Best of the Maldives: Sweet Shop – Dhigufaru

Dhigufaru - sweet shop 1

National Dessert Day today. And as soon as you step off the seaplane to Dhigufaru, you feel like you have landed in dessert country. Some resorts greet you with some tropical juice, others with tasty cocktail, but Dhigufaru greets you with an entire sweet shop. Ice cream, cakes, muffins, coffees, drinks all at your disposal. And the arrival jetty is also the best entry point to the resort house reef so you can have a snack when you come in from your snorkelling safari.

Dhigufaru - sweet shop 2

Dhigufaru - sweet shop 3

Bed Decorators Need Spell-Check

Hanemoon

Today is the International Day of Failure. Which happens to be, along with Maldives resorts, my other specialist subject. I’ve written about as much about embracing failure as I have about quirky features at Maldivian resorts. And today I get to combine the two. Enjoy!

  1. Helengeli – According to Wikipedia, “HANE” is either “Hereditary angioneurotic edema” or “High-altitude nuclear explosion”. Neither is probably a happy occurrence to a new bride. [ABOVE]
  2. Cinnamon Dhonveli – The guests weren’t being rude when they said he’d married a cow.
    Cinnamon Dhonveli - spell check
  3. Amilla Fushi – I guess at Amilla they keep track of your achievements and this guest is now at “5”
    Amilla Fushi - congrats
  4. Atomosphere Kanifushi – I’ve posted about Babymoons, Blood Moons, Full Moons, Coconut Moons and Super Moons, but somehow I’ve missed out the basic “Happy Moon”.
    Atmosphere Kanifushi - happy moon
  5. Dhigufaru – Is the “Valentine 2” performing for a romantic duet?
    Dhigufaru - spell check
  6. Hurawalhi – Wow, a baby born on the resort itself!
    Hurawalhi - spell check
  7. J Resort Alidhoo – Unless this is some cryptic formula, this appears to be text slang for “Welcome, Oh My…”
    J Resort Alidhoo - hyphenation
  8. Kuredu – For smaller achievements, I guess this is appropriate.
    Kuredu - congratulation
  9. Meeru – But this one for really big, heavy achievements.
    Meeru - congratiuations
  10. Meeru – It’s no big holiday, it merely Christmas.
    Meeru - Christmad
  11. Mirihi – I know, I know, everyone’s a chritic these days.
    Mirihi - Chritsmas

Best of the Maldives: Cirque de Soleil – Finolhu

Finolhu - cirque 1

Finolhu puts the “Soleil” into the “Cirque de Soleil”. Today is International Sight day and some of the things you will see at Finolhu will make you not believe your eyes (including the occasional mermaid known to visit the island).

Finolhu has a bit of a retro Las Vegas nightlife vibe with its own resident entertainment acts high on showmanship and flair. They’ve featured hoops, silk banners, large hoops, fire dancing by a group called Area 51 which resident for three months. Then they circulate in a fresh set of artistes. When we visited a group from Mexico was there performing every night.

The resort explained that part of their contact is that during the day, the performers must work on new tricks and material. The idea is that the “artists-in-residence” have sort of a bootcamp for developing and refining their craft and act all the while sharing the fresh new work with the resort guests. Finolhu targets young groups early in their career so the booking can be a boost to their careers.

Sometimes resort (and cruise) entertainment can be a bit jaded. Circuit acts going through the motions with their gigs of tired material. But the Finolhu acts had a fresh vitality about them. All the buzz of someone pursuing their dreams and living them every day in paradise. And when they finally do hit the big time and get that headline act in Vegas, you can say you saw them in the original Circles of Sun in the Indian Ocean.

Finolhu - cirque 2

Cute Li’l Fish Day

Octopus brain

The octopus’ Cephalopod cousin, the cuttlefish, is no less intriguing. Itself a clever chappie, they have one of the highest proportions of brain size to body size of all invertebrates. But all the more crazy is that the brain itself is shaped like a donut (a bit of a messed up donut) and the esophagus passes straight through the hole.  They must really get serious brain freeze when they eat ice cream too fast!

