Moreish Idols

Morrish Idol  2

Of all the fish soup creatures, some of the most prevalent are the Moorish Idols. Their sweeping top fin and distinctive stripes provide the sensation that you are in some giant open water tropical aquarium when you see them in their massive schools. So distinctively ubiquitous and quintessentially Maldivian, I choose a similar shot for the Profile section background. Here are ten more shots to immerse yourself in…

Morrish Idol  10

Morrish Idol 9

Morrish Idol  7

Morrish Idol 6

Morrish Idol 5

Morrish Idol 4

Morrish Idol 3

Morrish Idol 1

Haven’t Seen Yet – 13

 

Off to the Maldives again today! Despite being our 9th tour of islands (after this trip we will have stayed at over 90 resort which as far as we can tell is still the most of any one in the world) and our 15th visit there overall, we still are looking forward to seeing so many things that we have not yet seen there in our two decades of visiting. In anticipation, here is my bi-annual list of “Things I Haven’t Seen In the Maldives…Yet (But Probably Should)…

  1. Underwater Concert – Especially for one of the resorts with an underwater restaurant [ABOVE].
       
  2. Underwater Easter Egg Hunt – Shangri-La Villingilli advertised it in their newsletter, but I’m not sure they ended up doing it as I can find nothing about it on the web and they are not responding to my enquiries. An inspired concept where guest would get different prizes based on the colour of the eggs they discovered like a bottle of champagne or a free spa treatment.
    Havent Seen - Underwater Easter Egg Hunt
       
  3. Gold Leaf Coffee – The ultimate “Golf Blend”.
    Hanvet Seen - Gold Leaf Coffee
       
  4. Fish-Shaped Ice Cream ConesNo comment needed.
    Havent Seen - Fish Shaped Ice Cream Cones
       
  5. Watermelon Cocktails – One of our favorite items at any Maldives meal is it ripe and juicy watermelon. Now watermelon cocktails are becoming popular so I’d be surprised not to see them at resorts soon.
    Havent Seen - Watermelon Cocktails
       
  6. Floating Mansion Boat – Slick modernistic design, luxury yachts, and spacious mansion-sized villas all a becoming de rigeur in the super premium properties.  So only a matter of time when someone puts them all together.
    Havent Seen - Floating Mansion Boat
       
  7. Rooftop Pools – Always a big fan of a bit of an elevated vista especially in this country of such low lying landscape (thanks Paola).
    Havent Seen - Rooftop Pools
       
  8. Float Pools – I’ve seen lots of floats in pools, but this is the first time I’ve seen a pool in floats.
    Havent Seen - Float Pools
       
  9. Whale Shark Floats – Of all the dozens of floats that launch onto the Maldives lagoons every day for an Instagram snap, how have one (or both) of these whale shark float not migrated there??
    Havent Seen - Whatl Shark Float

       
  10. Clear Bottom Inflatable Boat – Any clear-bottom boat is a winner in the Maldives to provide a means to observe the subaquatic sensations.  This one is particularly stable and safe for the less comfortable swimmers (though only supervised as winds and currents could easily push such an inflatable into the open ocean).
    Havent Seen - Clear Bottom Inflatable Raft
        
  11. Flexible Wooden Loungers – One of the give-aways to the true quality (regardless of how they have graded themselves) of a property is the quality of the loungers. At the bottom of the scale are the cheap, white, plastic jobs. The more sophisticated resorts have fancier adjustable, wheeled, cushioned wooden loungers. But the crème-de-la-crème looks to me to be this flexible design.

       
  12. Gyrotonic – We got introduced to this yoga, dance, pilates fusion by our friend Dean in Boston.
    Havent Seen - Gyrotonic
       
  13. Waterfall Table – I love innovative water features and I love creative dining tables. So you can imagine how much I love this creation…
    Havent Seen - Waterfall Table
       

Piscine Pelotons

A post shared by Patrik Jonson (@scubaartfoto) on

The sub-aquatic landscape of the Maldives is also filled with its own photogenic teams of sporty packs in a daily Tour de Fish forming colourful underwater tapestries (thanks Verena)…

