Best of the Maldives: Ballet – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - ballet

Most live entertainment in the Maldives is either rock DJ or romantic acoustic. Given the upper crust economic brackets of most of the Maldives’ guests, I always wondered if something a bit more sophisticated wouldn’t go amiss. Like opera or ballroom dancing. Well, NIYAMA has brought one of the most sublime arts to the land of ethereal beauty and sublime grace – ballet…

“Fluidity and strength take centre stage against a backdrop of Indian Ocean. Under sparkling stars and above the crystal waters of the Maldives, the Mariinsky Ballet’s First Soloist, Xander Parish, performs for PULSE by PER AQUUM. Accompanied by dancers and soloists of the Mariinsky, the movements of Scheherazade, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote and Carmen Suite come to life in a tidal swell. Guests at PER AQUUM Niyama will enjoy an exclusive performance on 21 August with an encore at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi on 23 August. Budding ballerinas and ballerinos will also have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take centre stage themselves. Xander and his hand-picked ensemble, including Oksana Bondareva and Renata Shakirova, will be offering masterclasses at each resort during their visit.”

Grand jetés for grand jet setters.

NIYAMA - ballet 2

Wader Waderland

Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu - 2

Wading is one of the unsung charms of the Maldives waters. The mill pond calm lagoon waters stilled by the surrounding reefs where shark pups languidly drift. It is one of my first mental images of the place. Before I had even arrived. A friend told me of how he waded from one island to a neighbouring one and the very idea enchanted me. The inches deep water is one of the reasons why I first thought I might do a website on ‘Maldives for families’ as the calm waters made for the safest and most placid seaside for little ones. Like an oceanic paddling pool. “Waders” aren’t traditionally thought of as fashion icons, but leave it to the Maldives to make wading sexy. Here are the Maldives Complete top 50 wading fashionistas in the Maldives…

