Best of the Maldives: Wellness Villa – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - wellness villa

Amilla Fushi takes villa innovation a beyond architecture and design to entirely new concept with its Wellness Tree House. The villa is more than accommodation, but better described as an entire experience centred around well-being:

  • “The one bedroom Wellness Tree House by Bodyism at Amilla combines a secluded spa, fitness and healthy eating experience in the treetops so that your entire wellbeing is holistically cared for.”

Refreshing the body and spirit isn’t confined to a few appointments at a spa, but instead is woven into nearly every part of your stay. The villa package includes trainer who visits and all of the sodas and energy drinks and junk food are removed from the room and replaced with healthy ones.

Also, with its rare tree house setting, certainly the most uplifting stay in the Maldives.

Amilla Fushi - wellness treehouse

Best of the Maldives: Sand Bridge – Finolhu

Finolhu - sand spit

Maldives resorts themselves are adorned with aesthetically enchanting white sand. One of the most distinctive are the long, narrow spits of sand jutting out into the ocean. The longest stretch of sand (as a opposed to a long beach on a long island) extends from Finolhu’s southern side for an entire 1.8 kilometres. Typically, such arenaceous promontories lead nowhere in particular except an expanse of blueness. But Finolhu’s takes you to a number of resort treats including the best parts of the house reef and the its first rate Crab and Fish Shack.

Pretty Gritty

Sand - anon

Not everyone is in a rush to double clean the coral white sand from their bodies. “Veli” means “sand” in Dhivehi and you see it in a few resort names (eg. “Veligandu” means “Sand Bank”). But among the fashionista set, it is a very popular natural make-up for photo shoots (its brilliant white colour proving a striking contrast to the bronzed complexions). Also, the “sand hand print” shot (to the derriere) has become all the vogue (see #11, #19, #25, #41) since I posted the first sandy collection.  And some have gotten even more artistic with their arenaceous medium (see #1, #6, #47).  Here is the Maldives Complete sandy seventy (making an even 100 to the total collection) looking veli photogenic…

  1. Alzbeta Kucerova and friend (Czech) – Maafushi
    Alzbeta Kucerova (Czech) – Maafushi
     
  2. Chiara Carcano (Italy) – Cocoon
    Chiara Carcano (Italy) - Cocoon

     
  3. Olga Nikitina (Russia) – Taj Exotica
    Olga Nikitina (Russia) - Taj Exotica
     
  4. Veronika Kotova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Veronika Kotova (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  5. Szelokho (USA) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Szelokho (USA) - Gili Lankanfushi
      
  6. Anyuta Rai (Russia) – Veligandu
    Anyuta Rai (Russia) - Veligandu
      
  7. Nikolett Németh (Hungary) – Kurumba
    Nikolett Németh (Hungary) - Kurumba
      
  8. Aggie Lal (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
    Aggie Lal (USA) - Six Senses Laamu
       
  9. Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
    Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
      
  10. Mar Mengot (Spain) – Athuruga
    Mar Mengot (Spain) - Athuruga
      
  11. Jourdan Raine (United Kingdom) – Meedhupparu
    Jourdan Raine (United Kingdom) - Meedhupparu
      
  12. Katy Zubova (Russia)
    Katy Zubova (Russia)
      
  13. Poonam Pandey (India) – Sheraton Full Moon
    Poonam Pandey (India)
      
  14. Chiara Ferragni (Italy) – Amilla Fushi
    Chiara Ferragni (Italy) - Amilla Fushi
      
  15. Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  16. Radmila Sadykova (Russia) – Fotteyo Kandu
    Radmila Sadykova (Russia) - Fotteyo Kandu
      
  17. Lady Boss (Russia) – Kamadhoo
    Lady Boss (Russia) - Kamadhoo
      
  18. Malia Murphey (USA) – W Maldives
    Malia Murphey (USA) - W Retreat
      
  19. Martyna Rybka (Poland) – Kuredu
    Martyna Rybka (Poland) - Kuredu
      
  20. Manjushree Saikia (India) – Maafushi
    Manjushree Saikia (India) - Maafushi
      
  21. Natalie Roser (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Natalie Roser (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
      
