Glass tries the Deep Blue Prescription at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

WHEN The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands announced its ‘Deep Blue Prescription’, a four-day wellness programme designed to reduce stress and anxiety via maximum exposure with the ocean, I was intrigued.

In recent months, three separate health professionals had told me I was heading for burn-out – a prescription for Prozac was even on the cards. So what did I have to lose? Five days of swimming, spa treatments and soulful staring at the horizon certainly sounded relaxing but little did I know, it would shift something a lot deeper. 

Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

According to the Californian marine biologist and author Dr Wallace J Nichols, being in or around water has profound emotional and psychological benefits: better sleep, clearer focus, a deeper sense of inner calm – even improved longevity.

It’s been scientifically proven that being around water – and indeed the colour blue – triggers the body’s para-sympathetic nervous system (the opposite of fight or flight). Essentially, water chills us out. And let’s face it, the water in the Maldives is like nowhere else.

The Ritz-Carlton is one of the newer, bigger resorts in the Maldives. It’s globally recognised for its unconventional minimalist architecture. Villas, of which there are 100, are spherical open-fronted cocoon-like orbs designed by the late great Kerry Hill (of Aman fame). After a mere few hours in my villa, gazing at an uninterrupted vista of blues, I could feel my neurons firing at a slower rate. 

Two bedroom beach pool villa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Ocean pool villa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Each morning, I cycled the 3km sandy trail around the resort (three connected islands) before breakfast, eyes fixed on the horizon (potholes permitting). I took hourly dips in the ocean. I had one of the best massages ever in the floating UFO, I mean wellness pavilion, that houses the hotel’s Bamford spa. I drank champagne on the top deck of a dhoni with dolphins pirouetting around me in the surf.

I grazed on mango California rolls, reef-fish ceviche and yellowfin tuna next to the sexiest pool in the world (circular, of course). I was perfectly happy on my own, decompressing. And when I did feel the urge to seek out company, it was easy to find. One evening, I joined two delightful American couples (tech whizzes from San Fran and the son of a banana empire) for cocktails on the beach followed a flame-lit Maldivian barbeque. It was a riot.

By day five, I was feeling so clear-headed and optimistic, I started scribbling lists on hotel stationery – things I wanted to do (or do better), new daily routines I wanted to put in place, new objectives to aim for. I sent postcards to people I’d been neglecting. I made a vow to myself to slow down; to make wellbeing a priority; to listen to my body.

Taking time out to focus on the giant swell of the ocean (and one’s infinitesimally small place in the world) from the comfort of a luxury resort of this calibre is, without question, a privilege. 

I, for one, will forever be grateful for those humbling blue hues.

by Leo Bear

‘The Deep Blue Prescription’ wellness package is available at the The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands until 30 November 2024.

Visit for more information.