The ever escalating arms-race for the biggest payload of opulence has tended focus on the venue, namely an underwater room. But Jumeirah Vittaveli’s latest foray onto the battlefield of epicurean extravagance demonstrates that you can have an aircraft carrier scale lavishness of experience even without the subaquatic dining table. This Is Insider reports the details…
- “Those opting for the experience will be picked up from their home by a butler and whisked off to the closest airport to board a private jet bound for the Maldives. A private catamaran will then take you to the resort. Then, on whatever day you choose, a private seaplane will take you to Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous’ [see photo above] island pop-up HIDE restaurant for an exclusive meal. Afterwards, you get to unwind on a private yacht. The experience includes a five-night stay in one of the resort’s new Private Ocean Retreats, which come equipped with winding slides.”
And with a price tag of $50,000, it might just be the most expensive meal “out” in the world. So if the spouse says they don’t particularly fancy cooking tonight, be careful saying “anything you like, honey”.
One of the newest properties, Kudadoo, continues to introduce new features I’ve not seen including a bit drier salty hangout, the Lonu Immersion…
- · “Our Lonu Cave is lined with mineral-rich Himalayan salt that’s more than 1,000 years old and renowned for its healing qualities. Spending time in the salt chamber, breathing in the world’s most healing salt air is the natural way to clear sinuses, your lungs, and ease muscles, before surrendering to the Himalyan salt stone therapy, ensuring you feel completely cleansed and rested.”
Seems to me time to introduce the “Salt” tag for all the spicy offerings amidst this saltwater paradise.
At the other end of the vertical spectrum is Fushifaru’s underwater swing amidst the scuba bubbles on the house reef. Just a stunning a view and breath-taking in quite a different way.
Amilla Fushi has combined two of my recent distinctions – bubble deck and villa tower – for a doubly distinctive bubble tower. The resort describes this new feature as follows…
- “The bubble tent concept is being elevated to a whole new level in the Maldives this year, as luxury resort trendsetter Amilla Fushi debuts its new Skyhouse with Bubble accommodation –tranquil treetop eyries with their own private transparent Bubble, breathtakingly suspended 12 metres up between a canopy of lush palms and the vast Maldivian skies…Encircled by swaying palms, and measuring 4 metres in diameter, the Bubble’s interior will feature custom-fitted wooden floors, a rotating daybed, telescope, Bang & Olufsen soundsystem and bespoke furnishings. A removable cover provides solar protection during the day – and come nightfall, unfettered views of the star-studded heavens above…Conceived and custom-designed by Eye In The Sky, the transparent inflatable Bubbles are constructed with super-strong, high tech polyester fabric using exclusive Précontraint Serge Ferrari® technology. UV-protected, fully waterproof and climate-controlled, the Bubbles create an inspiring environment where guests can enjoy a uniquely immersive, closer-to-nature experience – without compromising on high-spec design and luxurious creature comforts.”
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To get as close to somewhere over the rainbow as possible (and other celestial sights), Soneva Fushi sets a new highwater, well high in the air, mark for an open vista platform. Recently completed its latest villa, the five-bedroom Villa 37. The 11 metre tall viewing tower, reached by a winding staircase encircles a dining table called the Moonlight Table at the summit. This viewing tower is now the tallest point on the island and the ideal spot to take in the panoramic views, sunrises, sunsets, dining experiences and stargazing.
If you want to get to see your sharks with jet speed, then Hurawalhi offers a diving speed boat. Not a typical diving dhoni that chugs along to your dive site, but a proper speed boat that gets you there in half the time. It not only saves time just sitting on the boat when you could be back on the resort sipping pina coladas, but is handy in other ways. The dive masters got reports of a juvenile whale shark in the area and in the boat we were able to do a quick reckie to see if it was still around before proceeding home (no luck).
The biggest flying sea creature is the Embraer plane visit last month to the Maldives. Maldives Isle website reported…
- “Embraer’s E190-E2 Profit Hunter demonstration airplane, with its distinctive shark livery, completed a demo flight at Velana International Airport this afternoon. Potential buyers and prominent airline officials from Maldivian, Flyme and Manta Air took part in the 1-hour demo flight.”
Maybe not a permanent fixture, but to fun to omit from the collection of sea creature inspired aviation in the maldives.
You definitely will see mantas in the Maldives. Flying through the air, as has been recently portrayed by the BBC’s “Earth” programme is maybe as a rare as a Sea-Rex prowling the reef. Though at Joali you are not only guaranteed to see a flying manta, you can also take a seat in it.
…and you will find them in amongst the vibrant and varied marine life of the Maldives! Snorkeling and diving has long been one of the great appeals to this aquatic wonderland. Triggerfish, reef sharks and wrasses are ubiquitous, but some species are much more elusive. After 20 years of visiting the Maldives staying at over 90 resorts, we have yet to see a whale shark. Mind you, I would be just as happy if I spotted one of these rare creatures in my underwater meanderings…
- ZEBRA BAT FISH – Swimming in schools, their stripes confuse the predatory Lion Fish (above).
- LACCADIVE CROCODILE – Distant relative to the African variety thought to have migrated from Madagascar (below).
- SEA-REX – A living fossil as ancient as the Megalodons that prowled these waters millions of years ago (bottom).