The heart of the Hard Rock ambience are the ubiquitous memorabilia displays of the most renowned acts in the music world. The sprawling landscape of an entire resort provides a stadium-scale palette for the mementos of performing history underscoring their very distinctive aesthetic like a ten-foot bass tower. Like the most pioneering artists themselves, Hard Rock knows what it is as an entertainment and lifestyle offering and it is not afraid to go all out in expressing it. I find the most tedious resorts to be those vanilla concoctions that try to be all things to all people and only end up being nothing special to everybody. The vibrant vibrations vibe may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who do enjoy it, few do it better.
If you wondering whether to lend some support to Maldives Complete through its recently launched Patreon site, have a look at what some of its fans have said to date.
Many websites of creative works feature “Review” sections to provide testimonials and endorsements. I figured this post could serve that purpose.
- “There is a blog around Maldives.. and for me it is THE blog that I MUST follow and regularly check…No doubt about!!…When I look for something that I need to know about a specific resort but don’t find it around.. and even not in its own webpage.. the answer or at least a clue to get the answer is always here.” – Paola Mattana Lamperti
- “Maldives Complete is arguably the best reference site for the Maldives. Bruce is a Maldives enthusiast and completes this with no commercial interests. He prides himself on integrity and recognises the positives and differences in all Maldives resorts and that not one resort is right for all guests. I highly recommend Maldives Complete.” – Jason Kruse General Manager Amilla
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- “If you are wondering how I researched the 3 criteria for choosing the best luxury hotel in the Maldives, it was rather simple. I found a Maldives blog that has a search feature that allows you to plug in your criteria to find the your best match! I highly recommend that anyone who is planning a trip to the Maldives use the Maldives Complete search before booking a hotel”.—Chic Family Traveller
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- “Dolores and Dominik mentioned you and what you have done. Extraordinary.” – Shaun Dünhofen, General Manager, LUX* Maldives
- “Your blog is fascinating. You are truly an expert on the Maldives…Your site is a great resource.” – Steve Dobson, Unusual Hotels of the World
- “If you want to know what’s the “best” in Maldives – the ‘Best of…’ every imaginable topic, read this blog by Maldives Complete, you won’t feel bored!” – Oceanholic Maldives
TOP BLOG COMMENTS
- “Absolutely amazing work you have here! Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and time. You’re definitely a top Maldives expert and I hope the country appreciates all you’re doing for that bit of Paradise. I’ve spent a few hours going thru your site, including blog posts, comments sections and the filter page. It’s great and miles ahead of anything we can find elsewhere. We’ve used your filter and I appreciate your database has most of the information needed to short list a few…Your help and dedication is second to none. Maldives is really complex for newbies, considering all the variables! I’m valuing your work more and more each minute I spend researching.”
- “I was struggling through the choices of resorts once we decided to go to Maldives, then I stumble across your website. I wouldn’t even attempt to guess the amount of time and energy gone into develop the database and make it available for the benefit of all. This is absolutely amazing! Thank you for your time and passion.” – Deb Pandit
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- “Came across your fantastic web site as we are looking for a resort with great house reef.” – Mattias“We are now on our 17th trip to Maldives.We have been waiting for 10 years for this website…Spot on.” Jeb Payce, UK
- “Your website has truly been my bible, gold standard reference … since I started my research on looking for my perfect resort.” – Archie Mok, USA
“I don’t know how to thank you for all your amazing help in planning our Maldives trip!” Well, from here on you can support the Maldives Complete initiative by becoming a Patreon supporter.
From the launch of the website, I have resisted having any commercial part to Maldives Complete – no ads, no sales, no sponsorship. Not only did I not want the pressures of keeping sponsors happy, but I didn’t even want the appearance of any bias. I wanted to cover ALL the resorts (not just a collection of pet ones that had juiced me with payments). And I wanted to provide an objective resource and not just a platform to plug the highest bidders. It was the predominance of such selective shill sites that contributed to me starting the site in the first place.
With the decade-plus history, the site has grown in popularity, scope, content and complexity. This expansion has increased my out-of-pocket costs for hosting and other site support. It has also increased the time required to personally maintain the site and keep the information updated. On top of this, I personally respond to dozens of emails and blog comments every week. Sometimes I have hired local schoolchildren friends to do some of the time-consuming grunt work (or help with household work to free up time for me) which just adds to my out-of-pocket expenses.
What seems to be the conventional approach for such freeware these days is to offer Patreon support. This is simply a digital donation box for people who want to register their appreciation for the material and help ensure its longevity with a more substantive contribution.
