Best of the Maldives: Largest Fans – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantarah Kihavah Villas - fan 2

I might be one of the world’s biggest fans *of* the Maldives, but I am not the biggest fan *in* the Maldives. That distinction would go to Anantara Kihavah Villas’ appropriately dubbed “Big Ass Fan” [sic] in its Salt restaurant (“Element” model)…

“Big Ass Fans gently and silently move air throughout dining rooms to ensure customers are consistently comfortable—without fluttering napkins or distracting from table conversation. Big Ass Fans work hand-in-hand with AC systems to provide an additional 10°F (5.6°C) cooling effect and evenly distribute conditioned air throughout the space. Because of the perceived cooling felt by air movement, managers can utilize the energy-efficient fans to maintain occupant comfort with a higher AC set point, saving money without sacrificing comfort.”

Lori growing up in the South (USA), we are big fan fans.  We have ceiling fans in everyone of our bedrooms.  Even on not-so-hot days, they simply stir the air a bit giving it a bit of movement and freshness.

If the nearly 20 blades weren’t enough, the kitchen also largest extraction fan I’ve ever seen (see picture below) as well towering over 30 feet high.

Anantara Kihavah Villas - extraction fan

Anantara Kihavah Villas - fan 1

Best of the Maldives: Value Treetop Spa – Dusit Thani

Dusit Thani - tree top spa 2

If you prefer relaxing on top of a palm tree – rather than under it or *on* it – then Dusit Thani’s treetop Devarana Spa is perched just right for you…

“The spa encompasses six deluxe treatment pods which sit elevated amongst the island’s palm trees and for those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground; the spa has also developed two stunning ground level treatment rooms. Manicure and pedicure-dedicated area, private outdoor pool, steam and sauna are exclusively available for spa guests.”

Eight treatment rooms are found in the 6 treetop pods nettled atop of the tropical lushness. All treatments guaranteed to leave to feeling floating on air.

Dusit Thani - tree top spa 1

Best of the Maldives: Snorkel Floats – Club Med Finolhu Villas

Club Med Finolhu  - snorkel float

With the Christmas shopping season formally launched, the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday”, is upon us. I’m a big snorkelling aficionado, so any gear to help me peer into the aquatic world is always a hit with me. One of the most coveted items I’ve seen is the “Splash and Play” snorkel float by Bestway in Club Med Finolhu’s “The Boutique”.   I’ve seen a few resorts offer them for use by guests, but I haven’t seen any you can buy until now.  Just perfect for even lazier underwater gazing while soaking up the sun’s rays. Now if I can just get Santa to bring me an airplane ticket to the Maldives…

Best of the Maldives: Jetty Shuttle – Athuruga / Thudufushi

Athuruga - Thudufushi - jetty shuttle

Today is the biggest travel day of the year in America – the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. Not all Americans trek “home” (parents’ house) for Christmas (especially if they have young children of their own waiting for Santa at their own house), but nearly everyone makes the effort for Thanksgiving. Hence the “Homecoming” tradition of “Homecoming Game” and “Homecoming Queen” (all part of the day as the town converges on the local high school football game in the morning to see old friends while, typically, Mom is home preparing the feast).

The mayhem of families scattered across a continent was immortalised in the comedy film “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. In the Maldives, transport is more of a planes, boats and buggies affair. When the buggy shuttle pulls up, you know you are just about at your new home in paradise. Mind you, these buggies often only go a few hundred yards, but when the Maldives laziness sets in, then any physical activity can seem daunting.

Many resorts offer shuttles on call for covering significant distances, but sometimes you do have to wait for them to arrive. Many times you can just call from the room or restaurant and linger placidly waiting for your chauffeured ride. But Athuruga and Thudufusi have a dedicated water villa jetty shuttle always at the ready to lighten you load to and from your water villa. The silent electric buggy just zips people back and forth along the quite long jetty (the resort water villas are spread out quite a bit more than typical). But instead of facing an 100 metre trek along the jetty to your door, the shuttle will zip over to pick you up as soon as he spots you emerging from your door or stepping onto the jetty.

