Best of the Maldives: Ashtray – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu ash tray

The traditional anniversary gift for 9 years is pottery. Actually, I received this “gift” of a post scoop from leading contributor Paola a while back. She spotted it at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and wrote, ““The ashtray is carved in a kind of faux-stone. This way the ashes are protected from the wind.” It also has sort of a Flintstones caveman-chic vibe about it. Twelve shopping days to Christmas (not to be confused with the “Twelve Days of Christmas”) so also a possible gift inspiration.

  

Best of the Maldives: Ice Rink – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - skating rink

Dhevanafushi’s sister resort, Jumeirah Vittaveli, is also showcasing their own distinctive water feature albeit a bit less toasty…in fact a bit chilly…actually downright freezing. Well, actually no water has been harmed in the making of this winter wonderland. In fact, no water was even used. The rink is made out of a special artificial ice plates supplied by Glice®…

  • “An experience unlike any other, guests can take a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, then step off the white sandy beaches and into a pair of skates to glide over the resort’s glistening ice skating rink. Launching shortly before Christmas, the ice rink adds a little more magic to this already enchanting season.”

Ice skating has become an essential ingredient of the yuletide season. Even those not living in cold enough climates to have their neighbourhood ponds freeze over, many towns and cities now set up special holiday rinks. The classic is New York’s Rockefeller Center. London has one next to the Natural History Museum. So iconic is it that the legendary Peanuts “Charlie Brown Christmas” opens with all of the characters ice skating to the silky smooth sounds of Vince Guardaldi…

giphy

Flash Splash Fashion

Rub a dub, just relaxin’ in the tub thinkin’ everything was alright.

Bathtub Party Day today (still not making any of these days u). In a part of the world which is 99% water and where most every resort or even villa has its own pool, it might seem a bit strange that the bath tub is one of the most biggest and most extravagant features in the luxury villas. There is something a bit sensually soothing about a sudsy soak. And you can add sweet scents, foamy bubbles and a sprinkling of petals. These splishin’ and a splashin’ fashionistas certainly seem to think so…

  1. Coco Lili (France) – Hideaway Beach
    Coco Lili (France) - Hideaway Beach
      
  2. Yulia Rybakova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Yulia Rybakova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  3. Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
    Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
        
  4. Anna Trestain (OAE) – Angsana Velavaru
    Anna Trestain (OAE) - Angsana Velavaru
        
  5. Dominika Myslivcová (Czech) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Dominika Myslivcová (Czech) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  6. Tatyana Kiss (Russia) – Furaveri
    Tatyana Kiss (Russia) - Furaveri
       
  7. Vanessa Midori (Japan) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Vanessa Midori (Japan) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
       
  8. Anjelika (Russia) – Sun Island
    Anjelika (Russia) - Sun Island
        
  9. Elisa Hasselkjaer (United Kingdom) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
    Elisa Hasselkjaer (United Kingdom) - Grand Park Kodhipparu
       
  10. Melissa Celestine Koh (Singapore) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Melissa Celestine Koh (Singapore) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
        
  11. Daniella Novaes (Brazil) – Six Senses Laamu
    Daniella Novaes (Brazil) - Six Senses Laamu
       
  12. Barbara Fumagalli (Italy) – Ayada
    Barbara Fumagalli (Italy) - Ayada
       
  13. Haley Andersen (Australia) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
    Haley Andersen (Australia) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
       
  14. Adriana Jennings (Australia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Adriana Jennings (Australia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  15. Steisy (Bulgaria) – Sun Island
    Steisy (Bulgaria) - Sun Island
        
