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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
- 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
- Heat butter in a pan.
- Add ginger and saute.
- Add cooked chicken tikkas and toss for a few minutes
- Add makhni gravy and allow to boil
- Add salt, sugar, kasoori methi powder and fresh cream allowing to cook for a few more seconds.
- 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.
- “As a model who can open doors anywhere, Cara Delevingne is probably used to fabulous freebies. But an entire holiday island in the Maldives is exceptional, even by her standards. Cara, 24, along with model sister Poppy, 30, will take over Finolhu Baa Atoll for a week from next Saturday – and they’ve invited up to 160 celebrity friends. Of course, the mother of all freebies doesn’t come without strings attached. And the sisters have promised to blitz social media with endless selfies, bringing a fortune in free advertising, thanks to Cara’s 35 million Instagram followers.”
35 million followers is nearly DOUBLE the next most popular Instagrammer to visit the Maldives (Huda Kattan who visited Huvafenfushi and Shanri-La Villingili has 16 million).
For more savoury sizzle, LUX South Ari Atoll has long been a leader in culinary creativity especially with its venti virtuosity and flapjack finesse. But it has taken its palatable palette to a whole new level (as well as to all its guests) with the hosting of international food artist Samantha Lee last week. From 7-8 December at the Umami restaurant, Lee hosted workshops to teach appetizing artisans a few tricks to her dinner table tableau.
- “Learn and create whimsical, colourful yet unique meals as you witness this talented artist in action. Using only fresh and healthy ingredients, her creative approach will leave you in awe and wanting more.”
The resort shared a ton of pictures on its Facebook page in the album “International Food Artist – Samantha Lee” (see a few select pix below)