after a small snooze, I’m back cuddling with my babies in bed. All that and it’s only 9:00 am. Since diving was not part of the itinerary, languid breakfasts were a large part of our agenda. Swings on the beach, spotting some dolphins, some snooker, some TT, some floating at the Portico pool, and some green juice with immunity shots were the standard. The day I get in from travel, I prefer the meal to be really light. After a grilled halloumi with fresh greens (I still recall the fresh dill) at Helios, we called it an early night. Full moon, long warm soak in the tub right under the silver moonlight, light sea breeze on our deck, quiet chatter, mellow thoughts - an ideal nightcap feeling.

I picked Patina for its Stimulate programme which revolves around public art installations and experiences designed by Perpetuals - a collective of progressive people who help heighten our thinking. The Skyspace Amrata by artist James Turrell was the highlight of our stay. If you are familiar with Turell’s sky-scape, you know it’s a luxury to be able to experience one. This sensual abundance of light, colour and opening through an aperture in a proportioned chamber with seating, creates an immersive experience that is open to individual perception of space and form. Because it is tuned with satellite programming, the installation only works during sunset and sunrise. Seeing this I felt one step closer to my bucket list - The Roden Crater.

How could I not indulge in an OSEA spa? You know I love a spa based on scientific technologies that are available on hammam beds in rooms teched out with red-led. A Plump Facial and a Vagus Nerve Meditative massage after a long day of beach and paddle boating, whilst my little one played at the Footprints, really set the mood for our last evening. We spent the night with divine cocktails, fluidly swaying barefoot on the cool sand, to tunes of After Dark at the Fari Beach Club.

Soneva Jani is the ultimate destination for deep R&R and the epitome of bare-bones luxury. The furthest in the Maldivian archipelago at Noonu Atoll, the sunset water villa with a pantry that stocked bliss balls and fresh oat milk, a room that had an openable rooftop to stargaze, and a slide that got us into the sea first thing in the morning, quickly became our home.

Maldives Soneva Jani Pooja     Maldives Soneva Jani Pooja

I picked this place because I didn’t want an agenda for the second half of the trip. Just great food to nourish us, nature to rejuvenate us, and experiences around the first two. Our Barefoot Guardian understood this brief really well. We packed a Sonu’s picnic on a late afternoon and consumed Buddha bowls and devoured fruits, whilst building sand castles with our little one who would quickly destroy them. We did a Go Wild plant-based dinner experience in the midst of the vegetable garden from where 90% of the food on the plate was sourced (which is remarkable considering how much Maldives imports) whilst learning about the island’s ecological practices.

The Gathering was our spot. Breakfast to brunch over the water. The plant-based, no sugar help-your-own 24-hour ice cream spot was my daughter’s favourite spot (mine too) and the cheese room became our snack spot throughout the day. The Astronomy 101 at the viewing deck, the Den for little V’s playtime to build with sustainable materials, and the Cinema Paradiso were such immersive experiences. And even better, it was lights out on the island by 9!

Today whilst planning my next experience (did anyone say Bali?), I just vividly remember cycling with my little one in tow, dancing, sleeping without schedules, reading for hours on end, the music that spilled out from every room, hardly being clothed, and just hanging out giving gratitude whilst watching sunrises and sunsets from our room, as my best memories.

So what did I pack (just a carry on):

  1. No Make Up
  2. No gadgets
  3. No heels
  4. All my swimwear!
  5. Loads of sunscreen
  6. Plenty of mist
  7. A gentle milk cleanser
  8. A nourishing face cream
  9. An anti-inflammatory serum
  10. A moisturiser both my baby and I could share.

And an open mind. And that’s how I did Maldives.

Shop my packing list below.

*Our stay at Patina was partly gifted.

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