Best of the Maldives: Elevated Glass Floor – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi two bedroom beach pavillion with pool glass floor 1

Perhaps the best villa for a cat would be Huvafenfushi’s Two Bedroom Beach Pavilion with Pool villa which features a second story glass floor (given the feline predilection for surveying surrounding from an elevated perch). All glass floors I know of are water villa features providing a vista to the aquatic life below, but Huvafenfushi’s villa is a beach property. You still get a water view as they have situated the pool directly underneath (though the water creatures are a bit more limited).

Huvafenfushi two bedroom beach pavillion with pool glass floor 2

Best of Maldives – Swag: Huvafenfushi

Oscar - snorkeling

And the Oscar for the ‘Best Swag Gift…Ever’ goes to…Huvafenfushi.

Four-night stay at the Huvafen Fushi luxury resort in the Indian Ocean from Premier Tours, featuring an underwater spa in the Maldives (for those tough weeks when a terrestrial spa just won’t do).”

Estimated retail value: $16,000. PS. It’s not even the most expensive item in the bag!

It all sounds very extravagant, but actually the windfall is probably more in the hands of the giver than the getter. If you think ‘too good to be true’ promotions are just the domain of low end punters, think again. This stunt is actually a no-brainer for Huvafenfushi/Premier.

In all likelihood, if the nominee does decide to take advantage of their coupon, chances are that Premier Tours will get plenty of money out of them. If you are an award winning Hollywood actor, are you really going to go all the way to the Maldives for just 4 days (the number that has been given away). You are probably going to be one of those fortnight guests which means Premier sells 10 paid days. Sort of like those offers of ‘free one night stay (with purchase of three qualifying nights)’. And for Premier Tours, high-end celebrity clientele don’t grow on trees and probably don’t respond to fliers shoved through the letterbox. But coupons shoved in an Oscar goodie-bag is another matter. Winning a celebrity customer to your business is worth its weight in gold statues.

So Huvafen and Premier probably makes a good a tidy chunk of change from its Oscar ‘give away’. But that’s just the beginning. In the meantime, Huvafen and Premier are getting reams of free publicity. Valuable publicity. Not cheap little banners on a backwater web pages, but stories in premiere publications speaking of their product in exotic, aspirational, and exclusive tones. And little dinky pieces like this one here.

 

Oscar - Pool side

Best of the Maldives: Service – Huvafen Fushi

Huvafenfushi Service

‘Boxing Day’ is not the traditional day for an annual pugilistic derby in the UK and elsewhere that celebrates it today.  It is the day when gifts were traditionally given to servants and tradesmen.  Often ‘Christmas boxes’ of gifts or money.

So it seemed like an appropriate day to celebrate the outstanding service legend across the Maldives.  Especially, the super premium Maldives resorts have set higher and higher bars for outstanding service with many now providing personalised butler services.  We were introduced to these services during our stays at Adaaran Vadoo and Adaaran Hudhuranfushi.  But the resort to best, from my research, is Huvafenfushi.  A common highlight of the various reviews is the impeccable service there.  But perhaps what tilts it for me is their impressive recognition for ‘Best Service’ on Conde Nast’s elite ‘Gold List’ a few years back in 2007 which when it was last awarded.

Best of the Maldives: 2010 Annular Eclipse – Huvafen Fushi

Google Map - Maldives eclipse

On 15 January 2010, an annular eclipse will be visible from a 300-km-wide track that traverses central Africa, the Indian Ocean and eastern Asia.  Several resorts will be in the shadows path (follow the handy Google map plotting the course above), but Huvafen Fushi is the one resort where the centre passes directly over the island.

An annular solar eclipse does complete cover the sun with the moon, but it takes place where the moon is too far from the Earth to completely cover the sun’s disk.  That leaves a blazing “ring of fire” shining around the moon as it passes in front of the sun from Earth’s perspective. It is not quite as dramatic as a ‘total eclipse’, but quite a dramatic celestial event nonetheless.  The GIF (click on graphic to see animated version) above shows last year’s annular eclipse in the Maldives that was 93% annularity. This year, the instant of greatest eclipse occurs at 07:06:33 UT when the eclipse magnitude will reach 0.9190. At this instant, the duration of annularity is 11 minutes 8 seconds, the path width is 333 kilometers and the Sun is 66° above the flat horizon formed by the open ocean. On dramatic point is that such a long annular duration will not be exceeded for over 1000 years (3043 Dec 23).  The timing in January is one of the driest periods of the year which helps to ensure an unobstructed view. Lots of people go to Maldives for the sun, and here is a chance to go for a ‘sun event’.

Annular Eclipse

Best of the Maldives: Hip Entertainment – Huvafen Fushi

Charles Shillings

Sometimes resort entertainment can be the weak link in a holiday with anything from a rickety DJ deck, to a local culture dance troupe trying to get reluctant visitors to join in to a lounge singer pounding out the old stand-bys in the local accent. Huvafen Fushi has made it its charter to not just make entertainment hip, but to bring a refreshing breeze of ‘cool’ to a range of things on offer at the resort in its ‘Dream Calendar’ programme.

“On 15 August 2009, internationally renowned French DJ Charles Schillings returns to the Maldives’ coolest resort, Huvafen Fushi, to treat guests to a third dose of his musical magic as part of the resort’s pioneering Dream Calendar. Guests can expect to be moved by an eclectic mix of melodic beats, electro funk, soul and groove, with touches of rock and classic 70s tunes…As the latest icon in Huvafen Fushi’s Dream Calendar, Charles will present an incredible night of music, as guests sip Champagne and throw some shapes on the fine, white Maldivian sands. The Dream Calendar has brought some of the world’s finest in music, cuisine, art and wellbeing to Huvafen Fushi’s shores, offering guests a series of one-of-a-kind experiences in the Maldives.”

 

“The resort has previously hosted performances by Claude Challé and DJ Ravin, the artists behind the Buddha-bar album series, as well as José Padilla from the sun-drenched Café Del Mar albums…Also coming up as part of the Dream Calendar, Stéphane Pompougnac will touch shores and hearts in the Maldives for a second time. The music maestro behind the Hôtel Costes album series, Stéphane performed at Huvafen Fushi last year to rave reviews from guests, when he launched the Hôtel Costes XI album, and is set to return this November.”

Best of the Maldives: Wine – Huvafen Fushi

Huvafenfushi Wine Celllar

While alcohol is forbidden in the non-resort parts of the Maldives in line with its Muslim traditions (do not attempt to bring duty free with you into the country), the resorts are granted exemption to serve alcohol to visitors. The resort with purportedly the most extensive array in the archipelago is Huvafen Fushi with its massive underground wine cellar (the only one in the Maldives). The collection is managed by what one report described as ‘its flamboyant sommelier Sonny.’ Cheers!

Best of the Maldives: Spa – Huvafen Fushi

In the spirit of the Ithaa restaurant at the Conrad Hilton Rangali, the Huvafen Fushi resort has opened an underwater spa. A number of spas have delightful settings on jetties and beaches right near the water, but if you truly want to be immersed in the aquatic serenity of the atolls, the Lime Spa.