Best of the Maldives: Tsunami Assembly Point – Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa - tsunami assembly point

While Brits tuck into Christmas turkey leftovers and start jigsaw puzzles brought by Santa, today marks one of the biggest natural disasters in modern history and the biggest in Maldives history – the 2004 Tsunami. The tragedy touched every corner of the country and devastated a number of inhabited islands and resorts.

One silver lining was the opening up of country’s economy and politics in the aftermath. Maldives desperately need outside assistance to rebuild and the international funds stepped up but only on the condition that the country reformed some of its institutions. For example, the first democratic elections were held for decades.

One resort hit hard was Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa who lost its General Manager. In the aftermath, the resort set up “Tsunami Assembly Point”, akin to “Fire Assembly Points” for which they double as, which help the staff more quickly identify who is safe and who is missing and maybe in need of assistance.

I remember people asking me if it was safe to visit the Maldives for fear of tsunamis. For starters, such an occurance is a once in a lifetime event. And while, lighting does strike twice, the odds are so small that you are much likely to be hurt by a commonplace incident (like a car accident on the way to the airport) than any tsunamis. Furthermore, the world has learned an enormous amount and also invested considerably in anticipating (early warning systems) and responding to (things like this assembly point) ocean tsunamis even if their remote chance of happening does occur. So the danger is even more miniscule than it was before.

When I came across the assembly point, I thought it was not just an extra-careful precaution, but also a very subtle and tasteful monument to the people who sadly suffered from this bizarre calamity.

Golden Girls



Christmas Eve is the night of gift giving in many countries (not counting Santa’s midnight global run). The tradition goes all the way back to the very first Christmas with the three wise men brings gifts to the baby Jesus – frankincense, myrrh and, of course, gold. Fashionistas have been bringing gold to the Maldives all year round and here is a little post-advent collection of them as Maldives Complete’s yuletide gift to you all…

  1. Maria Pogrebnyak-Shatalova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi [ABOVE]
  2. Olexa (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Olexa (Russia)
  3. Janette Soliman (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    Janette Soliman (USA) - Conrad Rangali
  4. Sandra Perendyk (Poland) – The Residence
    Sandra Perendyk (Poland) - The Residence

  5. Saïda Mukando (Malaysia) – Paradise Island
    Saïda Mukando (Malaysia) - Paradise Island
  6. Anna Bortsova (Russia)
    Anna Bortsova (Russia)
  7. Katya Aydabolova (Russia) – Vilu Reef
    Katya Aydabolova (Russia) - Vilu Reef

  8. Miss Alinas (Russia) – Sun Island
    Miss Alinas (Russia) - Sun Island
  9. Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) – Sun Island
    Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) - Sun Island

  10. Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Constance Halaveli
    Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Constance Halaveli
  11. Ashna Khan (India) – Vilu Reef
    Ashna Khan (India) - Vilu Reef
  12. Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Sun Island
    Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Paradise Island
  13. Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon
    Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon 2

  14. Ksy Reva (Russia) – Canareef
    Ksy Reva (Russia) - Canareef
  15. Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) - Paradise Island 2

  16. Marina Mayer (Russia) – Cocoon
    Marina Mayer (Russia) - Cocoon
  17. Mary Me ( Russia) – Hurawalhi
    Mary Me(Russia) - Hurawalhi
  18. Lilian Magdych (Ukraine) – Outrigger Konotta
    Lilian Magdych (Ukraine) - Outrigger Konotta

  19. Jamie Genevieve (United Kingdom) – Soneva Jani
    Jamie Genevieve (United Kingdom) - Soneva Jani
  20. La Ceni Ceneren Censon (Germany) – Summer Island
    La Ceni Ceneren Censon (Germany) - Summer Island
  21. Valeria Orsini (Columbia) – Reethi Faru
    Valeria Orsini (Columbia) - Reethi Faru

  22. Julia Kormishina (Russia) – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
    Julia Kormishina (Russia) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

  23. Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) – Sun Island
    Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) - Sun Island
  24. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee

  25. Moni Malibu (USA) – W Maldives
    Moni Malibu (USA) – W Retreat

  26. Lindsey van der Hoeven (Netherlands) – Sun Siyam Irufushi  [BELOW]

Best of the Maldives: Pre-Natal Spa Treatments – Kuramathi

Kuramathi - pre natal treatments

Instead of being immersed in sand, Kuramathi will slather you with mud as just one of their special baby-moon prenatal offerings…

