Best of the Maldives: Bird Not-Nest Swinging Chair – Joali

Joali - birdnest swing

In the Maldives, the more leisurely way to swing from the trees is lounging in one of their many swings swaying to the ocean breeze. I remember when I came across the first “birdsnest” swing a decade ago. Now they are common fare across the destination. Recently opened Joali literally does put the “bird” in “birdsnest swing” with its giant Heron head designed by Cape Town-based Porky Hefer.
  

Best of the Maldives: Fitness Tree – Cocoon

Cocoon - tree of well being

Cocoon not only brought the inside…out, but it also made its outdoor workout facility more like the outdoors itself. Its “Tree of Well Being” is not just a functional fitness apparatus for body-weight training, but also provides a striking sculptural aesthetic as well

  • ·The Tree of Wellbeing is provided by MyEquilibria, a ground-breaking new concept of physical fitness based on instinctive body movements. At first glance, Tree of Wellbeing looks more like a work of art than a place for exercise. Engineered around the biomechanics of instinctive training, the Tree of Wellbeing was created by innovative designer Vito Di Bari.”

See the video below for a video demonstration of one of the exercises.

This is just the latest of a number of activities brought outdoors in the sun-soaked landscape so I’ve now added a new tag “Al Fresco” for things conventionally done indoors that resorts have taken outdoors.

Best of the Maldives: Outdoor Fitness Centre – AaaVeee

AaaVee - outdoor gym

People question why you would want to sit in a gym when you have travelled thousands of miles to be in a natural paradise. I was one of those guys who would do workouts on my Maldives holidays. I wanted to keep momentum in my training, I could get great sessions in because I was eating and sleeping extra well, and the general enthusiasm of the whole holiday gave me an extra boost. I did appreciate when resorts made an effort to bring the outdoors in with big picture windows and well situated views. But AaaVeee’s fitness center goes a step even further. Bringing the inside…out. Their gym is fully outdoors. It does have clear wind/rain sheets to lower during inclement weather. It is so outdoors, that it even has a palm tree going in the middle of it through the floor.

Best of the Maldives: Water Rower – Hurawalhi

Hurawalhi - water rower

One of my other hobbies (with accompanying website) is rowing. Small-world coincidence, one of my fellow coaches at Marlow Rowing Club, Imogen Walsh, was one of the first rowing coaches in the Maldives stationed there for a year to help develop the sport. One of my first “Haven’t Seen Yet” items is finding a resort with a sculling boat (and there still are none). But the Life Fitness “water rower” at Hurawalhi is designed to most closely simulate the action of rowing in the water with a slider seat the resistance is actually created by a small tank of water at the foot of the apparatus. State-of-the art rowing training with a striking large window view of the nearby ocean to provide that extra aesthetic water feel.

Best of the Maldives: Slider Station – Malahini Kuda Bandos

Malahini Kuda Bandos - slider station

Malahini Kuda Bandos has its own distinctive bite sized treats at its buffet slider station. One of the problems with buffets is that you eat too much as you simply can’t decide between all the delicacies on offer. Not only can you have a tapas-scale burger, but it is also prepared freshly for you to your liking. Have it your way (#NotSoWhopper)!

Best of the Maldives: Popcorn – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - popcorn

A nibble to spike that thirst for the mini-bar? NIYAMA’s villas all come with hot-air popcorn poppers and a supply of gourmet popcorn for a quick, fresh, hot, healthy snack. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, they also provide complementary cassava chips for something a bit more exotic.

With this post, I’ve added what is really a long overdue category tag for “Mini-Bar”.

   

Best of the Maldives: Reusable Straw – Kuredu

What you don’t want to find on your underwater
Maldives adventure is a bunch of ugly and harmful plastic. People around the world and no less so in the Maldives itself are re-examining how they use plastic and looking for non-plastic alternatives. One option to throwing out plastic straws, it to have a re-usable, non-plastic straw. That was the objective of FinalStraw which is like the straw that James Bond would have (if he drank his martini that way).

Kudos to Kuredu for being the first resort to introduce this elegant innovation to a challenge affecting very close to their home…

  • Now available for guests, FinalStraw allows guests to take our commitment to reduce single-use plastics beyond Kuredu Island Resort, and provides great souvenir as well.”

