Best of the Maldives: Wedding Pavillion – Ayada

Ayada wedding pavillion 1



As wedding season starts to hit full swing, expectant brides to be might want to spend the money that they save on their dress on a more spectacular setting for their nuptials.  If paradise alone isn’t a striking enough setting, then most resorts offer a white linen tabernacle set up on the beach or over the water on a groygne.  But Ayada features a stunning wedding tabernacle for ceremonies. Draped in white linen…set in a copse of swaying palms, the ‘The White Room’ provides an elegant wedding chapel.


Ayada wedding pavillion 2


Mind you, wedding pavilions can get trashed too as the epic wedding comedy ‘Meet the Fokers’ portrayed hysterically…


Meet the Parents wedding fire

Best of the Maldives: Dress Trashing – Irufushi

Iru Fushi - trash the dress 1

If you prefer to apply your camera creativity to staging something on that elusive boundary between above and below water, then you might want to turn to Tania Sorokina for some help. Tania is the resident photographer at Iru Fushi who has just introduced ‘Trash the Dress’ shoots…

“’Trash the Dress’ or ‘Rock the Frock’ is a photography phenomenon Taking the World by Storm and it is now in the Maldives at Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa…Guests can create a masterpiece that will hang proudly on their wall at home, a picture that will bring back fond and fun memories of their stay at Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa. Perhaps they are celebrating a wedding anniversary or you just want to have fun in their wedding dress or maybe they are on their honeymoon and don’t want their special day to end. They can run along pristine white sandy beaches with their own set of props, create images that would suit a surreal pre-Raphaelite approach to painting, have a water fights, catch fish, jump (or be pushed) into swimming pools – Tania, the in-house photographer can create a fantastic library of amusing or serene images…If guests don’t have a wedding dress, but still fancy some fun an evening dress or a ball. gown would be equally as fun. Packages start from $450 and include 60 images.”

I always wondered about those wedding photo shoots and how they must have to worry about the dress getting ruined in the sand or ocean. Well, now they don’t have to fret. In fact, they can relish it. The meme is a great justification for splashing in the dress photo rather than splashing out on the dress.


Iru Fushi - trash the dress 2

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Video – LUX Maldives

LUX Maldives Underwater Festival

Did you miss out on an Oscar again this year? Want to refine your filming technique with some world class mentoring to improve your chances with the Academy next year? Then, sign up for LUX* MaldivesUnderwater Festival 15-21 April 2013.

“An intense ensemble of water activities stretched over one week of lighter learning for keen divers, photography fanatics and water enthusiastic or just simply curious guests in search of a holiday with a difference. With a strong focus on underwater photography, the festival’s attendees have the opportunity to join training sessions with the experts throughout the week!”

Now we’re talking something a bit closer to my professional expertise – filming diving. Though my filming is more above water than under. My company, Piero, brought to the London 2012 Olympics the now infamous ‘Splashometer’ to the BBC and NBC coverage of the ‘Diving’ competition. Though I have done a bit of more conventional diving film here. Look out Spielberg!

Best of the Maldives: Video Series – Conrad Maldives Rangali

Conrad Maldives Rangali youtube videos

And the winner of the ‘Best Online Video Series’ for the Maldives Academy Awards goes to…[drumroll]… Conrad Maldives Rangali

One of the first things I put on the design list for the Maldives Complete Resort Profiles was a link to videos. No matter how professional the sumptuous photography of this colourful paradise, a video is worth even more words than a picture. Even photographer extraordinaire Sakis Papadopolous has started doing more videography in his Dreaming of Maldives portfolio.

At first, I was quite frustrated by the available videos of the resorts. The worst were the pictures-set-to-music (with a bit of special effects thrown in). These slide shows really added nothing (except saving some the mouse clicks of going through a gallery. Other clips were amateur holiday clips that sometimes provided a quite thorough guided tour of the island (for the entertainment or envy of their friends and family back home).

We are starting to see some really comprehensive and well done videos on the web now. Leading the way is Rangali who have introduced their own YouTube channel of nicely done videos of everything from the Spa Experiences to Resort Jobs (subtitle: “From Life As A Submarine Driver To Window Cleaner At The Underwater Restaurant.”)

Sunshine, Camera, Action!

Colourful Coral Confocal

Coral Under Confocal



Before the big ‘Oscars’ red carpet ceremony tomorrow night, a number of the minor categories get awarded – ’Animated Short’, ‘Documentary Feature’…’Confocal Microscopy’.

Right up there with the cascades of flowers, shoals of fish and expanses of sun dappled ocean, the ubiquitous coral reefs are one of the most colourful parts of the Maldive experience. Any snorkeler will have had the chance to see red soft coral, green Table Coral, blue Staghorn Coral, and yellow Fan Coral. But this video of “Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy” takes us deeper into the universe of colours these coral polyps inhabit.

Pass the popcorn.

Best of the Maldives: Chef’s Table – Kandooma

Kandooma chefs table

For those who like to get close to the cooking in action, but without actually getting their hands dirty, the ‘Chef’s Table’ is an intimate way to savour the smells and action of a vibrant kitchen operation. Increasingly, top restaurants are exposing their kitchens rather than sequestering them out in some back room separated from diners with some swinging doors made for comedy collisions. Now, expansive set-up counters expose the chopping, a stirring and flame-fired cooking a short glance away from your table.

Kandooma has an actual proper Chef’s Table set in the kitchen itself. It’s not just a front-row, court-side seat, but the whole ambience of the meal changes. You are less of a spectator and more of a participant (but without the hustling and dirty work). The chef’s come over and chat and sometimes show or share something they are working on.

I didn’t get to do the Chef’s Table during our visit, but I did have the treat of one at Gordon Ramsay’s at Claridges Hotel a few years back and it was a whole different dining experience. Kandooma can seat up to 14 and like most chef’s table, the menu is quite customised to your particular interests.


Kandooma chefs table 2

Best of the Maldives: Ice Cream Carts – LUX* Maldives

LUX Maldives ICI ice crean cart 2

For kids, there is no song so sweet, no sound so pure, no music so adrenalin stimulating as that of the chimes of the ice cream man coming down the street. LUX* Maldives treats all the kids at heart visiting their island with the hot weather joys of the ice cream truck coming down the road with free ICI ice cream cones.

Ring, ring…

LUX Maldives ICI ice crean cart 1

Best of the Maldives: New Music Tag

Dreaming of Maldives music

Music.  It’s been a while since I’ve added a new category to the ‘Best of the Maldives’ features.  But yesterday’s Tibetan Singing Bowls inspired me to add ‘Music’.  We have several now mostly falling under the ‘Entertainment’ category.  But, for those audiophiles out there, I thought I now had critical mass to merit its own tag. Here are the pieces to date…

Best of the Maldives: Tibetan Singing Bowls – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - Tibetan Singing Bowls




And gong goes to…

The Grammy for ‘Best Meditative Inspiration’ goes to…[drumroll]…Gili Lankanfushi. Nominated by Sakis of ‘Dreaming of Maldives’. He featured these ambient instruments in a recent post complete with a video so you can enjoy their soothing tones.