Contrary to some preconceived notions, Halloween is not just about spooky things. The main event is getting dreseds up in fancy dress. And those costumes don’t have to be something scary. People dress up in all sorts of things. Including traditional and national costumes. So Maldives Complete’s treat this Halloween is a goodie bag with sweet shots of fashionistos donning the Maldivian traditional dress. Mind you these guys do look scarily dashing in their sarongs. And there’s nothing sarong about that.
The classic “swing” in tropical paradise is the hammock and I have come across all sorts of varieties, but Makunudu was the first bamboo version I’ve seen not just there but anywhere. What is lacks in comfort (which you can compensate for by putting a cushion over it), it makes up for in Swiss Family Robinson chic natural vibe.
Even its distinctive floating furniture add to the dangling design vibe of the resort. Lots of resorts have swings, but Cocoon has them in places I’ve never seen before like the reception (see above, great for soothing the sadness of saying goodbye when waiting for your return transfer), and the bathroom (see below, not sure what this is great for…maybe to help get things moving??).
Sometimes simple ideas are the best. Like Malahini Kuda Bandos’ swing seating at its beach bar. The swings are sort of like rocking chairs on steroids allowing you to sway along with the gentle ocean breezes and nearby palms while sipping your pina colada.
While bottles are standard décor for a bar, traditionally arranged across long, mirrored shelved behind the bar, Hurawalhi’s Tattinger Champagne bar is the first time I’ve seen cork as the theme of the décor. The drinks table look like corks Stewart Little would have in his lounge. And, the bar stools were particular inspired with the stool legs made to look like muselets.
Makunudu has its own “green” wall for its beach massage pavilion. The design isn’t just a creative re-use of the troublesome plastic water bottles, but also the semi-opacity infused the space with a muted and dappled light in the daytime. This innovation is just one of several clever uses of bottles so I have decided to add a “Bottles” category tag with this post.
“Going green” is common practice for Maldives resorts who very existence if so dependent on and interwoven with the surrounding natural beauty. But I’ve never seen quite as much “green” as Hurawalhi’s staff compound wall. Nearly all resorts have segregated staff areas where a lot of the machinery of the resort is situated and the staff can conduct their lives freely (eg. walk around in their casual clothes instead of smart uniforms). A number of resorts make an effort to dress these walls or fences up a bit so they blend into the surrounding a bit more, but few have gone to the length of Hurawalhi with their greenery wrapped enclosure.
While the waters surrounding the Maldives islands are a tapestry of aquatic beauty, they can often be marred by the necessary accessories of practical infrastructure like shallow water warnings and channel makers. But at AaaVeee, stylish “koari” plot the channel into the resort with a rustic and native aesthetic that hits you before you have even stepped foot on shore.
If you prefer more leisurely seaside activity (or lack thereof), you don’t get much more relaxed than a spa treatment. And you don’t get much closer to the water, without actually being over it, than Malahini Kuda Bandos’ Alize Spa. Their treatment room opens completely to the beachfront just a few feet from the water’s edge. But there is no compromise in privacy as that section of the beach is covered with green foliage. As you settle down to your treatment, dappled green light filters into the room while you listen to the gentle lapping of the water on the sand (a soundscape that you don’t get in the fancy overwater spas).
If you prefer the solidity of a stationary bike (and other perks like safety), but want to get outdoors to enjoy the vistas of paradise, JA Manafaru has added to its already extensive estate of al fresco fitness with outdoor workout machines. I’ve long applauded resorts who gave their gyms prominent positions with open windows so that a holiday workout could also be as enjoyable as the rest of the vacation (too many were after-thought facilities sequestered in claustrophobic rooms in the middle of the island). You don’t get much more expansive workout views to distract you from your toil than Manafaru’s fitness deck.