Ariel Photogrphy

Perhaps the most mystical of all Maldivian creatures on sea or land (or both) is the colourful and often elusive Syreni Maldivus (Maldivian Mermaid). Here’s the 2nd collection of Ariel apostles…

“Up where they stay all day in the sun / Wanderin’ free / Wish I could be / Part of that world.”

  1. Beer Passaranan (Thailand) – Hurawalhi [ABOVE]
  2. Sira MaNdonna (Thailand) – Safari Island
    Sira MaNdonna (Thailand) – Safari Island
       
  3. Mammami A (Thailand) – Hideaway Beach
    Mammami A (Thailand) - Hideaway Beach
        
  4. Liliana Montoya (USA) – AaaVeee
    Liliana Montoya (USA) - AaaVeee
       
  5. Martynova Natalya (Russia) – Fotteyo Kandu
    Martynova Natalya (Russia) - Fotteyo Kandu
        
  6. Koi Chayathip (Thailand) – Vakarufalhi
    Koi Chayathip (Thailand) – Vakarufalhi
        
  7. Jourdan Raine (United Kingdom) – Meedhupparu
    Jourdan Raine (United Kingdom) - Meedhupparu
        
  8. Lucy Wangluxi (China)
    Lucy Wangluxi (China) 4
       
  9. Gypzy (Thailand) – Club Rannalhi
    Gypzy (Thailand) - Club Rannalhi 
        
  10. Fiona Cooper (France)
    Fiona Cooper (France)
        
  11. Charlotte (Belgium) – Anantara Dhigu
    Charlotte (Belgium) - Anantara Dhigu
      
  12. ‘Housekeeping’ (Maldives) – JA Manafaru
    JA Manafaru - mermaid
      
  13. Ploypraew Nattikarn (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Ploypraew Nattikarn (Thailand) - Club Med Finolhu Villas
      
  14. Chloe Lambertt and Madison Luxe (Australia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Chloe Lambertt and Madison Luxe (Australia) - Gili Lankanfushi
       
  15. Stella Huang (China) – Outrigger Konotta
    Stella Huang (China) - Outrigger Konotta
        
  16. Erika Myriam (USA) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Erika Myriam (USA) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
      
  17. Nana Lee (China) – W Maldives
    Nana Lee (China) - W Retreat
      
  18. Janine Wiggert (Germany) – Constance Halaveli
    Janine Wiggert (Germany) – Constance Halaveli
        
  19. Azura Mermaid – (Maldives) – OZEN Atmosphere – [BELOW]

Cute Li’l Fish Day

Octopus brain

The octopus’ Cephalopod cousin, the cuttlefish, is no less intriguing. Itself a clever chappie, they have one of the highest proportions of brain size to body size of all invertebrates. But all the more crazy is that the brain itself is shaped like a donut (a bit of a messed up donut) and the esophagus passes straight through the hole.  They must really get serious brain freeze when they eat ice cream too fast!

QI 14

Octopus coconut shell

  • Q: What colour is the blood of an octopus?
  • A: Red?
  • Q: Buzzzz…no blue.
  • Q: How many hearts does an octopus have?
  • A: Ah, you said “hearts” so it must be 2!
  • Q: Buzzzz…no, they actually have 3.
  • Q: What does the octopus have 8 of that as inspired technological innovations?
  • A: Legs?
  • Q: Buzzz…8 layers of films that make up their cornea – used in camera technology to reduce the number of lens so reducing costs of cameras
  • Q: Give me an incorrect version of the plural for “octopus”.
  • A: “Octopuses”?
  • Q: Buzzzz. Actually “octopuses” is perfectly acceptable English. You can also refer to them as “octopedes”

Octopus Day today. One of our favourite things to see underwater. And yet so elusive. We never see enough of them (although we did have fun encounter on the Olhuveli house reef this summer with the creature in question playing hide-and-seek with us changing his skin texture and colour with every new hiding place her moved to).

If you think the fun facts above are intriguing (thanks Isley), you ain’t seen nothing until you read about the Pillow Octopus…

  • Female pillow octopus is 40,000 times larger than the male.  Equivalent of a male human dating a woman 4 times larger than the Statue of Liberty
  • For a male pillow octopus to “pull one off” is actually more literal than colloquial.  Hectocautilus – arm that contains sperm.  Gets broken off and then they die within a year. Only reproduce once. (Female dies after reproducing too)
  • Pillow Octopus are known to rip of tentacles of a portugese man-o-war (built up resistance to poison) and use them as swords.  Some octopuses have learned to open jars (where their food was kept)

Octopi are clever creatures.  They have personality and have been observed playing, problem solving, learning.  In fact, some octopus use coconut shell halves as a portable home (see photo at top). 

Octopus’s garden in the sea is a curious place indeed.