QI 14

Octopus coconut shell

  • Q: What colour is the blood of an octopus?
  • A: Red?
  • Q: Buzzzz…no blue.
  • Q: How many hearts does an octopus have?
  • A: Ah, you said “hearts” so it must be 2!
  • Q: Buzzzz…no, they actually have 3.
  • Q: What does the octopus have 8 of that as inspired technological innovations?
  • A: Legs?
  • Q: Buzzz…8 layers of films that make up their cornea – used in camera technology to reduce the number of lens so reducing costs of cameras
  • Q: Give me an incorrect version of the plural for “octopus”.
  • A: “Octopuses”?
  • Q: Buzzzz. Actually “octopuses” is perfectly acceptable English. You can also refer to them as “octopedes”

Octopus Day today. One of our favourite things to see underwater. And yet so elusive. We never see enough of them (although we did have fun encounter on the Olhuveli house reef this summer with the creature in question playing hide-and-seek with us changing his skin texture and colour with every new hiding place her moved to).

If you think the fun facts above are intriguing (thanks Isley), you ain’t seen nothing until you read about the Pillow Octopus…

  • Female pillow octopus is 40,000 times larger than the male.  Equivalent of a male human dating a woman 4 times larger than the Statue of Liberty
  • For a male pillow octopus to “pull one off” is actually more literal than colloquial.  Hectocautilus – arm that contains sperm.  Gets broken off and then they die within a year. Only reproduce once. (Female dies after reproducing too)
  • Pillow Octopus are known to rip of tentacles of a portugese man-o-war (built up resistance to poison) and use them as swords.  Some octopuses have learned to open jars (where their food was kept)

Octopi are clever creatures.  They have personality and have been observed playing, problem solving, learning.  In fact, some octopus use coconut shell halves as a portable home (see photo at top). 

Octopus’s garden in the sea is a curious place indeed.

Best of the Maldives: Social Media Mob – W Maldives

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 3

One resort with its own collection of Instagram luminaries is W Maldives:

  • “Reebok Women invited 12 ladies from Southeast Asia and the Pacific to W Maldives as the faces and voices of their #PerfectNever campaign in the region, with the aim of flipping the conventional notion of perfectionThese are influencers with a huge following on social media and admired for their flawless lifestyles. With the #PerfectNever campaign set in the perfect environment, the aim of the happening was to show that there are more to these women than the airbrushed images on their social media accounts – the grit and the determination that makes them human and ‘perfect’ in their own way.”

Already a top 10 resort for attracting Insgrammer fashionistas, this esteemed group of snappers add another 7.7 million followers to their tally. Rest assured that Maldives Complete will be featuring many of the snaps shared on their popular Instagram feeds in upcoming photoshoot collections, but if you can’t wait, here is the list of Instagrammer stars and their feeds…

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 1

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 2

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Instagram – Velaa

Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa

Nine years ago today, Instagram was unleashed on the world. Maldives Complete had already been on the web for nearly a year at the time. Instagram has come a bit further since ;-). It has emerged as the social media of choice for the celebrity and fashionista class. The photo-based platform suits the beautiful people crowd quite well.

Instagram has changed our world and even Maldives Complete. The “Celebrity Visited” field in the resort profile has been a part of the site from the get-go and was gleaned mostly from press reports and celeb sponsored visits travel pieces. But Instagram has turned both the information and photo op spigot full on. I introduced the “Fashion” section of the blog two years ago this month and it has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular features.

So who is the “Best of the Maldives” at attracting Instagram followers through its guests? Velaa – they have the largest total number of aggregate celeb guest followers (117,790,176), as well top (tied) position for most Top 20 guests (3, along with Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru).

Here are few other fun figures about the sun-kissed figures…

  • Followers: Each cluster of an order of magnitude of followers all had between 300-400 fashionistas.
    • < 10k followers:     341 visitors
    • 1k – 10k:         454
    • 10k – 100k:    468
    • 100k – 1m:     347
    • > 1m:               106
  • Occupation – Entertainment was the dominant field here with creative and sporty type following.
 