  • “Kuramathi Spa is pleased to announce an upgrade to its menu this month to fine-tune the balance of mind, body and soul. A meticulous pick of choices for him and her is featured, along with the usual favourites for honeymooners, namely the ‘Kuramathi Moment’ and ‘Couples Rebirth’. Asian body rituals from India, Indonesia and Thailand let you delve into the preserved techniques instilling peace and calm. Amongst the new treatments available are the indulgent prenatal options. Mothers to be can now pick between ‘Organic Precious Moments’ and ‘Organic Prenatal Voyager’ each using fresh seaweed based ingredients in a carefully curated therapy. Engage in meditation guided by our yogi who helps ease you into the ancient discipline of yoga and the plethora of benefits it imbues.”

I love the mud treatment in particular, to get prospective parents used to having gooey substances smeared all over them and mud as a central part of their lives once they have kids…

Best of the Maldives: Sunken Outdoor Massage Pavilion – Makunudu

Makunudu - sunken massage pavillion

For a treatment “in” the beach rather than just “on” it, Makunudu’s Avuun spa features a double table massage area sunken into the beach sand. The space is surrounded by a natural pavilion structure including a drawable curtain if you want privacy from view but still the proximity to the soothing sounds of the water nearby.

Best of the Maldives: Eco Beach – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - eco beach

Not the Martha and the Muffins classic, but a new perspective on beach beauty by Six Senses Laamu who are preserving vibrant marine life even if it means much bigger landscaping budget (thanks Paola):

  • It takes a lot of effort to maintain the picture perfect white beaches and powder blue turquoise lagoons at tourist resorts. Many of the resorts in the Maldives actively destroy their seagrass beds to maintain this facade. Six Senses Laamu has changed this attitude and are now actively promoting the protection of their seagrass beds as they are a haven for megafauna including green sea turtles, sting rays and baby sharks in addition to being a nursery for juvenile fish, providing oxygen, storing carbon, improving the health of adjacent coral reefs and preventing erosion of the island.”

The resort clarifies that “We have a team of gardeners at Six Senses Laamu that rakes the beach and place the dead seagrass in the jungle so that it can still contribute its nutrients to the coastal system, while also ensuring guests can use the beaches.”

For an helpful introduction to the importance of sea grass in the Maldives, check out the video below.


Shifting Sands

Shifting sands - Maldives

If you try sitting on the sands of the bay in the Maldives for too long, you might just find yourself in the bay itself. This very item was going to be a “Haven’t Seen” until I found it on Facebook just a few days before my post.

  • Only from a time-lapse like this you will see clearly how the Maldivian Islands change shape so fast. Lhaviyani Atoll Veyvah and Vavvaru (26-08-2015 to 28-11-2018)

Still an opportunity for a resort to provide one. Resorts AaaVee and Mafushivaru’s Lonobu have dramatically shifting sands, for example.


Sitting on the Dock the BAE

Unknown jetty sitting

Today in history, the musical world lost legend Otis Redding when he died in a plane crash. It was just before the release of his album and title song “Dock of the Bay” which went on to become the first posthumous album to hit #1 on the Billboard hit chart (in fact, he had just finished recording it three days earlier). The song that would be one of his most famous hits was almost universally panned by his label, band and even his wife, but he felt strongly it would be a hit. The song captured that serene feeling of looking out over a tranquil expanse of water that is a popular photoshoot point for the Maldives fashionistas attempting to depict that same sense of “watching the tide roll away”…

  1. Aseeva Nataliya (Russia) – Fihalhohi
    Aseeva Nataliya (Russia) - Olhuveli
  2. Svetikova (Russia) – Halaveli
    Svetikova (Russia) - Halaveli

  3. Céline (France) – Drift Thelu Veliga
    Céline (France) - Drift Thelu Veliga
  4. Mel Florez (Columbia) – Velassaru
    Mel Florez (Columbia) - Velassaru
  5. Parineeti Chopra (India) – The Residence
    Parineeti Chopra (India) - Sun Island
  6. Carmen Grebenisan (Romania) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Carmen Grebenisan (Romania) – Fushifaru
  7. Sananas (France) – Hurawalhi
    Sananas (France) - Hurawalhi
  8. Kris Moskov (Australia) Paradise Island
    Kris Moskov (Australia) Paradise Island
  9. Shaya N (Thailand) – Club Med Kani
    Shaya N (Thailand) - Club Med Kani
  10. Maria Sionova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Maria Sionova (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
  11. Alena Omovych (Russia) – Furaveri
    Alena Omovych (Russia) - Furaveri
  12. Sharin Hills (Germany) – Komandoo
    Sharin Hills (Germany) - Komandoo
  13. Muayly Nittaya (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Muayly Nittaya (Thailand) - Centara Ras Fushi
  14. Mariam Said (India) – Constance Halaveli
    Mariam Said (India) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  15. Mae (Singapore) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Mae (Singapore) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  16. Yunusssova and Tatyana Ponomareva (Russia) – Furaveri
    Yunusssova and Tatyana Ponomareva (Russia) – Furaveri
  17. Hiyam Al Jabri (Kuwait) – Male
    Hiyam Al Jabri (Kuwait) - Male

