Best of the Maldives: Equatorial – Ayada

equator

What gives the Maldives its distinctive sunny disposition is its equatorial location.

I remember a story from my junior high geography class where the captain of a cruise liner was being harassed by an obnoxious passenger who insisted on being shown the Equator when they crossed it. So when the ship was approaching the 0 degrees mark, the captain called the passenger up the bridge. The passenger was upset because “on the maps, it is clearly a line across the ocean”. So the quick thinking captain, pulled a long hair from his head, stretched it across the lens of his looking glass and said, “Here have a look…” The passenger saw the thin line of the hair superimposed on the vast expanse of blue and was duly satisfied that he had now seen the Equator.

And if you want the most equatorial adventure that the Maldives has to offer, then you need to go to Ayada. As the southernmost resort in the Gaafu Dhaalu atoll (the resort atoll closest to the Equator) it is your closest opportunity to crossing hemispheres.

This equator-centric location also bodes well for the Maldives weather. While “tropical” storms tend to start near the equator (with its sunny warm heating the ocean and the air), they rarely end up there. Once they gather a bit of power, then they veer north or south away from the Equator (as the picture below describes) – and away from the Maldives!

 

Tropical storm formation

Best of the Maldives: Weather Site – www.Windyty.com

Windyty weather

The second most frequently asked question about the Maldives is “When is the best time to go?” And this question is basically asking “When is the weather the best?” Not a surprising FAQ since one of the top draws to the destination is its tropical sunshine. The tourist board’s promotional slogan is “The Sunny Side of Life”. So if this is the allure, people are always wanting to do everything they can to optimise every ounce of sunshine during their stay.

My post on weather norms is one of my most popular over the years, and the subject is one of the most frequently raised on the Maldives TripAdvisor Forum. I’ve posted a number of superb weather resources that I’ve found and used and today’s feature is one of my favourites – Windyty.com.

The creator is a kindred spirit of Internet sharing. This remarkable resource provides a colourful and comprehensive interactive resource and is completely non-commercial. Ivo developed and maintained it as an outlet for his passion and his technical prowess.

It is such a useful resource that I have exploited his “embed” capability and added it to the bottom of the Maldives Complete home page.

May the winds of the Maldives always blow gently in your favour.

Best of the Maldives: Arrival Bar Drinks – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah - arrival bar drinks

 

 

Welcome drinks range from refreshing tropical fruit drinks to some more creative concoctions, but Anantara Kihavah Villas greeting features a liberal range of libations. They set up a cocktail bar at the welcome area where they will serve you a tropical cocktail of your choosing.

Greetings with a twist!

Best of the Maldives: Floral Iced Teas – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - flower iced teas

 

 

This weekend is the height of that colourful harbinger of English spring – the Chelsea Flower Show. And the perfect time to raise a glass to the most apropos accompaniment – Soneva Fushi’s floral iced tea selection…

  • Roselle Flower – Roselle flowers have well documented antioxidants which are believed to tackle hypertension. Several studies have also shown that the roselle flower’s antioxidants can reduce the risk of cancer and that they promote good health by enabling oxidative balance.
  • Butterfly Pea– Contains natural anti-oxidants and improves blood circulation. Helps prevent hair loss and greying hair. Cleanses blood, & improves night vision, revitalizes skin & hair. Nature’s answer for aging with grace!
  • Chrysanthemum – Rich in chlorogenic acid, carotene, vitamins, and potassium, chrysanthemums offer a multitude of health benefits.
  • Bael – Bael assists digestion, combats disorders, ulcers, hypertension, diabetes, and numerous other ailments. The ripe fruit acts as a laxative but is not digested easily. Unripe bael fruit on the other hand, promotes digestion and cures diarrhoea.
  • Hibiscus – Hibiscus is believed to have anti –inflammatory effect, help lower high blood pressure, help lower uric acid levels in gout sufferers, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in pre-diabetics and diabetics. Studies have shown that it also appears to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in a petri dish
  • Rose Petal – Rose petals contain vitamins A, B, C, D, and E! The petals are also home to antioxidants, and they acts as a mild sedative, anti-depressant, and mood-enhancing agent. Rose water is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and can be used for all kinds of skin ailments from eczema to psoriasis…and even sunburns!

Cuppa flowers in elegant and vibrant surroundings.

