Best of the Maldives: Garden Wall – Kandima

Kandima - hanging garden 2

Kandima not only has a distinctive horizontal surface, it also boasts one of the most striking vertical surfaces in the Maldives (in fact, you can also see one of the walls behind the table in yesterday’s post). Such hanging gardens are as wonder-ful now as they were in times of Babylon. Last spring, we visited Singapore who’s signature attraction are such gardens draped over giant palm tree shaped frames and illuminated at night with colourful lights set to music. That’s taking natural materials and green design to an entirely new level (well, at least the second floor). Thanks Paola.

Kandima - hanging garden 1

Best of the Maldives: Topological Table – Kanuhura / Kandima

Kandima Kanuhura topological table

Today’s “Best Of” is sort of a “half” have-seen. Like the one in the 12th edition of “Haven’t Seen Yet” (#2) with the ocean inspired table at both Kandima and Kanuhura resorts. I call it “half seen” because while the style is precisely what I thought ideal for a Maldives resort, my fantasy is one constructed based on the actual topology of the island (and its underwater house reef).

Best of the Maldives: India – Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica - India

When it comes to subcontinent vibe, Taj Exotica is the most authentic slice of India in the Indian Ocean. In fact, it by far the most popular resort for the Bollywood starlet with 5 out of 25 of yesterday’s list visiting Taj Exotica (no other resort has more than two). The character is not surprising as the Taj chain itself is based in India. The whole property is infused with Indian touches and flavours. For example, The Presidential overwater suite (photo above) features “Ghanta” bells considered to be an auspicious sound. Other India distinctions, I have already highlighted in previous Best of the Maldives pieces…

Taj Exotica isn’t alone with some India flavoured distinctions so with this post, I’ve added the “India” tag for all those Indo-culture fans out there.

Bolly High

Disha Patani (India) - W Maldives

Maldives aren’t the only Laccadive country celebrating its National Day this week. Today’s is India’s own Republic Day. The icons of the subcontinent that are swinging through the Maldives with increasing regularity are the stars of Bollywood (check out “Why Maldives Was The Ultimate Holiday Destination For Bollywood”). The fashionista database includes these Indian film stars, but curiously the biggest Bollywood star to visit the Maldives is from…Sri Lanka (Jaqueline Fernandez with 16.4m Instagram followers).

Here are the top 25 stars to visit the Maldives ranked by Instagram followers. Instagram is sort of a popularity ranking. At the bottom of the post, I’ve included a table that also includes their Wikipedia word count which is usually more reflective of how much they have done)…

  1. Disha Patani (India) – W Maldives [ABOVE]
      
  2. Alia Bhaat (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Alia Bhaat (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
        
  3. Yami Gautam (India) – Taj Exotica
    Yami Gautam (India) - Taj Exotica
        
  4. Deepika Padukone (India) – Taj Exotica
    Deepika Padukone (India) – Taj Exotica
  5. Sonam Kapoor (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Sonam Kapoor (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
       
  6. Hina Khan (India) – Taj Exotica
    Taj Exotica - Hina Khan
         
  7. Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

        
  8. Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  9. Anita H Reddy (India) – Meedhupparu
    Anita H Reddy (India) – Meedhupparu
        
  10. Fatima Sana Shaikh (India)
    Fatima Sana Shaikh (India)
       
  11. Nia Sharma (India) – Meedhupparu
    Nia Sharma (India) - Meedhupparu
       
  12. Shriya Saran (India)
    Shriya Saran (India)
        
  13. Katrina Kaif (India) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Katrina Kaif (India) - Shangri-La Vilingili 2
       
  14. Sushimita Sen (India) – Taj Exotica
    Sushimita Sen (India) – Taj Exotica
       
  15. Juhi Chawla (India) – Six Senses Laamu
    Juhi Chawla (India) - Six Senses Laamu
       
  16. Shenaz Treasury (India) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Shenaz Treasury (India) - Shangri-La Vilingili
       
  17. Gizele Thakral (India) – Sun Island
    Gizele Thakral (India) - Sun Island
       
  18. Mandira Bedi (India) – Hideaway Beach
    Mandira Bedi (India) – Hideaway Beach
        
  19. Sarah-Jane Dias (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Sarah-Jane Dias (India) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
        