  1. Alice Aufray (France)
    Alice Aufray (France)
  2. Alexis Ren (USA) – Ayada
    Alexis Ren (USA) – Ayada
  3. Helena Borden (Brazil) – Huvafenfushi
    Helena Borden (Brazil) – Huvafenfushi
  4. Elisabeth Adelantes (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
    Elisabeth Adelantes (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
  5. Jyotsna Shankar (USA) – Maafushivaru
    Jyotsna Shankar (USA) – Maafushivaru
  6. Lilia Matsegora (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Lilia Matsegora (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
  7. Yana Gluschenko (Ukraine) – Kurumba
    Yana Gluschenko (Ukraine) – Kurumba
  8. Clara Hallencreutz (Sweden) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
    Clara Hallencreutz (Sweden) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
  9. Jordan Craig (USA) – W Retreat
    Jordan Craig (USA) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
  10. Natalie Burn (Ukraine) – Summer Island
    Natalie Burn (Ukraine) – Summer Island
  11. Jambition (UAE) – Huvafenfushi
    Jambition (UAE) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
  12. Nicole Warne (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Nicole Warne (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
  13. Victoria (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Victoria (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  14. Olga Storozhuk (Ukraine) – AaaVeee
    Olga Storozhuk (Ukraine) - AaaVeee
  15. Mona (Russia) – Kurumba
    Mona (Russia) – Kurumba
  16. Kelly Tandiono (Singapore) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Kelly Tandiono (Singapore) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  17. Lauren Bullen (Australia) – Club Med Kani
    Lauren Bullen (Australia) – Club Med Kani
  18. Julia Dybowska (Poland) – Velassaru
    Julia Dybowska (Poland) – Velassaru
  19. Elena Morali (Italy) – Fihalhohi
    Elena Morali (Italy) – Fihalhohi
  20. Sachiko Judy Fukumoto (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Sachiko Judy Fukumoto (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
  21. Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Maalifushi
    Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Maalifushi
  22. Cecilia Nordlund (United Kingdom) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Cecilia Nordlund (United Kingdom) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
  23. Myolie Wu (China) – NIYAMA
    Myolie Wu (China) – NIYAMA
  24. Duda Portella Nogueira Lima (Portugal) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Duda Portella Nogueira Lima (Portugal) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  25. Regina Chow (Singpore) – Cocoa Island
    Regina Chow (Singpore) – Cocoa Island
  26. Jamie Foxx (Russia) – Royal Island
    Jamie Foxx (Russia) - Royal Island
  27. Natalie Morris (USA) – Velassaru
    Natalie Morris (USA) – Velassaru
  28. Yuliya Kolesnichenko (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Yuliya Kolesnichenko (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
  29. Danielle Knudson (Canada) – Cocoa Island
    Danielle Knudson (Canada) – Cocoa Island
  30. Ann-Katrin Vida (Germany) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Ann-Katrin Vida (Germany) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
  31. Missy Coconut Boo (Australia) – Velassaru
    Missy Coconut Boo (Australia) – Velassaru
  32. Ricki-Lee Coulter (Australia) – Conrad Maldives
    Ricki-Lee Coulter (Australia) – Conrad Maldives
  33. Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
    Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
  34. Anja Rubik (Poland) – Cocoa Island
    Anja Rubik (Poland) – Cocoa Island
  35. Julia Kavalerova (Russia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Julia Kavalerova (Russia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
  36. Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee
    Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee
  37. Gabby Epstein (Australia) – Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili
    Gabby Epstein (Australia) – Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili
  38. Pamela Reif (Germany) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Pamela Reif (Germany) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
  39. Letizia Rebozzi (Switzerland) – Velassaru
    Letizia Rebozzi (Switzerland) – Velassaru
  40. Nicole Scherzinger (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Nicole Scherzinger (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
  41. Ajla Etemovic (Serbia) – Huvafenfushi
    Ajla Etemovic (Serbia) – Huvafenfushi
  42. Candice Boucher (South Africa) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Candice Boucher (South Africa) – Gili Lankanfushi
  43. Tsanna LaTouche (South Africa) – LUX Maldives
    Tsanna LaTouche (South Africa) – LUX Maldives
  44. Kristina Marchenkova (Russia) – Sun Islands
    Kristina Marchenkova (Russia) - Sun Island
  45. Alyss Jusright (USA) – Ranveli
    Alyssa Jusright (USA) – Ranveli
  46. Pamela Quinzi (Italy) – Bathala
    Pamela Quinzi (Italy) – Bathala
  47. Suzanne Jackson (Ireland) – The Residence
    Suzanne Jackson (Ireland) – The Residence
  48. Lucy Watson (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Lucy Watson (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  49. Stephanie Pratt (USA) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Stephanie Pratt (USA) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  50. Eem Nizam (Maldives) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Eem Nizam (Maldives) – Sun Siyam Irufushi

Best of the Maldives: Water Lovers – Canareef

Canareef - pool water

Perhaps the greatest allure of the Maldives is its intimacy with the ocean. The diminutive islands are nettled just at the water level so you are never far from it vertically or horizontally. Some of the bigger islands lose a bit of this aquatic intimacy. But one of the longest islands, Canareef, has as much if not more pervasive ambience of surrounding seaside. Primarily, because it is so skinny. With the shoreline only a few dozen meters away on either side of the island, the ambient noise of gentle waves permeate the air up and down the island.

And this stereo seaside is just one aspect of the resort’s water immersed motif. If you are a water lover, then Canareef is the resort for you. It features water of every size and shape…

  • Seashore – One side dramatic surf, the other side mill pond calm. Both along the longest coastline in the Maldives resorts.
  • Lakes – 3 of these relatively rare bodies of water in the Maldives
  • Pools – Also a top of the league table number.
  • Channel – A relatively rare feature in the Maldives.

Even your own Jacuzzi if you like in the Jacuzzi Villas. If water is what drew you to this destination that is 99% ocean, then Canareef tops it up just a bit further.

Best of the Maldives: Longest Reef – Alimatha

Alimatha - Fottheyo longest reef

While the Maldives might have limited links land above sealevel, it’s undersea world is an expansive wonderland. And the most expansive of them all is the Fottheyo reef in the Vaavu atoll

We all know that Australia has the Greatest Barrier Reef in the World, but how many of you know, which one is the Greatest One in Maldives in terms of square kilometres?! The biggest one is Fottheyo Reef in Vaavu, with its 68 SQ KM.”

