Earth Day today. A time to appreciate the diverse and curious planet we call home. In the Maldives, Not all the earthen mounds of islands are round dots. Some extend across elongated table reefs on the edges of the atolls. And some like Nalandhoo (not to be confused with Anatara’s Naladu) in Shaviyani atoll have a totally unique shape viewed from Google Earth(thanks Paola)…
Nalandhoo is particularly supportive to Earth Day today as its own emblematic exposure to environmental impacts especially of rising and shifting seas…
- “The smallness of the [Shaviyani] atoll indicates to the islands’ vulnerability to environmental impacts. Hence the Nalandhoo is one of the island in Shaviyani atoll with its own unique beauty”
The traditional dhoni has been the life blood for the scattered Maldivian archipelago pumping people and goods across its waters for centuries. In modern times, the dhoni also provides cultural inspiration to all manner of décor and items on the Maldives resorts.
The term “dhoni” is not only essential to Maldives life since its earliest history, but has even entered the global lexicon as one of two Dhivehi words that have made it into the English language (the other is even more characteristic of the very essence of the Maldives).
I have added a “Dhoni” tag to keep track of all the nautically inspired resort features now.
1. Boat Swing – Centara Ras Fushi [ABOVE]
2. Boat Villa – Huvafenfushi
3. Lounge – Park Hyatt Hadahaa
4. Room Service – Constance Moofushi
5. Fountain – Park Hyatt Hadahaa
6. Buffet – Lily Beach
7. Bar – Canareef
8. Housekeeping – Coco Bodu Hithi
9. Planter – AaaVeee
10. Restaurant – Millaidhoo
11. Kids Club– Anantara Dhigu
12. Dining Table – JA Manafaru
13. Reception – Sun Siyam Irufushi
14. Seating – Ayada
15. Lounging – Taj Exotica
16. Water Villa – Cocoa Island
If you want to live the maritime heritage of the Maldivian dhoni with all the conveniences and luxuries of this modern day paradise destination, then Velaa offers a distinctive dhoni crusing yacht, “Baththeli Anna”.
- “Baththeli Anna, the prncess of the Southern Seas. Designed to ensure the utmost comfort for her guests, Anna is a beautiful custom built Maldivian baththeli (“baththeli” – boat on Dhivehi language). This luxurious, uniquely designed traditional sailboat was laid down in April of 2012. Then crafted under the supervision of the Master Boat Builder, Matias Luhmann, himself alongside the proficient team of Gladonia Maldives Pvt Ltd. The idea of its elegant lines and comfortable spaces was conceived by the boat design, Philippe Laurella, French at birth, but Maldivian in Spirit.”
One of my biggest pastimes is the sport of rowing. The carbon-fiber sculls are the state-of-the-art, but I’m afraid that I’m still smitten by the aesthetic romance of a boat sculpted out of wood.
- Length – 76 feet
- Weight – 45 ton
- Overnight guest capacity – 3
- Day touring guest capacity – 8
- Maximum speed – 12 knots.
- 2 Hour, 4 person Sunset Dolphin Cruise – $1,695
- 5 hour, 2 person Desert Island Dinner Cruise – $7,440
- 2.5 hour, 4 person Luxury Private Snorkel Trip – $1,895
- 8 hour, 4 person Charter Cruise – $5,495
With this post, I’ve added a new “Cruising” tag as the highest end resorts seem to be extended their super-premium arms race into a naval battle of yachts.
World Heritage Day celebrates the sites and monuments around the world which capture and preserve bits of the local history. Shangri-La Villingili has so many such relics that they have assembled a little guide history tour of their island. It starts with the dhoni displayed (see photo above) near the entrance to the resort:
- “This Maldivian dhoni was shipwrecked on the Villingili island reef during stormy weather in the late 1940s.”
But Villignili also shared the RAF heritage of the Addu atoll as an extension to the neighbouring Gan outpost. Garrison. The historical buildings include a RAF building (see photo directly below) as well as a defensive pill box (see photo bottom):
- “Administrative building of the 1st Royal Marine Coast Defense Regiment manning the shore batteries on Villingili Island, ca. 1942. In August 1941, the netlayer HMS Guardian landed Royal Navy construction crews on Addu Atoll in the Maldives Islands to begin work on a secret naval base for Britain’s eastern fleet. The British eastern fleet had left more of its base facilities in Singapore, including dry docks and repair sheds In the event of Singapore’s loss, it was to fall back on Trincomalee on Ceylon’s eastern coast. The British fleet commander wanted an alternative base somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Addu Atoll, which became known as ‘Port T.’ The 1st Royal Marine Coast Defense Regiment was dispatched to secure the atoll.”
If you would like to mix your own body up with plenty of refreshing fluids and a shot of adrenalin, then check out the boom netting experience is part of Maalifushi’s “Splash Cruise and Dolphins” excursion:
- “Try a sunset cruise with a twist – or a splash – and join us on our Splash Cruise. Bring your swim wear and relax in the cargo nets as the water washes over you. If we are lucky some dolphins can be encountered on the way. “
Offered 16:30 to 18:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at a cost of $95 pax (also Private Charter for $500 for 2 hours +$25 pp for food/drink, and $47.50 pp for children 7-12).
If you want more than just vitamins and minerals on the rocks in your health smoothie, then try a “Kombucha”, a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks. LUX South Ari Atoll makes its very own version:
- “Known as the ‘Immortal Health Elixir,’ we ferment our own variety of Kombucha ranging from black tea, green tea and coffee just to name a few and offering it to guest in our all-day dining restaurants as well as Spa.”
Kombucha is produced by fermenting the tea using a “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). In other words, SCOBY Snack!