Best of the Maldives: Social Media Mob – W Maldives

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 3

One resort with its own collection of Instagram luminaries is W Maldives:

  • “Reebok Women invited 12 ladies from Southeast Asia and the Pacific to W Maldives as the faces and voices of their #PerfectNever campaign in the region, with the aim of flipping the conventional notion of perfectionThese are influencers with a huge following on social media and admired for their flawless lifestyles. With the #PerfectNever campaign set in the perfect environment, the aim of the happening was to show that there are more to these women than the airbrushed images on their social media accounts – the grit and the determination that makes them human and ‘perfect’ in their own way.”

Already a top 10 resort for attracting Insgrammer fashionistas, this esteemed group of snappers add another 7.7 million followers to their tally. Rest assured that Maldives Complete will be featuring many of the snaps shared on their popular Instagram feeds in upcoming photoshoot collections, but if you can’t wait, here is the list of Instagrammer stars and their feeds…

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 1

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 2

Best of the Maldives: Celebrity Instagram – Velaa

Paris Hilton (USA) – Velaa

Nine years ago today, Instagram was unleashed on the world. Maldives Complete had already been on the web for nearly a year at the time. Instagram has come a bit further since ;-). It has emerged as the social media of choice for the celebrity and fashionista class. The photo-based platform suits the beautiful people crowd quite well.

Instagram has changed our world and even Maldives Complete. The “Celebrity Visited” field in the resort profile has been a part of the site from the get-go and was gleaned mostly from press reports and celeb sponsored visits travel pieces. But Instagram has turned both the information and photo op spigot full on. I introduced the “Fashion” section of the blog two years ago this month and it has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular features.

So who is the “Best of the Maldives” at attracting Instagram followers through its guests? Velaa – they have the largest total number of aggregate celeb guest followers (117,790,176), as well top (tied) position for most Top 20 guests (3, along with Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru).

Here are few other fun figures about the sun-kissed figures…

  • Followers: Each cluster of an order of magnitude of followers all had between 300-400 fashionistas.
    • < 10k followers:     341 visitors
    • 1k – 10k:         454
    • 10k – 100k:    468
    • 100k – 1m:     347
    • > 1m:               106
  • Occupation – Entertainment was the dominant field here with creative and sporty type following.
 

RESORT

FOLLOWERS

1

Velaa

130,684,342

2

NIYAMA

108,835,373

3

Finolhu

57,357,484

4

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

57,100,000

5

Cheval Blanc Randheli

44,084,145

6

One & Only Reethi Rah

43,016,283

7

Huvafenfushi

35,564,912

8

Six Senses Laamu

34,504,716

9

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

23,093,022

10

W Retreat

13,266,346

 

OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1

Singer / Musician

215,354,798

2

Model

201,904,735

3

Actress / Presenter

125,240,233

4 Blogger / Designer

99,388,622

5

Athlete

6,912,456

6

Dancer / Yoga

6,323,516

 

COUNTRY

FOLLOWERS

1

USA

130,684,342

2

United Kingdom

108,835,373

3

Russia

57,357,484

4

Barbados

57,100,000

5

India

44,084,145

6

Columbia

43,016,283

7

Thailand

35,564,912

8

Brazil

34,504,716

9

Australia

23,093,022

10

Philippines

13,266,346

 

INSTRAGRAMMER

COUNTRY

RESORT OCCUPATION

FOLLOWERS

1 Jennifer Lopez

USA

Velaa Singer

68,600,000

2 Rhianna

Barbados

NIYAMA Singer

51,700,000

3 Shakira

Columbia

Velaa Singer

42,700,000

4 Cara Delevingne

United Kingdom

Finolhu Model

40,600,000

5 Bruna Marquezine Brazil Cheval Blanc Actress 22,600,000
6 Huda Kattan USA Huvafenfushi Blogger 15,200,000
7 Jacqueline Fernandez

India

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 13,800,000
8 Rita Ora United Kingdom Palm Beach Singer 11,400,000
9 Victoria Beckham United Kingdom One & Only Reethi Rah Singer 8,900,000
10 Aum Patchrana Thailand Coco Palm Bodu Hithi Actress 7,400,000
11 Roe Huntington-Whiteley

United Kingdom

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Model 7,400,000
12 Zoe Sugg United Kingdom Ranveli Blogger 6,800,000
13 Park Shin-hye South Korea Soneva Jani Model 6,600,000
14 Davika

Thailand

Club Med Finolhu Villas Designer 6,400,000
15 Kimberley Anne Tiamsiri Thailand Kanuhura Actress 5,700,000
16 Belén Rodríguez

Argentina

One & Only Reethi Rah Model 5,600,000
17 Paris Hilton USA Velaa Model 5,600,000
18 Eva Gutowski USA Six Senses Laamu Blogger 5,400,000
19 Aliaa Bhaat India Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Actress 5,200,000
20 Sveta Bilyalova Russia LUX South Ari Atoll Model 4,900,000

Best of the Maldives: Maldivian Warrior – Kanuhura

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 1

For a traditional twist on military-grade training, Kanuhura offers Maldivian Warrior training…

  • “Maldivian warrior is a bootcamp fitness course on the beach inspired by what Maldivians would have used in the past to keep fit before air-conditioned gyms came to the country. It’s a blend of calisthenics and exercises on the beach using wooden blocks, logs and heavy stones, followed by a swim in the lagoon and a run around the beach (over 3km to get round the island once).”

