Best of the Maldives: Couples Scrub – Ayada

Ayada - couples scrub

After all that beach posing, every power couple will want to power wash in style before tonight’s big New Year’s Eve celebrations. Fortunately, Ayada offers a special couples scrub spa treatment. Couples massages are pretty commonplace, but a couples scrub I haven’t seen as elaborately done as at Ayada. Complete with Esta brand cleansers. 

Couple Powers of 10

David And Victoria Beckham

One of the first, most frequent and highest profile power couples, David and Victoria Beckham, return to their favourite holiday haunt in the Maldives this holiday season with a few friends (eg. the Gordon Ramsay family). But “Posh and Becks” aren’t the only power couple to jet set into this tropical haven. Their holiday event is having Spice Girls band-mate, Mel C, perform for their New Year’s Eve party. 

Here is the Maldives Complete Top Ten List of Power Couples in paradise…

  1. David and Victoria Beckham (USA) – Amilla Fushi [ABOVE]
  2. Ashish Chowdhry and Samita Bangargi (India) – Lily Beach
    Ashish Chowdhry and Samita Bangargi (India) – Lily Beach
  3. Sam Thompson and Tiffany Watson (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Sam Thompson and Tiffany Watson (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll

  4. Richard and Amy Kotch (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Richard and Amy Kotch (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
  5. Ylianna and Michael Dadashi (USA) – Huvafenfushi
    Ylianna and Michael Dadashi (USA) - Huvafenfushi
  6. Aliaa Bhaat and Sidharth Malhotra (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Aliaa Bhaat and Sidharth Malhotra (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  7. Ana Ivanovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Serbia/Germany) – Huvafenfushi
    Ana Ivanovic and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Serbia - Germany) - Huvafenfushi
  8. John and Toni Terry (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    John and Toni Terry (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  9. Ryk Neethling and Sahar Biniaz (Australia/Iran) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Ryk Neethling and Sahar Biniaz (Australia - Iran) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  10. Sepideh Haftgoli and Max Loong (Switzerland) – NIYAMA
    Sepideh Haftgoli and Max Loong (Switzerland) - Huvafenfushi
  11. Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Karan Singh Grover and Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Best of the Maldives: Facebook Live – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - live event

If you want to get that much closer to “being there” in the Maldives with their holiday spectacles, then check out LUX South Ari Atoll’s Facebook Live events. This week they featured their fire show by Totem Entertainment as well as Santa’s arrival by seaplane.

Facebook Live is just the latest in LUX’s social media pioneering. Led by marketing manager Dolores Semeraro, LUX was one of the first resorts to embrace Twitter with active and creative uses (like her Twitter chats).

LUX south Ari Atoll - santa seaplane visit

Best of the Maldives: Pageant – Paradise Island

Paradise Island - pageant

The holidays are filled with treats and at Paradise Island this week one fashion feast is the annual holiday pageant where one lucky sun-kissed guest will be crowned “Miss Paradise”….

  • “’Miss Paradise’ is one of the evening events included in our Christmas and New Year program. The participants/pageants are from the in-house guests and panel of judges are also selected from the house. It is a short event conducted at the Main Bar floor with a small runway selecting and announcing the winners.”

Most Christmas pageants I’ve ever been to involve toddlers dressed up as shepherds and sheep falling over each other while they mumble out contrived verses.

Paradise Island - pageant 2

Best of the Maldives: Star Wars – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - Star Wars

The holidays call for merry food and drink and of course the traditional collapse in front of the TV to watch a holiday favorite like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Die Hard”. And December is second only to the summer for blockbuster Hollywood releases. This festive season brings back the greatest film franchise of all time, Star Wars, gracing the silver screen with the azure landscape of the Maldives. I’ve often said that part of the magic Maldives is that it doesn’t just seem like an exotic place on the planet…it seems like another planet altogether. There are a few places on Earth that have that other-worldly feel – Iceland, Grand Canyon, and this collection from CondeNast.

