Maldives Admiralty Zoom v2.0

Maldives admiralty map zoom v2

The latest component of Maldives Complete to get an upgrade is the British Admiralty Maps Zoom. Another couple of legacy Microsoft technologies – Silverlight and DeepZoom – finally bit the dust. I’ve superseded it with a Zoomify control and used the opportunity to tidy up the (massive) image (props to my nephew Max Stropkay who introduced me to the Figma tool to handle the heavy graphics load).

Maldives Complete Reviews

Maldives Complete reviews

If you wondering whether to lend some support to Maldives Complete through its recently launched Patreon site, have a look at what some of its fans have said to date.

Many websites of creative works feature “Review” sections to provide testimonials and endorsements. I figured this post could serve that purpose.

INDUSTRY REVIEWS:

  • There is a blog around Maldives.. and for me it is THE blog that I MUST follow and regularly check…No doubt about!!…When I look for something that I need to know about a specific resort but don’t find it around.. and even not in its own webpage.. the answer or at least a clue to get the answer is always here.” – Paola Mattana Lamperti
  • “Maldives Complete is arguably the best reference site for the Maldives. Bruce is a Maldives enthusiast and completes this with no commercial interests. He prides himself on integrity and recognises the positives and differences in all Maldives resorts and that not one resort is right for all guests. I highly recommend Maldives Complete.” – Jason Kruse General Manager Amilla
  • The Maldives Complete site is one of the best ‘go to’ places for information about the Maldives.” – Katherine Anthony, Marketing Manager, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, former TripAdvisor Maldives Destination Expert
  • You have picked up on some amazing parts or USP’s there and this will help me immensely in the sales process as we also talk lots about hidden ‘rabbit holes’ and the small amazing nuances that we offer against the competition.” – Scott Le Roi, Director of Sales & Marketing, Reethi Rah.
  • One of the best bloggers of the Maldives.” – Dolores Semeraro, Marketing Director, LUX Maldives
  • “I highly recommend that anyone who is planning a trip to the Maldives use the Maldives Complete search before booking a hotel.” – Chic Family Travels
  • “If you are wondering how I researched the 3 criteria for choosing the best luxury hotel in the Maldives, it was rather simple. I found a Maldives blog that has a search feature that allows you to plug in your criteria to find the your best match! I highly recommend that anyone who is planning a trip to the Maldives use the Maldives Complete search before booking a hotel”.—Chic Family Traveller
  • “It is wonderful that you put together a truly complete basis for comparison between Maldivian resorts. THANK YOU!” – Francisco Negrin, Barcelona
  • Lovely to read all the ‘Best of the Maldives’ posts on you page…quite interesting….keep posting…” – Aminath Huda, former Europe rep for MTPB
  • “Maldives specialist, out of the box thinker and prolific writer on the non-mundane and oft missed subjects about Maldivian resorts.” – Amit Majumbder, Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli
  • “Your articles are fantastic. Really helpful , nicely done.” – Ahmed “Jay” Jihad, Head of Operations, Huvafenfushi
  • “Dolores and Dominik mentioned you and what you have done. Extraordinary.” – Shaun Dünhofen, General Manager, LUX* Maldives
  • “Your blog is fascinating. You are truly an expert on the Maldives…Your site is a great resource.” – Steve Dobson, Unusual Hotels of the World
  • “If you want to know what’s the “best” in Maldives – the ‘Best of…’ every imaginable topic, read this blog by Maldives Complete, you won’t feel bored!” – Oceanholic Maldives

