I may not be a Victoria Secret model, but Medhufushi give me my own paradise photoshoot perch. Now’s the time we are putting together our holiday greeting card with photos from the year’s high points (which every Maldives trip tops). No need to be clamouring over palm trees for that tropical shot when you have a convenient seat-sized one handy. Appropriate for swimsuits or evening wear.
Tonight is the Victoria Secret Fashion Show where international “angels” (the colloquial moniker for the VS models) hit the runway in little more than bikini-equivalents. But in the paradise that is the Maldives, you can readily see Victoria Secret models all year round. Here is the Maldives Complete 2017 collection of Victoria Secret models fashionista-ing in the Maldives…
- Rose Huntington-Whiteley (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru [ABOVE]
- Jacquelyn Jablonski (USA) – Constance Moofushi
- Josephine Skriver (Denmark)
- Anja Rubik (Poland) – Cocoa Island
- Candice Swanepoel (South Africa) – W Retreat
- Devon Windsor (USA) – One and Only Reethi Rah
- Eniko Mahilik (Hungary) – Gili Lankanfushi
- Heidi Klum (Germany) – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
- Jessica Van Der Steen (Belgium) – LUX South Ari Atoll
- Jessica Stein (Australia) – W Retreat
- Carmen Pedaru (Estonia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Shanina Shaik (Australia) – Anantara Veli
- Xenia Deli (Moldova) – NIYAMA
When you first start diving, the big bold animals are the most alluring – sleek sharks, hovering turtles, soaring mantas. Over time, you start to get more enchanted by the more elusive creatures – tiny nudibranchs, camouflaged stone fish, hidden octopi. The dive becomes more of a treasure hunt than a safari.
One of the classic, masters of disguise is the leaf fish. If your bucket list includes one of these elusive creatures, then one treasure map is provide by Alexander Von Mende who points us to Mafzoo Giri in the Gaafu Alifu atoll: “You will find a large coral block at around 15m that hosts no less than six residing leaf fish behind a dizzying wall of glass fish.” And if you want the most convenient access, the closest resort is Ayada.
Black Friday and the American Christmas shopping season has started. Thanksgiving yesterday serves as sort of a starting pistol for the Yankee yuletide season. While there are plenty of impatient transgressions, it’s generally considered a bit of poor form to decorate, play carols or otherwise engage in Krimbo merriment until after sleeping off an excess of poultry consumption.
EVERYONE comes home for Thanksgiving. More so than for Christmas. Hence the term “Homecoming” (as in “Homecoming Queen”) which is the big, local school football game where everyone gathers to see friends who have also returned and to build up an appetite while the turkey is cooking at home. As a result, the Friday after (Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday) is nearly always taken off from work. So you have a house full of relatives and a day off. What to do that everyone will enjoy? A trip to the Mall to start Christmas shopping! Also, it’s helpful that everyone is around to help find things everyone wants, check sizing, etc. Hence the near hallowed tradition of “Black Friday” emerged as savvy stores scrambled to grab as much of this early spend from the Christmas fund as possible. Their promotions and marketing just stoked the mania even further till you get the consumer madness we see today.
If you are looking for a present for me, one of the nicest items we saw this summer was Finolhu’s signature ice bucket with a powder blue explorer-chic design. It evokes Alviero Martini’s “Premiere Classe” fashion line (that Lori and I have several pieces of). The resort also features tissue boxes, toiletry boxes and other items and amenities, but the ice bucket is for sale at the shake shack for $200. Dear Santa…
Happy Thanksgiving! Time for a house crowded with loved ones, eating to excess and collapsing on the couch to watch (American) football and, of course, the most famous parade in the world – the Macy’s Parade. Today west of Central Park will be the world epicentre of inimitable dirigibles. In fact, the event features variations on the balloon theme not seen anywhere in the world like “falloons” and “balloonicles”.
To celebrate, Maldives Complete has its own dazzling array of colourful floats and pneumatic treats today. I’ve saved the “classics” – ie. flamingos, unicorns and donuts – for another day and just focused on some of the more zany zeppelins today. And befitting a good Thanksgiving table spread, the menu is packed with a range of birds, fruits and other taste treats. Also, suitable for a good turkey day celebration are a collection of lay lilos for lounging later.