  1. Blue Striped Snappers
    Fish - Yellow Striped Snappers
        
  2. Fusilier
    Fish - Glass Fish
       

  3. Moorish Idol
    Fish - Moorish Idol
      

  4. Yellow Sweepers
    Fish - Yellow Sweepers
       

  5. Orange Anthias
    Fish - Orange Anthia
       

  6. Convict Surgeonfish
    Fish - Convict Surgeonfish
       

  7. Oriental Sweetlips
    Fish - Oriental Sweetlips
        

  8. Humpback Snapper
    Fish - Humpback Snapper
       

  9. Gold Spot Emperor
    Fish - Gold Spot Emperor
        

  10. Humbug Dascyllus
    Fish - Humbug Damsel Fish
       

  11. Yellow-fin Surgeonfish
    Fish - Yellow Fin Surgeonfish
       

Mother Ocean’s Colourful Embrace

Clow fish 6

Mother Ocean Day today which “spotlights the magnificent bodies of water that make life on Earth possible”. Few countries appreciate the ocean more than the Maldives where is makes up more of their country than any other. To mark the occasion, I’ve assembled one of the most popular ocean shots on Instagram – the Anemonefish nestled in the protectively mothering tentacles of its host.  If only we landlubbers could live in harmony with the ocean as well as these Amphiprioninae live in harmony in the ocean…

 

Clown fish 1

Clown fish 2

Clown fish 3

Clown fish 4

Clown fish 5

Clown fish 6

Clown fish 7

Clown fish 8

Clown fish 9

Clown fish 10

Clown fish 11

Clown fish 12

Clown fish 13

Clown fish 14

Clown fish 15

Clown fish 16

Clown Fish 17

CLown fish 18

Clown fish 19

Clown fish 20

Clown fish 21

Clown fish 22

Clown fish 23

Clown fish 24

Clown fish 25

Clown fish 26

Clown fish 27

Paradise Pitch

Séan Garnier (France) – Cocoon – Freestyle World Champion

With the football season winding down, the stars of the pitch will be planning a bit of premier league grade relaxation. The luxury of Maldives will be one of the top destinations for the golden boots (and wallets). Here’s a starting 11 (with an added hat tip to talent scout Bunyamin Ahmed) of footie fashionista in paradise…

  1. Séan Garnier (France) – Cocoon – Freestyle World Champion [ABOVE]
  2. Federico Fazio (Italy) – NIYAMA – AS Roma
    Federico Fazio (Italy) – NIYAMA – AS Roma
      
  3. Ciro Immobile (Italy) – Halaveli – Lazio
    Ciro Immobile (Italy) – Halaveli - Lazio
      
  4. Mykola Matviyenko (Ukraine) – Paradise Island – Shakhtar Donetsk
    Mykola Matviyenko (Ukraine) – Paradise Island - Shakhtar Donetsk
     
  5. Fyodor Smolov (Russia) – Velaa – Krasnodar
    Fyodor Smolov (Russia) – Velaa – Krasnodar
      
  6. Tomás Rincón (Venezuela) – Constance Halaveli – Torino
    Tomás Rincón (Venezuela) – Constance Halaveli - Torino
        
  7. Diego Tardelli (Brazil) – Velaa – Shandong Luneng
    Diego Tardelli (Brazil) – Velaa - Shandong Luneng
      
  8. Kevin Bonifazi (Italy) – Havaveli – Torino
    Kevin Bonifazi (Italy) – Havaveli – Torino 
       
  9. Ricardo Goulart (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli – Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
    Ricardo Goulart (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli - Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
        
  10. Lanzafame Davide (Italy) – Safari Island – Honvéd
    Lanzafame Davide (Italy) – Safari Island - Honvéd
       
  11. Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia) – St. Regis Vommuli
    Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia) – St. Regis Vommuli

 

Guide to Hammocks in the Maldives

Chill out in a hammock on the beach and enjoy the pleasure of sharing this special moment together

Hammocks come in a variety of styles and settings with the tropical paradise of the Maldives showcasing them all. Here is a Maldives Complete catalogue so you can find the hammock that’s right for your midday snooze swaying in the ocean breezes (partly inspired by Sakis post “The Art of Doing Nothing” which features a more artistic collection including #5 below)

  1. Classic HammockConrad Rangali Maldives [ABOVE]
  2. Padded / Free StandingCoco Bodu Hithi
    Hammocks - padded
     
  3. Traditional Maldivian Hammock SeatBandos
    Hammock - traditional Maldivian
     
  4. Woven – Baros
    Hammock - woven
      
  5. Cloth W Retreat
    Hammock - colourful
  6. SingleCocoa Island (thanks Paola)
    Hammock - single

      
  7. Canopy Beach Hammock
    Hammock - canopy beach hammock
     
  8. Beach Stand – Six Senses Laamu
    Hammock - beach stand
      
  9. Over Water HammockAnantara Dhigu
    Hammock - over water
      
  10. Shaded Over Water HammockTaj Exotica
    Hammock - shaded over water (2)
      
  11. Floating HammockConstance Halaveli
    Hammock - floating
     
  12. Water Villa Deck HammockVelassaru
    Hammock - water villa deck
     
  13. Pool-Side HammockThe Residence
    Hammock - pool side
     
  14. Trampoline Style HammockAngsana Velavaru
    Hammock - water villa trampoline
     
  15. Fish Net HammockOne & Only Reethi Rah
    Hammock - water villa fish net
      
  16. Pool Canopy HammockNIYAMA
    Hammock - pool canopy

Like the Maldives Only Taller

Huma Island - Philippines

As I discussed in my post “Maldives Methadone”, one of the most frequently discussed topic amongst Maldives addicts (known as victims of “Maldivitis”) is the question “Is there anywhere else on Earth like the Maldives?” (hopefully a little cheaper).