Fanboys who trek to Tunisia to see the “Tatooine” set of early Star Wars episodes will want to start getting their bookings to Six Senses Laamu, the only resort in the Laamu atoll where “Rogue One” filmed the idyllic scenes from planet Scarif.

Six Senses Laamu - Rogue One aerial

Six Senses Laamu - Rogue One

Best of the Maldives: Toddy – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu - palm toddy

Christmas is just a few sleeps away and most of us are nestled by the fire accompanied by shot of hot toddy as the winter chill (first day of winter yesterday) hits the air. And just because you are spending your holidays in the sun-drenched tropics doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the sweet and spicy distilled delights of a toddy. Especially at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu which serves palm toddies (thanks Paola). In fact, they can be delivered to your door daily. The Christmas ‘spirit’ all year round!

Best of the Maldives: Gourmet Shots – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi - gourmet shots 1

Beer with curry, Tequilla with lime and salt, a ‘boilermaker’ of bourbon and beer, Jagerbombs, Oyster with sweet wasabi with Prosecco, Bel Star, Brut, DOC, Veneto, Italy NV chaser.

Classic shot combos that have inspired Huvafenfushi gastronomic line-up of degustation and decantation.

We adore the variety of a tasting menu, but usually aren’t hungry enough to make through such an extensive line up. Huva’s “tasting” menu is literally “a taste”.

“A taste of the gastro mixed with the mixology. Plated shots to include food and beverage paired together in small bites and shots. Please choose from the selection to mix and match your palate.”

When we visited, we did the following rounds of shots…

  • Oyster with sweet wasabi – Prosecco, Bel Star, Brut, DOC, Veneto, Italy NV
  • Roast shitake mushroom with truffle dressing – Proprieta Sperino Rosa Del Rosa, Rosé Italy NV
  • Camembert and onion jam – Parellada “Honeymoon” Pares Balta 2012
  • Roquefort with truffle honey – Petalo Moscato Spumante “Vino dell’Amore” NV
  • Fresh fig with pistachio – Fontana Fredda Asti Millesimato Dolce, Italy 2011
  • Baby prawns with cocktail sauce – Sauvignon, Sileni Cellar New Zealand 2013
  • Gorgonzola with olive bread – Pulenta Malbec, Chile 2009

 

Huvafenfushi - gourmet shots 2

Huvafenfushi - gourmet shots 3

Best of the Maldives: Butter Chicken – Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica - butter chicken

If you are not Instagramming yourself, then the next most popular subject is your food. And if you want to prepare something truly worth photographing, not to mention devouring, then I recommend Taj Exotica’s house speciality Butter Chicken.

Maybe the best curry I have ever had (Maldives, London, New York or elsewhere) Our daughter Isley’s favourite Indian dish, it was one of our favourite dishes of the 2016 tour. So creamy and perfectly spiced to warm your mouth with a glow of aromatic flavours. At $43, not cheap (though not the most expensive curry I have ever had. That was a $100 Lobster Curry in Soho).

As a holiday gift to you all, Taj has shared its recipe with you all in a Maldives Complete exclusive. Remember, the is to start with fresh, juicy, prime chicken breast.

Ingredients

  • 7 pieces Chicken Tikka
  • 150 ml Makhni gravy
  • 3 grams Ginger (julienned)
  • 10 grams Butter (softened)
  • 5 grams Coriander Leaf (chopped)
  • 2 grams Kasoori Methi (powdered)
  • 10 ml Fresh Cream
  • 2 grams Sugar

Directions

  1. Heat butter in a pan.
  2. Add ginger and saute.
  3. Add cooked chicken tikkas and toss for a few minutes
  4. Add makhni gravy and allow to boil
  5. Add salt, sugar, kasoori methi powder and fresh cream allowing to cook for a few more seconds.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

If you can’t get to the Indian Ocean these holidays, at least get a taste of it at home.

Sun, Sand and Selfies

I guess a few fashionista didn’t get the memo which said “never, never take a selfie”.  And you have to wonder, if you are a beautiful man or woman, exactly how hard would it be to go up to anyone and say “excuse me, would you mind terribly to take a picture of me?”  I guess could suspend my “no selfies” on holiday rule.  Even these celebrities stunners look a bit naff with half an arm reaching into the foreground while they preen, but their photogenic qualities do distract from the silliness of the pose.

