It’s not just the fashionistas, but also the fashion itself that needs a good wash. With the sun-drenched sweat, salt-water spray, and copiously applied suntan lotion, clothes are lucky to last a full day in the tropical conditions. Then you have a variety of outfits from snorkelling swimwear (suit and rashguards), lounge-by-the-pool wear, to some breezy comfort clothes for drinks and dinner time.
Most resorts do offer laundry services, but that can start to add up in costs. You can hand wash some underwear in the sink with some hand soap, but it’s a faff, takes forever to dry and doesn’t come out fluffy fresh. It sounds silly but one thing that we missed the most on our longest stay (17 days) was a washing machine to do some laundry. If only we were at Club Med Kani, they offer a complimentary laundry facility with washers, dryers and ironing all at your convenience.
On the other end of the cocktail complexity spectrum (right down the other end of the bat in fact) are the mixological masterpiece manoeuvres of Club Med Kani (above).
I raise my glass to your glass dropping!
All the resorts will offer transfer from the airport to their hotels. And some hotels offer trips to sister resorts. But Club Med provides a regular, scheduled boat shuttle between its Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu Villas properties (departing about every 90 minutes from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm on about a 10 minute journey).
The courtesy gives guests the best of both worlds between two quite different properties. All the expansive facilities of the Kani are available free of charge to all Finolhu guests as a courtesy. Kani guests can also get guest passes to visit Finolhu.
In my top ten FAQs is ‘what best resort for singles?’ These visitors are not looking for some sort of groovy ‘hook up’ resort. Rather, they simply just don’t want to feel all self-conscious being a singleton in the land of dewy-eyed honeymooners and other romantic holidayers. More catering for this segment was listed in one of my first “Haven’t Seen Yet” pieces. This segment is significant and growing. People get married later, relationships last fewer years, and older people lose their partners through passing. These guests just would like to (a) not be jonny-no-mates, and (b) not pay big premiums for being alone.
As it happens, while touring Club Med Finolhu Villas, we stopped a probably the best resort I have come across is Club Med Kani. Despite their special offerings for families and honeymooners, they also cater to singles specifically. They just cater to everyone! Here are some of the things they have put in place…
- Diversity – There is so much diversity in Kani’s clientele, no one would feel out of place. There are couples on honeymoon. There are families. There are groups of friends. There are groups of families. And yes, there are singles.
- Staff – Club Med is renowned for its hyper-friendly ethos and ambience. The staff all bubble over with amiability. The resort has a practice where all staff eat with the guests (only if the guests would like the company of course) which of course would suit a single person superbly. And as it happens, many of the staff a single themselves.
- Atmosphere – The Club Med Kani atmosphere is simply very friendly, social and inclusive as I described in my Best of the Maldives post “Making Friends”.
- Numbers – With nearly 500 rooms, Kani is one of the biggest resorts in the Maldives. That means there are so many people that even a small percentage of any group becomes a reasonable number. Yes, relatively few singles visit the Maldives. But at Kani you mathematically have a better chance of meeting more of them.
- Catering – The resort actually caters to single guests. It offers a reasonable single supplement rate on its villas. When there is enough singles in residence, it organises special activities just for them such as cocktail parties and special singles-only snorkelling outings.
Literally, come ‘one’ and all…
For extra water safety, maybe not “wrapped in cotton wool”, but wrapped in a 360 degree floatation device. And in the safe confines of the Club Med Kani pool. Chalk up another “Finally Seen” (#12 of Part 5).
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace today. As you explore sport around the world, one of our favourite pub quiz questions is “What is the SECOND biggest sport in a country?” That’s because, working in the sports industry as I have been, you quickly learn that there is one major sport in the world that has lots of completely different styles, but only one name – “Football”. Soccer, American Football (NFL), Aussie Rules. Completely different games, but one shared name and all dominant in their countries. So number two is intriguing as well as diverse.
- Formula 1 – 17 countries (eg. Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Singapore)
- Basketball – 11 countries (eg. Greece, Turkey, Argentina, China, USA)
- Ice Hockey – 8 countries (eg. Sweden, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia)
- Rugby – 4 countries (eg. UK, France, Ireland, South Africa)
What is particularly intriguing are the second biggest sports that are relatively unique to that country. A few of my favourite examples…
- New Zealand – Netball
- Thailand – Kick Boxing
- Mexico – Boxing
- Iran – Table Tennis
- Egypt – Squash
- Pakistan – Field Hockey
- Denmark – Handball
All that said, Football isn’t top of the heap absolutely everywhere. Here are a sample of countries where a sport other than Football is number one…
- Canada – Ice Hockey
- Croatia – Tennis
- Cuba – Baseball
- India – Cricket
- Latvia – Basketball
- New Zealand – Rugby
- Pakistan – Cricket
- Taiwan – Basketball
The Maldives is no different with Football being the most popular. And it’s #2 sport, at least among the resort workers, the #2 sport is Volleyball (same as Brazil). And in the Maldives, there are all types of volleyball. Most resort staff field serious teams that play other resorts with regularity on some quite sophisticated courts. Maldivians play court volleyball, beach volleyball…and of course water volleyball. And the resort where it is most prevalent is Club Med Kani. Kani’s main pool seems to always have some sort of major group activity going on and volleyball is one of the popular ones.
If you prefer to t-shirt to tee shots, then Club Med Kani offers a more artisanal option for your sartorial Santa needs.
Hats top to top blogger Miss Milani for this top tee tip.
The festival of entertainment in the Maldives is without question Club Med Kani. This ambience stems from the very ethos of the global parent company renowned for fostering the “never a dull moment” approach. Some feel that sentiment is a bit much for them in general and a bit out of place in the indolent Maldives, but others love the programmes the counterbalance the “boredom” of tropical torpor and confined geography. Not only does the resort run amusing activities throughout the day, but they also have full scale entertainment productions at 9:30 pm every night. During the toasty days, the stage seems to shift to the main pool where I have (a) never seen so many people in the pool I the Maldives, and (b) never seen them so active as I have at Kani (like the pool disco above). Of course, like the summer festivals on right now, you always have the option to snooze the day away as well. And you don’t have to worry about you tent being stolen.
This weekend featured the World Championship of Bocce Ball in Del Mar, California, but the champion bocca ball pitch in the Maldives has to be Club Med Kani’s. Anyone can throw a few balls in the sand and call it ‘bocce’. Kanu has chosen a select place under a sprawling palm canopy by the ocean’s edge. They have levelled out the sand pitch and marked it off with boarding on all sides. Finally, just for that added touch of official-ness, they have a special bocca ball stand in native palm-frond style.
Sometimes a ‘Best Of’ involves no particularly unique ingredient, just assembling the pieces in a distinctive way. That is how I felt about another lounge on the water, Club Med Kani’s ‘Manta Lounge’. It is part of their ‘5 Trident’ luxury water villas area.
On face value, there is not much there that you wouldn’t see in one form or another especially at the higher end resorts. But something about the execution impressed me so much that I imagined if I was staying at Kani (I was only there one day), then I would probably spend a fair amount of time at Manta.
Despite being enclosed, it has a nice, airy and open feel to it. But the enclosure has lots to appreciate…
- Shielding from the rays when you’ve had lots of sun.
- Air conditioning when you had lots of heat.
- Wide variety of seating when you’ve had lots of beach loungers.
- Wifi when you’ve had lots of time away from web surfing.
- Easy access to refreshments on offer when you have lots pangs of hunger and thirst.
Many resorts have enclosed lounges and libraries, but most of the time they are sequestered by reception with little view and buried in the main complex. Lots of resorts have sitting areas out on jetties, but most of the time, they are uncomfortable wooden bench with a modest palm canopy. The Manta Lounge was the best of the jetty rest areas combined with the best of the reception lounges.
As a bonus, they had the overwater hammocks which are lots of fun and comfy, but mostly I have seen them as features on private water villas and not available to the general guest population.