For those full-on carne connoisseurs out there, Jumeirah Maldives has its own dry beef ager at its signature Beach Rouge steakhouse restaurant. Just right for to be accompanies by some suitably aged vintage claret.
Best of the Maldives: Ethical Meat – Amilla
Many people are reducing their consumption of meat for a variety of reasons, but one of the most prominent is their concern over the ethics of the meat production on both the animals and the planet. While some have completely eliminated meat from their diet, for others going completely cold turkey (or cow?) is a bit too challenging. As a part of their ethos to help guests take step to great sustainability, Amilla is offering a range of ethical meats on its menus:
- BEEF – Cape Grim Beef from Tasmania “is proud collective of beef farmers throughout Tasmania, King and Flinders Islands, [who] have a commitment to ethical practices and are audited by a third-party. They nurture the finest quality cattle, without harming the pristine environment.” As an extra bonus to the quality they are only grass fed, and the cows don’t have to walk distances for their grass (because it rains so much) resulting in a distinctive level of fat marbling. Finally, the air in the location is the cleanest in the world.
- PORK – Dingley Dell Bacon from Suffolk, UK whose operation is built around a “philosophy of animal welfare, taste and sustainability.” Also, Dingley Dell have planted 33.2 hectares of their farm in wild flowers so the bees have food.
- POULTRY – I’ve already written about Amilla’s luxury poultry accommodation for its chickens, “Cluckingham Palace”.
- CONDIMENTS – Amilla uses bananas and coconut sugar from the island to make the ketchup as well as a island produced BBQ. The homemade versions not only reduce the food-miles, but also avoid the the caramel colour (gluten) and refined sugar of the commercial versions.
Best of the Maldives: Vegetarian/Vegan Eatery – Joali Being
It’s never difficult to find a veggie option in the Maldives with its shared culinary heritage with the Indian subcontinent and the general popularity of well-being options among the destination’s guests. But the newly opened Joali Being has a set a new bar for a spectacular vegetarian eatery, Plantae:
- “Travellers can choose to eat at Flow, the resort’s open-plan interactive dining space which has three kitchens including Plantae, a fully vegetarian and vegan eatery,”
For vegetarians used to having a few “V” options at the bottom of the menu, Joali elevates meat-free dining to a sort of culinary cathedral.
Best of the Maldives: Culinary Spa – SAii Lagoon
How did you celebrate Valentines this week? A decadent spa day? A sumptuous meal? How about both in one? SAii Lagoon’s Len Be Well spa have coupled a spa-dining combo for couples. You have savour both tactile and tasty sensations in a treatment that enhances the body inside and out.
Best of the Maldives: Wellness Concierge – Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
One of Maldives Complete’s initial objectives was to help people sort through the myriad resort options. Options which have only expanded with the resort growth and the profusion of diverse room types. It’s almost like Maldives Complete is a “resort concierge” (or “room concierge”). When we first started visiting the destination in the 90s, spas were an anomaly, but now they are standard fare. And spas at the luxury properties have as many bewildering choice of treatments as the Maldives has resorts. So Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi has introduced its own “Wellness Concierge”:
- “Aqua Wellness Centre, featuring a brand-new Hydrotherapy Pool, Maldives first-ever wellness concierge as well as unique spa treatments, all surrounded by a lush botanical garden facing the Indian Ocean. The brand new 7,735 square-foot elaborate Aqua Wellness Centre features a custom-built Hydrotherapy Pool, ice fountain, steam room and sauna. Set atop the crystal Maldivian waters, the 2,906 square-foot outdoor pool is designed in zones, where each station of the pool targets a different part of the body. The zones – which include jet bath, air jets, shower jets, and massage lounger.”
Best of the Maldives: Over-Water Beauty Therapy – Jumeirah Maldives
In the early years, the “spa” was relegated to some small rooms in sequestered in the middle of the island. With the rise of wellness tourism, resorts brought the spas front and centre to the main stage of the destination – over water. Now, an over-water spa common fare among the five-star Maldives properties. And yet, within the spas themselves, the massages are the main event and most of the treatments rooms are designed and reserved for the treatments. The spas will often feature beauty treatments – eg. facials, manicures, pedicures – but they are most often found near the entrance with a limited ocean view. But, the Jumeirah Maldives spa gives the aestheticians the same pride of place as the masseuses with an over-water room with floor-to-ceiling windows on 3 sides. Good looking out for those getting their looks good.
I’ve realized with this post that I need an “Over Water” tag for all those over water treats (but keeping the overwater villa features separate).
Best of the Maldives: Pool Lunch – Kandima
Floating breakfasts have gone from being never seen before to don’t miss. But what if you are not a big breakfast person (or just like a particularly leisurely lie-in on holiday)? Well, Kandima has introduced the floating lunch. Now that’s a “liquid lunch”!
Best of the Maldives: Water Villa Sauna – Soneva Jani
I’d actually been on the lookout for something like this my latest “Not Yet Seen” draft when I came upon an outdoor sauna pod doing Christmas shopping. Not a sauna, but a steam bath at Soneva Jani with a bonus twist of being perched on the deck of one of their water villas. The room was sensibly designed with two large floor-to-ceiling walls facing the turquoise vista of the lagoon (I didn’t get to try it out to see how much the steamed glass affected the view). Still, I love the idea of relaxing in the soothing heat coming from something other than rays of sunshine while still taking in the outdoor scenery (as opposed to being sequestered away in some nook of a spa facility).
Steamy room with a view!