  22. Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
    Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
      
  23. Mariel Chjen (Germany) – Kuredu
    Mariel Chjen (Germany) - Kuredu
      
  24. Raquel Cueto Ruiz (Spain) – Anantara Veli
    Raquel Cueto Ruiz (Spain) - Anantara Veli
       
  25. Kristina Marakova (Russia) – Mahibadhoo
    Kristina Marakova (Russia) - Mahibadhoo
      
  26. Any Salceanu (Italy) – Paradise Island
    Any Salceanu (Italy) - Paradise Island 2
       
  27. Mariaelena (Italy) – Palm Beach
    Mariaelena (Italy) - Palm Beach
      
  28. Martynova Natalya (Russia) – Fotteyo Kandu
    Martynova Natalya (Russia) - Fotteyo Kandu
      
  29. Naomi Serra (France) – Paradise Island
    Naomi Serra (France) - Paradise Island
      
  30. Viki Odintcova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Viki Odintcova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  31. Mariya Berg (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Mariya Berg (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  32. Dasha Lashes (Russia) – W Maldives
    Dasha Lashes (Russia) - W Retreat
      
  33. Pepper Chocolate (Italy) – Kihaad
    Pepper Chocolate (Italy) - KIHAAD
      
  34. Maria Glass (Russia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraaaru
    Maria Glass (Russia) - OZEN
      
  35. Darya Radchenko (Russia) – Kihaad
    Darya Radchenko (Russia) - Kihaad
      
  36. Ewa Chodakowska (Poland) – Six Senses Laamu
    Ewa Chodakowska (Poland) - Six Senses Laamu 2
      
  37. Nia Sharma (India) – Meedhupparu
    Nia Sharma (India) - Meedhupparu
      
  38. Belinda Morgan (Australia) – Club Med Kani
    Belinda Morgan (Australia) – Club Med Kani
      
  39. Yakushevskaya (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Yakushevskaya (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  40. Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia)
      
  41. Vlada Sharpilova (Ukraine) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Vlada Sharpilova (Ukraine) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  42. Kristina Mendonca (Australia) – W Maldives
    Kristina Mendonca (Australia) - W Retreat
       
  43. Paula Paola (Poland) – Komandoo
    Paula Paola (Poland) - Komandoo
       
  44. Iren Buchovskaya (Ukraine) – Sheraton Full Moon
    Iren Buchovskaya (Ukraine) - Sheraton Full Moon
       
  45. Maria Glass (Russia) – OZEN
    Maria Glass (Russia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraaaru
      
  46. Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee
    Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee 2
     
  47. Helene Huttmann (Denmark) – Anantara Veli
    Helene Huttmann (Denmark) - Anantara Veli
       
  48. Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
      
  49. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) - AaaVeee 2
      
  50. Arisha Gz (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Arisha Gz (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  51. Amy Patcha (Thailand) – Hideaway Beach
    Amy Patcha (Thailand) - Hideaway Beach

      
  52. Ylianna Dadashi (USA) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Ylianna Dadashi (USA) - Huvafenfushi
       
  53. Kaya (China) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Kaya (China) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
       
  54. Renee Somerfield (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Renee Somerfield (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
      
  55. Courtney Eaton (Australia)
    Courtney Eaton (Australia)
      
  56. Lee Ann Liebenberg (South Africa) – Anantara Veli
    Lee Ann Liebenberg (South Africa) – Anantara Veli
       
  57. Nastya (Russia) – Rihiveli Beach
    Nastya (Russia) - Rihiveli Beach
      
  58. Serena Adsit (Singpore) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Serena Adsit (Singpore) - Club Med Finolhu Villas
       
