8 Out-Standing Dining Rooms

NIYAMA - Subsix

One of my favourite dining themes is over the water (if not IN the water). The Maldives offers diver menu of in-ocean dining.  Now, I’m not talking about mere “over water” dining.  Just about every self-respective 5-star resort has one of those.  I’m talking about surrounded-by-water dining.  In fact, NIYAMA’s “Subsix” (see above) goes so far as to be both in the ocean and “IN” the ocean with its underwater dining room.

For an outstanding meal out standing in the middle of the ocean, here’s the full list…

1. NIYAMASubsix

2. TAJ EXOTICAOcean Pavilion
Taj Exotica - Ocean Pavillion

3. BAREFOOTBlack Pearl
Barefoot - Black Pearl

4. JUMEIRAH DHEVANAFUSHIJohara
Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - Johara

5. BAROSPiano Bar
Baros - Piano Bar

6. ANGSANA VELAVARUAzzurro
Angsana Velavaru - Azzurro

7. KANDOLHUSunset Pavilion
Kandolhu - Sunset Pavillion

8. GILI LANKANFUSHIWedding Pavilion
Gili Lankanfushi - Wedding Pavillion

7 Uptown Funks

Uptown Funk” has taken over the world and the web with over 1 billion views. A catchy tune complimented by a just as compelling music video has inspired a numbers of digital riffs. Including the Maldives’ very own “Island Funk” on the Kurumba YouTube channel.

Here is my list of the 6 top “Uptown Funk” renditions online…

Straight masterpieces
Stylin’, while in
Livin’ it up

1. ISLAND FUNK – [above]

2. ORIGINAL FUNK

3. SIGNING FUNK

4. DRAMATIC FUNK

5. FIT FUNK

6. CINEMATIC FUNK

7 Out-Standing Maldives Water Villas

Gili Lankanfushi water villas

The Maldives are renowned for diminutive islands (a plot of sand and a palm tree). But at some resorts, the “island” has diminished to nothing at all. Don’t worry…it’s not the often reported “sinking of the Maldives”. It’s just resorts bringing their guests closer to the alluring seascape and more remote from the rest of the world.

Gili Lankanfushi (above) was the one who started it all with their lagoon villas (and dedicated boats to ferry guests to and from their villas). And it still commands the destination topping, paragon of the concept, their Private Reserve.

Jumeirah then took the concept to a whole new level by making a stand-alone neighbourhood of water villas.

Now a small collection of room types not so much “marooned” as “maritime”. I excluded the “yachts” even the semi-permanent moored one (eg. The Rania Experience, Huvafenfushi’s Dhoni Suites) because it’s not quite the same even though they too are places to stay out in the middle of the water.

Thanks – again – Paola (who prompted the list and initiated the research).

  

1. Gili LankanfushiCrusoe Residence [above]

2. VelaaRomantic Pool Residence

Velaa - Romantic Pool Residence

 

3. Jumeirah DhevanafushiOcean Pearls

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - Ocean Pearls

 

4. Jumeirah VittaveliOcean Suite with Pool

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Ocean Suite with Pool

  

5. MedhufushiLagoon Suite

Medhufushi - Lagoon Suite

 

6. Angsana VelavaruIn Ocean Pool Villa

Angsana Velavaru - In Ocean Pool Villa

 

7. MeeruHoneymoon Suites

Meeru - Honeymoon Suites

15 (More) Things I Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives – Part 7

Maldives looking for things

 

Despite all of the things that the Maldives does have, the list keeps growing of the things that the Maldives inexplicably just doesn’t have (yet). Yes, it’s time for instalment #7 (see links on bullet titles for more details)…