Great QI challenge by Paola.

Best of the Maldives: Links Golf – Shanrgi-La Villingili

Shangri-La Villingili - golf course start

Golf is a good walk spoiled” – Mark Twain

And if you are going to “spoil” your walk, you might as well make it a great one along the coastal beauty of Maldivian paradise. According to Shangri-La Villingili (and I haven’t been able to find any examples to contradict them), their 9-hole golf course is the *only* course in the world where *every* hole is on the ocean. Of course, Scottish links are the world showcases for links play, but even the legendary St. Andrews only has its front nine on the ocean (the back nine returns inland).

I love it when Maldives resorts push their activities out to the ocean. For years, the “activities” (eg. spas, fitness centres, sports areas) were sequestered in the middle of the island. I guess this made use of this interior and they figured that people would be so busy doing their thing that they wouldn’t need breath-taking views. But the whole point of doing these activities on holiday in the Maldives is to enjoy them *with* the bonus of the enchanting ambiance. Now, the top properties put their spas and gyms and other activities right on the water which lured people to the destination in the first place.

During our Tour visit to Villingili this summer, Lori and I actually got to play a proper round of golf on this distinctive course. As I noted in my tour report, it might be just a par 3 course, but it is still a serious course – seriously laid out, seriously challenging, seriously beautiful surroundings and seriously fun. Not our best round of playing (see Twain quote above), but certainly one of the most spectacular rounds we’ve ever played.

The course does require a very precise approach game as the fairways are narrow (limited real estate) and unforgiving (eg, the big, blue ocean looming to the right of every shot). Elite golf these days is all about the approach. Everyone on Tour can drive plenty far enough with accuracy, but the birdies are made on heroic approach shots landing close to the pin or heroic putts from further away from the pin (and the former are a bit easier to achieve for a pro).

Also during our stay, I had a chance to meet one of the course designers and architect, Kai Smit, and ask him a few questions about this Olympic calibre course. As the Rio Games finish up today (including the first ever Olympic Golf Tournament), here is an in depth look at Maldives’ own tropical golf course…

• What was the inspiration to build a golf course on such limited space?

The southern tip of Villingili Island was undeveloped and the location where the Project Contractor Dormitory was located. This parcel of land was also the logistics centre for materials and equipment that had to be imported to construct the Hotel. It also served as a centre for project waste collection before shipped off the island. The Challenge was twofold, namely 1) to restore the natural habitat and environment to be consistent with the rest of the Island and 2.) try to introduce a value added recreational activity for Resort Guests without harming the environment. The orientation and scale of the peninsula lent itself to be a superb 9 hole – Par 3 Golf Course. Providing a pleasant walk at Dawn and Dusk. All Golf Holes could be routed alongside the ocean, creating 9 greens next to water and ensuring that when playing at dawn or dusk – the players did not look into the sun on the first five outward holes and the last three inward holes. The only hole that the player may look into the sun at Dawn is the signature 6th Hole that faces eastward – and what a sight that can be!

• What was the biggest challenge to building the course?

The limited supply of sand and elevation of the land . Neap tide also presented some challenges as the course is low lying and the eastern shoreline on the peninsula can experience some rough sea conditions.

• What is your favourite hole?

The signature 6th Hole with the ocean backdrop of breaking waves.

• Any tips for playing for course?

Ensure that you have enough golf balls and stay out of the ocean. Generally, the course favours the player hitting a draw as opposed to those players who like to shape the shot from left to right. Below is a photo tour of the course with the overall layout map directly below, with the individual hole layouts below that. Then following is each of the (a) tee shot views, and (b) green views.

Clubbing at its best!

