Best of the Maldives: Hammerheads – Kuramathi and Veligandu

Hammerhead Point     Rasdhoo Divers

My wife, our son Chase and I dove ‘Hammerhead Point’ when we visited Kuramathi Village a few years ago. You get up extremely early around 6:00 am and you go off the dive boat in the middle of the deep channel. You descend to 30 metres where you are still quite a ways off the bottom pretty much suspended in the middle of vast blueness. And you wait for the hammerheads.

Now no dive is a sure thing and Rasdhoo Divers are very open that the hammerheads can be hit or miss. So the three of us were just suspended there for the full 40 minutes of our dive trying not to be too bored. It was a bit reminiscent of that Family Guy bit where they go on vacation to Purgatory (minute 6:57). But my colleague Philippa went on the same dive and said that it was amazing seeing lots of these eerie, prehistoric looking creatures.

Kuramathi Cottage Club Dive Chart

Best of the Maldives: Turtles – Kuredu

Kuredu Turtles

 

Snorkelling and diving in the Maldives spoils you for colourful scenery and sealife and one of the popular favourites are the sea turtle. Several resorts, like Filitheyo and Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, operate turtle hatcheries and nurseries.

We have always readily seen turtles while diving and snorkelling in the Maldives, so choosing a top spot for them would be difficult. But Microsoft colleague and fellow Maldives enthusiast Keith Miller reckons it has to be Kuredu. In particular, a dive site known as ‘Turtle Cave’ or ‘Turle Wall’ Keith estimates that on a bad day you see a dozen turtles and on a good day you can see as many as 40!

Best of the Maldives: Bed Decoration – Meeru

Meeru Bed

‘Turning down the bed’ takes on an elaborately resplendent meaning at many tropical resorts and with so much colourful flora at their disposal, the Maldivians take this pre-slumber ceremony very seriously. Maldives Complete has assembled a collection of the most stunning examples it has come across, and in a tightly contested decision, we would give the rosette of repose to Meeru for the example displayed above. The sheer volume of petals in the heart combined with the distinctive touch of the palm leaf origami in the corners at the foot make it a real masterpiece.  Admire the other contenders here

Best of the Maldives: Most Cinematic – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi Cinema

If Maldivian paradise is not escapist enough and you need a dose of Hollywood/Bollywood silver screen spectacle, Soneva Fushi features probably the most comfortable and relaxing film cinemas not just in the Maldives, but in the world. If you miss all of the stars around the resorts, then you can always catch some on the large screen set out on the beach with comfy lounges for taking in a flick.

Best of the Maldives: Most Relaxing – Irufushi

Iru Fushi Sweet Dreams

Having a ‘Most Relaxing’ award for a Maldive resort is a bit like having a most gaudy award in Vegas. The islands are the very epitome of chilling out. The ocean is placid, the people gentle. In fact, the one thing that sometimes puts people off coming is that it is so laid back and some prefer a bit more activity and buzz.

So how does a resort distinguish itself as the most reposed in the land of indolence? Well, Iru Fushi has established the first ‘Sleep Spa’ called ‘Sweet Dreams’ which designed to take dozing to refreshing depths.

For Adults, the Sweet Dreams programme includes:

  • Special afternoon and evening spa treatments to encourage a siesta or good night’s sleep
  • A yoga specialist who will offer private classes teaching special breathing techniques and stretching exercises designed to encourage relaxation
  • Special teas designed to aid sleep
  • Massages and baths with essential sleep-inducing oils
  • A sleep concierge who is on-call so if guests can’t sleep they can ring for encouragement
  • CD’s of poetry, music or a talking book which can be delivered to the room so Sweet Dreams guests can listen to their very own bedtime story
  • A Sleep-All-Night-Cap, a special cocktail created using ingredients to aid sleep

They even have a children’s programme that includes slumber parties, bedtime stories and hot cocoa.

