‘Hoba’ is an ancient Dhivehi word meaning kindness and balance. The Hoba Spa is a holistic wellness brand developed by Oaga Resorts, offering the essence of Maldivian healing traditions passed down from generations (Dhivehi Beysverikan) and incorporated into modern-day therapy techniques. The brand does not just pay lip service to the concept, as the basic architecture, names, methods and oils used are all rooted deeply in Maldivian traditions and to the bare island life in its purest sense. Love is surely in the details of this brand and space.
A therapy session at the Hoba Spa of Oaga Art Resort starts at the Bodu Ashi, named and fashioned after the traditional entrance area with a large swing where visitors to an island home would sit and have a chat. Then you are greeted by your Hoba Beysverin, either a Beys Goyye’ (female) or a Beys Kalo (male) who welcomes you with a cold tea and a chilled towel. Combined with the misting of your face, this sets the mood for calm throughout the rest of the journey. They then offer Hiy Huba cards based on ancient Dhivehi words, allowing you to intuitively choose your intention for the therapy prior to experiencing it.
Once you have enjoyed your tea, you are then escorted into the Atharuge’. As was tradition, the ambience is quite intimate in this dark room, lit only by candlelight inspired by oil lamps. Atharuge’ is the Dhivehi name given for the perfumery which existed within the royal palaces, and this modern-day Atharuge’ offers locally sourced and handmade oils, fit for kings and queens throughout the ages.
As you walk towards the counter at the far end of the room, whiffs off the local ingredients and oils surround you. Here at the counter, you can choose from the signature oil blends and watch the Hoba Beysverin mix them in front of you. These oil blends are carefully curated by award-winning Maldivian wellness leader Zulfishan (Xubba), who has dedicated over 16 years to the spa industry of the Maldives. Zulfishan comes from a long line of Maldivian healers, and her expertise is rooted in the age-old practices which have been passed on to her from generations and childhood memories of her grandmother practising the traditional ways of healing.
Once you have picked your signature blend of oil, you are escorted to the spa pods, each of which has been named after Nakaiy from the local monsoon calendar. The therapies offered here are a mixture of Asian therapies or techniques, blending the traditional medicinal practices seamlessly with the modern contemporary touch.
Hoba Spa’s hydrotherapy Fen Vadaa area is another special concept comprising four parts; a rain shower adapted from the tropical rains of the rainy monsoon, a Vevu heated water bath, the Dhumashige Sweat Lodge blending the idea of the traditional Dhumashige where things are cooked and the sweat lodges of South America, and finally a well where you wash off.
The Hoba Dhulhaheyo experiences include Yoga, Power HOBA, HOBilates and Adu Healing (sound healing Tibetan bowls), some of which are predominantly based on the moon phases under San’dhu Moon Therapies. The spa offers daily morning and evening rituals, providing guests with tools and techniques to either prepare for or end the day with peace.
According to Laura, the Spa Manager who has been instrumental in developing and curating the concept, a very strong reason for creating the Hoba Spa in this manner was to really showcase to the guests what the Maldives has to offer within a spa awareness concept. Laura and Zulfishan, along with their team at Hoba Spa by Oaga Resorts, strive to give life to Maldivian traditions which are otherwise waning. Indeed, the use of time-tested remedial ingredients and the space they have created offer nostalgia which is sure to awaken your senses and ground you to these Maldivian soils.
For more information and to book your stay, visit https://oagaresorts.com/