When it comes to ultimate Instagram Selfies, the Maldives Beach Party has plenty of competition. In fact, here is a veritable Top-Shot 40 of paradise snaps…

  1. Kirsteen Barlow (Hong Kong) – Finolhu [ ABOVE]
  2. Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
  3. Nelli Chernova (Russia) – Irufushi
    Nelli Chernova (Russia) - Irufushi
  4. Gaga Rog (Serbia) – Kuramathi
    Gaga Rog (Serbia) - Kuramathi
  5. Viktoria Devil (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Viktoria Devil (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  6. Dinel Dinel (Russia) – JA Manafaru
    Dinel Dinel (Russia) JA Manafaru
  7. Kira Eagle (Russia) – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
    Kira Eagle (Russia) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
  8. Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
    Alana Kay (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
  9. Kevatar (USA) – Bandos
    Kevatar (USA) - Bandos
  10. Molodtsova Yulia (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Molodtsova Yulia (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu
  11. Alyssa Ramos (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili [note – she takes mostly selfies, but in fairness, she travels alone).
    Alyssa Ramos (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  12. Isabell Horn (Germany) – Barefoot
    Isabell Horn (Germany) - Barefoot
  13. Nicole Scherzinger (USA) – Soneva Fushi
    Nicole Scherzinger (USA) – Soneva Fushi
  14. Nicola Brown (United Kingdom) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Nicola Brown (United Kingdom) – Gili Lankanfushi
  15. Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Taj Exotica
    Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Taj Exotica
  16. Ines Franco (Portugal) – Velassaru
    Ines Franco (Portugal) – Velassaru
  17. Jessica Buch (USA) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Jessica Buch (USA) – Coco Bodu Hithi
  18. Sasha Ikotuya (Japan) – Gangehi
    Sasha Ikotuya (Japan) – Gangeho
  19. Monika Adamin (OAE) – Paradise Island
    Monika Adamin (OAE) – Paradise Island
  20. Anna Burmistrova (Russia) – Sun Island
    Anna Burmistrova (Russia) – Sun Island
  21. Jenia Shtefan (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Jenia Shtefan (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  22. Eva Marti (Slovakia) – Kihaad
    Eva Marti (Slovakia) – Kihaad
  23. Daria Akoeva (Russia) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
    Daria Akoeva (Russia) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
  24. Amy Duckett (United Kingdom) – Kuredu
    Amy Duckett (United Kingdom) – Kuredu
  25. Katrin Grinyak (Russia) – Velassaru
    Katrin Grinyak (Russia) – Velassaru
  26. Berta Prats (Italy) – Velassaru
    Berta Prats (Italy) – Velassaru
  27. Sissy (Italy) – Kihaad
    Sissy (Italy) – Kihaad
  28. Victoria Magrath (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
    Victoria Magrath (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
  29. Isabelle Koenig (Germany) – Soneva Fushi
    Isabelle Koenig (Germany) – Soneva Fushi
  30. Rachael Grant (Philippines) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Rachael Grant (Philippines) – Shangri-La Vilingili
  31. Kristy Streater (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Kristy Streater (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
  32. Gul Sara (Turkey) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Gul Sara (Turkey) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  33. Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa
    Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa
  34. Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Anantara Dhigu
    Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Anantara Dhigu
  35. A. Liss (Russia) – Baros
    A Liss (Russia) – Baros
  36. Ana Sevic (Serbia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Ana Sevic (Serbia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
  37. Tatiana Lopatinskaya (Russia) – W Retreat
    Tatiana Lopatinskaya (Russia) – W Retreat
  38. Olga Buzova (Russia) – Anantara Kihavah
    Olga Buzova (Russia) – Anantara Kihavah
  39. Shanina Shaik (Australia) – Anantara Veli
    Shanina Shaik (Australia) – Anantara Veli
  40. Carolina Amora (Chile) – Nika
    Carolina Amora (Chile) – Nika