Best of the Maldives: Night Light – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - night light


Goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and other things that go bump in the night.” Like my toe or knee clamouring around in an unfamiliar pitch black room on holiday.

Maybe most guests don’t wake up in a different resort every night, but the accommodation will nonetheless be unfamiliar and for a while that is always a bit disorienting in the fog of a night time call of nature.

But Jumeirah Dhevanafushi provides a motion-sensitive night light. A small light under the bed stand comes on (on the side of the bed of the person who gets up…one for each side) to gently illuminate a small bit of the floor (and to provide a beacon back to the bed on your return).

Definitely a treat of a trick. Happy Halloween!

Best of the Maldives: Seaplane – FlyMe

Villa Air Whaleshark plane

What’s your ride getting dressed up as for Halloween? The prize for best seaplane costume definitely goes to FlyMe’s “SEEPLANE” had its maiden flight this week.

It is appropriately based at the epicentre of everything whale shark in Maldives near the bottom of the South Ari atoll, the Villa International Airport Maamigili. In fact, the whale shark marine sanctuary goes right by the airport.

The amphibian Cessna C208 holds up to 7 passengers (plus 2 pilots). It serves all the resorts in the area for 20 minute (or longer) privately booked and scheduled excursions with a minimum of 4 people.

Seaplanes have always been a distinctive way to experience the unique, other-worldly geography of the Maldives. And if you don’t spy a whale shark swimming below, you can always have a photo-op with this aeronautic imposter.

Pimp my seaplane!

FlyMe whale shark See Plane

Best of the Maldives: Turkish Bath – Ayada

Ayada - Turkish spa

Happy Turkey Day. No, not yet Thanksgiving, but Turkey’s national Republic Day. This is the resort Ayada’s day. Ayada takes is style and motif inspiration from that vibrant Bosphorus link where east meets west.

One eponymous way to celebrate could be in Ayada’s own glittering Turkish bath. You can have an authentic Turkish massage on the central stone slab. Or just melt away in the resplendent sauna which goes up to 50 degrees.

In Turkey, they say “Hamama giren terler.” (“he who enters the sauna, sweats”…sort of a version of ‘reaping what you sow’) but sweating has never been so sweet!

Best of the Maldives: Watch – Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli Hublot King Power

Daylight Savings Time today in the UK and a bonus hour for every one as the clocks go back. In the Maldives, time just seems to evaporate into the sun-drenched ether. But for making transfers, measuring dive time and getting to activities, if you need a chronometer as luxurious as your destination, Cheval Blanc Randheli introduces the Hublot King Power 48MM Oceanographic 4000 (thanks again Francisco)…

“By TLex Hublot have unveiled this, the latest edition of the King Power 48MM Oceanographic 4000, the Cheval Blanc Randheli Special Edition paying tribute to the unspoiled beauty of the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, where it is exclusively available from Cheval Blanc Randheli. This is at least the 11th iteration of the 4000; in all honesty they aren’t getting any better looking. There’re a couple that I like, such as the Caribbean and of course the original version. Still there’s no denying the hardware itself, this is one of the most technologically advanced divers watches available today. It is water-resistant to 4000 metres and meets with the exacting specifications of the NIHS, international standards of Swiss Watchmaking. Its seal was tested by Hublot in a ROXER tank, submerged and pressurized to the equivalent of 5000 meters. To ensure the water-tightness of the watch and to resist this extreme pressure, its Sapphire crystal is 6.5mm thick and its caseback engraved with the ‘Cheval Blanc’ motif and ‘Randheli’ text in yellow is made of grade 2 Titanium. Further features include luminescent markers in Cheval Blanc Randheli yellow emitting a yellow hue allowing legibility from a distance of 25cm in the dark, an NIHS requirement that all 4000 watches meet. The watch comes with a white rubber strap with a buckle straps.”

Pressure tested to “5000 meters”! The “deep sea” is considered anything deeper than 1800 metres.

As impressive as its specs are, my favourite super decadent Maldives-spirit watch has always been the Choppard Happy Sport (see below). In fact, I first saw it on a billboard at the Male airport. The jewel encrusted fish which float about capture the main event at the Maldives and the option for a simple rubber band captures the laid-back casual ambience of the islands.


Choppard Happy Sport Maldives

Best of the Maldives: Aerial Yoga – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - aerial yoga

Instead of a yoga matt, Laamu introduces the yoga hammock. How Maldives!

“Aerial yoga is fast becoming the hottest trend in the world of yoga, bringing together stretching, breathing and meditation with gymnastics and aerial arts. Now available at Six Senses Laamu, it uses a hammock, made of a soft and supple parachute-silk fabric, which is suspended from the ceiling and used to support the body weight during a sequence of postures. Aerial yoga shares the mind-body connection principles of the traditional yoga practice, while the weightlessness helps remove compression from the spine and opens up joints, leading to stress and tension release. Additional benefits include muscle strengthening and lengthening, low impact cardiovascular conditioning, increased mobility, deeper body awareness and self-esteem…Performed in a sequential flow to music…classes incorporate levitating meditation, zero-compression inversions, sun salutations, floating savasana and joint opening moves…Certified by Ay Fly Training, the resort’s Yoga Teacher Elle Fernandes is a pro when it comes to tailoring classes to individual needs.”

This description includes one of the most lyrical phrases I have come across (in a world where mellifluous rhapsody is commonplace): “levitating meditation, zero-compression inversions, sun salutations, floating savasana.” Yes, I’ll have some of that, please.

Group classes are $35 per person while private classes are $85 per person.

Popular poses, I would imagine, include the Crane, the Eagle, the Feathered Peacock, the Heron, and the King Pigeon.

Best of the Maldives: Aqua Yoga – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 1

Bouncing around in the water takes a more controlled, purposeful and therapeutic dimension at Park Hyatt Hadahaa. Their Vidhun Spa offers its own special Aqua Yoga programme.

The developer and teacher of this innovative activity is spa yoga teacher Deeksha (see photos). Like many activities (especially those that involve a bit of pain and effort), her charisma and energy mutes the discomfort and difficulty. She personally turns the pool into an effervescent jacuzzi of can-do with her bubbly personality.

Water is such an immersive part of the Maldives experience, I love it when resorts take activities into the water. The cool and refreshing water provides a crisp contrast to the soothing heat of the ever present sunshine. But when it comes to yoga, the aqueous venue provides extra benefits. First, the natural buoyancy of your body in water facilitates a whole range of yoga moves for a beginner that would require guru level balance and proficiency to achieve standing on land. Secondly, water provides a natural source of resistance. Instead of bands or other devices to provide strength building resistance, Deeksha has devised a number of gentle movements in the water where the water itself is your resistance.

The whole concept does raise the potential for an entirely new range of yoga moves…

  • Downward Facing Dogfish
  • Dolphin Plank
  • Eagle Ray Pose
  • Half Frogfish

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 3

in water

Best of the Maldives: Water Trampoline – Kuramathi

Kuramathi - water trampoline

Sand banks aren’t the only middle-of-the-ocean features that move around the water like some sort of Lost plot. Kuramathi’s “Aquaglide” water trampoline gives guests the opportunity to bounce all over the place too. Also ‘Best for Water Tiggers’, ie. ‘bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.”

(thanks Paul)

Kuramathi - water trampoline 2

Best of the Maldives: Private Sand Bank – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - private sand bank



Jumeriah Dhevanafushi offers its some of its water villa guests their own private “plot of sand” bank right in the ocean right next to the villa. However, like much of the organic and fluid Maldives, this sand bank moves all over the place and shifts from villa to villa throughout the year.