Plenty of reasons to treat your children to a break from Mom and Dad, and Mom and Dad can benefit too with some time together. One of those times is a romantic meal together, but how do the children get fed. Well, Ailafushi’s kids club features its own kids restaurant serving up pizza and pasta as well as sweets like cakes and cookies.
The most natural and aquatic “walls” to any Maldives resort space is Soneva Jani’s “Cave Bar” in its Den kids club. The pool bar especially designed for teens is secluded behind one of the two pool waterfalls. The other leads to the Cave Bar, an evening hangout for teens, complete with a DJ booth, and dance floor.
This feature has prompted me to add two new site Tags: “Teenager” (activities for which are in increasing demand with the rise in family holidayers at the destination) and “Waterfall” (I do appreciate water features).
The most natural roof in the Maldives has to be the Ritz Carlton Maldives teletubbyesque “Ritz Kids” kids club. Its living turf dome provides a rare hill-like impression for its youngster haven. Its circular portal opens to an extensive playground of activities and features (see below) all protectively coddled in this knoll-y corral.
One of the classic tick-boxes for a Maldivian resort are the archetypal thatched roof villas. While styling contemporary designs have proliferated across the destination with dramatic aesthetic allure, many still want that ‘authentic’ vibe of a Robinson Crusoe hut on a tropical island. A major challenge to catering for this preference is that palm thatch roofs are very expensive to build and maintain. Dhawa Ihuru has outfitted its buildings with Palmex artificial thatch which not only keeps costs down (do the property can be more affordable), but is also itself an eco-friendly solution being produced in a sustainable way and reducing the demand on harvesting palm trees as Palmex describes:
- Product waste in all our plants is diverted from final disposal and sent to be recycled in other plastic manufacturing processes. Our packaging is kept to an absolute minimum for shipping and is made of Palmex production waste. We have also undergone a third-party verification process with Vertima Inc. and Athena Sustainable Materials Institute where Palmex International Inc. products and our entire supply chain were assessed. We received the Validated Eco-Declaration® Certification summarizing verified environmental claim.
Frankly, we didn’t even notice that they are artificial until it was pointed out to us and we had a look very close
From our very first visit a quarter century ago received all sorts of aboriginal origami creations from staff, but during our visit to Sun Siyam Iru Veli Samaha and Nuhaz actually taught me how to these palm frond are made. They explained that they grew up honing their palm folding skills. Especially, during Eid is a traditional time for youngsters to show off their skills by fashioning the most elaborate designs. Bodu mas are especially popular during this festive holiday. The first item that Samaha made was a “watch” and a “rose” when she was 8 years old and wrote on it with a needle. She taught me how to make the rose during our tutorial and it came out pretty good if I do say so. The resort also offers these lessons to the younger generation of guests at the resort kids club.
The Maldives features all sorts of pools across the resorts – infinity pools, glass bottom pools, jacuzzi pools, exercise pools…you name it. But Cora Cora ’s ancient bathing pools are the most intriguing of the lot. They were excavated carefully by the resort after some construction revealed their presence buried under years of sand piled on top of them:
- “The Maldivian name for bathing tanks is ‘vevu’. These tanks were discovered in 2011 in the thick wooded area of Maamagili revealing complex ancient structures far remove from the modern history of the Maldives. Mature trees, decayed roots and several tonned of mud and sand were methodically removed to unearth the structure beneath. These bathing tank, widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent were also commonly found in the Maldives until the 1940s.”
It’s all about the water. The alluring azure ocean, the idyllic infinity pools…the Maldivian experience is defined by intimacy with ubiquitous water. So it was especially apropos to be welcomed at OZEN Maadhoo by an expansive water feature which set this aesthetic tone right from our arrival.
This post has prompted me to add a tag for “Reception” to assemble all of the posts about great reception features that welcome guests.
As the days get colder, wetter and shorter, one of my favourite days of the year in the UK is my annual visit to the World Travel Market in London where I hang out at the Maldives destination stand all for a bit of a surrogate Maldivian experience. The Maldivians staffing the exhibit surrounded by Maldives imagery provides just enough of a sense of the Maldives itself to take some of the sting out of encroaching winter. And the video tunnel of swimming whale sharks and mantas provided an extra touch of virtual reality to the escapist experience (video at bottom).
And this year’s stand was the biggest one yet. Check out the photo below which shows the entire length as everything in the picture is the booth. I spoke to countless resort reps including Madifushi Private Islannd, Robinson, Pullman Maamuta, Hilton Amingiri, Kuda Villingili, Amilla, Fiyavalhu Westin, Heritance Araah, South Palm, Ihuru. Riu Palace/Atoll, Brennia Kottafaru, Alia Kothifaru, Oaga.
I got media kits to fill out Resort and Room profiles for the site s well as discovered a number of great “Best of the Maldives” features to post about in the coming weeks. Two of the notable chats included:
- Havodda – a BIG question these days is “where is the best coral?” It’s difficult for even veterans like myself to answer because all of our coral experience pre-2016 (with the COTS and El Nino double whammy on top of increased ocean temps and construction disturbance) is pretty much moot. My recent research has been pointing to Gaafu Alifu/Gaafu Dhaalu as one of the brightest spots for coral based both on reports, but also on the topology that this atoll is very wide open with fewer outer shelf reefs so there is more flow of cooler open-ocean water. Chatting about this with some folks, they also noted that the Gaafus are the deepest atolls which also contribute to cooler (more coral-friendly) waters there and they confirmed that this atoll probably does have the best coral
- NOOE – They are just getting going, but he said that the new website will be up in a matter of days with lots of details. In the meantime, here is their Google Drive with lots of documents about the property – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/17qEnmvX8ITrirWi13DjrAl-h_LpopZVe.
More resorts feature more artistry from local creatives, and some bring these pieces into the villas, but Oaga features a veritable museum of distinctive art in its Veyoge Gallery Pool Villa room category. And if you are looking for an inspired memento of your ‘night at the museum’, you can purchase the pieces displayed. And even if you don’t buy one, your stay benefits the local artists who graced your space:
- “Suvāsthi Gallery Art: Revel in the art exhibited on the wall, part of our in-house art collection from Maldivian artists. All the displayed art is acquirable via our Suvāsthi Retail Gallery. Fun fact: For each night spent in this villa, an allocation will be made to the contributing artist community.”