Best of the Maldives: Artistic Accessibility – Amilla Maldives

Amilla - fish ramp

Disabled guests are pretty resourceful so they find a way to manage even if the lay of the land is not the easiest to manage. They live in a world that in many if not most cases is not made to accommodate their impairments. When places make an effort, like adding a ramp for a wheelchair, they are grateful for the consideration and added ease. Many accessibility features are fairly functional affairs bolted on as the need presents itself. But Amilla Maldives has introduced permanent accessibility features with an aquatic themed stylish flair to boot. They have craft fish-shaped ramps to beach villas which replace a total of 5 steps that previously led to the entrance. Swish!

Amilla - ramp

Best of the Maldives: Local Welcome Drink – Sun Siyam Iruveli

Iruveli - snack

The welcome drink to a resort is a time-honoured ritual with many variations, but Sun Siyam Iru Veli features an especially Maldivian welcome beverage. The drink is a distinctive recipe including Mint, Orange, Pineapple, Cinnamon and Ginger with a indigenous touch of water infused with Pandan leaf (called “Raanbaa” in Dhivehi) grown on the island.

Best of the Maldives: Kefir – Amilla

Amilla - kefir 2

Yogurt is a common breakfast item I enjoy regularly (especially loaded with honey and granola), and a yogurt drink for stomach biome health is fairly popular, but Amilla Maldives has added Kefir yoghurt to its buffet now for that extra special yoghurt treat:

  • “Kefir Yoghurt is a liquid milk beverage with an acidic creamy taste made with milk and gelatinous kefir. Kefir originated from the Balkans and Caucasus and is rich in lactic acid and acetic acid, which helps ferment kefir in yoghurt.”

Amilla - kefir

Best of the Maldives: Ayurvedic Dining – Sun Siyam Vilu Reef

Vilu Reef - aruveydic dining

You can eat well at nearly all the resorts in the Maldives, but at Sun Siyam Vilu Reef you can GET well by eating. India National Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the culture of this Laccadive neighbour whose culture is found across the islands. Ayurvedic treatments can be found in many spas, but Chef Nitin has introduced ayurvedic dining at their “The Spice” restaurant. Healing cuisine is part of the Jain tradition and uses a range of ingredients to aid with certain conditions.

Chef Nitin (honored as the 2nd Best Chef in the India Chapter at the Bocuse d’Or 2012 World Chef’s Championship) pioneered his Spice Health Concept that emphasizes the overall health benefits of each component.  He described his approach, “Our special thali dinner is more than a meal; it’s a journey for your healthy intestine. We believe in using a combination of Indian and unique herb spices to boost immunity, promote gut health, and enhance overall well-being.”

Table Amenities: Journey for Your Healthy Intestine

  • Pineapple Relish: Rich in antioxidants and Bromelain enzyme, aiding in heart health and reducing inflammation.
  • Beetroot, Clove Fruit Vinegar Chutney: High in fiber, promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and containing good sugars for internal healing.
  • Black Garlic Yoghurt: With prebiotic properties, stimulating appetite and contributing to gut health.

Amuse Bouche: Regenerate Your Body

  • Gluten-Free Pani Puri with 03 Different Shots
  • Tangy Green Apple and Mint Water: Rich in Vitamins A & C, acting as antioxidants to prevent cancer cell formation.
  • Beetroot and Basil Water: Anti-inflammatory properties for rejuvenation.
  • Young Turmeric Water: Antioxidant-rich, aiding the body in combating inflammation.

I enjoyed a dish made with hing asafoetida that aids digestion. Which after feasting on such much delicious food I definitely benefitted from.

Vilu Reef - ayurvedic dining 3

Best of the Maldives: Villa Height Accessibility – Amilla

Amilla - vanity

Amilla Maldives continues to pioneer accessibility in the Maldives with its latest accessibility feature being “height”. Lowering access to key features is not just beneficial to height-challenged individuals, but is also a major boon to wheelchair users whose own operating height is obviously lowered.

The catalogue of the villa overhaul includes the following:

  • Bathroom Vanities
    • Lowered mirrors
    • Relocated taps to side
    • Cut out under benches to allow wheelchair access
  • Showers
    • Added hand shower unit in Beach Villa
    • Added grab rails
    • Shower Chair is added depending on guest requirements
  • Mini-Bar Cabinet
    • Reduced the bench height by 23cm to enable access when in a wheelchair
    • Easier access to minibar fridge and coffee machine
  • Bedroom
    • Built a long benchtop in place of working desk to create a vanity area for guest to blow-dry hair and make-up area within the bedroom
    • Removed all rugs and benches from the bedroom

Maldives is renowned for having the world’s lowest elevation, and now Amilla have provided accessibility to match.

Amilla - shower

Amilla - room

Amilla - mini-bar cabinet

Best of the Maldives: Biggest Lagoon – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - lagoon

With their distinctive drop-offs, accessibility to shore, world-leading snorkeling and colourful marine life, Maldives house reefs have long been a criterion for guests. But the more visible and equally Maldivian lagoons also have their own allure. The azure tapestries enshrouding the islands are the first startlingly beautiful vision a visitor has of the destination as their plane starts its final descent. Some guests specifically seek out expansive lagoons for their choice of resorts. And no resort is more expansive than Soneva Jani’s Medhufaru Lagoon t 5.6 km in length. Blue for miles!

Best of the Maldives: Staff Island – Sun Siyam Iru Veli

Iruveli - staff island

The Maldives is famous for its “one resort, one island” set up of most properties, but Sun Siyam Iru Veli also dedicates an entire island to its staff.

The conventional location for staff quarters is sequestered in the centre of the island (to preserve the beach and ocean views for as many guests as possible). They are typically shrouded with large, claustrophobic fences to keep views of the sausage machine out of sight from the tourists (as well as to allow the staff a bit of their own privacy).

On its own plot of land, the staff enjoy their own beaches, sea views from their quarters and a more open residential area.

With two sister properties near each other, its own two garden islands, and this dedicated staff island for one, Sun Siyam has its own little mini-atoll.

Sun Siyam Iru Veli - staff island