Best of the Maldives: Record Group Freediving – Baros

Baros - group freediving

A multitudinous school of freedivers took to the Maldives’ water near Baros to set a new world record for group freediving. The MMPRC reported:

Maldives goes on Guiness World Record for the most people freediving simultaneously, with 520 participants on Tuesday, 1 October 2019. The small island nation renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and luxury hospitality broke the world record previously held by Italy; ‘La Scuola del Mare 2’ (Verona), in Torri del Benaco, Verona with 280 people.”

Baros - group freediving 2

Baros - group freediving 3

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Banquet – Aarah

Aarah - Maldivian banquet

For a full on Maldivian banquet, Maldivian cuisine fused with even more Maldivian cuisine (and a touch of Sri Lankan accompaniment for good measure), steel your belly for Heritance Aarah’s 13 course Laccadive extravaganza at its Ambula restaurant:

  • 13-course journey in contemporary Sri Lankan and Maldivian fare at Ambula, dining on curried garlic lobster kottu, oxtail broth and seared tuna thiyal, accompanied by a delicious Colombard wine.” (CondeNast Traveller)

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Fusion – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - tastmakers

A fusion closer to the Maldivian home is Soneva Fushi’s “Tastemaker” who combines Laccadive flavours with a range of Asian flavours drawn from his travels in the region:

  • “Maldivian born and bred, Chef Sobah is considered one of the pioneers of his islands’ rich culinary heritage. As a child, his family’s main source of income was from fishing, and he would help his parents sun-dry and smoke the daily catch. Today, Chef Sobah draws upon the traditional techniques of Maldivian cooking in his Soneva Fushi restaurant, Sobah’s, the first restaurant in the Maldives to offer authentic Maldivian fare with a contemporary twist.”

I’ve added a tag for “Fusion” with this post as so many of the top properties are distinguishing their fare with the flai of inventive combination.

Best of the Maldives: Peru/Japan Fusion – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North Male Atoll - peru japan fusion

Fusion is a fun way to blend diverse flavours and culinary traditions for exciting new tastes, but LUX North Male Atoll’s INTI restaurant is probably the most diverse combo we have come across – Japanese and Peruvian.

Before you think someone just threw a couple of darts at a map, it turns out that Japan and Peru have a longstanding cultural connection. Peru was the first Latin American country to have diplomatic relations with Japan in 1873. At the end of Peru’s War of the Pacific in 1884, the Chinese worker population had been greatly reduced and there was big demand for farming labour. Then when the First Sino-Japanese War ended in 1895, the Japanese economy was crippled and young farmers started looking overseas for opportunities. Rumours of gold, mild climate, rich soil and similar seafood cuisine added to the allure and influx.

LUX describes the establishment: “Savour octopus with black olive mayo, Tiradito breads and smoky guacamole – or take in a five-course fresh fish Cerviche tasting. Sip on an iced Peruvian beer, warm sake or Pisco sour as the smells and sounds of Peru and Japan stir the sensory feast.” We enjoyed a sumptuous meal which did meld the delicate traditions of Japanese sushi with bolder flavoured ingredients like the purple maki (see above).

The name “INTI” is the name of the Inca sun god. The décor of the dining area is a collection of suns – fusing the icon of sun god, “Land of the Rising Sun” and, of course, the Maldives’ own sun-infused splendour (where modern day sun worshippers flock).

LUX North Male Atoll - INIT

Pink Ribbon Float

Pink October – the colours in the battle against breast cancer worldwide during Breast Cancer Awareness Month – concluded in the Maldives with a flock of Pink Ribbon Walks held on 28 islands sponsored by Cancer Society of Maldives and Bank of Maldives (BML). Maldives Complete pink celebration is brought to you by a flock of fun-in-the-sun floats which are probably the most prolific pink on the resort landscape and certainly on the Insta-scape…