Best of the Maldives: Laser Show – Maafushivaru

Maafushivaru laser show 1

 

 

 

The first functioning laser was operated by Theodore H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, 45 years ago this week. Since then, its unique optical properties have been applied to everything from cutting to welding back together again. They are use for both scalpel (cutting) as well as suture. It has very profound applications (like producing holograms) as well as some more whimsical ones (eg. creating cat videos for the Internet with laser pointers).

Maafushivaru is celebrating the latter with the introduction of its night time laser light shows…

“This month Maafushivaru is delighted to present its latest addition to spruce up its evening entertainment schedule. With the existing items that range from Maldivian evenings to resident DJ playing classic dance hits and acoustic duo performing while you indulge in a feast, the laser show make its mark as the newest and liveliest of evening entertainment taking it to another level. The spectacle begins at Water Bar, where guests may seat up on bean bags or on the comfy cushions outside the deck to witness a flurry of colours that blend in motion with a selection of music composed by the in-house disc jockey. Witness the Maldivian sky dance in an array of neon green and blue as you imbibe favourite cocktails from the Water Bar. The laser show will be featured once a week after 21:00hrs. Come over and experience this unique show in the Maldives, in Maafushivaru.”

Dazzling.

 

Maafushivaru laser show 2

Best of the Maldives: 5-a-Side Pitch – Ayada

Ayada - 5-a-side pitch

 

 

 

Today’s Commemoration of Atatürk in Turkey is celebrated with a traditional Youth and Sports Day featuring a whole host of competitions and exhibitions. Here in the Maldives, the Turkish inspired resort of Ayada offers its own distinctive sporting venue with the premier 5-a-Side pitch of the Maldives resorts complete with astro-turf and night game lighting.

Best of the Maldives: Charity Gala – Kurumba

Kurumba - party with a purpose 1

‘Tis the season. Not the season to be jolly, but “The Season” to be generous. May kicks off the start of the social “season” here in London with Ascot, Wimbledon, Henley bringing out the picnics of champagne, strawberries and cream. And the circuit of charity balls bringing out the black tie and sequined gowns for good causes.

Kurumba has joined the season-al spirit with its own fundraising “Party with a Purpose”:

On Friday 24th April Kurumba Maldives proudly hosted the fundraising event “Party with a Purpose”. This event was held for the fourth year running in aid of 72 orphaned children residing at “Kudakudhinge Hiyaa” located on Villingili island. Support from 10 different Maldivian performers, many suppliers and partners contributed to raise over US$21,000. This upcoming year, the funds will be destined to the development of the “Early Childhood Play and Development Training Programme” for caretakers, in cooperation with the local non-governmental organization ARC – Advocating the Rights for the Children, amongst other projects. Local artists volunteered their time to perform Maldivian and international tunes with bands, DJ’s and a Bodu Beru groups performing for guests’ enjoyment.”

 

Kurumba - party with a purpose 2

Best of the Maldives: Nurse Sharks – Huvafenfushi

Huvfenfushi - nurse shark video

International Nursing Day today I thought was an apropos time to call out the eponymous “creature feature” nurse shark. As dependable as those faithful healthcare workers who alleviate our suffering, the similarly calm and composed ‘Ginglymostoma cirratum’ can be found on the Huvfenfushi house reef. Even more precisely, the resident marine biologist Nicole Hertz told us we could see her under the restaurant’s decking among the support pillars. Now, we’ve had lots of snorkel guides enthuse about lots of aquatic residents and, but unfortunately we all too often don’t have the fortune to see these allegedly regular visitors. But as advertised, we swam over and the Huva nurse was sitting on the sand precisely where Nickie said she would be.

Nurse Sharks are much more nocturnally active so it was not unexpected to see her just lying there. But, when we participated in Huvafenfushi’s night time “night aquarium”, she perked to life and paid us a visit with a number of graceful passes by the window (see below).

 

Huvfenfushi - nurse shark spa

Watching the nurse shark at night from the underwater spa.

Huvafenfushi - Nurse Shark 2

Photo credit – NICOLE HERZ MSc

 

Huvafenfushi - Nurse Shark

Photo credit – NICOLE HERZ MSc

Best of the Maldives: Mirrors – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - mirrors

 

 

If you want more literal self reflection, the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is the place to go. I know I gave a nod to W Retreat’s seeing glass motif. So to fairly distinguish the two, I’m calling out Dhevanafushi’s “free standing” looking glasses. They have extensive wall mirrors too, but the more striking striking features are the framed one placed various places around the villa – The bathroom has a double sided mirror, the outdoor shower has one, the dressing room has a giant one (see photo above)

Great for vamping, less good for vampires.