Best of the Maldives: Kids Beach Football – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah - kids football

For the aspiring young footballers, One & Only Reethi Rah offers a special beach football pitch at its kids club. If there is one thing that rivals hours of snorkelling to tire out active youngsters (for that relaxing evening), it’s then running around (on the sand!) kicking their favourite ball.

Kicking Back in Paradise

A bit delayed and with a “new normal” skewed experience, both Maldives Tourism and Premiere League football have recommenced with this weekend being the starting whistle for most leagues like the Premier League. So to celebrate the return of football (albeit with a few safety tweaks), here is the Maldives Complete starting XI…

  1. Óliver Torres (Spain) – NIYAMA – FC Porto [ABOVE]
  2. Alberto Serrán Polo (Spain) – Bengaluru


  3. Guillaume Philippe Renault (Italy) – Atalanta BC


  4. Dwight Eversley Yorke (United Kingdom) – Kooddoo – Aston Villa


  5. Mauroi Cardi (Agentina) – Baglioni – Paris Saint Germain


  6. Brian Mengel (Denmark) – Kandima – Kolding

  7. Joel Pereira (Switzerland) – LUX North Male Atoll – Manchester United


  8. Marcos Llorente (Spain) – Joali – Real Madrid


  9. Tobias Karlsson (Sweden) – Paradise Island – Falkenbergs


  10. Daniel Agger (Denmark) – Liverpool


  11. Rio Ferdinand (United Kingdom) – Kudadoo – Manchester United

And the prize for the best football fanatic bed decoration goes to Anantara Dhigu

Best of the Maldives: Boat Residence– Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - boat bar

Your “remote” office doesn’t have to be on the water to be on a boat. If you want that maritime vibe with out the roll of the waves throwing off your Zoom camera, then Jurmeirah Vittaveli’s Five Bedroom Royal Residence with Pool will provide the seafaring atmosphere just close enough to the water to not distract:

Best of the Maldives: Ocean View Office –Hideaway Beach

Hideaway Beach - water villa deck office

A bit belated Labor Day post as I myself was on holiday yesterday (not the Maldives sadly). With remote working becoming the new default, high powered professionals (the work-hard-play-hard set who have always been a big market segment in the Maldives) can now extend their stay by keeping just enough tabs on the work back home. I’ve actually taken that approach for years. People wonder why I would want to interrupt paradise with thinking about work. I just see it as an investment…by doing 5% work during my stay, I can often extend my stay at least 50% (at 10x return of parardise time).

If I was heading out to the Maldives during a particularly busy time, I would consider Hideaway Beach where their water villa features a desk right by the water. Now that’s a corner office! Note: do be careful though (especially if you are mixing work with pina coladas) not drop your computer in the water. You might laugh, but I actually did this in the Maldives at our water villa a few years back. I picked up my backpack that I carried it in and hadn’t zipped it properly and it popped out, bounced on the deck and plunged into the water (fortunately, I was insured, backed up and had brought a spare with me).

Best of the Maldives: Star Gazing Lounger – Anantara Kihavah

Anantara Kihavah - roof deck

Spy the friendly skies.

We have been spending many an evening recently lying flat on our backs star-gazing especially watching the always dramatic mid-August Perseids meteor shower (the biggest meteor shower of the year). It is such a special occasion that we blow up our air mattress and put it out on the lawn with pillows and a duvet so we will be comfy in the cool English night. We recently returned from a camping stay-cation with friends on the south coast of the UK (the closest we could come to a seaside surrogate to our annual Maldives visit) and introduced them to the super supine approach to contemplating the celestial firmament.

In the spirit of “everything is better in the Maldives”, Anantara Kihavah has installed the ultimate star gazing loungers atop their suitably named “Sky” lounge (also suitable for sunsets and ocean vistas). If only I could find someone to serve me tropical cocktails in my backyard.

Plane Sailing

A number of people are wary of staying near Male for fear of hearing airplanes taking off, but actually the planes you hear the most are the iconic seaplanes. I have actually found the whir of the seaplane engines part of the exotic allure of the destination. Shades of Fantasy Island’s exclamation “Da plane, da plane!” These turboprops have long been a favourite photo prop for the Maldives fashionista crowd.

With the collapse of the aviation industry with the global pandemic, despite living near one of the world’s busiest airports (Heathrow), the skies have been relatively empty for months. Now the contrails are starting to return to up above taking people back to far flung destinations and it’s almost a special occasion when we see one. Today is National Aviation Day (USA) so a chance to celebrate these distinctive steel birds taking guests to the far away dream destinations.

