Haven’t Seen Yet – 15

Havent Seen - shark rock

Despite nearly 100 new “Best of the Maldives” items uncovered during my 2019 Tour I still have not seen everything. So for those resorts looking to truly stand out with feature and offerings that no one else has, not even 150 other Maldives resorts, here are even more opportunities…

  1. Creative Instagram Photopoints – With Maldives so prominent with the on fleek Instagrammers, properties really ought to up their game beyond the now ubiquitous (a) beach photo frame, and (b) lagoon swing/hammock. Something like Jimmy Swift’s inspired piece above.
         
  2. Snorkeling Trash Bags – The environmental organisation “Un Ocean de Vie” has developed little blue mesh bags that can easily be brought with people when snorkelling and provide a handy way to pick up trash found in the water and bring it back to the resort for proper disposal.
    Havent Seen - snorkel bag
       
  3. Grass Straws – We didn’t see a single plastic straw during our tour last month, but these straws provide a quintessentially natural options for the resort cocktail bars. Made in Vietname by a company named Ống Hút Cỏ out of grass reeds.
    Havent Seen - grass straws
      
  4. Octopus Kites – I’ve called out sea creature themed kites before, but these octopus versions are just extra special (thanks Ilyas).

        
  5. Shark Hook Remover – I’m not a big fan of the ubiquitous fishing trips on offer as excursions. Yes, I know that I nosh on the reef fish extensively during my stay, but pulling these creatures out of the water is not something I particularly relish. Still, I have been coaxed on several fishing trips during my stays and the last one was particularly disconcerting as I end up hooking a baby reef shark. These juvenile white tips are one of my favourite creatures in the lagoon aquarium of the Maldives and it just gutted me to see this one squirming on the line. Even worse was the reaction by the guides on the boat. Instead of taking the shark onto the boat and removing the hook like the other fish caught, they simply cut the line as the shark dangled off the side of the boat (for fear of getting bitten). So the shark swam away now with a hook still in its mouth. But there are a number of devices on the market that fishing excursions can use to remove this risk and remove the fishing hook from the mouth at the same time. I was prompted to add this by a friend who was fishing off Alaska or salmon and the boat used a sort of funnel device to pry the mouth open safely so they could access and extract the hook when they snared the occasional shark. I couldn’t find that device on the web, but I did find this device below which achieves much the same objective.
    Havent Seen - shark hook remover
      
  6. Crystal Bath Tub – Costing up to $1 million (yes, stet) and described as “The super-exclusive tubs come in three variations: green quartz; rock crystal; and rose quartz”.
    Havent Seen - crystal tub

         
  7. Boat Tub – Gorgeous tubs are nothing new, but this one is appropriately built by a boat builder using techniques and style from the maritime craftsmanship (thanks Lori).
    Havent Seen - boat tub
          
  8. Dhoni Fountain – Ahem.
    Havent Seen - dhoni fountain
       
  9. F&B Trickery – In fairness, I have posted a whole range of food prep marvels, but this compilation provides a buffet of ideas for a staffer looking to stand out or a resort looking to expand its repertoire.

       
  10. Custom Whisky Blend – I previously noted the idea of custom blended perfume and a friend recently recounted a similar olfactory concocting at their wedding. One of the wedding party was a whiskey connoisseur and he polled the guests for words which they felt described the betrothed couple. Then he blended a whiskey from his extensive collection with notes and characteristics that corresponded to the most frequently cited qualities of the couple and presented the crafted bottle (complete with commemorative label) to the couple as a gift.
    Havent Seen - custom whiskey blend
      
  11. Pool High Diving Board – A staple of most public swimming pools I knew growing up in America, the “high dive” is the centrepiece for swan dives, flips and the ubiquitous cannonball. With pools pretty much standard fare at the Maldives resorts, a high dive at one would provide some distinctive entertainment to keep the kids even happier for even longer while Mom and Dad doze in the lounge chairs.
    Havent Seen - high dive
      
  12. Snorkel Talkie – IWOFT.

       
  13. Micro-Cocktails – Could be a solution to keeping the pina coladas very cold.
    Havent Seen - micro cocktails
       
  14. Smart Mirror – We had one of these at our glitzy ski resort in the Dolomites and it seemed like just the sort of high tech gadgetry for some of the contemporary super deluxe properties.
    Havent Seen - smart mirror
       
  15. Personal Seaplane – Okay, this might be pushing things (and safety) a bit far, but still, how can I not include this?
  16.  