  18. Zapp (Thailand) – Meeru
    Zapp (Thailand) - Meeru
  19. Nahmwharn Sapphakosokul (Thailand) – Club Med Kani
    Nahmwharn Sapphakosokul (Thailand) - Club Med Kani
  20. Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) - Paradise Island
  21. Yuliya Bezdar (Russia) – Velassaru
    Yuliya Bezdar (Russia) - Velassaru
  22. Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – Velaa
    Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – Velaa
  23. Svanhildur Heida (Iceland) – Kandima
    Svanhildur Heida (Iceland) - Kandima
  24. Olga ST (Russia) – JA Manafaru
    Olga ST (Russia) – JA Manafaru
  25. Ana Jovanovic (Czech) – Sun Island
    Ana Jovanovic (Czech) - Sun Island
  26. Amy Neville (United Kingdom) – Conrad Maldives
    Amy Neville (United Kingdom) – Conrad Maldives
  27. Kristina Krayt (Russia) – Cocoon
    Kristina Krayt (Russia) - Cocoon
  28. Galinka Mirgaeva (Russia) – Cocoon
    Galinka Mirgaeva (Russia) - Cocoon
  29. Daniella Chávez (Chile) – Sun Island
    Daniella Chávez (Chile) - Sun Island
  30. Katerina Dorokhova (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Katerina Dorokhova (Russia) – Paradise Island
  31. Emma Rose (Australia) – Hideaway Beach
    Emma Rose (Australia) – Ayada 3

  32. Simona Kateivaitė (Lithuania) – Club Rannalhi
    Simona Kateivaitė (Lithuania) - Club Rannalhi
  33. Sandra Traczyk (Poland) – Lily Beach
    Sandra Traczyk (Poland) - Lily Beach
  34. Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
  35. Tatiana Korsakova (Russia) – Halaveli
    Tatiana Korsakova (Russia) - Halaveli
  36. Coco Zhu (China) – Vilamendhoo
    Coco Zhu (China) - Vilamendhoo
  37. Albina (Russia) – Sun Island
    Albina (Russia) - Meedhupparu
  38. Anzhelika Tretyakova (Russia)
    Anzhelika Tretyakova (Russia)
  39. Miss Nikanova (Russia) – Kihaa Maldives
    Miss Nikanova (Russia) - Dusit Thani
  40. Saskia Reuter (Germany) – Rihiveli Beach
    Saskia Reuter (Germany) - Rihiveli Beach
  41. Anastasia Klubnichkina (Russia) – W Maldives
    Anastasia Klubnichkina (Russia) - W Retreat
  42. Eva Morais Mozzato (Italy) – Kuramathi
    Eva Morais Mozzato (Italy) - Kuramathi

  43. Malia Murphey (USA) – W Maldives
    Malia Murphey (USA) - W Retreat
  44. Britt Warmerdam (Netherlands)
    Britt Warmerdam (Netherlands)
  45. Kanseenee S. (Thailand) – Safari Island
    Kanseenee S. (Thailand) - Safari Island