If you truly take the unique blend of characteristics that make the Maldives the very definition of Bounty-bar iconic paradise, then the selection is rather limited. So to extend the boundaries a little more generously, I’ve assembled a second tier collection of tropical islands that are like the Maldives in every way except elevation.

Unfortunately, adding a bit of topological height doesn’t really seem to lower the price that much. Most of the rates are comparable to top high-end 4-stars or value priced 5-star properties in the Maldives. But if you are okay with a largish pile of rocks instead a smallish plot of sand for your tropical island, then here are some Maldives cousins…

  1. Huma Island, Philippines (£484 per night) [ABOVE]
  2. Club Paradise Palawan, Philippines (£308 per night)
    Club Paradise Palawan - Philippines
      
  3. Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar (£427 per night)
    Constance Tsarabanjina - Madagascar
      
  4. Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines (£665 per night)
    Petit St. Vincent - Grenadines
       
  5. Komodo Resort, Sebayur Indonesia (£380 per night)
    Komodo Resort - Sebayur (Indonesia)
       
  6. Royal Davui Island Resort, Fiji (£560 per night)
    Royal Davui Island Resort - Fiji
       

Merry-Time Christmas!

Christma

Merry Christmas Maldives lovers. Today kicks of the traditional twelve days of Christmas, but instead of Pipers Piping and Drummers Drumming, Maldives Complete is giving you fashionistas swimming and swanning with ladies prancing…

  1. Lisa Jakobsson (Sweden) – Anantara Dhigu
    Lisa Jakobsson (Sweden) - Anantara Dhigu
  2. MV Honors Legacy boat
    MV Honors Legacy
  3. MV Honors Legacy island
    MV Honors Legacy island
  4. Anna Andress and friends (Ukraine) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Anna Andress and friends (Ukraine) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  5. McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    McKenna Ray (USA) - Conrad Rangali 2
  6. Elena (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Elena (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu

  7. Jane Konsol (Lebanon) – Sun Island
    Jane Konsol (Lebanon) - Sun Island
  8. Anastasia Ka (Russia) – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
    Anastasia Ka (Russia) - Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
  9. McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    McKenna Ray (USA) - Conrad Rangali
  10. Alexandra Hills (France) – Sun Island
    Alexandra Hills (France) - Sun Island
  11. Cornelia Stadler (Italy) – Palm Beach
    Cornelia Stadler (Italy) - Palm Beach
  12. Antonio Pozo (Spain) – Sun Aqua Vilu Reef
    Antonio Pozo (Spain) – Sun Aqua Vilu Reef

    

 

Solstice Sol Sets

Maldives sunset 6

The bad news is that today’s Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. The good news is that you don’t have to wait as long for the gorgeous tropical sunsets. Not that it makes that much difference near the Equator where day lengths don’t vary as much. Nonetheless, this solar milestone seemed a fitting time to share my favourite set of sunset snaps I’ve found throughout the year…

Maldives sunset 1

Maldives sunset 2

Maldives sunset 3

Maldives sunset 4

Maldives sunset 5

Maldives sunset 7

Maldives sunset 8

Maldives sunset 9

Maldives sunset 10

Maldives sunset 11

Maldives sunset 12

Maldives sunset 13

Maldives sunset 15

Maldives sunset 17

Maldives sunset 18

Maldives sunset 19

Maldives sunset 20

I’m Dreaming of a White Villa

White villa - Athuruga

The “traditional” Maldives villa is an earth tone thatch and most of the villas we’ve visited years ago were typically a darker wood. But in recent years, white exteriors have become more popular. First, the exterior walls were painted white. An eco-friendly form of air conditioning to help keep the lodging cooler. Today, doing a quick survey of water villas, the majority have white exteriors. With the timely “White Christmas” theme, I’ve decided to present just the whitest of white villas, those whose coral sand coloured exterior extends all the way up to the tippy top of the rooftop.

May all your Christmases be white…especially over the water of a Maldives lagoon.

  1. Athuruga [ABOVE]
      
  2. Thudufushi
    Thudufushi - white villa
      
  3. Amilla Fushi
    Amilla Fushi - white villa
      
  4. Dhigali
    Dhigali - white villa
     
  5. Kandooma
    Kandooma - white villa
     
  6. Cinnamon Hakura Huraa
    Cinnamon Hakura Huraa - white villa