Best of the Maldives: Powered Reef Regeneration – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 1

The underwater versions of parrot fish and other reef marine life will have a literally more powerful habitat at Angsana Ihuru as a result of their “Necklace Project”. Hotelier Maldives published a great article about the project, “’The Necklace Project’ to be presented at the GM Forum in April”:

  • “It is a steel structure 40 metres long and 4 metres wide, fixed inside the lagoon of Angsana Ihuru at a depth of 0.5 metres. Massive corals were initially put on top of the structure to stabilise it. The steel structures were provided with low voltage direct current which causes the growth of calcium carbonate, dissolved in seawater over the steel surfaces, which are completely protected from corrosion. The growing calcium carbonate on the steel structure, which has already achieved a thickness of about 20 cm in diameter in some places, now acts as a natural barrier to strong waves. The necklace has also become a haven for fish and other forms of marine life.”

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 2

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 3

Best of the Maldives: Parrot Fish Plane – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - parrot fish plane

Up the sky of the Baa atoll, it’s a fish named after a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s latest seaplane inspired by one of the more colourful creatures on the atoll reef…

“A warm welcome to the 52nd member of our fleet!!! The magnificent Four Seasons branded aircraft!”

I might have to create a new tag for “Fish Planes”…

Best of the Maldives: Skydiving – Shangri-La Vilingili

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 1

Look! In the sunny cerulean sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s super Best Of! “Super” because skydiving in the Maldives is perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated Best of the Maldives activity to date. It was featured in the very first “Haven’t Seen Yet” post nearly a decade ago. Since then, I have been teased regularly by a number of announcements that skydiving was coming to the destination. A number of initiatives never seemed to get off the ground (quite literally). Even the company who eventually pulled it off, Sky Diving Maldives, posted about it months before details actually were forthcoming. Until finally they teamed up with Shangri-La Villingili for a landmark jump. The plane takes off from neighbouring Gan airport and you land on Villingili island. Guests were able to sail through the blue sky towards the blue water in a tandem jump for $699.

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 2

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 3

Best of the Maldives: Bird Not-Nest Swinging Chair – Joali

Joali - birdnest swing

In the Maldives, the more leisurely way to swing from the trees is lounging in one of their many swings swaying to the ocean breeze. I remember when I came across the first “birdsnest” swing a decade ago. Now they are common fare across the destination. Recently opened Joali literally does put the “bird” in “birdsnest swing” with its giant Heron head designed by Cape Town-based Porky Hefer.
  

Best of the Maldives: Fitness Tree – Cocoon

Cocoon - tree of well being

Cocoon not only brought the inside…out, but it also made its outdoor workout facility more like the outdoors itself. Its “Tree of Well Being” is not just a functional fitness apparatus for body-weight training, but also provides a striking sculptural aesthetic as well

  • ·The Tree of Wellbeing is provided by MyEquilibria, a ground-breaking new concept of physical fitness based on instinctive body movements. At first glance, Tree of Wellbeing looks more like a work of art than a place for exercise. Engineered around the biomechanics of instinctive training, the Tree of Wellbeing was created by innovative designer Vito Di Bari.”

See the video below for a video demonstration of one of the exercises.

This is just the latest of a number of activities brought outdoors in the sun-soaked landscape so I’ve now added a new tag “Al Fresco” for things conventionally done indoors that resorts have taken outdoors.

Best of the Maldives: Outdoor Fitness Centre – AaaVeee

AaaVee - outdoor gym

People question why you would want to sit in a gym when you have travelled thousands of miles to be in a natural paradise. I was one of those guys who would do workouts on my Maldives holidays. I wanted to keep momentum in my training, I could get great sessions in because I was eating and sleeping extra well, and the general enthusiasm of the whole holiday gave me an extra boost. I did appreciate when resorts made an effort to bring the outdoors in with big picture windows and well situated views. But AaaVeee’s fitness center goes a step even further. Bringing the inside…out. Their gym is fully outdoors. It does have clear wind/rain sheets to lower during inclement weather. It is so outdoors, that it even has a palm tree going in the middle of it through the floor.

Best of the Maldives: Water Rower – Hurawalhi

Hurawalhi - water rower

One of my other hobbies (with accompanying website) is rowing. Small-world coincidence, one of my fellow coaches at Marlow Rowing Club, Imogen Walsh, was one of the first rowing coaches in the Maldives stationed there for a year to help develop the sport. One of my first “Haven’t Seen Yet” items is finding a resort with a sculling boat (and there still are none). But the Life Fitness “water rower” at Hurawalhi is designed to most closely simulate the action of rowing in the water with a slider seat the resistance is actually created by a small tank of water at the foot of the apparatus. State-of-the art rowing training with a striking large window view of the nearby ocean to provide that extra aesthetic water feel.

Best of the Maldives: Slider Station – Malahini Kuda Bandos

Malahini Kuda Bandos - slider station

Malahini Kuda Bandos has its own distinctive bite sized treats at its buffet slider station. One of the problems with buffets is that you eat too much as you simply can’t decide between all the delicacies on offer. Not only can you have a tapas-scale burger, but it is also prepared freshly for you to your liking. Have it your way (#NotSoWhopper)!

Best of the Maldives: Popcorn – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - popcorn

A nibble to spike that thirst for the mini-bar? NIYAMA’s villas all come with hot-air popcorn poppers and a supply of gourmet popcorn for a quick, fresh, hot, healthy snack. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, they also provide complementary cassava chips for something a bit more exotic.

With this post, I’ve added what is really a long overdue category tag for “Mini-Bar”.

   

Best of the Maldives: Reusable Straw – Kuredu

What you don’t want to find on your underwater
Maldives adventure is a bunch of ugly and harmful plastic. People around the world and no less so in the Maldives itself are re-examining how they use plastic and looking for non-plastic alternatives. One option to throwing out plastic straws, it to have a re-usable, non-plastic straw. That was the objective of FinalStraw which is like the straw that James Bond would have (if he drank his martini that way).

Kudos to Kuredu for being the first resort to introduce this elegant innovation to a challenge affecting very close to their home…

  • Now available for guests, FinalStraw allows guests to take our commitment to reduce single-use plastics beyond Kuredu Island Resort, and provides great souvenir as well.”