Why add a fake backdrop to your work Zoom calls when you could have the real thing? We’ve all experienced just how far one can go with remote working during the pandemic lockdowns, but Nautilus is inviting folks to go all the way out to the middle of the Indian Ocean with their special offering “Workstation Package”:
- “Work remotely from paradise your private Nautilus Beach Houses with our exclusive workation package; have the ultimate zoom call background from our castaway sandbank that will be your office for a day, have a private PA on hand 24/7 and continue your corporate errands whilst your children engage in a bespoke educational programme by Young Wonderers. Available from seven nights or longer if you decide you simply can’t leave your new paradise office!”
With prices starting at 23,250 USD for 7 nights in a Beach House you can also enjoy their Workation sandbank experience – “work for a few hours upon our secluded sandbank with your own personal desk, a shaded sun canopy and portable high speed wi-fi.”
The concept mashes up two of my passions and my most prominent websites – Maldives Complete and Dynamic Work. My founding vision statement for Dynamic Work (at the top of the home page) was “Within 10 years, the majority of ‘office work’ will be worked outside the office.” Which was a actually just about ten years ago. And research has shown that the lockdown has indeed pushed the incidence of remote and flexible working to 50% of the workforce (varying of course by geography, sector, etc).
Before and since, I have walked the walk of flexible working for many years now. And that meant working while in the Maldives (not just the work of Maldives Complete research, but also my day job that pays the MC bills). I was always happy to work for an hour during a day in the Maldives if that hour forestalled crises back at the office and allowed me to linger in paradise another entire day.
Another milestone for Maldives Complete as the Room Type database crossed the 1000 mark. When I started the website, there were typically just a few room types – standard, deluxe and maybe a water villa. A decade ago, I did a piece on Kurumba having the most room type variety (exactly a decade ago) with 8. These days, 8 is the lower end of the average number of room types for a resort. In fact, the fact that over 1000 types across the nearly 160 active resorts means that the average is nearly 7 categories for every resort. Soneva Fushi has 27 room types! Nearly every villa is unique and hence categorized as its own room type. With more and more resorts coming online, it was just a matter of time before this grand milestone was hit.
For the aspiring young footballers, One & Only Reethi Rah offers a special beach football pitch at its kids club. If there is one thing that rivals hours of snorkelling to tire out active youngsters (for that relaxing evening), it’s then running around (on the sand!) kicking their favourite ball.
A bit delayed and with a “new normal” skewed experience, both Maldives Tourism and Premiere League football have recommenced with this weekend being the starting whistle for most leagues like the Premier League. So to celebrate the return of football (albeit with a few safety tweaks), here is the Maldives Complete starting XI…
- Óliver Torres (Spain) – NIYAMA – FC Porto [ABOVE]
- Alberto Serrán Polo (Spain) – Bengaluru
- Guillaume Philippe Renault (Italy) – Atalanta BC
- Dwight Eversley Yorke (United Kingdom) – Kooddoo – Aston Villa
- Mauroi Cardi (Agentina) – Baglioni – Paris Saint Germain
- Brian Mengel (Denmark) – Kandima – Kolding
- Joel Pereira (Switzerland) – LUX North Male Atoll – Manchester United
- Marcos Llorente (Spain) – Joali – Real Madrid
- Tobias Karlsson (Sweden) – Paradise Island – Falkenbergs
- Daniel Agger (Denmark) – Liverpool
- Rio Ferdinand (United Kingdom) – Kudadoo – Manchester United
And the prize for the best football fanatic bed decoration goes to Anantara Dhigu…
If you prefer a more wind driven motif to your land-side maritime motif, LUX North Male Atoll features brilliant red “sails” as sunshades around it villa and main pools which provide a gentle luffing to your lounging. As it happens, LNMA atoll has a special 30% advance purchase offer on now. Sale away!
Your “remote” office doesn’t have to be on the water to be on a boat. If you want that maritime vibe with out the roll of the waves throwing off your Zoom camera, then Jurmeirah Vittaveli’s Five Bedroom Royal Residence with Pool will provide the seafaring atmosphere just close enough to the water to not distract:
A bit belated Labor Day post as I myself was on holiday yesterday (not the Maldives sadly). With remote working becoming the new default, high powered professionals (the work-hard-play-hard set who have always been a big market segment in the Maldives) can now extend their stay by keeping just enough tabs on the work back home. I’ve actually taken that approach for years. People wonder why I would want to interrupt paradise with thinking about work. I just see it as an investment…by doing 5% work during my stay, I can often extend my stay at least 50% (at 10x return of parardise time).
