16 Glass Floors in the Maldives

W Retreat glass floor

 

GlassFest started yesterday featuring every imaginable translucent creation. But for the bottom line (or should I say ‘bottom plane’?) on glass, then the heartland of glass flooring is the resorts of the Maldives featuring portals to the aquatic wonderland below. When you come to the islands, so enchanting is its beauty above and beneath the water, you just don’t want to take your eyes off it. And the resorts there do everything possible do that you don’t have to. Here are a collection of the best in every imaginable nook and cranny of an over water stay…

  

1. ENTRYWAYLily Beach: Clearly welcome matt (Deluxe Water Villa)

Lily Beach - entry glass floor

 

2. SITTING ROOMVelassaru: Set yourself down, put your feet up, and enjoy the scenery (Water Suite).

Velassaru glass gloor

 

3.  LIVING ROOMLUX Maldives: Scotch and water anyone? (LUX Villa)

LUX Maldives glass floor

 

4.  DINING ROOM Conrad Rangali Maldives: Up there you be on da plate… (Sunset Water Villa)

Conrad Rangali dining room glass floor

 

5.  STUDY Conrad Rangali Maldives: And glass desktop to boot so nothing stands in the way of oceanic inspiration to your writing… (Retreat Water Villa)

Conrad Rangali desk glass floor

 

6.  BEDROOMIru Fushi: G’nite Anchor, g’nite Chum. G’nite John-boy. (Water Villa)

Iru Fushi bedroom glass floor

 

7. BATHROOMVadoo: What’s taking you so long in there (are you watching the fish instead of getting ready)? (Sunrise Water Villa)

Vadoo bathroom 2

  

8. BATHTUBAnantara Kihavah: Great view of fish for bathers (maybe the view for the fish is not so great). (Over Water Pool Villa)

Anantara Kihavah glass bottom bath tub

 

9.  TOILETFour Seasons Landaa Giraavaru: WATER Closet. Beats a newspaper. (Sunrise Water Villa with Pool)

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru glass floor toilet

 

10. OUTDOOR SHOWER– Anantara Kihavah:  Note to fish – don’t look up. (Over Water Pool Villa)

 

 

11.  MASSAGE ROOMConrad Rangali Maldives: Feel like floating away. (Overwater Spa)

Conrad Rangali Maldives spa glass floor

 

12. INDOOR DECKGili Lankanfushi: Right this way to see the marine life…(Private Reserve)

Gili Lankanfushi Private Reserve glass floor

 

13.  OUTOOR DECKJumeirah Vittaveli: For those people who don’t live on the edge… (Lagoon Suite)

Jumeirah Vittaveli deck glass floor

 

 

14.   POOLCoco Palm Dhuni Kolhu: Pool with a 360 degree view. (Lagoon Villa)

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu glass floor pool Sakis Papadopolous

 

15. MEZZANINEHuvafenfushi: You don’t need an ocean under you to provide a glass floor view of the water (Two Bedroom Beach Pavilion)

Huvafenfushi two bedroom beach pavillion with pool glass floor 1

 

16. BOATParadise Island: And even a mobile glass floor for those guests on the move (Glass Bottomed Boat)

Paradise Island - glass bottom boat

37 More Things I Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives (Part 4)

Maldives - wedding swim suit

600+ Best Ofs and still no…

I’ve amassed such a collection of “Missing From” in the “Best of” catalogue, rather than wait till my traditional July trip wrap-up, I thought I would do a mid-term update. With last month’s announcement of Saudi development firm Best Choice’s $100 million investment in a resort on Vadinolhu island, they will have quite a generous budget to consider some broad ranging innovations….

 

ROMANCE

1. Wedding Swim Suits. Increasingly famous for not just the honeymoon, but the the actual ceremony itself with the rise of the destination wedding. While the “Trash the Dress” fad is once way to go swimming in your gown, a more elegant solution are these specially designed fashion suits.

Maldives - wedding swim suit 2

2. Proposal Coach. LUX Maldives has a wedding coach, and Reethi Rah has featured an elaborate proposal, but how about someone geared up to coach the question popping itself like a proposal planner?

Maldives - wedding proposal coach

LODGING

3. Infinite Edge Water Villa pool. Maldives water villas have infinity pools. But none I have seen so deftly feature them to provide a seamless transition to the water below like this example at Banyan Tree Ungasan. Not even Ungasan sister resorts in the Maldives, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru or Banyan Tree Madivaru.

Banyan Tree Ungasan

4.  Underwater Bedroom. After the experiment by Conrad Rangali in adapting its underwater restaurant to be a bedroom at night, this obvious combination of two Maldive resort wow factors – water villas and underwater features – seems an inevitability here. Especially with this proven design featured at The Manta Resort, on Pemba Island in Zanzibar.

Manta Resort underwater room

INFRASTRUCTURE

5. Awesome Signs. I have seen some clever and useful signage around Maldives resorts, but this BuzzFeed piece shows how far one can go with clever, fun and romantic messages all of which are classic Maldives design points.