Underwater Beauties of the Maldives

Every resort has underwater spectacles in the Maldives especially when the fashionista crowd pull a reverse-Ariel and cavort for the camera…

  1. Mary Shum and Tori Son (Russia) – Ranveli
  2. Christine Ren (USA) – Palm Beach
    Christine Ren (USA) - Palm Beach
      
  3. Valentina Zenone (United Kingdom) – Thamburudhoo
    Valentina Zenone (United Kingdom) - Thamburudhoo
      
  4. Mari Kühn (United Kingdom)
    Mari Kühn (United Kingdom)
       
  5. Diana Melison (Russia) – Dusit Thani
    Diana Melison (Russia) - Dusit Thani
      
  6. Loves Nature (Russia) – Dhigurah
    Loves Nature (Russia) - Dhigurah
       
  7. Katri Kats (Estonia) –Ayada
    Katri Kats (Estonia) -Ayada
      
  8. Egzona Syla (Germany) – Bandos
    Egzona Syla (Germany) - Bandos
       
  9. Paige Rene (USA) – Maalhoss
    Paige Rene (USA) - Maalhoss
       
  10. Irina Britanova (Russia)
    Irina Britanova (Russia) 3
       
  11. Josie Prendergast (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Josie Prendergast (USA) - Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
       
  12. Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  13. McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    McKenna Ray (USA) - Conrad Rangali
      
  14. Mariya Andriichuk (Ukraine) – Eriyadu
    Mariya Andriichuk (Ukraine) – Eriyadu 2
       
  15. Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi 2
       
  16. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Amilla Fushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Amilla Fushi
      
  17. Pearl (Thailand) – Veligandu
    Pearl (Thailand) - Veligandu
       
  18. Anna Lorin (Canada)
    Anna Lorin (Canada) 2
       
  19. Janni Honscheid (Germany) Cokes Surf Camp
    Janni Honscheid (Germany) Cokes Surf Camp
       
      
  20. Erika NKL (Hong Kong) – Meeru
    Erika NKL (Hong Kong)
       
  21. Diana Efimova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Diana Efimova (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  22. Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) - Adaaran Hudhuran fushi 
       
  23. Fiona Peters (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Fiona Peters (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  24. Anastasiya Alt (Russia) – Kuredu
    Anastasiya Alt (Russia) - Kuredu
      
  25. Cherise (New Zealand) – Meedhupparu
    Cherise (New Zealand) - Meedhupparu
       
  26. Sandra Da Costa (Portugal) – Velassaru
    Sandra Da Costa (Portugal) – Velassaru
       
  27. Flavia Valenti (Brazil) – Coke Island
    Flavia Valenti (Brazil) – Coke Island
      
  28. Rosie Thomas (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi
    Rosie Thomas (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi
      

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Villa – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 1

Conrad Rangali’s latest show stopping “wow” feature finally introduces an underwater bedroom to the Maldives. Or should I say “re-introduces”. Actually, Conrad pioneered not only the first underwater restaurant (which was actually my very first “Best of the Maldives” post that kicked off all my blogging about the Maldives over a decade ago), but also experimented with converting the underwater room into a bedroom for guests to sleep in. They discontinued it as it was too difficult to transform the room into a bedroom and back to a restaurant quickly enough to make it work. For example, the guests paying an extreme amount of money to sleep there (at the time the most expensive room in the Maldives) had to wait until later in the evening to access their room when guests had finished dining there and the resort had cleared the restaurant items and set up the bedroom.

So in my 4th “Not Yet Seen” piece I had to add “Underwater Bedroom” back to the list. But now, it can go back to the “Finally Seen” catalogue.

Conrad describes the master bedroom masterpiece as follows….

  • “The entire lower suite was built on land in Singapore, fittingly made of acrylic from Japan’s premiere aquarium manufacturer Nippura Co., and sealed with Shin Etsu Marine sealant, which was used in the construction of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Then the 600-ton structure was hoisted by crane onto a specialized ship that could transport it to the Maldives and moor near the reef without damaging it. It was then submerged into the ocean and held firmly in place by 10 concrete piles that ensure it will not move or shift due to a high tide or rough seas.”

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 2

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 3

Best of the Maldives: Solar Building – Kudadoo

Kudadhoo - solar 1

The roof over Kudadoo’s over water pavilion sets a new standard for solar ambition. The Champa resorts keep upping the bar on the solar investment across their estate after their snaking jetty of panels at neighbouring Hurawalhi. The 320-kWp solar system generates enough electricity to power the entire resort:

“Committed to your well-being and that of the planet, Kudadoo reinvents sustainability – we take pride on the island being powered by the sun 100%, and on eco-conscious choices that intertwine the design, conceived by the architectural mastermind Yuji Yamazaki, and adventures to create a luxury experience that threads lightly.”

With all of these energy sustainability investments in the country, I’ve add a new “Solar” tag for all of the sun powered initiatives in this sun-drenched destination.

Kudadoo - solar 2