- “Discover Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa’s secret mojito recipe from our skilled barmen, as well as learning a few other favourites, then sit back and enjoy your exotic creations while watching a stunning Maldivian sunset.”
You don’t get much more fresh or more local than reef fish caught with your own hands a few hours earlier in the ocean just yards away. While many resorts will grill up the catch from your fishing excursion, Park Hyatt Hadahaa lets you take the “by my own hands” vibe a step further with a fish cooking class so you can take it all the way from sea to seasoning yourself…
- “Learn how to create the perfect marinade and discover the secrets behind grinding and mixing traditional Maldivian spices used to prepare local fish. Our chef offers this culinary class amid the Maldivian surroundings of The Island Grill.”
The class is available on request from 3:00 – 4:00 pm at The Island Grill with a $75 USD per person charge.
- “Select from our special menu and design your own set lunch to be enjoyed under the glorious Maldivian sun while lounging by the main pool, on the main beach or at The Bar.”
Price: US$49 per person, Time: 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm.
- “The world’s only certified biodegradable coffee pods for Nespresso machines to Maldives resorts. Almost all resorts are using plastic or aluminium pods in their rooms.”
Not having to leave you room for a tasty brew in the morning also makes it ‘low miles’ to converse your own personal energy.
The Maldives is a sense-sation for all the senses – the sun warmed sea breeze on your skin, the salty fragrance of fresh ocean air, the sumptuous delicacies of the resort gourmet kitchens, the sounds of the water gently licking the shoreline.
The sense most celebrated here on Maldives Compete has to be sight though. With all our imagery of fashionista guests to resorts highlights, I suspect the site has more Maldives pictures than any other website (Maldives Complete features over 7,000 photos). Today is World Eye Sight Day celebrating the sense of sight and raising appreciation for its gift as well as the issues many can grapple with losing it.
To experience a world without sight, Park Hyatt Hadahaa serve up the unique adventure of ‘blind dining’…
“Unique ‘blind’ private dinner: an exceptional three-course feast, crafted with your favorite ingredients, to be enjoyed like never before as you are blindfolded to heighten the senses. Discover unadulterated taste and texture in your delightful dishes, while listening to the lapping of the waves and feeling the gentle breeze on your skin and the sand between your toes. Price – $450 per couple.”
We ourselves enjoyed blind dining here in London at the pioneer of this concept – Dans Le Noir. Hadahaa uses blindfolds, but at Dans Le Noir, the dining room is set in pitch black darkness. The first question is how do the waiters serve you…and of course the obvious answer is – they are all blind! First of all, there is a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability at first, but you do acclimate soon enough. And then it is a lesson in simple manoeuvrability – finding your glass, your fork, your food, your mouth!
But the cross-modal neuroplasty kicks in. Well, not that quickly. The whole notion that people impaired of one sense compensate with extra capability in others is well documented in neurology (but the process does take a bit longer than an evening meal – for a great overview, I recommend Scientific American’s article “Super Powers for the Blind and Deaf – The brain rewires itself to boost the remaining senses”).
More simply, the removed distraction of one sense, especially one so dominant in our lives, allows us to focus more intently on the others. Like taste and aroma. One of the courses at the mythic Fat Duck (voted one of the top restaurants in the world) is served with your eye shut to focus on both the food as well as a spritz of scent they spray when you take a bite to complement the taste. But the all-time iconic depiction of such blind-folded erotic delectation is the kitchen scene in the film 9 ½ Weeks.
If all this talk has made you appreciate your vision just a bit more, in the spirit of the day, I would encourage you to visit Naomi Riches MBE “Great Thames Row”. Just a few weeks ago, this vision impaired Paralympic champion (who rows at my Marlow Rowing Club) rowed the entire 165 miles of our own local coastline, the Thames River. She achieved the Guinness World Record for a woman completing the odyssey in 48 hours to raise fund for her charity In-Vision.
Dans Le Bleu!
National Doughnut Day! This is one of the more sacred celebrations in our household. We have regular Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donut pilgrimages on our trips back to the USA. We have been known to drive for half an hour first thing in the morning to get the “red light” (KK fans will know what I am talking about) “hot ones” (and then finish off an entire box before even getting home…of course, we bought several boxes).
And on our trip to Park Hyatt Hadahaa we not only got to indulge our fried dough infatuation, but we did so with a distinctly local twist. Hadahaa prepares and serves the local ‘Gulab Jamun’ (the locals normally call them Gulab Jaam). Though, really, they’re more like donut holes. Still, they are donuts! Paradise just became more paradise.
Also, the best resort for celebrity spotting Homer Simpson…
Happy Easter! If the Easter Bunny didn’t bring you enough eggs, then maybe you need to go hunt for them. When our kids were younger, we not only organised treasure hunts on our Maldives visits, but we organised Easter egg hunts at our house or church before we tucked into our traditional Easter dinner of roast lamb and Lori’s famous carrot cake.
Park Hyatt Hadahaa offers a gastronomic treasure hunt every day (including eggs, though not the chocolate version), with their “Culinary Indulgence”. For $670 per couple, you are treated to 5 meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening cocktails with canapés, and dinner) at assorted special locations around the island.
Fortunately, I pilfered a treasure map about from a scallywag rogue indicating where the culinary treats and treasures can be found.
Another one of my favourite treats is soup in general, and gazpacho specifically (I also love a good bisque). A well crafted soup is like a savoury cocktail where masterfully blended aromas, flavours and textures inspire the taste buds. One of the defining characteristics of a fine gazpacho is its cold temperature. Especially appreciated under the tropical sun. No resort gets it as ice cold as Park Hyatt Hadahaa.
Their signature bowl includes a dollop of ‘gazpacho sorbet’ scooped into the centre of the bowl to help keep the soup chilly while you eat it. I enjoyed a bowl when I visited and it remains one of my most memorable dishes of my Maldives travels.
The dish was originally created for their olive oil dinner by Monte Vibiano and now is part of its regular menu. Its olives are grown in carbon neutral groves and pressed into some of the finest extra virgin in the world.
The American Thanksgiving feast is, as I described yesterday, a feast for food, family and friends. Park Hyatt Hadahaa offers a Maldivian traditional dinner with much the same spirit. Its “Maldivian Family Feast” is presented by a Maldivian host.
It’s not a big buffet for the whole resort island, but rather an intimate gathering. Only 6 guests participate and it has more of a feel like being invited to a Maldivian’s home. A proper home cooked meal with a guided tour of the cuisine and the traditions to “find your way around the table”. What to do with the fish piece in the water and the sauces on offer. All presented at the convenience of your own villa
For the more seafood favouring guests, Hadahaa also offers “Fisherman Dining” ($250 pp) with Maldivian music and food set up also at your villa.
May your day be filled with many blessings and much gratitude.
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen
You can add Park Hyatt Hadahaa’s “Vidrun” (meaning “to shine” in Dhevehi) spa to that list. Their treatments incorporate a selection of special salt and herb blends based on Maldivian concepts…
- Hoonu – rose and sandalwood (Cooling)
- Fini – ginger, clove and aniseed (Warming)
- Hiki – jasmine and lotus (Balancing)
All massages start with a foot scrub with signature foot salt…a symbol that your “journey has begun”. Then of course, you soak in a soothing bath using your chosen bath salt.
Definitely worth its salt.