Best of the Maldives Online: Ferry Transfers – Wild Maldives

Wild Maldives - ferry transfer schedule

From the high ways of water usage to the water used as highways. Maldives Complete does focus on resorts (as opposed to guest houses or general destination information like inhabited islands), but I am also trying to assemble a collection of top online links for guests to this paradise. One of my original motivations for setting up Maldives Complete was my disenchantment with the quality of websites about the Maldives. Too many sites provides a thin veneer of weak, pedestrian and dated information as a lure to get you to buy expensive holidays through them. But on Maldives Complete, the “Online” tag provides a compilation of the most useful sites.

I came upon this Wild Maldives site with ferry schedules in the Maldives TripAdvisor Forum. They describe themselves as…

  • “Development and promotion of budget travel to the Maldives.   From $50/night. Beach holidays, scuba diving, exotic fishing, adventure trips, transfers. Wild Maldives aims to develop and promote budget travel in the Republic of Maldives. We link travellers directly with the local service providers – guest houses, restaurants, speedboat operators, diving schools, guides, and many more. Ideal for the self-sufficient travellers, who don’t want to overpay for services they can easily attain by themselves through the internet, yet would appreciate a helping hand during their trip to an unknown faraway land.”

What I really appreciated was their interactive ferry schedule. The route calculation form provides a parameter driven filter engine that then displays the route options graphically on a Google Map. Two of my favourite web components – database interrogation and GIS (geographical information system).

I have taken a ferry a few times for some of my more obscure tour detours. For DIY and budget travellers, they would be a necessity for getting around. I’m not sure if there is some way to forge a cheaper price tag to your resort holiday with them. Everyone gets apprehensive about spending $200-300 for a seaplane transfer, but I had a boat transfer to Cocoa Island that cost me $500 (!) and the private transfer from Kurumba to Male (8 minutes) costs $80 (although they do offer cheaper alternatives). So maybe a leisurely and notably less luxurious ferry ride might just be a useful cost saver for some itineraries (though, in reality, nearly all resorts provide speedboat transfers free of charge, and if you are paying thousands for your week stay a few hundred will likely not be a big concern).

Best of the Maldives: Disco Toilet – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - disco toilet

International Water Day today. And LUX South Ari Atoll’s “water closet” is really putting the party into gear with its disco décor. So often a property’s bathrooms are at worst an after-thought or at best a staid affair. LUX reminds me of the best public restroom I’ve ever seen at the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield.


A Resort by Any Other Name

Australia v Austria

One of the most respectful and appreciated salutations is to greet someone by their name. That’s why brain farts when you can’t recall someone’s name are so excruciating. It’s also why the resorts, especially the higher-end ones, put a great deal of effort into learning your name.

We were touched by the gift the W Retreat presented us with on arriving at our room which was a photo they took of us by their lounge at the seaplane terminal. As the week went on we noticed that *all* the staff was greeting us by name. We then realised that the photo served an extra purpose of getting notice out of who we were so the staff could recognize us and greet us personally.

Unfortunately, getting the names right of the resorts themselves is getting increasingly challenging. I’ve regularly encountered people mistaking two resorts they have *heard* of. First of all, the resorts change their names regularly with rebranding, relaunching and refurb. That is why I added the “Alias” page to the website which has the “Previously Known As” as well as the “Island Name” (which is itself the ultimate “Previously Known As”, as in before the resort was on it). Another development leading to confusion is the growing tendency of corporate Marcom tools to lead strongly with the corporate brand. So the hotelier group name is featured most prominently. As a result, people ask about going to “Anantara” or “Cinnamon” and I have to clarify “which one?”