  1. Waterbird – Aka “Aqua Skipper”. I can’t tell which name is better.Waterbird
  2. Social Media Concierge – Someone to take care of posting those envy-worthy sunset photos of adoring looks by the waterside.
    Maldives social media concierge
  3. Bean-Bag Hammock – The best of two relaxation all-stars combined into one relaxation super-group.
    Maldives beanbag hammock
  4. Snookball – Or another ace amalgam more on the active side – Football and Pool.Maldives snookball
  5. “Pool” Table – If there is any place deserving of this billiard brilliance it is the Maldives.Maldives water pool table
  6. Lobster Pad Thai – No “Haven’t Seen Yet” piece is complete without some crustacean-based concoction glaringly omitted from the Maldivian menus. Lobster is the ultimate luxury seafood ingredient and abundant in the area so I am always surprised when resort restaurants don’t use it to upscale ordinary dishes. The latest suggestion is Lobster Pad Thai which I sampled at the London pioneer of design, cocktail and culinary innovation – Crazy Bear. Thai food is frequently found in the Maldives and Pad Thai is probably the most popular signature dish. Typically made with prawns, the swapping in of lobster instead as your crustacean of choice gives it a gourmet vibe. Thai themed Anantara and Dusit, I’m looking at you.
    Maldives lobster pad thai
  7. Sea life Adopting – Take a page out of amateur astronomy and star spotting, as well as zoology/botany. That is, if you submit a turtle that is not in the database yet, then you get to name it. For example, Four Seasons is sponsoring a turtle identification project to crowd source turtle spotting.  It would also be a nice touch if one of the Marine Biologists sent the spotter some sort of certificate of “naming”.  Naming (sometimes referred to as “adoption”) is a big money spinner for conversation groups.  People could “adopt” other residents like mantas and whale sharks that have similar identification research projects in the Maldives.
    Maldives turtle tracking project
  8. Remote Control Snack Float – I’m lounging in the sun, floating in the resort pool and even though it is blessed with an in-pool bar, it takes soooo much effort to drift in that direction…Maldives remote control snack float
  9. Silent Areas – Vilamendhoo has a “kids free”, adult only part of the island. One of the qualities that is most regularly cited and vigorously guarded (from airplane, motor boat and ebullient guests) is the peaceful “silent” tranquillity. This article (thanks Paola) “Silence is the latest trend in luxury resorts” makes me wonder whether resorts couldn’t amplify (well, the opposite of amplify really) that quality by designating certain “quiet areas” of an island. Sort of like the library section or the increasingly prevalent “quiet cars” on trains.
    Maldives silence
  10. Sound Art – Our son, Chase (himself a veteran of many Maldives trips) is a Sound Artist (a piece he did was featured at an exhibition in London and mentioned in Wired magazine). Sound Art is the use of sound to construct a number of sound sensations, experiences and environments. The iconic gentle waves and whale calls found in many spas are a popular form many people are familiar with. Many resorts invest huge amounts in design, style, décor and artwork. A more ambitious installation of sound art created to capture the zeitgeist of Maldivian tranquillity would be an innovative ambient complement.
    Maldives sound art
  11. Protected Soundscape – Some of the most beautiful sounds are found in nature. But just like the ocean, those sounds can be endangered by airplanes, engines, boats, recreational craft, etc. Many countries actually have “protected soundscapes” – areas where manmade noise levels are tightly regulated to minimise noise pollution. Chase is actually going to Japan in a month to do field recordings of a number of their soundscapes (Japan has more protected soundscapes than any other country). Maldives has been a leader in protecting marine areas so much so that an initiative is underway to make the entire country a UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserve. Being such a leader in environmental sustainability, I think it would be great for the Maldives to identify its own protected soundscape. One could ensure that sea planes and ferries deviated around it sufficiently and access could be limited to a wind powered dhoni. Our son, Chase, noted that the Maldives could create the world’s first underwater protected soundscape. Possibly with the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. His many visits of snorkelling there struck him that a particularly unique soundscape there was the underwater sounds of trigger fish crunching coral and other assorted echoes of marine life.
    Japan protected soundscape
  12. Stingray” Sun Umbrella – Stylish and ever so apropos (thanks Paola).Maldives stingray umbrella
  13. Beloved Wives Day – Especially for the increasing number of Chinese visitors, but I bet a few other nationalities could enjoy joining in the declarations.
    Maldives beloved wives day
  14. Ice Balls – Advanced version of the “Flower Cubes” (#35) with its own special maker.Maldives ice balls
  15. Heart Shaped Island – With 1900 to choose from, you would think at least one would have randomly formed into something vaguely resembling this symbol of love. People are enchanted by such islands. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi claims to be heart shaped, but it is more of an anatomical heart than an icon of romance. With all of the terraforming on resort islands, you would think that one could make a few tweaks.
    Maldives heart shaped island

      

15 Things Maldives Leads the World In

Maldives world champion

An update to “Maldives, the Best Of” for Maldives National Day adds several new items. For a country so small, it sure commands a big number of superlatives. Not surprisingly, most concern its uncanny natural beauty and the throngs of visitors drawn to it from around the world (detail links in the title word of each bullet).

