Conrad Maldives is putting the “up” into upcycling plastic with its jellyfish chandelier. The article “How A Hotel In the Maldives Is Fighting Plastic Pollution” describes this and a number of other initiatives (stay tuned) the resort is undertaking to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to minimise it from their property:
- “The most visible symbol of the hotel’s commitment to the cause can be found inside Rangali Bar. Dangling from the wood ceiling of the open-air bar is a massive jellyfish. At first glance, it could be mistaken for a Chihuly, with its long, translucent tentacles resembling blue-tinted glass. But the sculpture comes from eco artist John K. Melvin, who was commissioned to create the site-specific piece at the resort. Melvin, whose work has appeared in places like Puerto Rico’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, spent a six-week residency collecting more than 5,000 plastic bottles from three islands in the Maldives, sculpting and then stringing them with coconut rope, steel cable, wire and other materials. The upcycled work is titled EvoGyre, a portmanteau of “evolution” and “gyre,” which is a circular ocean current formed by wind patterns and the forces resulting from the Earth’s rotation. Plastic gets stuck in these vortexes.”
Creative approaches to eco-sustainability are looking up at Rangali.
Keeping plastic out of oceans has become quite the fashionable eco-initiative lately, but LUX North Male Atoll is helping the environment by putting plastic into the ocean. In a manner most fashionable…on the bodies of guests. The carry a line of swim suits (for both men and women) that are made from recycled plastic. The lady’s suits aren’t quite as daring as some string bikinis, but they are made out of string – 65% recycled fish net. The swim shorts cost $130 struck me as exceedingly stylish decorated with images of turtles, sharks and creatures the eco-friendliness is helping out.
What goes better with chocolate than peanut butter (“two great tastes”)? And LUX North Male Atoll makes its equally homemade version right in front of your eyes with their WeNut Butter machine.
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.” – Willie Wonka
Six Senses Laamu has its own caffeinated concoction from homemade from the bean – its own signature chocolate. (thanks Paola)
- “Six Senses Laamu has started to produce handcrafted chocolate bars. 100% organic Criollo beans and brown sugar from a Sri Lankan are turned into a new Laamu chocolate. Their chocolate alchemist Alvina produces different flavors including Maldivian chili, lemongrass, cinnamon and dried fruit.”
With this post, I’m adding a tag for “Chocolate”, appropriate with the Maldives being the quintessential Bounty Bar destination.
LUX* North Male Atoll’s “LUX Café” features a non-electronic way to start your morning detox after a night of a few too many pina coladas – cold drip coffee. Cold drip is a technique where coffee is immersed in cold water and left to ‘brew’ over a number of hours. At LUX, water drips through for 6-8 hours to make one 1 litre (also 14 hours for 3 litre version). The result is a concentrated coffee where more of the flavour is preserved with a richer fuller body. It is especially good for preparing ice coffee – Lori’s favourite.
Sometimes resorts are distinguished not by what they have, but by what they don’t have. Especially, in the “get away from it all” remoteness of the Maldives, people are often on an escape from civilization. While so many properties have striven to provide all the creature comforts of home and then some, some times a few well chosen omissions are lauded by guests. One particular area is refuge from technology that has engulfed our modern lives. One of the most popular “back to basics” design features are those villas with no televisions in their rooms.
Dhigali has gone whole hog at least for the younger generation (arguably most at risk from digital drowning). Their kids club offers an “Electronic Detox”. It has no TV, but also no electronics of any kind no are any allowed in (and if you try to smuggle in that iPhone, the wifi is disabled there). Just analogue, real-world games and activities to thrill and distract.
Even the seats in the kids club washroom are sculptures at Joali…Frog Bog!
One of our favourite Maldives rituals is our pre-crepuscular circum-perambulation of the island (yes, I did enjoy writing this sentence). That’s a pre-sundowner island-rounder in layman’s terms. Typically, takes about 15-20 minutes for a small resort. Dhigali has brought the charm and adventure of an island walk to the interior with their “Jungle Walk”.
Dhigali has carved out an intimate footpath weaving through an extensive portion of their thick, tropical palm-canopied undergrowth. In addition, they have enhanced it with some signs feature fun factoids about this inner landscape you are exploring as well as with a few seats to just sit down and take in a part of the island that is all too rarely savoured. It is also lit so you can take a romantic midnight walk along it as well
While the Maldivians have traditionally scurried from island to island by dhoni and more recently motor boat, funds from tourism have provided the resources for more permanent connections with bridges. One of the sights of our recent tour was to see the completed Male to Hulhumale bridge, one of the Maldives’ largest infrastructure projects in its history. On a more modest scale is the The Residence’s new connection to its adjacent sister property The Residence Dhigurah (and to reduce confusion, the original “The Residence” now is going by the name “The Residence Falhumaafushi”). I’ve already posted about the jetty’s charming little deserted island that flanks it at about the halfway point, but the jetty itself is also distinguished as the longest resort-to-resort jetty in the Maldives at half a kilometre (nearly twice as long as Conrad Rangali’s jetty between its two island).
With this post, I’ve added a tag for “Bridge” for all the various bridges that occasionally link the scattered islands.