Kuramathi’s Waheed Saamid pentathlete of a room decorator. He not only pioneered a medium I’ve not seen in my decades of visits, he’s mastered all of its fundamental disciplines:
- Wording (both cut and formed)
- Towel sculpture
- Bubble Bath
- Path/Floor messages (pioneer)
I caught up with him and he shared a bit about his background:
- “I have started room decorations as I began my career as a villa Attendant. Since then I have learned and improving my skills. I’m a self taught decorative. During this journey of a villa Attendant, I have met many creative colleagues in room decorating. I get ideas from my friends and through the internet. Mostly I love doing different types of leaf decorations. Room decoration is an important element of Housekeeping service, to demonstrate my skills and give our guests a little gesture of that we care them.”
His Instagram feed is the most diverse collection of works and I highly recommend following him for your own daily dose of decorating.
All of the world has its eye on the “path to the White House” this week, but Waheed Saamid, room decorator extraordinaire is focused on the path to your villa. I thought that I had seen all the variations on custom room decorating – towels, flowers, bed, coral pieces, bath. When I came across his Instagram feed, I saw sterling examples of all of those. But I was also struck by his innovating thinking outside the box of the villa itself with his walkway decoration made of artistically sprinkled sand.
Epicurean extravagance doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a chauffeured odyssey, but can be as simple as an ever so slightly decadent ice cream cone. Well, really decadent in Kuramathi’s case…
- “Savour our new ice cream cup selections and customized cones at The Palm in #Kuramathi #Maldives. With less #sugar, you can now have healthier ice cream and enjoy them (almost) guilt-free.”
”Guilt free”? Who’s feeling guilty?
Instead of being immersed in sand, Kuramathi will slather you with mud as just one of their special baby-moon prenatal offerings…
- “Kuramathi Spa is pleased to announce an upgrade to its menu this month to fine-tune the balance of mind, body and soul. A meticulous pick of choices for him and her is featured, along with the usual favourites for honeymooners, namely the ‘Kuramathi Moment’ and ‘Couples Rebirth’. Asian body rituals from India, Indonesia and Thailand let you delve into the preserved techniques instilling peace and calm. Amongst the new treatments available are the indulgent prenatal options. Mothers to be can now pick between ‘Organic Precious Moments’ and ‘Organic Prenatal Voyager’ each using fresh seaweed based ingredients in a carefully curated therapy. Engage in meditation guided by our yogi who helps ease you into the ancient discipline of yoga and the plethora of benefits it imbues.”
I love the mud treatment in particular, to get prospective parents used to having gooey substances smeared all over them and mud as a central part of their lives once they have kids…
I wasn’t quite sure what to call this recognition, but I knew I need to call out Kuramathi’s exceptional touches to old fashioned relaxation. Kuramathi was the first resort that I ever posted for its distinctive bed-art marking. They have clearly made it a resort trademark, in fact taking it up a notch with the latest generation of bedroom artistes.
All of the creations shown here are the work of 24 year old room attendant Adam Naseer. Kuramathi shared these details about his work…
- “Adam has been working in another resort for about two years after he found out about Kuramathi on the internet and from some friends (who also work here) and decided to work for Kuramathi, this is now one year ago. He works at the Thundi area of the island and takes care of about 4 to 5 villas per day. His favourite part is decorating the bed or even the bath with towel art including flowers. It is his passion to make the guests happy and to see their smile on their face as he always receives a grateful feedback and the guests always want to have a picture with Adam and his designs. Mostly he likes to make heart shaped or honeymoon designs.”
My favourite is his birthday greeting complete with towel birthday cake (see photo at top).
For a gallery of Maldives bed decorating masterpieces, check out the Maldives Complete “Bed Art” Pinterest board.
