Best of the Maldives: Wine Coral Pairing – Nika

Nika - coral pairing 1

Wine complements the finest treats especially when matched expertly to complement the spirit and essence of the sensory banquet. The Nika resort has extended this concept to new extents (or depths) with their innovative “Coral Pairing” (thanks Paola):

  • “Nika Island Resort and Spa has hosted an original experiment, pairing an array of native corals with wine. Titled “Metafore” and held with the technical support of leading winer supplier Grape Expectations, the event witnessed white, red and black corals being paired with a special selection of wines according to their colour, pattern and biological peculiarities. The experiment allowed Nika not only to offer its guests a curious selection of wines, but also to bridge the art of wine making with coral, a typical Maldivian thing of beauty. Edoardo Caccin, External Director at Nika explains: ‘a metaphor is a literary figure of speech used to describe a subject by comparing it to something else. The comparison gives the qualities of one thing to another that is usually unrelated. We asked ourselves: if coral could be wine, which wine would it be?’ Dora Dzurjak, Grape Expectations’ sommelier and wine educator, guided Nika’s guests through witty and ambitious associations. The beautiful and sophisticated pattern of Brain Coral was paired with the white wine Weinhaus Ress Rheingau Riesling Trocken. As far as red wine was involved, Dora made a match between Sileni estates The Plateau Pinot Noir and the Organ Pipe Coral. The sommelier’s inspiration came from its unique hard skeleton of calcium carbonate containing many organ pipe-like tubes.”

Zymology and Zooxanthellae!

Nika - coral pairing 2

Best of the Maldives: Michelin Stars – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - Michellin meals

A meal by a Michelin-starred chef is a thing of beauty. A number of Michelin honorees have visited as guest chefs before, but no resort has assembled quite the Menu Gourmand of variety as Soneva Fushi’s banquet of culinary talent:

“Soneva and the Michelin Guide will be jointly promoting the following chef events, most of which feature chefs from restaurants worldwide with two or three Michelin stars:

  • August 26-31, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Kiko Moya, from two-starred Spanish restaurant L’Escaletta
  • October 7-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Gert de Mangeleer, from three-starred Belgium restaurant Hertog Jan
  • October 15-21, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Bruno Oger, from two-starred French restaurant La Villa Archange
  • November 5-12, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Yoann Conte, from two-starred French restaurant Bord du Lac
  • November 25-December 2, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Pere Planaguma, from two-starred Spanish restaurant Les Col
  • December 5-14, 2018 at Soneva Fushi: Tim Raue, from two-starred German Restaurant Tim Raue
  • December 22, 2018-January 4, 2019 at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani: Ronan Kervarrec, from two-starred French restaurant La Table de Plaisance
  • February 14-17, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Tom Aikens, from two-starred UK restaurant Toms Kitchen
  • March 4-9, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Guillaume Bracaval, from two-starred French restaurant Michel Troisgros
  • October 6-11, 2019 at Soneva Fushi: Maxime Meilleur, from three-starred French restaurant La Bouitte

Starry starry delight!

Day of Beauty

Kate Onyshchenko (Russia) - Paradise Island]

The International Day of Beauty today for the rest of the world, but every day is a day of beauty in the Maldives especially for the fashionista crowd’s beauties a bevy of which are sauntering on the sand today here (also a harbinger to London Fashion Week in a few days):

  1. Kate Onyshchenko (Russia) – Paradise Island [ABOVE]
  2. Karina Volodina (Russia) – Sun Island
    Karina Volodina (Russia) - Sun Island
  3. Maria Sionova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Maria Sionova (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
  4. Valeria Orsini (Columbia) – Reethi Faru
    Valeria Orsini (Columbia) - Reethi Faru
  5. Aleksandra Belousova (Russia) – Angsana Velavaru
    Aleksandra Belousova (Russia) - Angsana Velavaru
  6. Kseniya Storozhko (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Kseniya Storozhko (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  7. Roxana (Russia) – Plumeria
    Roxana (Russia) - Plumeria
  8. Jessica (Brazil) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Jessica (Brazil) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  9. Yunusssova (Russia) – Furaveri
    Yunusssova (Russia) – Furaveri 2
  10. Ekaterina Kame (Russia) – Kandima
    Ekaterina Kame (Russia) - Kandima
  11. Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Shangri-La Villingili
    Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Shangri-La Villingili
  12. Karina Cabiling (Canada)
    Karina Cabiling (Canada)

