Best of the Maldives: Bubble Tent – Finolhu

Finolhu - bubble deck 2

For a completely stationary bubble, Finolhu has introduced its Beach Bubble Tent. You can enjoy the sights of paradise literally all a-round you. It’s like the fish-eye lens to paradise. It’s located at the tip of its Maldives leading sand bridge, means splendid isolation from each the remote resort itself. And you can gaze on the horizon without anyone peering in on you. Except for maybe a few curious reef sharks or jack fish.

Finolhu - bubble deck

The Shapes of Water

Water tapestry 14

World Water Day today. Water is a beautiful thing and few places put it more front and centre than the Maldives which is 99% water. The Instagram crowd have captured some stunning shots of the dappled patterns of this sapphire landscape which Maldives Complete has collected here to celebrate the day (links to originals on the photos)…

Water tapestry 13

Water tapestry 12

Water tapestry 11

Water tapestry 5

Water tapestry 10

Water tapestry 9

Water tapestry 8

Water tapestry 7

Water tapestry 6

Water tapestry 4

Water tapestry 1

Water tapestry 3

Water tapestry 2

Sizzling Seaside Siestas

Laura G (USA) – Vommuli

World Sleep Day today. And the fashionista crowd have no problem finding a fashionable forty winks over the water…

  1. Laura G (USA) – Vommuli [ABOVE]
  2. Yana Leventseva (Thailand) – Kuredhivaru
    Yana Leventseva (Thailand) - Kuredhivaru
  3. Anne Ritan (Russia) – Vommuli
    Anne Ritan (Russia) - Vommuli
  4. Hina Khan (India) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Hina Khan (India) - Taj Exotica
  5. Liza Staroverova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Liza Staroverova (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  6. Flora Coquerel (France) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Flora Coquerel (France) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  7. Dulce Arias (Mexico) – Ayada
    Dulce Arias (Mexico) - Ayada
  8. Alina Kedys (OAE) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Alina Kedys (OAE) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  9. Cassie Yoyoo (China) – Ayada
    Cassie Yoyoo (China) - Ayada
  10. Céline (France) – Kuredihivaru
    Céline (France) - Drift Thelu Veliga
  11. No A (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
    No A (Thailand) - Centara Ras Fushi
  12. Adelina and Alina Fatkheeva (Tartarstan) – Soneva Jani
    Adelina and Alina Fatkheeva (Tartarstan) - Soneva Jani
  13. Alice Tsoi (Thailand) – Amari Havodda
    Alice Tsoi (Thailand) - Amari Havodda
  14. Annabella Barber (New Zealand) – Six Senses Laamu
    Annabella Barber (New Zealand) – Six Senses Laamu
  15. Angelina (Serbia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Angelina (Serbia) - Centara Ras Fushi
  16. Barbara Fumagalli (Italy) – Ayada
    Barbara Fumagalli (Italy) - Ayada
  17. Chloe Barry-Hang and Kristina Stenglin (Australia) – Amari Havodda
    Chloe Barry-Hang and Kristina Stenglin (Australia) - Amari Havodda
  18. Ella Khazensky (Israel) – Club Med Kani
    Ella Khazensky (Israel) - Club Med Kani
  19. Desiree Yazdan (USA) – Vommuli
    Desiree Yazdan (USA) - Vommuli
  20. Diana Dryn (Ukraine) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Diana Dryn (Ukraine) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  21. Helianna Veronica (United Kingdom) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Helianna Veronica (United Kingdom) - Centara Ras Fushi
  22. Lana Anatova (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Lana Antonova (Russia) – LUX Maldives
  23. Lilach Kaminsky (Isreal) – Amari Havodda
    Lilach Kaminsky (Isreal) - Amari Havodda
  24. Park Shin-hye (South Korea) – Soneva Jani
    Park Shin-hye (South Korea) - Soneva Jani
  25. Pixie Bella and Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Pixie Bella and Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  26. Taya Rogers (USA) Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Taya Rogers (USA) Anantara Kihavah Villas
  27. Thaiana R (Australia) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Thaiana R (Australia) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  28. Timea Vajna (Hungary) – Soneva Fushi
    Timea Vajna (Hungary) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  29. Pamela Reif (Germany) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Pamela Reif (Germany) – LUX South Ari Atoll



Best of the Maldives: Bookseller – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - bookseller

When Soneva Fushi announced their recruitment for a “Barefoot Bookseller” it was one of those fantasy jobs right up there with “Professional Cuddler” and “Ben & Jerry’s Flavour Guru” as one of the best jobs on the planet. The lucky bibliomerchant is Aimée Johnston. Her bio reads…

  • She studied History and English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and was part of the University of Tokyo’s AIKOM programme. Since graduating she has worked in the publicity department of Penguin Random House Ireland, managing campaigns for Irish and international authors including Tara Westover, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Aoife Abbey and most recently, TwistedDoodles. She loves open water swimming, travelling and factor 50 sunscreen.”