Shangri-La Villingili - golf course layout

Shangri-La Villingili - golf course card

(click on picture for a zoom in)

1st HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 1 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 1 - green

2nd HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 2 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 2 - green

3rd HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 3 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 3 - green

4th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 4 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 4 - green

5th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 5 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 5 - green

6th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 6 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 6 - green

7th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 7 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 7 - green

8th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 8 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 8 - green

9th HOLE
Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 9 - tee view  Shangri-La Villingili - golf course - hole 9 - green

6 Tips for Maldives Fashion Pics

Photography in the Maldives

World Photography Day today.

A perfect day for the Maldives Complete recipe for the perfect pix, at least from a fashion shoot side. This piece is not about general photography or even just shooting in the Maldives. I’m not covering tips on some of the most popular subjects in that paradise like…

  • Underwater Photography (but make sure you have a good light and red filter for deeper shots)
  • Seascape Photography (but get yourself a polarising lens filter to bring up some of the underwater)
  • Sunset Photography (an art in itself with hordes of guests mobbing the west side of the resort island every evening)

This post is just tips for fashion shooting based on the extensive research into the Maldives Complete Fashion Base. As Insta-mania and the popularity of the Maldives as a photoshoot destination continues to grow, the bar for top shots is set even higher. When I select showcase shots, it is always about the photo itself. I do give points for profile prominence (because people do get enchanted with celebrity), but the first question I ask is “how good of a photo is it?” I find myself scrutinizing what makes one photo better than another. Same winsome models, same alluring backdrop, and yet often dramatically different quality and impact.

Here are the Maldives Complete top tips for fashion shooting in paradise…

1. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting – This is photography 101 really. First of all, avoid backlighting (see below). Either through posing the subject or through use of flash and aperture. For best results, do your shooting when the sun is low in the sky (early morning or sunset). It imparts a whole different hue on your subjects that makes them glow and fills out their features. When you have overhead sun, too often the features (eg. face) are spoiled by shadows. Most professionals do almost of their shooting in a frenzy of early morning and late afternoon.
Maldives Photography lighting

2. Take off the sunglasses – You might think sunglasses provide a “cool” look, but really they make you look detached. They are cliché and the dark spots in the middle of the bright, colourful picture doesn’t work aesthetically. They take away all the personality. They turn the subject into something cartoonish like Little Orphan Annie. Yes, the bright sunlight can hurt the eyes and make the subject want to squint.  First, see “Lighting” point above as the softer crepuscular light alleviates this issue.  Also, simply give the subject a countdown so they open there eyes just when you are ready to snap.  And on the subject of black eyewear, for the underwater shots, don’t choose the black mask. Choose something more colourful. Or for the truly pro shot, a mask that matches the swimsuit.
Maldives Photography sunglasses

3. Choose your sky – The backdrop is the whole reason you are shooting in the Maldives. And the ocean-counterpoint of the sky is a huge portion of your picture. In a place like the Maldives, blue skies complement the azure sea for a dazzling background. Some bright white cloud highlights are fine, but too often people do shots with grey skies in the background. Wait for the skies to clear or position the shot in a direction with fewer or brighter clouds.
Maldives Photography sky

4. Fill the frame with the person – Yes, the Maldives backdrop is unique and enchanting, but don’t forget that the human being is nearly always the most important part of the shot. Maybe your focus is the background and the person in the shot is just meant to be a small touch, but most people are more interested in the person than the backdrop. Yes, if you fill the frame with the person, one will see less background square inches, but actually you will still get plenty of a feel for the background. Most people who fall into this trap, I think, are simply trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want a shot of their subject, but they can bring themselves to cut out any part of the gorgeous background. That’s where the editorial discretion and artistic input comes in – deciding which part of the background to feature as the best complement to your foreground subject.
Maldives Photography framing

5. Twist the body – Armography. Nothing more boring than a straight body standing or lying there. Get the body into an interesting shape. Do something.  The shape gives the photo visual interest and even a sense of movement.
Maldives Photography standing

6. Enough with the Selfies – Can I have a quiet word, please? Selfies are photographically ridiculous. Maybe if you are with a friend and no one is around and you want a quick snap to capture the moment spontaneously, they can be tolerated as a last resort. You can’t be model and photographer at the same time. The composition sucks with arms and selfie-sticks (oh my god, how dreadful) jutting into one of the lower corners. Just say no to selfies. They look ridiculous, contrived, self-absorbed and awkward. A decade from now, they will be one of the things we look back at the Teens and say “what were we thinking” (as we do today with mullets and teased hair styles). Digital photography is so easy. Mistakes can be fixed with multiple shots and imperfections can be touched up in Photoshop. Just ask a passer-by to click the button. Several times to get it right if needed. Staring at the phone instead of the audience.
Maldives Photography selfies

Happy shooting!