Here’s the Maldives Complete list of diphthongic doppelgangers to help you keep them straight…

    • Kandooma, Kandima
    • Amari and Amaya
    • Baros and Bandos
    • Hulhule and Hulhumale (UI Inn)
    • Kooddoo and Kudadoo
    • Maafushi and Maayafushi
    • Raalhuveli and Ranvel
    • Finolhu, Finolhu Villas
    • Coco’s (eg. Coco Bodu Hithi) and Cocoa Island
    • Reethi Beach and Reethi Rah (with Reethi Faru coming soon, don’t just say “Reethi”)
    • Vakkaru and Vaakarufalhi
    • Maafushi and Maafushivaru
    • Velaa and Velavaru
    • Amilla Fushi on Finolhas island vs. Finolhu resort
    • Six Senses Laamu on Olhuveli island vs. Olhuveli resort

Sunny Salutations

Juliet Angus (USA) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

If you’re happy and you know raise your hands. Happy Happy Day. Actually the “International Day of Happiness”. Every day is a happy day in the paradise of the Maldives. So no surprise that the “Salutation” stretched arms is one of the top poses of the fashionista posse (aka. The “YMCA” – #11 in the Posing Primer). Here are twenty of the happiest of the blogs and togs set…

  1. Juliet Angus (USA) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru [ABOVE]
  2. Vega Serù (Italy) – Biyadhoo
    Vega Serù (Italy) - Biyadhoo
  3. Regina Ponfilova (Russia) – NIYAMA
    Regina Ponfilova (Russia) - NIYAMA
  4. Katya Nizhegorodtseva (Russia) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Katya Nizhegorodtseva (Russia) - Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
  5. Kelly Coghlin (USA) – Kuredu
    Kelly Coghlin (USA) - Kuredu
  6. Niamh Watmore (United Kingdom) – Finolhu
    Niamh Watmore (United Kingdom) - Finolhu
  7. Jeong Hwa (South Korea) – Halaveli
    Jeong Hwa (South Korea) - Halaveli
  8. Ellie-Jean Coffey (Australia) – NIYAMA
    Ellie-Jean Coffey (Australia) - NIYAMA
  9. Shany Black (Spain) – Kandooma
    Shany Black (Spain) - Kandooma

  10. Erika Myriam (USA) –Gili Lankanfushi
    Erika Myriam (USA) -Gili Lankanfushi
  11. Katerina Kachalkova (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
    Katerina Kachalkova (Russia) - Conrad Rangali
  12. Graciela Pischner (Brazil) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Graciela Pischner (Brazil) - One & Only Reethi Rah

  13. Anne Vyalitsyna (Russia) – Constance Halaveli
    Anne Vyalitsyna (Russia) – Constance Halaveli
  14. Bettina Watzinger (Austria) – Hanimaadhoo
    Bettina Watzinger (Austria) - Hanimaadhoo
  15. Danielle Knudson (Canada) – Cocoa Island
    Danielle Knudson (Canada) – Cocoa Island
  16. Adrianne Nicole and Amanda Lynn (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
    Adrianne Nicole and Amanda Lynn (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
  17. Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  18. Klutzclumlov (Malaysia) – Gangehi
    Klutzclumlov (Malaysia) – Gangehi
  19. Lucy Verasamy (United Kindgom) – Six Senses Laamu
    Lucy Verasamy (United Kindgom) – Six Senses Laamu
  20. Jade Kiss (Canada) – Conrad Rangali
    Jade Kiss (Canada) – Conrad Rangali

Best of the Maldives: Assisted Lagoon Chipping – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah - chipping green

For the golfers in need of a little safety net for their over water chip shots, One & Only Reethi Rah also have a floating green, but equipped with a back screen to provide a little more forgiveness to imperfect shots. They’ve also equipped the tee with an astro-turf topped platform for a stable surface…

  • “The floating hole-in-one deck at the Beach Club. The golf ball used at this platform is called ‘Ecobioball’ – which is a biodegradable golf ball that contains fish food at its core. Once the golf ball is submerged in the sea, it transforms into fish food, making it ecological. Any guests are welcome to practice their swings here – available daily from 10am to 7pm, at a charge of US$ 30 for 6 Ecobioballs. Price is subject to 10% service charge and applicable GST.”

Net dividends for offshore players.