  13. Valentina Shumskaja (Russia) – Dhigali
    Valentina Shumskaja (Russia) - Dhigali
  14. Cristina Masiero (Italy) – Paradise Island
    Cristina Masiero (Italy) - Paradise Island
  15. Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon
    Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  16. Tatiana Korsakova (Russia) – Halaveli
    Tatiana Korsakova (Russia) – Halaveli
  17. Helena Lunardelli (Brazil) – Velaa
    Helena Lunardelli (Brazil) - Velaa
  18. Maria Camila Medrano (Columbia) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Maria Camila Medrano (Columbia) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
  19. Sonya April (France) – Anantara Veli
    Sonya April (France) - Anantara Veli
  20. Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – Velaa
    Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – Velaa
  21. Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Holiday Island
    Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Holiday Island

  22. Milanka Salova (Russia) – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
    Milanka Salova (Russia) – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
  23. Peony Lim (United Kingdom) – The Residence
    Peony Lim (United Kingdom) – The Residence
  24. Аnastasia Verbovaia (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Аnastasia Verbovaia (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  25. Natalie Danish (Ukraine) – Cocoon
    Natalie Danish (Ukraine) - Cocoon
  26. Céline (France) – Drift Thelu Veliga
    Céline (France) - Drift Thelu Veliga
  27. Andrée Martinez (Mexico) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Andrée Martinez (Mexico) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  28. Jessica Werneck (Brazil) – Vadoo
    Jessica Werneck (Brazil) - Vadoo
  29. Paula Manzanal (Peru) – Reethi Faru
    Paula Manzanal (Peru) - Reethi Faru 2
  30. Katrina Kaif (India) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Katrina Kaif (India) - Shangri-La Vilingili 2
  31. Eva Czarnocka (Poland)
    Eva Czarnocka (Poland)
  32. Fã Clube Joana Costa (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Fã Clube Joana Costa (Brazil) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru 2

  33. Courtney Eaton (Australia)
    Courtney Eaton (Australia) - 2
  34. Malia Murphey (USA) – W Maldives
    Malia Murphey (USA) - W Retreat 2
  35. Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee
    Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee 3
  36. Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba
    Natalia Siwiec (Poland) – Kurumba 6

Best of the Maldives: Tomato Festival – Kandima

Kandima - tomato festival 1

Kandima has hosted a festival of another sort this summer. A first blush (yes, intended), it might seem like one of those foodie festivals that are spreading across middle-class England, but really is far more traditional (and raucous) than that…

  • “Kandima Maldives hosts the first ever Tomato Festival ‘La Tomatina’ in the island nation. The event took place last week on Friday, 31st August 2018 on the resort grounds. In total over 300 people attended the event, which lasted for almost four hours. ‘La Tomatina’ was home to the famous tomato fight, tug of war, mini football, water bucket relay, climb the coconut tree and many other fun-packed beach games. During the event the house DJ entertained the crowd with his party mixes while the barmen were offering free Latino-themed snacks and drinks to everybody. The resort chefs had to lay the tomatoes in the sun for three days prior to the event, which made them ripe and safe to fight with. Fire brigade was also on site and willing to offer their hoses with running water to remove the squashed tomatoes from the participants’ bodies…The festival of tomatoes was held for the first time in 1945 in the Valencian town of Buñol, in the East of Spain 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Mediterranean, in which participants would throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes.”

You say “tomato…I say ‘incoming!’.”