International Coffee Day today. I remember when we first started going to the Maldives in the nineties, as much as we loved it one of the biggest (if not *the* biggest) negative and thing we missed from home was a good cup of coffee. Eventually, the espresso machines made it over and the resorts figured out how to brew some enjoyable cups. For the 5-star luxury resorts, the Gaggia machine is table stakes and most have pretty fine personal coffee makers in room.
Kuramathi continues the trend to ever finer roasted blend concoctions putting its entire F&B staff through coffee guru training…
- “The resort completed a comprehensive course in advanced barista techniques and coffee beverage. The training was conducted by skilled coffee artisan; Giorgos Atsopardis who is a Certified Specialty Barista & Certified Specialty Brewer. Originally from Greece, he contributed his 20 years of expertise and wisdom in the coffee industry to participants from our Food and Beverage team in a dedicated workshop. Giorgos’s expertise in coffee has also earned him finalist positions in the National Barista Championship of Greece in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Coffee produced by the iconic brewing method of utilizing a ‘Syphon Filter’ was also demonstrated during the training session, and it’s no surprise the specialty is available for guests to try.“
Amongst the few additions to the hot drinks menu are…
- Kuramathi on Ice – Espresso, Cold Chocolate, Scoop of Vanilla, Cinnamon powder, Caramel syrup
- Freddo Cappuccino – Espresso poured in iced and creamy milk
- Cold Mocachino – Espresso with cold chocolate
A good bartender can make just about anything the customer asks for, but the Kuramathi bartenders make drinks the customers invent. And keep on making them for other guests too. The resort held a cocktail concocting competition last year and the winning entries were (a) “Tropicana” by Elena from France, (b) “Speedbabe” by Andrew from England. As a part of their prize, their creations will be featured on the Kuramathi cocktail list for a year.
Sand banks aren’t the only middle-of-the-ocean features that move around the water like some sort of Lost plot. Kuramathi’s “Aquaglide” water trampoline gives guests the opportunity to bounce all over the place too. Also ‘Best for Water Tiggers’, ie. ‘bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.”
Arbor days vary around the world (even with States in the USA), but today is the most prevalent one. Maldives doesn’t have an official tree planting day, but more and more resorts are focused on the environment and engaging in a breadth of flora cultivation.
While most visitors look outward from the beaches at the legendary sea of the Maldives, the interiors of these tropical paradises have their own rich landscape. So much so, that today (on the occasion of Arbor Day), I have added the “tree” tag to the Maldives Complete blog.
One of the signature features as prevalent on the islands as branch coral is on the reefs are the multi-pod Banyan Trees. Their meandering style of growth produces a maze of smaller trunks comprising these curious tangles of growth. Allegedly, the oldest of these ancient landmarks is the Main Road tree on Kuramathi…
“Located at the Main Road, this historical landmark is an estimated 300 years old and is a gigantic plant towering 30 metres high. One could wander through the sawdust trail at the entrance and be amazed by the maze of thick wooden barks of this ancient tree, enshrouded in rich greenery. The tree is a nesting place for herons, fruit bats and other animals and is a sight not to be missed. This tree at Kuramathi can be considered as one of the oldest banyan trees found in the Maldives.”
‘Screw pine’ ice news PR (anagram there for you…)
July is ice cream month. And the ice cream with the truly Maldivian flavour is made on Kuramathi – “Screw Pine Ice Cream”. “Screw Pines” are those surreal trees so defined by their adventitious roots that they also have the nickname “Walking Pines”. They are most commonly found in the Maldives. The notes from the resort’s botanic walk describes…
“Maakashikeyo, Pandanus odoratissimus. Abundant plant, growing along beaches with numerous pro roots originating from the base of the trunk. It can grow to a height of 15 m, stems are hollow. Male and female flowers are in separate trees. The fruits on the female tree are pineapple like and become red when ripe. Use: the red portion of the fruit is eaten raw or cooked with rice, for soups or to make sweets and juice. On Kuramathi, we also make screw pine ice cream. You can try this at Palm!”