Best of the Maldives: Segway – Hideaway Beach

Hideaway Beach - segway

All proper blokes like a good gadget. And this weekend brought the return of Clarkson and gang to our screen with the successor to the now toppled Top Gear – Grand Tour (from “TG” to “GT”). The GT trio have made a career out of careening around on all sorts of things on wheels including the Segway. In fact, Clarkson rides one in his advert for the new service which hosts his show (see below).

If you too want to get your gear gadgetry going, then Hideaway Beach offers Segway tours of the resort. The prices are – 30 Minutes ($30), 60 Minutes ($50), 4 Hours ($150), 8 Hours ($200.00)

And on that bombshell for bombing around the resort…

Best of the Maldives: Longest Arrival Jetty – Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa - arrival jetty

A good first impression can work wonders.” – J. K. Rowling

I am trying to keep the Profiles somewhat limited so they are a real “at a glance” impression of the resort. I try to focus on distinctive aspects of the resorts that all my readers enquire about. Each photos and datapoint needs to be some variety across resorts which is why I don’t feature pictures of palm trees and sunsets that often fill the resort web sites as they just aren’t different enough from one resort to another. But there also has to be some constancy within the resort which is also why I don’t feature restaurants and bar photos. There are usually more than restaurant and bar and they often differ considerably. As a result, it is hard to choose one photo that typifies the F&B areas.

But in this last Tour, I was especially struck on the vast variety across Arrival Jetties. Some are simple docks while others are elaborate constructions. It is your first (and last) impression of the resort so it always has impact. We love walking along the resort jetties. They are great places for getting out over the water and you always see so many creatures scurrying about often attracted to mini-artificial reef-like structure it forms.

With a bit of snapping this summer and some further web research, I amassed 47 resorts which I think is just enough to add this piece of each resort to the Profile.

To mark this occasion, I also wanted to call out one of the most impressive arrival jetties I came upon in my research. It’s always easier to claim distinction for objective and quantity differences rather than subjective and quality ones. Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa appears to be the longest arrival jetty in the Maldives. It’s so long that they have added a couple of sheltered pavilions along it. I am guessing to give visitors a chance for a rest along their stroll from one end to another.

As always, if you have any snaps of any arrival jetties that I don’t yet have, I would love to have them to add to the database.  Thanks!

Spitting Distance

Cocoa Island - sand spit 2

One of the fav features of any Maldive island is the sand spit. The spit is the Kodak Photo Spot. Surrounded by the India Ocean on all but a few feet of sand. If you are planning your next photoshoot and scouting for a bit of shallow wallowing, here is a list of the top resort sand spits in the Maldives…

  • Cocoa Island [ABOVE]
  • Gangehi
    Gangehi - sand spit
  • Sun Island
    Sun Island - sand spit
  • Kuramathi
    Kuramathi - sand spit
  • Kuredu
    Kuredu - sand spit
  • Kanifushi (thanks Paola)
    Kanifushi - sand spit
  • Finolhu
    Finolhu - sand spit
  • Palm Beach
    Palm Beach - sand spit
  • Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - sand spit
  • Rihiveli
    Rihiveli - sand spit
  • Ranveli
    Ranveli - sand spit
  • Dhigufaru
    Dhigufaru - sand spit
  • Loama at Maamagili
    Loama at Maamagili

Best of the Maldives: Water Polo – Angsana Velavaru

Angsana Velavaru - water polo

Water Polo Day today. The birthday of William Wilson’s who created the sport. Another sport invented by the British and then they stopped being good at (like football, badminton, rugby, and we’ll see about the upcoming cricket). I’ve always a bit surprised there is not more of this sport in the Maldives. In Italy, lots of seaside harbours have water polo nets and boundaries set up for playing. Angsana Velavaru is the only resort I have found offering it. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:00 – 7:00 pm free of charge. So get your fill of egg-beater kicks and chocolate whistles.