Best of the Maldives: Skating Museum – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirh Vittaveli - skating museum

Possibly one of the most unexpected “best ofs” in my decade of writing about the Maldives, Jumeirah Vittaveli’s ice rink, just got a bit more so. The resort has opened an ice skating museum! It feature memorabilia from the career of Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko. Maldives Insider covered the opening

  • “Jumeirah Vittaveli has announced plans to open an ice skating museum at the resort’s ice skating rink in honour of Olympic gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko will honour Jumeirah Vittaveli with a performance for the first anniversary of the opening of Ice Ice Maybe…, the first eco-friendly artificial ice rink in the destination…Plushenko inaugurated the ice rink on March 20, 2018, and is returning this year for the anniversary celebrations of the ice rink, as well as to launch an Olympic gold medal winner ice skating museum at the ice rink. The museum will showcase costumes and skates from Pushenko’s famous gold medal winning performances.”

For those who don’t think there are cultural activities in the Maldives, I’ve added a new “Museum” tag to the blog (though I wouldn’t go expecting the Smithsonian).

Best of the Maldives: Luxury Dinner Experience – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - luxury dining experience

The ever escalating arms-race for the biggest payload of opulence has tended focus on the venue, namely an underwater room. But Jumeirah Vittaveli’s latest foray onto the battlefield of epicurean extravagance demonstrates that you can have an aircraft carrier scale lavishness of experience even without the subaquatic dining table. This Is Insider reports the details…

  • “Those opting for the experience will be picked up from their home by a butler and whisked off to the closest airport to board a private jet bound for the Maldives. A private catamaran will then take you to the resort. Then, on whatever day you choose, a private seaplane will take you to Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous’ [see photo above] island pop-up HIDE restaurant for an exclusive meal. Afterwards, you get to unwind on a private yacht. The experience includes a five-night stay in one of the resort’s new Private Ocean Retreats, which come equipped with winding slides.”

And with a price tag of $50,000, it might just be the most expensive meal “out” in the world. So if the spouse says they don’t particularly fancy cooking tonight, be careful saying “anything you like, honey”.

     

Best of the Maldives: Ice Rink – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - skating rink

Dhevanafushi’s sister resort, Jumeirah Vittaveli, is also showcasing their own distinctive water feature albeit a bit less toasty…in fact a bit chilly…actually downright freezing. Well, actually no water has been harmed in the making of this winter wonderland. In fact, no water was even used. The rink is made out of a special artificial ice plates supplied by Glice®…

  • “An experience unlike any other, guests can take a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, then step off the white sandy beaches and into a pair of skates to glide over the resort’s glistening ice skating rink. Launching shortly before Christmas, the ice rink adds a little more magic to this already enchanting season.”

Ice skating has become an essential ingredient of the yuletide season. Even those not living in cold enough climates to have their neighbourhood ponds freeze over, many towns and cities now set up special holiday rinks. The classic is New York’s Rockefeller Center. London has one next to the Natural History Museum. So iconic is it that the legendary Peanuts “Charlie Brown Christmas” opens with all of the characters ice skating to the silky smooth sounds of Vince Guardaldi…

giphy

Best of the Maldives: Oktoberfest – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Oktoberfest

München in the Maldives. Jumeirah Vittaveli celebrated a colourful festival of its own during this eponymous month – Oktoberfest.

  • “Jumeirah Vittaveli is proud to announce their collaboration with an authentic Bavarian costume designer – Daniel Fendler has been designing stylish ‘Tracht’ for more than 15 years…Guests visiting beachside restaurant MU Beach Bar & Grill will be welcomed by waitresses and waiters decked out in authentic Bavarian garb – from Dirndl, over apron, to Lederhosen for the gentlemen. With the mood properly set for a fun day in the sun, the resort’s ‘Bierzelt-Bedienungen’ (waiters/waitresses) will serve guests a selection of authentic Bavarian dishes such as Nuernberger, Frankfurter or Kasseler Rippchen, accompanied by a traditional refreshing German drink.”

In fact, we recently helped host an Oktoberfest in our back garden. It is such a lively tradition focused on food, beer and music.

Prost! O’zapft.

Best of the Maldives: Beach Gym – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli boot camp 1

If you want the buff beach bod, then you might want to head to Jumeirah Vittaveli for some beach bootcamp on the beach gym they have set up there. Here is another “finally seen” as I had first seen such apparatus during a holiday in Spain a few years ago where they were quite popular for working out in the sun and counteracting the effects of too many sangrias the night before.