Kandima - tomato festival 2

Best of the Maldives: Artistic CSR – Kandima

Kandima - artistic CSR

Kandima supports the arts beyond their resort and in the community itself with their KUL Initiative:

  • “The KULA art initiative was launched on the 5th of October 2017, with a vision to promote and nurture local artistic talent and creativity and essentially open up new horizons for the local art community in the Maldives…The KULA Initiative will also support local schools and artists with equipment, grants and master/classes… With its key component, The KULA Art Festival is the first of its kind annual event to be ever hosted in any resort in the island nation at such a large scale, turning the entire resort into the trendiest, most happening art centre in the Indian Ocean. Every year Kandima Maldives invites over 20 local artists specializing in various mediums including digital, coffee, acrylic, henna, spray paint and local crafts, to unleash their inner Picasso! KULA means ‘colours’ in Dhivehi, the Maldivian language.”

And Kandima is setting out to break the Bohemian “starving artist” caricature by putting money where its mouth is to support these artists with tangible benefits:

  • “Kandima will give $1 per occupied room night to the KULA Fund and guests can also make their own donations. The KULA fund will also prosper and increase from the artists themselves. When a piece of art is sold, the artist will contribute a small percentage of the sale to the KULA fund to help it grow. The remainder goes personally to the artist, with no profit to Kandima. “

The artistic community in the Maldives has blossomed in recent years. Far beyond the Bob Ross-style painted coconut husks and tarted up imports from China, Maldives art has become gallery quality with a generation on the vanguard of the Maldivian art scene creating stunning depictions and interpretations of the paradise in which they live and in which the rest of the world is enthralled.

And the showcase for these works is the “Unveiling Visions” exhibits sponsored by Kandima which is taking place right now in the capital Male:

  • Kandima Maldives is hosting host regular exhibitions and exciting art performances by local artists in the in-house Aroma Art Studio, which is set on the edge of a natural lake inside the island. The venue gives both guests and artists the inspiration and calm space they need to create their masterpieces. The exhibition will feature works by 50 Maldivian artists of ages 18-35; under 6 main categories – painting, drawing, calligraphy art, 3d installation, digital installation and sculpture. Launched in 2017, ‘Unveiling Visions’ will offer live art sessions, workshops, artist talks and fun-filled events for children. Unveiling Visions’ will offer live art sessions, workshops, artist talks and fun-filled events for children. Kandima Maldives will invite the top 15 artists to participate in its annual KULA Art Festival to be held on 28th December 2018. The festival is a perfect marketing platform for showcasing the Maldivian talent to the international audience and will be held for the second time since the resort opening in 2017. All of the inspiring art pieces created during the event will be available for purchase at the in-house KULA Art Studio at Kandima Maldives.”

Kandima - artistic CSR 2

Kandima - artistic CSR 3

Best of the Maldives: Urban Gallery – Hotel Jen

Hotel Jen - art exhibition 1

While the Maldives are known for their low-rise terrain and thatched villas, some gems are indeed to be found in the high-rise buildings. Hotel Jen may be sequestered in the hubbub of Male, but it too is featuring some aquatic artistry at “An art exhibition renaissance for the Maldives”:

  • “MAC curates and showcases three exhibitions on a monthly basis under an agreement it has with Le Cute and Hotel Jen… Avahteri has curated six exhibitions since its creation last year and the team wants to introduce Maldivian artists to a wider audience. ‘Even we have been pleasantly surprised by the number of Maldivian artists out there and by the diversity of their work,” says Aishath. The favoured mediums are changing. ‘Oil and acrylic paintings used to dominate the Maldivian art scene,’ she says. ‘Now we see a trend towards digital, mixed media artwork. Watercolour, charcoal and even cement and coffee are becoming popular.’ Social media has transformed the scene, helping local artists overcome the barrier of the country’s geographical dispersion. Around 85 percent of MAC’s discoveries have been through social media. Avahteri says it has revolutionised the way art is promoted and connected them to new local and foreign audiences.”

Hotel Jen - art exhibition 2