Best of the Maldives: Graffiti Art – W Retreat

W Retreat - grafitti art 1

From the other extreme of rustic simplicity, W Retreat is featuring a number of vibrant graffiti pieces painted by the Maldivian artist Sobah from @TOXI_CREW. He was also learning from Alec Monopoly who came to W Maldives to paint the walls of the “W The Store”. W is always pioneering bringing a current, modern vibe to this ancient paradise for a distinctive mash up of new and natural.

W Retreat - grafitti art 2

Best of the Maldives: Tech Bracelets – Kandima

Kandima - key

Friday the 13th! Day of bad luck. According to List 25, keys and amulets have been good luck charms for centuries. At the soon to open resort Kandima, you room key is also an amulet…with a bit of its own magic charm (according to Clarke’s Third Law at least)…

  • “RFID wrist bands that allow guests full freedom to roam the island without needing to worry about a key… A key concept at Kandima is being tree friendly. That means that we have chosen to use digital signature capture technology where ever possible. Guests can sign with a stylus and see their signature captured at the same time. Our systems will have the ability to retrieve the captured signature at any time a guest would like to review a transaction… Some of the other initiatives that are driving the Kandima experience include the ability to have a range of services at all times of the day, technology enables this via APPS, in-room ordering, vending machines which will react to you at the wave of your arm band… We will have kiosk and app drive “build your own burger/pizza/omelets’ options… Our technology alignments will provide on demand video streaming which can also be ‘flicked’ to your mobile device, allowing you to continue watching a movie or TV program from the comfort of your porch, while your significant other lazes in bed surfing the net or updating their social media wall.”

We keep all our stuff in your room when we good for a walk, swim, etc. But you have to take your room key. Our swimsuits don’t have pockets so keeping up with the key is always a bit of an aggro. A stylish and fun bracelet is a great solution. Or is can wrap around anything like a beach bag or snorkel bag handle.  Or you can just keep them on your “handily” (yes, I intended that) on your wrist as you swim or snorkel as they are water resistant.

Kandima also provides slap bracelet USB stick with resort information and material. For those who didn’t enjoy the slap bracelets of the eighties, see mini-video below for a demonstration below.

Sunny Saluations Side of Life

Maldives yoga

Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the sun alone shines” – Swami Vivekananda

Today is the birthday of yoga pioneer Swami Vivekananda. Maldives attracts scores of its own pilgrims and pudits bringing prajna and pranayama to its paradise. Vivekananda also spread the spiritual principles and ideas of yoga and Indian philosophy of Vedanta. In his honour, I’ve compiled a top ten collection yoga shots featuring that most spiritually inspiring time of day – sunrise and sunset…

  1. Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Retreat
    Rosemary Vandenbroucke (Hong Kong) – W Retreat
  2. Tanya Shapoval (Ukraine) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
    Tanya Shapoval (Ukraine) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
  3. Katrina Robles (Phillipines) – Jumeirah VIttaveli
    Katrina Robles (Phillipines) – Jumeirah VIttaveli
  4. Beatrice Montessori (Italy) – Thudufushi
    Beatrice Montessori (Italy) - Thudufushi
  5. Danielle Peazer (United Kingdom) – Conrad Rangali
    Danielle Peazer (United Kingdom) - Conrad Rangali
  6. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) - Gili Lankanfushi
  7. Amy Bond (USA) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Amy Bond (USA) - Centara Ras Fushi
  8. Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat
    Tara Stiles (USA) – W Retreat
  9. Fiona Seror Elbaz (France) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Fiona Seror Elbaz (France) – Centara Ras Fushi
  10. Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi
    Jess Watson (Indonesia) – Maafushi

The powers of the mind should be concentrated and the mind turned back upon itself; as the darkest places reveal their secrets before the penetrating rays of the sun, so will the concentrated mind penetrate its own innermost secrets.” – Swami Vivekananda

Best of the Maldives: Map – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - birdseye map

Not quite the Edwardian “bird’s eye perspective” realism that I still haven’t seen, but Gili Lankanfushi’s is my favourite of all the resort maps. It has that pirate-chic treasure map vibe to it.

