The career opportunities for young women extend way beyond cuisine and coral reef, and Kuramathi resort is shining a light on the range of opportunities in science:
- “Kuramathi will host an exhibit at the Eco Centre highlighting the contributions of women leaders from various marine science institutes and the transportation sector in the Maldives, including the Maldives Marine Research Institute, Maldives Manta Ray Project, Olive Ridley Project, Salted Ventures Swimmers, Men of Water diving centre, Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) and the Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL). A career talk will headline the main event on 11th February to promote the potential for women and girls to pursue a path in the science field. Invited school children from the neighbouring islands will hear from female role models from the participating Maldivian organisations sharing their insights about their work and achievements. Persuasive and inspiring, this session aims to open a window for the young attendees to learn about the many career opportunities available to them in the science field.”
Historically, women have lagged in their interests and pursuit of “STEM” field (ie. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) though they are catching to the boys in recent years (and in some countries have surpassed them even) thanks to initiatives like this one to raise awareness and interest. For more details on what the Maldives is doing to promote women in STEM fields, check out this UN Development Programme report, “Seeing is believing, even through a screen: How can we inspire girls in the Maldives into STEM subjects?”
In this increasingly digital world, books are becoming rarer and rarer. Guide books are replaced by travel sites, identification guides are replaced by apps. Kuramathi’s own publication “Plants of the Maldives” exemplifies so many aspects of what makes a hard copy an especially enjoyable. It’s not just a source of information, but a superbly well-designed publication packed with gorgeously artistic drawing. The book format makes perusing the leaves about leaves leisurely and satisfying:
- “The resort island served as an insightful base where most of the featured flora are found thriving in several nature appreciation sites such as the 300-year-old Banyan Tree, the Botanic Walk, a route where guests can observe diverse tropical vegetation, the Nature Trail, an untouched Maldivian forest in the heart of the island, and the Hydroponic Garden where most of the fresh produce served in the buffet restaurants are grown and harvested. ‘The publication is a credible knowledge tool added to the extensive activities of the resort. The book captures information on 65 plants, that constitute our biodiversity and are used in our food, culture, and traditions,’ said Dr Aminath.”
It is an aesthetically satisfying memento of this paradise where the land life often seems to get second billing to the legendary aquatic life around it, but the tropical lushness of its flora is just as much a part of this dreamlike destination (and perhaps long overdue, I have now added the tag of “Plants” to the blog).
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.”