- “Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they’re just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and… ancient on the planet.” – Sideways
Pinot Noir Day today. If you are wondering why we should be celebrating such a specific varietal, then check out the clip from the Oscar winning film “Sideways” at bottom (excerpt above). I guess Miles’ sentiments echo some of my inspirations behind Maldives Complete. It really takes time to coax the Maldives “into its fullest expression” in an informative website.
And if you want to sample the most haunting, most brilliant , most thrilling and most subtle Pinot, then you need to visit Huvafenfushi for its Romani 1999. The bottle (shown by sommelier Indica above and in the photo below) will run you $30,000.
National Drink Wine Day today. The perfect occasion to splash out of bit of a special tipple. And if you really want to celebrate but are worried about stumbling back to your villa, then check into Huvafenfushi which offers the most exquisite bottle of wine I’ve come across…in its mini-bar. A $695 bottle of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtescede. If you are not splurging, then you might want to be a bit careful “raiding the mini-bar”.
If you prefer to bring the water into the villa instead of the villa onto the water, Huvafenfushi’s CUBE villa’s entryway is flanked by extended reflecting pools leading to a dining pavilion with the beach in the distance. Nothing like making a first impression.
Beer with curry, Tequilla with lime and salt, a ‘boilermaker’ of bourbon and beer, Jagerbombs, Oyster with sweet wasabi with Prosecco, Bel Star, Brut, DOC, Veneto, Italy NV chaser.
Classic shot combos that have inspired Huvafenfushi gastronomic line-up of degustation and decantation.
We adore the variety of a tasting menu, but usually aren’t hungry enough to make through such an extensive line up. Huva’s “tasting” menu is literally “a taste”.
“A taste of the gastro mixed with the mixology. Plated shots to include food and beverage paired together in small bites and shots. Please choose from the selection to mix and match your palate.”
When we visited, we did the following rounds of shots…
- Oyster with sweet wasabi – Prosecco, Bel Star, Brut, DOC, Veneto, Italy NV
- Roast shitake mushroom with truffle dressing – Proprieta Sperino Rosa Del Rosa, Rosé Italy NV
- Camembert and onion jam – Parellada “Honeymoon” Pares Balta 2012
- Roquefort with truffle honey – Petalo Moscato Spumante “Vino dell’Amore” NV
- Fresh fig with pistachio – Fontana Fredda Asti Millesimato Dolce, Italy 2011
- Baby prawns with cocktail sauce – Sauvignon, Sileni Cellar New Zealand 2013
- Gorgonzola with olive bread – Pulenta Malbec, Chile 2009
The least transparent villa table in the Maldives doesn’t make it any less aesthetically alluring. Huvafenfushi’s dining table is another striking CUBE villa feature and reminiscent of the Park Hyatt table that I previously admired (but this one is your very one in your private villa). I’m very partial to such natural grain and shape that sits so perfectly in this natural paradise.
There bigger…and there’s more. And when it comes to bottles of wine underground, no one has more than resort Huvafenfushi. Their cellar holds 6000 bottles which is not just the largest not in the Maldives, but in the entire Indian Ocean as well.
6000 bottles of wine on the wall, 6000 bottles of wine. You take one down, pass it around, sign for a big charge on your room bill, 5999 bottles of wine on the wall…
Grand entrance to the Huva cellar
The moon isn’t the only enchanting orb to lighten up the night time at Huvafenfushi. The resort holds regular night beach football games including regular tournaments (we were there to watch the Ramadan World Cup semi finals – see below). Their sandy pitch includes full stadium lighting and boundary markings.
A sense-ational week this week – Smell, Taste, Touch. So how about something for the eyes. If you want something as entrancing as a cabernet’s bouquet, as exquisite as artful nectar, and as soothing as a warm bath, the Huvafenfushi’s newly launched art gallery offers an indulgence of visual delights. The exhibition features both iconic shots of the Maldives, but also a collection of dazzling destination portraits from around the world…
“Per Aquum gallery on the Maldivian island of Huaven Fushi has become the first photography gallery in the world to only be accessible by speedboat or seaplane. Each visitor to the exclusive gallery is greeted at one of the private jettys with a cocktail and are then guided through exclusive prints, only available on the island. Photographer Paul Reiffer had been shooting for the island owners when he saw an opportunity to create a unique exhibition. The 35 year-old said: ‘We’ve done it in part because it’s quirky. If you look at it from a commercial view it’s a stupid idea but we wanted to do something a bit different and it completely works.”
This post has prompted me to add a “Photography” tag for all posts literally focused on the fine art of the camera.
For the real aquaphiles, here is a big serving of water in…well, water.
The Maldives for me has always been about the water. A country that is 99% ocean and provides a more diverse seascape than just about anywhere on the planet. Pools provide a salt-free, sand-free place to chillax. Many resorts now put their pools right at water’s edge and they all pools are now “infinity”. This means you can soak up the ocean view while you soak in the pool. But Huvafenfushi offers a pool that takes the aquatic immersion a step further. It’s circular pool set in the lagoon at the end of a jetty offers a 360 degree ocean surround to your dip.
An almost Magritte-esque island of water in the water (“ceci n’est pas une isle”).
If you want work on your Olympic form without tearing yourself away from the signature Maldives sunshine and seascape, then Huvafenfushi is the fitness centre for you. Set out on its very own jetty with 360 degree views of the ocean masterfully exposed by floor to ceiling glass walls. Nice to see a bit of healthy activity given a place of prominence. So often the resort gyms are tucked away in some remote corner of the inner island. Probably because exertion and effort is sort of the antithesis of what the Maldives is all about.
Also Huva features a fine set of kit from high-grade machines to often-omitted Olympic free-weights and racks (one of my pet peeves is when a resort’s fitness centre is a running machine and a few dumbbells).
When we visited last summer, it was one of the few gyms that inspired her to work off a few of the pina coladas and reef fish curries she has consumed on the trip (see below).