  59. Caitlyn Howe (USA) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Caitlyn Howe (USA) - Gili Lankanfushi
      
  60. Christine Teigen (USA) – Anantara Dhigu
    Christine Teigen (USA) – Anantara Dhigu

        
  61. Olesya Kondratieva (Russia) – Velaa
    Olesya Kondratieva (Russia) - Velaa

       
  62. Solveig Mork (Denmark) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Solveig Mork (Denmark) – Gili Lankanfushi
       
  63. Alya Bellka (Ukraine) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Alya Bellka (Ukraine) – One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  64. Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
       
  65. Bar Refaeli (Israel) – Anantara Dhigu
    Bar Refaeli (Israel) – Anantara Dhigu
       
  66. Yunkoro (Japan) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Yunkoro (Japan) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
       
  67. Jenia Shtefan (Russia) – Sheraton Full Moon
    Jenia Shtefan (Russia) – Sheraton Full Moon
       
  68. Natasha Jeanvie (Russia) – Meedhupparu
    Natasha Jeanvie (Russia) – Meedhupparu
       
  69. Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
    Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
       
  70. Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu [VIDEO]

   

Best of the Maldives: Entry Double Cleanse – Dhigufaru

Dhigufaru - entry double cleanse

Maldives resorts offer a number of ubiquitous features – jetties, infinity pools, pina coladas but that doesn’t mean they are all the same. A major motivation for my “Best of the Maldives” series is exploring the incredible variety across sometimes very simple amenities. Like the foot rinsing that every villa has to cleanse feet from beach walks (or walks anywhere on the sand covered property really). The simplest are tubs to dunk your feet in. Sometimes they add a locally-inspired hollowed out gourd ladle. But the most elaborate I have come across is Dhigufaru’s double cleanse station. A faucet (not too uncommon) coupled with a flexible shower hose. The latter is especially helpful for sand on the legs or elsewhere if you have interrupted your walk with a leisurely sand wallow.

Punxsutawney Phil Pair Posing

Me and my shadow on Groundhog Day today – 2/2. Even if Punxsutawney Phil does see his shadow and we have winter for 6 more weeks (42 days), here is a collection of daily dynamic duos to heat up your winter. The previous double trouble instalment featured 22 duos, but the popularity pair posing means twice that amount of braces this time. Still, this is a Groundhog Day we wouldn’t mind seeing again and again…

  1. Brooke Hogan and Natalie Roser (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa [VIDEO]
  2. Mathilde and Pauline Tantot (France) – Maafushi
    Mathilde and Pauline Tantot (France) - Maafushi
      
  3. Paula Manzanal and Marian Neargy (Peru – Greece) – Reethi Faru
    Paula Manzanal and Marian Neargy (Peru - Greece) - Reethi Faru
      
  4. Dominika and Siobhan Mcauley (United Kingdom / Ireland) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Dominika and Siobhan Mcauley (United Kingdom - Ireland) – Sun Siyam Irufushi 3
      
  5. Emilee Hembrow and Shani Grimmond (Australia / USA) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Emilee Hembrow and Shani Grimmond (Australia - USA) - LUX South Ari Atoll
        
  6. Marta and Federica Riccardi (Italy) – Halaveli
    Marta and Federica Riccardi (Italy) - Halaveli
      
  7. Eva Gutowski and Belle Lucia (USA – Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Eva Gutowski and Belle Lucia (USA - Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  8. Natali Danish and Giulia Calcaterra (Ukraine / Italy) – Cocoon
    Natali Danish and Giulia Calcaterra (Ukraine - Italy) - Cocoon
      
  9. Anyuta Rai and Yana Leventseva (Russia / Thailand) – Kihaa Maldives
    Anyuta Rai and Yana Leventseva (Russia - Thailand) – Kihaa Maldives
      
  10. Cara Delevingne and Josephine de La Baume (United Kingdom / France) – Amilla Fushi
    Cara Delevingne and Josephine de La Baume (United Kingdom - France) – Amilla Fushi
      