  46. Milana Vujović (Turkey) – Olhuveli
    Milana Vujović (Turkey) - Olhuveli
  47. Lera Bukinaa (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Lera Bukinaa (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi
  48. Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  49. Victoria Magrath (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
    Victoria Magrath (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
  50. Marta Carriedo (Spain) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Marta Carriedo (Spain) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  51. Julia Dybowska (Poland) – JA Manafaru
    Julia Dybowska (Poland) – JA Manafaru
  52. Jamie SJ (Russia) – Royal Island
    Jamie SJ (Russia) - Royal Island
  53. Jessica Cabensy (USA) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Jessica Cabensy (USA) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
  54. Carrie Santana da Silva (United Kingdom) – Kandolhu
    Carrie Santana da Silva (United Kingdom) – Kandolhu
  55. Eryka Yar (USA) – AaaVeee
    Eryka Yar (USA) - AaaVeee
  56. Chiara Ferragni (Italy) – Amilla Fushi
    Simrita Dhillon (India) - Amilla Fushi
  57. Elissa Yamada (Indonesia) – Club Rannalhi
    Elissa Yamada (Indonesia) - Club Rannalhi
  58. Roka Adrienne (Hungary) – Kandooma
    Roka Adrienne (Hungary) – Kandooma
  59. Anahi Gonzales (Peru) – LUX Maldives
    Anahi Gonzales (Peru) – LUX Maldives
  60. Faya Nillson (Sweden) – W Maldives
    Faya Nillson (Sweden) – W Retreat
  61. Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
  62. Leonie Hanne (Germany) – Reethi Beach
    Leonie  Hanne (Germany) – Reethi Beach
  63. Sabrina Chakici (Ireland) – Conrad Rangali 
    Sabrina Chakici (Ireland) – Conrad Rangali
  64. Lorena Rae (Germany) – Palm Beach
    Lorena Rae (Germany) – Palm Beach
  65. Carolina Amora (Chile) – Nika
    Carolina Amora (Chile) – Nika
  66. Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee
    Aleona Lynx (Russia) - AaaVeee
  67. Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  68. Jhohanna Coco Noda (Indonesia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Jhohanna Coco Noda (Indonesia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  69. Kim Tae Hee (South Korea) – Six Senses Laamu
    Kim Tae Hee (South Korea) – Sun Siyam Irufushi

Haven’t Seen Yet – 14

Even after a decade of exploring the Maldives in person and online, with my 14th edition of the “Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives” series there is still no shortage of candidates keep on popping up. If you think you have seen it all in the Maldives…no you haven’t.

