Best of the Maldives: Jacuzzi Chess – Ayada

Ayada - jacuzzi chess


I have seen lots of ways to play chess. Fancy sets. Giant outdoor setups. But Ayada’s has to be the most ingenious master stroke of them all.

I love hanging out in the Jacuzzi or pool, but admit it can get a bit boring. You can’t read in the pool because the pages get wet and don’t even think about bringing in your iPad.

This is what 5-star luxury is all about (and the the focus of so many “Best of the Maldives” pieces) – taking a simple, ordinary thing (a game of chess) and making it extraordinary.

Check and mate!

Maldives Tour 2014 – Day 5: Ayada

Ayada tour

Exotic fusion. Some of the most exciting wines are blends. Some of the most delectable drinks are cocktails, and the most inspired cuisines are fusion concoctions. Ayada fuses two exotic ingredients – the tropical paradise of the Maldives with the storied aesthetic of Turkey – for an exquisitely unique resort. Appropriately enough, Istanbul has a millennia-old tradition of melding various cultures including being the nexus where East meets West.

Ayada is discovery that reminded me of a trip to see a dear friend in France. After an evening of appreciating a broad selection of wines from the region, he goes down to the furthest corner of the cellar and retrieves a most rare bottle that he saves for only the most appreciative connoisseurs. It is a unique chateau blend of grapes making for indescribable taste. It was like someone recognized that I was a particularly keen connoisseur of Maldives resorts and went and fetched this exquisite one for me to sample.

“Ayada”, which means “Moon Island” in Turkish, is a high-end 5-star. Impeccably executed from the coherently themed décor to the meticulous attention to detail and the gourmet quality cuisine on offer. It is another of those resorts (like Huvafenfushi, Soneva Fushi, Nika) who (not unlike my motivation with Maldives Complete) are the product of someone overcome with inspiration by the Maldives. The resort is the product of the owner and developer Ahmet Aydeniz’s affection. He discovered this part of the world and set out on a mission to build a great property befitting of its location in paradise.

I came away from my visit with 17 Best of the Maldives contenders and a whole new slant on the Maldivian experience.

Cennete ho? geldiniz

Best of the Maldives: Wedding Pavillion – Ayada

Ayada wedding pavillion 1



As wedding season starts to hit full swing, expectant brides to be might want to spend the money that they save on their dress on a more spectacular setting for their nuptials.  If paradise alone isn’t a striking enough setting, then most resorts offer a white linen tabernacle set up on the beach or over the water on a groygne.  But Ayada features a stunning wedding tabernacle for ceremonies. Draped in white linen…set in a copse of swaying palms, the ‘The White Room’ provides an elegant wedding chapel.


Ayada wedding pavillion 2


Mind you, wedding pavilions can get trashed too as the epic wedding comedy ‘Meet the Fokers’ portrayed hysterically…


Meet the Parents wedding fire

Best of the Maldives: Turkish – Ayada

Turkey flag
Happy Turkey Day!

No not American Thanksgiving. But the National Holiday of Turkey, ‘Republic Day’. And the resort of the day is Ayada.

Ayada is owned and managed by a Turkish company and it reflects its Ottoman roots throughout the resort. From the Turkish Hammam baths to the Ottoman lounge

“From the serenity and tranquility of the Maldives to the vibrancy of a café in Turkey, Ayada Maldives showcases the beauty and unique experience of sipping authentically brewed Turkish coffee and specialty teas with a wide array of traditional shisha at the Ottoman Lounge. The lounge is reminiscent of a traditional café in Turkey with the Ottoman style furnishings complete with intricate light fixtures and low seating.”


Post Script – For a Turkish language website on the Maldives, check out .