Best of the Maldives: Spa AI – Kandolhu

Kandolhu - spa

Mostly AI is about relaxing. Not worrying about the charges mounting as you order your next pina colada. In fact, not worrying about any of your budget as you go about enjoying your holiday. But we’ve never opted for the all-inclusive package because the things that they include don’t worry us much. We are not big drinkers and we are pretty happy managing our outlays for excursions and extras. One of those extras where we always have to be sensitive to the price list is the spa. We could go to the spa time after time enjoying the unique experience of ultimate relaxation in the surroundings of tropical sounds and atmosphere. Fortunately, Kandolhu has introduced a “Spa AI” package which includes spa treatments:

  • At Kandolhu Maldives, guests now have the opportunity to further indulge in the healing powers of touch therapy with its newly refined spa program, Well Inclusive Spa. The new offering provide unlimited access to the entire range of spa treatments including VOYA body experiences, YonKa facial treatments, skincare options and a wide range of specialised massages. Skilled therapists personalise daily treatments and activities according to the guests’ wellness needs. By unlimited, no restrictions are applied from visit frequency to type of treatment. Curated instructional videos, Manduka towels and mats, specially designed wellness beverages and healthy mixed fruit plates are provided to all guests booked for this package.”

My kind of AI.

Best of the Maldives: Longest Spa Pool – Sirru Fen Fushi

Sirru Fen Fushi - spa pool 1

Most spa pools are little plunge affairs. Sometimes resorts will put in extensive water features, but they are ornamental ponds for fish to swim in not guests. Sirru Fen Fushi’s Willow Stream Spa includes a serenity pool that is longer than many property’s main pools:

  • “A dedicated Olympic size Jacuzzi pool is provided for Spa Guests for pre or post treatment immersion. Our 50-meter long serenity pool is enhanced by natural sounds and light, soothing aromatherapy scent, and water temperatures varying from tropical warm to refreshing cool.”
  • “After your rejuvenating treatment, enjoy wellness refreshments and freshly-prepared herbal teas in our sea view relaxation lounges. Our 25-meter long serenity pool is enhanced by natural sounds and light, soothing aromatherapy scent, and water temperatures varying from tropical warm to refreshing cool. Nestled in a total of 2000sqm wellness area, it enables guests to rediscover their energy, providing indoor and outdoor spaces to reconnect you beyond the treatment experience.”

Sirru Fen Fushi - spa pool 2

Best of the Maldives: Double Pools – Joali

Joali - double villa pools 2

A number of properties now have more than one resort pool, but Joali has two room categories with two pools for your own individual use:

The beach residence has one around back for a bit more privacy if you prefer, or the one in the front provides a lovely seafront view during your dip. The ocean residence allows you shift to the perfect spot for catching rays (or if the kids are fighting, you can segregate them each into separate pools).

Joali - double villa pools 1

Best of the Maldives: Biotop Pool – Dreamland Unique

Dreamland Unique - biopool 4

The pool is one of the most central components of a Maldives resort. The Maldives Complete website’s earliest origins were a spreadsheet I assembled from research about which resorts had pools and which didn’t because our kids loving playing in the pool all day (and Lori and I could lounge comfortably on the sides while they did). Yes, Maldives islands are surrounded by one big giant natural pool called “the ocean”, and it’s lovely, but sometimes the salt, sand and sun (it’s easier to get protective parasols closer the water with a pool than the sea) just can just a bit too much.

If you want the comforts of a pool with the added bonus of a natural feel, then Dreamland Unique has topped its unique water feature with a unique “Biotop” model:

  • Dip into the first ever freshwater lake with a Biotop Pool (1st ever in Asia) in a Maldivian resort. This picturesque lake is surrounded by 20m high mangrove trees on one side and 20m high palm trees on the other side. This island with its fresh water lake and the rich vegetation is unique in the Maldives. There is no other island like this in the Maldives.”

The inventor, Biotop, describes the construction:

  • Plants and micro-organisms within an additional regeneration area directly adjacent to the swimming area act as environmentally-friendly filters, thereby ensuring that the water always stays clear.”

At Dreamland you can have the natural seafront at the beach and the sensation of lakefront by the pool.

Dreamland Unique - biopool 3

Dreamland Unique - biopool 1

Best of the Maldives: Birds Nest – Waldorf Ithaafushi

Waldorf Ithaafushi - bird nest 2

Part of the fun of having visited the Maldives for two decades and written about them for over a decade is seeing the dramatic changes. As someone who studied development economics at university and first cut his teeth in travel writing posted in Togo, West Africa who were trying to build their economy with tourism dollars, the Maldives has been a brilliant and diverse case study of this evolution. For example, I first encountered the charming “Birds Nest” swing at Lily Beach years ago. In a matter of years, it seemed like standard fittings for the luxury properties. Now Waldorf Ithaafushi has pushed even higher (literally) with elaborate birds nest lounges for people to sip their sundowners in while enjoying an elevated vista over the ocean.

