Best of the Maldives: Imaginative Ice Creams – Faarufushi

Faarufushi - ice cream 1

The culinary creatives at Faarufushi are always musing about a new ice cream taste sensation they can tantalise their guests with. Chef Bir shared his current slate of sorbets with me including:

  • · Rose and Jasmine Flower (above)
  • · Gorgonzola and Amarena
  • · Strawberry and Balsamic
  • · Chocolate and Thyme
  • · Foie Gras Ice Cream
  • · Honeycomb and Ginger
  • · Mandarin Sorbet (below)

Faarufushi - ice cream 2

Mind Full of Maldives

Maldives meditation

World Meditation Day today. And as usual, I will be meditating on thoughts of the Maldives. Until lockdown and travel restrictions, such ruminations might be the only way to transport myself back to this paradise.

In fact, the daily practice of working on and refining Maldives Complete is form of this “meditation” according to Maia Gambis’ “Why making art is the new meditation”:

  • Creating art is a type of meditation, an active training of the mind that increase awareness and emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind… Creativity is its own language and enables humans to connect with one another — and themselves — on a non-verbal level.”

I would say that goes for virtually any creative act. You get so immersed that you look up and hours have flown by. Exploring pictures and stories, assembling them together digitally to portray glimpses of this mystical destination is my art form.

Dilbert meditatiob

Best of the Maldives: Breakfast Puree – Joali

Joali - breakfast puree

Fruit stations and fruit juices are standard items for most breakfast menus, but Joali adds a selection of fruit purees.

For your yoghurt, pancakes, porridge or whatever. They evoked fond memories of the iconic American restaurant chain “IHOP” (International House of Pancakes) which not only served maple syrup with its famous pancakes, but raspberry, strawberry and blueberry (!) to drizzle over your stack.

At Joali, you have an even more extensive selection of…

  • · Coconut
  • · Passion Fruit
  • · Mango
  • · Guava
  • · Raspberry

Best of the Maldives: Edible Spa Menu – Coco Palm Bodu Hith / Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Coco - edible spa

For a taste sensation you can literally feel, check out the “Edible Spa Menu” at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Dhuni Kholu:

  • Coco Collection is excited to announce an exclusive Edible Spa Menu, created in collaboration with UK-based Chloé Morris, the Creative Experience Director and founder of Edible Stories…All treatments in this menu use homemade spa products created entirely using edible ingredients such as coconut, papaya, kiwi, turmeric, avocado, honey, and yoghurt, to name a few. With treatments such as Chocolate Cake Scrub, Papaya Panna Cotta Mask, Banana Ice Cream Wrap, and Coco Rice Pudding Scrub, this menu offers a truly unique and tempting experience.”

Coco treatments put the “cure” into “epicurean”!

Montastraea of the Maldives and More

Another way to virtually enjoy the Maldives reefs are with the fabulous photos shared on Instagram. So I’ve curated another collection of coral close-ups which highlight the mesmerising patterns of these carbonate creatures.

Best of the Maldives: VR Scuba Dive – Six Senses Laamu

Since it will be a while before most of us can go explore the Maldivian reefs, Six Senses Laamu is bringing their reef to us with a virtual reality 360 degree view of one of the local manta ray cleaning stations:

  • · “We’re in Week 5 of our online Junior Marine Biology program with amazing work sent in to us from kids all over the world…Or that manta rays “dance” because … well tune in to find out! Particularly special is the recent remote underwater video footage captured in the waters around Laamu as well as the chance to meet a manta ray in virtual reality. The video works on your computer, tablet or smartphone, but we recommend a tablet or smartphone for the most immersive experience.”

Back at the resort, they also have a set of VR glasses to bring the experience to guests with even more realism (see below).

Underwater immersion without being immersed in water!

Six Sense Laamu - VR

Best of the Maldives: Diving Sculpture Feature – Joali

Misha Kahn Underwater Coral Sculpture Garden from No LaB on Vimeo.

Joali not only features art immersion at its museum quality property, but it also features immersion art. Creative commissions are found not only in every nook and cranny of the island, but also deep under the water of the resort house reef. A number of resorts have installed underwater sculptures and other items of visual interest in the lagoon for snorkeling exploration, Joali is the first diver-oriented installation. Visitors can descend 12 metres to enjoy Misha Kahn’s subaquatic art:

  • Misha Kahn couldn’t hold himself back to create his biggest scale work for Joali Maldives. He has worked in the island with his team and the locals to create the under the water coral sculpture garden using mosaic combinations of vibrant and pale colored tiles in order to reflect the coral bleaching occurring in the oceans.

Joali - underwater sculpture

Joali - underwater sculpture 2

Best of the Maldives: Staff Quarters – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North Male Atoll - staff quarters

International Workers Day today. Lately, we’ve been celebrating a lot of unsung front line and key workers keeping the cogs of society going during these difficult times. As it happens, many resorts still have guests stranded at their properties which means that the workers have to keep going despite limitations on their travel, supplies and other essentials to a smooth operation (LUX North Male still has a number of guests from before the lockdown).

In the past, staff quarters were secondary considerations with typically steerage class standards. Often these quarters were tucked away hidden from the guests. All of the working environment of the resorts’ staff has steadily improved over the years, but I was particularly struck by the high standard of LUX North Male Atoll’s staff facilities.

First of all, they were quite out in the open. Not in the centre of the island hidden, but quite central to daily activity of the resort. And while segregated by some walls, the main entrance (see photo above) is quite open. As a result, you can see that the staff facility is a handsome, modern construction with the clean lines echoing the design aesthetic of the luxury accommodation just yards away.

Great to see quality of staff accommodation rising as the quality of the properties do in the Maldives.