Best of the Maldives: Highest TV – Dreamland

Dreamland - ceiling TV

One resort who has a high bar (literally) for videos is Dreamland with their ceiling mounted television (thanks Paola). The set up allows for supine lounging while catching a bit of TV. It also means that one can glance at the TV (above) or the scenery (below) which might be useful if you were following a news event or a big sports match.

Best of the Maldives: Instagram Video – Cocoon

A post shared by Nicole M. (@nicolemazzocato) on

Instagram has started as a straightforward snap sharing service from simple phone cameras, but it has exploded so much that now you get Hollywood quality productions being shared. I check out the Maldives geotag every morning over coffee as a great scouting radar for resort highlights as well as the latest fashionista shoots so I have been tracking the Maldives material for a couple of years. The video clips have increasing popped up and feature more and more in my fashionista posts. My favourite, that really stuck out for its sophistication and quirky style is Nicole Mazzocato’s post (above) filmed by Fabio Colloricchio. Travel’s Gage’s somewhat similar cut-away montage (below) is a commendable runner-up.

A post shared by Travel Videos (@travel.gage) on

Best of the Maldives: Submarine Jet – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

If you prefer your James Bond ocean travel under the water, then check out the latest submarine in the Maldives at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru:

  • “Landaa Giraavaru is the first resort in the world to launch DeepFlight Adventures: piloted submarine excursions for up to two passengers in the DeepFlight Super Falcon 3S, enabling once-in-a-lifetime sub-aquatic explorations of the Maldives only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Individual viewing domes provide a 360-degree view of the Baa Atoll’s incredible underwater world. Skim over coral formations; fly through shoals of brightly coloured fish; encounter creatures like turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays; and explore the Maldivian waters down to a depth of 37 metres/120 feet – all without getting wet! Battery-operated, the Super Falcon 3S features minimized electric and acoustic emissions so as not to disturb the marine life and never lands on the seabed or reefs.”

A one-hour trip for two costs $1,500 (£1,100) plus tax.

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - submarine

Best of the Maldives: Edible Straws – Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem - edible straws

We all can embrace the ocean with more sustainable choices in what we consume and discard. One of the areas getting lots of scrutiny these days is plastic use. Bottles and bags have already been targeted, but a more recent opportunity is to cut down the use of plastic drinking straws. Carpe Diem (note: the resort is not yet open, but the Carpe Diem cruising yacht is in operation) is not just taking a bite out of plastic use, but is introducing straws you can take a bite out of yourself:

  • ”It’s widely claimed there are enough plastic straws to wrap around the Earth’s circumference 2.5 times each day. Because they are so small, most straws are not recycled and usually end up in landfills and waterways, where they linger indefinitely, harming wildlife, and marring the natural beauty. Made to disappear and designed to have the same functionality expected of a plastic straw, Lolistraw will last for up to 8 hrs in a beverage and will have a shelf life of up to 24 months. When you’re done sipping your drink, you can eat the straw or compost it. The founders of LOLIWARE and the straw’s designers, Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, have coined the term ‘Hyper-compostable’ to convey that all of their products, including Lolistraw, will break down at the same rate as food waste in compost or in the natural environment, such as a waterway.”

Best of the Maldives: Sommelier Certification – One & Only Reethi Rah

One an Only Reethi Rah - sommelier training

May Day, May Day…I need help…with my wine choice! May Day today is better known as a celebration of workers. Each year this day, I highlight an initiative that a resort is making in its people. This year is One & Only Reethi Rah who certify all their sommeliers through the internationally recognizes WSET standard:

  • “This is a professional course and there is different levels, starting at Introduction Level 1 to advanced Level 4. All our sommeliers are certified thru this global group as well as about 20 other F&B staff members with more being certified next year.”

Raise a glass to all the resort workers who help make the Maldives even more of an experience of paradise. At Reethi Rah, “S.O.S.” stands for “Sommeliers Outstanding Service”.