Waldorf Ithaafushi - birds nests 1

Best of the Maldives: Coconut Climbing– Fushifaru

Fushifaru - coconut climbing 1

It takes more than a leap to get to the top of the coconut tree, but instead traditional climbing as featured by Fushifaru’s Coconut Climbing Competition. Maldives Insider reported

  • Fushifaru Maldives on Friday hosted Lhaviyani atoll’s very first Coconut Climbing Competition. With contestants from all around the atoll, including Innahura, Cocoon, Kanuhura, Hurawalhi, Kudadoo and Fushifaru, it was a fantastic day to bring everyone together to celebrate Maldivian culture. There was no better way to revive this Maldivian tradition that hasn’t taken place since 1985! The contestants were asked to climb the coconut tree all the way to the top, come down safely and then husk a coconut all under time pressureFushifaru’s very own Maldivian Coconut Climber Thoha took away the winner’s trophy as he completed his round in only 42 seconds!”

Prizes included a cash award for first and free nights at Fushifaru for second and third.

Top stuff!

Fushifaru - coconut climbing 2

Leap Year

Leap Day!  Any one would be bound(ing) to jump for joy in the at the idea of an extra day in the Maldives!  Mind you the fashionista set seem to spring into action around the camera much of the time…

  1. Liliana Montoya (USA) – AaaVeee [ABOVE]
  2. Linda Grace (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Linda Grace (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  3. Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
    Olga Kurbatova (Russia) – Velaa
  4. Olga (Russia) – Dhigali
    Olga (Russia) - Dhigali
  5. Nima Benati (Italy) – Conrad Rangali
    Nima Benati (Italy) - Conrad Rangali
  6. Andrea Verešová (Czech) – Hideaway Beach
    Andrea Verešová (Czech) - Hideaway Beach
  7. Juliana Oleinik (Russia)
    Juliana Oleinik (Russia)
  8. Ksenia Dzhalaganiya (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Ksenia Dzhalaganiya (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
  9. Anyuta Rai (Russia) – Hurawalhi
    Anyuta Rai (Russia) - Hurawalhi
  10. Juliana (Ukraine) – Kandima
    Juliana (Ukraine) - Kandima

    Charlene C. (France) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Charlene C. (France) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  11. Valentina Giannico (Italy) – Feridhoo
    Valentina Giannico (Italy) - Feridhoo
  12. Marta Rubí Julià (Spain) – Dhiffushi
    Marta Rubí Julià (Spain) - Dhiffushi
  13. Jill (Switzerland) – Bandos
    Jill (Switzerland) - Bandos