  1. Skinniest – Length to width that surpasses Chile.
    Maldives overview map
  2. Lowest Lying – Another topological distinction making the Maldives the poster child for the vulnerability of AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) to the rising seas of global warming.Maldives sand spit
  3. Snorkeling – Simply. The best. In the world. A side effect of being just the right elevation (islands in the South Pacific “tower” much higher at hundreds of feet, and a place like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is most submerged leaving fewer islands and shallow lagoons).
    Snorkeling
  4. Traffic Safety – As chaotic as Male traffic might seem, you are safer than you think (but I would still cross carefully).
    Maldives traffic
  5. Divorce – It takes more than enchanting paradise to secure lifelong romance. The country renowned as the top honeymoon destination just happens to also have the highest divorce rate in the world.
    Dead rose on Maldives beach
  6. Resort Density – Many popular destinations offer hundreds of resorts and tourism is the leading contributor to their GDP, but none more so than the Maldives.
    Anantara Maldives neighbourhood
  7. Airport Density – And along similar lines to #6, despite being the 8th smallest country in the world, the Maldives has 10 airports.  An airport every 30 kilometres.
    Maldives airports
  8. Plastic Water Bottle Refuse Density – And a more dubious density distinction of the most plastic water bottles discarded into the ocean.
    Maldives plastic water bottles
  9. Water Villas – Water Villas originated in the South Pacific resorts of Bali (where local maritime culture had had villas on stilts for centuries, but the Maldives has taken them to a whole new dimension.
    Gili Lankanfushi - residence water villa
  10. HotelsUSA Today reports this week, “The island chain in the north Indian Ocean is *the* place to be. That’s according to TripAdvisor. The site ranked the Top 25 Hotels in the World and 3 are in the Maldives. The only country with more than 2 hotels on the list. Including #1, Gili Lankanfushi.” Also includes Cocoa Island #6 and Constance Moofushi #15 (thanks Mom).TripAdvisor Top 25 Hotels of the World
  11. Beaches The Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI) developed by Norstat and dp2research found “Maldives comes out, less surprisingly, on top worldwide with a segment score of 9.5 in the ‘beaches’ category.”

  12. Safety – The same Norstat/dp2reseach found Maldives ‘safely’ on top of the worldwide list in the category of…safety:  “Safety wise, no other destination of the world came close to Maldives which held an index value of 9.4 while the closest European destination was Austria with a score of 8.9 and similarly Maldives landed top spot in accommodation with an index score of 9.4 once again.”

  13. Warm Water Skate Park Surfing – The Maldives has become one of the top surf destinations in the world.  Especially with the change in the style of surfing from conquering monster waves to performing tricks.  The latter requires long gradual breaks, not sharp dramatic ones.  Like Hudhuranfushis distinction as the longest left-handed surf break in the world. Surfline attests  “Perhaps the best warm-water skatepark in the world is the Maldives — all fun, very little fear. And what the atolls lack in death-defying barrels they more than make up for in sheer, easy-to-rip walls. The kind of waves that make you feel like a better surfer.”

  14. Oldest Seawater – The Maldives doesn’t just have the most seawater proportionately of any country, it also has the oldest.  That’s according to a study by University of Chicago’s Dr. Clara Blättler who studies limestone deposits that form in the Maldives as part of the Expedition 259 of the International Ocean Discovery Program.  She remarked, “from all indications, it looks pretty clear we now have an actual piece of this 20,000 year-old ocean

    Image credit:  Jean Lechat
  15. Tourism Dependency – Perhaps not surprising for a country that also includes “Beaches”, “Hotels”, “Resort Density” and “Airport Density” in its world leading boasts, the Maldives gets 41.5% of its GDP from the tourism industry (I know that the reference puts Macau just above it, but I am dismissing that as a bit of a geo-political anomaly which is barely a country, but just a sovereignty anointed city that is well and truly part of China).