Best of the Maldives: Golf Inflatable – Velaa

Velaa - golf inflatable 2

As if Velaa didn’t have enough golf course on the island, they have added a green OFF the island. With their special inflatable golf hole, guests can have a wedge masterclass on the beach with the floating green. The resort uses biodegradable balls which dissolve into fish food. This “Best of the Maldives” ticks another “finally seen” (#17, Post 19) and one step closer to my dream of a hole in the Maldives where the tee is on one island and the hole is one a neighbouring one. Like the Maldives, such a hole would be 90% water hazard. (I’m especially lovin’ the Piero-like effects on the shot below.)

Velaa - golf inflatable

Shamrock Shades of Seafoam

Emma Lapin (Serbia) - Sun Island

St. Patricks Day today is the perfect opportunity to go green. Not just cutting your carbon footprint, but cutting a figure with the day’s traditional emerald attire. Here’s the Maldives Complete top twenty list of shamrock shades of seafoam…

1. Emma Lapin (Serbia) – Sun Island [ABOVE]
2. Annabella Barber (New Zealand) – Six Senses Laamu
Annabella Barber (New Zealand) – Six Senses Laamu
3. Milanka Salova (Russia) – Bandos
Milanka Salova (Russia) - Bandos
4. Malaika Arora Khan (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
Malaika Arora Khan (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
5. Melissa (Turkey) – Paradise Island
Melissa (Turkey) – Paradise Island
6. Caitlyn Howe (USA) – Gili Lankanfushi
Caitlyn Howe (USA) - Gili Lankanfushi
7. Fernanda Liz (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Fernanda Liz (Brazil) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
8. Viki Odintcova (Russia)
Viki Odintcova (Russia)
9. Aysel Manafova (Azerbaijani) – One & Only Reethi Rah
Aysel Manafova (Azerbaijani) - One & Only Reethi Rah
10. Yana Gracie (Russia) – Six Senses Laamu
Yana Gracie (Russia) - Six Senses Laamu
11. Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
12. Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba
Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba
13. Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee
Aleona Lynx (Russia) - AaaVeee
14. Natasa Mijatovic (Croatia) – Summer Island
Natasa Mijatovic (Croatia) – Summer Island
15. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
Karolina Wozniak (Poland) - AaaVeee
16. Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Maafushi
Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Maafushi
17. Janie Tienphosuwan(Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu
Janie Tienphosuwan(Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu
18. Gul Sara (Turkey) – One & Only Reethi Rah
Gul Sara (Turkey) – One & Only Reethi Rah
19. Berry Malinowska (Poland) – Sheraton Full Moon
Berry Malinowska (Poland) – Sheraton Full Moon
20. Elena Samsonova (Russia) – Paradise Island
Elena Samsonova (Russia) – Paradise Island

Best of the Maldives: Rain Gutter – Dusit Thani

Dusit Thani - rain gutter

The rain in the main drains plainly down the chain…at Dusit Thani’s Devarana Spa.  Their buildings are fitted with decorative rain chains. Instead of boring pipes to channel the rain water of the roof and away from the structure, the rain chains provide a colourful cascade. They become a soothing water feature during the infrequent rain showers in the Maldives providing a bit of a sliver (or copper) lining to such passing storm clouds.

Best of the Maldives: Clothes Drying – Athuruga

Athuruga - drying clothes rack

No fans needed to dry your swimsuits at Athuruga and Thudufushi. And no draping them over shower rails, retractable clothes lines, setting them out on deck settees (where the breezes blow them onto the sand or into the water). Diamonds has these ingenious drying boxes on the deck (see above). The grates allow the wafting ocean air to dry your garments naturally, safely and discretely (without being hung and strewn all over your lovely villa.


Best of the Maldives: Canvas Fan – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi canvas fan

I have a few pet likes – I like the natural cooling wafting of a ceiling fan, I like distinctive design details, and I like natural fabrics and materials. So there wasn’t much for me not to like about Soneva Fushi’s canvas ceiling fan. With its distinctive rough-hewn ceiling timbers, Soneva has one of the most aesthetically pleasing sights for lying flat on your back in your room.

With this post, I’ve added the topic tag “Fan” for other guest with plafond propeller propensities.