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.”

Underwater Beauties of the Maldives

Every resort has underwater spectacles in the Maldives especially when the fashionista crowd pull a reverse-Ariel and cavort for the camera…

  1. Mary Shum and Tori Son (Russia) – Ranveli
  2. Christine Ren (USA) – Palm Beach
    Christine Ren (USA) - Palm Beach
  3. Valentina Zenone (United Kingdom) – Thamburudhoo
    Valentina Zenone (United Kingdom) - Thamburudhoo
  4. Mari Kühn (United Kingdom)
    Mari Kühn (United Kingdom)
  5. Diana Melison (Russia) – Dusit Thani
    Diana Melison (Russia) - Dusit Thani
  6. Loves Nature (Russia) – Dhigurah
    Loves Nature (Russia) - Dhigurah
  7. Katri Kats (Estonia) –Ayada
    Katri Kats (Estonia) -Ayada
  8. Egzona Syla (Germany) – Bandos
    Egzona Syla (Germany) - Bandos
  9. Paige Rene (USA) – Maalhoss
    Paige Rene (USA) - Maalhoss
  10. Irina Britanova (Russia)
    Irina Britanova (Russia) 3
  11. Josie Prendergast (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Josie Prendergast (USA) - Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
  12. Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  13. McKenna Ray (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    McKenna Ray (USA) - Conrad Rangali
  14. Mariya Andriichuk (Ukraine) – Eriyadu
    Mariya Andriichuk (Ukraine) – Eriyadu 2
  15. Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi 2
  16. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Amilla Fushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Amilla Fushi
  17. Pearl (Thailand) – Veligandu
    Pearl (Thailand) - Veligandu
  18. Anna Lorin (Canada)
    Anna Lorin (Canada) 2
  19. Janni Honscheid (Germany) Cokes Surf Camp
    Janni Honscheid (Germany) Cokes Surf Camp
  20. Erika NKL (Hong Kong) – Meeru
    Erika NKL (Hong Kong)
  21. Diana Efimova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Diana Efimova (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
  22. Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Crystal Jean deSilva (USA) - Adaaran Hudhuran fushi 
  23. Fiona Peters (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Fiona Peters (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  24. Anastasiya Alt (Russia) – Kuredu
    Anastasiya Alt (Russia) - Kuredu
  25. Cherise (New Zealand) – Meedhupparu
    Cherise (New Zealand) - Meedhupparu
  26. Sandra Da Costa (Portugal) – Velassaru
    Sandra Da Costa (Portugal) – Velassaru
  27. Flavia Valenti (Brazil) – Coke Island
    Flavia Valenti (Brazil) – Coke Island
  28. Rosie Thomas (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi
    Rosie Thomas (United Kingdom) – Huvafenfushi

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Villa – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 1

Conrad Rangali’s latest show stopping “wow” feature finally introduces an underwater bedroom to the Maldives. Or should I say “re-introduces”. Actually, Conrad pioneered not only the first underwater restaurant (which was actually my very first “Best of the Maldives” post that kicked off all my blogging about the Maldives over a decade ago), but also experimented with converting the underwater room into a bedroom for guests to sleep in. They discontinued it as it was too difficult to transform the room into a bedroom and back to a restaurant quickly enough to make it work. For example, the guests paying an extreme amount of money to sleep there (at the time the most expensive room in the Maldives) had to wait until later in the evening to access their room when guests had finished dining there and the resort had cleared the restaurant items and set up the bedroom.

So in my 4th “Not Yet Seen” piece I had to add “Underwater Bedroom” back to the list. But now, it can go back to the “Finally Seen” catalogue.

Conrad describes the master bedroom masterpiece as follows….

  • “The entire lower suite was built on land in Singapore, fittingly made of acrylic from Japan’s premiere aquarium manufacturer Nippura Co., and sealed with Shin Etsu Marine sealant, which was used in the construction of Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Then the 600-ton structure was hoisted by crane onto a specialized ship that could transport it to the Maldives and moor near the reef without damaging it. It was then submerged into the ocean and held firmly in place by 10 concrete piles that ensure it will not move or shift due to a high tide or rough seas.”

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 2

Conrad Rangali - underwater villa 3

Best of the Maldives: Solar Building – Kudadoo

Kudadhoo - solar 1

The roof over Kudadoo’s over water pavilion sets a new standard for solar ambition. The Champa resorts keep upping the bar on the solar investment across their estate after their snaking jetty of panels at neighbouring Hurawalhi. The 320-kWp solar system generates enough electricity to power the entire resort:

“Committed to your well-being and that of the planet, Kudadoo reinvents sustainability – we take pride on the island being powered by the sun 100%, and on eco-conscious choices that intertwine the design, conceived by the architectural mastermind Yuji Yamazaki, and adventures to create a luxury experience that threads lightly.”

With all of these energy sustainability investments in the country, I’ve add a new “Solar” tag for all of the sun powered initiatives in this sun-drenched destination.

Kudadoo - solar 2

Best of the Maldives: Tented Jungle Villas – Sirru Fen Fushi

Sirru Fen Fushi - tented villas 1

With the new year, it’s time for out with the old and in with the new. The gingerbread hued tented villas were introduced by the old Madivaru resort, but it has been defunct for a while, but in its place the new Sirru Fen Fushi has introduced its own tented villas. The “tents” make the structures seem all the more natural and intimate with the surroundings. A tented safari in Africa (ideally on the Zambezi) is on our bucket list, but at Sirru Fen Fushi you can do a tented snorkel safari!