RESORT

FOLLOWERS

1

Velaa

130,684,342

2

NIYAMA

108,835,373

3

Finolhu

57,357,484

4

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

57,100,000

5

Cheval Blanc Randheli

44,084,145

6

One & Only Reethi Rah

43,016,283

7

Huvafenfushi

35,564,912

8

Six Senses Laamu

34,504,716

9

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

23,093,022

10

W Retreat

13,266,346

 

OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1

Singer / Musician

215,354,798

2

Model

201,904,735

3

Actress / Presenter

125,240,233

4 Blogger / Designer

99,388,622

5

Athlete

6,912,456

6

Dancer / Yoga

6,323,516

 

COUNTRY

FOLLOWERS

1

USA

130,684,342

2

United Kingdom

108,835,373

3

Russia

57,357,484

4

Barbados

57,100,000

5

India

44,084,145

6

Columbia

43,016,283

7

Thailand

35,564,912

8

Brazil

34,504,716

9

Australia

23,093,022

10

Philippines

13,266,346

 

INSTRAGRAMMER

COUNTRY

RESORT OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1 Jennifer Lopez

USA

Velaa Singer

68,600,000

2 Rhianna

Barbados

NIYAMA Singer

51,700,000

3 Shakira

Columbia

Velaa Singer

42,700,000

4 Cara Delevingne

United Kingdom

Finolhu Model

40,600,000

5 Bruna Marquezine Brazil Cheval Blanc Actress 22,600,000
6 Huda Kattan USA Huvafenfushi Blogger 15,200,000
7 Jacqueline Fernandez

India

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 13,800,000
8 Rita Ora United Kingdom Palm Beach Singer 11,400,000
9 Victoria Beckham United Kingdom One & Only Reethi Rah Singer 8,900,000
10 Aum Patchrana Thailand Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Actress 7,400,000
11 Roe Huntington-Whiteley

United Kingdom

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Model 7,400,000
12 Zoe Sugg United Kingdom Ranveli Blogger 6,800,000
13 Park Shin-hye South Korea Soneva Jani Model 6,600,000
14 Davika

Thailand

Club Med Finolhu Villas Designer 6,400,000
15 Kimberley Anne Tiamsiri Thailand Kanuhura Actress 5,700,000
16 Belén Rodríguez

Argentina

One & Only Reethi Rah Model 5,600,000
17 Paris Hilton USA Velaa Model 5,600,000
18 Eva Gutowski USA Six Senses Laamu Blogger 5,400,000
19 Aliaa Bhaat India Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 5,200,000
20 Sveta Bilyalova Russia LUX South Ari Atoll Model 4,900,000

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Warrior – Kanuhura

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 1

For a traditional twist on military-grade training, Kanuhura offers Maldivian Warrior training…

  • “Maldivian warrior is a bootcamp fitness course on the beach inspired by what Maldivians would have used in the past to keep fit before air-conditioned gyms came to the country. It’s a blend of calisthenics and exercises on the beach using wooden blocks, logs and heavy stones, followed by a swim in the lagoon and a run around the beach (over 3km to get round the island once).”

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 3

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 2

Best of the Maldives: TRX Training – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 1

If you need a bit of help waistline effects of sumptuous holiday treats, then Amilla Fushi can firm up both your body and your discipline…

  • “TheTRX was birthed in the Navy SEALS, a 60minutes suspension training body weight exercise that develops strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously. TRX is a fabulous training tool that leverage gravity together with your body weight to increase fitness, strengthen and tone muscles. An intense full body workout just for you.”

Sir, yes sir!  TRX, a treat!  

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 2

Best of the Maldives: Pastry Class – W Retreat

W Retreat - pastry class

Just before the coffee, is the dessert course and the W Maldives is taking those to treats to an equally artistic level. Star chef Julien Alvarex visited the resort to share his ganache guidance and coulis coaching to not just staff, but guests as well…

  • “W Maldives has partnered with World’s Best Pastry Chef Julien Alvarez to host a series of culinary events on its tropical playground in September 2017. His signature style incorporates unique design of desserts, amazing combination of colours, tastes and impressive decoration techniques.”

Béatrice Peltre once said, “Dessert is to a meal what a dress is to a woman,” if that’s the case, then W Retreat is the must-have haute couture this season.

W Retreat - pastry class 2

W Retreat - pastry class 3