Pina Perfection

Perfect Pina Colada

Coconut Full Moon tonight. The perfect time to toast that essence of equatorial elixir – pina colada.

Maldives is not my only tropical love. I am also an epicurean devotee of the pina colada. It is my tropical cocktail. I only really drink it in the Maldives because I do believe that ambience and context is as much a part of an exceptional drink experience as the drink itself. Like port with cigars and cards. Or Pimms at one of The Season events. I have occasional sampled pina coladas when I am at establishments renowned for their mixology just to explore their spin on this classic. But the experience is more clinical and investigative than my sensual savouring in the Maldives.

My pina passion has reached a higher profile as a part of my annual Maldives Tour posts to the Trip Advisor Maldives Forum. I post a daily thumbnail sketch of each resort highlighting things like the weather, my favourite dish, snorkel spottings. And I include a headline assessment of the resort’s pina colada.

For me the pina colada is as iconic a tropical drink as the Maldives is a tropical destination. And it can be an emblematic indicator for the resort overall. It’s complicated and varied enough that the resort’s own quality of ingredients, attention to detail, creativity, flair and even personality can shine though in this little alcoholic microcosm. You can have foamy vs. flat, shaken vs. blended, iced vs. chilled, not to mention a range of ingredient variations (eg. coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut flavouring). And it can be presented in simple tall glasses with a sprig or garnish to coconut shells with a cornucopia of fruit and frills.

Last year, the epicenter of all things coconut, Kurumba resort, rose to the “Pina Colada Challenge” with an unprecedented flurry of pina colada artistry on the occasion of my visit. The exceptional evening got me questioning my first principles. With all of the options and variations, what was I looking for in the “perfect pina colada”. That led to a bit more “research” and now my own recipe and guidance for the quintessential pinoconut concoction.

FUNDAMENTALS – What are my basic principles for the ultimate pina colada?

  • TemperatureFrozen. This is the counterfoil to the sun drenched tropics. You are melting away in the warmth and so part of the experience is the frigid coldness of the drink. The best pina colada is the coldest pina colada. Some tips to achieving this frigorific chill…
    • Store all of the ingredients in the freezer. Including the rum and the glass along with frozen coconut cream and pineapple juice. Note that you will need to freeze the coconut cream and pinapple juice in small chunks or cubes in order for them to blend effectively on mixing.
    • Serve in a “stem” glass so the hand does not warm the drink while holding it.
  • ThingsFresh. Fresh, top shelf ingredients should be a given, but I am always surprised at how many top resorts try to get by with inferior ingredients.
    • Fresh pineapple juice. Not from a can or concentrate (which almost always has added sugar).
    • Coconut cream (not coconut milk, coconut flavouring, or pina colada mix)
    • Top quality white rum. Not the cheap stuff. Not dark rum.
  • TextureFine. Another bad bit are…the bits. Yes, it is a “style” thing. Much like the difference between the more finely textured Parisian bisque as opposed to the more rustic and thicker Normady bisque. The pulp might seem to add to the appearance of freshness, but the mouth feel distracts from the focus on the flavours and the frozenness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 parts Coconut Cream – (not Coconut Milk, it’s too thin and not coconutty enough)
  • 4 parts fresh Pineapple Juice – (not pulpy, see above on Texture)
  • 2 parts White Rum – (not flavoured)
  • 1 part medium sugar syrup (3:4 ratio of sugar to water)

Despite many classic recipes call for it, I first tried to avoid the Sugar Syrup ingredient. I thought one could get the desired sweetness with the pineapple juice and even the coconut cream would contribute a bit. However, in depth experimentation showed that the syrup really helped to smooth out and mellow the final product in a way no other balancing could (without sacrificing the rum kick). If getting or making the sugar syrup is just a step too far, then actually using Malibu Rum (the exception to the “not flavoured Rum” rule) provides the same sweetness and some of the mellowing effect (but unfortunately does introduce a distinctly “artificial” or even “chemically” tinge).

