At the Island Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, which I was lucky enough to be able to visit, your journey to bliss begins even before you step foot in the spa. The only way to reach the spa—the only one in the world located on its own private island—is by speedboat. This means your metaphorical transportation to a Zen place begins with a literal one. Why leave your worries at the door when you can leave them on a whole other island?
After being whisked across the lagoon to the spa—ocean air blowing my hair for the three-minute trip—the spa staff greeted me with what I assumed was a glass of refreshing spa water. Only, it wasn’t. The drink in my cup was surprisingly (deliciously) sweet, with a tangy citrus zing. If drinking water always tasted this good, I swear I’d never be dehydrated.
The spa manager then handed me a glass bowl filled with tiny scrolls of paper so that I could choose a “thought of the day” before beginning my treatment. “The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become..the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into reality,” my note said.
At home, I can’t recreate the five-star, sea-inspired facial I received. And I certainly don’t have a dupe readily available for the spa’s over-water massage beds—yep, during your spa service, you can gaze through a glass panel in the floor beneath you to watch fish, sharks, and other marine life swim past. (“There are so many baby sharks!” my masseuse told me, pausing to point one out in case my eyes had been closed.) But I can easily whip up that uplifting drink I was served at Kuda Huraa to find a slice of serenity during the daily grind.
This simple recipe has just three ingredients and takes three steps to make, but according to Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Everyday Snack Tray, it’s loaded with health-boosting benefits. This combo of ingredients might be a particularly wise choice for those with GI issues or battling a cold, she says.
“Ginger has long been used in traditional medicine to help alleviate upset stomach and nausea and research backs that up,” Largeman-Roth says. “This root also provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce menstrual pain, pain from migraines, and pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.”
“[The ginger root] provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce menstrual pain, pain from migraines, and pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.”
—Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Everyday Snack Tray
The limes, meanwhile, pack a punch of immune-system-supporting vitamin C—one lime contains about 20mg of the nutrient, or just under a quarter of your daily recommended intake. “When we’re sick or have an infection, our vitamin C stores become depleted quickly, so getting enough of this important antioxidant vitamin is essential for immune function,” Largeman-Roth says. Plus, “the flavonoids found in limes and other citrus fruits provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help promote heart health.”
Honey is also a great ingredient to reach for when you feel a cold coming on, as it’s able to soothe a sore throat (there’s a reason cough drops are often honey-flavored!). According to Largeman-Roth, “A comprehensive review of honey found that it has positive cardiovascular benefits, aids cough in children, [and] improves wound healing … Additionally, honey is a prebiotic, which means it helps promote the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria.”
And don’t be scared off by the drink’s sweet taste. “While honey does contain a high amount of naturally occurring sugar, it doesn’t appear to take away from honey’s health benefits,” says Largeman-Roth. What’s more, while this drink is brewed like a tea (you steep the ginger in boiling water before adding the other ingredients), it doesn’t contain any actual tea leaves and is caffeine-free. This means you can enjoy it any time of day, although Largeman-Roth notes that “it would be particularly beneficial first thing in the morning if you’re experiencing pain or if you need help clearing up a froggy throat.”
This honey ginger limeade recipe is also a fantastic option for when you want to opt out of your busy day, even for just five minutes. (Pro tip: Make your space completely quiet and see if you can hear the spa music and crashing waves as you sip.)
The Four Seasons Maldives’s Honey Ginger Limeade Recipe
Make 3-4 servings
3 medium (roughly thumb-sized) pieces of fresh ginger
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp honey
1. Infuse the ginger with boiling water for five minutes.
2. Add lime juice and honey, mix well. Keep for a few hours to cool.
3. Serve warm or with ice