One and Only Reethi Rah - WSET

Best of the Maldives: Ballet Instruction – Shangri-La Villingili

Shangri-La Villingili - ballet 1

Dance is for everyone. Whether just swaying to the romantic ballads at the resort disco or practicing more classical form with Shangri-La Villingili’s innovative ballet programme.

  • “Reveal the ballerina in you or just discover a new dance fitness routine with our Ballet Master. The celebrated ballerina, Karis Scarlette, a former performer of the Royal Ballet in London and a qualified teacher from the Royal Opera House, will be our Master in Residence, passing on the joy of ballet through inspiring and fun ballet classes for all ages.”

Instruction possibilities include:

  • Ballet Fitness – 60 mins – Complimentary
  • Mini Ballet – 30 mins, parents to be on hand to assist with little ones. Timings: 8 a.m. or 5 p.m.
  • One-to-One Private Session – 60 min – $200 per person / 90 mins – $300 per person
  • Private Sunset Guided Meditation & Stretching by the Beach – 30 mins – $150 for two guests

Shangri-La Villingili - ballet 2

Shangri-La Villingili - ballet 3

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Sculpture Gallery – Sirru Fen Fushi

Sirru Fen Fushi - sculpture 1

International Sculpture Day today. And new resort Sirru Fen Fushi is launching a world class sculpture exhibit with the most distinctively Maldivian twist – it is underwater.

  • “The sculptural installation on Sirru Fen Fushi will offer visitors a unique, cultural eco-art attraction whilst creating the foundations of an artificial reef to enhance the underwater ecosystem. The centre piece will be the Coral Cube, the worlds first semi submerged art space, a portal to the underwater realm offering visitors ephemeral encounters with the natural beauty beneath the water’s surface, delivering an other worldly experience that illustrates the connectivity of man with nature, a hybrid organic form in harmony with its surroundings, a seamless link between the land and the ocean, combining two disparate wonders, one created by man and one designed by nature.”

This creative installation is another gratifying “Finally Seen” for me as I first suggested such an exhibition 4 years ago with Part 4 of my “Not Seen Yet” series (#7).

Sirru Fen Fushi - sculpture 3

Sirru Fen Fushi - sculpture 2

Best of the Maldives: Guest Contract – Medhufushi

Medhufushi - guest contract

The first principle to saving the planet is personal responsibility and no resort fosters more than Medhufushi with their inspired guest “contract” of “behaviour rules”. When I coached rowing at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, the programme introduced a very similar contract for all the athletes to sign. It put down on paper important responsibilities and forced everyone to give it more than a fleeting consideration as they were putting their signatures on it.

One of the biggest obstacles to a more sustainable lifestyle is people simply not knowing the adverse impacts some seemingly innocuous activity can have. One of the most prominent examples is STANDING ON THE CORAL. To the uninformed, lots of coral can appear like simply underwater rocks. But despite their stony exoskeleton, they are indeed living animals (not even plants) and standing on them hurts them and can kill them.

Even if you aren’t checking into Medhufushi, their guest rules is a handy guide to do’s and don’ts anywhere in the Maldives:

Dear guest, please acknowledge the following rules. It is for your own safety and enjoyment, and they will help Medhufushi Resort to preserve its natural beauty. Any failure in following these guidelines will incur in a fine of 300 USD.

  1. Do not touch or chase the animals, including marine creatures such as sngrays, turtles and crabs.
  2. Do not feed the animals, including fish and sharks. (There is a fish feeding session organized by the hotel for all guests at 21:00hrs every evening)
  3. It is not permied to catch, kill and eat animals.
  4. Do not pick up coral or shells. Do not damage them.
  5. Do not cook any kind of food in the room kindly contact the Front Desk for any special requests.
  6. During snorkeling excursion, please, Do not stand or walk on the coral it is a delicate living creature that takes several hundreds of years to grow and it is the very foundaon of the beauty.
  7. There is no lifeguard on duty, snorkeling and swimming is at your own risk. Please make sure you are using the proper safety equipment.
  8. Each accompanying parent is deemed responsible for the safety and behavior of their children.