  16. Valery Khudyakov (Russia) – Dusit Thani
    Valery Khudyakov (Russia) - Dusit Thani
       
  17. Daria Dashenka (Russia) – Velassaru
    Daria Dashenka (Russia) - Velassaru
       
  18. Lauryn Goodman (United Kingdom) – Sun Aqua Vilu Reef
    Lauryn Goodman (United Kingdom) - Sun Aqua Vilu Reef
        
  19. Alisa Ilieva (Ukraine) – Kanuhura
    Alisa Ilieva (Ukraine) – Anantara Kihavah Villas
       
  20. Adrianne Lu (Taiwan) – Anantara Veli
    Adrianne Lu (Taiwan) - Anantara Veli
       
  21. Ani Lubov (Russia) – Soneva Fushi
    Ani Lubov (Russia) – Soneva Fushi
       
  22. Yoyo Cao (Singpore) – Halaveli
    Yoyo Cao (Singpore) - Halaveli
       
  23. Kate B. Kate (Poland) – Sun Island
    Kate B Kate (Poland) - Sun Island
        
  24. Maria Kragmann (Denmark) – Angsana Velavaru
    Maria Kragmann (Denmark) - Angsana Velavaru
       
  25. Tatiana Vasilieva (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Tatiana Vasilieva (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  26. Lista Khu (Indonesia) – Conrad Rangali
    Lista Khu (Indonesia) - Conrad Rangali
       
  27. Pepper Chocolate (Italy) – KIHAAD
    Pepper Chocolate (Italy) - KIHAAD
       
  28. Madeline Joy Relph, Natalie Roser, Brooke Hogan (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Madeline Joy Relph, Natalie Roser, Brooke Hogan (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
       
  29. Melinda Bam (South Africa) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Melinda Bam (South Africa) - Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
       
  30. Rachel Limsh (Malaysia) – W Maldives
    Rachel Limsh (Malaysia) - W Retreat
       
  31. Kristin Sundberg (Sweden) – NIYAMA
    Kristin Sundberg (Sweden) - NIYAMA
       
  32. Jenny Phm (Vietnam) – Six Senses Laamu
    Jenny Phm (Vietnam) – Six Senses Laamu
       
  33. Ksenia Rai (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Ksenia Rai (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu
       
  34. Melanie Martin (France) – Kandima
    Melanie Martin (France) – Kandima
       
  35. Coco Airi (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Coco Airi (Japan) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  36. Darya Radchenko (Russia) – Kihaad
    Darya Radchenko (Russia) - Kihaad
        
  37. Farina Opoku (Germany) – Kandima
    Farina Opoku (Germany) - Kandima
      
  38. Helen Janneson Bense (Finland) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
    Helen Janneson Bense (Finland) - Grand Park Kodhipparu
       
  39. Katrin Amaure (Austria) – Furaveri
    Katrin Amaure (Austria) - Furaveri
       
  40. J Chow (Hong Kong) – Kuramathi
    J Chow (Hong Kong) - Kuramathi
       
  41. Olesia Z. (Ukraine) – Kandima
    Olesia Z (Ukraine) - Kandima
       
  42. Belinda Morgan and Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Kani
    Belinda Morgan and Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Kani
       
  43. Maria Romanova (Russia) – Velaa
    Maria Romanova (Russia) – Velaa
       
  44. Alex Seifert (Germany) – Conrad Rangali
    Alex Seifert (Germany) - Vilu Reef
       
  45. Anna Sharapova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Anna Sharapova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  46. Nina Serebrova (Russia) – Medhufushi
    Nina Serebrova (Russia) - Medhufushi
       
  47. Annie Lenova (Russia) – Naladhu
    Annie Lenova (Russia) – Naladhu
       
  48. Julia Kovalenko (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Julia Kovalenko (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu
        
  49. Marina Comes (United Kingdom) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Marina Comes (United Kingdom) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  50. Larisa Yuskovich (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Larisa Yuskovich (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu
       
  51. Marie Kitsova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Marie Kitsova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  52. Renee (NewZealand) – Kandolhu
    Renee (NewZealand) - Kandolhu
       
  53. Yvette Le Blowitz (Australia) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Yvette Le Blowitz (Australia) - Shangri-La Vilingili
       
  54. Nika Zakharova (Ukraine) – LUX Maldives
    Nika Zakharova (Ukraine) - LUX Maldives
      
  55. Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) - Maalifushi
      
  56. Arisha Gz (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Arisha Gz (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  57. Crissy Luv (Trinidad) – Anantara Kihavah
    Crissy Luv (Trinidad) - Dusit Thani
       
  58. Dilya Diaz (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Dilya Diaz (Australia) - Six Senses Laamu
       
  59. Devon Windsor (USA) – One and Only Reethi Rah
    Devon Windsor (USA) - One and Only Reethi Rah
       
  60. Tamala Prickett (USA) – Huvafenfushi
    Tamala Prickett (USA) - Huvafenfushi

Best of the Maldives: Radio Station – Finolhu

 

It’s not just the sights, but also the sound of Christmas that surround you. Not just for advent, but all year round at Finolhu. And not just at the resort, but anywhere in the world where you want to tune into their vibrant soundtrack. Their Baa Baa FM features special DJs as well as a range of live shows Monday through Friday (2:00 – 6:00 pm Finolhu Time +6 GMT). When I tuned I recently, I was graced with the tunes of DJ Jaffa. Kandooma had a radio station years ago, but it stopped before I could do a piece on it.

