Best of the Maldives: Pirate Shoot – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - La Carmina pirate shoot

What’s a pirate’s fashion nightmare?
A sunken chest with no booty.

Today’s “Speak Like a Pirate Day” illustration carries on the Fashion Week theme with Japan’s La Carmina (featured in yesterday’s post). Her own posts from Gili Lankanfushi also included the swashbuckling gem above.

I always do a post on this special occasion. The exotic and remote Maldives isles evoke so many images of pirate treasure islands. We used to hold treasure hunts for our kids when they were younger (and now many resorts offer this activity themselves). As it happens, La Carmina is channeling our kids a bit – our daughter Isley was the pirate princess in her Leaver’s Day parade, and our son is himself an aficionado and chronicler of Japanese culture.

Well, blow me down!

Best of the Maldives: Bamboo Decor – Velaa

Velaa - Bamboo decor

QI Time…
Question – What type of plant does bamboo come from?
Answer – Tree?
Buzzzzzzz…wrong.
Actually bamboo is a “grass”.
Question – How often does a bamboo plant flower?
Answer – Once a year?
Buzzzzzz…wrong.
Actually, a bamboo plant will only flower once in 65 to up to 120 years. And for good reason because once it has flowered, it then dies. Botanists don’t really know why it does this though it has a few thoeries including stabilizing selection, predator satiation and the fire cycle hypothesis.

And that’s just a few of the “Quite Interesting” aspects to Bambusoideae. Many of which will be discussed at the The World Bamboo Congress which convened today in Damyang, Korea (here’s the link if by now you think I’m just making stuff up). For example…

  • Strength – The tensile strength of plated bamboo cables is as strong as or stronger than a steel cable of the same size. Hemp rope loses 20% of its strength when wet while bamboo cables increase in strength by as much as 20% when wet.
  • Sustainability – It grows easily and cheaply (again, think “lawn of grass”, not “forest of tress”) so it easily regenerated. An acre of bamboo can sequester about 25 metric tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per year (better in bamboo than in the oceans acidifying them and hurting the coral reefs).
  • Inspiration – The ancient bamboo toy called the “dragon fly” is the origin of the modern helicopter.

(thanks to MidAtlantic Bamboo for their fine page of fun facts about bamboo)

If you want to get into the expert level topics, here are few of the papers being presented this week…

  • “Bamboo: The Secret Weapon in Forest and Landscape Restoration”
  • “Bamboo Carbon Potential for Mitigating Climate Change”
  • “The Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative”
  • “Bambusa: pioneering Latin America’s first craft beer made out of bamboo”

Yes, Bamboo Beer! We actually have a bamboo wood floor in our own bathroom (not round tubes of you are used to seeing, but a flat veneer sheared from the “logs” horizontally).  In fact, I even wear underwear made out of bamboo (still not making this stuff up…BAM”)!

No resort exploits the versatility of bamboo more than Velaa where it is a thematic element to all their design. It is used extensively as both a building material and a decoration. I’ve included photos of a few examples here from the practical (fence below) to the ornate (flower wall scone above).

Bamboozling!

Velaa - bamboo chandelier

Velaa - bamboo room lighting

Velaa - bamboo fence

Beauty Full Maldives

Miss World 2000 Maldives group

[Miss World 2010 posing in group shot on Paradise Island]

Maldives is not only one of the most beautiful places on Earth…it is also like a beacon of beauty attracting the most ravishing to its shores. It has long been established as a go-to back drop for the most glamorous photoshoot by the likes of Miss Universe, Top Model, Sports Illustrated, Victoria’s Secret, Elle, Marie Claire, etc. So much so that in 2000, it hosted part of the Miss World competition itself (photo above).

I first featured the Maldives as a photoshoot fav back in 2010 with a post about the Miss France competition which came all the way there for their bathing suit competition. Elegant and stunning models have since showcased the Maldives in everything from Four Season’s turtle conversation programme to the mythic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue (which has been shot in the Maldives 3 times now). In fact, one of the most distinctive and stylish resorts, Soneva Fushi, was in fact co-created by a former model, Eva Malmström, who is the “Eva” in its name “SonEVA Fushi” (see photo directly below).

