The World is Ready!
For Windows! That’s the tag line (one of them) for Windows 8 launching today around the world. My Facebook page and Twitter feeds are packed with former Microsoft colleagues whooping with delight at their new release (launch times are are always a bit frothy in Redmond, especially for the franchise product).
In honour of Windows 8 (and in the interest of balanced coverage), I thought I would showcase some superlative Windows in the Maldives. Particularly those of Four Seasons Kuda Huraa villas. Maybe it is my Microsoft heritage, but one of my pet peeves in any building, especially resorts and hotels, is not enough windows. Especially in a picturesque destination like the Maldives. Yes, we do spend as much time as possible outside on our visits, but sometimes you just have to or want to be inside. Maybe for a dose of refreshing air conditioning. Maybe because you have to or want to get on the computer (a la photo above). It is a shame that in such cases you have to abandon the beauty you came to experience.
The most striking design he have some across in our worldwide travels is the Phinda Forest Lodges in the Kruger, South Africa. They are constructed of 3 walls of floor-to-ceiling glass. Yes, you can lower blinds for complete privacy, but the fun part is just opening them completely and still feeling immersed in the lush surrounding jungle. We were resting in our room one mid-day after a crack-of-dawn safari and just watched all the gazelles and monkeys playing a few feet away outside.
The closest we have found to this design are the Kanuhura villas which have a very similar design (see photos). You do more often find floor-to-ceiling glass on one wall of the new water villas around the Maldives, thank goodness. But wrap-around transparency is still a novelty.
Windows everywhere. Just like Microsoft would like it.
With all of the discussion in the past few posts of what the Maldives and resorts are doing for conversation and the environment, it turns out that ecologically-minded guests visiting Kandooma can turn their activism into a holiday activity.
Always wanted resorts to put up a board where people could plot their snorkelling sittings of the day and week. Kandooma has something heading in that direction with a ‘Marine Biologist Update’ which at least shares the latest aquatic goings on literally (or should I say ‘litorally’) ‘around’ the island (sorry – bad pun day).
The highlight of this update for me is their ‘Reefscaping’ project which allows guests to sponsor a ‘Reefscaping’ structure.
“The Reefscapers initiative is a synergy between the tourism industry, reef science and the local community around coral propagation projects. Coral propagation is a promising research field in the present global warming context, even though heavily debated as a possible solution, when compared to the surface of the coral reef threatened by climate change. With this in mind, Reefscapers developed in the Maldives, a new versatile technique, using light weight modules, to mitigate the adverse direct impacts to corals during tourism development. The success encountered when mitigating adverse impacts from infrastructure development has led to the continuation and development of the project using second and third generation fragments, with eventually 2000 m2 of reef created. So far, applications are mostly targeted towards aesthetic and recreation, but the technique also seems promising for erosion control and island protection. Recognizing the potential of the technique, the Maldivian government has decided to encourage the initiative by providing an island in order to carry out larger scale experiments.”
At the it says, Reefscaping has now extended to other resorts (Landaa Giravaru, Kuda Hura), but Kandooma was the first and is the most extensive.
(Pictures above from Crystal’s blog of her experience)