Best of the Maldives: Polished Pebbles– Fuvamulah

Fuvamulah sand 2

A non-resort island, Fuvamulah, is one of the most intriguing islands of all in the Maldives It does feature a number of guest houses and hotels, but it is not the little plot of sand in the middle of the ocean, but rather the second largest island in the Maldives. It is also not a pearl on an atoll necklace, but more of a sparkling broach standing solitary on the breast of the Indian Ocean.

Among its many distinctive features is the ground itself which makes up the island. The sand and the pebbles are unique to the island as they are polished by the action of the waves crashing on to the beach. Some beaches have pebbles (see photo above). One part of the island also has a pile of polished black stones on the beach. Other areas on the island have smaller grains of proper sand. But the sand grains are themselves polished. I was told that the unique texture of the sand makes the sand “sing” as you walk on it.

Fuvamulah sand 1

Hearts in the Sand

Hearts in the Sand - Dhigali

Happy Valentines Day! Sweetheart around the world will be inscribing their love in hearts made from cards, chocolate, emojis, hands, and any number of creative materials. In the Maldives, the power soft, brilliant white coral sands that make up and define this paradise also make a handy canvas for romance…

  1. Shallows – Dhigali [ABOVE]
  2. Beach Candles – Gili Lankanfushi
    Hearts in the Sand - Gili Lankanfushi
  3. Dinner on the Sand – Centara Grand
    Hearts in the Sand - Centara Grand
  4. Dinner in the Sand – LUX Maldives
    Hearts in the Sand - LUX South Ari Atoll
  5. Chambre Separee – Kihaad
    Hearts in the Sand - Kihaad
  6. Beach Candles – Atmosphere Kanifushi
    Hearts in the Sand - Atmosphere Kanifushi
  7. Candles EverywhereTaj Exotica
    Hearts in the Sand - Taj Exotica
  8. Fire – Meeru
    Hearts in the Sand - Meeru

Legging It to the Maldives

Legs up - intro

Happy Birthday Alberto! Long before the contrived fashionista poses of social media, there were the similarly sultry poses of pinup girls also often in bathing costumes. One of the classics, the trout-pout of the day, was the “legs up” pose which many Instagrammers feature themselves. I’m particularly fond of this pose, as the pin-up artist meistro Alberto Vargas’ “Legacy Girl” bears a striking ressemblance to my own Maldives frequenting companion, Lori. In fact, Lori recreated the pose herself as a birthday gift years ago. So here is a Vargas birthday gift from Maldives Complete of posted pin-up portrayals…

  1. Valeria Chekalina (Russia) – LUX North Male Atoll
    Valeria Chekalina (Russia) - LUX North Male Atoll
  2. Kelsey Lowrance (USA) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Kelsey Lowrance (USA) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  3. Tatiana Kotova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Tatiana Kotova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  4. Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Leonie Hanne (Germany) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Xenia Van Der Woodsen and Leonie Hanne (Germany) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  5. Mary Muravieva, Iraida and Albina (Russia) – Meedhupparu
    Mary Muravieva, Iraida and Albina (Russia) – Meedhupparu
  6. Leila Joy (Australia) – Eriyadu
    Leila Joy (Australia) - Eriyadu
  7. Ksu Paris (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Ksu Paris (Russia) - Anantara Dhigu
  8. Giuls (Italy) – Asdu Sun
    Giuls (Italy) – Asdu Sun
  9. Roxanna Clarke (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Roxanna Clarke (United Kingdom) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  10. Ekaterina Ilina (Russia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Ekaterina Ilina (Russia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  11. Natalia Natalis (Poland) – Kurumba
    Natalia Natalis (Poland) – Kurumba
  12. Reni (Poland) – Rihiveli Beach
    Reni (Poland) – Rihiveli Beach
  13. Rita Vasilenkova (Russia) – Club Rannalhi
    Rita Vasilenkova (Russia) – Club Rannalhi
  14. Marina Stupnikova (Russia)
    Marina Stupnikova (Russia)

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Best of the Maldives: Powered Reef Regeneration – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 1

