Some people (and resorts) think that the big, prominent, showy parts of the property are what define its “star quality (eg. 4-star, 5-star, super 5-star+). The welcome jetty, the extravagant ingredients on the menu, the ubiquitous service. But there are a number of small acid-tests which distinguish the quality of the resort just as much. Three of our favourites are…
· Pina Colada Test – This drink is perhaps the definitive tropical cocktail. It is just complicated enough in its recipe that it’s quality and style varies enormously from resort to resort. In my annual tour report on the Maldives Trip Advisor Forum, a short one sentence assessment of the pina colada (I have one at every resort) speaks volumes about the resort’s attention to detail and care for such an iconic part of the sunny holiday experience.
· Beach Furniture – For starters, plastic versus wood is what separates the 4-stars from the 5-stars. Don’t even think about calling yourself a 5-star if you are going to put out plastic furniture. And the super 5-star+ resorts go a step further special design, cushioning or creative placement (like in the pool).
· Cocktail Snacks – The basic here is the crisps/potato chips and nuts which is typical 4-star fare. The 5-stars will go for olives and maybe some flavoured snacks like a Bombay Mix. And the super 5-star+ resorts will provide specially prepared gourmet nibbles.
It was given this context that we were so pleasantly surprised by one of the most more-ish pool snacks ever served to us in the Maldives was at what is probably the lowest cost, full-fledged resort in the Maldives – Equator Village. They make freshly cooked potato chips. And they are delicious. Crispy and hot. Admittedly, they are not complimentary (they cost $5), but it is money worth spending for an accompaniment to your sundowner cocktail.
Best resort for Gary Lineker!