The Upgrade

A Day in the Life in the Maldives: Glass-Bottom Kayaking, Zero-Gravity Yoga, Bucket-List Breakfast

PART 23: One Mile at a Time blogger Ben Schlappig gives us a peek inside the dream destination — where days are happy hazes of snorkeling, spa, and champagne.

Hello again from Ben Schlappig, the full-time traveler behind One Mile at a Timeand the guy who introduced you to my uber-luxury travel lifestyle all made possible by using miles and points. In our series with Jet Set, we're going around the world in 21 days... all in five-star luxury, and booked at the very last minute.

In my last post, I was giving you a tour of my incredible Maldives property.

So, what does one actually do all day in the Maldives? It probably depends on the day. Let me start by saying that no matter where in the world I am, I’m always working at least 6-8 hours, so my schedule is going to be different than most.

Personally I don’t like “relaxing” (i.e., sitting on the beach reading a book), so when I’m not working I like to try new stuff.

We started each morning in the Maldives with an incredible breakfast at Alba, the hotel’s signature restaurant. Breakfast isn’t included on all rates, though as an SPG Platinum you’re entitled to free breakfast, which is a great value, since it would otherwise retail for $100-plus per day for two people.

Dining at the St. Regis

My gosh, the breakfast selection was never ending. In addition to a truly massive buffet, the hotel also has a menu you can use to supplement it, including all kinds of great dishes, from sashimi to eggs benedict to foie gras to a lobster omelet. 

They also had a very tempting sweet selection, ranging from apple with ice cream to cream cheese carrot cake. 

For me, breakfast is one of the most relaxing parts of a vacation, especially when you have a view like you do in the Maldives. So I love just ordering an iced coffee and enjoying the view for an hour or two.

After breakfast, we went snorkeling. Thanks to our overwater villa, we could do this straight off our deck, which was pretty awesome. I’m sort of scared of the ocean, so it took some convincing on Ford’s part, but eventually he got me in.

I haven’t snorkeled many places, but the snorkeling in the Maldives is unreal. The water is crystal clear, and the reefs are beautiful. 

After snorkeling, we got some spa treatments. The spa is one of the highlights of the St. Regis, as each treatment room is a separate overwater suite. On top of that, the spa has a pool which is probably the most beautiful area of the hotel to photograph (and there are a lot of contenders for that title). There just isn’t anywhere in the world that’s as picturesque as the Maldives. 

Where to start?!

After that we had lunch in a hut on the beach overlooking the ocean. The hotel has cuisine from all over the world, though this time around we decided to just have pizzas. They were legitimately good — not just by Maldivian resort standards, but among the best I’ve had outside of Italy. But really it’s the view that scores the most points.

After lunch we tried zero-gravity yoga. Let me preface this by saying that I’m possibly the least flexible person on earth — a wooden paddle is probably more flexible than I am. The last and only time I did yoga was the last time I was in the Maldives, and I sort of liked it. After the second time I even started to feel like I was becoming more flexible.

Well, unfortunately zero-gravity yoga probably isn’t for me. My takeaway is that it’s sort of like turning into a bat, as you hang upside down and all the blood rushes to your head. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very cool, and Ford enjoyed it, but it’s just a bit too advanced for my inflexible self! 

Zero-gravity yoga... it's not for everyone!

In the afternoon, shortly before sunset, we went kayaking. The St. Regis has some glass-bottom kayaks, which I’m happy we used. While I like kayaking as an activity in general, a glass-bottom kayak makes it all the cooler. In most bodies of water that probably wouldn’t add much value, since the water isn’t clear.

However, in the Maldives having a glass bottom kayak is almost like snorkeling, as you can see a few feet down, including plenty of coral and reefs.

The accommodations are just stunning.

After kayaking we went back to the Whale Bar for some sunset cocktails, and then to dinner. The hotel has several restaurants to choose from, including the international restaurant, Asian restaurant, and Middle Eastern restaurant. We decided to go to the Asian restaurant, Orientale, which has three distinctive show kitchens. The restaurant has an Indian, Japanese, and more general Asian kitchen, and you can see the distinct items made at each of them.

It was a great day, and overall one thing that sets the St. Regis apart from other properties I’ve stayed at in the Maldives is how much there’s to do. At other resorts there’s not much to do other than to relax, while at the St. Regis there’s an endless amount of stuff to do, and your schedule can be packed from morning to night, if you’d like.

What a special hotel…

Stay tuned for the next leg of my epic journey!

FOLLOW MY JOURNEY:

Gasp at the beauty and luxury of my Maldives hotel.

Getting to the Maldives is one of the best parts of the whole experience!

Why the Middle East is an ideal place for a sensational stopover.

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Here's why hotels club-level lounges are no-brainers for travelers (especially if you work on the road).

This is one of the best hotel suite upgrades I ever got... and that's saying a lot!

Here's what makes a Middle East vacation so unique.

Is this the most incredible all-inclusive hotel in the Middle East?

Tour one of the world's best first-class airport lounges.

This is what it's like to fly inside one of the fanciest cabins in commercial air travel: an apartment in the sky.

Come with me on my flight filled with caviar, designer pajamas, and luxury gifts.

I support my boyfriend's first-class travel life (and in return he lets me pull stunts like this).

See how I booked a $12,000 flight for nearly free.

See Bali's littler-known party side — including a hangover brunch (with a DJ) to end them all!

Glimpse the five-star life I love (and buy with miles!) in Bali.

Here's why I call Bali the ultimate place to recharge.

Check out my epic layover in the world's best airport on the way to Bali.

Read up on my Hello Kitty-themed flight to get this far...

And the Hello Kitty airport experience to match!

And here's where it all began at LAX.

When a travel blogger becomes a celebrity:

Ben Schlappig, the blogger behind One Mile at a Time, experiences about $1 million worth of travel every year using miles and points — and covers about 400,000 miles annually this way. Ben has teamed up with Bravo’s Jet Set for a series called The Upgrade, in which he shows you how you — yes, you! — can score real-world-ready strategies for upping your travel game. Come along for the adventure!

Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.

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