Gili’s map also veers a bit more toward the primitive art styling. It reminds me a bit of the historic Maokun” map which plotted the eastern trade route from China to the Red Sea. The excerpt below is tilted so that the north (India) is to the left, and the east (towards China) to the right. Smack in the middle, the sort of mitten-shaped mass before the map gets mostly white further right, is Sri Lanka. Obviously, the expanse of the Indian Ocean is collapsed completely! The little dots in the middle of the map represent the Maldives with the big “circle” being Male.

Chinese map

Googling Honeymoon

Googling Maldives

The Maldives continues to remain the world capital of “Honeymoons” even in the digital age. “Honeymoon” is the most frequently Googled keyword in association with the word “Maldives” in the phrase “What is the cost of [x] in [y]?” Other top products from around Asia are shown above and the link on the graphic takes you to the Business Insider article which covered the whole world.

Best of the Maldives: Heart Plaques – Anantara Veli

Anantara Veli - heart plaques

Instead of remembering the flowers there on your special, how about flowers to be a memento of your day. In sort sort of “Locks of Love” riff, Anantara Veli, provides commemorative plaques hung in their orchid nursey…

“Every Thursday evening on Veli there is a honeymooner’s cocktail party for Veli guests, at which they receive a heart engraved with their name and date of stay…or in some cases, ceremonial wedding date. This is then hung on the wall of the orchid garden. Most guests leave the hearts there, some guests take them away when they leave.”

At Veli, there is always flowers by your wedding date.

Over the Ocean Smoulder Holder

Hailey Baldwin (USA) – Six Senses Laamu

Lounging over the water is possibly most quintessentially Maldive thing you can do when you visit. The water villas put your bed over the water and you can hear the gentle splashes of water ripples crashing into the supports as well as fish cavorting underneath. A dozen resorts will get you intimately close to the water with their lagoon hammocks. But those do mean getting into a swimsuit and getting your toes (at least) wet.

One of the increasingly de rigeur water villa accessories is the over water hammock. Suspended directly above the magic waters of the Maldives, they not only provide a languid perch, but also a particularly inviting backdrop for a photoshoot. Lori generally demurs from fancy poses, but I did get her to pose a bit more flamboyantly on One & Only Reethi Rah’s villa hammocks (I believe the first resort to introduce them). Even I have gotten in on the act (at Club Med Kani’s reception villa).

Here are the Maldives Complete top twenty kings of the slings…

  1. Hailey Baldwin (USA) – Six Senses Laamu [ ABOVE]
  2. Diana Dryn (Ukraine) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Diana Dryn (Ukraine) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  3. Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) - Shangri-La Vilingili – GQ Brasil
  4. Nika Andryskova (Russia) – Amari Havodda
    Nika Andryskova (Russia) - Amari Havodda
  5. Dinel Dinel (Russia) Centara Ras Fushi
    Dinel Dinel (Russia) Centara Ras Fushi
  6. Alyssa Ramos (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Alyssa Ramos (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  7. Natallia Yakimchyk (Poland) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Natallia Yakimchyk (Poland) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
  8. Julie Taton (Belgium) – Kanuhura
    Julie Taton
  9. Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa
    Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa
  10. Kat (South Korea) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Kat (South Korea) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  11. Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Kihavah
    Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Kihavah
  12. Chriselle Lim (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
    Chriselle Lim (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
  13. Camilla MacIntosh (United Kingdom) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Camilla MacIntosh (United Kingdom) – Shangri-La Vilingili
  14. Belinda Young (Taiwan) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Belinda Young (Taiwan) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  15. Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
  16. Monlada Pongpanit (Thailand) – Anantara Kihavah
    Monlada Pongpanit (Thailand) – Anantara Kihavah
  17. Annie Osalu (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Annie Osalu (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
  18. Jessieann Lachowski (Canada) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Jessieann Lachowski (Canada) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  19. Dasha Sоlnechnaya (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Dasha Sоlnechnaya (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
  20. Rochelle Humes (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Rochelle Humes (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah