Cover Versions

Nargis Fakhri (USA) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa - Bazaar

The acme of any fashionista is the magazine *cover*. The coveted cover is the high point of celebrity or fashion profile. Not surprising that the Maldives is such a popular venue for such [exquisite] shots. In particular, the beauty rag mags Bazaar (5 covers) and Vogue (4) are the most fond of the destination for photoshoots (at least by my research) with Sports Illustrated coming in with 3 covers…

  1. Nargis Fakhri (USA) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Bazaar [ABOVE]
  2. Anna Ewers (Germany) – Soneva Fushi – Vogue Germany
    Anna Ewers (Germany) - Soneva Fushi – Vogue Germany

      
  3. Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee – Destination Cover
    Sana Lantana (USA) – AaaVeee – Destination Cover
      
  4. Carola Remer (Germany) – Canareef – Vogue Beauty China
    Carola Remer (Germany) – Vogue Beauty China
      
  5. Katrina Kaif (India) – Shangri-La Vilingili – India Harpers Barzaar
    Katrina Kaif (India) - Shangri-La Vilingili – India Harpers Barzaar
        
  6. Heidi Klum (Germany) – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru – Sports Illustrated
    Heidi Klum (Germany) - Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - Sports Illustrated
      
  7. Jessica Cabensy (USA) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Me Magazine
    Jessica Cabensy (USA) - Anantara Kihavah Villas – Me Magazine
      
  8. Diana Penty (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Vogue India
    Diana Penty (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Vogue India
      
  9. Margareth Made (Italy) – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
    Margareth Made (Italy) - Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
     
  10. Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Maafushi
    Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Maafushi
     
  11. Xenia Deli (Moldova) – NIYAMA
    Xenia Deli (Moldova) - NIYAMA
  12. Huda Kattan (USA) – Huvafenfushi
    Huda Kattan (USA) - Huvafenfushi

      
  13. Eryka Yar (USA) – AaaVeee
    Eryka Yar (USA) - AaaVeee
      
  14. Mirjams Roth (Israel) – Sun Siyam Irufushi – Laisha
    Mirjams Roth (Israel) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  15. Brooklyn Decker (USA) – Anantara Dhigu – Sports Illustrated
    Brooklyn Decker (USA) - Anantara Dhigu - Sports Illustrated
         
  16. Victoria Halenarova (Czech) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Harpers Bazaar
    Victoria Halenarova (Czech) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Harpers Bazaar

        
  17. Joelle Kayembe (South Africa) – Bandos – Sports Illustrated
    Joelle  Kayembe (South Africa) – Bandos
      
  18. Mint Chalida (Thailand) – Cinnamon Dhonveli – Ray magazine
    Mint Chalida (Thailand) – Cinnamon Dhonveli – Ray magazine

     
  19. Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru – Harpers Bazaar
    Sonakshi Sinha (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru – Harpers Bazaar
      
  20. Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas – Praew
    Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas - Praew

      
  21. Renee Somerfield (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
    Renee Somerfield (Australia) – Six Senses Laamu
      
  22. Toni Garrn (USA) – The Residence – Elle (France)
    Toni Garrn (USA) – The Residence – Elle (France)
     
  23. Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa – Prestige Asia
    Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa – Prestige Asia 2

      
  24. Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru – Vogue
    Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - Vogue

Gazette Coquettes

Gia Johnson-Singh (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru_thumb

International Day of Beauty today. Few international destinations exude and attract as much beauty as the Maldives. Especially the reams of beauty magazine which come here for their photoshoots. Today inside scoop features a collection of saucy glossies (stay tuned tomorrow for the headliner cover girls) who the genuine article when it comes to international beauty…

  1. Gia Johnson-Singh (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru [ABOVE]
  2. Sarah-Jane Dias (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – GQ India
    Sarah-Jane Dias (India) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa - GQ India_thumb
      
  3. Liliana Montoya (USA) – AaaVeee – Playboy South Africa
    Liliana Montoya (USA) – AaaVeee – Playboy South Africa_thumb
      
  4. Lera Bukinaa (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi – Antvan
    Lera Bukinaa (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi - Antvan_thumb
      
  5. Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee – Ellements
    Lily Marie (USA) – AaaVeee_thumb
      
  6. Natallia Yakimchyk (Poland) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Tatler Russia
    Natallia Yakimchyk (Poland) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Tatler Russia_thumb
      
