Best of the Maldives: Private Jetty – Angsana Velavaru

Angsana Velavaru deck 1

 

From longest day to longest private quai. One of our favourite parts of staying in a water villa is walking along the jetty to the room looking down in the shallows of the lagoon at the various marine life cavorting below. Velavaru extends that promenade out the back of its villas with your own private jetty to a special lounger set even more remotely in the middle of the ocean.

 

Angsana Velavaru deck 2

Best of the Maldives: Longest Day – Nika

Nika sunset

 

In the Maldives, one can simply lose track of time. Not just because of indolent indifference. But also because it varies from resort to resort. Many resorts follow “resort time” which is an hour ahead of Male time. There is no geographical reason since the entire country is aligned longitudinally from north to south. It is sort of like a permanent “Daylight Savings Time” or “British Summer Time” (which officially ended today).

The whole concept behind daylight savings time was to provide more daylight hours in the still active part of the later afternoon and early evening. Certainly a great way to stretch your days and activities in the Maldives. One can say that time simply doesn’t matter in this remote paradise, but people still tend to be guided by the benchmarks of daily clock times for their rituals like dining and settling down.

Being so close to the equator, the sunrise and sunset times do not vary much through the year. The sun rises and sets around 6:00 (am and pm) every day varying a matter of minutes through the year. But for the resorts, this means a 7:00 am sunrise (don’t have to get up quite so early for sunrise yoga) and 7:00 pm sunset (so you can carry on your activities later before it truly becomes the dinner hour.

The resort Nika has literally doubled down on this concept setting their resort’s time to 2 whole hours ahead of Male. At Nika, sunset was at 8:00 pm. Which meant that we carried on quite late and by the time we freshened up and went to dinner, it was approaching 9:00 pm. But that dinner hour only amplified Nika’s Italianate vibe where dinner tends to start and linger later into the evening.

Double the sun, double the fun.

Best of the Maldives: Champagne Treats – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali underwater champagne

 

Champagne seems to be the consummate tipple for both celebrating and for romance. So with the Maldives being the honeymoon capital of the world, champagne does flow as copiously as the azure lagoons. Some might say that in the Maldives, every day is “Champagne Day”, but today that decadence is shared around the world.

If you want to pop a little extra diversity into your brut bubbly banquet, then head over to Conrad Rangali who offers a variety of champers pampers…

“With an extensive wine cellar of over 20,000 bottles, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island further enhances its guests’ wine experience this year with the introduction of three new ways of enjoying champagne at this luxury resort: ‘Bubbles on the Beach’, ‘Sparkling Hour’ and ‘The Perfect Sundowner’…Food and beverage director Wolfgang Brandl explains: “Of course there’s never a wrong way to enjoy champagne, but relaxing in the privacy of your own private villa while taking in the beauty of a breathtaking Maldivian sunset with a glass of your favourite champagne in your hand has to be one of the most spectacular ways to do it.’”

Best of the Maldives: Mosquito Bands – Kurumba

Kurumba citronella bands

Colourful banded creatures aren’t just found on the reefs, but can be found across the beaches of Kurumba. They also frequent the beaches and bars in aqua blue and pastel pink thanks to the resorts complimentary citronella bands to repel biting insects. I’ve never really seen a mosquito in the Maldives, but people say they are there and even one can be a nuisance especially to those sensitive to their bites. Even if they don’t both you, the bands make for colourful soft bracelets.

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Picture – Constance Halaveli

Marco Careo anenome fish

This week the Wildlife Photogrpaher of the Year was announced with an exhibition of the top entries opening at London’s own Natural History Museum. My entry from the Maldives resorts would be Marco Care’s anemone Fish picture (above). Marco is not an itinerant pro dropping in to the locale to pick up some dazzling shots, but a regular member of the Constance Halaveli resort staff. Like most of the pieces that make it to the competition shortlist, Marco’s picture was the product of countless dives experimenting with different filters and settings. And of course waiting for that magic moment when Nemo’s cousin stares you right in the eye.

 

Marco Care

Best of the Maldives: Fitness Centre Location – Viceroy

Viceroy fitness centre

 

 

Usually resort fitness centres are stuck away in some remote interior corner. Tearing yourself away from your relaxation for a workout is hard enough that you don’t need the resorts to tear you away from the beautiful surroundings to boot. On the contrary, having a vista of paradise to look at would be a great distraction from the tedium.

Viceroy’s over water fitness centre’s superb design fully exploits the brave move to place it over water with floor to ceiling windows and two large sliding doors to invite even more of the inspiring outdoors into the gymnasium.

Probably my most memorable spa treatment ever (not just in the Maldives) was at Kuramathi’s over-water treatment villa open floor to ceiling on 3 sides (including the west side for a bonus sunset view). My dream rejuvenation double would be a hard workout at Viceroy with the ocean breezes wafting through the gym to infuse me with strength, followed by a mellow deep tissue rub-down at Kuramathi with the same breezes soothing me.