Been there, done that?
February 1, 2015 | BY Grace Tay
There are still places and ways to delight the extremely well travelled jetsetter says Nico Heath of luxury tour operator Lightfoot Travel.
There’s nothing like a weekend getaway to the Maldives… to leave me wishing it were a weeklong holiday, as confirmed by my two-nighter at Maalifushi by Como.
My Maldivian break was organised by bespoke travel specialists Lightfoot Travel, and Maalifushi in the untouched Thaa Atoll is one of the handpicked resorts in its portfolio. Nico Heath, the co-founder and director of the luxury tour operator, tells us a little:
Everyone’s now touting unique experiences as the new luxury. Has that always been Lightfoot’s motto?
Lightfoot’s motto has always been to open people’s eyes to new destinations and experiences. I think what sets us apart from the competition really is our team of travel designers and the knowledge and experience they have, along with just how personalised they make a client’s experience.
Our travel designers love to travel and we are keen to facilitate this travel in order for them to bring the best product and insider advice to our clients. They are constantly on the move, exploring new countries and regions, trying out new tours and testing hotels and villas to add to our portfolio. Even if a client wants something as simple as a beach holiday in Phuket, we try to introduce the smaller boutique hotels, book tables at new restaurants, and encourage them to explore a part of the island they haven’t been to before. Not every holiday is a long, experiential adventure, but every trip with Lightfoot is different in some way.
The Lightfoot team personally susses out properties. What’s special about Como, and Maalifushi by Como in particular?
With Como it’s about the spa, the dining and the service. Its Shambhala spas that are found in all Como properties almost need no further explanation, but let’s just say they are really at the top of their league in terms of products, treatments and the training of their staff.
With dining, the ingredients are always so fresh and I love how Como has light and healthy options. As most of its properties are in hot, tropical locales, this is what you really want – nothing heavy to weigh you down. We love the spaciousness of the villas at Maalifushi, with their clean lines, crisp linens and large infinity pools. They are very private as well so you don’t have to worry about being overlooked by your neighbours.
What are your Top 5 must-dos in the Maldives?
1. Snorkel straight from your bedroom
2. Sundowners overlooking the incredible horizon
3. Dolphin cruise
4. Deep sea fishing and eating your catch fresh from the ocean
5. Spa treatment in a breezy overwater pavilion
Are there still ways to surprise and delight the extremely well-travelled jet set?
There will never not be ways to surprise and delight! It admittedly is becoming more difficult, but the world is a huge place and no one can cover it all. Even within countries, there are so many different places you can see that would fill multiple holidays. Take China for example. Most people see Shanghai and Beijing and dust their hands of it, but you could spend a year visiting all the other spots that are even more spectacular in a lot of ways: the Muslim province of Xinjiang, the mountainous areas of Yunnan and Sichuan, the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, the coastal villages along Fujian – the list is endless!
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