Also notice NO ICE. Ice just waters down the drink and interferes with the smooth sipping. The frozen ingredients provide all the frigidity that you need (and more than shaking over ice will ever do).

Perhaps the key objective here is balance.  You don’t want any individual ingredient overpowering the flavour.  You want all of the tastes to blend harmoniously.

RUMS

  • Baccardi Carta Blanca Superior White Rum – The classic and default option.
  • Brugal Especial Extra Dry Rum – The premium option for smoothness and distinction (“clean, dry rum which contains fewer of the heavy alcohols which tend to provide other rums a sweeter flavour profile. The Especial Extra Dry is blended from a mix of rum spirits which have been aged a minimum of 2 years and up to as many as 5 years in White American Oak casks. The rum is triple charcoal filtered, and was developed as a high-end cocktail spirit”).
  • Malibu Caribbean Rum with Coconut Flavour – The oft-resorted to shortcut for coconut and sweetness boost.

DIRECTIONS

Blend ingredients until smooth. Not too little so that it is lumpy. Not too much that it overly thaws the drink. Depending on the type of blender you have, you might want to pre-crush the frozen coconut cream as this can freeze quite solidly.

GARNISH

You can let your inner Carmen Miranda go crazy if you like, but there is only one classic garnish – a skewered Maraschino cherry and pineapple slice perched on the edge of the glass. Some say the cherry is dated and even twee, but I guess I am just too old school.  And no straw! The drink needs to be sipped from the glass like a fine wine. Straws are mostly for drinks with ice (see note above on “no ice”).

The Guardian has also published their pina perfection path “How to make the perfect piña colada”. It’s an okay recipe. I’m against the use of ice for a truly “perfect” pina, but I understand how it is an expedient way to achieve coldness. And the piece provides some in depth perspectives on some of the dynamics of the drink.

Happy Hour Coconut Moon everyone!

(special thanks to our friends Wayne and Lucille who contributed as research assistants in the methodical lab testing)

 

Best of the Maldives: Water Feature Jacuzzi – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - water feature jacuzzi

How do you like to relax? Bathing in a jacuzzi? Listening to the hypnotic sounds of a water feature. Well, how about a water feature into the Jacuzzi. I’ve seen several cascades into villa pools, but Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s aqua combo was the first I’ve seen with a Jacuzzi. Double the soothing soak.

 

Maldives Guide to Gymnastics

AERIAL - Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi - 2

The final day of the most aesthetically enchanting event of the Olympics – Gymnastics. Perfectly honed athletes performing exquisitely choreographed routines with balletic grace. For those of you who have not quite figured out the difference between your triple salto and your Yurchenko loop, Maldives Complete has assembled a small primer for you…

AERIAL – Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi [ ABOVE]

HANDSTAND – Ea Nitsche Holm (Hong Kong) – Anantara Kihavah
HANDSTAND - Ea Nitsche Holm (Hong Kong) – Anantara Kihavah


LANDING – Jade Kiss (Canada) – Conrad Rangali
LANDING - Jade Kiss (Canada) – Conrad Rangali

PIKE – Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
PIKE - Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 9

PLANCHE – Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi
PLANCHE - Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi

RING JUMP – Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
RING JUMP - Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi

ROUND-OFF – Chloe Lambertt (Australia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
ROUND OFF - Chloe Lambertt (Australia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

SPLIT – Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
SPLIT - Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu

TUCK – Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat
TUCK - Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat

TWIST – Melissa Pretorius (Australia) – Kandooma
TWIST - Melissa Pretorius (Australia) – Kandooma

YANG BO – Maiama Khateli (Netherlands) – Canareef
YANG BO - Maiama Khateli (Netherlands) – Canareef