People pay premiums on their trips to agents and operators for them to help ensure that their trip is the best. They tip resort staff who work to make sure that their experience is first rate. If I have helped you in a substantial way to make your trip easier and more satisfying (as so many kind comments imply), please consider becoming a supporter. Even a small amount will not only help, but will be an encouraging endorsement for me and my work here.
Thank you for all your past and hopefully continued support.
One of the key criteria to a great house reef is accessibility. The intra-atoll drop-of-sand islands typically have house reefs a few metres from shore. You don’t have to juggle the logistics of signing up to a resort excursion to take you to some snorkel spot. Instead, you can just dive in and the aquatic wonderland reveals itself to you instantly. It is not just the convenience of proximity, but also a bit of reassurance. Despite the fact that you might be standing metre (on the sand not the coral, please!) in merely a metre of mill pond calm water, there is still something unsettling about swimming hundreds of yards off shore. And snorkeling can take a bit of energy so if you have had a particularly extensive outing, then the last thing you relish is an extended swim back to shore.
The islands that on the outer reef tend to be on broad tables which may make for expansive lagoons, but make for either weak or distant house reefs. Some of the resorts on these islands will typically offer regularly excursions taking people to the edge in a dhoni for an easy splash onto the reef.
Kandima does sit on an outer reef plateau and it has gone a step further to support house reef snorkeling constructing a platform in the lagoon relatively close to the edge. You can use it as a base camp for your house reef expedition. Or just for some middle of the ocean swimming or sun bathing.
One of the popular Instagram shots are people mingling with docile nurse sharks. They are quite a big species and so their size and numbers make them look all the more intimidating for those who think are all sharks are scary creatures. Actually, they are about the most docile Selachimorpha you will ever come across.
Nurse sharks are nocturnal and during the day they are often found just lying on the bottom of the seabed or under some overhang. Hence, their French moniker (which is one of my favourite fish names of all time) – “Sleepy Shark”. If anyone claims that a shark always needs to keep moving or it dies, just send them a picture of these dozy dog fish lounging on the seabed. And as a result, unlike the puppy reef sharks so visible cruising the lagoon shallows all day long, nurse sharks are rarely seen during the day from the land.
Rihiveli Dream not only has one of the biggest gathering of resident nurse sharks, but they are very easily seen as they nap in a protected lagoon area just behind the staff quarters. Such proximity and numbers are the result of routine feeding that has lured them in past years; however, the resort no longer engages in such practices. The gang must have decided they like the tranquil and sheltered waters as they continue to hang out there through the day. And guests can go get their Instagram shots from shore during their day-long siesta.
“Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars…” – Frank Sinatra
- “The full moon comes around only 12 times a year, or on rare occasions, sometimes 13. To have a full moon as well as the wind in Maldives, is quite special, so when the two combined recently we made the best of it and hit the water at night. Safety first, a couple of LED lights and a few dive glow sticks (don’t tell the dive centre) were attached to the kites, a short briefing was held and we were ready. With only a slight cloud cover the full moon made its appearance and eight kiters enjoyed perfect conditions in the Kuredu lagoon, right in front of the Ocean WaterSport centre.”
I have to say that soaring above the moonlight seas (which are often especially calm at night) would be quite the experience.
Rad Raws! Surf photographer Erick Proost will capture your bitch’ carves at Nautilus resort during a 3 month residency there. The property is also host to its very own Vodi surf break which is especially accessible.
Erick will also conduct mermaid photoshoots (which other resorts feature) which includes swimming lessons in the pool learning how to use the monofin as well as posing tips.
Most people want to know what a resort has, but sometimes guests want to know what it doesn’t have. The most prominent example of this is adult-only properties (ie. no children or at least no one younger than a certain age). One of the rationales for going adult-only is to try to ensure extra peace and quiet which is a major motivation for many guests visiting this idyllic paradise in the middle of nowhere. Another avoidance is Male-area properties for the similar noise-fearing reason of disruptive airplane sound. And from time to time, I get asked about a third potential source of noise pollution – motorized water sports. Petrol-powered speed boats zipping around off the beach with guest squealing with delight.
The resorts that I have come up with that don’t have motorised sports on the island (some do offer sports from a nearby island that they will take you to if you do want to enjoy them) are the following:
The resort Joali is not just the “art” resort, but is also the “state of the art” resort. Fancy electronics and fixtures are not unusual in the high end Maldives properties. But nonetheless, sometimes the more swish switches are actually difficult to figure out what each one does. Sometimes when Lori and I want to turn off or on a specific light, we find ourselves embarking on a mini-treasure hunt trying different switches till we land on the right one. That is why we were de-lighted to see Joali’s controls. The wall fixtures were explicitly labelled. And if that wasn’t clear enough, they also provide an in-room ipad console which controls every device in the villa.