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 3

Kanuhura - Maldivian warrior 2

Best of the Maldives: TRX Training – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 1

If you need a bit of help waistline effects of sumptuous holiday treats, then Amilla Fushi can firm up both your body and your discipline…

  • “TheTRX was birthed in the Navy SEALS, a 60minutes suspension training body weight exercise that develops strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously. TRX is a fabulous training tool that leverage gravity together with your body weight to increase fitness, strengthen and tone muscles. An intense full body workout just for you.”

Sir, yes sir!  TRX, a treat!  

Amilla Fushi - TRX training 2

Best of the Maldives: Pastry Class – W Retreat

W Retreat - pastry class

Just before the coffee, is the dessert course and the W Maldives is taking those to treats to an equally artistic level. Star chef Julien Alvarex visited the resort to share his ganache guidance and coulis coaching to not just staff, but guests as well…

  • “W Maldives has partnered with World’s Best Pastry Chef Julien Alvarez to host a series of culinary events on its tropical playground in September 2017. His signature style incorporates unique design of desserts, amazing combination of colours, tastes and impressive decoration techniques.”

Béatrice Peltre once said, “Dessert is to a meal what a dress is to a woman,” if that’s the case, then W Retreat is the must-have haute couture this season.

W Retreat - pastry class 2

W Retreat - pastry class 3

Best of the Maldives: Coffee Drinks – Kuramathi

Kuramathi - coffee 4

International Coffee Day today. I remember when we first started going to the Maldives in the nineties, as much as we loved it one of the biggest (if not *the* biggest) negative and thing we missed from home was a good cup of coffee. Eventually, the espresso machines made it over and the resorts figured out how to brew some enjoyable cups. For the 5-star luxury resorts, the Gaggia machine is table stakes and most have pretty fine personal coffee makers in room.

Kuramathi continues the trend to ever finer roasted blend concoctions putting its entire F&B staff through coffee guru training…

  • “The resort completed a comprehensive course in advanced barista techniques and coffee beverage. The training was conducted by skilled coffee artisan; Giorgos Atsopardis who is a Certified Specialty Barista & Certified Specialty Brewer. Originally from Greece, he contributed his 20 years of expertise and wisdom in the coffee industry to participants from our Food and Beverage team in a dedicated workshop. Giorgos’s expertise in coffee has also earned him finalist positions in the National Barista Championship of Greece in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Coffee produced by the iconic brewing method of utilizing a ‘Syphon Filter’ was also demonstrated during the training session, and it’s no surprise the specialty is available for guests to try.“

Amongst the few additions to the hot drinks menu are…

  • Kuramathi on Ice – Espresso, Cold Chocolate, Scoop of Vanilla, Cinnamon powder, Caramel syrup
  • Freddo Cappuccino – Espresso poured in iced and creamy milk
  • Cold Mocachino – Espresso with cold chocolate

Kuramathi - coffee 3

Kuramathi - coffee

Kuramathi - coffee 1

Gudhu Guru Girls

A post shared by H A N N A H (@yoga_girl_london) on

The Maldives has as many if not more female than male fitness fanatics and by far their fitness fashion of choice is yoga.  So much so that I’ve featured a number of yoga pose collections, but none more challenging and expert than the gaggle of gurus below…

(note:  “gudhu” means “curve” or “bend” in Dhivehi)

  1. Hannah (United Kingdom) – Amilla Fushi [ABOVE]
  2. Kat Harding (Australia) – Four Season Kuda Huraa
    Kat Harding (Australia) – Four Season Kuda Huraa
      
  3. Kino MacGregor (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Kino MacGregor (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  4. Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Sjana Elise Earp (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
     
  5. Dannielle Blaker (OAE) – Ayada
    Dannielle Blaker (OAE) - Ayada
      
  6. Jessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa GiraavaruJessica Olie (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru - 3
     
      
  7. Elena (Italy) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Elena (Italy) - Adaaran Hudhuran fushi
      
  8. Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Rimma Pryadchenko (Russia) - Centara Ras Fushi
        
  9. Deepika Mehta (India) – Six Senses Laamu
    Deepika Mehta (India) - Six Senses Laamu

          
  10. Tatyana Afanasyeva (Russia) – Eriyadu
    Tatyana Afanasyeva (Russia) – Eriyadu
      
  11. Jessica Rae (USA) – Maafuyshi
    Jessica Rae (USA) - Maafuyshi
  12. Melini Jesudason (Japan) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Melini Jesudason (Japan) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa