Best of the Maldives: Bungee Trampoline – Beach House at Manafaru

Beach House at Manafaru Bungee Trampoline

 

Most people don’t need much assistance in jumping for joy in the Maldives. If you do, the Beach House at Manafaru has a ‘bungee trampoline’

“One of the unique highlights of Play, children will love bouncing their time away on this popular trampoline.”

You make appointments with the reception to use it between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 pm. Weight limited 10kg to 85 kg.

Boing!

Best of Maldives: Residence – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi residences

 

 

 

The Maldives has always been a bit of an opposite to Hotel California. You could check-in any time you like, but you could never stay.

Not just the tourists, but the resorts themselves are on long-term leases and don’t actually own their islands. But in a bid to boost the economy, the Maldives is cautiously venturing into residential purchases. You can’t actually own the property ‘freehold’, but they are offering ‘leaseholds’ (most Americans won’t be familiar with ‘leaseholds’ but they are a common structure in the UK and other countries. They are essentially an ‘option’ on a long-term, decades, ‘lease’ of the property that you can buy and sell like the property itself and work almost the same as owning the property itself).

The first place to pioneer this new opportunity is Soneva Fushi reports Phuquet Insider

“The first leasehold residential property that has been transferred on a leasehold basis in the Maldives has sparked interest in the islands property market. A three bedroom hotel managed unit at Soneva Fushi, which transacted to a French national sold for USD7 million dollars has been officially registered. Last year the country enacted legislation in order to allow foreign property ownership to a maximum of 50 years in order to stimulate the local economy.”

A complete property spec on the six five residences for sale are featured on Ilre.

 

Soneva Fushi residences 2

Best of the Maldives: Surf Shack – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa surf shack 1

 

Plenty of great surf spots in the Maldives (even more if you do kite surfing), and a number of resorts offer surfing equipment and instruction, but there is only one ‘Surf Shack’ around – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa’s TropicSurf.

The Surf Shack sells a whole range of surf gear. It also provides video analysis as part of its instruction offerings. But it really just has a whole surfing vibe to it.

A great example of its surfing vibe and great offerings is its recently announced its ‘Champion Trophy Package’. Maldives.Net reports…

“The Maldives is set to host the world’s most exclusive surfing event this August. The event organized by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, will feature six world champions, a leading five-star surfing resort, a luxurious 39-metre three-deck catamaran, and the perfect reef break waves. Conceived in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers Tropicsurf, the Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy will see the sport’s biggest legends such as four-time world champion Mark Richards compete across three disciplines that showcase the evolution of modern surfing.”

So if you are a hang-ten pro or a even bit clueless on the surfing front (like this lot), then head over to the Surf Shack.

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa surf shack 2

Best of the Maldives: Cricket – Kuramathi

Kuramathi cricket 2

 

Maldives may not be a ‘Test Status’ cricket nation, but they love their wickets as much as their Subcontinent neighbours. Their closest Indian Ocean neighbour Sri Lanka is right in the middle of a Test Match with England at this very moment.

If you fancy a few overs, either watching or playing, then Kuramthi is the pitch you want. Their staff have an active team that competes across the country and they welcome resort guests to join in or simply sip their G&T’s from the side.

Asma Rasheed of the resort describes…

“At Kuramathi we have a football pitch with doubles up as a cricket pitch as well. 4 days the team plays futsal and 2 days they play cricket. Guests are welcome to join if they wish (and often we will have a couple of guys joining, but mostly for the futsal than cricket I have to say).

We also hold tournaments, at least once a year. This is exclusively for our team. In March we had our futsal tournament and most recently we had the cricket tournament.

We also have occasional friendly matches between other islands. Over the last 3 weeks we have held a friendly match against Dhiraagu (Telecom Company of the Maldives), islanders of Rasdhoo (our neighbouring local island) and today, we had a match against Veligandu team (another resort in Rasdhoo atoll).”

The pictures here are just a few taken from Kuramathi’s Facebook album of one of their recent tournaments.

 

Kuramathi cricket

Sex on the Reef

Coral Polyps

Now that I have your attention! (you know, sometimes titles just write themselves…though ‘Polypamory’ was a really close runner-up). 

The Maldives is renowned for newly betrothed couples consummating their nuptials with a honeymoon celebration. But the very microscopic creatures who built the Maldives over millennia, coral polyps, will be celebrating a honeymoon of their own this week in rather distinctive style. Their rather exotic ‘bedroom’ habits certainly put the ‘moon’ in the ‘honeymoon’. That is according to this month’s Scientific American featuring a piece about Coral Polyp reproduction

“It is hard to court the opposite sex when you are cemented in place, which explains why polyps—the tiny creatures whose exoskeletons form corals—do not reproduce by mating. Instead they cast millions of sperm and eggs into the sea, where they drift up to the ocean surface, collide, form larvae and float away to form new coral reefs. Polyps may not be picky about their “mates,” but they are sticklers for timing. The polyps in a coral reef will “blow” their eggs and sperm simultaneously in quick frenzies for just one, or maybe a few, consecutive nights a year—and they usually do so shortly after sunset on evenings closely following a full moon…A reef generally picks one day during a full moon in summer to blow, for 20 minutes or so, during the twilight hours.”

I guess if we were going to grant a ‘Best of’ accolade for ‘Reef Romance’ it would have to go to none other than the to Sheraton’s eponymous ‘Full Moon’ resort.

