Something about a map that has detailed artistry and exotic allure. It tells an aerial pictorial story of some part of the planet. Ocean maps are often the most enchanting with their sinuous coastlines and patterns of inlets and isles.
Naturally, maps of the Maldives are bursting with this adventurous charm. Huawalhi has a employed one of the more antiquarian depictions of the “Laquedives” as a design highlight in its villas. Blotter, cases, lampshades, etc. use segments of these ancient charts. Very reminiscent of one of our favourite designers, Alviero Martini’s “1ª Classe’ line of fashion and accessories.
Hurawalhi’s Duniye Spa goes far beyond the ubiquitous sound track of ambient recording featuring soft acoustic instrumentals often mixed with a smattering of nature sounds like whale calls or water lapping. They offer a variety of “Sound Therapy” sessions and techniques including a collection of ringing bowls (see below) and a rain stick (see above). Our family really appreciated this distinctive offering as Chase (our son) has his degree in “Sound Art and Design” and Lori is a professional classical musician, so we are quite familiar with the salutary effects of soothing sounds.
The National Ayurveda Day is celebrated every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti. Most Maldives spas include at least one Ayurveda treatment, but Taj Exotica’s has an entire menu of Ayurvedu treatments at its Jiva Spa…
I’ve featured a number of Bed Decorating distinctions over the year and I keep a Pinterest board that includes a broader range of contenders. In fact, I first proposed holding a bed decorating competition 3 years ago. In the controlled environment of an adjudicated competition, the Maldives Housekeepers Forum Competition, it was Vadoo who took home the top prize seeing off a king-sized field of competition…
“More than 50 housekeepers from over 25 resorts and hotel operators participated in the competition; including Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, Velaa Private Island, Kurumba Maldives, Meeru Island Resort & Spa, Centara Hotels and Resorts, Baros Maldives, NIYAMA Private Islands, Bandos Maldives and Hulhulé Island Hotel. Other hotels and resorts which competed in the competition are Hotel Jen, Naladhu Private Island Maldives, Anantara Maldives Resorts, Hurawalhi Island Resort, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Komandoo Maldives Resort, Coco Collection and W Maldives.”
Vadoo’s gold medal team comprised of Hasaan Majeed and Ahmed Hafiz (see above). Runner-ups were Baros and Hulhule Island Hotel.
One resort that is always dressed in traditional Maldivian garb is AaaVeee. The entire resort is not just inspired by local Maldivian design, but most of the infrastructure was produced in the Maldives itself. In fact, a good number of things like chairs and tables were made on the island by Maldivians using materials from the island itself.
Perhaps the most “Maldivian” aspect is the ubiquitous “koari” adornments. “Koari” means “cone” and is a traditional form of decoration found on the islands. It is a cone made out of palm thatch placed atop a tall pole. I’ve already posted about the koari used to mark the navigation channel to the resort, but it is also used at the reception jetty (see above), in the lagoon (directly below) and various other places across the island. The resort’s chef even baked a “Koari Kake” (below).
The classic “swing” in tropical paradise is the hammock and I have come across all sorts of varieties, but Makunudu was the first bamboo version I’ve seen not just there but anywhere. What is lacks in comfort (which you can compensate for by putting a cushion over it), it makes up for in Swiss Family Robinson chic natural vibe.
Even its distinctive floating furniture add to the dangling design vibe of the resort. Lots of resorts have swings, but Cocoon has them in places I’ve never seen before like the reception (see above, great for soothing the sadness of saying goodbye when waiting for your return transfer), and the bathroom (see below, not sure what this is great for…maybe to help get things moving??).