  1. Baby Shark Abs WorkoutOk, some resort NEEDS to offer this in their kids club AND their adult fitness classes! [ABOVE]
  2. Whale Shark KitesOr octopus, or manta ray, or sting ray, or dolphin, or turtle.
    Havent Seen - Whale Shark Kite
  3. Sunshine Guarantee – Offer for free rooms (or some system) for ay vacation more than 50% rain (or could do, if you have more than one day of rain, then each additional day is complimentary for a future visit).
    Havent Seen - sunshine guarantee
  4. Plot of Sand and a Palm TreeWhen people ask me to describe the Maldives, I respond, “You know that iconic image of a deserted island with a plot of sand and a single palm teee? That’s the Maldives. A thousand of those.” And while the image captures the diminutive, tropical, aquatic topology of the Maldives, curiously, I have never actually come across a sand bank with a single palm tree on it. If a resort would transplant a palm tree, they would have instance Instagram bait.
    Havent Seen - palm tree island
  5. Faux-fluencer Photoshoot – Some resort needs to host Celeste Barber to do all the classic Maldives Instagram poses (eg. lying on the edge of the infinity pool, walking up the water villa ladder, pink flamingo float, coconut drink, sitting on a palm tree, backfloat, wallowing in the shallow water, etc).
    Havent Seen - Faux Fluencer
  6. Underwater Photo Spot Frame Photo frames have popped up all over the Maldives resorts, but none where all the action is – underwater.
    Havent Seen - underwater frame
  7. Vilebrequin Outlet – One of the finest makes of swimwear in the world with styles just perfect for the Maldives.
    Havent Seen - Vilebrequin
  8. Bird Baths – The enchanting tropical birds from the ubiquitous Makana to Rihiveli’s famous Crab Plover bring a colourful creature dimension to enjoying the natural charm and beauty of the Maldives destination. On a number of occasions we have found the Makanas visiting our pool for a fresh water drink. Which made us think that the tiny desert islands must be a classic case of “water, water everywhere, but not drop to drink.” So why hasn’t a resort set out a stylish birdbath to both help the feathered friends out and provide an attraction where guest can observe them regularly. Many resorts still do (controversial) fish feeding to show the marine creatures up close, so why not the ornithological ones? (thanks Lori)
    Havent Seen - bird bath
  9. Naturist Holday – A friend of mine works at UK travel agency, Eton Travel, which among other things is a UK leader in naturist holidays (yep, hanging out with it all hanging out). She said that the UK has 5 million naturists and it is one of the rapidly growing segments. There is an obvious reason why naturism hasn’t hit the Maldives and that is because nudity is prohibited (mind you, that hasn’t stopped a slew of exhibitionist Instagrammers). But the resorts have always been given some discretion about how non-Muslim visitors want to behave (like drinking alcohol and eating pork) and so perhaps there is something that could be done in this area. One concern would be to shield the Maldivian staff from exposure to such, well exposure. But maybe the resort could give their local staff a holiday for a week where they devoted the property to a special naturist week, or the resort could limit the naturism to a nearby picnic island.
    Havent Seen - Naturist
  10. Spa Sommelier – “After guests perceive the aromas of a selection of oils and taste several wines from our Abadía Retuerta winery, the Spa Sommelier analyses their tastes and aromatic preferences and recommends the best spa experience for their individual wellness needs.”
    Havent Seen - Spa Sommelier
  11. Seaweed Flavoured Butter – Flavoured butter is becoming a bit of a thing with variations such as Moose Maple Butter, Abernethy Smoked Butter, Ampersand Cultured Butter, and the appropriately luxurious Black Truffle Butter. But I think the mist apropos flavor would be Le Beurre Bordier’s Seaweed Butter.
    Havent Seen - Sea Weed Butter
  12. Maldivian Harvested Sea Salt – Use on tables, in spas and sell in boutiques.
    Havent Seen - sea salt harvesting
  13. Cut Fruit/Veg CraftingA step beyond just carving to actually construction.
    Havent Seen - special fruit and veg carving
  14. 3D Decorated Cake SceneCould a birthday cake be more appropriate for the Maldives?
    Havent Seen - 3D cake scene
  15. RGB Intelligent Light FaucetJust because.
    Havent Seen - RGB Light Faucet
  16. Roll-Outside Bed The lavish La Terraza Suite comes with a king-sized bed that can be rolled out onto the open-air at La Valise Hotel, Mexico City. (thanks Paola)
    Havent Seen - Roll Out Bed
  17. Glass-Bottom Rooftop Swimming Pool – How can the Seychelles have a resort feature this amazing without the Maldives having it?
    Havent Seen - Rooftop Glass Bottomed Pool
  18. Underwater Restaurant MermaidResorts like Finolhu have hosted professional mermaids for photoshoots, but this underwater performance is especially enchanting. 
    Havent Seen - mermaid underwater restaurant
  19. Deserted Island Laser TagWhenever you have a variation of the capture the flag game (eg. paintballing, laser tag, or simple old capture the flag) the boundaries are critical (and often a source of dispute as to whether an opponent has crossed of them). But setting up a laser tag game on an uninhabited picnic island would provide a natural boundary. Your very own Hunger Games re-enactment.
    Havent Seen - Deserted Island Laser Tag
  20. Snorkeling Guitar SoloAn appropriate act to celebrate International Snorkeling Day.


Why Do I Do It…Every Day

working on MC

“And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.” (Quran 2:272)

Most every anniversary of the website, I do another instalment of the “Why Do I Do It” (the second most frequently asked question I get) series. Once again, Seth Godin has captured another dimension to this expensive hobby which contributes to my daily drive to uncover the latest information and draft up hopefully helpful perspectives…

  • “Is there something you do every day that builds an asset for you? Every single day? Something that creates another bit of intellectual property that belongs to you? Something that makes an asset you own more valuable? Something that you learn? Every single day is a lot of days. It’s easy to look at the long run and lull yourself into skipping a day now and then. But the long run is made up of short runs.” – Seth Godin “The Daily

Maldives Complete is my daily dose of sunshine, my periodic prescription of paradise.

Maldives Complete-ly By the Numbers – 7

MC Completely numbers 7b

The first decade of Maldives fandom completed. The 10th anniversary of the Maldives Complete website today.

And, in keeping with its original mission, it has continued to get more and more complete now achieving the high water mark of 99.56% completeness. That’s 16 pieces of information missing out of a potential 3,600 from the profiles of 143 active resorts (not counting all the added information about 61 inactive properties – ie. not yet opened or closed). 6 of those missing pieces are dive charts from the relatively newly developed atolls (ie. Raa, Thaa, Shaviyani). 5 of those are from 2 relatively recent openings – Miriandhoo and Sangeli – for whom photography is not yet complete.

This past year was the first one that I have not added a major feature or component to the site and this year I didn’t really add any new significant data fields or design changes for the first time ever (last year I added “Name Meaning” and the new logo and palette). So maybe the site functionality itself if becoming more “Complete”.