For a more down to earth glass room Ayada has a dazzling glass flooring in its “Kai” restaurant showing that not all glass floors in the Maldives are over water.
Best of the Maldives: Bubble Tent – Finolhu
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.
Best of the Maldives: Exercise Pool – Kandima
From the shape of water, to getting in shape in water. Kandima’s fitness pool features water jets that guests and swim against to add to the exertion. Or, if they are salmon, to prepare for the upstream spawning journey.
The Shapes of Water
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)…
Best of the Maldives: 24 Hour – Hurawalhi
Best of the Maldives: Maxi-Bar – NIYAMA
Mini-bar to the Max. The mini-bar is a staple to Maldives resorts and many of the luxury properties pack them with all sort of delectable goodies. None bigger than NIYAMA. With a very big treat of free ice creams in the freezer!
Best of the Maldives: Bookseller – Soneva Fushi
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.
Best of the Maldives: Tarzan Vine – Shangri-La Villingili
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)
Best of the Maldives: Cabriolet Swing – Fushifaru
Swinging seats are one of the areas of the greatest diversity and innovation at the Maldives. The destination is an ideal place for swaying to the ocean breezes. The traditional hammock are nice a open, but sometimes the sun can be a bit much. If you hang them in the inner greenery, then you get complete shade. Fushifaru cabriolet swing seat gives guests the best of both options (thanks Paola).
Best of the Maldives: Talking Furniture – Cocoon
More of a spoken word rendition is a feature of Cocoon’s rooms. “Talking Furniture” in particular. Each of the Lago designed pieces comes with a smart tag for takemehome.cocoonmaldives.com :
- “An experience out of the ordinary is what LAGO has transformed here at Cocoon Maldives, notwithstanding the unique design and the LAGO TALKING FURNITURE project that powers interaction with the furniture. Connecting to each guests’ Smartphone device through a wired chip in the furniture, to activate a direct interaction with the resort, to learn about themed evenings or indeed to share images and reviews of the experience.”