This week is London Fashion Week here in the UK…But in the Maldives, EVERY week is fashion week. From the chic villa designs to the sumptuous flora above the water and below, and of course, the most glamorous glitterati of guests. To prove the point, I’ve assembled 52 (one for every week of the year) of the most prominent visiting beauties, from 40 different countries and 48 different resorts that have graces the shores of the Maldives resorts. All the beauty in the world is drawn to this epicentre of dazzling sights.

(thanks to all the resorts that assisted in my research with publically available photos and to Adrian Neville for his eagle-eyed spotting of unidentified resorts in various published pictures).

 

1. Eva Malmström (Sweden) – Soneva Fushi
Soneva Fushi - Eva Malstrom
2. Kate Moss (United Kingdom) – Naladhu
Naladhu - Kate Moss
3. Carol Trentini (Brazil) – Constance Halaveli
Halaveli - Carol Trentini
4. Juliane Diesner (Germany) – Amilla Fushi
Amilla Fushi - Juliane Diesner
5. Tsanna LaTouche (South Africa) – LUX Maldives
LUX Maldives - Tsanna LaTouche
6. Xenia Deli (Moldova) – NIYAMA
NIYMA - Xenia Deli
7. Coleen Garcia (Philippines) – Velassaru
Velassaru - Coleen Garcia
8. Victoria Halenarova (Czech) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa - Victoria Halenarova
9. Natalie Burn (Ukraine) – Summer Island
Summer Island - Natalie Burn
10. Alessia Reato (Italy) – Kuramathi
Kuramathi - Alessia Reato
11. Ashly (Bulgaria) – Biyadhoo
Biyadhoo - Ashly
12. Bar Refaeli (Israel) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
Club Med Finolhu Villas - Bar Refaeli
13. Camilla Pihl (Norway) – Komandoo
Komandoo - Camilla Pihl
14. Vanessa María Cárdenas Bravo (Venezuela) – Filitheyo
Filitheyo - Vanessa Maria Cardenas Bravo
15. Laura Muljadi (Indonesia) – Velaa
Velaa - Laura Muljadi
16. Poehere Hutihuti Wilson (Tahiti) – Coco Bodu Hithi
Coco Bodu Hithi - Poehere Hutihuti Wilson
17. Natasha Perera (Sri Lanka) – Veligandu
Veligandu - Natasha Perera
18. Anja Rubik (Poland) – Cocoa Island
Cocoa Island - Anja Rubik
19. Daniela Lopez Osorio (Columbia) – Bandos
Bandos - Daniela Lopez Osorio
20. Karmen Pedaru (Estonia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
One and Only Reethi Rah - Carmen Pedaru
21. Sweet Wutt Yi Taung (Myanmar) – Anantara Veli
Anantara Veli - Sweet Wutt Yi Taung
22. Isabel Bawlitza Muñoz (Chile) – Kuredu
Filitheyo - Isabel Bawlitza Munoz
23. Zaneta Hucikova (Czech) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
Sun Siyam Irufushi - Zaneta Hucikova
24. Zhenya Katava (Belarus) – Velassaru
Velassaru - Zhenya Katava
25. Jessica Cabensy (USA) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
Anantara Kihavah Villas - Jessica Cabensy
26. La Carmina (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi - La Carmina
27. Laura Rasiukeviciute (Lithuania) – Bandos
Bandos - Laura Rasiukeviciute
28. Maja Krag (Denmark) – NIYAMA
NIYAMA - Maja Krag
29. Jacqueline Ntuyabelikwe (Tanzania) –Angsana Ihuru
Angsana Iruhu - Jacqueline Ntuyabelikwe
30. Dita Van Teese (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
Conrad Rangali Maldives - Dita Van Teese
31. Emma Alexa (United Kingdom) – Baros
Baros - Emma Alexa
32. Yaya Urassaya Sperbund (Thai) – Dusit Thani
Dusit Thani - Yaya Urassaya Sperbund
33. Luo Zilin (China) – The Residence
The Residence - Luo Zilin
34. Brooklyn Decker (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
Naladhu - Brooklyn Decker
35. Wafaa Abo El Ela (Lebanon) – Maafushivaru
Maafushivaru - Wafaa Abo El Ela
36. Jimena Rico Toro (Boliva) –Sheraton Full Moon
Sheraton Full Moon - Jimena Rico Toro
37. Priyanka Chopra (India) –Nika
Sheraton Full Moon - Priyanka Chopra
38. Marti (Slovenia) – Reethi Beach
Reethi Beach - Marti
39. Bianca Koyabe (South Africa) – Paradise Island
Paradise Island - Bianca Koyabe
40. Jessica Stein (Australia) – W Retreat
W Retreat - Jessica Stein
41. Annabella Barber (New Zealand) – Six Senses Laamu
Six Sense Laamu - Annabella Barber
42. Natali Chulovskaya (Ukraine) – Chaaya Island Dhonveli
Chaaya Island Dhonveli - Natali Chulovskaya
43. Dasha (Russia) – Taj Vivanta Coral Reef
Taj Vivanta Coral Reef - Dasha
44. Laetitia Casta (France) – Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi - Laetitia Casta

