Personal butlers,, mini-bars and wedding coaches. So much in the Maldives is catered to each individual. At Gili Lankanfushi, you not only get your own bicycle for exploring the island, but the residents of the Residence villas, get their own motor boat. They can be driven to their villa in the middle of the lagoon by a member of staff. Or they have the option of driving themselves. They are given basic instruction in its operating and navigating the low powered boats.
For land-based security, LUX* Maldives features a electric motorised security ‘trike’ to help security respond promptly to guest requirements on the big island. Great way to provide mobility and prompt response while maximising the quiet and minimising motor vehicles in the classic Maldivian resort aesthetic.
This distinction could be a ‘Least of the Maldives’…’Least Tolerant of Eco-Abuse’. From making the most of broken coral (nature breaks enough with storms and other normal underwater goings on, thank you) to and island that is looking to make the very least broken coral…at least at the hands of (or more typically, at the feet of) unthinking guests.
Vilamendhoo has instigated a $500 fine for touching a whale shark or standing on coral. It is not just faux bravado either as the resort has $1,500 collected so far from infringing guests. The funds collected are used for reef preservation investments.
If I ever do a ‘Maldives Monopoly’ game, then one Community Chest card would have to be ’Step on coral…pay $500’.
One of the favourite activities in the Maldives is looking into the water. In fact, you can’t stroll down a jetty without veering right to the edge to catch a glimpse of all of the marine life scurrying about below.
Angsana Ihuru has added a bit of creative whimsy to this spectacle by their water villa jetties with a logo crafted from broken coral bits (see photo above). Yes, the natural beauty is stunning, bit I still think that there are plenty of opportunities for artistic creations underwater as well. Especially in the expansive tracts of sandy lagoons like here.
Packing Top Tip – I just got a polarising filter for my SLR camera which allows one to take pictures ‘into’ the water above it more effectively. A must for any camera buff visiting.
When I added the ‘Room Type’ database and profiles, two of the first characteristics that I catalogued were whether the room had (a) a Jacuzzi/pool, and (b) a glass floor (for water villas). Well, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu features a ‘two-for’…a water villa pool WITH a glass floor. Kind of an aqueous parfait. Look through water to see…water.
I was alerted to it by eagle-eyed Sakis Papadopoloous of Dreaming of Maldives in his post this week titled ‘Your TOP 10 Maldives Dreamy Resorts in 2012’ where his dazzling photo (see above) graced their runner-up entry.
“There’s always room for gelato!”
That’s one of the Lynn family catch phrases from our many visits to Italy. We always end up eating sumptuous feasts (especially when our friends host us for meals). But no matter how much pasta and pizza we have consumed, we always find a way to squeeze in a little (or more than a little) gelato.
The Italians certainly do have a flair for ice cream. My favourite ice cream parlour of all time is Toscanini’s in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts with creative flavours like ‘GrapeNut Raisin’ and ‘Ginger Snap Molasses’.
The award-winning Italian chef Rizzoli Riccardo at Vakarufalhi plies a similar passion for creative creamy concoctions like the ‘Green Tea’ gelato (photo above). Other innovative flavours include ‘Sri Lankan Cinnamon’, as well as ‘Porcini Wakame’ ice cream with honey and ginger.
Always room for that!
“Oh, bother. Empty again. Only the sticky part's left.” – Winnie the Pooh
Today is Winnie the Pooh’s birthday. Well, A.A. Milne’s, Winnie’s creator. Winnie, of course, notorious for his never-ending search for more honey. If he’s looking for a Maldives holiday, then he should make Gili Lankanfushi his first stop.
Gili serves it both fresh from the honey comb (see below) as well as a range a varieties (photo above) for the most discerning of melicionados.
Honey is more than a tasty spread and for many has Pooh-like sacred properties. In Hinduism, honey (Madhu) is one of the five elixirs of immortality (Panchamrita). In temples, honey is poured over the deities in a ritual called Madhu abhisheka. The Vedas and other ancient literature mention the use of honey as a great medicinal and health food. In Islam, there is an entire Surah in the Qur'an called al-Nahl (the Honey Bee). According to hadith, Prophet Muhammad strongly recommended honey for healing purposes. The Qur'an promotes honey as a nutritious and healthy food…
“And your Lord inspired the bee(s), saying: ‘Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).’ There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for mankind. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.”
Let’s hope that every ‘little black rain cloud’ hovering over Gili is just a hungry teddy bear in disguise.
If all you need to relax is one treatment…the Maldive environment around you and you want as much of it as possible, many of the super premium resorts feature the rather grand room (well, ‘suites’) of ‘Residence’. Gili Lankanfushi’s Private Reserve in its ‘Residence’ collection takes this moniker seriously though. It has had one guest stay there for 9 months!
From multiple golf simulators, to many multiple rolf stimulators. Holiday Island’s sister resort Sun Island features the largest of the spa in the Villa properties – 105 different treatments in their phone-book-thick menu. The Starbucks of Spas.
I also love the word ‘Araamu’ in the spa name. It is the Maldivian word for ‘Total Relaxation. They say that Eskimos have a hundred different word for ‘snow’, and the Japanese have a hundred words for ‘rice’, so I guess it is only natural that the Maldivians would have different words for ‘relaxation’.
Despite the limited hectares for full fledged golf courses (for the time being), you can still get in some coaching on your shots with the high tech golf simulators available. The Beach House at Iruveli features one (as noted before), but Holiday Island has *two* for twice the fun as well as the opportunity to bring a partner to share the fun and tips with.