LEAP day

One & Only Reeth Rah - Jamillette Gaxiola - leap

Leap day today! Yes, that kind of leap. What is it about the Maldives that has everyone jumping for joy?…


1. Jamillette Gaxiola (Mexico) – One & Only Reeth Rah [ABOVE]
2. Rosie Londoner (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi
Huvafenfushi - Rosie Londoner - leap
3. Cecilia Capriotti (Italy) – Maaya Fushi
Maaya Fushi - Cecilia Capriotti - leap
4. Belinda Young (China) – Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu - Belinda Young - leap
5. Natasha Poly (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
One & Only Reethi Rah - Natasha Poly - leap
6. Himarsha Venkatsamy (India) – Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi - Himarsha Venkatsamy - leap
7. Nikki Phillips (New Zealand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
Cocoa Island - Nikki Phillips - leap
8. Brooke Dombrowski (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili
Shangri-La Vilingili - Brooke Dombrowski - leap
9. Inna Hemme (Germany) – Robinson Club
Robinson Club - Inna Hemme - leap
10. Eem Nazim (Maldives) – Sun Siyam Irufuhi
Sun Siyam Irufuhi - Eem Nazim - leap
11. Chris Piggy (China) – NIYAMA
NIYAMA - Chris Piggy - leap
12. Pippa (Australia) – Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi - Pippa - leap
13. Gökçen Arikan (Turkey) – LUX South Ari Atoll
LUX South Ari Atoll - Gökçen Arikan - leap
14. Marianna Nagl (Ukraine) – Kurumba
Kurumba - Marianna Nagl - leap
15. Georgia Horsley (United Kingdom) – NIYAMA
NIYAMA - Georgia Horsley - leap
16. Laura Bingle (Australia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
One and Only Reethi Rah - Laura Bingle - leap
17. Ledneva Nana (Russia) – Velassaru

Velassaru - Ledneva Nana - leap

18. Jennifer Hawkins (Australia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
One and Only Reethi Rah - Jennifer Hawkins - leap
19. Next Top Model Finalists (Germany) – Kurumba
Kurumba - Next Top Model Finalists - leap

Best of the Maldives: Indoor Cinema – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - cinema

And the Oscar for the best Cinema goes to…JA Manafaru.

About the only thing at our home that provides an idyllic comfort and relaxation on par with the Maldives is nestling down in front of our in-home cinema. When we hit a bit of discretionary income a few years back, we didn’t buy a fancy car or boat or second home. We installed a quite sophisticated home cinema – projection screen, THX 7:1 surround sound, and custom seating where we could put our feet up. You always get an ideal seat, you can drink a glass of wine and you can pause it if you need the toilet.

Today’s “Best of” gives an Oscar weekend double feature to Manafaru. As it happens, they feature double with two cinema set ups – one in the bar and one in the games area. It includes 10 foot wide screen with HD projection and surround sound.   A number of resorts now have outdoor cinemas where you can still soak up the tropical island vibe while enjoying your favourite flick.  But sometimes a bit of shelter from the elements and a space designed for viewing pleasure is the best cinematic experience.  Also, great inclement weather insurance for your Maldives holiday.

Best of the Maldives: Longest Spa Water Feature – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - spa path with Victoria Lopyreva

Water defines the Maldives and so island water features that maintain that aquatic feel even in the interior are always a fitting touch. A number of spas a have added lily ponds and fountains to their spas to bring that fluid tranquillity to their treatment retreat. The longest spa water feature I have ever ambled across is JA Manafaru’s Calm Spa (one of the most expansive in the Maldives) where it meanders through lush foliage and colourful flowering plants. The equally sinuous Victoria Lopyreva (Miss Russia 2003) posted a snap of the fashionable runway herself during her recent visit.

Maldives Fashion Month

Velaa - Paris Hilton

London Fashion Week just finished and now London Fashion Weekend is upon us. But in the Maldives, a week isn’t enough to pack in all the fashion on display. In fact, it takes an extra bonus (leap) day to feature the chic styles and colourful couture. While most famous for its head-turning swimwear in this sun drenched paradise, its elegant clientele sport a striking wardrobe of more conventional wear.

As it happens, one of the world’s fashion and style icons who is rarely seen missing from a runway front row seat, Paris Hilton, has chosen the Maldives to spend her own Fashion Week right now. Her Instagram in recent days is its own spring collection with a digital stage of tropical paradise. Of the over 500 models, performers, celebrities and bloggers in the Maldives Complete Lifestyle database, Paris sets new high watermarks for her social media profile among Maldives visitors. She has a table topping 13.6 million Twitter followers (besting the previous topper from last week’s Sport Illustrated Swimsuit fame, Tyra Banks who has 12.9 million).  But Paris’ glitterati credentials are extend across all media. Her stats on Wikipedia, Facebook and Instagram are all in the top 10 of the Maldives Complete database. Among Maldives glitterati, only Jacqueline Fernandez is in the top 10 of both Facebook and Twitter.