Maldives do not disturb signs

6. Glow in the dark path. Stars in the sky, the water and the wine glass so why not the walkways with this Pro-Tec Surfacing?

Maldives - lighted path

7. Underwater Custom Sculpture. In previous “haven’t seens”, I have noted “Underwater Sculture Garden” and Soneva Fushi did feature an underwater art exhibit, but Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) in Cancun illustrates how imaginative one could be.

Maldives - underwater sculpture

8. Underwater webcam. Many resorts now have webcams on site primarily to provide live weather, but the real star of the show is the underwater world so why not a camera there. The new GoPro-stype cameras make this easier and cheaper than ever. Maafushivaru was going to do it, but nothing yet.

Maldives - underwater webcam

9. Jumping fountains. The Maldives resort have all sort of water features, but the latest n water fountains are the dynamic water jets providing a lively animation to the water (sometimes choreographed to music).

Maldives - jumping water fountains

10. Heart Tubs – While Bandos spa has a heart shaped Jacuzzi, still looking for a more Pocono-esque villa tub on a similar romantic motif.

Maldives - heart tubs

11. Champagne Glass Tub – And if you want to go full-on Poconos, there is always the iconic champagne glass tub.

Maldives - champagne glass tubs

WATER ACTIVITY

12. Powerski Jetboard. There’s jet skiing. There’s a range of boarding – surf, paddle, wake, etc. But no “jet boarding” yet.

Maldives - powerski jetboard

13. Water Car-Slides. Saw these by the shore in Spain. Turbo fun.

Maldives - car water slides

14. In-Lagoon massage. Signature offering of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. Given the pre-eminence of Maldives’ own very blue lagoons and the popularity of the spas, this combo seems inevitable.

Maldives - blue lagoon Iceland

15. Water Tube Slide. Pool slides aplenty, and even a water slide at One & Only Reethi Rah, but no classic tube slide. The Dolphin Plunge at Disney, which goes underwater with clear Perspex, is particularly inspired.

Maldives - Disney Dolphin plunge

16. Lazy River. If you are going to go with water park inspiration, then the staple fixture of the “lazy river” would seem to fit right into the Maldivian pace.
Maldives - lazy river

17. Underwater Virtual House Reef Tour. The Ministry of Tourism needs to get on the phone to Google to get Google Street View Oceans to do a few Maldives reefs or some enterprising resort could take the initiative and do one themselves to lead the way.

Maldives - virtual house reef tour

18. Submersible Radio-Controlled Submarine. So much fun. And a great way for non-swimmers to explore the dazzling reefs with a live Go-Pro attached.

Maldives - submersible submarine

OTHER ACTIVITY

19. Non-Resort Male Snorkel Day Trip. One of the most common questions on the online travel forums is “Is there a snorkelling day trip we can take from Male?” Typically, people who have a flight stop over or more frequently a cruise anchoring.

Maldives - cruise ship

20. Zip Line. False alarm of reports that Reethi Rah had one in conjunction with their climbing wall. Having one that could be put up and taken down that went across the water to a neighboring island would be pretty cool.

Maldives - zip line

21. Nail Art – A manicure or pedicure is a cosmetic treat and they have gotten quite elaborate of late. Check out the rendition of the Maldives water villa (below left).

Maldives - nail art 2  Maldives - nail art 1

22. Opera. A number of top flight resorts have featured all sorts of cultural events from guest DJs to literary festivals. But a classic (or should I say “classical”) fare of distinctive outdoor venues is opera. From the Minack (see Lori below in the perfectly set Minack production of Madame Butterfly) to the Bregenze Festival, a dazzling landscape provides a backdrop a stirring as the music itself. As it happens, one of the world’s top artistic directors, Francisco Negrin, for opera is a massive Maldives aficionado so I’m sure you wouldn’t have to twist his arm too hard to secure his leadership of such a project.

Maldives - Madame Butterfly

23. Air Swimmers. If a resort teen club had one of these “Air Swimmers”, I would definitely try to sneak in so I could play with it.

Maldives - air swimmers

SPORT

24. In Water Spinning. Fitness craze made for the Maldives.

Maldives - water spinning

25. Beach Gym. Costa del Sol beach fitness course.

Maldives - beach gym 2  Maldives - beach gym 1

26. Paddle Tennis Court. Tennis, only smaller…just right for the diminutive Maldives islands (and for the more laid back atmosphere where you don’t want to run around as much).  Palm Beach has a beach version though.

Maldives - paddle tennis

27. Pickleball. Paddle tennis, only smaller still? Supposedly “America’s fastest growing sport”.

Maldives - pickleball

28. Surfboard Yoga. Two popular activities in the Maldives combined. And probably one of the best places in the world for the combo given the mill pon tranquil waters of the area.

