Researching yesterday’s croquet piece, I was struck by the curious terminology of the game much of which seemed like a menu for exotic cocktails – Super Shot, Dambuster, Dolly Rush, Mangler, Octuple Peel, Straight Triple. It brought me back to our Sun Siyam Irufushi visit and wiling away too many hours at their “Water’s Edge” bar.
Over 90% of cocktails there are custom recipes made by Anil. As our waiter commented, “No one wants to drink Coca Cola at the Maldives”.
While I tend to stick to my ritual pina coladas during my resort visits I nonetheless always appreciate inventiveness. And Lori always seems to be interested in trying an unconventional concoction. I’ll often sample hers and more often than not the cocktails are more oddball than highball.
But Irufushi was a truly refreshing change. Their “Shanghi #1” is a resort favourite which Lori tried (bracing with a bit of fizz and not too sweet). I had a “Login” which is like a tropical mojito”
If you want to indulge in the taste of the Maldives, Maldives Complete has scooped the recipes for their top three creations…
- Sun Siyam Delight (Signature cocktail) – Vodka, Triple sec, Mango Liqueur, Fresh Passion Fruit plums, Fresh Mint Leaves, Mojito Mint Syrup and Soda Water. Shake with all the ingredients and pour into glass and add mint leaves. top up with soda water and stir well. it is very interesting refreshing cocktail.
- All Rounder (competition winning cocktails) – Vodka, Peach Liqueur, Triple Sec, Fresh strawberry, Fresh Orange Juice and Grapefruit Juice. Muddle the strawberry and add all the ingredient and shake well. it is well balance, sweet and slightly better taste and refreshing.
- Login (competition winning cocktail) – Vodka, Midori, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Fresh Lemon Juice, Mojito Mint and Fresh Basil Leaves. Shake all the ingredients with fresh basil leaves and strain into the glass. Serve on the rock and it is wonderful refreshing sweet herb cocktail.
Today starts the Ascot Cup Croquet World Championship, but the undisputed Maldives croquet champ is One & Only Reethi Rah. They have their own built-to-purpose, manicured, regulation size croquet lawn at their appropriately named – “The Lawn Club”. It is kitted out with an elegant wooden mallet set (see below). So Reethi’s restaurants aren’t the only place to enjoy a special ‘bisque’, a chilly ‘crush’, or a handy ‘tea lady’.
- Q: On this so-dubbed “Blue Planet”, what is the earliest and most prevalent word for a colour in early ancient langages?
- A: Blue?
- Q: Buzzzz…A bit of a misleading set-up there, but linguists have actually found that the word for the color “blue” is almost universally the last color to enter a language.
As a result, researchers have even questioned if these earlier generations possibly even perceived colours differently to modern peoples. With the sea around and the sky above, such a conjecture certainly would have limited the descriptive capacity of people living in the Maldives. Fortunately, at leas today, the Dhivehi language does have a word for blue – “noo.”
Dhivehi Language Day today.
While the Maldives is renowned for romantic islands and underwater reefs, the unique reef bottomology (as opposed to “topology”) has also made it one of the world’s top surfing destination. Not for Hawaiian monsters waves, but for long, gently breaking ones (great for the increasing popular trick riding not to mention beginner learning).
One of the top surf spots is Fuvamulah. So much so that the wave richness has infiltrated their language. Like “snow” to Eskimos and “rice” to Japanese, the Maldivians on Fuvamulah have more words for “wave” than any other language. And like the Eskimos and Japanese, the wave words on not simple straight synonyms, but rather designations for subtle variations.
The Maldivian outlet Sun Online featured a superb piece on the subject titled “Fuvahmulah people could break record for most names for waves!”
“Fuvahmulah has just one and one quarter of miles of reef around the island – resulting in huge ocean waves battering the island unchecked. A wave is not just a wave to the people of Fuvahmulah, who assigned specific names to different types of waves (ralho) – based on their size and the current. This made it easier for the fishermen of the island in the olden days – as they knew just what to do when they heard the name of the type of wave they would be facing that day.”
