Best of the Maldives: Halloween Party – Hideaway Beach

Hideaway Beach - halloween party

Happy Halloween!

When we moved to the UK in the early nineties, the British didn’t really celebrate Halloween. It’s since become a more popular holiday, but nothing on par with the USA where it is the second biggest celebration after Christmas. It’s sort of the dream kids holiday – they get to dress up and get free candy. Not wanting to deprive our own little ones of this annual ritual, we hosted our own quite spooktacular Halloween fun all through their childhood and became quite expert in these lavish affairs.

Many resorts will have a few decorations out today and a few sweeties on hand for the young’uns, but Hideaway Beach is the first resort I found that has assembled a comprehensive set of Halloween festivities with all the de rigeur traditions…

  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Creepy Mask Making
  • A Spooky Movie
  • Scary & Spooky Face Paint
  • Trick or Treat Activities
  • Fashion Show Costume Contest

Appropriately, Hideaway Beach is where we first (and only time) spotted a Ghost Pipe Fish (see photo below).  Which make me think that if I could get to the Maldives for Halloween, I would go dresses as a Batfish (Batfish crazy!).

Hideaway Beach - ghost pipe fish

Best of the Maldives: Mens Grooming – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah shave

Holidays are when you often take a break from the hassle of personal grooming. Sometime you even go the whole time neglecting it returning with the ‘holiday beard’. But if you are in the need of a bit of holiday man-scaping, then One & Only Reethi Rah’sBarber and Blade” spa provides a classic grooming and shaving studio with treatments as soothing as the Maldives ocean breezes…

  • “Appointments take place within the private rooms dedicated to gentlemen’s grooming equipped with sleek leather barber chairs, specially designed for One&Only Reethi Rah by Anderson/Miller Ltd. The studio allows guests to feel comfortable and relaxed whilst a dedicated team of grooming experts are on hand to provide a bespoke grooming routine – ensuring that all gentlemen look and feel their best. Barber and Blade exclusively offers Gentlemen’s Tonic products…The treatment menu features basic shaves to beard designs, colouring services and four signature grooming experiences, including the 70-minute Ultimate One&Only Wet Shave.”

The barber shave is a bit of a dying art in with the advent of advanced razors, but they remain one of the few decadent “beauty” treatments men get to enjoy. No matter how many blades you have on your Mach X razor, you will never get as close as a trained professional who is not having to negotiate through a mirror. Furthermore, one of the keys to a close and comfortable shave is the preparation – steaming towel and creamy balm to soften the skin and whiskers. Something few men shaving take enough time to do. And having the hot towel on your face in a chair is as relaxing as it is soothing.

I treated all my groomsmen to a classic shave on my wedding day and we had as much fun (and looked as almost as smart) as the bridesmaids who enjoyed the beauty parlor. And on our recent trip sailing in the Greek isles, we came upon an old school barber offering shaves and it was one of the decadent high points of the holiday sitting in the chair being pampered while listening to the sounds of the bustling port town outside.

Shear luxury.

Best of the Maldives: Sheep – Finolhu

Finolhu - sheep on a beach

Hug a Sheep Day today!  Aka “I love ewe” day for all ovinophiles If you hadn’t herd, Finolhu has adopted the fluffy cloven-hoofed ruminants as their resort mascot in a nod to their location in the eponymous Baa Atoll (or should be say “Baaaaaa Atoll”). Various woolly figures are found all over the island (see photos). So maybe skip the lamb curry today out of respect.

Finolhu - sheep 3

Finolhu - golden sheep

Finolhu - sheep 2

Best of the Maldives: Pakora Station – Olhuveli

Olhuveli - pakora station

I always delight in finding things at resorts that I haven’t come across before in other resorts. I especially delight in finding things I had never come across ever in my life. So it was with Olhuveli’s “Pakora”, a kind of ghee-fried fritter. London and the UK is not short of Indian cuisine, but I have never had a pakora in decades of living here. Not to mention visiting the Indian Ocean neighbour for nearly as long. And not only did the resort offer the treat, but they had a special “Pakora Station” which made several variations on the culinary theme fresh to order.

I’ve also decide to add a “Station” tag to the blog to highlight the distinctive “fresh, made to order” preparations available at buffets around the Maldives.

स्वादिष्ट.

Best of the Maldives: Coconut Stand – Finolhu

Finolhu - coconut stand 1

Coconuts are the bounty of the Maldivian plots of sand. On nearly any island, some staff member will – often a gardener with a machete for clearing – will grab you one, open up a whole with a few well-placed hacks and let you sip its succulent coconut water. When you’re done, he will also slice the fruit open so you can nibble on the tender coconut meat inside. A modest gift of a few dollars is always appreciated in return. Finolhu has parked up a more stylish outlet for noshing on some nucifera. An iconic VW bus in pastel robin’s egg blue with a coconut stand right by the pool so you can sample with tropical treat whenever the mood strikes.