Maldives - surfbaord yoga

29. Tennis Ball Boy Service – I always thought that would be cool to play tennis and have someone fetch my many stray balls and toss them to me before each serve. Plus it would feel like Wimbledon to play a game with a ball boy/girl lined up at the side of the net ready to swipe my serves into the net.

Maldives - tennis ball boys

30. Finning. Exemplary core/abs exercise.

Maldives - finning

31. Underwater Portraits – Resorts feature underwater photography for diving and portraits for weddings, so why not combine both for memorably artistic images exploiting the crystal clear turquoise settings of the Maldives’ famous lagoons?

Maldives - underwater portraiture

DINING

32. Expanding Towel Tablet. The very first gesture that a resort extends is the refreshing towel. And it carries on through much of your stay. This expanding towel table provides an especially fun variation on the presentation.

Maldives - expanding towelette

33. Maldivian Cooking Vlog. Cooking vlogs are the niche rage and a number of resorts’ blogs to feature special gourmet and local cuisine recipes, but as yet know one has pulled out the videocam to guide visitors through the culinary steps.

Maldives - cooking vlog

34. Instant Ice Cream. The innovation by the molecular cooking crowd of making while-you-wait ice cream by dipping custard into liquid nitrogen as now gone mainstream by people like Chicago’s i-Cream. A bit of drama and accented freshness (mind you I guess there is not much problem with ice cream going bad) to this “next generation” custard concoction.

Maldives - instant ice cream

DRINKS

35. Flower Cubes. Ice cubes with flowers frozen in them. Genius.

Maldives - flower ice cubes

36. Molded Cocktail Ice. Sushi Samba uses finely crushed ice which is compressed between a cup and large spoon to fashion a sort of frozen “bowl” shape into which condiments and garnishes can be sprinkled.

Maldives - molded cocktail ice

37. Kids Drink Decorations – A step beyond maraschino cherries and umbrellas…

Maldives - kids drink decorations

7 Way to Recreate the Winter Olympics in the Maldives

 

Maldives Olympics rings

 

 

 

The Maldives attracts celebrities of all types including famous athletes. After London 2012, a few luminaries like Michael Phelps and Roger Federer popped down for a chill out, so maybe a number of the Sochi stars will now make their way down to escape the chill.

Sochi has shown that a seaside resort can host the Winter Olympics so to make them feel at home why not the Maldives Winter Olympics?…

 

1.  SKELETON – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah water slide

 

2.  SKI JUMPING – Velassaru

Velassaru - jumping

 

3.  BOBSLED – Kurumba

Kurumba - banana boat

 

4.  SKIING – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli water skiing

 

5.  LUGE – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - slide

 

6.  BOARDING – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru boarding

 

7.  HOCKEY – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah air hockey

7 Things to do Under the Sea in the Maldives without Getting Wet

Buzzfeed is the latest Internet frenzy and I admit that I have subscribed to their daily feed of wacky lists and other esoterica. ‘Top X lists’ have always been a hit on the Internet but Buzzfeed have really perfected the craft. I’m in fact working on an e-book titled “The Best of the Maldives” which features a collection of “Top Ten” lists for a broad assortment of categories drawn from the “Best of the Maldives” oeuvre. But for now, I thought I would take a bit of Buzzfeed inspiration for one of my own lists narrated by everyone’s favourite crustacean, Sebastian

“Under the sea / Under the sea / Darling it’s better / Down where it’s wetter” – Little Mermaid

1. Guess who’s gon’ be on the plate

Conrad Hilton Rangali Maldives Restaurant

The first and still the most spectacular under da sea Maldives feature with its 180 degree all glass surround, Conrad Rangali Maldives’ Ithaa restaurant was the pioneer which started it all. Now the tables are turned with the fish looking in at the diners ensconced in their aquarium.

2. You dream about going up there

Rangali underwater bedroom

Conrad Rangali didn’t stop at dinner. A few years on, they realized that they could double their utilization of this amazing space by clearing out the dining tables and moving in a bed. Unfortunately, the logistics got too demanding and they have since ceased this offer.

3. Life is the bubbles

Huvafenfushi Underwater Lime Spa

You can lie down and relax (and if you are like me, doze a bit) at Huvafenfushi’s underwater spa. Fish pedicures are not on the menu.

4. An’ oh that blowfish blow

Niyama Deep Six club

NIYAMA’sDeep Six” lounge turns into a nightclub. Have yours with a splash.

5. Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter

Anantara Kihavah underwater wedding

Anantara Kihavah Villa’s underwater function room is used for weddings and other special events like wine tastings from its 6,500 bottle wine cellar. Cheers!

6. Just look at the world around you

Hurawalhi has added it’s own larger grander life aquatic eaterie which is the biggest in the world.

7. The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake

Dutch Docklands underwater golf course concept

What more could you do? What could the future hold? The firm Dutch Docklands created concepts for a underwater linked links. Should help to find your ball in the water hazard. Wait, the entire golf course is a water hazard.

Under the sea
Under the sea
Since life is sweet here
We got the beat here
Naturally