It might seem like a bit of a strange thing go to a spa for a nap, but actually my wife and I went to a nearby spa in the UK, Pennyhill Park, which featured a ‘nap room’ with special gel beds to simply lie down and doze. For all of the fancy pampering treatments we enjoyed that day, the memorable highlight was the decadent luxury of a midday snooze in the prime environment. So Iru Fushi might be on to something. It certainly would take a bit of special effort to make the Maldives more relaxing than they already are.

Best of the Maldives: Biggest Suite – Island Hideaway

Island Hideaway Suite

At 1420 square metres, the largest suite in the diminutive Maldivian isles is the “Hideaway Palace” at the Island Hideaway resort at Dhonakhuli: “The Hideaway Palace comprises of five exclusive individual Villas which sit on top of a beautiful timber deck and are surrounded by a number of private Infinity Swimming Pools.”

Best of the Maldives: Most Nautical – Dhoni Mighili

Dhoni Mighili boat    Dhoni Mighili bedroom

The Maldives are all about being close to the ocean. In the tiny islands, the waterside is never more than a few yards away. The water bungalows put you right over the water. But the ultimate water bungalow, if you will, are Dhoni Mighili’s floating ‘villas’. Luxurious accommodation fashioned into the a traditionally styled Maldivian dhoni boat.

Dhoni Mighili is also highlighted in Time magazines ‘Best of Asia’ feature winning the ‘Best Place to Blow Serious Cash’ badge.

Best of the Maldives: Geek Activity – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi Ever Soneva So Celestial Observatory

If the stars you are seeking are not the movie and celebrity type, but more of the celestial sort, then Soneva Fushi resort is the place for you.

When we visit the Maldives, we like to take a night sky star-map so after dinner we can lie on the beach and do some stirring star gazing. With clear skies and no light pollution to speak of, the stars shine out brilliantly. Also, being at the equator, one can see both northern and southern hemisphere constellations.

But if you really want to take this activity to a serious level, Soneva Fushi resort offers its very own “Ever Soneva So Celestial” Observatory.

“Equipped with a striking Meade RCX400 telescope, the observatory in the organic garden is the latest addition to Soneva Fushi’s unique guest experiences and offers magnificent views into the starry sky.”

Top Site – Wikipedia Maldives

  
A new category of posts I am starting in this blog is ‘Top Sites’ on the Maldives.  There are an enormous number of websites and blogs on the subject of the Maldives, and yet I started Maldives Complete out of frustration with the quality of them all.  I found too many of them either too commercial (they provide a little bit of useful information and lots of material on how to book a holiday), or too repetitive (too many peons to how idyllic this beautiful place is with the same pictures of sea life, turquoise waters and tropical flowers).

All that said, a number of websites do stand out for their usefulness.  The first one to highlight is the Maldives entry into Wikipedia.  The entry maintains the high degree of characteristic objectivity and review covering areas of history, economy, civics and culture.

A particular point of pride for Maldives Complete is that the site is featured in Wikipedia’s ‘External Links’ section which is reserved for only a select few highly useful, non-commercial reference sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Watching – Reethi Rah

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Tom and Katie Cruise with baby Suri arriving a Male airport

As such an exquisite destination, the Maldives have proven to be quite popular with the jet setting celebrity crowd.

For a bit of fun in the Maldives Complete resort Profiles, we have now added a section called ‘Celebrity Guestbook’ which tracks celebrity reports and spottings on the various islands if you are curious to know who visited where. If you have visited the Maldives and spotted a celebrity or uncovered a celebrity visitor, then add it to the Comments below and we will make sure to add it to the database.

While it seems that most islands have had one celebrity or another resident at one time, the resort that seems to have drawn the most over time is the resplendent Reethi Rah. Reports to date include presenter Davina McCall, Josh Duhamel and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie, Natascha McElhone, Sienna Miller, Jodie Kidd, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Ashley and Cheryl Cole, Philip Treacy, Sienna Guillory and Gail Porter.