Best of the Maldives: Origami – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North MAle Atoll - palm folding kids gift

Resorts have a tradition of bestowing welcome gifts to their arriving guests. While many are branded tat pulled from the hospitality bumph catalogue, some properties have made an effort to present more distinctive mementos. As a fan of the art of palm folding, so I was particularly enchanted by the origami palm fish that LUX North Male Atoll presents to kids on arrival.

   

Best of the Maldives: Art Map – Joali

Joali - art map

For many maps are quite practical items, but I’ve always been captivated by their aesthetics. Capturing a sliver of the world in a useful snapshot from a birds eye view. No surprise that the art immersion resort of Joali even turned their creative eye to a map of their art collection. How apropos that the map of art installations be a work of art itself.

Best of the Maldives: Local Jewellery – Kuredu

Kuredu - jewellery 2

If you are looking for a pink accessory for October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), then one of the most enchanting examples of Maldives themes jewellery I come across is Kuredu’s collection of Oevaali. The manta above swirls as gracefully as its aquatic inspiration. Oevaali are a local Maldivian artist studio who do painting as well (see bottom).

Kuredu - jewellery 1

Kuredu - art 1

Paradise in Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month with celebrations and initiatives festooned with the signature pink of the cause. Today in particular is “No Bra Day” declared as an occasion to raise awareness. And with the Maldives fashionistas, the brassieres are often replaced with bikini tops throughout the year. Here is a daily dose of pink for the month:

  1. Milana Koroleva and Koroleva Daria (Russia) – Conrad Rangali [ABOVE]
      
  2. Noey Jam Piglet (Thailand) – NIYAMA


       

  3. Sonia Pookie (USA) – Soneva Jani


        

  4. Isabel BrownLUX South Ari Atoll


        

  5. Julia Chetverikova (Russia) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi


        

  6. Olga Michelle (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah


       

  7. Bebe Elle (United Kingdom) – Furaveri


       

  8. Olga Apanasenko (Russia) – Kandima


        

  9. Rebecca Ferguson (United Kingdom) – Hurawalhi


         

  10. Diana Melison (Russia) – You & Me


         

  11. Florina Toma (Romania) – Raffles Meradhoo


          

  12. Naomi-Jane Adams (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali


           

  13. Anyuta Rai (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll


            

  14. Ana Jovanovic (Czech) – Sun Island


          

  15. Lola Golik (Israel) – Sun Island


           

  16. Tatiana V. Lyalina (Russia) – Jumeirah Vittaveli


         

  17. Tina Shirokaya (Russia)


         

  18. Nelli Chernova (Russia) – Irufushi


        

  19. Lily (Philippines)


          

  20. Liza Stahova (Russia) – Ayada


         

  21. Olesya Levchik (Ukraine) – The Residence


           

  22. Nur Fazura (Malaysia) – Milaidhoo


          

  23. Debbie Grace (United Kingdom) – W Maldives


          

  24. Juliana Bonde (Brazil) – Kandima


           

  25. Karri Nicholas (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas


         

  26. Nelli Chernova (Russia) – Irufushi


          

  27. Sandra Traczyk (Poland) – Lily Beach


           

  28. Marya Zikeeva (Russia) – Alimatha


         

  29. Tori Son (Russia) – Ranveli


          

  30. Aysel Manafova (Azerbaijani) – One & Only Reethi Rah


         

  31. Arisha Gz (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi

          
          

Best of the Maldives: Groyne Pool – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Traditionally, groynes (artificial promontories built to inhibit erosion by disrupting the currents which wash away the island) have been quite crude functional affairs, but in recent years resorts have been turning eye sores to sights for sore eyes with an array of décor and uses. Four Seasons Kuda Huraa’s pool featured in Instagrammer Miss Angie Villa’s post is so similar to one in design, that I think it sets the blueprint for someone converting a proper groyne into this design.

Four Seasons Kudaa Huraa - groyne pool

Best of the Maldives: Coffee Cafe – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North Male Atoll - cafe 2

International Coffee Day. And really who else could we feature but those boss baristas at LUX (this is the 6th “Best of the Maldives” recognition for LUX just in the area of “coffee”?

This time a shout out to their Coffee Cafe. Take-away coffee from 6:00 am through 10:30 am. This is just perfect for me. I often get up early for the quiet morning time to catch up on some email and web surfing. I like to leave the villa because my shuffling around can disturb Lori who likes to savour her opportunity for a lie-in. But I do want a coffee as soon as I get up. I’d rather not go into a restaurant, but just find some quiet corner of the island to stretch out on. LUX North Male Atoll was about the first island I could easily do this with their take-away service. Also, the more insulate, tall thermal cup keep the coffee hotter than a conventional ceramic cup (and the serving is larger too).

And extra bonus, the café offers 4 types of sweetener (see photo below). If this seems like a trivial detail, then you are not a sweet tooth aficionado like me.

LUX North Male Atoll - cafe 1

Best of the Maldives: Luxury Remote Working – Nautilus

Nautilus - remote working

Why add a fake backdrop to your work Zoom calls when you could have the real thing? We’ve all experienced just how far one can go with remote working during the pandemic lockdowns, but Nautilus is inviting folks to go all the way out to the middle of the Indian Ocean with their special offeringWorkstation Package”:

  • “Work remotely from paradise your private Nautilus Beach Houses with our exclusive workation package; have the ultimate zoom call background from our castaway sandbank that will be your office for a day, have a private PA on hand 24/7 and continue your corporate errands whilst your children engage in a bespoke educational programme by Young Wonderers. Available from seven nights or longer if you decide you simply can’t leave your new paradise office!”

With prices starting at 23,250 USD for 7 nights in a Beach House you can also enjoy their Workation sandbank experience – “work for a few hours upon our secluded sandbank with your own personal desk, a shaded sun canopy and portable high speed wi-fi.”

The concept mashes up two of my passions and my most prominent websites – Maldives Complete and Dynamic Work. My founding vision statement for Dynamic Work (at the top of the home page) was “Within 10 years, the majority of ‘office work’ will be worked outside the office.” Which was a actually just about ten years ago. And research has shown that the lockdown has indeed pushed the incidence of remote and flexible working to 50% of the workforce (varying of course by geography, sector, etc).

Before and since, I have walked the walk of flexible working for many years now. And that meant working while in the Maldives (not just the work of Maldives Complete research, but also my day job that pays the MC bills). I was always happy to work for an hour during a day in the Maldives if that hour forestalled crises back at the office and allowed me to linger in paradise another entire day.

1000+ Room Types

100o Maldives room type

Another milestone for Maldives Complete as the Room Type database crossed the 1000 mark. When I started the website, there were typically just a few room types – standard, deluxe and maybe a water villa. A decade ago, I did a piece on Kurumba having the most room type variety (exactly a decade ago) with 8. These days, 8 is the lower end of the average number of room types for a resort. In fact, the fact that over 1000 types across the nearly 160 active resorts means that the average is nearly 7 categories for every resort. Soneva Fushi has 27 room types! Nearly every villa is unique and hence categorized as its own room type. With more and more resorts coming online, it was just a matter of time before this grand milestone was hit.

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.