TOP BLOG COMMENTS

  • “Absolutely amazing work you have here! Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and time. You’re definitely a top Maldives expert and I hope the country appreciates all you’re doing for that bit of Paradise. I’ve spent a few hours going thru your site, including blog posts, comments sections and the filter page. It’s great and miles ahead of anything we can find elsewhere. We’ve used your filter and I appreciate your database has most of the information needed to short list a few…Your help and dedication is second to none. Maldives is really complex for newbies, considering all the variables! I’m valuing your work more and more each minute I spend researching.”
  • “I was struggling through the choices of resorts once we decided to go to Maldives, then I stumble across your website. I wouldn’t even attempt to guess the amount of time and energy gone into develop the database and make it available for the benefit of all. This is absolutely amazing! Thank you for your time and passion.” – Deb Pandit
  • “Thanks for this great site” – Eby
  • “First, thank you for the comprehensive Maldives analysis on your site, it has been very helpful!” – Daniel
  • “Thanks for this great blog.” – Shubhod
  • “First, thank you for putting together such a website. The information available is second to none.” – Warren
  • “Bruce, thank you very much for this very useful & informative blog.” – Brenda
  • “I love your website!!” – Dee
  • “Thanks so much for all of your helpful information.” – Lu
  • “Your blog is so informative & helpful.” – Jimmy Adam
  • “Thanks for an excellent site! Really informative.” – Sonja
  • “Thank you so much for all the information!” – Corina Garcia
  • “Bruce: We love and deeply appreciate the helpfulness website u put together.” – Wayne Lin
  • “We just happened upon your blog and have learned so much already!” – Betty
  • Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! I found your blog on Tripadvisor and I am reading everything, it’s amazing!” – Valeria
  • “First of all thanks a lot for the blog and sharing your knowledge and insight here,this is indeed helpful.” – Saumit Deshmukh
  • “First I would like to thank you for providing such informative website on Maldives.” – Anita
  • “Hi Bruce, I wish I had come across your site sooner.” – Faheem Khan
  • “Your info is amazing. I have been researching the Maldives for weeks now and this helps so much.” – Kyle
  • “Your info is absolutely amazing and vast.” – Mohit
  • “Really loving this blog and all the help you give everyone on the Tripadvisor forums.” – Suhani
  • “Came across your website and its super helpful, thanks so much for sharing your experiences.” – Imran
  • “Many thanks for running this site, such a brilliant resource.” – David
  • “Thanks for this great website!” – Naz
  • “Absolutely love your blog! – Anu Godara
  • “Loved your website and thank you for something so comprehensive!” – Janvi
  • “Hi, thanks for the guide! What a great website with so much of info!” – Rohit
  • “Hey Bruce, just wanted to start with saying really appreciate the website, it’s definitely the most helpful Maldives resource I’ve found!” – Helen Woodhouse
  • “Love the website and the obvious effort you have put into it.” – Andrew Carter
  • “Came across your fantastic web site as we are looking for a resort with great house reef.” – Mattias“We are now on our 17th trip to Maldives.We have been waiting for 10 years for this website…Spot on.” Jeb Payce, UK
  • “Your website has truly been my bible, gold standard reference … since I started my research on looking for my perfect resort.” – Archie Mok, USA
  • “LOVE your blog. It’s definitely the best.” – Susie
  • “I’ve been making extensive use of your website which has been an amazing help, thanks for your efforts there. It really is one of a kind.” – JCHBScouser.

  

Maldives Complete Patreon

image

I don’t know how to thank you for all your amazing help in planning our Maldives trip!” Well, from here on you can support the Maldives Complete initiative by becoming a Patreon supporter.

From the launch of the website, I have resisted having any commercial part to Maldives Complete – no ads, no sales, no sponsorship. Not only did I not want the pressures of keeping sponsors happy, but I didn’t even want the appearance of any bias. I wanted to cover ALL the resorts (not just a collection of pet ones that had juiced me with payments). And I wanted to provide an objective resource and not just a platform to plug the highest bidders. It was the predominance of such selective shill sites that contributed to me starting the site in the first place.

With the decade-plus history, the site has grown in popularity, scope, content and complexity. This expansion has increased my out-of-pocket costs for hosting and other site support. It has also increased the time required to personally maintain the site and keep the information updated. On top of this, I personally respond to dozens of emails and blog comments every week. Sometimes I have hired local schoolchildren friends to do some of the time-consuming grunt work (or help with household work to free up time for me) which just adds to my out-of-pocket expenses.

What seems to be the conventional approach for such freeware these days is to offer Patreon support. This is simply a digital donation box for people who want to register their appreciation for the material and help ensure its longevity with a more substantive contribution.

People pay premiums on their trips to agents and operators for them to help ensure that their trip is the best. They tip resort staff who work to make sure that their experience is first rate. If I have helped you in a substantial way to make your trip easier and more satisfying (as so many kind comments imply), please consider becoming a supporter. Even a small amount will not only help, but will be an encouraging endorsement for me and my work here.