 Flamingom Cancer awareness ribbon

  1. Jibril Ows (France) – LUX South Ari Atoll  [ABOVE]
  2. Sabrina Stander (Germany) – LUX North Male Atoll
    Sabrina Stander (Germany) - LUX North Male Atoll
  3. Daria Klyukina (Russia) – Nautilus
    Daria Klyukina (Russia) - Nautilus
  4. Uyen Meow (Vietnam) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Uyen Meow (Vietnam) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
  5. Radhika Seth (India) – Kandima
    Radhika Seth (India) - Kandima
  6. Power System (Canada) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Power System (Canada) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  7. My Life Inspiration (Russia) – Vilu Reef
    My Life Inspiration (Russia) - Vilu Reef
  8. Justina Mikalauskaitė (Lithuania) – Finolhu
    Justina Mikalauskaite (Lithuania) - Finolhu
  9. Moumita Moitra (India)
    Moumita Moitra (India)
  10. Annie (Australia) – Conrad Rangali
    Annie (Australia) - Conrad Rangali
  11. Darcy Gillies (United Kingdom) – Kihaa
    Darcy Gillies (United Kingdom) - Kihaa
  12. Sylvie L. (Hungary)
    Sylvie L (Hungary)
  13. Chuithing Lim (Taiwan) – Angsana Velavaru
    Chuithing Lim (Taiwan) - Angsana Velavaru
  14. Melanie Lucia (Germany) – Holiday Island
    Melanie Lucia (Germany) - Holiday Island 2
  15. Son G (Korea) – Halaveli
    Son G (Korea) - Halaveli
  16. Maria Ponomaryova (Russia) – Ayada
    Maria Ponomaryova (Russia) – Ayada 2
  17. MonNy Sirilak (Thailand) – Halaveli
    MonNy Sirilak (Thailand) - Halaveli
  18. Yaki Wong (Hong Kong) – Outrigger Konotta
    Yaki Wong (Hong Kong) - Outrigger Konotta
  19. Nelly Oz (Russia) – Ayada
    Nelly Oz (Russia) - Ayada
  20. Sukimin Thio (Indonesia) – Park Hyatt Hadahaa
    Sukimin Thio (Indonesia) - Park Hyatt Hadahaa
  21. Kateřina (Czech) – Holiday Island
    Kateřina (Czech) - Holiday Island
  22. Echo Ohe (China) –
    Echo Ohe (China) - Vommuli
  23. Nastya Globa (Russia) – Kihaa
    Nastya Globa (Russia) - Kihaa
  24. Barbie Pelomundo (Brazil) – Hurawalhi
    Barbie Pelomundo (Brazil) - Hurawalhi
  25. Fatima Almomen (Kuwait) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Fatima Almomen (Kuwait) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  26. Sayhey Tokatrin (Russia) – Meeru
    Sayhey Tokatrin (Russia) - Meeru
  27. Marie Fe (Spain) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Marie Fe (Spain) - Coco Bodu Hithi
  28. Alisa Regula (Russia) – Meeru
    Alisa Regula (Russia) - Meeru
  29. Ann Korshun (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Ann Korshun (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah 2
  30. Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – Fours Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – Fours Seasons Kuda Huraa
  31. Lera Bukinaa (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Lera Bukinaa (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi 3
  32. Oh Natty (Poland) – Paradise Island
    Oh Natty (Poland) - Paradise Island
  33. Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee
    Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee - 2
  34. Yarmy Shiva (Russia) – NIYAMA
    Yarmy Shiva (Russia) – NIYAMA - 3
  35. Aygul Abdullina (Russia) – Cinnamon Dhonveli
    Aygul Abdullina (Russia) - Cinnamon Dhonveli 2

Best of the Maldives: Largest Floating Solar System – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - floating solar system 1

LUX South Ari Atoll floating solar farm is using the sea to save the sea. Exploiting the expansive areas of sun-drenched waters, their floating solar system is the not just the Maldives’ largest, but the world’s largest:

  • “This unique technology called SolarSea gathers solar energy directly on the ocean to power the island in an eco-friendly fashion. As part of the resort’s commitment to sustainability, LUX* South Ari Atoll has pledged to minimize carbon dioxide emissions. To achieve this goal, the five-star luxury resort partnered with the leading solar provider Swimsol, an Austrian-Maldivian company, which provided a solution to overcome the limited space available for solar panels on small tropical islands. Consequently, Swimsol developed the first and only patented floating solar system that is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the waves, storms and saltwater…The resort is already using a rooftop system with the same solar company. Once all suitable roofs were covered with solar panels, the resort decided to expand beyond the shoreline with twelve SolarSea platforms. Thereby the solar capacity increased by 40% and reached 678 kWp, enough to power all guest villas with solar energy during the peak sun hours. The result is cheaper energy and a saving of more than 260,000 litres of diesel per year that previously were needed to produce the same amount of electricity with combustion engines.”

Sunny days to un-warm the ocean.

LUX South Ari Atoll - floating solar system 2

Best of the Maldives: Coral Reef Art – Sirru Fen Fushi

Sirru Fen Fushi - coral frame 2

I rarely visit the same island twice (there’s just too much great stuff left to discover) much less write about the same feature twice. But islands get revamped and become entirely different properties which warrant taking an entirely fresh look. And the same is true with Sirru Fen Fushi’sCorallarium” which started life as a surf-breaking art installation, but is now morphing into a reef regeneration project:

  • The Coralarium structure, and the sculptures within, act as an artificial reef, encouraging local marine life to make it a home. Up to 5m tall, each one of the soaring sculptures is constructed of more than 500 ceramic ‘starfish’ that have been specifically designed to attract a variety of fish and crustaceans – the hard shells catch and hold biomass, or ‘fish food’, which encourage coral larvae to attach and thrive, while nooks and dark cubbyholes in the structures provide a hiding place for a variety of fish and shellfish. Each sculpture is brought to life through its union with the life that attaches to it, transforming them from concrete to textured, living organisms.”

Great to see the second life to this installation giving the coral reef new life.

Sirru Fen Fushi - coral frame