Pictured above, she is as comfortable and stylish on the Velaa boardwalk as she is on the cat walk.  In fact, Velaa stands out at the show to be at and be seen at with 4 fashion guests making the collection.

China features the most prominently in the list with 4 models, but the fancy frock show is also where the local Maldivians stand out with 3 of their own hometown heroines showcased.

And so in honour of this very fashionable leap month, Maldives Complete presents a different designer display for each day…

1. Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa [ABOVE]
2. Liu Yun (China) – LUX Maldives
LUX Maldives - Liu Yun
3. Kim Tae Hee (South Korea) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
Sun Siyam Irufushi - Kim Tae Hee
4. Laura Muljadi (Indonesia) – Velaa
Velaa - Laura Muljadi
5. Gabby Epstein (Australia) – Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili
Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili - Gabby Epstein
6. Wang Likun (China) – LUX Maldives
LUX South Ari Atoll - Wang Likun
7. Rati Tehri Singh (India) – Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi - Rati Tehri Singh
8. Chris Piggy (China) – NIYAMA
NIYAMA - Chris Piggy
9. Yeng Constantino (Philippines) – Angsana Velavaru
Angsana Velavaru - Yeng Constantino
10. Raudha Aathif (Maldives) – Coco Bodu Hithi
Coco Bodu Hithi - Raudha Aathif 2
11. Ayya Azanova (Italy) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
Jumeirah Vittaveli - Ayya Azanova
12. Tatyana Vysotskaya (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufuhi
Sun Siyam Irufushi - Tatyana Vysotskaya
13. Erin Wong (Hong Kong) – Paradise Island
Paradise Island - Erin Wong
14. Canan Ulugol (Turkey) – Bandos
Bandos - Canan Ulugol
15. Jessieann Lachowski (Canada) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - Jessieann Lachowski
16. Mariyam Azza (Maldives)
Maldives - Mariyam Azza
17. Anastasia Volochkova (Russia) – Velassaru
Velassaru - Anastasia Volochkova
18. Shu Qi (Taiwan) – Cocoa Island
Cocoa Island - Shu Qi
19. Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Anantara Dhigu
Anantara Dhigu - Shiralee Coleman
20. Eem Nazim (Maldives) – Sun Siyam Irufuhi
Sun Siyam Irufuhi - Eem Nazim
21. Andy Benavides (Mexico) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
Anantara Kihavah Villas - Andy Benavides
22. Egherta Hysa (Ukraine) – Sun Island
Maafushi - Egherta Hysa
23. Bao Bao (China) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - Bao Bao
24. Michelle Salas (Mexico) – Velaa
Velaa - Michelle Salas
25. Kelly Lin (Taiwan) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa - Kelly Lin
26. Zhang Yuqi (China) – Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu - Zhang Yuqi
27. Jyotsna Shankar (USA) – Maafushivaru
Maafushivaru - Jyotsna Shanka
28. Natalia Natalis (Poland) – Kurumba
Kurumba - Natalia Natalis
29. Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa
Velaa - Patricia Panigoro

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Scenes – Hideaway Beach / Conrad Rangali

Hideaway Beach - Maldives art 1

Portraits of the Maldives using a more conventional medium are the latest highlight at Hideaway Beach. The décor in their newly launched Deluxe Sunset Beach Villa features commission by Eagan Badeeu

“Eagan Badeeu is a prominent local artist and Maldivian national treasure, his works mainly focus on abstract or impressionist seascapes and landscapes”

They have an impressionistic feel with a rich texture, colour and light. His work can also be found at Conrad Rangali.

Hideaway Beach - Maldives art 2

Hideaway Beach - Maldives art 3

Best of the Maldives: Towel Animals – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - towl animals 1

LUX South Ari Atoll has a different pageant of bathing cuties. I’ve seen a few towel art creatures at resorts, but LUX has produced an entire menagerie of them…

“The towel art done by Shareef and Ali. Started as a way to entertain children on the island and to surprise them with little towel toys upon their return to the villas. Based on our guests’ feedback, we came to know that those towel toys started to replace the children’s comfort toys (that in most case got left behind at home) making their time on the island more enjoyable. Shareef has been working in housekeeping since more than 13 years, 3 of which at LUX*. Towel art is now part of his daily routine, it takes an average of 15 minutes for him to create a little elephant, turtle or even a whale shark. He also takes persona responsibility in teaching this trick of the trade to the guests wanting to learn. Shareef did not learn how to make these great towel sculptures anywhere, he tries over and over again until he gets the perfect shape – it’s pure ‘learning by doing’.”

The line above pictured above includes…

  • Rear row – penguin, swans, flower, elephant
  • Front row – snake, lion, donkey, elephant seating, turtle

LUX’s creativity has inspired me to add a new board to the Maldives Complete Pinterest for “Maldives Towel Art”.

LUX South Ari Atoll - towel animals 2

LUX South Ari Atoll - towell lily