Best of the Maldives: Most Bedrooms Villa – Kihaa

Kihaa Signature Residence

If you need a villa for your entire entourage, then Kihaa has introduced its Signature Residence with 10 bedrooms (nipping the previous highwater mark of 9 by Soneva Fushi’s Private Residence). Many reports have been billing the mansion sized “villa” as the “biggest” which I can’t confirm whether it is or not compared to Soneva’s 5540 sqm.

Performers in Paradise

Xander Parish (Russia) – NIYAMA

While there are certainly fewer Instagrammer poseurs than poseuses, performing artists in paradise are second only to footballers (a different kind of performers) and tend to do a bit more posting (PR with their fans I suspect). Here’s the latest collection of presenters, musicians, dancers and other entertainers (not actors who I track separately…stayed tuned).

Best of the Maldives: Art Cafe – Kandima

Kandima - art cafe

One of my favourite hangouts for my first stint as a travel writer and destination research in Togo, West Africa was the Café des Artes. The little tea shop displays and sold a variety of works from local artists including distinctive tapestries by an artist named Helga whose pieces are the pride of my African art collection. That local creativity set in a relaxing place to sip cold drinks and nibble treats all came flooding back to me when I stepped into Kandima’s Art Café. The joint sits adjacent to the resort’s art studio (so you can pop in for a coffee break while working on your Maldives masterpiece). The floor-to-ceiling windows look out over one of the rare inland lakes to be found on a resort island while also adds to the visual aesthetic.  And if that’s not enough inspiration, the cafe serves cakes as artistic as the surroundings themselves.


Fish Schools - two

The underwater seascape in the Maldives is just as spectacularly colourful as the famous ocean vistas above albeit with a bit of a broader palette. Here is the latest collection of fish soup of the day pictures of these aquatic tapestries…

Best of the Maldives: Horoscope Theme – Mirihi

Mirihi - whale shark pisces

Every day in the Maldives is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius (and a whale-sized bit of Pisces too), though if you fall under a different sign, you can still find just the right holiday experience on the zodiac constellation at MirihiThe Island Chief reports:

  • “Air Experience (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra) – Zodiac Attributes: Air signs tend to be fun loving, free-spirits who are intrigued and fascinated by the world around them. Guests who book the ‘Air’ package will be invited to enjoy a private, beach movie night under the twinkling stars. Islanders will have a selection of iconic films to choose from, whilst they relax, toes in sand, on scattered cushions and beanbags. Those booking this experience will also delight in a planet-gazing lesson, where an expert member of staff will be on hand to teach guests how to use Mirihi’s very own high-strength telescope, whilst explaining the unique constellations in the night sky. Air package starts from $4,700 per couple for seven nights in a Water Villa on a half board basis including seaplane transfers.”

Not sure why Aquarius isn’t included in the “Water Experience”.

Best of the Maldives: Yellowfin Tuna Seaplane – FlyMe

FlyMe yellow fin tuna seaplane

The latest surf-faring air transfer in the Maldives with a distinctly piscatorial picture scheme is FlyMe’s “yellow tuna” inspired seaplane…

  • FlyMe is bringing four Twin Otter 300 series planes and plan to begin their operations by October. The colourful and newly designed Flyme’s seaplane livery is inspired by the yellowfin tuna, the most widely-caught, and possible the most well-known, tuna species in the Maldives.”

The flying fish in the Maldives are the biggest in the world…

Surfin’ Snorkeler Safari

International Surfing Day today. Maldives continues to be one of the top surf destinations in the world making for some of the best action photoshoots from there blending the graceful motion of the water and the wave riders.

    Laura Enever, Alessa Quizon, & Isabella Nichols [ABOVE]

  1. Flavia Natalini (Italy)
    Flavia Natalini (Italy)

  2. Eden Gershon (Costa Rica) – Cokes Beach
    Eden Gershon (Costa Rica) - Cokes Beach
  3. Mimi Albero (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu
    Mimi Albero (Spain) - Anantara Dhigu
  4. Monika Takaki (Brazil) – Chicken Surf Spot
    Monika Takaki (Brazil) - Chicken Surf Spot
  5. Marina Werneck (Brazil) – Thulusdhoo
    Marina Werneck (Brazil) - Thulusdhoo
  6. Ludovica Robaudo (Italy) – Paradise Island
    Ludovica Robaudo (Italy) - Paradise Island

  7. Kehau (Australia – USA) – Kanuhura
    Kehau (Australia - USA) - Kanuhura

  8. Mari Stepanets (Russia)
    Mari Stepanets (Russia)
  9. Sylvia (Spain)
    Sylvia (Spain)
  10. Melania Suárez (Spain)
    Melania Suárez (Spain)
  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. Bianca Jade (South Africa)
    Bianca Jade (South Africa)
  14. Kristie Murray (Australia) – Vadoo
    Kristie Murray (Australia) - Vadoo
  15. Lindsay Steinriede (United Kingdom) – Vadoo
    Lindsay Steinriede (United Kingdom) - Vadoo
  16. Erin Edwards and Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Erin Edwards and Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) - Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
  17. Eve Riviere (France) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Eve Riviere (France) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi


Best of the Maldives: Soft Coral Wall – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru soft coral

When we think of coral reefs, we often think of the hard corals whose calcium carbonate exoskeletons are the stuff that this destination is made out of. But just as dazzling to the undersea adventurer are the colourful soft corals that line walls and often caves on the reefs. And the best dive spot for soft corals seems to be Becky’s Caves according to a number of experts I’ve conferred with. It is a site for Advanced divers as the sub-aquatic display, described as “lots of soft corals all coming out like grapes” starts at 22 metres deep. The nearest resort, JA Manafaru’s “Sun Diving School” describes it as

  • This reef is the north side of Madulu Island. The top reef starts from 7 meters and drops down until 20-25 meters depth, showing all its beauty. It is a real wall reef, where you can meet napoleon fishes, red snappers and morays, lion fishes and different kind of nudibranches in the small overhangs. At the depth of 20 meters, one huge recess of the reef shows on one side a wall completely covered of soft corals of different colors; from yellow, pink, white to orange, a real universe of colors! Bring with you your torch and your camera: one fantastic dive for everybody but one rare show to see!”

Best of the Maldives: Jetty Isle – The Residence Dhigurah

The Residence - jetty isle

When we were first considering going to the Maldives two decades ago, our friends described their trip and how they were on their resort island and saw another even smaller island across the water. They waded out a bit further to get a better look and before long they hade waded all the way across the lagoon to it (Rihiveli Beach). This one anecdote stuck in my mind more than others and seemed to capture the plot-of-sand-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean vibe more than any other illustration of the Maldives.

Since, then I’ve been on the constant lookout for miniscule islands as a part of the distinctive Maldivian aesthetic. With this post, I’ve even introduced a tag for it, “Mini Island”. The latest is this little sandbank with a touch of greenery and a small thatched cabana at The Residence Dhigurah. With the jetty passing so near, it might just be the closest of the detached mini-isles (thanks Francisco – long time fan of the original “mini island” at Rihiveli).