“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” – Charlie Brown
- Anastasia Reshetova and Dasha Sidorova (Russia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi [ABOVE]
- Asha Luna (Canada)
- Marianna Glushchenko (Ukraine) – Club Rannalhi
- Sailor Moona (China) – NIYAMA
- Anya Talyzin (USA) – Athuruga
- Lyudmila Bovkun (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Jammie Panichadar and Hana Lewis (Thailand) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
- Lin Meitien (Japan) – Angaga
- Joan Smalls (Puerto Rico) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Vladlena Kuzmina (Russia) – Vadoo
- Amanda Lynn (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
- Ama Peters (United Kingdom) – Maafushivaru
- Zarah (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
- Est Are (Nigeria) – Maafushivaru
- Iryn Irynich (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Daniella Lugassy (Israel) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
- Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – Huvafenfushi
- Goda G (Lithuania) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
- Maria Eleni Dimou (Greece) – Lily Beach
- Diana Dryn (Ukraine) – LUX South Ari Atoll
- Wendy (Australia) – NIYAMA
- Oksana R. (Russia) – Thoddoo
- Estrella (Hong Kong) – Outrigger Konotta
- Silvie Meis (Germany) – W Maldives
- Cecilia Jacobson (Sweden) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
- Nobluk (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
- Malena Kara (Russia) – Club Rannalhi
- Yulia Len (Russia) – Outrigger Konotta
- Sophia Chong (Singapore) Sheraton Full Moon
It’s not just the fashionistas, but also the fashion itself that needs a good wash. With the sun-drenched sweat, salt-water spray, and copiously applied suntan lotion, clothes are lucky to last a full day in the tropical conditions. Then you have a variety of outfits from snorkelling swimwear (suit and rashguards), lounge-by-the-pool wear, to some breezy comfort clothes for drinks and dinner time.
Most resorts do offer laundry services, but that can start to add up in costs. You can hand wash some underwear in the sink with some hand soap, but it’s a faff, takes forever to dry and doesn’t come out fluffy fresh. It sounds silly but one thing that we missed the most on our longest stay (17 days) was a washing machine to do some laundry. If only we were at Club Med Kani, they offer a complimentary laundry facility with washers, dryers and ironing all at your convenience.
With the warm tropical air and cool ocean breezes, you do as much as possible outside in the Maldives. Certainly, al fresco dining every chance you get. Not to mention, beach versions of every sport there is. Outdoor showers would probably make a list of Top Ten things you only do (or primarily do) in the Maldives. You often will take a couple of refreshing soaks during the day. One after your morning dive or snorkel, one after your afternoon in the sun to freshen up for dinner.
With the glistening water droplets streaming down, it’s also a popular photoshoot Kodak Photo Spot with the fashionista crowd. Here is Maldives Complete the not-so-dirty thirty of the shower set.
- Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu [VIDEO]
- Aggie Lal (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
- Viki Odintcova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Josefine Forsberg (Sweden) – Hideaway Beach
- Marina (Russia) – Irufushi
- Tatyana Kiss (Russia) – Furaveri
- Viktoriya Kabochkina (Russia) – Rihiveli
- McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
- Bar Zomer (Israel) – Amilla Fushi
- Adelina and Alina (Tartarstan) – Soneva Jani
- Anastasia Reshetova (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
- Taylor Mega (Italy) – NIYAMA
- Est Are (Nigeria) – Maafushivaru
- Anna Ryapasova (Russia) – Dusit Thani
- Sierra Furtado (Canada) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Zemfira Jemchujnaya (Russia) – Taj Exotica
- Lera Bukinaa (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
- Svetlana Glagoleva (Russia) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
- Jenny Phm (Vietnam) – Six Senses Laamu
- Milana Koroleva (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Ranuga Sukrasorn (Australia) – Kuramathi
- Mariam Rod (Iran) – Ayada
- Mini Lina (Bosnia) – Amari Havodda
- Victoria Demidova (Russia) – Milaidhoo
- Julia Dybowska (Poland) – JA Manafaru
- Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Mabel (Singapore) – NIYAMA
- Karri Nicholas (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
- Jessica Cabensy (USA) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
- Julia Marchak (Ukraine) – Six Senses Laamu [VIDEO]
Innie, outie and innie/outie. Dual indoor and outdoor showers have become pretty much table stakes at the five-star properties. A few of the higher end properties have introduced the drench waterfall showers. But Amilla Fushi and Finolhu not only feature the drench showers, but also have a triple shower combo with outdoor showers on both the front and back decks.
I’ve always wondered why the Maldives resorts didn’t use more Maldivian artists for room décor. I’ve come across so many impressive talents in my decades of Maldives visits. Their renditions of the Maldivian vignettes are as personal as they are authentic. But my favourite of all resort artwork are the commissioned room paintings for the Summer Island resort revamp.
When I entered my the first room on my resort tour this July, I was stunned by the abstract painting over the bed (see below). It had captured the paradise parfait of colour that define the vistas from any point on any island. White sand, turquoise lagoon, azure ocean, green island, robin’s egg blue sky. This distinctive striation inspired my own graphic design in the header to this blog (see top of page). Also, you can see it in the header picture of the Maldives Complete Facebook page.
Every room has its own unique piece. And the “Do Not Disturb” signs for the door were similar crafted. All the work was done by an in house artist.
Mastery in the master bedrooms.