  7. Tatyana Vysotskaya (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufuhi
    Tatyana Vysotskaya (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufuhi_thumb
       
  8. Park Si Yeon (South Korea) – Velavaru – Cosmopolitan
    Park Si Yeon (South Korea) – Velavaru - Cosmopolitan_thumb
       
  9. Son Ye-Jin (South Korea) – LUX Maldives – InStyle
    Son Ye-Jin (South Korea) – LUX Maldives - InStyle_thumb
      
  10. Janie Tienphosuwan (Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu – Dichan
    Janie Tienphosuwan(Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu - Dichan_thumb
      
  11. Beverly Chin (Singapore) – The Residence
    Beverly Chin (Singapore) - The Residence_thumb
      
  12. Katie Yudina (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi – Surreal Beauty
    Katie Yudina (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi – Surreal Beauty_thumb
      
  13. Raudha Aathif (Maldives) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Raudha Aathif (Maldives) – Coco Bodu Hithi_thumb
       
  14. Shu Qi (Taiwan) – Cocoa Island – Elle
    Shu Qi (Taiwan) – Cocoa Island - Elle_thumb
      
  15. Zhang Yuqi (China) – Six Senses Laamu – Elle
    Zhang Yuqi (China) – Six Senses Laamu - Elle_thumb
       
  16. Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa – Prestige Asia
    Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa – Prestige Asia_thumb 

  

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Designer – Kandolhu

Kandolhu - designer

Maldivians are not just working in the resorts, they are building and designing them. One of the pioneers leading the way in envisioning spaces with the same aesthetic beauty that the destination has become renowned for is Mohammed Shafeeq. Part of the local Maldivian GX Associates architecture firm which have designed many top properties in the Maldives, he was introduced to us by the Kandolhu resort who were particularly proud of the award-winning work that he did in the redesign of their resort a number of years ago. I caught up with Shafeeq to learn a bit more about his background and perspectives…

  • Where are you from in the Maldives
    I am from Male’ and also brought up in Male.
  • Where did you study?
  • I studied in Maldives (in Male’) completed my A Levels and then went onto university in the UK at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to study architecture.
  • What was the first thing you designed?
    The first thing I designed was a small island in the North of Male’ Atoll which was basically a concept sketch on art paper which was developed to be a small resort by the owners.
  • Which other resorts did you design?
    Some of the resorts we designed include Anantara Dhigu, Anantara Kihavah Villas, Anantara Veli, Baros, Coco Palm Boduhithi, Coco Palm Dhunikolhu, Constance Halaveli Resort, Four Seasons Resort, Fridays Resort, Hilton Irufushi, Huvafenfushi, Kurumba, LUX Maldives, Maafushivaru, Mudhdhoo and some of the more recent ones are the Thundi in Kuramathi and Milaidhoo.
  • How has your approach changed as you do different properties?
    The approach always follow the trends in fashion, lifestyle and technology and the tastes of the travelers and I always try to stay ahead by reviewing other competing developments in the region.
  • Have you designed any non-resort properties in the Maldives?
    Yes, I did much residential and civic work before specialising in hospitality design and they include private residences, apartment blocks, law courts, hospitals, schools and prisons even.
  • What is something they didn’t you in design school that you had to learn the hard way through experience?
    What I learned through experience is the delicacy and expertise required when you model the built environment to appease the senses of the users to make them feel totally comfortable and create an ambience that is akin to a home with a magical touch.
  • Which designer has had the greatest influence on you?
  • Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • If you were given a blank cheque and a completely free reign to design the resort of your dreams, what sorts of design element would it feature?
  • It would feature a back to basics, barefoot and eco friendly nature resort with an extremely luxurious ambiance where natural and built environment will have no boundaries.
  • What are some of the constraints or considerations to designing for a remote location in a tropical environment?
    The constraints are mostly to do with the size of the island and the requirement of the client to have a set number of villas and spaces on that island but to afford the best views and settings for each and every public building and guest villa.
  • Are there any projects you are working on that you can share with us?
    Right now we are working on two projects in Baa Atoll, One in Raa Atoll, One in Noonu Atoll and Two in Male’ Atoll.

Best of the Maldives: Milk Shakes – Finolhu

Finolhu - milk shakes

I am a bit of a milk shake (or “frappe” as they call them in New England where I grew up) connoisseur. The “Milk Shake Bar Kid” if you will. At university, my daily routine included a late night run to Brighams for *two* chocolate malted shakes (with an egg for extra protein and extra creaminess…I was doing lots of sport and this was a time before protein bars and smoothies). To this day, I make myself a milkshake at least once a week. The proper kind made with ice cream (the British have some weird things called “milk shakes” that are mostly literally milk shaken up).

