Best of the Maldives: Snorkel Bag – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi - snorkel bag

It’s fashion and freebies all around this week – London Fashion Week, The Oscars…You can’t swing a snorkel bag and hit some a designer frock and some decadent swag. And the resorts are equally generous with their toiletries and amenities. They are great for when you have forgotten something, but usually we are pretty prepared with the basics. But probably the most useful and gratefully received item was Huvafenfushi’s snorkel bag. You really do need something to gather up your fins and masks for various forays to different parts of the house reef or for excursions on snorkel safaris. We had a great one, but we wore it out over the years and had been looking for one for some time.

Now that’s a bag that really goes with your outfit.

Best of the Maldives: Colourful Uniforms – W Retreat

W Retreat - uniforms 1

London Fashion Week is in full sashay, but on the more tropical catwalk, the trend setting resort W Retreat is leading the way with a recent revamp of its own staff fashions. The colourful uniforms were designed by Tahir Sultan (thanks Paola)…

“The collection, named ‘Infinite days and Infinite nights”, featured Island-styled attire for both men and women, and the uniforms will certainly cause a surge of excitement as hotel staff roam around in couture designs. Sultan’s Kuwaiti and Indian heritage was seemingly apparent in his collection through traditional styles for both menswear and womenswear. His flair for the art fashion exuded through his heightened ability to aim for perfection which was carefully included in intricately designed pieces.”

 

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Best of the Maldives: Tai Chi – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi tai chi

Happy Chinese New Year!  2015 ushers in the Year of the Goat.  According to Chinese tradition, people born in the goat years are calm and gentle, just like the Maldives. 

To herald its arrival, try some of the ancient art of Tai Chi at Soneva Fushi. Traditionally a martial art of self-defence in more recent times is it practiced more for its health benefits to the extent that even the NHS has a page about it: “studies have shown that tai chi can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.” Tai Chi News explains…

“Qi Gong is the foundation of Tai Chi, wherein the student learns to move their body and feel their internal energy (Qi), through simple, relatively static movements, and the use of the will (Yi) to guide the energy as it flows through its natural channels (known as jing-luo, or meridians.) The main exercise used in Tai Chi is called the Form. This is a flowing sequence of movements, lasting from 5 to 20 minutes. The Form very effectively develops physical skill and health, and constitutes a very enjoyable kind of moving meditation…More advanced students learn the two-person Form (San Shou) and the sabre, sword, staff and spear Forms, all of which provide an exciting, artistic and satisfying level to the training…Pushing Hands (Tui Shou) is a kind of partner exercise, where 2 people develop sensitivity and co-ordination together. This is a very enjoyable, playful and free-flowing kind of exercise.”

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Best of the Maldives: Proposal Coaching – Conrad Rangali Maldives

Conrad Rangali underwater wedding proposal

 

 

Happy Valentines Day. The epicentre of romance in the annual calendar. As such, one of the most popular days for people to propose. And with the Maldives being the geographical epicentre of romance, when the two combine expect big things. Like Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s “Marry Me” packages…

“Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is launching a ‘MarryMe’ package for those planning to pop the question on Valentine’s Day. Priced at US$150, the package includes a bottle of celebratory champagne and assistance from the resort in planning the proposal. As part of the offer, couples dining in Ithaa undersea restaurant on February 14 can use the services of the dive centre for a memorable underwater proposal, complete with a diver swimming outside the windows of the restaurant to help ask the question.”

Best of the Maldives: Intraceuticals – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - Intraceuticals

 

 

Many visitors come to the Maldives to feel the fresh clean air on their skin. NIYAMA spa’s new “Intraceutical” treatments now provide that the therapeutic effect of that air…under the skin. The announcement describes…

“Revolutionary for oxygen treatments, Intraceuticals uses a machine that applies oxygen under pressure to deliver a special serum of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, essential vitamins, antioxidants, and peptides to the skin. The unique technology and specially formulated procedure of an Intraceuticals Treatment leaves skin looking noticeably brighter, firmer and more flawless immediately following the treatment. Depending on individual skin types, treatments can also be focused to address concerns such as wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation or blemishes.”

Best of the Maldives: Sun Spa – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah sun service

 

Spas offer all sorts of ways to relax with soothing heat – sauna, Jacuzzi, steam bath, hot stone massage. But the most popular therapy in the Maldives is outside any spa – the sun.

One & Only Reethi Rah has actually created a special spa just to cater to “sun treatments” Its beach-side Sun Spa provides a daily “sun conditions” board to inform sunbathers (see above). They offer a range of Esthederm skin treatments to prime and protect the skin. They even have a “Tanning Butler” describes by the Sunday Times Travel section in its piece “Good morning Madam, your tanning butler awaits”…

“Tanning Butler” (no, not “Tanned Butler”). “use state-of-the-art technology to calculate the safe tanning potential of a guest’s face and body, then come up with a bespoke suncare programme. The butler applies the necessary creams to the guest first thing in the morning and reappears throughout the day to reapply. Price: £126 per day.”

 

One and Only Reethi Rah sun spa

Best of the Maldives: Snow – Velaa

Velaa - snow room 3

Snow in the Maldives! Not the most surprising weather forecast ever, but the innovative spa feature at Velaa resort.

When it comes to spa treatments, most people think heat – steam bath, sauna, hot stones. While heating soothes, it is the contrast of heat and cold which “exercises” your cardiovascular system. Heat opens the capillaries, and cold closes them (other stimulation like a spanking which is why it leaves a red mark and why many Nordic countries incorporate birch branch whacking into their spas). A number of spas have cold water plunge pools for this purpose, but the ultimate is the “rolling around in the snow” made famous in northern climes. Velaa brings this Arctic touch to the Tropics.

Let it snow, let it snow. I am one with the wind and the sky!

 

Velaa - snow room 1

 

Velaa - snow room 2

Best of the Maldives: Bath Salts – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - bath salts

 

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen

You can add Park Hyatt Hadahaa’s “Vidrun” (meaning “to shine” in Dhevehi) spa to that list. Their treatments incorporate a selection of special salt and herb blends based on Maldivian concepts…

  • Hoonu – rose and sandalwood (Cooling)
  • Fini – ginger, clove and aniseed (Warming)
  • Hiki – jasmine and lotus (Balancing)

All massages start with a foot scrub with signature foot salt…a symbol that your “journey has begun”. Then of course, you soak in a soothing bath using your chosen bath salt.

Definitely worth its salt.

Best of the Maldives: Bath TV – Ayada

Ayada - bath television

 

 

When I’m not in the Maldives, my two relaxation havens are (a) in front of the TV, and (b) in a hot bath. But if you are in the Maldives, then you can have the relaxation trifecta with both looking over the somnifacient seas of the Maldives at Ayada water villa. One of the all time great combinations up there with peanut butter and chocolate, Paul McCartney and Steve Wonder, or Star Wars and Lego.