Best of the Maldives: Bath Pillow – Constance Halaveli

Constance Halaveli bath pillow

If you are serious about lounging in the bath, then I can’t imagine an accessory more essential than a bath pillow. And yet, they are astonishingly rare. I had to find on online for our bath a home. Without them, your head has to rest on a cold, hard tub.

Fortunately, Constance Halaveli has gotten suds soaking down. Not only do they have a comfy head rest, but they also have extra long tub so you can really stretch out.

Pass the Calgon.

Best of the Maldives: Glass Bottomed Bath – Anantara Kihavah

Anantara Kihavah glass bottom bath tub

 

 

If you want to soak in your own bath of floral scents and colourful visuals, then Anantara Kihava’s glass bottomed bath extends right down into the ocean. You can be surrounded by vibrant petals floating above and vivid sea creatures scurrying about beneath.

Kihavah’s distinction has tipped that balance of “bath” features enough for me to now add a “Bath” sub-category to “Relaxing” in the Best of Maldives.

Glass bottomed soak.

Best of the Maldives: Spa Flowers – Nika

Nika spa flowers

 

 

From water walking to water wafting. Of the fragrant bouquets of aquatic bouquets that pack the Nika spa area.

When you first enter the appropriately names Lotus Spa, you are greeted by stereo bowls of dazzling blossoms floating in bowls of water by the gate. Arranged meticulously and artistically is an array of flower petals that are changed every day. Not just the petals, but the design itself (see below for another example).

Then in the spa itself set amidst a sprawling water feature packed with more diverse water lilies and other water flowers than I have seen in the Maldives (see bottom) of different colours and shapes adorning the surface in the bright sunshine.

Nika is just bursting with colour of both fauna and flora.

 

Nika spa flowers 2

 

Nika spa water lillies

Best of the Maldives: Water Rafts – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah water rafts

If sliding into a pool isn’t exciting enough for you, then bouncing into a whole ocean might do the trick. And it’s available to all ages in the One & Only Reethi Rah water sports lagoon. Which in addition to its water trampoline includes a floating water volleyball “court”, a climbing wall “ice berg” not to mention an old school swimming raft. During my tour, these features were probably one of the tops that I most regretted not having the time to avail myself of. I could have spent hours on them especially with my kids when they were younger. Any one of these blow-up contraptions are worthy of a “Best of the Maldives” distinction individually, but since Reethi Rah is just such a cornucopia of such special features, I’ve decided to combine them in a single post.

Best of the Maldives: Nursery – Kurumba

Kurumba orchid nursery 2

 

 

Another enclosure of vibrant colour is the orchid nursery at Kurumba. Except to hard-core horticulturalists, nurseries are often about as interesting as a pair of old wellies and a dirty spade. Usually, they are an example of the whole being less than the sum of the parts. In this case, the parts being hundreds of fragrant blossoms. But all packed into a tedious and cramped barracks.

Kurumba has turned this explosion of hue and scent into a feature itself. Not just by welcoming guests into it, but by investing in make the nursery itself a real attraction. The centrepiece is the water feature which is a dramatic fountain adorned will all manner of vegetation.

Horticulturist and Garden Manager, Upul Kumara, commented that the Orchid Nursery ‘is completely natural and uses coir rope, bamboo and a pond with a waterfall has been used a centre piece of the garden. This will definitely be a new attraction to all our guests and not only that, the space will be suitable for a romantic dinner, a private yoga session or a relaxing stroll.’ He added that in nature, orchids have humid environments with near-constant air circulation. The water pond not only adds beauty, but also helps take care of the orchids. For those who have enjoyed the nursery in the past, we are sure the renovation will be greatly welcomed. With the following addition we hope it imprints to guest a lasting impression on the varied experiences while seeing the Maldives in Full Colour at Kurumba.

Soon, the resort is going to start offering guest dinners in there. A delightful blend of culinary and floral aroma.

Kurumba is not alone in featuring bounteous blossoms and this post has convinced me to add a new category tag for Flowers”.

 

Kurumba orchid nursery fountain

Best of the Maldives: Bird Cage – Gangehi

Gangehi bird cage

 

 

This past tour was a revelation of birds. A number of resorts had quite striking birds on the islands. So much so that I have added a “Bird” tag to the blog.

Their presence added a somewhat unexpected colour and vibrancy to the island life that one grows accustomed to on the reef. Gangehi’s avian feature is a giant bird cage right by reception filled with a rainbow of parakeets and painted song birds. A sweet richly hued addition to an arrival welcome.

Best of the Maldives: Free Range Birds – Nika

Nika pheasant

 

 

From flyboarding to free birding.

This post is also a contendor for “Most Nostalgic for My High School Years”. First, “Freebird” was the Ipswich High School Class of 1979 “Class Song”. Second, me and my buddies were big Monty Python fans (perhaps shades of my eventual UK life) and one of my favourite skits was “Albatross.

While I had parroted the “Albatross” sketch endlessly to pubescent tittering, I had never actually seen one. Until I visted Nika. Lori and was even more mesmerised by him, and his goofy wing-flapping walk, than I was I think. We dubbed him “Albert Ross” (my adolescent sense of humour has matured that much since high school).

Nika has its own bird sanctuary. But not in a cage nor in a segregated section of the island, but right in one of the main thoroughfares are the two main pathways converge in front of the dining area. All of the birds roam freely around the island, but they tend to congregate in this area where they are fed and they have some shelters.

A truly diverse bunch too. Bandito the peacock (see above), exotic dove, hens, parrots (see bottom) and ducks.

Maldives Menagerie!

 

Nika parrot

 

Nika albatross

 

Nika albatross 2

Best of the Maldives: Flyboarding – LUX Maldives

LUX Maldives flyboarding

 

 

What shooting up in the air faster than a lottery winner’s bank balance? Higher than the Chinese visitor stats? The LUX Maldives flyboard!

This activity had been in my draft of “Even More What I Haven’t Seen” until Dolores dropped me a line. It didn’t surprise me though that it would be LUX pioneering with such a rad adrenalin activity. LUX really stands out for its spirit of innovation and adventure. But also, LUX Maldives is a perfect location for it. Their sprawling size means it can be conducted on a discreet part of the island without disturbing other guests. Mind you if I was at LUX, I might shy away from trying it out, but I think it would be a fun thing to watch.

"Designed for active guests, Flyboard combines the excitement of motorized water sports to the, otherwise limited, liberty of movements based on the body balance to ultimately achieve the exceptional sensation of flying over the water.  Flyboard has only been recently launched worldwide by the France-based Zapata Racing Team.  By literally wearing a pair of boots connected to a board, the resort’s guests can be lifted to heights of up to 10 meters thanks to the water jets placed under the board allowing them hover above the surface or to perform spectacular water figures.  Taking the concept of luxury holidays on a lighter note, LUX* Maldives continues to look for original yet daring ways to surprise guests of all ages. ‘Being a water sports fan myself, I immediately recognized the potentials of Flyboard as the wide lagoon around LUX* Maldives is ideal for our guests to enjoy this innovative sport that makes you fly like a bird or swim like a dolphin all in one’ says Dominik Ruhl, the resort General Manager."

Rocket man with lots of splash down.