Fishscapes

Fish Schools - two

The underwater seascape in the Maldives is just as spectacularly colourful as the famous ocean vistas above albeit with a bit of a broader palette. Here is the latest collection of fish soup of the day pictures of these aquatic tapestries…

The Shapes of Water

Water tapestry 14

World Water Day today. Water is a beautiful thing and few places put it more front and centre than the Maldives which is 99% water. The Instagram crowd have captured some stunning shots of the dappled patterns of this sapphire landscape which Maldives Complete has collected here to celebrate the day (links to originals on the photos)…

Water tapestry 13

Water tapestry 12

Water tapestry 11

Water tapestry 5

Water tapestry 10

Water tapestry 9

Water tapestry 8

Water tapestry 7

Water tapestry 6

Water tapestry 4

Water tapestry 1

Water tapestry 3

Water tapestry 2

Hearts in the Sand

Hearts in the Sand - Dhigali

Happy Valentines Day! Sweetheart around the world will be inscribing their love in hearts made from cards, chocolate, emojis, hands, and any number of creative materials. In the Maldives, the power soft, brilliant white coral sands that make up and define this paradise also make a handy canvas for romance…

  1. Shallows – Dhigali [ABOVE]
  2. Beach Candles – Gili Lankanfushi
    Hearts in the Sand - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  3. Dinner on the Sand – Centara Grand
    Hearts in the Sand - Centara Grand
        
  4. Dinner in the Sand – LUX Maldives
    Hearts in the Sand - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  5. Chambre Separee – Kihaad
    Hearts in the Sand - Kihaad
       
  6. Beach Candles – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Hearts in the Sand - Atmosphere Kanifushi
       
  7. Candles EverywhereTaj Exotica
    Hearts in the Sand - Taj Exotica
       
  8. Fire – Meeru
    Hearts in the Sand - Meeru
       

Haven’t Seen Yet – 14

Even after a decade of exploring the Maldives in person and online, with my 14th edition of the “Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives” series there is still no shortage of candidates keep on popping up. If you think you have seen it all in the Maldives…no you haven’t.

  1. Baby Shark Abs WorkoutOk, some resort NEEDS to offer this in their kids club AND their adult fitness classes! [ABOVE]
  2. Whale Shark KitesOr octopus, or manta ray, or sting ray, or dolphin, or turtle.
    Havent Seen - Whale Shark Kite
      
  3. Sunshine Guarantee – Offer for free rooms (or some system) for ay vacation more than 50% rain (or could do, if you have more than one day of rain, then each additional day is complimentary for a future visit).
    Havent Seen - sunshine guarantee
      
  4. Plot of Sand and a Palm TreeWhen people ask me to describe the Maldives, I respond, “You know that iconic image of a deserted island with a plot of sand and a single palm teee? That’s the Maldives. A thousand of those.” And while the image captures the diminutive, tropical, aquatic topology of the Maldives, curiously, I have never actually come across a sand bank with a single palm tree on it. If a resort would transplant a palm tree, they would have instance Instagram bait.
    Havent Seen - palm tree island
      
  5. Faux-fluencer Photoshoot – Some resort needs to host Celeste Barber to do all the classic Maldives Instagram poses (eg. lying on the edge of the infinity pool, walking up the water villa ladder, pink flamingo float, coconut drink, sitting on a palm tree, backfloat, wallowing in the shallow water, etc).
    Havent Seen - Faux Fluencer
        
  6. Underwater Photo Spot Frame Photo frames have popped up all over the Maldives resorts, but none where all the action is – underwater.
    Havent Seen - underwater frame
       
  7. Vilebrequin Outlet – One of the finest makes of swimwear in the world with styles just perfect for the Maldives.
    Havent Seen - Vilebrequin
       
