“Maldives goes on Guiness World Record for the most people freediving simultaneously, with 520 participants on Tuesday, 1 October 2019. The small island nation renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and luxury hospitality broke the world record previously held by Italy; ‘La Scuola del Mare 2’ (Verona), in Torri del Benaco, Verona with 280 people.”
For the biggest banquet under one roof (and even out from the roof) Olhuveli’s main restaurant seats a glutinous 600 guests. The island only has 164 rooms (so approximately 350 guests at any time), but some staff eat there and the extra capacity gives diners more choices about where they want to eat. For example, they might want to enjoy the extensive outdoor deck seating on a lovely evening or afternoon. But if the squalls are passing through, they might prefer the cover of inside area. Plenty of choice on seating and an equally expansive range of buffet options and stations.
For a banquet of choice across the island, Sun Siyam Irufushi offers 14 different dining outlets as well as range of destination dining (room service, beach dinners). This smorgasbord of culinary collection eclipses the previous high water mark held by Kurumba (10). Their website has a page about each dining venue that includes a video tour of every one.
- La Cremeria
- Taste of India by Fluid
- Islanders Grill
- Water Edge
- Bubble Lounge
- Spa Cafe
- Fluid Bar
- The Wine Cellar
- Destination Dining
For a full on Maldivian banquet, Maldivian cuisine fused with even more Maldivian cuisine (and a touch of Sri Lankan accompaniment for good measure), steel your belly for Heritance Aarah’s 13 course Laccadive extravaganza at its Ambula restaurant:
- “13-course journey in contemporary Sri Lankan and Maldivian fare at Ambula, dining on curried garlic lobster kottu, oxtail broth and seared tuna thiyal, accompanied by a delicious Colombard wine.” (CondeNast Traveller)
- “Maldivian born and bred, Chef Sobah is considered one of the pioneers of his islands’ rich culinary heritage. As a child, his family’s main source of income was from fishing, and he would help his parents sun-dry and smoke the daily catch. Today, Chef Sobah draws upon the traditional techniques of Maldivian cooking in his Soneva Fushi restaurant, Sobah’s, the first restaurant in the Maldives to offer authentic Maldivian fare with a contemporary twist.”
I’ve added a tag for “Fusion” with this post as so many of the top properties are distinguishing their fare with the flai of inventive combination.
Fusion is a fun way to blend diverse flavours and culinary traditions for exciting new tastes, but LUX North Male Atoll’s INTI restaurant is probably the most diverse combo we have come across – Japanese and Peruvian.
Before you think someone just threw a couple of darts at a map, it turns out that Japan and Peru have a longstanding cultural connection. Peru was the first Latin American country to have diplomatic relations with Japan in 1873. At the end of Peru’s War of the Pacific in 1884, the Chinese worker population had been greatly reduced and there was big demand for farming labour. Then when the First Sino-Japanese War ended in 1895, the Japanese economy was crippled and young farmers started looking overseas for opportunities. Rumours of gold, mild climate, rich soil and similar seafood cuisine added to the allure and influx.
LUX describes the establishment: “Savour octopus with black olive mayo, Tiradito breads and smoky guacamole – or take in a five-course fresh fish Cerviche tasting. Sip on an iced Peruvian beer, warm sake or Pisco sour as the smells and sounds of Peru and Japan stir the sensory feast.” We enjoyed a sumptuous meal which did meld the delicate traditions of Japanese sushi with bolder flavoured ingredients like the purple maki (see above).
The name “INTI” is the name of the Inca sun god. The décor of the dining area is a collection of suns – fusing the icon of sun god, “Land of the Rising Sun” and, of course, the Maldives’ own sun-infused splendour (where modern day sun worshippers flock).
If you want to get dressed up for Japan Day today, then Joali provides elegant his and hers kimonos in every room. Accompanied by matching rattan Japanese sandals, they were designed South African designer Admore.
All you trick-or-treaters out there are having to trudge door to door to get your sweeties today, but at Dhigali the pool attendant comes by your lounge chair regularly throughout the day to deliver sweet ice lollies to each guest. No need for fancy dress as your swimming costume will be just fine.
Pink October – the colours in the battle against breast cancer worldwide during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – concluded in the Maldives with a flock of Pink Ribbon Walks held on 28 islands sponsored by Cancer Society of Maldives and Bank of Maldives (BML). Maldives Complete pink celebration is brought to you by a flock of fun-in-the-sun floats which are probably the most prolific pink on the resort landscape and certainly on the Insta-scape…
- Jibril Ows (France) – LUX South Ari Atoll [ABOVE]
- Sabrina Stander (Germany) – LUX North Male Atoll
- Daria Klyukina (Russia) – Nautilus
- Uyen Meow (Vietnam) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
- Radhika Seth (India) – Kandima
- Power System (Canada) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
- My Life Inspiration (Russia) – Vilu Reef
- Justina Mikalauskaitė (Lithuania) – Finolhu
- Moumita Moitra (India)
- Annie (Australia) – Conrad Rangali
- Darcy Gillies (United Kingdom) – Kihaa
- Sylvie L. (Hungary)
- Chuithing Lim (Taiwan) – Angsana Velavaru
- Melanie Lucia (Germany) – Holiday Island
- Son G (Korea) – Halaveli
- Maria Ponomaryova (Russia) – Ayada
- MonNy Sirilak (Thailand) – Halaveli
- Yaki Wong (Hong Kong) – Outrigger Konotta
- Nelly Oz (Russia) – Ayada
- Sukimin Thio (Indonesia) – Park Hyatt Hadahaa
- Kateřina (Czech) – Holiday Island
- Echo Ohe (China) –
- Nastya Globa (Russia) – Kihaa
- Barbie Pelomundo (Brazil) – Hurawalhi
- Fatima Almomen (Kuwait) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Sayhey Tokatrin (Russia) – Meeru
- Marie Fe (Spain) – Coco Bodu Hithi
- Alisa Regula (Russia) – Meeru
- Ann Korshun (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – Fours Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Lera Bukinaa (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
- Oh Natty (Poland) – Paradise Island
- Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee –
- Yarmy Shiva (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Aygul Abdullina (Russia) – Cinnamon Dhonveli
LUX South Ari Atoll floating solar farm is using the sea to save the sea. Exploiting the expansive areas of sun-drenched waters, their floating solar system is the not just the Maldives’ largest, but the world’s largest:
- “This unique technology called SolarSea gathers solar energy directly on the ocean to power the island in an eco-friendly fashion. As part of the resort’s commitment to sustainability, LUX* South Ari Atoll has pledged to minimize carbon dioxide emissions. To achieve this goal, the five-star luxury resort partnered with the leading solar provider Swimsol, an Austrian-Maldivian company, which provided a solution to overcome the limited space available for solar panels on small tropical islands. Consequently, Swimsol developed the first and only patented floating solar system that is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the waves, storms and saltwater…The resort is already using a rooftop system with the same solar company. Once all suitable roofs were covered with solar panels, the resort decided to expand beyond the shoreline with twelve SolarSea platforms. Thereby the solar capacity increased by 40% and reached 678 kWp, enough to power all guest villas with solar energy during the peak sun hours. The result is cheaper energy and a saving of more than 260,000 litres of diesel per year that previously were needed to produce the same amount of electricity with combustion engines.”
Sunny days to un-warm the ocean.