Best of the Maldives: Aqua-Christmas – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Christmas 1

Most resorts don a bit of Yuletide adornment for the festive season, but Jumeirah Vittaveli has done theirs with a distinctively aquatic style with a giant sea-faring Christmas tree and a red-nosed jet ski drawing Santa’s sleigh:

  • Santa surprised everyone with an entrance in style today at Jumeirah Vittaveli. He took to the air and flew in by parasail; then his helpers picked him up on a floating sleigh, pulled by motorized reindeer! Guests were excited to meet Father Christmas at Samsara Beach and children got the chance to take a photo on Santa’s lap, before a bag full of goodies was given to everyone.”

Martime Christmas!

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Christmas 2

Best of the Maldives: Tech ‘Do Not Disturb’ – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North Male Atoll - tech do not disturb

Homes festooned with Christmas lights to herald Santa’s arrival around the world, but if you don’t want him disturbing your tropical holiday with his festive cheer, then the two little green and red light on the outside of LUX North Male Atoll’s villas are its “do not disturb” system. Just flip the switch inside that illuminates them. You can choose between a silent night or a bearing gifts ye traverse afar. Merry Christmas everyone.

Best of the Maldives: Lit Menus – Faarufushi

Faarufushi - lit menu

For the squinting crowd whose arms are not long enough to hold a menu far away enough to see it, the romance of under-the-stars candlelight might add to the romance, but it also means you can’t figure out what you can order for dinner. Resorts have come up with a various solutions to this problem including the fiddly clip-on mini light or the serve holding a torch. But Faarufushi has introduced electronic menu tablets with soft back lighting to provide optimal visibility.

Best of the Maldives Online: Whale Shark Spotting – Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme

Whale Shark app

Another two things I love in the Maldives are logging apps (with maps) and whale sharks. Now the Maldives Whale Shark Research Organisation has brought these two great things together in their mobile whale shark tracking app:

  • Since 2016, we’ve worked with the team at Critter to develop a mobile app built on their Track system, and in 2019 we’re proud to release the next generation full of exciting new features. ‘Whale Shark Network Maldives’ now takes technology that has long been the preserve of scientists at desktop computers and puts it into the hands of anyone with a mobile device. This innovative approach representing a huge leap for efficiency in citizen science engagement caught the attention of Apple, who selected the app from over 2.5 million others on the app store and championed it in the Keynote of Apple’s annual World.”

Whale Shark Spotter on steroids. They’ve also merged two general features of Maldives Complete – (a) a spotting tracker, and (b) a database lookup (with individual profiles). Add a blog and you have Whale Shark Complete!

Whales Shark programme

Best of the Maldives: Bed Decorating Map – Kudafuhi

Kudafushi - bed decorating map

Two of my favourite features – island maps and bed decorating. Both are quite distinctive in the Maldives with their “all on one island” resort properties and their tradition of elaborate blossom bed creations. Kudafushi has merged the two together for a mattress-based map of the island’s landscape (thanks Paola). One of the most exquisite works of bed decorating I’ve seen.

Best of the Maldives: Salt Water Lake – Rahaa

Rahaa - Salt Water Lake 1

While most Maldives aficionados seek out the best house reefs (with their plummeting walls of coral), the Maldives lagoons are equally as distinctive. They might not make for the finest snorkelling adventures since they are essentially just shallow pools of water with sandy bottoms. Typically, not much marine life to see except for a few foraging sting rays and the wandering couple of goat fishes. But the lagoons are what give the Maldives its distinctive palette of soft blues and provide ocean swimming that is as calm as a backyard pool.

Rahaa’s “salt water” lake is one of the most distinctive resort bodies of water in the Maldives (thanks Francisco). Other resorts feature “lakes”, but none so front and center. None with villas on the shores and none you can swim in. Now whether Rahaa’s “lake” is really and lake or a totally landlocked lagoon is a bit of a semantic fine point. It is as notable a water feature as you’ll find in a destination that epitomises water features.

Rahaa - Salt Water Lake 2

Rahaa - Salt Water Lake 3

Best of the Maldives: Edible Straw – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - edible straws

When most of what there is to do all day is savour pina coladas in the sun (or whatever your favourite tropical tipple is), plastic straws can pile up. Most resorts are moving away from plastic to a variety of sipping tools (so much so that with this post I have introduced the “Straws” tag). LUX south Ari Atoll has introduced another variety of edible straws:

  • The biodegradable straws, made from cooked rice flour, tapioca starch and water, can last up to one hour before they soften and eventually dissolve.”

