Best of the Maldives: Jetty Walkaway – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - jetty 1

Everything evolves to more and more colourful and striking variations in the Maldives. Soneva was the first to innovate with picture-shows in paradise, but now many of the top resorts have some sort of outdoor cinema. So not resting on its laurels, its new property Soneva Jani not only innovated with an over-water outdoor cinema, but also made sure that the imaginative entrance was as distinctive as the feature film. This is Soneva Jani’s second nomination for Excellence in a Jetty category having won the award for “Best Arrival Jetty” earlier. In general, Maldives Complete is showing lot of jetty appreciation with the addition of “Arrival Jetty” pictures to the Resort Profiles a few months ago. Great to see Soneva’ ongoing (over-water) trailblazing in this area.

Soneva Jani - jetty 2

Insta Vids

I remember the arrival of MTV in the 80s and how its short form music videos shook up the world of television. It seems like techno-media has been on a gnarly ride ever since. The Internet and YouTube have now taken the wind out of MTV’s TV pre-eminence, but the video awards last night are still an anticipated fixture on the media scene.   Similarly, the Instagram images have evolved from simple snaps and basic animations, to rather elaboration productions in their own right.

The MTV Video Music Awards gives out 17 gongs, so here are the top 17 Instagram videos featuring a Maldives fashionista in a posing role:

1.  Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll [ABOVE]

2.  Lindsey van der Hoeven (Netherlands) – Sun Siyam Irufushi


3.  Emma Golijanin (Bosnia) – AaaVeee

A post shared by FashionTV (@fashiontv) on


4.  Viki Odintcova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah

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5.  Natalie Roser (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

A post shared by BONNIE CEE (@bonniecee) on

6.  Any Salceanu (Italy) – Paradise Island

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7.  Timea Vajna (Hungary) – Shangri-La Vilingili

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8.  Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas

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9.  Jenia Shtefan (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah

10.  Samantha Hoopes (USA) – Paradise Island

11.  Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) – Shangri-La Vilingili

12.  Ekaterina Pimenova (Russia) – W Retreat

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13.  Yvette Dusol (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah

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14.  Renee Somerfield (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu

15.  Marina Salmanova (Russia) – Cinnamon Dhonveli

16.  Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA

17.  Eva Adams (USA) – Cocoa Island

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Best of the Maldives: Kickboxing – Kanuhura

Kanuhura - kickboxing

The World Kickboxing Championships conclude today, but the Maldives champ is Kanuhura with their celebrity guest kickboxing programme:

“We are collaborating with the famous fighter and world champion Irshaad Sayed, he is the patron of our martial arts academy. We have launched the beta phase in April during Easter and have received fantastic feedback from our guests. The private or group training sessions with Irshaad rank from beginners so pro level and can be purchased in singe sessions or package rates. Several fighters and trainers will be based on the island in the future, the project will be fully up and running by August 2017.”

Yet another thing to get a kick out of the Maldives.

Bird Nest Soup

Mia Sabathy (Austria) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Plovers and their lovers aren’t only things swings on the Maldives isles. Years ago, the first bird nest swing was a novel feature, but now it is pretty popular. But I’m not sure how comfortable they are given the various contortions that the fashionista crowd gets up to in them.  Here’s a dozen eggs-otic nestlings in their natural habitat (in front of a camera lens)…

  1. Mia Sabathy (Austria) – Coco Prive [ABOVE}
  2. Jasminne Majid (Bulgaria) – Anantara Dhigu
    Jasminne Majid (Bulgaria) - Anantara Dhigu
  3. Mari (Austria) – Furaveri
    Mari (Austria) - Furaveri
  4. Est Are (Nigeria) – Maafushivaru
    Est Are (Nigeria) - Maafushivaru
  5. Ekaterina Ilina (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Ekaterina Ilina (Russia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  6. Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) - LUX South Ari Atoll

  7. Eniko Parrish (USA) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
    Eniko Parrish (USA) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
  8. Jambition (UAE) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
    Jambition (UAE) – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
  9. Liz Hurley (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi
    Liz Hurley (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi

  10. Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  11. Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
    Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
  12. Olga Scheglovaov (Bosnia) – Ranveli
    Olga Scheglovaov (Bosnia) – Ranveli

Best of the Maldives: Crab Plover – Rihiveli Beach

Rihiveli Beach - crab plover beach

Resorts feature all sorts of resident creatures including turtles, cats, octopi and rabbits. Many islands host a bevy of birds. But no resident has charmed us as much as “Julietta” at Rihiveli Beach.

Julietta is Rihiveli’s resident Crab Plover. The local story goes that she was found on the neighbouring bird island when the resort was first developed in 1983 and brought over to Rihiveli because she couldn’t fly. Obviously, 34 years is a long life for a bird so there is speculation that this “Julietta” arrived in 2006 after the tsunami hit.

Whatever her back story, her present day exploits are downright captivating. She came right up to us and greeted us sitting on our lounge chairs soon after our arrival. She follows the staff around like a puppy and at one point strolled along with us when a staff member was taking us some place. At first we thought that she was looking for food handouts or droppings, but it turns out she’s not interested human food in the least. All she eats are the little crabs that run across the beach. Actually, the staff can (and do) help her with her meals by shining a torch on the beach when the crabs are most active which helps Jullietta spot them. During a beach dinner one night, Julietta was being particularly sociable and so one of the chefs decided that she deserved some of her own treats. He stepped away from the buffet, turned the flashlight on his iPhone and shined it on the sand while Julietta eagerly snapped up a meal of unsuspecting micro-crustaceans.

But the most fun part of the night was her joining the crowd on the disco floor of the infamous Rihiveli White Party (see photos below). During the thumping house music, she was out there in centre of the dance floor seemingly enjoying the vibe as much as any guest.

Julietta has inspired her own virtual fan club with lots of paparazzi shots of her by visitors posted on TripAdvisor and Flickr. She has become such a high profile part of the property that the resort logo features her (in the midst of some of her disco dancing maybe) – see photo at bottom.

Rihiveli Beach - crab plover disco 1

Rihiveli Beach - crab plover disco 2

Rihiveli Beach - julietta logo

Best of the Maldives: Rare Bird: Dhigufaru

Dhigufaru - white tail bird

Airplanes aren’t the only things gracing the skies above the Maldives. One of the most distinctive birds in paradise is the “Dhandhifulhu Dhooni” or “White-Tailed Tropicbird.” The bird is quite rare and protected. Dhigufaru is blessed with having a resident pair who are often seen around the water sports centre. Logo designed based n tail. Just a few hundred metres away is a sister island which is actually dedicated to birds dubbed appropriately enough “Birds Island”. These long feathered friends are especially honoured by the property with a rendition of their extraordinary tail fashioned to form the logo of the resort (see below).

Dhigufaru - logo

Best of the Maldives: Aeronautical Heritage: Equator Village

The resort to celebration all things aviation is Equator Village. Not only set in the epicentre of Maldives aeronautics past and present, but itself originally an airbase. The villas themselves used to be officer quarters and the dining room the officer’s club. The classic post-war style is still in evidence and the property features a number of reminders of its high flying pedigree. RAF veterans still make regular pilgrimages for reunions to the resort. I especially enjoyed this nostalgic collection of videos taken of Gan way back before the tourism industry had brought foreign guests by the planeload.

For the full story, check out my previous post about the base’s history (as well as some of the other historical highlights of Gan.