As it happens, this June’s Full Moon offers a special treat as well of an ‘extra long Lunar Eclipse. MSNBC reportsThis month’s full moon will pass almost directly through the center of Earth’s shadow on Wednesday in what will be an unusually long total eclipse of the moon, 100 minutes. The next total lunar eclipse of exceptional length will be July 27, 2018, and will last 106 minutes.”

The Full Moon this week rises at 8:14 pm on Wednesday 15th June. It promises to be quite the eventful evening from sea to sky.

Best of the Maldives: Protected Marine Areas – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Baa Atoll Marine Protected Areas

In the spirit of World Oceans Day, the Maldives established a record number of protected marine areas last week in what many consider to be the most spectacular atoll in the Maldives, Baa. The map above links through to the UNESCO map of the areas.

The first 5 areas are in a string right across the centre of the atoll, and at the eastern edge is Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. In fact, Dhuni Kolhu is right next to Hanifaru Reef, the closest any resort is to a protected area.

Best of the Maldives: World Oceans Day – Kuramathi

Kuramathi World Oceans Day

 

Happy World Oceans Day!

The entire country of the Maldives is celebrating this event including several special activities in various resorts. But the resort that has pulled out the stops is Kuramathi. They are featuring a special complementary dive, an underwater photography competition, and reef clean up. The event is being sponsored by the resort’s recently inaugurated Eco Center as a part of its overall green strategy.

Best of the Maldives: Southernmost – Shangri-La Vilingili

Hours of Sunshine - Southern Maldives

This award could also be called the ‘Driest of the Wettest’. That is, the driest place to be (south) during the wettest period of the year (June).

June is the wettest month of the year with an average of 12 inches of rain. Not to fret too much. I’ve travelled to Maldives in June on several occasions and never once saw a cloud. Same old dazzling sunshine. I kept dreading to pull back the curtain in the morning and see the climate of Macclesfield in January only to be blinded by the sunlight. The other counterbalancing statistic is that the ‘Hours of Sunshine’ is pretty much uniform across most months.

But if you are playing the odds, then June will indeed bring greater likelihood of a dampening to your day. And if you really want to try to outsmart the weather gods, then the south is drier in June. However, the south is wetter in May (so if you were going on 30 May / 1 June, then I don’t know how you would make the call).

‘Goffy’ highlighted this thinking in his Trip Advisor Forum post of targeting regions of the Maldives to try to get the slight edge on even more sunshine. But the big resource is ‘Mariaeugene’s post to TA where she analysed the differences quite thoroughly (see above).

Still, if you want to be as south as possible for whatever reason, then Shangri-La Villingili is your place at 0.041 degrees below the Equator (one of the few Maldives resorts in the Southern Hemisphere).

Best of the Maldives: Gazpacho – Sheraton Full Moon

Sheraton Full Moon gazpacho

In honour of Italy’s National ‘Republic Day’ holiday today, I pay tribute to the finest execution of one of my favourite Italian treats – Gazpacho.

Probably because it is a refreshing cold soup, it is served at every resort that I have been to. I happen to be a soup lover and gazpacho is right up their at the top of my list of favourite styles. I shy away from awarding ‘Best Of’ distinctions on food because (a) there is so much fine cuisine in the Maldives now that it seems unfair to do so without sampling everything, and (b) a supremely well done dish is hard to distinguish from another supremely well done dish.

I break the protocol through for Sheraton Full Moon’s ‘Trio of Gazpacho’ at its Sand Coast restaurant. Most of all, it is not just one gazpacho, but three gazpacho treats. The first is a delightful traditional recipe. The second is made from green tomatoes (after years of visiting the American South it is encouraging to learn that there is something you can do with green tomatoes besides fry them…the South’s answer to everything culinary). The third was an almond base with grapes and apples.

It wasn’t just the stand out execution that struck me. The whole ‘gazpacho experience’ was excellent. Sand Coast is set in a grove of coconut trees on the sand by the water. This set up is certainly not unique in the Maldives (we ate almost everyone of our Coco Palm Dhuni Kolu meals in a restaurant they had like this), but we are always surprised how hard it is to get toes-in-the-sand-water’s-edge eating in the Maldives. The restaurant played soothing ambient music with a local twist. And the price was very reasonable and less than what you would pay for a similar dish in a London establishment (it also spoils the appetite a bit looking at stupid prices in menus especially at the higher end resorts).

Kudos to Chef Garth Welsh (see below) who has really set up an operation of lots of gustatory delights at Sheraton Full Moon.

 

Sheraton Full Moon Chef Garth Welsh

Chef Garth Welsh

Best of the Maldives: Teenagers – Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru teen room

 

Happy International Children’s Day!

An increasingly number of resorts are seeing the appeal to Maldives for families and catering to the younger clientele with some of the distinctive facilities and service that have spoiled the adults for years. One of the first orders of business is a ‘Kids Club’. These clubs not only provide great fun for the children, but also some extra freedom for the parents. But most of these clubs really cater for the ‘tot’ group with lots of colouring books, toys and crafts. But what about that often neglected (or at least feeling neglected) group…Teenagers.

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is the first resort to open a club specifically designed for ‘young adults. It’s called ‘Majaa Maizaan’. It includes more big kid pastimes like pool, ping-pong and Playstation.

Whatever.

 

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru teen centre 2