  8. Bird Baths – The enchanting tropical birds from the ubiquitous Makana to Rihiveli’s famous Crab Plover bring a colourful creature dimension to enjoying the natural charm and beauty of the Maldives destination. On a number of occasions we have found the Makanas visiting our pool for a fresh water drink. Which made us think that the tiny desert islands must be a classic case of “water, water everywhere, but not drop to drink.” So why hasn’t a resort set out a stylish birdbath to both help the feathered friends out and provide an attraction where guest can observe them regularly. Many resorts still do (controversial) fish feeding to show the marine creatures up close, so why not the ornithological ones? (thanks Lori)
    Havent Seen - bird bath
      
  9. Naturist Holday – A friend of mine works at UK travel agency, Eton Travel, which among other things is a UK leader in naturist holidays (yep, hanging out with it all hanging out). She said that the UK has 5 million naturists and it is one of the rapidly growing segments. There is an obvious reason why naturism hasn’t hit the Maldives and that is because nudity is prohibited (mind you, that hasn’t stopped a slew of exhibitionist Instagrammers). But the resorts have always been given some discretion about how non-Muslim visitors want to behave (like drinking alcohol and eating pork) and so perhaps there is something that could be done in this area. One concern would be to shield the Maldivian staff from exposure to such, well exposure. But maybe the resort could give their local staff a holiday for a week where they devoted the property to a special naturist week, or the resort could limit the naturism to a nearby picnic island.
    Havent Seen - Naturist
       
  10. Spa Sommelier – “After guests perceive the aromas of a selection of oils and taste several wines from our Abadía Retuerta winery, the Spa Sommelier analyses their tastes and aromatic preferences and recommends the best spa experience for their individual wellness needs.”
    Havent Seen - Spa Sommelier
       
  11. Seaweed Flavoured Butter – Flavoured butter is becoming a bit of a thing with variations such as Moose Maple Butter, Abernethy Smoked Butter, Ampersand Cultured Butter, and the appropriately luxurious Black Truffle Butter. But I think the mist apropos flavor would be Le Beurre Bordier’s Seaweed Butter.
    Havent Seen - Sea Weed Butter
      
  12. Maldivian Harvested Sea Salt – Use on tables, in spas and sell in boutiques.
    Havent Seen - sea salt harvesting
       
  13. Cut Fruit/Veg CraftingA step beyond just carving to actually construction.
    Havent Seen - special fruit and veg carving
        
  14. 3D Decorated Cake SceneCould a birthday cake be more appropriate for the Maldives?
    Havent Seen - 3D cake scene
      
  15. RGB Intelligent Light FaucetJust because.
    Havent Seen - RGB Light Faucet
      
  16. Roll-Outside Bed The lavish La Terraza Suite comes with a king-sized bed that can be rolled out onto the open-air at La Valise Hotel, Mexico City. (thanks Paola)
    Havent Seen - Roll Out Bed
       
  17. Glass-Bottom Rooftop Swimming Pool – How can the Seychelles have a resort feature this amazing without the Maldives having it?
    Havent Seen - Rooftop Glass Bottomed Pool
      
  18. Underwater Restaurant MermaidResorts like Finolhu have hosted professional mermaids for photoshoots, but this underwater performance is especially enchanting. 
    Havent Seen - mermaid underwater restaurant
        
  19. Deserted Island Laser TagWhenever you have a variation of the capture the flag game (eg. paintballing, laser tag, or simple old capture the flag) the boundaries are critical (and often a source of dispute as to whether an opponent has crossed of them). But setting up a laser tag game on an uninhabited picnic island would provide a natural boundary. Your very own Hunger Games re-enactment.
    Havent Seen - Deserted Island Laser Tag
        
  20. Snorkeling Guitar SoloAn appropriate act to celebrate International Snorkeling Day.

         
        

Bath Room with a View

Conrad Rangali - toilet

World Toilet Day today. With a very serious message about the importance of proper sanitation. Despite the advances in the modern world, 4.5 people live without a toilet. More than half the planet. One of the aspirations of the day is to make sure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030.

To mark the occasion, Maldives Complete has assembled a list of top toilets in the Maldives when it comes to a view of nature when nature calls…

1. CONRAD RANGALI   [ABOVE]

2. SONEVA FUSHI
Soneva Fushi - toilet

3. LUX SOUTH ARI ATOLL
LUX South Ari Atoll - toilet

4. SIX SENSES LAAMU
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - toilet

5. KANDOLHU
Kandolhu - toilet

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