Best of the Maldives: Oktoberfest – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Oktoberfest

München in the Maldives. Jumeirah Vittaveli celebrated a colourful festival of its own during this eponymous month – Oktoberfest.

  • “Jumeirah Vittaveli is proud to announce their collaboration with an authentic Bavarian costume designer – Daniel Fendler has been designing stylish ‘Tracht’ for more than 15 years…Guests visiting beachside restaurant MU Beach Bar & Grill will be welcomed by waitresses and waiters decked out in authentic Bavarian garb – from Dirndl, over apron, to Lederhosen for the gentlemen. With the mood properly set for a fun day in the sun, the resort’s ‘Bierzelt-Bedienungen’ (waiters/waitresses) will serve guests a selection of authentic Bavarian dishes such as Nuernberger, Frankfurter or Kasseler Rippchen, accompanied by a traditional refreshing German drink.”

In fact, we recently helped host an Oktoberfest in our back garden. It is such a lively tradition focused on food, beer and music.

Prost! O’zapft.

Best of the Maldives: Artists Collective – Kandima

Kandima - artists 1

Today’s post is also sort of a “Finally Seen”. I’ve been telling resorts for years that they should commission Aima Musko to do art pieces for their villa.  She is one of the finest artistic talents in the Maldives and I can proudly say that I was Aimee’s very first customer to buy one of her paintings. Well, finally, Aimee – and a number of other fellow Maldivian artists – are being assembled by a resort, Kandima for their KULA ‘programme’ (they refer to it as an ‘exhibition’, but it is really more like a resident festival):

  • “KULA means ‘Colours’ in Dhivehi and it is our vision that this programme will support the full spectrum of the contemporary creative arts, from local crafts, fashion, digital photography, videography to music, and open up new horizons for the local art community like never before. The entire resort will be a glorious art gallery and thanks to collaboration with MAC (Maldives Artists Community, a local art NGO with over 100 members), Kandima Maldives is set to host regular exhibitions and exciting performances by local artists. There will be live art demonstrations and guests can unleash their inner Picasso with classes at Kandima’s very own Art Studio. Set on the edge of a natural lake, it will be one of the most peaceful locations on the island, giving both guests and artists the inspiration and calm space they need to create their masterpiece!”

Colour me delighted.

Kandima - artists 2

Best of the Maldives: Instagram Butler – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali - Instagram butler

Yes, another you read it here first “Finally Seen” in the Maldives. Conrad Rangali has introduced the “world’s first Instagram Butler”. I’m not sure about that claim since I raised this idea nearly two years ago – #2 in Part 7. However, that was a “Social Media Concierge” and maybe no one has yet just focused on Instragram. Here are some details of their offer…

  • “Conducting tours around Rangali Island’s most photogenic locations, all the while offering advice on the best times of day to photograph and the optimal camera angles to use…Stop-offs along the way, on what the hotel calls the #Instatrail, include a traditional Maldivian swing on the beach (an undholi), and Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant. But the fun isn’t limited to the walkabout. Yoga enthusiasts can take part in classes whilst at the same time receiving tips from the hotel’s resident instructor on how to strike the most Instagrammable poses. The Instagram Butler service, which the hotel believes to be the first of its kind, can also be combined with a number of special itineraries curated by the hotel in order to lend an alternative to the usual Maldivian photo-fodder of white sand beaches, curvaceous palm trees and turquoise seas.”

Ma’m, would you like filter cropping for breakfast today?

Follow Th(r)ee

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa - Nataly Osmann

The anniversary of anniversaries for the photoshoot pose of poses. Nataly and Murad Osmann who inspired a generation of fashionistas and Instagrammers with their iconic “Follow Me” poses. Here is a record collection (nifty fifty) of the top examples this year for the third annual post…

  1. Nataly Osmann (Russia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  2. Xenia Van Der Woodsen (Germany) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Xenia Van Der Woodsen (Germany) – One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  3. Leonie Hanne (Germany) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Leonie Hanne (Germany) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
      
  4. Tiicha Kipza (Thailand) – Safari Island
    Tiicha Kipza (Thailand) - Safari Island
      
  5. La Bella Stella (Poland) – Milaidhoo
    La Bella Stella (Poland) - Milaidhoo
      
  6. Anna Barykina (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Anna Barykina (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  7. Chiahang Hsu (Taiwan) – The Residence
    Chiahang Hsu (Taiwan) - The Residence
      