The underwater versions of parrot fish and other reef marine life will have a literally more powerful habitat at Angsana Ihuru as a result of their “Necklace Project”. Hotelier Maldives published a great article about the project, “’The Necklace Project’ to be presented at the GM Forum in April”:

  • “It is a steel structure 40 metres long and 4 metres wide, fixed inside the lagoon of Angsana Ihuru at a depth of 0.5 metres. Massive corals were initially put on top of the structure to stabilise it. The steel structures were provided with low voltage direct current which causes the growth of calcium carbonate, dissolved in seawater over the steel surfaces, which are completely protected from corrosion. The growing calcium carbonate on the steel structure, which has already achieved a thickness of about 20 cm in diameter in some places, now acts as a natural barrier to strong waves. The necklace has also become a haven for fish and other forms of marine life.”

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 2

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 3

Best of the Maldives: Parrot Fish Plane – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - parrot fish plane

Up the sky of the Baa atoll, it’s a fish named after a bird, it’s a plane…it’s Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s latest seaplane inspired by one of the more colourful creatures on the atoll reef…

“A warm welcome to the 52nd member of our fleet!!! The magnificent Four Seasons branded aircraft!”

I might have to create a new tag for “Fish Planes”…

Best of the Maldives: Skydiving – Shangri-La Vilingili

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 1

Look! In the sunny cerulean sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s super Best Of! “Super” because skydiving in the Maldives is perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated Best of the Maldives activity to date. It was featured in the very first “Haven’t Seen Yet” post nearly a decade ago. Since then, I have been teased regularly by a number of announcements that skydiving was coming to the destination. A number of initiatives never seemed to get off the ground (quite literally). Even the company who eventually pulled it off, Sky Diving Maldives, posted about it months before details actually were forthcoming. Until finally they teamed up with Shangri-La Villingili for a landmark jump. The plane takes off from neighbouring Gan airport and you land on Villingili island. Guests were able to sail through the blue sky towards the blue water in a tandem jump for $699.

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 2

Shangri-La Villingili - skydiving 3

Tweet Seats

Elise Faust (Germany) - Sun Siyam Irufushi

Not quite the #TenYearChallenge, but another example of how things have so dramatically changed and expanded in the Maldives over the past decade. Back in 2012, I came across the first “birds nest” chair at Lily Beach. Now, they are standard equipment for fashion photoshoots. Here is a dozen eggs-cellent fahionistas in their nests…

  1. Elise Faust (Germany) – Coco Prive [ABOVE]
  2. MonNy Sirilak (Thailand) – Halaveli
    MonNy Sirilak (Thailand) - Halaveli
  3. Ekaterina (Russia) – Holiday Island
    Ekaterina (Russia) - Holiday Island
  4. Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Holiday Island
    Arinka Nazarova (Russia) – Holiday Island
  5. Olga ST (Russia) – JA Manafaru
    Olga ST (Russia) - Anantara Kihavah Villas
  6. Atina Ivanova (Bulgaria) – Anantara Dhigu
    Atina Ivanova (Bulgaria) - Anantara Dhigu
  7. Natalia I (Italy) – Coco Prive
    Natalia I (Italy) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
  8. Melnik Katya (Russia) – Kandima
    Melnik Katya (Russia) - Kandima
  9. Carolina Miková (Slovakia) – Meeru
    Carolina Miková (Slovakia) - Meeru
  10. Natalia LaLonde (Philippines) – Velaa
    Natalia LaLonde (Philippines) - Coco Bodu Hithi
  11. Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa
    Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa – Prestige Asia
  12. Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Velaa
    Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Velaa

Best of the Maldives: Bird Not-Nest Swinging Chair – Joali

Joali - birdnest swing

In the Maldives, the more leisurely way to swing from the trees is lounging in one of their many swings swaying to the ocean breeze. I remember when I came across the first “birdsnest” swing a decade ago. Now they are common fare across the destination. Recently opened Joali literally does put the “bird” in “birdsnest swing” with its giant Heron head designed by Cape Town-based Porky Hefer.