  1. Nicole Elgin (USA) – Drift Thelu Veliga


  2. Nancy (Thailand) – Sun Island


  3. Mai Ka (Poland) – Heritance Aarah


  4. Urvashi Rautela (India) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  5. Olga (Russia) – Dhigali


  6. Urvi Shetty (India) – Kandima


  7. Beth Walkemeyer (Australia) – W Maldives

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  8. Lisa Homsy (Canada) – Kandolhu


  9. Sakshi Malik (India) – LUX South Ari Atoll


  10. Svetlana Lewis (Russia) – Furaveri


  11. Dashama (USA) – Angsana Velavaru


  12. Anna Bella (Russia) – Fushifaru


  13. Sky Kiki Jung (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi


  14. Carolina Dargel (Belarus) – NIYAMA


  15. Maria (Russia) – Furaveri


  16. Karina Zhosan (Ukraine) – Conrad Rangali


  17. Alena Omovych (Russia) – Furaveri


  18. Sanja Papić Ognjanović (Panama) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  19. Hofit Golan and Josephine Forsberg (Israel) – Hideaway Beach


  20. Julia Raz (United Kingdom


  21. Mary Nova (Russia) – NIYAMA


  22. Parlikah (Thailand) – Six Senses Laamu


  23. Alexandra Sotnik (Russia) – Meedhupparu


  24. Rosanna Cordoba (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali


  25. Siobhan (Ireland) – Sirru Fen Fushi


  26. Aditi Rao Hydari (India) – Soneva Fushi


  27. Adriana Hughes (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  28. Helen Owen (USA) – Six Senses Laamu


  29. Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon


  30. Arinka Nazarova and Ekaterina (Russia) – Paradise Island


  31. Olga Titova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  32. Fer Espiritu (Mexico) – Vommuli


  33. Claudia Padgett (United Kingdom) – Soneva Fushi


  34. Zaki (Russia) – Furaveri


  35. Viktoriya Kabochkina (Russia) – Drift Thelu Veliga


  36. Anyuta Rai (Russia) – Hurawalhi


  37. Alena Yurzina (Russia) – NIYAMA


  38. Miss Huinii (South Korea) – Vommuli


  39. Wendy Gates (USA) – Velaa


  40. Natasha Ivanovs (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  41. Maria Martelo Perez and Irina Dreyt (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah


  42. Talia Richman (Australia) – Finolhu


  43. Ming Arinmas (Thailand) W Maldives


  44. Nudee Thoedsukbodee (Thailand) – Cheval Blanc Randheli


  45. Anna Barykina (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


  46. Camila Storchi (Brazil) – Sun Island


Best of the Maldives: Accessibility Aesthetic – Joali

Joali - accessibility 1

Both Lori and I work with disabled individuals and we are sensitised to the accessibility that is provided for them. Fortunately, we live in an age where accessibility is the norm. Not just to help those with disabilities, but helping a range of people facing their own mobility issues like the elderly or parents with prams and so on. There is something to be said for this norm just being integrated into the infrastructure in a pedestrian manner. Still, I was impressed that the aesthetic obsessives at Joali applied some of their style sense to the accessibility features as well. A few examples shown here are the marble accessibility ramp leading into the main bar (below) and the funky restroom symbols (above).

Joali - accessibility 2

Best of the Maldives: TV Easel – Faarufushi

Faarufushi - TV easel

Not a lot of people want to take time away from gazing at paradise to stare at the boob tube (some Maldive purists even object to having TVs in villas as all though they are handy when the rainstorms occasionally hit), but they are often cleverly dual purposed as displays to bring a collection of videos from around the island into your room. Faarufushi provides an extra aesthetic touch to its artistic videos displaying them on a stylish easel which highlights the allure of the scenes of paradise.

“Yellow Exploration”, 2020

Yellow Exploration 1

If I can’t get the Maldives, I’ll bring the Maldives to me. And if I can’t find an obvious thing in the Maldives (#20), I get go get that too.

My partner in paradise, Lori, and I celebrated our 35th anniversary last week. The traditional gift for that semi-decennial milestone is coral. Every year we are in the Maldives in July celebrating our anniversary there, and this year, with the coronavirus issues, was the one year, coral year, that we had to stay home. Still such obstacles did not stymie Lori. She immediately admired Stephanie Kilgast’s work that I highlighted a couple of weeks about in my latest instalment of the “Haven’t Seen Yet” series.

She chose the piece “Yellow Exploration (Octopus) – 2020”. Her card to me read: “The piece reminds me of the joy I felt while watching that little octopus from the within the underwater restaurant at You & Me in 2019.” She went on to talk about the corals’ resilience and hardiness, and the octopus’s intelligence and magic all of which our adventuresome marriage shared.

Yellow Exploration 2