Pizza is a pretty popular food around the world and no less so in the Maldives. We’ve had a wide variety in our world travels, our regular trips to Italy and our Maldives tours (so much so that with this post, I’m adding a special “pizza” tag). While many menus offer classic or special combinations, pizza is a pretty popular make-your-own affair. I’ve don’t recall having quite so much variety of ingredient as Amilla Fushi’s “Joe’s Pizza” at its Baazaar (allusion to the “Baa” atoll there) restaurant. Items I’ve never made a pizza with like lamb meatballs, harissa yoghurt, capsicum, spiced pumpkin and silver beet. They even have a sweet pizza with Nutella and Banana (why is this not more common?). And if you want more cheese, never mind the “Quattro Formaggio”, Joe’s offers 8 (!) cheeses (“Otto Formaggio” anyone?) – mozzarella, pecorino, ricotta, brie, gorgonzola, provolone, feta, bocconcini. Small pizza is $20 and a large is $24.
- “What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney
At most resorts, the staff give at bit of themselves every day to make the visit by the guests memorable and distinctive. At Amilla Fushi, this investment is expressed indelibly in a unique exhibition of creativity and personality.
The Mystique Garden is a chef’s garden where you can enjoy special meals prepared and served for you al fresco. But your nook is more than the lush greenery of an equatorial paradise. It accented by a collection of striking art works suspended in the tropical canopy. These pieces are the works and gifts of the resort staff themselves.
When the property was near completion and the new team of staff being assembled, the management got everyone together and presented them with a challenge to design and produce pieces of sculpture to adorn the Mystique Garden. The resort provided any tools and materials that they needed. The staff were assembled into department teams as the project was a way to bring the group close together prior to the opening with a focus on thrilling the impeding guests with something out of the ordinary. The teams worked for over a month and the top pieces were selected for inclusion in this open air gallery. The pieces featured and the teams that created them are…
- Chandelier by Management
- Morovian Star by Engineering
- Peace Sign by the Spa
- Dodecahedron by the Front Office
- Silver Mobile by Recreation
I’ve been to lots of chef gardens in the Maldives (in fact, with this post, I am adding a new tag for them “Chef Garden”, but Amilla’s is a bit extra-magical, surrounded not just by the natural beauty of the location, but also by these inspired pieces which offer a personal welcome from the hearts, minds and souls of the resort team to their guests.
Everything old is new again. Amilla Fushi has taken contemporary to a new level in the Maldives. It features simple lines, open and flowing interior spaces, generous use of light. And like all good modern architecture, it nouveau style is inspired by traditional reference.
The Maldives has become synonymous of late with thatched roof water villas, but actually that motif was imported from Bali. Like all tropical cultures, the locals certainly did use pervasive palm fronds in many constructions, but more recent and more prevailing architecture was based on a truly indigenous masonry. The Maldivians would create their own cement by burning coral and charcoal. The resulting mixture would be formed into white blocks out of which the homes were constructed. The practice is now banned to preserve the precious reefs, but you will find more coral block constructions around the inhabited islands than thatched huts.
It turns out that the very name “Amilla Fushi” means “Island Home”. Mind you, the sheer elegance and grandeur of these villas might be more fitting of island royalty. The staff are actually called “Katheebs” which translates to “Island Chief”. The implication is that an island chief can do anything. This designation underscores how empowered they are to get things done to satisfy the guest. You will certainly live like a chief during your stay.
While the island has an extensive (and growing) array of distinctive features and offerings, it is also the sister resort of the imaginative Finolhu property in the south of the Baa atoll. As a result, guests are welcome to enjoy all Finolhu also has to offer as well…only a 30 minute speedboat ride away. A number of the “Best of the Maldives” distinctions that I identified on my Finolhu visit are shared by Amilla Fushi as well.
Now you see it. The camouflage of the animal kingdom always fascinates. We came upon the king of camo a chameleon on our South Africa safari. We would never have seen it had the guide not pointed it out. In fact, even when the guide did point it out, we struggled to see it at first. And the Maldivian masters of masquerade are of course the octopi. Lori and I spent a delightful snorkel watching an octopus move around the coral croppings constantly changing his color scheme and his very skin texture to match the new coral he was next too.
The octopi of the resort world is Amilla Fushi’s water villas…
- “Anyway, it has its own magic: it is a mirror that reflects the surrounding colors!! Can you see the magic? — at Amilla Fushi.”
More literally hidden wonders of the Maldives. Thank again to Paola – she knows all the Maldives secrets!
Lillian Gish and hairy nips.
If molecular cuisine is the epitome of epicurean epiphanies, then the opposite end of the spectrum would be good old fashioned fish and chips. But in the Maldives, even this austere staple can have an artistic twist.
Amilla Fushi’s has taken a page from one of London’s top eateries, The Ivy, famous for both its celebrity clientele and for serving luxury fish and chips. The Fish & Chip Shop venue is located in the Baazaar eaterie run by leading Aussie chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan on the resort. They serve favourites such as battered or crumbed cod, haddock and scampi, as well as some of the more exotic local fishermen’s ‘catch of the day’. Complete with newspaper wrapping (though I hope it is The Times or the International Tribune).
The fanciest wheels in the world will be on display starting today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the largest auto show in the world. But for the most rad roadsters in the Maldives, the show is at Hideaway Beach and Sun Siyam Irufushi. They both are bringing a bit of rad styling to the paths of the Maldives.
Pimp my ride!
And now at Amilla Fushi too (thanks Paola)
G’day Amilla Fushi! The latest addition (opening today) to the Maldives slate is the resort beaut in the Baa atoll with a fair dinkum Oz flavour. In fact, in the anticipation of its development, a bonzer furphy hit the net that owner Tom McLoughlin was even importing a few joeys. One of the Maldives Complete’s barmy army (thanks Verena) did come up with the above snap of the only ridgy-didge boomer on the island.
With bottler down under barbie-master Luke Mangan you can expect big mobs of corker tucker that you can wash down with your favourite amber liquid or dead dingos donger cab sav.
A going off from the sparrows fart to arvo barbie time.