  11. Evita Šupienytė and Sandra Čibinskaitė (Lithuania) – W Maldives
    Evita Šupienytė and Sandra Čibinskaitė (Lithuania) - W Maldives
      
  12. Adelina and Alina Fatkheeva (Tartarstan) – Soneva Jani
    Adelina and Alina Fatkheeva (Tartarstan) - Soneva Jani 3
      
  13. Anna Trestain and Syl (OAE) – Angsana Velavaru
    Anna Trestain and Syl (OAE) - Angsana Velavaru
      
  14. Yana Mamma and Natasha Davydova (Russia) – Soneva Fushi
    Yana Mamma and Natasha Davydova (Russia) - Soneva Fushi
      
  15. Galina Dub and Viki Odintcova (Russia) – Cocoon
    Galina Dub and Viki Odintcova (Russia) – Cocoon
       
  16. Karolina Varab and Laura Petkeviciute (Lithuania – United Kingdom) – W Maldives
    Karolina Varab and Laura Petkeviciute (Lithuania – United Kingdom) - W Maldives 3
      
  17. Lisa Smith and Emily Hutchinson (Australia) – Kanuhura
    Lisa Smith and Emily Hutchinson (Australia) - Kanuhura
      
  18. Lindsey Heppner-Motka and Gabby Epstein (USA) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Lindsey Heppner-Motka and Gabby Epstein (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili
      
  19. Albina and Mary Muravieva (Russia) – Meedhupparu
    Albina and Mary Muravieva (Russia) - Meedhupparu
       
  20. Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Evangelie Smyrniotaki (Germany / Greece) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Evangelie Smyrniotaki (Germany Greece) – One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  21. Chloe Barry-Hang and Kristina Stenglin (Australia) – Amari Havodda
    Chloe Barry-Hang and Kristina Stenglin (Australia) - Amari Havodda
      
  22. Nataly Osmann and Svetlana (Russia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Nataly Osmann and Svetlana (Russia) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
      
  23. Bridget Bahl and Caroline Einhoff (USA / Germany) – Shangri-La Villingili
    Bridget Bahl and Caroline Einhoff (USA Germany) – Shangri-La Villingili
      
  24. Jammie Panichadar and Hana Lewis (Thailand) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Jammie Panichadar and Hana Lewis (Thailand) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
      
  25. Michella Choi and Joy Teng (United Kingdom) – Amilla Fushi
    Michella Choi and Joy Teng (United Kingdom) - Amilla Fushi
      
  26. Fiorella Mattheis and Bruna Marquezine (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Fiorella Mattheis and Bruna Marquezine (Brazil) - Cheval Blanc Randheli
      
  27. Ksenia Tsaritsina and friend (Russia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Ksenia Tsaritsina and friend (Russia) – Conrad Rangali
      
  28. Daria Platt and Neta Alchimister (Israel) – Amilla Fushi
    Daria Platt and Neta Alchimister (Israel) - Amilla Fushi
      
  29. Ninaa Cawaii and friend (Thailand) – The Residence
    Ninaa Cawaii and friend (Thailand) - The Residence
      
  30. Steffanie Roberts and Talia Richman (Australia) – Finolhu
    Steffanie Roberts and Talia Richman (Australia) - Finolhu
      
  31. Hester Winkel and Lindsey van der Hoeven (Netherlands) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Hester Winkel and Lindsey van der Hoeven (Netherlands) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
     
  32. Ksyusha Dory and Kristina Makarova (Russia) – W Maldives
    Ksyusha Dory and Kristina Makarova (Russia) - W Retreat
      
  33. Yami Gautam and Surilie Jasraj Singh (India) – Taj Exotica 
    Yami Gautam and Surilie Jasraj Singh (India) - Taj Exotica
      
  34. Anastasia Reshetova and Dasha Sidorova (Russia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Anastasia Reshetova and Dasha Sidorova (Russia) - Adaaran Hudhuran fushi
      