  20. Lisa Haydon (India)
    Lisa Haydon (India)
       
  21. Poonam Pandey (India) – Sheraton Full Moon
    Poonam Pandey (India)
        
  22. Shilpa Shetty (India) – Taj Exotica
    Taj Exotic - Shilpa Shetty
        
  23. Samita Bangargi (India) – Lily Beach
    Lily Beach - Samita Bangargi hat
         
  24. Ragini Dwivedi (India) – Sheraton Full Moon
    Ragini Dwivedi (India) – Sheraton Full Moon
        
  25. Malaika Arora Khan (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Malaika Arora Khan (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli

     

 

Actress

Resort

Wiki Words

Instagram Followers

1

Disha Patani

W Maldives

187

8,600,000

2

Aliaa Bhaat

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

1693

5,200,000

3

Yami Gautam

Taj Exotica

965

4,900,000

4

Deepika Padukone

Taj Exotica

4984

3,000,000

5

Sonam Kapoor

Jumeirah Vittaveli

2202

2,500,000

6

Hina Khan

Taj Exotica

106

2,100,000

7

Sonakshi Sinha

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

1716

1,900,000

8

Bipasha Basu

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

2761

1,100,000

9

Anita H Reddy

Meedhupparu

312

949,000

10

Fatima Sana Shaikh

 

389

891,000

11

Nia Sharma

Meedhupparu

311

793,000

12

Shriya Saran

 

3789

699,000

13

Katrina Kaif

Shangri-La Vilingili

4750

528,000

14

Sushimita Sen

Taj Exotica

1200

413,000

15

Juhi Chawla

Six Senses Laamu

5714

392,000

16

Shenaz Treasury

Shangri-La Vilingili

529

219,000

17

Gizele Thakral

Sun Island

271

146,000

18

Mandira Bedi

Hideaway Beach

429

117,000

19

Sarah-Jane Dias

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

459

86,500

20

Lisa Haydon

 

923

82,300

21

Poonam Pandey

Sheraton Full Moon

456

70,000

22

Shilpa Shetty

Taj Exotica

4710

41,500

23

Samita Bangargi

Lily Beach

245

8,618

24

Ragini Dwivedi

Sheraton Full Moon

1001

6,221

25

Malaika Arora Khan

Jumeirah Vittaveli

969

961

Swinging Maldivian Style

Sana Lantana and Aleona Lynx - AaaVeee

Maldives National Day today. A public holiday to both relax and commemorate all things Maldivian. And few things do both better than the iconic Maldivian swing. Like a mini-hammock seat. Trust the Maldivians, in their tropical paradise, to innovate on the concept of a hammock. And trust the fashionistas to turn such a fun amenity into a Kodak moment…


  1. Sana Lantana and Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee [ABOVE]
  2. Alina Oliinyk (Ukraine) – Maafushi
    Alina Oliinyk (Ukraine) - Maafushi
       
  3. Yana Leventseva (Thailand) – Royal
    Yana Leventseva (Thailand) - Royal
       
  4. Simona Kateivaitė (Lithuania) – Club Rannalhi
    Simona Kateivaitė (Lithuania) - Club Rannalhi
       
  5. Albina (Russia) – Meedhupparu
  6. Albina (Russia) - Meedhupparu
       
  7. Maria Milovskaya (Russia)
    Maria Milovskaya (Russia)
       
  8. Sarah-Jane Dias (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Sarah-Jane Dias (India) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  9. Honorata Skarbek (Poland)
    Honorata Skarbek (Poland)
       
  10. Lady Boss (Russia) – Kamadhoo
    Lady Boss (Russia) - Kamadhoo
       
  11. Kate B. Kate (Poland) – Sun Island
    Kate B Kate (Poland) - Sun Island
       
  12. Pixie Bella (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Pixie Bella (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  13. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
       
  14. Alessia Marcuzzi (Italy) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Alessia Marcuzzi (Italy) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
       
  15. Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee
    Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee - 2
       
