The trend in fitness to HIT conditioning takes me back to the old school days when training was basically moving heavy objects like barbells and medicine balls. One & Only Reethi Rah has introduced a workout that takes me back to my high school and college football days – the Power Sled. Designed for linemen like me to strengthen their ability to push opponents off the line of scrimmage. You can see one in action at the 1:00 mark of the introduction sequence to the USA TV show “Ballers” (great series starring Dwayne Johnson). This picture features Egyptian actress Yasmine Sabri on holiday, but keeping up her fitness regimen.
One & Only Reethi Rah’s “Comfort Menu” offers up a selection of treats for floating in the comfort of your own villa – “Individually chosen ESPA bath oils, mineral sea salts and petals envelop the body as candles bath the room in a soft relaxing light.”
You have a choices of several variations including:
- “Essential oils of the West Indian Bay and Clove” served with Hot cinnamon tea
- “English Peppermint and Rosemary” served with a refreshing ice cold Earl Grey tea with Rosemary and Citrus
- “Frankinceance and Ylang-Ylang served with a hot herbal tea of Rosehip and Hibiscus
Calgon take me away…to paradise.
One of my pet peeves when I visit a resort is if they don’t have postcards that show the resort. Postcards might seem a bit of a throwback, but we still send them to family who enjoy getting a real thing from our worldwide destinations. Aside from simply finding a good card of where you are, you can also run into a bit of kafuffle finding stamps and even a box to post them in (though all resorts will take them and post them), One & Only Reethi Rah does it all for you they provide fine postcards of the resort for you in your room *and* once you write them, they wil stamp and post them for you. Wish I was there!
May Day, May Day…I need help…with my wine choice! May Day today is better known as a celebration of workers. Each year this day, I highlight an initiative that a resort is making in its people. This year is One & Only Reethi Rah who certify all their sommeliers through the internationally recognizes WSET standard:
- “This is a professional course and there is different levels, starting at Introduction Level 1 to advanced Level 4. All our sommeliers are certified thru this global group as well as about 20 other F&B staff members with more being certified next year.”
Raise a glass to all the resort workers who help make the Maldives even more of an experience of paradise. At Reethi Rah, “S.O.S.” stands for “Sommeliers Outstanding Service”.
Holidays are when you often take a break from the hassle of personal grooming. Sometime you even go the whole time neglecting it returning with the ‘holiday beard’. But if you are in the need of a bit of holiday man-scaping, then One & Only Reethi Rah’s “Barber and Blade” spa provides a classic grooming and shaving studio with treatments as soothing as the Maldives ocean breezes…
- “Appointments take place within the private rooms dedicated to gentlemen’s grooming equipped with sleek leather barber chairs, specially designed for One&Only Reethi Rah by Anderson/Miller Ltd. The studio allows guests to feel comfortable and relaxed whilst a dedicated team of grooming experts are on hand to provide a bespoke grooming routine – ensuring that all gentlemen look and feel their best. Barber and Blade exclusively offers Gentlemen’s Tonic products…The treatment menu features basic shaves to beard designs, colouring services and four signature grooming experiences, including the 70-minute Ultimate One&Only Wet Shave.”
The barber shave is a bit of a dying art in with the advent of advanced razors, but they remain one of the few decadent “beauty” treatments men get to enjoy. No matter how many blades you have on your Mach X razor, you will never get as close as a trained professional who is not having to negotiate through a mirror. Furthermore, one of the keys to a close and comfortable shave is the preparation – steaming towel and creamy balm to soften the skin and whiskers. Something few men shaving take enough time to do. And having the hot towel on your face in a chair is as relaxing as it is soothing.
I treated all my groomsmen to a classic shave on my wedding day and we had as much fun (and looked as almost as smart) as the bridesmaids who enjoyed the beauty parlor. And on our recent trip sailing in the Greek isles, we came upon an old school barber offering shaves and it was one of the decadent high points of the holiday sitting in the chair being pampered while listening to the sounds of the bustling port town outside.
One of the motivations for “destination weddings” is not just to put your wedding expenses into a better honeymoon, but also to have a more intimate celebration. If you want your private ceremony to be extra private, One & Only Reethi Rah’s Wedding Pavillion is actually one of its several “hidden places”. Tucked behind the Tappanyaki restaurant, it is not general open to the guests without special arrangement. Great for avoiding paparazzi or just the distraction of other guests meandering by.
‘Best of the Maldives’ is all about extremes. And you don’t get any more extreme than One & Only Reethi Rah’s tree swing. Sort of the complete antithesis of Reethi’s workout Stott Pilates pulley swinging mechanism. A long rope means a longer, gentler undulation with a more languid rhythm reflecting the Maldives as a whole really.
Versatile athletes need weight training for strength, cardio for endurance and technique. Pilates is tainted with a bit of a “aging bored housewife” stereotype, but it is great for the flexibility and core fitness needed for top technique in most sports. I have also started practicing Pilates every week with a group of guys in the neighbourhood. And if you want to see a real manly pro then check in with Lindley (photo) at One & Only Reethi Rah who offers “Stott Pilates” instruction. The “Stott” variant focuses on the “natural curvature of the spine” rather than a more straight alignment of conventional Pilates. Our sessions at home use maybe a ball or a band, but Reethi is kitted out with a number of high-tech specialist Pilates machines for the most advanced workout I’ve come across.
For “Best of the Maldives”, I try to focus on unique offerings and features. The easiest way to be the best is to be the only. If I haven’t seen it after visiting 60+ resorts and 20 years of research, then chances are it is pretty unique.
It is harder to (and I am more hesitant to) do “Best” pieces for more commonplace things. It might stand out in my eyes, but not having methodically sampled every version in the Maldives, who am I to say it’s the “Best”. Partly, that’s why I chose a blog format for this material. It allows readers to Comment do if I have missed out something, they can set me straight.
Also there are areas where I have quite a bit of experience (eg. house reef snorkelling, pina colada tasting) and others where my expertise is more limited (eg. wines, décor). Today’s post is both a nod to Lobster Day and an intersection of the (a) popular, with (b) expertise – lobster bisque.
Lobster is the stereotypical luxury seafood. And its prevalence in the Laccadive Sea makes it a popular dish at the exquisite Maldives restaurants. One of its most classic preparations is Lobster Bisque. Now this is a specialty of mine. I will *always* order the lobster bisque if it is available. I will seek it out and make a special trip to restaurants who offer well reviewed versions of it. I’ve sampled bisque all over the world and across most of London’s finest establishments. And I’m not the biggest chef, but one dish I have taught myself to prepare is a proper lobster bisque.
So despite this dish being quite prevalent in the Maldives resorts, I felt quite comfortable calling out One & Only Reethi Rah’s version. Reethi’s is so close to bisque perfection that while there might be others out there in the Maldives just as good (I haven’t had them yet), at best they could be is as good as Reethi.
The best bisque I’ve had since Wolesley Hotel in London (who sadly has since removed it from their menu). I should also clarify that I am a devotee of the coulis school of bisque. Thin and hot enough with just the right touch of cognac to ignite the stewed flavors of subtle herbs and lobster broth. The creamy (Normandy) style is fine, but simply not as elegant or flavourful as the traditional style.