  8. Haylsa Andersen (Australia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Haylsa Andersen (Australia) - Anantara Dhigu
       
  9. Melissa Celestine Koh (Singapore) – W Maldives
    Melissa Celestine Koh (Singapore) - W Retreat
       
  10. Sina Diwe (Germany) – Safari Island
    Sina Diwe (Germany) - Safari Island
      
  11. Jinah (Maldives) – Bandos
    Jinah (Maldives) - Bandos
      
  12. Hana Chick (Czech) – Royal Island
    Hana Chick (Czech) - Royal Island
       
  13. Hsiao Tien (Taiwan) – Maafushi
    Hsiao Tien (Taiwan) – Maafushi
       
  14. Maria (Thailand) – Veligandu
    Maria (Thailand) - Veligandu
       
  15. Yanathip Ang (Thailand) – Club Rannalhi
    Yanathip Ang (Thailand) - Club Rannalhi
  16. Ella Abdokulib (Russia) – Olhuveli
    Ella Abdokulib (Russia) - Olhuveli

       
  17. Melinda Bam (South Africa) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Melinda Bam (South Africa) - Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
       
  18. Sheena (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
    Sheena (United Kingdom) - Conrad Rangali
        
  19. Ana Cecília Sabbá (Brazil) –Taj Exotica
    Ana Cecília Sabbá (Brazil) -Taj Exotica
       
  20. Ali Dixon (Australia) – Kandooma
    Ali Dixon (Australia)
       
  21. Kiersten Rich (USA) – Meeru
    Kiersten Rich (USA) - Meeru
       
  22. Ale Chedraui (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu
    Ale Chedraui (Spain) - Anantara Dhigu 2
       
  23. Athina Oikonomakou (Greece) – Ayada
    Athina Oikonomakou (Greece) - Ayada
       
  24. Coco Airi (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Coco Airi (Japan) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  25. Joey Lim (Malaysia) – W Maldives
    Joey Lim (Malaysia) - W Retreat
       
  26. My Tram (Vietnam) – Olhuveli
    My Tram (Vietnam) - Olhuveli
       
  27. Nozipho Zulu (South Africa) – Vilu Reef
    Nozipho Zulu (South Africa) - Vilu Reef
        
  28. Katusha Lobanova (Russia) – Cocoon
    Katusha Lobanova (Russia)
       
  29. Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  30. Lisa (USA) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Lisa (USA) - Jumeirah Vittaveli
       
  31. Joanago Mez (Philippines) – Embudu
    Joanago Mez (Philippines) - Embudu
       
  32. Viktoria (Azerbaijan) – Ayada
    Viktoria (Azerbaijan) – Ayada
       
  33. Yuna Yamamoto (Japan) – Embudu
    Yuna Yamamoto (Japan) – Embudu
       
  34. Chiara Bianco (Italy) – Kihaad
    Chiara Bianco (Italy) - Kihaad
       
  35. Natalie Yuen (Hong Kong) – Six Senses Laamu
    Natalie Yuen (Hong Kong) - Six Senses Laamu
       
  36. Julia (Ukraine) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Julia (Ukraine) - Club Med Finolhu Villas

       
  37. Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) - LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  38. Shatila Halim (Malaysia) – Maafushi
    Shatila Halim (Malaysia) - Maafushi
       
  39. Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Six Senses Laamu
    Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) - Six Senses Laamu
      
  40. Mary Shum (Russia) – Ranveli
    Mary Shum (Russia) - Ranveli
       
  41. Giulia (Italy) – Dhiggiri
    Giulia (Italy) - Dhiggiri

        
  42. June (Singapore) – Centara Grand
    June (Singapore) - Centara Grand
       
  43. Lizzie Sung (Taiwan) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Lizzie Sung (Taiwan) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
      
  44. Danielle Sandhu (United Kingdom) – NIYAMA
    Danielle Sandhu (United Kingdom) - Conrad Rangali
       
  45. Emily Erdbeer (Germany) – Kihaad
    Emily Erdbeer (Germany) - Kihaad 
       
  46. M&D (Poland) – Alidhoo
    M&D (Poland) – Alidhoo
       
  47. Kristin Dora (Philippines) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Kristin Dora (Philippines) - Centara Ras Fushi
       
  48. Viktoria Devil (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Viktoria Devil (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi - 2
       
  49. Sophie Eini Gatilov (Israel) – Velassaru
    Sophie Eini Gatilov (Israel) – Velassaru
      
  50. Olga Glebowska (Poland) – Royal Island
    Olga Glebowska (Poland) - Royal Island