Thank you for all your past and hopefully continued support.

Write Every Day of Your Life

writing every day

  • Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens.”— Ray Bradbury

A dozen years of researching and writing about the Maldives here and still the second most common question I get is “Why do you do it?” I make no money (no ads, no sponsorship, no selling). In fact, the whole venture costs me more than several trips to the Maldives for fun with the hosting and other expenses of keeping the site maintained. It is an expensive hobby. But one that comes with more dividends than just digital escapism (from the often dank climes of the British Isles) and fan boy entertainment. I especially appreciate the comment by Bradbury of “see what happens” as the whole Maldives Complete odyssey has been packed with serendipity and the adventure of otherwise unlikely opportunities and interactions arising. And finally, The whole experience of exploring, delving and processing is one which exercises my curiosity, creativity and critical thinking:

  • We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” – E. O. Wilson

     

12th Maldives Complete-ly by the Numbers

Completely by the Numbers 12

What a year! (not sure which emoji to put with that)

Count our blessings if we are healthy. Unfortunately, the Maldives have taken an especially hard blow on top of the medical blow with their country so economically concentrated on tourism. Maldives Complete has reflected this downturn in many ways. For starters, we couldn’t do our annual research trip. That’s meant pretty flat numbers (relative to other years) in new material (eg. blog posts, photos, visits). Added resorts, room types, etc. were on hold as openings stalled. And, obviously, traffic has dropped significantly as fewer people are research holidays.

There does seem to be the light of dawn peering over the horizon. The world including the Maldives have gotten sophisticated in preventative protocols which can allow more of life to carry on while minimizing the spread of infection. Testing, sanitising, social distancing, face masking and a range of other techniques are getting the R0 factor down. The arrival so various approved vaccines should provide a major improvement in the pandemic around the world.

Already, I am seeing a noticeable uptick in the past few days (not least of which from the UK who has exited its Lockdown II). In fact, we have arranged a bit of an impromptu to trip to take advantage of some of the great deals out there and burn some of our outstanding holiday time (stay tuned this week…fingers crossed. And the site did hit a few social media milestones in 2020 crossing 2000 Facebook Followers and 1000 Twitter Followers.

Let’s hope 2021 brings a smooth (and safe!) return to enjoying paradise (and helping people to do so).

1000+ Room Types

100o Maldives room type

Another milestone for Maldives Complete as the Room Type database crossed the 1000 mark. When I started the website, there were typically just a few room types – standard, deluxe and maybe a water villa. A decade ago, I did a piece on Kurumba having the most room type variety (exactly a decade ago) with 8. These days, 8 is the lower end of the average number of room types for a resort. In fact, the fact that over 1000 types across the nearly 160 active resorts means that the average is nearly 7 categories for every resort. Soneva Fushi has 27 room types! Nearly every villa is unique and hence categorized as its own room type. With more and more resorts coming online, it was just a matter of time before this grand milestone was hit.

Maldives Mask

Maldives Mask 2

The fashion accessory of the season if not the entire 2020 year is the now must-have (in more ways than one) face mask. While some decry this ostensible inconvenience, I think it is a whole new opportunity to rock some stylish fashion.

My friend Sylvia is making these in her back room. They come with a nose clip and an inner pocket to insert a filter if you want extra protection. I found this material at my local haberdashery, so naturally I commissioned an Indian Ocean one with the Maldives Islands front and center.  Lori opted for a Wrasse-inspired designed (see bottom).

Email me if you would like Sylvia to make one for you. She is doing so to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis).

Maldives Mask 3

Maldives mask

Maldives mask 4

Bunking with the Billionaires on a Budget

Hotellier Maldives 1

  • If your room is a bit faded and worn, then step outside and you can enjoy the same gorgeous sunset that the millionaires in the fancy resort across the water are paying ten times as much to enjoy.”

Once again, I was invited to share my Maldives expertise with the readers of Hotelier Maldives, the leading industry publication for Maldives resorts. I covered a pretty comprehensive response to the 3rd most frequently asked question posed to me: “How can I afford to go to the Maldives?”

