If portals to the underwater wonderland that is the Maldives is your thing, then Velaa’s mini-sub experience provides both the vista and the mobility to explore this aquatic paradise (dolphin escort optional)…
“To add to guests’ ability to experience the deep waters of the Noonu atoll Velaa Private Island provides ambient pressure submarine tours for two persons, operated by a trained skipper who offers an informative narration on this exciting adventure.”
The BuzzFeed listicles are not just the hot thing on the Internet, but have been inspiring some Maldives Complete versions. BuzzFeed has also elevated the Cosmo quiz to new status with fun and clever interactive questionnaires to determine “Which X Are You?” This week featured “Which Paradise Should You Run Away To?”. I did a user test and it did indeed send me to the Maldives – result! (well, “Coral Reef Utopia” which is a destination category I didn’t know existed but I guess captures it pretty nicely). For those wishing to game the system to make sure you get sent there, here are the responses to rig it to get you there…
- Dream Job – Watersports Instructor
- What Sport Do You Most Want To Do? – Scuba Diving
- Pick An Awkward Moment to Never Experience Again – Falling asleep in an inappropriate place
- What Gadget Couldn’t You Leave Behind – Camera
- What Trend Are You Happiest To Leave Behind – Twerking
- Pick A Musical Genre – Acoustic
- Pick An Evening Activity – Yoga
- What Motivates You – Relaxation
- What Food Couldn’t You Live Without? – Sushi
GlassFest started yesterday featuring every imaginable translucent creation. But for the bottom line (or should I say ‘bottom plane’?) on glass, then the heartland of glass flooring is the resorts of the Maldives featuring portals to the aquatic wonderland below. When you come to the islands, so enchanting is its beauty above and beneath the water, you just don’t want to take your eyes off it. And the resorts there do everything possible do that you don’t have to. Here are a collection of the best in every imaginable nook and cranny of an over water stay…
1. ENTRYWAY – Lily Beach: Clearly welcome matt (Deluxe Water Villa)
2. SITTING ROOM – Velassaru: Set yourself down, put your feet up, and enjoy the scenery (Water Suite).
3. LIVING ROOM – LUX Maldives: Scotch and water anyone? (LUX Villa)
4. DINING ROOM – Conrad Rangali Maldives: Up there you be on da plate… (Sunset Water Villa)
5. STUDY – Conrad Rangali Maldives: And glass desktop to boot so nothing stands in the way of oceanic inspiration to your writing… (Retreat Water Villa)
6. BEDROOM – Iru Fushi: G’nite Anchor, g’nite Chum. G’nite John-boy. (Water Villa)
7. BATHROOM – Vadoo: What’s taking you so long in there (are you watching the fish instead of getting ready)? (Sunrise Water Villa)
8. BATHTUB – Anantara Kihavah: Great view of fish for bathers (maybe the view for the fish is not so great). (Over Water Pool Villa)
9. TOILET – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru: WATER Closet. Beats a newspaper. (Sunrise Water Villa with Pool)
10. OUTDOOR SHOWER– Anantara Kihavah: Note to fish – don’t look up. (Over Water Pool Villa)
11. MASSAGE ROOM – Conrad Rangali Maldives: Feel like floating away. (Overwater Spa)
12. INDOOR DECK – Gili Lankanfushi: Right this way to see the marine life…(Private Reserve)
13. OUTOOR DECK – Jumeirah Vittaveli: For those people who don’t live on the edge… (Lagoon Suite)
14. POOL – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu: Pool with a 360 degree view. (Lagoon Villa)
15. MEZZANINE – Huvafenfushi: You don’t need an ocean under you to provide a glass floor view of the water (Two Bedroom Beach Pavilion)
16. BOAT – Paradise Island: And even a mobile glass floor for those guests on the move (Glass Bottomed Boat)
Not every al fresco meal has to be toes-in-sand table to provide a charming moon lit meal. One and Only Reethi Rah’s Tapasake restaurant is one of the best outdoor restaurants we have seen. Most resorts have an outdoor ‘feel’ being situated in areas open on all four sides, but full out-in-the-open rather than just open-air is much rarer (for the sensible reason that you do get no protection from the occasional precipitation and strong breeze limiting it usage during those times).
“Out on Tapasake's open deck are the new Teppanyaki stations – perched above the waters edge where delectable smells of sizzling fresh fish and seafood drift through the Maldivian air. Cocktails are served at a semi-circular bar, which overlooks a vast expanse of the Indian Ocean and offers one of the best sunset views on the island.”
There is little that beats the literal atmosphere of dining outside in the perfect temperature surrounded by a chorus of nature’s sounds under a canopy of stars.