Instagram allows you vicarious check out snaps of the Maldives’ scenery remotely, a range of webcams can provide a cinematic glimpse of tropical goings-on, blogs like Maldives Complete can keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and stories, and now you can enjoy them all serenaded by cool sounds of BaaBaa FM piped to you direct from paradise.

Finolhu - Baa Beach Club radio

Best of the Maldives: Palm Picture Perch – Medhufushi

Medhufushi - palm picture perch

I may not be a Victoria Secret model, but Medhufushi give me my own paradise photoshoot perch. Now’s the time we are putting together our holiday greeting card with photos from the year’s high points (which every Maldives trip tops). No need to be clamouring over palm trees for that tropical shot when you have a convenient seat-sized one handy. Appropriate for swimsuits or evening wear.

Best of the Maldives: Leaf Fish – Ayada

When you first start diving, the big bold animals are the most alluring – sleek sharks, hovering turtles, soaring mantas. Over time, you start to get more enchanted by the more elusive creatures – tiny nudibranchs, camouflaged stone fish, hidden octopi. The dive becomes more of a treasure hunt than a safari.

One of the classic, masters of disguise is the leaf fish. If your bucket list includes one of these elusive creatures, then one treasure map is provide by Alexander Von Mende who points us to Mafzoo Giri in the Gaafu Alifu atoll:  “You will find a large coral block at around 15m that hosts no less than six residing leaf fish behind a dizzying wall of glass fish.” And if you want the most convenient access, the closest resort is Ayada.

Best of the Maldives: Ice Buckets – Finolhu

Finolhu - ice bucket

Black Friday and the American Christmas shopping season has started.  Thanksgiving yesterday serves as sort of a starting pistol for the Yankee yuletide season.  While there are plenty of impatient transgressions, it’s generally considered a bit of poor form to decorate, play carols or otherwise engage in Krimbo merriment until after sleeping off an excess of poultry consumption. 

EVERYONE comes home for Thanksgiving.  More so than for Christmas.  Hence the term “Homecoming” (as in “Homecoming Queen”) which is the big, local school football game where everyone gathers to see friends who have also returned and to build up an appetite while the turkey is cooking at home.  As a result, the Friday after (Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday) is nearly always taken off from work.  So you have a house full of relatives and a day off.  What to do that everyone will enjoy?  A trip to the Mall to start Christmas shopping!  Also, it’s helpful that everyone is around to help find things everyone wants, check sizing, etc.  Hence the near hallowed tradition of “Black Friday” emerged as savvy stores scrambled to grab as much of this early spend from the Christmas fund as possible.  Their promotions and marketing just stoked the mania even further till you get the consumer madness we see today.

If you are looking for a present for me, one of the nicest items we saw this summer was Finolhu’s signature ice bucket with a powder blue explorer-chic design.  It evokes Alviero Martini’s “Premiere Classe” fashion line (that Lori and I have several pieces of).  The resort also features tissue boxes, toiletry boxes and other items and amenities, but the ice bucket is for sale at the shake shack for $200.  Dear Santa…

Best of the Maldives: Best for Laundry – Club Med Kani

Club Med Kani laundry

It’s not just the fashionistas, but also the fashion itself that needs a good wash. With the sun-drenched sweat, salt-water spray, and copiously applied suntan lotion, clothes are lucky to last a full day in the tropical conditions. Then you have a variety of outfits from snorkelling swimwear (suit and rashguards), lounge-by-the-pool wear, to some breezy comfort clothes for drinks and dinner time.

Most resorts do offer laundry services, but that can start to add up in costs. You can hand wash some underwear in the sink with some hand soap, but it’s a faff, takes forever to dry and doesn’t come out fluffy fresh. It sounds silly but one thing that we missed the most on our longest stay (17 days) was a washing machine to do some laundry. If only we were at Club Med Kani, they offer a complimentary laundry facility with washers, dryers and ironing all at your convenience.