10 Water Villa Accessories

Gili Lankanfushi water villas

On the heels of the Maldives Complete index, I think it’s time for another Buzzfeed-inspired listicle. A Christmas list for every self-respecting Maldive water villa. Not surprisingly, the “Water Villa only” pioneer Gili Lankanfushi dominates the list with 3 mentions.

Pimp my water villa!

 

1. SLIDEGili Lankanfushi: Yes pleeeeeease!

Gili Lankanfushi slide

2. HAMMOCK One and Only Reethi Rah: The most expansive of the over water “floating” nets.

One and Only Reethi Rah hammock

3. INDOOR/OUTDOOR POOLHuvafenfushi: Great for the inner cat person (“I want to be outside, no inside, no outside…”)

Huvafenfushi indoor outdoor pool

4. DINING GAZEBOVelaa: Your own over water dining room.

Velaa dining gazebo

5. JETTYAngsana Velavaru: Strolling along the jetties provide a front row “dry” seat to the maritime spectacles of the Maldives and Velavaru gives you your very own private one.

Angsana Velavaru jetty

6. PRIVATE BEACHVelaa: Surf and turf Maldives villa style.

Velaa water villa beach

7. PRIVATE OCEANGili Lankanfushi: Private back areas in beach villas give you privacy, but in a water villa any passing boat can see you on your deck or swimming off it. But Gili offers your own private enclosed swimming area (mind you, it does become a bit less private at low tide when the water level drops).

Gili Lankanfushi private ocean

 

 

 

 

8. GLASS FLOORJumeirah Vittaveli: When being 10 feet from the water view trigger withdrawal pangs.

Jumeirah Vittaveli water villa deck glass floor

 

9. BOAT Gili Lankanfushi:  Your own private transport to your own villa island.

Gili Lankanfushi water villa boat

 

10. GLASS DINING TABLESix Senses Laamu: Best placemat ever.

Six Sense Laamu glass table

 

7 Underwater Wonderful Activities in the Maldives

Underwater bubbles

The 7th of the 7th for 7 Wonders. Everyone knows the “7 Wonders of the World” (well, like the Seven Dwarfs, they always forget the last one like “Doc” or “Mausoleum at Halicarnassus”). In the age of listicles, there seems to be a “7 Wonders…” of jut about every description. Of course, a while back there was the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” scam.

For Maldives fans, the latest of interest has to be the “Seven Wonders of the Underwater World”…

  1. Belize’s Barrier Reef
  2. Deep Sea Vents, Ecuador
  3. Northern Red Sea, Africa
  4. The Great Barrier Reef
  5. Lake Baikal, Russia
  6. Galapagos Islands
  7. Palau Reefs

One might argue that Maldives is glaring by its omission. But I have always thought that the Maldives’ ultimate charm is not below the water nor above it. But right at the water’s edge. It occupies that magical balance not being mostly beneath (like the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea), nor being quite high above (like the Galapagos or much of the South Pacific). If you are looking for that wonder that is right on the edge of aquatic and atmospheric, the Maldives commands a list of only 1.

1. Get Engaged – Conrad Rangali Maldives.  Mastering neutral buoyancy to get down on one knee.

Conrad Rangali wedding proposal

2. Get Married – Centara Grand. Buddy breathing for life.

Centara Grand underwater wedding 2

3. Run the Country – In 2009, the President held an underwater Cabinet meeting to highlight the risks of global warming.

Underwater cabinet meeting

4. Build a Reef – A number of resorts (eg. Kandooma, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Kuda Hura, Kurumba) now offer Reefscaping which involves attaching small pieces of coral onto support frame which allows them to grow

Kandooma reefscaping 2

5.  View an Art Exhibit – Soneva Fushi. New meaning to “Watercolours”.

Soneva Fushi olly and suzy art 1

6. Shoot a Movie. LUX Maldives. Life Aquatic sequels galore.

LUX Maldives Underwater Festival

7. Celebrate the Holidays. Anantara Kihavah. Eau Christmas Tree, eau Christmas tree…

Anantara Kihavah underwater Christmas tree

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