Sirru Fen Fushi - tented villas 2

Sirru Fen Fushi - tented villas 3

Best of the Maldives: Gingerbread House – Kandima

Kandima - gingerbread house 1

Today is the 11th “Day of Christmas” according to the “12 Days of Christmas” tradition which runs from Christmas day to Epiphany Sunday (tomorrow). The Eleventh Day of Christmas today is famously brought 11 Pipers Piping. I think Kandima needed at least that many to do all the icing piping on their Gingerbread spectacle (not to mention the goodies inside).

Kandima - gingerbread house 2

Best of the Maldives: Water Treading Pool – Cocoon

Cocoon - water treading pool

Happy New Year 2019! Lots of New Years Resolutions. Including renewed resolve to work off the holiday goodies of the New Years Celebrations. Best to start off easy. Like a simple stroll. Or maybe a stroll with a bit of resistance…like wading through water. Cocoon’s Cube Spa has introduced a wading pool, aka “Kneipp Pool” (thanks Paola). It might seem like a pool of water for wading in the Maldives is a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle, but in fairness, the pool offers a number of advantages over the beach stroll. For example, it is completely level and does not have sharp pieces of coral to accidentally step on.

Best of the Maldives: Tsunami Assembly Point – Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa - tsunami assembly point

While Brits tuck into Christmas turkey leftovers and start jigsaw puzzles brought by Santa, today marks one of the biggest natural disasters in modern history and the biggest in Maldives history – the 2004 Tsunami. The tragedy touched every corner of the country and devastated a number of inhabited islands and resorts.

One silver lining was the opening up of country’s economy and politics in the aftermath. Maldives desperately need outside assistance to rebuild and the international funds stepped up but only on the condition that the country reformed some of its institutions. For example, the first democratic elections were held for decades.

One resort hit hard was Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa who lost its General Manager. In the aftermath, the resort set up “Tsunami Assembly Point”, akin to “Fire Assembly Points” for which they double as, which help the staff more quickly identify who is safe and who is missing and maybe in need of assistance.

I remember people asking me if it was safe to visit the Maldives for fear of tsunamis. For starters, such an occurance is a once in a lifetime event. And while, lighting does strike twice, the odds are so small that you are much likely to be hurt by a commonplace incident (like a car accident on the way to the airport) than any tsunamis. Furthermore, the world has learned an enormous amount and also invested considerably in anticipating (early warning systems) and responding to (things like this assembly point) ocean tsunamis even if their remote chance of happening does occur. So the danger is even more miniscule than it was before.

When I came across the assembly point, I thought it was not just an extra-careful precaution, but also a very subtle and tasteful monument to the people who sadly suffered from this bizarre calamity.

Golden Girls



Christmas Eve is the night of gift giving in many countries (not counting Santa’s midnight global run). The tradition goes all the way back to the very first Christmas with the three wise men brings gifts to the baby Jesus – frankincense, myrrh and, of course, gold. Fashionistas have been bringing gold to the Maldives all year round and here is a little post-advent collection of them as Maldives Complete’s yuletide gift to you all…

  1. Maria Pogrebnyak-Shatalova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi [ABOVE]
  2. Olexa (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Olexa (Russia)
  3. Janette Soliman (USA) – Conrad Rangali
    Janette Soliman (USA) - Conrad Rangali
  4. Sandra Perendyk (Poland) – The Residence
    Sandra Perendyk (Poland) - The Residence

  5. Saïda Mukando (Malaysia) – Paradise Island
    Saïda Mukando (Malaysia) - Paradise Island
  6. Anna Bortsova (Russia)
    Anna Bortsova (Russia)
  7. Katya Aydabolova (Russia) – Vilu Reef
    Katya Aydabolova (Russia) - Vilu Reef

  8. Miss Alinas (Russia) – Sun Island
    Miss Alinas (Russia) - Sun Island
  9. Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) – Sun Island
    Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) - Sun Island

  10. Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Constance Halaveli
    Shiralee Coleman (Australia) – Constance Halaveli
  11. Ashna Khan (India) – Vilu Reef
    Ashna Khan (India) - Vilu Reef
  12. Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Sun Island
    Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Paradise Island
  13. Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon
    Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon 2

  14. Ksy Reva (Russia) – Canareef
    Ksy Reva (Russia) - Canareef
  15. Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) - Paradise Island 2

  16. Marina Mayer (Russia) – Cocoon
    Marina Mayer (Russia) - Cocoon
  17. Mary Me ( Russia) – Hurawalhi
    Mary Me(Russia) - Hurawalhi
  18. Lilian Magdych (Ukraine) – Outrigger Konotta
    Lilian Magdych (Ukraine) - Outrigger Konotta

  19. Jamie Genevieve (United Kingdom) – Soneva Jani
    Jamie Genevieve (United Kingdom) - Soneva Jani
  20. La Ceni Ceneren Censon (Germany) – Summer Island
    La Ceni Ceneren Censon (Germany) - Summer Island
  21. Valeria Orsini (Columbia) – Reethi Faru
    Valeria Orsini (Columbia) - Reethi Faru

  22. Julia Kormishina (Russia) – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
    Julia Kormishina (Russia) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

  23. Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) – Sun Island
    Marina Zakutnyaya (Russia) - Sun Island
  24. Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee
    Karolina Wozniak (Poland) – AaaVeee

  25. Moni Malibu (USA) – W Maldives
    Moni Malibu (USA) – W Retreat

  26. Lindsey van der Hoeven (Netherlands) – Sun Siyam Irufushi  [BELOW]