  16. Eryka Yar (USA) – AaaVeee
    Eryka Yar (USA) - AaaVeee
     
        
  17. Lydia (Poland) – Vilamendhoo
    Lydia (Poland) – Vilamendhoo

      
  18. Sylvia Matzkowiak (Germany) – LUX Maldives
    Sylvia Matzkowiak (Germany) – LUX Maldives
       
  19. Diana Penty (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Diana Penty (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  20. Son Ye-Jin (South Korea) – LUX Maldives
    Son Ye-Jin (South Korea) – LUX Maldives

Best of the Maldives: Table Tennis Area – Rihiveli Beach

Rihiveli Beach - table tennis area

Pretty much every resort will offer a table tennis table. Some even have elaborate outdoor pavilions, but I haven’t seen any ping pong area as stadium-eque Rihiveli Beach’s beach bar. They have set the table in a sunken area with a couple of rows of raked seating around the sides. Perfect for that family holiday grand championship tourney.

Best of the Maldives: Tennis Club – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - tennis club 1

The Australian Open is in full swing this week kicking off the 2018 Grand Slam season. For a bit of Aussie tennis in the Maldives, the best courtside seats are Amilla Fushi. A number of resorts have invested on some pretty sophisticated tennis facilities, but Amilla Fushi has the biggest range of tennis amenities I have seen at their “LUX Tennis” club

  • ·Two floodlit tennis courts, nestled amid tropical trees – Amilla allows guests improve every aspect of their game through personalised tennis programmes and events. Amilla has partnered with LUX Tennis, which provides professional tennis coaches to luxury resorts and private clients worldwide for a tailored solution that manages all tennis activities.”

The “club” offers lessons and player partners with ATP Pros, exhibition matches by visiting ATP Tour players, kids instruction, ball machine (see photo below)and serve speed radar. Not to mention a range of rackets and tennis wear including shoes. A bit of above and beyond by the resort from down under.

Amilla Fushi - tennis club 2

Best of the Maldives: Whale Bar – St. Regis Vommuli

Vommuli - whale bar

Someone who needs no straw in the Maldives is the legendary whale shark. It cruises the ocean with it’s up to 5 foot wide mouth completely open actively sucking in seawater which it runs across filter pads on its gills which sift out plankton, fish eggs, baby shrimp, etc.

At St. Regis Vommuli, you can get sucked into the mouth of the aquatic beast to quaff your own liquid nourishment at their award winning “Whale Bar”

  • “A tropical bar in the Maldives designed to make guests feel like they’re in the mouth of a giant whale emerged the big winner at international design awards held in London. The Whale Bar, St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, dreamed up by the Singapore and London-based design group WOW Architects l Warner Wong Design, beat out luxury hotels, residences, and restaurants around the world to be declared the most beautifully designed space at the SBID International Design Awards 2017. From the outside, the bar’s distinctive shape recalls the carcass of a giant whale shark. Inside, guests sip on cocktails against light-oak interiors, a soft neutral palette and Maldivian art.”

The whole concept reminded me of a tradition I read about when I first visited the Maldives for coming-of-age young men. Boys, often no more than 13 years old, would jump off a boat with a rope in hand, free dive into the water where a whale shark was swimming, SWIM INTO THE WHALE SHARKS MOUTH, and then OUT ITS GILLS, hence lassoing the fish. Young boys were the just small enough to pull off this crazy feat. I would certainly consider someone to have proven their “manhood” if they did such a thing. Not surprisingly, the government prohibited this practice years ago because too many young lads were drowning in the effort.

I would much rather toast my arrival at manhood at the Whale Bar, methinks.

(With this post, I’ve added the new topic tag of “Design”.)

Best of the Maldives: Eco Straws – Anantara

Anantara - eco straws

Happy New Year 2018! Time to set resolutions for the year ahead. Usually New Year’s Resolutions are about making ourselves better, but Anantara is leading the way with its resolution to make its properties better at making the world better…

  • “From January 1, every [Anantara] hotel, restaurant and bar at the resorts throughout Asia will use alternatives to plastic for people to sip their drinks through. Biodegradable and recyclable alternatives will replace the 2.5 million plastic straws that had been used every year.”

What’s your eco-resolution to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle?