Oscar weekend so pull out the popcorn and get ready for a cavalcade of 2016’s best cinema. A bucket of popcorn (with extra bucket) is standard fare, but Mirihi doubles the fun of the double features with their cinema themes treats when you pull up a seat at their film nights…
- “To enhance the experience, the charming hotel will be twinning the screening with drinks and nibbles to match the movie. For every film shown the team will strive to accompany it with inspired drinks and canapés: pastries for The Grand Budapest Hotel; martinis for James Bond; chocolates for Chocolat; milkshakes for Pulp Fiction. The memorable evening is an affair designed to suit varied tastes, with films ranging from The Godfather to Notting Hill. The setting is mesmerizingly charming, with comfy bean bags and cushions scattered in the sand. As the water laps against the shore and the Milky Way shines overhead guests can curl up in front of a classic with their toes in the sand. Munching on popcorn, guests will relax into serene island life whilst watching one of their favourite films on the big screen.”
VIEWER ADVISORY: Films to be wary of…
- Monte Python’s The Meaning of Life – wafer thin mint
- Silence of the Lambs – liver with a nice Chianti
- Sweeney Todd – meat pies
- American Pie – apple pie
- The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover – table d’hôte
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – any “local specialty”
For further inspiration, check out Time Out’s “50 best food-on-film moments of all time”.
May Day! May Day! Not a call for help (unless you need service from a helpful staffer), but a call to celebrate workers and the contributions they make to our lives and society. Most resorts often go to special measures to support and a highlight the distinctive quality of their staff who are essential to making a guest’s stay the most relaxing and trouble-free. Lori and I always enjoy meeting new folks from the resort and hearing their accounts of living in paradise. In many cases, this internationally renowned destination draws people from all over the world to work here.
I especially enjoyed the Mirihi email newsletter they send out to guests which features a staff profile. A recent edition included intros to Naaz (Front office Agent), Raoof (Front office Agent), Jalil (Front office Agent), Sara (Boutique Hostess), Aulam (Gardener), and Mahir (Gardener). They are all assembled in the group photo together.
On the occasion of labor day, I’ve added yet another category tag to the site – “Maldivian Staff”.
Happy (or should I say “Yummy”) Lobster Day!
Lobster dinners are becoming as much table stakes for the ever more luxurious Maldives as hot stone massages and artistic water features.
So much so that I have added a “Lobster” tag to the blog. And I have not been shy to sample the many crustacean cuisines as I am a serious aficionado. I grew up in New England with many summer trips to Maine. Maine lobster is still the worldwide gold standard for sweetness and tenderness so I have been spoiled by the best. Lobster bisque is my favourite starter by far and I will always order it out of principle if it is on the menu (I prefer the lighter cognac-cut style to the heavy creamy version).
We will also venture to some of the more renowned lobster establishments when in the vicinity. The high bar there is definitely the House of Elliott in Ghent, Belgium (a stunning creation of lobster cooked 6 ways in an artistically quirky setting by the Lys River). Mirihi provides a lobster experience that rivals it. Also waterside (or ‘water-over’) at its Murka restaurant, coincidentally both Muraka and House of Elliott had two of our most memorable bread accompaniments (House of Elliot cooked their fresh loaves in little flower pots). Muraka’s lobster in champagne and truffle sauce was prepared to near perfection.
The lobster distinction goes deep at Mirihi. From over water restaurant to underwater dive/snorkel sight. Mihiri features its own “Lobster Cave” widely regarded as one of the most striking places to see lobsters around. As Spammie reviews in her TripAdvisor Maldives Forum post…
“Mirihi corner is a named dive spot…yes it is at the far end of the reef , marked by an awesome wall and a lobster cave in just under 30 meters. as a (very) experienced diver, you can dive inside .. in pairs or max 3 people at a time and see lots of lobsters hanging out on shelf formations inside. very very amazing. the tricky part is to make it through a tight little tunnel single file without ruining visibility by finning up sediment.. it takes a little nerve and very calm fins. not for newbies or the faint of heart but worth it.”
100th Chelsea Flower Show, one of the bellwethers of sunshine and blossoms in climate-challenged England, opens today. To mark the occasion we have our own online exhibit of botanical curiosity. Mirihi not only has it’s very own blossom, but it is its namesake. GM Martin Vossen describes, “Mirihi is named after the flower! 🙂 I think it can be found on other Islands as well, but I have never seen it anywhere else and I would not be aware of where else it can be found, so it is really quite unique.”
If you prefer your gaming activities more natural, then you can’t get much more so than Mirihi’s unique Beach Darts. Mirihi resort itself is distinguished by its ‘natural’ feel with so much of the island kept in a pristine state unencumbered by excessive infrastructure or artificial contrivances.
Darts are a relaxing game so suitable for the pubs and taverns in which they usually reside. Mirihi’s white sand, palm copse fits that mellow vibe just right. You can have some fun games without having to take yourself away from the gorgeous Maldives weather.
Probably one of the more bizarre Best Of’s I have come up with. The Best for Seth Godin.
Seth Godin is one of my favourite writers and one of the world’s top marketing maven’s. In many respects, his perspectives on marketing served to inspire much of Maldives Complete. He has written 11 books, a daily blog post and countless articles, presentations and ‘projects’. Most of his work revolves around the notion of finding and embracing your ‘raging fans’ (aka ‘tribes’). And while I have come upon passionate followings for a number of islands (Athuruga, Biyadhoo and Kuradu come to mind) none seem to be quite so fervid as Mirihi.
Furthermore, Mirihi operates and does a number of things straight from many a Godin books that reinforce and foster this fandom.
- Purple Cows – The Maldives itself is a ‘purple cow’. Something truly ‘remarkable’ in all senses of the word especially in the ‘remarks’ that it inspires from people lucky enough to visit. In the 100+ strong herd of purple cows that is this archipelago paradise, it becomes a bold challenge to stand out even further. Mirihi has achieved it not with big, flashy ‘wow’ features (like underwater restaurants), but with a subtle combination of distinctive characteristics. It is more like a masterful blended whiskey capturing the ‘spirit’ of the Maldives than a single malt that stands out with a particular feature. Even Mirihi’s tag line reflects this individualised distinction – ‘Mirihi, a unique as you’. Though, I have to confess, it would have been fun if ‘Moo-fushi’ was my pick for ‘best purple cow’.
- Firing Customers – By obsessively catering to your raging fans, Godin talks about ‘firing customers’. It would seem anathema to some businesses to explicitly turn away any business, but the point is that trying to be all things to all people simply turns away even more implicitly. For example, Mirihi ‘fires’ people wedded to poolside entertainment or their fix of television by having neither pool nor TVs on the resort. It harkens to my common refrain to my most common question posed to me, “What is the best resort?” I always respond, “There is no ‘best resort’, just the ‘best resort for you’.” Mirihi doesn’t try to be everything to everybody. It knows what it is and sticks true to that sense in both its operation and marketing.
- Online – Godin is one of first and most prominent marketing authors to appreciate the power of the web for bringing together ‘tribes’ of enthusiastic customers. Not just bring the customers to the company, but bringing the customers together. For Mirihi aficionados, the place of congregation is the Trip Advisor Maldives Forum where Mirihi is often cited as a top choice among the aficionados.
One of my favourite mixes I have ever had in the Maldives wasn’t alcoholic. In fact, it wasn’t even a drink. It was Mirihi’s “Dukka” bread dip.
A mixture of crushed Macadamia nuts, Haelnuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sun Flower Seeds, Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Sesame seeds, Black Pepper Corn, Cinnamon, Cayenne, Bread crumbs and sea salt. It was served with virgin olive oil and freshly baked bread. It was the first time my wife and I have asked for a recipe (though we did clone a dish of mango chicken salad we adored at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhi). When we asked for it, it was all printed out for us by the end of our meal.
One of the subtle touches that distinguishes different star categories is the ‘treats’, specifically, (a) the bar accompaniments, and (b) the Welcome treat. But, I would add the pre-dinner treats to the list. Any 5-star worthy of the grade needs to offer some sort of curious and tasty amuse bouche. But just as important is to treat the obligatory bread basket as a delicacy and not an after-thought. This over sight was one I experienced at the otherwise distinctive, Michelin-starred ‘Mistral’ restaurant at the hotel Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy. Creative and remarkable dishes introduced with a pedestrian table ornament of lacklustre bread. 5-stars really need to have fresh, warm bread, but the super-premiums (5+*) really need to add some sort of equally appetising accompaniment like a tasty tapenade…or Mirihi’s special dip.
“If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade.”
This is the week for blogging milestones as my other major (and longer standing) blogging pursuit – ‘Bruce Lynn Blog’ – celebrated its 7th anniversary yesterday. The site explores the themes of ‘Leadership and Management’ as well as ‘Embracing Failure’. The two subjects are united in the common thread of how people deal with risk.
To celebrate the occasion, I thought I would post something apropos. Perhaps one of the all-time classic ‘embrace failure’ sayings is about making lemonade out of lemons, so I thought I would turn to the best and most varied lemonade I have found in the Maldives.
Mirihi offers 10 different signature cocktails at Muraka bar including the following tart treats…
- Mihiri Lemonade – “Fresh muddled strawberries, aged rum, strawberry and vanilla liguer with soda.”
- Wild Honey & Orange Lemonade – “Vodka, Drambuie, Cointreau, honey, oranges and orange lemonade”
- Green Tea & Chili Lemonade – “Green tea, fresh limes, Southern Comfort, Brandy and a bit of chili” (see above enjoyed with fellow TripAdvisor Forum contributor).
Admittedly, ‘embracing failure’ by drinking lemonade in a tropical resort isn’t too hard of a sell.
Many think that the Olympics have some and gone, but here in the UK the ‘London 2012 Games’ were just the warm up. Now London is buzzing with the Paralympics which are equally sold out and in many ways even more enthralling than the conventional Games. One of the events I have been watching recently is Table Tennis.
For all those Table Tennis fans out there who are inspired to sharpen their skills, Mirihi lends a touch of paradise to the sport with a twist…’Beach Table Tennis’. Their table is set up in its own shaded alcove on a pitch of deep, soft sand. Reethi Beach has a ping pong table on sand, but it is indoors.
If such idyllic training isn’t enough to inspire you, then check out the video below. One of the greatest sports promotional short films ever filmed…
Meet the Superhumans.
How do you measure paradise?
Kurumba’s business facilities remind me of my time at Microsoft in such rooms where we spent countless hours pouring over the numbers and scorecards. From the business perspective of a resort, a key metric has to be ‘Repeater Guests’. Not only are these the lowest cost customers to market to (you know them) and sell to (they know you), but anyone coming back for more is likely a fan enough to be recommending your product to others.
I saw this impressive high water mark for Reethi Beach on their Facebook page with ‘110’. Out of an occupancy of 200, that is 55%. That compares to another popular ‘repeater’ resort Kuredu who informs me that they have had about 160 repeater guest at a given time. Yes, a higher total, but out of their 570 guest capacity, a lower (though still boast-worthy) 28%.
But the tops I can find is Mirihi. Another popular favourite with a near cultish following. The ‘average’ 40-50% over the year and have hit 80% repeater occupancy.