  35. Baby Akiyo and friend (Malaysia) – Club Med Kani
    Baby Akiyo and friend (Malaysia) - Club Med Kani
      
  36. Maria Martelo Perez and Irina Dreyt (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Maria Martelo Perez and Irina Dreyt (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  37. Renata Zee and Giovanna Engelbert (United Kingdom) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Renata Zee and Giovanna Engelbert (United Kingdom) - Shangri-La Vilingili
      
  38. Hofit Golan and Josefine Forsberg (Israel – Sweden) – Hideaway Beach 
    Hotfit Golan and Josefine Forsberg (Israel  Sweden) - Hideaway Beach
      
  39. Madeline Joy Relph and Natalie Roser (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Madeline Joy Relph and Natalie Roser (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
      
  40. Emily Ericsson and friend (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Emily Ericsson (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
      
  41. Giuls and friend (Italy) – Asdu Sun
    Giuls (Italy) – Asdu Sun
      
  42. Natallia Yakimchyk and Yana Rudkovskaya (Russia) – Amilla Fushi
    Natallia Yakimchyk and Yana Rudkovskaya (Russia) - Amilla Fushi
      
  43. Kristin Peric (Serbia) and Robin Marjolein Holzken (Netherlands) – Holiday Island
    Kristin Peric (Serbia) and Robin Marjolein Holzken (Netherlands) - Holiday Island 2

     
  44. Olga Kurbatova and self (Russia) – Velaa
    Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa

      

Best of the Maldives: Electrics Cover – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi electrics cover

God is in the details.” – Anonyous

Another wall cover, though this one is at the smaller end of the size spectrum. One of the things I enjoy celebrating in the “Best of the Maldives” series is the array of little touches that make a property distinctive. A great example is Soneva Fushi’s electrics cover.

When you renovate or build a house, you quickly figure out that the biggest costs can be in the finishes. Depending on your taste for elegance and quality, simple fixtures like knobs, trim, fixtures and even light switches can get very pricey. They are like mini pieces of art with which you interact every day. And when you need bunches of them across the building, the costs really add up. I loved Soneva’s approach which was not only in keeping with its all natural design, but also put their money into local carpentry rather than importing some extravagant Swedish designs.

Best of the Maldives: Garden Wall – Kandima

Kandima - hanging garden 2

Kandima not only has a distinctive horizontal surface, it also boasts one of the most striking vertical surfaces in the Maldives (in fact, you can also see one of the walls behind the table in yesterday’s post). Such hanging gardens are as wonder-ful now as they were in times of Babylon. Last spring, we visited Singapore who’s signature attraction are such gardens draped over giant palm tree shaped frames and illuminated at night with colourful lights set to music. That’s taking natural materials and green design to an entirely new level (well, at least the second floor). Thanks Paola.

Kandima - hanging garden 1

Best of the Maldives: Topological Table – Kanuhura / Kandima

Kandima Kanuhura topological table

Today’s “Best Of” is sort of a “half” have-seen. Like the one in the 12th edition of “Haven’t Seen Yet” (#2) with the ocean inspired table at both Kandima and Kanuhura resorts. I call it “half seen” because while the style is precisely what I thought ideal for a Maldives resort, my fantasy is one constructed based on the actual topology of the island (and its underwater house reef).

Best of the Maldives: India – Taj Exotica

Taj Exotica - India

When it comes to subcontinent vibe, Taj Exotica is the most authentic slice of India in the Indian Ocean. In fact, it by far the most popular resort for the Bollywood starlet with 5 out of 25 of yesterday’s list visiting Taj Exotica (no other resort has more than two). The character is not surprising as the Taj chain itself is based in India. The whole property is infused with Indian touches and flavours. For example, The Presidential overwater suite (photo above) features “Ghanta” bells considered to be an auspicious sound. Other India distinctions, I have already highlighted in previous Best of the Maldives pieces…

Taj Exotica isn’t alone with some India flavoured distinctions so with this post, I’ve added the “India” tag for all those Indo-culture fans out there.