The article titled “Bunking with the Billionaires on a Budget” recommended:

  1. Ignore the Reviews.
  2. Go Half-Board.
  3. Brave the Six-Week Game.
  4. Go Garden.
  5. Brave New Openings.
  6. Use Loyalty Points.
  7. Inhabited Island Resorts.
  8. Avoid Seaplanes.
  • Remember you are going to the Maldives for its unique landscape, dazzling waters, lush tropical paradise, and underwater adventure and these are the same if you are in a luxury resort or a more basic property.”

Hotellier Maldives 2

Mind Full of Maldives

Maldives meditation

World Meditation Day today. And as usual, I will be meditating on thoughts of the Maldives. Until lockdown and travel restrictions, such ruminations might be the only way to transport myself back to this paradise.

In fact, the daily practice of working on and refining Maldives Complete is form of this “meditation” according to Maia Gambis’ “Why making art is the new meditation”:

  • Creating art is a type of meditation, an active training of the mind that increase awareness and emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind… Creativity is its own language and enables humans to connect with one another — and themselves — on a non-verbal level.”

I would say that goes for virtually any creative act. You get so immersed that you look up and hours have flown by. Exploring pictures and stories, assembling them together digitally to portray glimpses of this mystical destination is my art form.

Dilbert meditatiob

Maldives Resort Customer Experience Consulting

bruce Lynn - WTM 2015 Maldives stand 2

I have decided to offer my expertise up to resorts who would like input and consulting on their customer experience. I’ve had just too many “what were they thinking??” moments. I’m not talking about petty kibitzing like you find on TripAdvisor reviews. Anyone following this blog know how charitable a fanboy I am of all Maldives resorts.

I just see so many examples of how a resort is set up or run that just don’t seem to have paid enough consideration to the guest experience. And when I say “guest experience”, I am specifically referring to the “Maldives guest experience” which is a very distinct category. People coming to the Maldives have some very specific expectations which are central to their ultimate satisfaction.

Too often is seems that the bean counters or some designer/architect in love with their sketches are calling the shots. I sort of do a casual version of this consultancy on my tours as I find myself the guest of many dinners and drinks with GMs and Marketing Directors eagerly picking my brain for insights and perspectives. I can understand the compromises in the lower price tiers, but all too often I do find myself see very simple tricks that were missed.

Benefits

  • Customer Experience – I think that getting one of the world’s experts on Maldives resorts to have a basic review of your plans to catch details that might have gotten missed would be a worthwhile step for many resorts that clearly invest so much money into their premier properties. Sometimes simple considerations can undermine the impact of thousands of dollars of investment in a simple feature.
  • Save Money – An oversight in design costs both revenue and operating expense. Revenue as the reviews come in that little bit less enthralled leading to even a few on-the-fence prospective guests choosing one of the many other competing options in the Maldives. Operating Expense as the property eventually figures out the problem and decides to redo the aspect costing money to remove and replace.

Credentials

  • Sales and Marketing Career – This whole Maldives differentiation is not just an expensive hobby for me, but the “differentiation” part of central to my day job. I’ve successfully driven sales and marketing for a billion dollar business unit, received recognition from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for business promotion, and received the American Association of Travel Agent’s Award for the most successful destination promotional campaign.
  • Maldives Resort Expertise – But my real credential in the area of Maldives resort customer experience is…my customer experience. Two decades of researching and visiting more resorts than anyone else on the planet (the first person to stay at 100 Maldives resorts). I may not have seen it all, but when it comes to the Maldives resorts, there are few people who have seen more than me.

Testimonials

  • You have picked up on some amazing parts or USP’s there and this will help me immensely in the sales process as we also talk lots about hidden ‘rabbit holes’ and the small amazing nuances that we offer against the competition.” – Scott Le Roi, Director of Sales & Marketing, Reethi Rah.
  • Maldives specialist, out of the box thinker and prolific writer on the non-mundane and oft missed subjects about Maldivian resorts.” – Amit Majumbder, Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli
  • If you want to know what’s the “best” in Maldives – the ‘Best of…’ every imaginable topic, read this blog by Maldives Complete, you won’t feel bored! ” – Oceanholic Maldives

Drop me a line at maldives@maldivescomplete.com if you would like to have a quick chat about how I might be able to assist. It will cost less than you think and benefit your project more than you might realise.