I grew up enjoying soda fountain shakes at the local drugstore or “five and dime”. Shakes have made a bit of retro-resurgence with the rise of gastro-burger joints including the eponymous “Shake Shack”. So it was a charming trip down memory lane to stroll into Finolhu’s own “Milk Bar”. Of course, I had to go for the classic chocolate.

They do a range of smoothies and freezing cold drinks to slake the tropical thirst. They even offer a range of protein powders.

Damn right it’s better than yours.

Best of the Maldives: Coconut Danish – Rihiveli Beach

Rihiveli Beach - coconut danish

I’m a big fan of everything coconut and always surprised that resorts do even more with this ironically indigenous ingredient. Rihiveli Beach had an impressive array of pastries (particularly impressed with their lemon meringue which had a soft crust as so many resort use hard crusts, which I tend not to eat), but my favourite was their coconut Danish on the breakfast buffet. Yum, definitely went back for more.

Bunch of Coconut Lovelies

Eryka Yar (USA) and Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee

Coconuts are the most common fashionista prop (that they don’t sit on like a tree, boat, swing, surfboard, float, lounger). So in the interests of equal-time, here another serving of Cocos nucifera fashion cocktails with a more favourable look at the humble coconut…

  1. Eryka Yar (USA) and Aleona Lynx (Russia) – AaaVeee [ABOVE]
  2. Farah Yasmine (Tunisia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Farah Yasmine (Tunisia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  3. Anastasia Karpukhina (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Anastasia Karpukhina (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  4. Kozue Yokoyama (Japan) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Kozue Yokoyama (Japan) - Gili Lankanfushi
      
  5. Lisa Hamilton (Australia) – Soneva Jani
    Lisa Hamilton (Australia) - Soneva Jani
      
  6. Inna Star (Russia) – Meedhoo
    Inna Star (Russia) - Meedhoo
      
  7. Yulja Gritsyuk (Russia) –NIYAMA
    Yulja Gritsyuk (Russia) -NIYAMA
      
  8. Malinka (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Malinka (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi
      
  9. Tamara Omel (Russia) – Milaidhoo
    Tamara Omel (Russia) - Milaidhoo
      
  10. Farina Opoku (Germany) – Kandima
    Farina Opoku (Germany) - Kandima
      
  11. Scarlett De La Torre (Hong Kong) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Scarlett De La Torre (Hong Kong) - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  12. Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) – Shangri-La Vilingili
    Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) - Shangri-La Vilingili
      
  13. Caroline Deisler (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Caroline Deisler (United Kingdom) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
      
  14. Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
    Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
      
  15. Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Manuela Mosca (United Kingdom) - LUX South Ari Atoll
      
  16. Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah 2
    Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah 2

      
  17. Cvety Vassileva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Cvety Vassileva (Russia) - Cheval Blanc Randheli
      
  18. Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) – Six Senses Laamu
    Madeleine Schneider-Weiffenbach (Germany) - Six Senses Laamu

       
  19. Tammy Chan (Japan) – Vadoo
    Tammy Chan (Japan) - Vadoo
      
  20. Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) – Maalifushi
    Pia Muehlenbeck (Australia) - Maalifushi
      
  21. Papic Sanja (Panama) – Velassaru
    Papic Sanja (Panama) - Velassaru
      
  22. Emma Lapin (Serbia) – Sun Island
    Emma Lapin (Serbia) - Sun Island

      
  23. Ksenia Plyusch (Ukraine) – Thodoo
    Ksenia Plyusch (Ukraine) - Thodoo
      
  24. Churee Porn (Thailand) – Veligandu
    Churee Porn (Thailand) - Veligandu
      
  25. Natasa Mijatovic (Croatia) – Summer Island
    Natasa Mijatovic (Croatia)
       
  26. Ella Anziferov (Israel) – Medhufushi
    Ella Anziferov (Israel) - Medhufushi

  
  

Maldives QI – Part (Unlucky) 13

Falling coconut warning

Q: What living thing is most likely to kill you in the Maldives?
A: A shark?
Q: Buzzzz! Actually, there are not recorded incidents of shark attacks at all in the Maldives.

