While there might be miles of open ocean to gaze out on, the Maldives islands themselves are famously diminutive. For people seeking the get-away-from-it-all (including getting away from everybody), they sometimes wonder whether these tiny islands mean that people are crammed in (which led to me adding the “Population Density” field to the Maldives Complete database).
Soneva Jani now boasts the least inhabited of the resort islands with 10,650 square meters per guest. The Daily Mail reported…
- “In terms of space, Roman told us, Soneva Jani (the Sanskrit word for ‘wisdom’) is one of the lowest-density resorts in the world, with only 25 villas on 150 acres of land.”
Coincidentally, previous low crowd mark was its sister resort, Soneva Fushi (with 10,592)
When you see effusive PDA in the Maldives, it’s not just “get a room”, but “get an island”!
At current count, the Maldives Complete has over 900 room categories (909 to be precise), but Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi’s “Private Island” is the first dedicated room type you can book (as opposed to booking the whole island like Coco Prive). Maafushivaru has its Lonubu villa, but this is booked more as an “excursion” than a room category.
- “For those who want added privacy, the Stella Maris Ocean Villas will do just the trick. Accessible only by boat, these one-bedroom duplexes also come with chef’s service, an alfresco barbecue station, and a hot tub. But if you’re really looking to be sequestered from everyone, there’s also an exclusive-use island up for grabs. The 32,000-square-foot sanctuary boasts a two-bedroom overwater villa as well as a three-bedroom beach villa and comes with a personal concierge team, dedicated chef, its own spa, an entertainment center and five pools.”
May Day, May Day! An ancient holiday celebrating fertility and fecund blossoms of spring. It also (coincidentally) happens to be Couples Appreciation day. And in the Maldives, there are no shortage of happy couples of to appreciate…
The biggest Easter display this year was Kandima’s giant bunny complete with shades…
- “Kandima will break the record for installing the highest inflatable toy in Maldives! The inflatable Easter Bunny sculpture will be erected on the Breeze beach and will offer great photoshoot opportunities for everybody on the island.”
Sort of a cross between the Energizer Bunny and Pink Marshmallow Bunny Peeps.
Spinning around One & Only Reethi Rah this past Easter was “world-renowned, real-life Iron Man, Richard Browning, also known as ‘the flying man’ [soaring] above the lagoon with his jet-powered super hero suit.”
After all those buffet pastries, you might need a workout. Maybe a spinning session, or some time in the pool. Or at Kandima, both at the same time! Another “Finally Seen” gets ticked off (#24 of Part 4).
Next on the buffet table of cross-over croissants is Malahini Kuda Bandos’ Red Velvet Croissants at breakfast (melding in the classic Red Velvet Cake inspiration).
Not sure about whether you want a croissant or a donut with your breakfast tea? At Kandima, you can have your cakey breakfast treat and eat it too with their cronut served in their Arts Café.
Sculpture Day today is a great occasion to share Sun Siyam Irufushi’s sculpted homage to the iconic palm in which they serve their spa tea. And also an apropos time to add the “Sculpture” tag to the blog.
Today Earth is celebrating Earth Day to appreciate the special blessing that is this spinning ball of rock and water. Its fragility as a home to humanity and millions of other species has becoming increasingly clearer in recent years and more people are looking for ways to live in harmony with the planet rather than conquering new frontiers. I’ve always described the Maldives as “that iconic plot of sand with a palm tree on it”. The palm tree is very much symbol of marooned life floating in the ocean and palms are indeed the centrepiece of the island ecosystem. And if one island exemplifies and nurtures this Arecaceae appreciation, it is AaaVeee.
There must be more palms trees per square foot than any island I have ever been to. The resort goes to considerable lengths to keep and foster even more. Many of the buildings were simply built around the trees with their trunks sticking through holes in the roof. The main bar has 5 palm trees piercing the rooftop rather than removing them.
In fact, the palm trees themselves do their bit as well. Nazeeh showed me a few seedling “twins” on the island (two trees growing out of a single pod). And the island features a very curious specimen which refuses to shed its fronds when they die (see photo at bottom) creating quite a striking collection of old fronds.