 

Best of the Maldives: Buggy – Hideaway Beach, Sun Siyam Irufushi

Sun Siyam Irufushi - buggy

The fanciest wheels in the world will be on display starting today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the largest auto show in the world. But for the most rad roadsters in the Maldives, the show is at Hideaway Beach and Sun Siyam Irufushi. They both are bringing a bit of rad styling to the paths of the Maldives.

Pimp my ride!

Hideaway Beach - buggy

And now at Amilla Fushi too (thanks Paola)

Amilla Fushi - buggy

 

Best of the Maldives: Canopied Kids Pool – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - kids pool

 

JA Manafaru’s kids pool is the other extreme to Huvafenfushi’s “Lonu Veyo” pool. While Huva’s is open on all side, this pool is obviously (like all kids clubs) enclosed to keep them from wandering off. But it’s not just 360 degree surround. It’s protection extends above too with an overhead canopy.

A brilliant touch to a kid’s pool. Kids can play all day in the pool. That means constant reapplying of sub block as it constantly gets washed off. The canopy provides a bit extra sun protection for their tender skin not to mention glare shielding for their eyes. Nothing ruins a sunny holiday much more than a sun burn. Some resorts actually have enclosed areas for their water play areas with full roofs. They have their benefits but do lose a bit of the warmth and brightness of the tropical outdoors.

Best of the Maldives: Ocean Pool – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi - ocean pool 1

For the real aquaphiles, here is a big serving of water in…well, water. 

The Maldives for me has always been about the water.  A country that is 99% ocean and provides a more diverse seascape than just about anywhere on the planet.  Pools provide a salt-free, sand-free place to chillax.  Many resorts now put their pools right at water’s edge and they all pools are now “infinity”.  This means you can soak up the ocean view while you soak in the pool.  But Huvafenfushi offers a pool that takes the aquatic immersion a step further.  It’s circular pool set in the lagoon at the end of a jetty offers a 360 degree ocean surround to your dip. 

An almost Magritte-esque island of water in the water (“ceci n’est pas une isle”).

 

Huvafenfushi - ocean pool 2

Best of the Maldives: Energized Water – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi energized water pitcher

  

Soneva Fushi serves up a brand new age type of “energy drink”…with the only ingredient being water. And the impact of a bit of holistic energising. The water is served with a glass stirrer which contains different crystals each imparting a different energy type on the liquid.

  • Wellness – Rose quartz, Rock crystal, Amethyst
  • Harmony – Rose quartz
  • Regeneration – Emerald, Rock Crystal

Soneva describes that the energy enhancement “Maintains the balance between body and soul. Water enhances a feeling of overall well-being.”

This post has also energised me to add a new blog category tag of “Water”.

 

Soneva Fushi energized water

Best of the Maldives: Water Menu – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah Villas - waters on the beach

 

  

If you prefer your drinks “of” water rather than “on” water, then Anantara Kihavah Villas offers the most diverse party of international brands to choose from. Kihavah has its own water menu which includes…

  • San Pelgrino
  • San Benedetto
  • Evian
  • Perrier
  • Voss
  • Gize
  • Tasmanian Rain
  • Rainbow Infused Unicorn Tears

(ok, I made that last one up)