The real answer is likely to be the innocent coconut. And today being Coconut Day is an appropriate time to investigate the treacherous hazards of the humble coconut. Exhibit A is the ABC News article “Coconuts Called Deadlier Than Sharks”…

  • “George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Fla…pointed to recent data that suggested people were 15 times more likely to be killed by falling coconuts than by a shark. “

As it turns out, many resorts have staff who regularly harvest coconuts from the trees. I always thought that this was to get refreshing treats for the guests, but speaking to a manager this past trip I found out that their primary motivation is to reduce the risk of ripe ones falling and hitting guests.

Best of the Maldives: Bodu Mas – Summer Island

Summer Island - Bodu Mas

Eid ul Adha starts today. For non-Muslims you may have thought that “Eid” had already passed. Well, Eid ul Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan did take place in June. It often gets a high profile due to its association with Ramadan, but to many Islamic scholars, Eid ul Adha is actually a bigger event marking a more sacred event and calling for bigger celebrations.

A few do it bigger than Summer Island with their distinctly Maldivian celebration called “Bodu Mas”…

“Bodu Mas is a tradition a lot of local islanders have during the Eid after Hajj day. We call it Bodu Eid, this Eid is for religiously and traditionally known for celebration and we usually get a longer holiday as well. Bodu Mas is usually accompanied by Maali neshun (ie. dance by a group of people painted and dressed up as Maali – ghosts). If I am not wrong, the story goes like this – A big fish (Modu was) together with Maali (ghosts) comes out from the sea and the men and women in the island tries to catch it. They finally manage to catch it with the help of a holyman in the island, finally ending the night with dancing of the Maali. In summer island, this year, we also brought out a Koadi, the big decorated thing in the front of the parade. However, there is a completely different story this. I think traditionally in different islands, they do it differently. We did a bit of everything. At the local island they do it every year. It’s a custom that has been passed on from years. There was a time that this discontinued in some islands, however, I think, with cultural and traditional awareness, more islands have started practicing these traditional rituals now. First time for Summer Island Maldives as well, and since we had many local guests staying during Eid, it was a fun event, and a great experience for tourists alike.” – General Manager Mariya Shareef

Their “Koadi” is also, by a long shot, the “Best Palm Folding” in the Maldives.

Eid Mubarak!

Summer Island - Bodu Mas 2

Transfer Indo

Footballers in Maldives - Diana Lissa

If you think a seaplane transfer is expensive, try a Full Back transfer. The Premier League transfer window (and most of the major leagues) close today so expect some late breaking moves as the best and the brightest of the football pitches return from the their summer R&R on the atoll beaches. Here’s a starting eleven of those who chose to stretch out in the Maldives (and few bonus supporters). For even more examples, check out Bunyamin Ahmed’s social media feeds (though they are all airport selfies).

  1. David Beckham (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah – Manchester United
    David Beckham (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah - Manchester United)
      
  2. Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – NIYAMA – FC Barcelona
    Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – NIYAMA - FC Barcelona
      
  3. Jordi Amat (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu – Swansea City
    Jordi Amat (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu - Swansea City
      
  4. Emiliano Martínez (Argentina) – Conrad Rangali – Arsenal
    Emiliano Martínez (Argentina) – Conrad Rangali - Arsenal
      
  5. Victor Lindelhof (Sweden) – Hurawalhi – Benfica
    Victor Lindelhof (Sweden) – Hurawalhi – Benfica
      
  6. Jorge “Koke” Resurrección (Spain) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Atlético de Madrid
    Jorge Koke Resurrección (Spain) – Anantara Kihavah Villas - Atlético de Madrid
      
  7. Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Constance Halaveli – Juventus
    Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Constance Halaveli - Juventus
      
  8. Dmitri Tarasov Buzov (Russia) – Velaa – FC Lokomotiv Moscow
    Dmitri Tarasov Buzov (Russia) – Velaa - FC Lokomotiv Moscow
      
  9. Fabio Borini (Italy) Gili Lankanfushi – Liverpool FC
    Fabio Borini (Italy) – Gili Lankanfushi - Liverpool FC
      
  10. Alejandro Remiro (Spain) – Velassaru – Portero del Athletic Club
    Alejandro Remiro (Spain) – Velassaru - Portero del Athletic Club
      
  11. Santiago Arias (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali – PSV Eidnhoven
    Santiago Arias (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali - PSV Eidnhoven
      

Beach Football goal - Any Salceanu (Italy) - Paradise Island