  14. Iijima (Japan) – Velassaru
    Iijima (Japan) - Velassaru
  15. Kamila (Russia) – Alimatha
    Kamila (Russia) - Alimatha
  16. Nastya Vavrovskaya (Russia) – Sun Island
    Nastya Vavrovskaya (Russia) - Sun Island
  17. Mel Lim-How (Australia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Mel Lim-How (Australia) - Centara Ras Fushi
  18. Alina Kowalski (Germany) – Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
    Alina Kowalski (Germany) - Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
  19. Tatiana Tantalo (Italy) – Thulusdhoo
    Tatiana Tantalo (Italy) - Thulusdhoo
  20. Olga Ushakova (Russia) – Makunudu
    Olga Ushakova (Russia) - Makunudu
  21. Prana Ovide-Etienne (France) – Sun Island
    Prana Ovide-Etienne (France) - Sun Island
  22. Kim Ivana Guzman (Australia) – Angaga
    Kim Ivana Guzman (Australia) - Angaga
  23. Dasha (Russia) – OZEN by Atmosphere
    Dasha Tkachova (Ukraine) - Sun Island
  24. Karis Scarlette (United Kingdom) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Karis Scarlette (United Kingdom) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  25. Francesca Mariposa (Spain) – Olhuveli
    Francesca Mariposa (Spain) - Olhuveli
  26. Galinka Mirgaeva (Russia) – Cocoon
    Galinka Mirgaeva (Russia) - Cocoon
  27. Laura (Austria) – Vakkaru
    Laura (Austria) - Vakkaru
  28. Alessia Di Bernardo (Italy)
    Alessia Di Bernardo (Italy)
  29. A. Zimina (Russia)
    A Zimina (Russia)
  30. Irina (Russia) – Kuredu
    Irina (Russia) – Kuredu
  31. Liang Yohanna (Indonesia) – Komandoo
    Liang Yohanna (Indonesia) - Komandoo
  32. Drugova Tatiana (Russia) – Anantara Veli
    Drugova Tatiana (Russia) - Anantara Veli
  33. Rebecca-Louise (United Kingdom) – Finolhu
    Rebecca-Louise (United Kingdom) - Finolhu
  34. Tatiana Kotova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Tatiana Kotova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  35. Coco Zhu (China) – Vilamendhoo
    Coco Zhu (China) - Vilamendhoo
  36. Anastasia Klubnichkina (Russia) – W Maldives
    Anastasia Klubnichkina (Russia) - W Retreat
  37. Öna Böix (Spain) – Velassaru
    Öna Böix (Spain) - Velassaru
  38. Giorgia Gabriele (Italy) – Velassaru
    Giorgia Gabriele (Italy) - Velassaru
  39. Tatyana Guseva (Russia) – Sun Island
    Tatyana Guseva (Russia) - Sun Island
  40. Anastasia Avetisova (Norway) – Fihalhohi
    Anastasia Avetisova (Norway) - Fihalhohi
  41. Maria Akulova (Russia) – Meedhupparu
    Maria Akulova (Russia) - Meedhupparu
  42. Irina Tsoy (Korea) – Maafushi
    Irina Tsoy (Korea) - Maafushi
  43. Brooke Hogan (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Brooke Hogan (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  44. Athina Oikonomakou (Greece) – Ayada
    Athina Oikonomakou (Greece) - Ayada
  45. Eva Gutowski (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
    Eva Gutowski (USA) - Six Senses Laamu
  46. Lowri Thomas (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Lowri Thomas (United Kingdom) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  47. Sarah Fareou (France)
    Sarah Fareou (France)
  48. Belle Lucia (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Belle Lucia (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  49. Anna Trestain (OAE) – Angsana Velavaru
    Anna Trestain (OAE) - Angsana Velavaru
  50. Lisa Uasa (Ukraine) – Finolhu
    Lisa Uasa (Ukraine) - Finolhu
  51. Kristina Golova (Kazakhstan ) – Biyadhoo
    Kristina Golova (Kazakhstan ) - Biyadhoo
  52. Katharina (Germany) – Soneva Jani
    Katharina (Germany) - Soneva Jani
  53. Yolanda (USA) – Vilu Reef
    Yolanda (USA) - Vilu Reef
  54. Helen Mavrina (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Helen Mavrina (Russia) - Paradise Island
  55. Veronika Okes (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Veronika Okes (Russia) - Paradise Island
  56. Veronika Borodina (Turkey) – Mahibadhoo
    Veronika Borodina (Turkey) - Mahibadhoo
  57. Ania Brusewicz (Poland) – Royal Island
    Ania Brusewicz (Poland) - Royal Island
  58. Anna Lorin (Canada)
    Anna Lorin (Canada)
  59. Carola Remer (Germany) – Canareef
    Carola Remer (Germany) – Canareef 2
  60. Kristina Mikanovskis (Russia) – Kuramathi
    Kristina Mikanovskis (Russia) - Kuramathi
  61. Shany Black (Spain) – Kandooma
    Shany Black (Spain)
  62. Anna Leshchenko (Ukraine) – Cinnamon Dhonveli
    Anna Leshchenko (Ukraine)
  63. Ocean Bloom (Canada) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Ocean Bloom (Canada) - Gili Lankanfushi
  64. Michala Vaitová (Czech) – Club Med Kani
    Michala Vaitová (Czech) - Club Med Kani
  65. Ksenia Plyusch (Ukraine) – Thodoo
    Ksenia Plyusch (Ukraine) - Thodoo
  66. Wan Ting (China) – Halaveli
    Wan Ting (China) – Halaveli
  67. Shiloh (China) – Centara Grand
    Shiloh (China) - Centara Grand
  68. Yanika Samoilova (Ukraine) – Conrad Rangali
    Yanika Samoilova (Ukraine) - Conrad Rangali
  69. Annika Bauer (USA) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Annika Bauer (USA) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  70. Gizele Thakral (India) – Sun Island
    Gizele Thakral (India) - Sun Island
  71. Ploypraew Nattikarn and friends (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Ploypraew Nattikarn and friends (Thailand) - Club Med Finolhu Villas
  72. Vladislava Shvets (Ukraine) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Vladislava Shvets (Ukraine) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  73. Roxy Mathee (South Africa) – Angsana Velavaru
    Roxy Mathee (South Africa) - Angsana Velavaru
  74. Dilara Salikh (Russia) – Huvafenfushi
    Dilara Salikh (Russia) - Huvafenfushi
  75. Alyssa Ramos (USA) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Alyssa Ramos (USA) - Shangri-La Vilingili
  76. Mona (Russia) – Kurumba
    Mona (Russia) – Kurumba
  77. Laura Hamilton (United Kingdom) – Mirihi
    Laura Hamilton (United Kingdom) – Mirihi
  78. Gemma Cheung (UAE) – Angsana Ihuru
    Gemma Cheung (UAE) – Angsana Ihuru
  79. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
  80. Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Vommuli
    Belinda Young (Taiwan) - Vommuli animated