While guests might come to the Maldives to check out the bioluminescence of the plankton in the Maldivian waters, they acan also check out their own bioresonance at Joali Being. The “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby” episode about the Maldives hopped over to Joali’s latest property to see the latest tech for diagnosis and informing wellbeing. The host Monica Galetti visits its Areka Wellbeing Center to try out its “bio-resonance device which reads the energy produced by the living cells in her body.”
World Tourism Day today! And one of the best portrayals of the world of Maldivian tourism is BBC’s “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby” series (available on iPlayer in the UK for another year) hosted by Joali and Joali Being resorts. Yes, the show does have much of the contrived, shilling lifestyle porn vibe to it. But what makes it distinctive is its “peek behind the scenes”. And while the “work” that the two bubbly hosts roll their sleeves up to do is also a bit contrived (Monica Galetti less so then tv personality Rob Rinder because Monica is an actual chef), it is still a lovely portrayal of the efforts made by the staff to keep the property running smoothly. And I must say that the tour of Joali’s staff area was most impressive and surely one of the finest areas in the Maldives. Stay tuned for some added posts about a few distinctive aspect’s of Joali’s operations revealed by the show.
- “The Maldives’ first Hologram Room, recently opened at Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru, offers a magical “underwater” manta experience for the whole family, where no one gets wet. Unique hologram programs, based on real manta rays seen in the surrounding waters of the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, offer an extraordinary opportunity to virtually “swim” with manta rays, as well as other creatures such as the humpback whale, seahorse and mimic octopus. Two daily sessions of 30 to 45 minutes are hosted at the Resort’s on-site Marine Discovery Centre, offering guests of all ages colourful interactive opportunities to explore a life-size underwater wonderland.”
All-inclusive is becoming very de rigeur in the Maldives these days. But not the “AI” with cheap, constrain your budget, drink off-brand booze to your heart’s content stereotype, but “luxury AI” where the quality of the property and the “inclusions” are high. And in the luxury destination of the Maldives, the 5-star properties are regularly including everything under the sunshine to make the package even more appealing. Sun Siyam Iru Veli has gone beyond just “everything under the sun” to include under the water too with 3 dives included in its AI offering:
- “Within the premium all-inclusive package offered by Sun Siyam Iru Veli, up to three dives per person per week are included for certified divers as an alternative to spa credit. Guests must present a valid diving license and medical record if applicable. Boat charges and equipment hire fees do apply.”
One of the major areas where I collect lots of material on my Maldives tours is added dive charts and dive maps for the dive site database. The recent tour was so productive that I added over 100 new charts and scores of dive sites to the database. The additions brought new total number past the 2000 milestone and now sits at just over 2100!
Arrrggh, maties! Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! And if you want to celebrate by playing like a pirate, then Ailafushi’s kid’s club features the arcade game – “Lost on the Island of the Tropics” ($5 buys tokens to use). Avast ye swabbies!
Despite a double visit in the past year, the list of things I haven’t seen in the Maldives (yet) continues to compile. At least it is the shortest list I have ever posted which is maybe a sign that the resorts are introducing about everything one could imagine.
1. Artistic Acrylic Table – We might not have the whole table (see photo table), but our son Chase bought us a gorgeous cutting board by this maker which evokes the Maldives ocean edge every time we every time we serve with it.
2. Geode Slice Light Table – I highlighted the Maldives aesthetic of blue geodes as #1 in Haven’t Seen Yet #16, but Faithful Counter top have taken them to a new level incorporating a collection of them, AND lit from underneath.
3. Plankton Stars Blue Light Alert – This notion came to me during our recent visit to Sun Siyam Vilu Reef where we were delighted with seeing the “diamonds” of sparkling blue lights washing up on shore as a small bloom of bioluminescent plankton washed ashore. The word spread somewhat haphazardly through the resort and we only stumbled upon it when a bartender informed us. For something this magical, I would propose that a resort have a “blue light” special inspired alert with some blue LEDs they could light up whenever this relatively rare and precious occurrence is spotted.
4. Sound Walk – Another inspiration from our son Chase who studied Sound Art & Design and took us on this “sound walk” in London’s Regent’s Park. The artist had composed various sound art pieces incorporating field recording from the park. When you tuned into the app on your phone, the music morphed into different pieces inspired by your specific location in the park.
5. Water Concerto – DJ’s are so commonplace now. This should be the new ‘wave’ of musical entertainment.
6. Hanging Pilates – With all of the innovative wellness and fitness activities in the Maldives, I’ve seen hanging yoga, and hanging silks as well as several variations on pilates, but I’ve never seen hanging pilates.
7. Spin Tubing – I’ve featured lots of fanciful and thrilling water sports for water zoomies, but have never seen such a carnival-esque contraption as this one.
8. Surf Jetty – At a world-class surf destination like the Maldives, you could laboriously paddle out to your break, or holidaying in luxury, you could just stroll out. Especially with the Maldives’ famously modest sized waves known more for their length than their height. Or this might be a clever means to provide ready access to an especially fine snorkel point that is beyond a wave break.
9. Shark Wearable Blanket – No “Haven’t Seen” post would be complete without the obligatory shark item. Land Shark!
11. Kaya – Coconut Jam? I only found about it in Saveur’s article “Meet the Coffee-Shop Staple Serving Up Coconutty Vibes Around the World”.
12. Fresh Hot Donuts – Such a simple delight that they make them in food trucks at fun fairs. The donuts served at ALL resorts (even the luxury ones) are stodgy, stale and second-rate. Many must get tossed for being too past their sell-by-dart to put out again. So why not have a donut station making them fresh (with an array for special toppings…like coconut jam).
Maldives National Day is an apropos time to showcase more prominent Maldive nationals. Actually, Vogue Middle East recently published a great piece, “Faces of the Maldives”, an array of creative locals and talking about their aspirations and opportunities in 21st century Maldives:
- Shaziya Saeed, diving instructor & eco-warrior
- Mohamed Shiuz, musician
- Aishath Naj, photographer
- Aishath Shamla, fashion designer
- Ahmed Fatheen, chef
- Ahmed Riyaz and Mohamed Fayaz, entrepreneurs
- · Iru Zareer, marine conservationist
While I’ve already highlighted Aiafushi/Lobigili’s underwater treasure hunt at their underwater restaurant, Only Blu, our recent visit allowed us to see all of its spaciousness which also makes it the largest underwater restaurant in the Maldives. And with lots of restaurant real estate come lots of windows to see the vibrant aquatic life. Especially with every panoramic portal packed with fish frolicking corals. The most vibrant fish life of any underwater restaurant we have been to. Probably because (a) there is limited coral elsewhere in the area, and (b) they were drawn by the light of the diners.
Sun Siyam Iru Veli isn’t the first spa treatment with a view, but it is the one of the best I have come across. Both the glass floor portal and the head rest are open enough for easily opening your eyes and gazing at the aquatic life passing by. And the ocean underneath has several fish-attracting coral croppings to maximise the visual interest. [NOTE: I titled this post “Clear View” to distinguish it from another fine spa view at Coco Bodu Hithi, but which it obstructed a bit by the design on the glass and the flower arrangement on top]
A treatment room with a view.