Eighteen different words have been coined and examples include…
- hudhu ralho – waves that produce more white foam than regular waves
- kalho ralho – waves that break at the point where ocean and lagoon meet.
- vago ralho – waves that appear as if out of nowhere.
- beessaa ralho – waves that do not form curves but flow smoothly toward the beach.
- gunburaas ralho – the biggest waves that break on Bilhifeyshi Olhu
Happy Thai New Year! The Thai celebrations include a number of traditions typical in many cultures ringing in the calendar milestone – feasting, visiting families. One ritual distinctive to “Songkran” is cleansing. A bit reminiscent of the new beginnings and fresh starts embodied in New Year’s Resolutions. People go to Buddhist temples to wash away their sins and bad luck. The custom has grown quite lively with a now iconic water festival where people splash each other with water.
If you want to wash away your sins and bad luck, the best place in the Maldives is Velaa’s My Blend Spa by Clarins. This indulgent facility includes a number of innovative features from its snow room to its “cloud pod” to its steam room-with-a-view. But one of my favourites was the “Soaking 4 Ways” (my term). Quattro Fradicio.
In a single room, they offer 4 different soaks…
- Rain Shower
- Waterfall Shower
- Hand-held Shower
- Bucket (!) – see above
The “Bucket” seems to be the ultimate in drenching. Possibly the culmination of an ever intensifying trend. First there were “normal” showers. You turned them on…water came out. Then came the power showers and massage showers which pushed that spray a bit more firmly. Then, came the soaking “rain” showers. With twice as many and larger outlet holes, the water poured down on you sumptuously. The next obvious step was the “Waterfall” showers where the flow-impeding holes were done away with entirely. Now the “Bucket just drops the entire dose of water on you instantaneously.
No wood week can go without a nod to Soneva Fushi and its all natural aesthetic. One of my favourite features was this ligneous lave at its main restaurant restrooms.
The eco-chic natural look is becoming more and more in vogue in the Maldives. Especially with the recent launches of resorts like AaaVee and Drift Thelu Veliga. Maldives resort styling has gone through a number of style periods from the initial Spartan simplicity, to the more colonial rococo, to the modernistic swank, and now the artisanal natural look. Long before it became trendy, “Soneva” had embraced the aboriginal rustic vibe in its original properties – Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili (now re-launched as Gili Lankanfush).
Lori and I are big fans of natural wood. Our 18th century barn is packed with exposed ancient timbers and our furniture from our baby grand to our custom doll cabinet is made from burr wood. While Soneva Fushi is duly packed with natural design features, we were particularly captivated by Gili Lankanfushi’s. From artisan coat hangers to a bamboo bike and the drift wood furniture shown here (with Lori doing a bit of her own ex-tree hugging).
Water is the very essence of the Maldives. So it would seem that an ideal memento of one’s stay would be something one can enjoy when one is in the warm water relaxing. JA Manafaru’s bath buddy provide a few variants especially apropos to a Maldives stay. May favourite is the snorkel duck.
I’ve added a new tag for “Finally Seen” for those “Best of the Maldives” pieces featuring things I had called out in the “Not Yet Seen” series. In this case, #23 of this past Christmas’s post.
The definitive activity in the Maldives might be snorkelling, but the definitive “look” of the Maldives are its lagoons. But a lagoon is more than a pretty pictures. Here is my lakers dozen Lagoon Accessories to make the most tranquil lagoon as active and colourful as any house reef…
1. HAMMOCK – Anantara Dhigu
2. DECK – Baros
3. RAFTS – One & Only Reethi Rah
4. CORAL TOPIARY – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
5. CLIMBING WALL – Hideaway Beach
6. DINING AREA – Angsana Ihuru
7. CATCH – Kurumba
8. SHADED DINING – Centara Ras Fushi
9. DIRECTIONS – Anantara Kihavah
10. WINE BAR – Kurumba
11. POOL – Velassaru
12. VOLLEYBALL – Angsana Velavaru
13. GROYNE ISLAND – Maafushi
14. SWING – Anantara Dhigu