Two of my favourite features – island maps and bed decorating. Both are quite distinctive in the Maldives with their “all on one island” resort properties and their tradition of elaborate blossom bed creations. Kudafushi has merged the two together for a mattress-based map of the island’s landscape (thanks Paola). One of the most exquisite works of bed decorating I’ve seen.
While most Maldives aficionados seek out the best house reefs (with their plummeting walls of coral), the Maldives lagoons are equally as distinctive. They might not make for the finest snorkelling adventures since they are essentially just shallow pools of water with sandy bottoms. Typically, not much marine life to see except for a few foraging sting rays and the wandering couple of goat fishes. But the lagoons are what give the Maldives its distinctive palette of soft blues and provide ocean swimming that is as calm as a backyard pool.
Rahaa’s “salt water” lake is one of the most distinctive resort bodies of water in the Maldives (thanks Francisco). Other resorts feature “lakes”, but none so front and center. None with villas on the shores and none you can swim in. Now whether Rahaa’s “lake” is really and lake or a totally landlocked lagoon is a bit of a semantic fine point. It is as notable a water feature as you’ll find in a destination that epitomises water features.
When most of what there is to do all day is savour pina coladas in the sun (or whatever your favourite tropical tipple is), plastic straws can pile up. Most resorts are moving away from plastic to a variety of sipping tools (so much so that with this post I have introduced the “Straws” tag). LUX south Ari Atoll has introduced another variety of edible straws:
- “The biodegradable straws, made from cooked rice flour, tapioca starch and water, can last up to one hour before they soften and eventually dissolve.”
Black Friday! The biggest shopping day of the year. Of course you will need something to carry all those purchases and you don’t want to be adding to the landfill with shopping bags. If you do your early Christmas shopping at Conrad Rangali you not only get a useful and stylish bag for your shopping and more, but the bag itself doesn’t just stop added plastic consumption, but it actually removes waste plastic from the ocean. The bag is made from recycled plastic removed from the ocean. Parley’s website describes
- “The bags are made with Ocean Plastic® — a premium material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, waters and coastlines by our growing global cleanup network. Each Parley Ocean Bag in the artist series is made from approximately 5 intercepted plastic bottles and funds the removal of another 20 pounds of marine plastic waste by the Parley Global Cleanup Network.”
Bag for Sea Life!
Happy Thanksgiving and a big welcome to all those Homecoming Queens riding in on their colourful floats…
- Margie M (Australia) – Kandima [ABOVE]
- Alana Panday (India) – Kandima
- Romana Rabinig (Austria) – Hondaafushi
- Rkycia (Thailand) – Anantara Dhigu
- Amanda Lynn (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
- Maumi Zhou (China) – Coco Bodu Hithi
- Ariel (China) – Grand Park Kodhipparu
- My Life Inspiration (Russia) – Vilu Reef
- Yuliya Bezdar (Russia) – Cheval Blanc
- Beatrice Wong (Australia) – Reethi Faru
- Kristyna Sixtova (Czech) – Kuredu – Angel Wings
- Cherliza (Netherlands) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
- Enrou (Malaysia) – Kandooma
- Maria (Italy) – Anantara Dhigu
- Yasemin C (Denmark) – Robinson Club Noonu
- Karina Volodina (Russia) – Sun Island
- Maria Sionova (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
- Khongyeusonglau (China) – Thulhagiri
- Rachel Jeon (Japan) – Milaidhoo
- Shivani Patil (India) – Vadoo
- Fahlalaaa (Thailand) – Constance Moofushi
- Pui L Bes (Thailand) – Kanuhura
- Galina Bezruk (Russia) – Vadoo
- Dasha (Russia) – OZEN by Atmosphere
- Evgenia Radzevichus (Russia) – Summer Island
- Sin Tong (Philippines) – Thulhagiri
- Tata Nualpeng (Thailand) – Centara Grand
- Peggy Hung (Taiwan) – Finolhu
- Joice Oliveira (Brazil) – Hurawalhi
- May Buranasiri (Thailand) – Kanuhura
- Maria Pogrebnyak-Shatalova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Valeria Hammer (Ukraine) – Meedhupparu
- Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Katrin Amaure (Austria) – Furaveri
- Bia Feres (Brazil)
No matter how many toppings or how exotic the flavours, I have not come across any item on the menu as exotic as You & Me’s underwater restaurant H2O – plankton! More for a whale shark’s palette than appetite as it was presented in an eye-dropper bottle as part of the seafood platter. You sprinkle the “plankton” on the delicacies for that extra bit of taste of the sea. It didn’t really taste of anything other than just some seawater, but I guess that for mantas and other filter feeders, to them its all just sea water to them too. Something small (actually microscopic) before the big feast of Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Forget Book of the Month Club or Employee of the Month plaques, I want the Ice Cream of the Month subscription thank you. Just another ice cream extravagance at Soneva (both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani) as Maldives Insider reported at its launch last year:
- “Soneva is developing 10 new and unique flavours at Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva Kiri, for a total of 30 flavours. These flavours are only available for the next 12 months, after which time they will change. This is in addition to the regular rotating roster of flavours at each resort. Guests at Soneva Fushi’s So Cool will get to sample new flavours such as: Soneva Bread Fruit and Maldivian Pine Nuts, Strawberry, Aged Balsamic and Green Olives, and Curry Leaves and Sweet Mango. While at Soneva Jani’s So Cool, Yuka with Garden Basil, Seaweed, and Caramelised Young Coconut join the classic ice creams and sorbets. Soneva will also be introducing one new flavour each month inspired by that month’s Festival of Colour theme.”
Buffets are part of the fabric of Maldives resorts, but I’ve never come across an ice cream buffet like LUX North Male Atoll sundae counter at its ICI ice cream parlour. It took me back to perhaps my earliest memory of personalised, decadent taste treats – Putnam Pantry. Back in the 70s, we would make the half hour drive to “make your own sundae” and their ice cream smorgasbord which was the ultimate treat or birthday party. But, not surprisingly, LUX surpassed even the American penchant for excess with 18 flavours of ice cream, 6 sauces, 8 toppings and a range of other accessory treats.
- The new dining experience has a secret menu concept, where the diners won’t know which chef is cooking or what cuisine they will be preparing until just before the meal. The kitchen is housed within the walls of a Bedouin tent…the lineup of Soneva chefs will include: Chef Kat (Thai cuisine), Chef Sun (Asian cuisine) and Chef Ansari (Indian thali) from Soneva Jani; Chef Sobah (Maldivian cuisine) from Soneva Fushi; and Chef Benz (Thai cuisine) from Soneva Kiri.”
The price per person varies based on the particular menu of the day, starting at $175 for Soneva’s chefs and $350 for a degustation menu by a visiting international chef. “Guess Who’s Cooking” is only available two to three nights a week, seating just 16 diners. Dinner is served from 7:30-10:30pm, while a sunset cocktail experience is offered from 6:30-7:30pm. There will also be the occasional lunch pop-up from 12:30-3pm.
International main of mystery.