Best of the Maldives: Plastic Bag – Conrad Maldives

Conrad Maldives - plastic bag

Black Friday! The biggest shopping day of the year. Of course you will need something to carry all those purchases and you don’t want to be adding to the landfill with shopping bags. If you do your early Christmas shopping at Conrad Rangali you not only get a useful and stylish bag for your shopping and more, but the bag itself doesn’t just stop added plastic consumption, but it actually removes waste plastic from the ocean. The bag is made from recycled plastic removed from the ocean. Parley’s website describes

  • The bags are made with Ocean Plastic® — a premium material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, waters and coastlines by our growing global cleanup network. Each Parley Ocean Bag in the artist series is made from approximately 5 intercepted plastic bottles and funds the removal of another 20 pounds of marine plastic waste by the Parley Global Cleanup Network.”

Bag for Sea Life!


Homecoming Parade-ise

Margie M (Australia) - Kandima

Happy Thanksgiving and a big welcome to all those Homecoming Queens riding in on their colourful floats…

  1. Margie M (Australia) – Kandima [ABOVE]
  2. Alana Panday (India) – Kandima
    Alana Panday (India) - Kandima
  3. Romana Rabinig (Austria) – Hondaafushi
    Romana Rabinig (Austria) - Hondaafushi
  4. Rkycia (Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu
    Rkycia (Thailand) - Anantara Dhigu
  5. Amanda Lynn (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
    Amanda Lynn (USA) - Six Senses Laamu
  6. Maumi Zhou (China) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Maumi Zhou (China) - Coco Bodu Hithi
  7. Ariel (China) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
    Ariel (China) - Grand Park Kodhipparu 2
  8. My Life Inspiration (Russia) – Vilu Reef
    My Life Inspiration (Russia) - Vilu Reef
  9. Yuliya Bezdar (Russia) – Cheval Blanc
    Yuliya Bezdar (Russia) – Cheval Blanc
  10. Beatrice Wong (Australia) – Reethi Faru
    Beatrice Wong (Australia) - Reethi Faru
  11. Kristyna Sixtova (Czech) – Kuredu – Angel Wings
    Kristyna Sixtova (Czech) - Kuredu
  12. Cherliza (Netherlands) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Cherliza (Netherlands) - Jumeirah Vittaveli
  13. Enrou (Malaysia) – Kandooma
    Enrou (Malaysia) - Kandooma
  14. Maria (Italy) – Anantara Dhigu
  15. Yasemin C (Denmark) – Robinson Club Noonu
    Yasemin C (Denmark) - Robinson Club Noonu
  16. Karina Volodina (Russia) – Sun Island
    Karina Volodina (Russia) - Sun Island 2
  17. Maria Sionova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Maria Sionova (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
  18. Khongyeusonglau (China) – Thulhagiri
    Khongyeusonglau (China) - LUX South Ari Atoll

  19. Rachel Jeon (Japan) – Milaidhoo
    Rachel Jeon (Japan) - Milaidhoo
  20. Shivani Patil (India) – Vadoo
    Shivani Patil (India) - Vadoo
  21. Fahlalaaa (Thailand) – Constance Moofushi
    Fahlalaaa (Thailand) - Constance Moofushi
  22. Pui L Bes (Thailand) – Kanuhura
    Pui L Bes (Thailand) - Kanuhura
  23. Galina Bezruk (Russia) – Vadoo
    Galina Bezruk (Russia) - Vadoo
  24. Dasha (Russia) – OZEN by Atmosphere
  25. Evgenia Radzevichus (Russia) – Summer Island
    Evgenia Radzevichus (Russia) - Summer Island
  26. Sin Tong (Philippines) – Thulhagiri
    Sin Tong (Philippines) - Thulhagiri
  27. Tata Nualpeng (Thailand) – Centara Grand
    Tata Nualpeng (Thailand) - Centara Grand
  28. Peggy Hung (Taiwan) – Finolhu
    Peggy Hung (Taiwan) - Finolhu
  29. Joice Oliveira (Brazil) – Hurawalhi
  30. May Buranasiri (Thailand) – Kanuhura
    May Buranasiri (Thailand) - Kanuhura
  31. Maria Pogrebnyak-Shatalova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Maria Pogrebnyak-Shatalova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  32. Valeria Hammer (Ukraine) – Meedhupparu
    Valeria Hammer (Ukraine) - Meedhupparu
  33. Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
  34. Katrin Amaure (Austria) – Furaveri
    Katrin Amaure (Austria) - Furaveri
  35. Bia Feres (Brazil)
    Bia Feres (Brazil)