When we first started coming to the Maldives, the notion of dining on the beach was relatively novel. Most of the resorts had designated sheltered dining areas. We would typically ask the waiter if we could move our table out to the water’s edge and in most cases they were more than happy to do so. Now, beach dining is featured prevalently both as a special supplement experience and as regular dining areas.
Nika has given al fresco dining a fresh setting inspired by the island’s Italianate heritage and character. It has situated its main dining area (with a backup inside area for unfavourable weather) in an area that resembles some Mediterranean avenue. It features wrought-iron lamp posts which evokes a sandy Cinque Terra boulevard with people dining on gamberti and chianti late into the evening.
One of the most popular posts on Maldives Complete and frequent topics on the TripAdvisor Maldives Forum concerns the best times of year for sunshine. Despite all of the spousal-celebration, scenery, snorkelling, surfing, super-deluxe, the “S” that is the Maldives’ first and foremost allure is the sunshine. Being an equatorial destination, the fact is that pretty much all of the Maldives is sunny and warm pretty much all of the time. Sure, there are bad days and there are a few times of year (eg. January through March) where the sunshine is uncannily persistent. But when people are shelling out for the life of a lifetime, they will split hairs on the securing just the best weather possible (mind you, I maintain that going to such obsessive lengths can lead to major disappointment if you catch some simply bad luck).
People always ask about the sunshine (or its other-side-of-the-coin, rainfall). They also ask about temperatures (air and water). But you don’t get many enquiries about the wind. Actually, the wind, or in most cases “breeze” really, can have as much of an impact on the climate as precipitation and temperature…
- Too much breeze…
- kicks up the water stirring the sand and reducing the crystal-clarity of the waters for snorkelling.
- limits romantic beach dining as sand gets blown into food, candles get blown out and table items get knocked over.
- Good breezes …
- hit reefs from the right direction drive currents into them for world-class surfing.
- off the water on a toasty day is that perfect cocktail of warmth and cooling.
- power great sailing, windsurfing or kite surfing. Comparing the prevailing winds to the location of the water sports center might optimise your fun if this activity is a big priority.
Guests also enquire about “sunset” or “sunrise” depending on whether they like to savour their daily solar ritual with a coffee or a cocktail (sunset is more popular by far). But the wind equivalent is “leeward” versus “windward”. Though this distinction changes with the season. In fact, the “monsoon” seasons are characterised by the shifting of the winds from one direction to another. So a leeward villa one part of the year will likely be windward another time.
So depending on whether you want a wafting or calm, you might want to check out the best resource on Maldives breezes, the “Wind Energy Resource Atlas of Sri Lanka and the Maldives”
For more real time indications, you can also check out the Wind Finder website which includes up-to-date tracking of Maldives conditions.
We are big fan fans. Especially big ceiling fans. No distinguished Southern room in the USA would be without them turning languidly to stir the thick summer air. Every bedroom in our house has these not-so-turbo-props. For our UK house, I shopped and shopped, but didn’t find much exceptional in the designs though. And most Maldives resorts, even, have fairly pedestrian models. I would have loved to have this model from Jumeirah Vittaveli in my house. The elegantly carved wooden versions here bring as much cool style as cool breezes to the villa.
No heart-shaped beds yet (jacuzzi, yes), but a round one. Conrad Rangali has one centered in its sunset water villa master bedroom like a giant bulls-eye. But the circular crib at Constance Halaveli tipped the feature today with the swoosh of a bedside stand and the round villa that lends a curvy Corbusier feel to villa.
The very folks who introduced me to the Maldives nearly two decades ago are still serving as one of my great inside sources as they’ve gone a couple time this year already. They sent over a field report of their visit to the newly opened Atmosphere Kanifushi with a Best Of scoop on their pool light globes….
“They are fab ! Rechargeable glo balls and cubes light up the resorts bars and pools at night . Color changing v effective.”
May Day! May Day! Not a call for help (unless you need service from a helpful staffer), but a call to celebrate workers and the contributions they make to our lives and society. Most resorts often go to special measures to support and a highlight the distinctive quality of their staff who are essential to making a guest’s stay the most relaxing and trouble-free. Lori and I always enjoy meeting new folks from the resort and hearing their accounts of living in paradise. In many cases, this internationally renowned destination draws people from all over the world to work here.
I especially enjoyed the Mirihi email newsletter they send out to guests which features a staff profile. A recent edition included intros to Naaz (Front office Agent), Raoof (Front office Agent), Jalil (Front office Agent), Sara (Boutique Hostess), Aulam (Gardener), and Mahir (Gardener). They are all assembled in the group photo together.
On the occasion of labor day, I’ve added yet another category tag to the site – “Maldivian Staff”.