If I was heading out to the Maldives during a particularly busy time, I would consider Hideaway Beach where their water villa features a desk right by the water. Now that’s a corner office! Note: do be careful though (especially if you are mixing work with pina coladas) not drop your computer in the water. You might laugh, but I actually did this in the Maldives at our water villa a few years back. I picked up my backpack that I carried it in and hadn’t zipped it properly and it popped out, bounced on the deck and plunged into the water (fortunately, I was insured, backed up and had brought a spare with me).
Spy the friendly skies.
We have been spending many an evening recently lying flat on our backs star-gazing especially watching the always dramatic mid-August Perseids meteor shower (the biggest meteor shower of the year). It is such a special occasion that we blow up our air mattress and put it out on the lawn with pillows and a duvet so we will be comfy in the cool English night. We recently returned from a camping stay-cation with friends on the south coast of the UK (the closest we could come to a seaside surrogate to our annual Maldives visit) and introduced them to the super supine approach to contemplating the celestial firmament.
In the spirit of “everything is better in the Maldives”, Anantara Kihavah has installed the ultimate star gazing loungers atop their suitably named “Sky” lounge (also suitable for sunsets and ocean vistas). If only I could find someone to serve me tropical cocktails in my backyard.
A number of people are wary of staying near Male for fear of hearing airplanes taking off, but actually the planes you hear the most are the iconic seaplanes. I have actually found the whir of the seaplane engines part of the exotic allure of the destination. Shades of Fantasy Island’s exclamation “Da plane, da plane!” These turboprops have long been a favourite photo prop for the Maldives fashionista crowd.
With the collapse of the aviation industry with the global pandemic, despite living near one of the world’s busiest airports (Heathrow), the skies have been relatively empty for months. Now the contrails are starting to return to up above taking people back to far flung destinations and it’s almost a special occasion when we see one. Today is National Aviation Day (USA) so a chance to celebrate these distinctive steel birds taking guests to the far away dream destinations.
- Nicole Elgin (USA) – Drift Thelu Veliga
- Nancy (Thailand) – Sun Island
- Mai Ka (Poland) – Heritance Aarah
- Urvashi Rautela (India) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Olga (Russia) – Dhigali
- Urvi Shetty (India) – Kandima
- Beth Walkemeyer (Australia) – W Maldives
- Lisa Homsy (Canada) – Kandolhu
- Sakshi Malik (India) – LUX South Ari Atoll
- Svetlana Lewis (Russia) – Furaveri
- Dashama (USA) – Angsana Velavaru
- Anna Bella (Russia) – Fushifaru
- Sky Kiki Jung (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
- Carolina Dargel (Belarus) – NIYAMA
- Maria (Russia) – Furaveri
- Karina Zhosan (Ukraine) – Conrad Rangali
- Alena Omovych (Russia) – Furaveri
- Sanja Papić Ognjanović (Panama) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Hofit Golan and Josephine Forsberg (Israel) – Hideaway Beach
- Julia Raz (United Kingdom
- Mary Nova (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Parlikah (Thailand) – Six Senses Laamu
- Alexandra Sotnik (Russia) – Meedhupparu
- Rosanna Cordoba (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali
- Siobhan (Ireland) – Sirru Fen Fushi
- Aditi Rao Hydari (India) – Soneva Fushi
- Adriana Hughes (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Helen Owen (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
- Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon
- Arinka Nazarova and Ekaterina (Russia) – Paradise Island
- Olga Titova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Fer Espiritu (Mexico) – Vommuli
- Claudia Padgett (United Kingdom) – Soneva Fushi
- Zaki (Russia) – Furaveri
- Viktoriya Kabochkina (Russia) – Drift Thelu Veliga
- Anyuta Rai (Russia) – Hurawalhi
- Alena Yurzina (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Miss Huinii (South Korea) – Vommuli
- Wendy Gates (USA) – Velaa
- Natasha Ivanovs (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Maria Martelo Perez and Irina Dreyt (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Talia Richman (Australia) – Finolhu
- Ming Arinmas (Thailand) W Maldives
- Nudee Thoedsukbodee (Thailand) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
- Anna Barykina (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Camila Storchi (Brazil) – Sun Island
Both Lori and I work with disabled individuals and we are sensitised to the accessibility that is provided for them. Fortunately, we live in an age where accessibility is the norm. Not just to help those with disabilities, but helping a range of people facing their own mobility issues like the elderly or parents with prams and so on. There is something to be said for this norm just being integrated into the infrastructure in a pedestrian manner. Still, I was impressed that the aesthetic obsessives at Joali applied some of their style sense to the accessibility features as well. A few examples shown here are the marble accessibility ramp leading into the main bar (below) and the funky restroom symbols (above).