Jumeirah Vittaveli boot camp 2

Best of the Maldives: Decorative Dessert – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - ornate dessert

A treat for women on International Womens Day (though men will like it too) by Jumeirah Vittaveli – Aloe Vera Baked Yogurt with Berries. Created by their Executive Sous Chef Francis Cornelious (see photo below)…

“The life of a modern woman is very stressful and busy, filled with a multitude of tasks and duties that we take on willingly but that also tend to deplete our energy reserves.  To counterbalance our stressful routine, we need to ensure that we take care of our body and mind, through healthy food and moments of rest and meditation. At Jumeirah Vittaveli, our creative Executive Sous Chef Francis Cornelious has created a tantalizing dessert that will assist your physical wellbeing, while utilizing unique yet commonly available ingredients.”

The focus of the creation was the health benefits (and of course the taste), but I was enchanted by the colourful artistry of glassy sweetness on top. May women around the world be treated with the same care, consideration and respect as Vittaveli’s tribute to them.

Jumeirah Vittaveli - ornate dessert 2

Best of the Maldives: Welcome Wreath – Jumeirah Vittaveli / Dhevanafushi

Jumeirah Vittaveli palm leaf pendant

Origami Day today. If you are impressed with what the Japanese can do by folding paper, then you should see what the Maldivians do folding palm leaves.

One of the iconic welcome gifts in the travel world is the Hawaiian aloha lei. More than just a greeting, it is an immediate generous gift of hospitality. In keeping with its ‘everything Maldivian’, guests arriving at Jumeriah – both its Vittaveli and Dhevanafushi properties are greeted with an artistic folded palm leaf pendant (hung on a palm leaf chord).

7 Out-Standing Maldives Water Villas

Gili Lankanfushi water villas

The Maldives are renowned for diminutive islands (a plot of sand and a palm tree). But at some resorts, the “island” has diminished to nothing at all. Don’t worry…it’s not the often reported “sinking of the Maldives”. It’s just resorts bringing their guests closer to the alluring seascape and more remote from the rest of the world.

Gili Lankanfushi (above) was the one who started it all with their lagoon villas (and dedicated boats to ferry guests to and from their villas). And it still commands the destination topping, paragon of the concept, their Private Reserve.

Jumeirah then took the concept to a whole new level by making a stand-alone neighbourhood of water villas.

Now a small collection of room types not so much “marooned” as “maritime”. I excluded the “yachts” even the semi-permanent moored one (eg. The Rania Experience, Huvafenfushi’s Dhoni Suites) because it’s not quite the same even though they too are places to stay out in the middle of the water.

Thanks – again – Paola (who prompted the list and initiated the research).

  

1. Gili LankanfushiCrusoe Residence [above]

2. VelaaRomantic Pool Residence

Velaa - Romantic Pool Residence

 

3. Jumeirah DhevanafushiOcean Pearls

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi - Ocean Pearls

 

4. Jumeirah VittaveliOcean Suite with Pool

Jumeirah Vittaveli - Ocean Suite with Pool

  

5. MedhufushiLagoon Suite

Medhufushi - Lagoon Suite

 

6. Angsana VelavaruIn Ocean Pool Villa

Angsana Velavaru - In Ocean Pool Villa

 

7. MeeruHoneymoon Suites

Meeru - Honeymoon Suites

Best of the Maldives: Ceiling Fan – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli ceiling fan

We are big fan fans. Especially big ceiling fans. No distinguished Southern room in the USA would be without them turning languidly to stir the thick summer air. Every bedroom in our house has these not-so-turbo-props. For our UK house, I shopped and shopped, but didn’t find much exceptional in the designs though. And most Maldives resorts, even, have fairly pedestrian models. I would have loved to have this model from Jumeirah Vittaveli in my house. The elegantly carved wooden versions here bring as much cool style as cool breezes to the villa.

Best of the Maldives: Tandem Bicycle – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli tendem bicycle

 

 

Give me your answer true
Will you let me peddle along with you
When you and I go cruisin’
You’ll thank me for choosin’
You to come and have some fun
On a bicycle built for two

 

I’m half crazy for the love of the Maldives and the distinctive touches each resort brings to enhance this paradise. A number of resorts offer bicycles as a leisurely way to explore the island. And given the Maldives romantic ambience it’s a bit surprising that no resort has offered this earlier – a tandem bicycle. Jumeirah Vittaveli introduced their doublemint fun just recently describing…

“A tandem bicycle – made for two – will allow newlyweds to explore the winding lanes of the island, which mirror the aesthetic of a traditional Maldivian village.”

Buddy biking!