Maldives Complete was able to catch up with Aimee for an interview about her life as a Laccadive lady of leisure literature…

  • What prompted Soneva Fushi to open a bookstore on their resort?
    Soneva has always been a great innovator in the field of luxury travel, always pre-empting the needs and desires of guests and always willing to test an unchartered terrain, like their very own bookshop! For a lot of people leading busy lives, the only time they can sit back, relax and read for pleasure is when they are on holidays, so how brilliant to have a carefully curated bookshop on the island.
  • Where are you from?
    I’m from Antrim in Ireland but I moved to Dublin for college and fell in love with the city. I had been living there for seven years before moving to the Maldives.
  • What is your previous experience with books?
    I adore reading and always have. I loved literature so much that I decided to study it in college and when I left, I knew I wanted to get a job in the publishing industry. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the publicity department of Penguin Random House Ireland for three years. It’s a brilliant job. You get to work with fantastically talented authors, promoting their writing as far and as wide as possible.
  • Do people come into browse or are they more looking for recommendations?
    Both! Sometimes people come in with a blank slate, willing to be inspired by what they see on our shelves. Other times people can be unsure about what to read and I love nothing more than chatting to them, establishing their reading tastes and interests and finding the perfect book for them. It’s an amazing feeling, to know someone is walking away with a book that they’ll love.
  • What is the most popular genre?
    It really varies. Soneva Fushi guests have such a wonderful range of interests that every visitor to the bookshop is different. Generally though, our non-fiction piques a lot of interest. Guests want to feel informed, whether that’s by Peter Frankopan’s The New Silk Roads or Rudie Kuiter’s Fishes of the Maldives. Often our visitors are thrilled to see such an impressive collection of books on wildlife and sea-life that speak to their immediate environment.
  • What are you doing more of than you expected on the island?
    I’m doing a lot more eating than I imagined! Our staff canteen is simply amazing, and our chefs are brilliant. They can whip up a mean omelette that’s worth waking up early for!
  • What are you doing less of than you expected on the island?
    I’ll admit that there is a little less sunbathing than I naively fantasized about! There is so much to do on the island that I find I’m a lot busier than I was expecting, trying to do as much as I possibly can. It has been a lot of fun.
  • What book are you reading now?
    I’ve just finished reading Not Working by Lisa Owens. It follows Claire Flannery just as she’s quit her job in the hope that by taking some time out she’ll figure out what the ‘perfect’ job for her really looks like. I loved it. It has all the heart and humour of Bridget Jones but so totally original in its story. Claire’s quest for her ‘dream’ job was the ‘will they won’t they’ romance I didn’t know I needed! Next up on my reading list is The Woman in the Window by controversial author A.J. Finn, which is our first reading choice in the Barefoot Book Club.

Soneva Fushi - bookseller 2

Best of the Maldives: Tarzan Vine – Shangri-La Villingili

Shangri-La Villingili - tarzan swing

Swinging on vines is one of those iconic things that characterise legendary exotic adventure from Tarzan to Indiana Jones. Shangri-La Villingili has more of these tropical tree-to-tree transports than any other island I have been to. When visiting, I couldn’t resist grabbing one from time to time for a bit of a fly through the air. Even if you don’t fancy such swashbuckling activity, just seeing them dangling from the dense jungle canopy of the island adds to the property’s equatorial vibe.

Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.” ― RayBradbury (thanks Conrad Rangali)


Queens of the Swingers…



…the tropical island VIPs. For the Maldives fashionista crowd, the ubiquitous swing is not just a plank for languidly swaying to the ocean breezes, but is also a platform for working your Insta poses as well… 

  1. Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Holiday Island – [ABOVE]
  2. Sana Lantana and Aleona LynxAaaVeee
    Sana Lantana and Aleona Lynx – AaaVeee - 2
  3. Nina Serebrova (Russia) – Cocoon
    Nina Serebrova (Russia) - Cocoon
  4. Yanela Brooks (Cuba) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Yanela Brooks (Cuba) - Cheval Blanc Randheli
  5. Paola Epis (Italy) – Alimatha
    Paola Epis (Italy) – Alimatha
  6. Sasha and friend (Bulgaria) – Fun Island
    Sasha (Bulgaria) - Fun Island
  7. Inna Zaripova (Russia) – Fihalhohi
    Inna Zaripova (Russia)
  8. Jenny Phm (Vietnam) – Conrad Rangali
    Jenny Phm (Vietnam) - Conrad Rangali
  9. Mima (Serbia) – Royal Island
    Mima (Serbia) - Royal Island
  10. Karina Volodina (Russia) – Sun Island
    Karina Volodina (Russia) - Sun Island
  11. Lora (Romania) – Cinnamon Hakuraa Hura
    Lora (Romania) - Cinnamon Hakuraa Hura
  12. Margarita Nigmatullin (Russia) – Sun Island
    Margarita Nigmatullin (Russia) - Sun Island
  13. Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia) – Anantara Kihavah
    Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  14. Roxet (Russia)
    Roxet (Russia)
  15. Anjelika (Russia) – Sun Island
    Anjelika (Russia) - Sun Island

  16. Veronika Сhachyna (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Veronika CHachyna (Russia) - Velaa
  17. Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Leonie Hanne (Germany) – Fur Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Leonie Hanne (Germany) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  18. Ekaterina (Russia) – Holiday Island 2
    Ekaterina (Russia) - Holiday Island 3
  19. Tatiana Melnik (Russia) – Dusit Thani
    Tatiana Melnik (Russia) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  20. Jasminne Majid (Bulgaria) – Anantara Dhigu
    Jasminne Majid (Bulgaria) - Anantara Dhigu
  21. Milana Koroleva (Russia) – NIYAMA
    Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
  22. Mia Borisavljevic (Serbia) – Royal Island
    Mia Borisavljevic (Serbia) - Royal Island
  23. Anouk Matton (Belgium) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Anouk Matton (Belgium) - Cheval Blanc Randheli
  24. Louise Thompson (United Kingdom) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Louise Thompson (United Kingdom) - Atmosphere Kanifushi

  25. Adriana Jennings (Australia) – Maalifushi
    Adriana Jennings (Australia) – Maalifushi

  26. Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Anantara Veli
    Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Anantara Veli
  27. Tatiana Lopatinskaya (Russia) – Huvafenfushi
    Tatiana Lopatinskaya (Russia) – Huvafenfushi

  28. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) - AaaVeee