Health & Grooming | Chronicles of a Spa Junkie

Spa Junkie in… the Maldives

A green powder has devastating effects on our covert reporter

Spa Junkie in… the Maldives

Image: Jay Yeo

May 11 2011
Spa Junkie

Part: 1 | 2 | 3

Spa Junkie is on a seven-day programme at the Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives.


It’s the cleansing day. I wake up at 6am and read my instructions: “Take half the green powder. After two hours you will start to feel some bowel movements. You should have about eight to 12 ‘sittings’ after which your body should be cleansed.”

Well, “sittings” should have read “sprintings”. Within 40 minutes, saliva starts to well in my mouth and vomiting begins shortly after. Then it becomes a very delicate juggling act between which orifice will be releasing next and so, like a seesaw, I spend the next four hours holed up in the bathroom, my only solace being the glass floor which allows me to look at the fish swimming below. I wonder what on earth they would think of the shenanigans going on above them.

By noon, there is nothing left. I am given the rest of the day off and, despite the lovely weather, I draw the curtains, crawl into my four-poster bed and watch episodes of E! True Hollywood Story.

I am surprised by lunch, which is a very mild coconut and rice curry. I was expecting dry toast and a de-fizzed Coca-Cola but, remarkably, this tastes good and settles my stomach.


I sleep for nine hours and, as they predicted, wake up feeling like a new person. I give myself a nose-to-tail review of how I feel and look. Despite concerns about my high-carb diet, I have lost almost 5kg and my upper arms no longer look like flabby chicken wings; in fact, my entire body seems a lot more tight and toned. The daily massage has reduced the cellulite dimples that have been creeping up on me over the past 12 months to virtually nothing. I feel relaxed and my sleeping is back to the sort I used to enjoy in puberty. In short, I feel on top of the world.

I decide to go off-plan for breakfast, opting for the fruit buffet and treating myself to a cappuccino, the most delicious I think I have ever tasted.

The usual 90-minute workout is followed by relaxation and reading, then a salad and soup lunch. With the angst of “Is this spa going to work?” now gone, I am free to see what else the island has to offer and sign up for a scuba diving course.


It’s time to leave. As I wave goodbye I feel a genuine lump in my throat. I know the names of almost every member of the staff, something that I have never experienced before. I cry for the entire seaplane journey, which to this day I can’t explain.


This spa has absolutely delivered. My sleeping has never been better and I haven’t taken a sleeping tablet for three weeks. I had great weight loss too, but I worked very hard for it. Exercise is not obligatory at Landaa Giraavaru; in fact, they would have preferred me to have taken things slower. I chose to do four hours of exercise a day, so don’t expect the same results in such a short period if you want to pass your time reading books, taking cookery classes and having massages. And if you do want to do the full hard-core detox, you need to stay a minimum of 12 days.

Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, accommodation and treatments.