Beloved Wives Day today (husbands in China must shout out declarations of love to their wives). And I am taking my beloved wife, Lori, for a quick escape from English wind, rain and cold. Down to the French Riviera for some friends’ New Years celebration and a quick stay in Monaco. The sunny Med shores have made them a magnet for yachts from all over the world.
One yacht that won’t be straying quite that far from home is Soneva Fushi’s new concept “suite” – “Soneva In Aqua”. A sort of mobile “water villa”. Great to see this concept revised every since the demise of The Rania Experience and Dhoni Island. Of course, the resort will provide the crew you need. Not the only boat villa in the Maldives (eg. Conrad Rangali’s “Goma”, LUX Maldives “Kokomo”), but the distinctive in its modern styling and spacious accommodation..
“Soneva In Aqua will further elevate guest experience by offering the option of a boat villa which will combine all the benefits of this iconic resort’s services and amenities with the freedom and exclusivity associated with a private boat charter.”
LORI, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS AS WARM AS THE MALDIVIAN OCEAN BREEZES AND MY PASSION AS HOT AS ITS TROPICAL SUN!!
When people think “Maldives” and “glass”, they think about the dramatic glass floors that have become de rigeur in the luxury water villas. These transparent apertures provide a portal to the main event of the Maldives – its colourful seascape below. Now Soneva Fushi is producing visions of glass just as striking and stylish…but you can take home with you. Soneva has opened a glass studio on the resort to create all sorts of aquamarine pieces of art.
Furthermore, the pieces are not only a memento of your experience, but are literally a part of your experience. The eco-obsessed Soneva uses only discarded glass from the island. So you can take home that bottle of the wine you drank in the form of a glass to commemorate your stay.
“The first glass studio in the Maldives has opened at Soneva Fushi, the award-winning luxury resort located in the Baa Atoll, where guests can watch world-renowned glass artists create objects of art, and learn the art of glass blowing. The state-of-the-art facility also includes a retail boutique and art gallery, which are designed as platforms to exhibit the work of the Maldivian and international glass artists. The facility uses only waste glass materials used at Soneva resorts and other resorts in the Maldives. It is estimated that more than five tonnes of glass waste is produced by resorts in the Baa Atoll alone, every month. ‘The idea behind this project is turn the glass into something that is much more beautiful and valuable than it was in its previous state.’”
A few years ago, our daughter gave us a Christmas gift of a session in a glass studio and it was fascinating. Not only did we get to watch and contribute to the molten fluidity of working with the hot glass, but we also took home two tree ornaments that we designed and helped “blow”.
If Maldives is the Venice of the tropic, then Soneva is now its Murano.
Another adaption of a Japanese staple is Soneva Fushi’s fruit sushi. Kiwi, papaya, strawberry, all raw and cut as masterfully as any sushi chef, set on a base of sweet coconut rice.
Fresh Fushi Frushi!
The smaller “table” version of tennis is almost always set in covered areas and pavilions at the Maldives resorts. Usually in entertainment buildings. But Soneva Fushi has given the full first class treatment to its “ping pong” pavilion – natural construction, thatches roof, Maldivian-style lounger chairs for spectators. All set on natural soft sand which might slow your panther-like reactions, but keep the game more comfortable and more “outdoors” as you toes sink into the warm sand.
Another housekeeping implement with a brushing of local style was Soneva Fushi’s room broom with its quirky skew. Sort of Mary Poppins meets Swiss Family Robinson (“I choose me bristles with pride, yes, I do” – Bert)
Soneva Fushi serves up a brand new age type of “energy drink”…with the only ingredient being water. And the impact of a bit of holistic energising. The water is served with a glass stirrer which contains different crystals each imparting a different energy type on the liquid.
- Wellness – Rose quartz, Rock crystal, Amethyst
- Harmony – Rose quartz
- Regeneration – Emerald, Rock Crystal
Soneva describes that the energy enhancement “Maintains the balance between body and soul. Water enhances a feeling of overall well-being.”
This post has also energised me to add a new blog category tag of “Water”.
World Mushroom Day today (who knew?).
As part of its intense focus on sustainability, Soneva Fushi has its own mushroom hut for cultivating a wide varieties of Basidiomycotae and Agaricomycetes. Oyster and other varieties grown from tubes of mulch made by their resort’s recycling plant. The hut interior is kept cool and moist with a light spray of water on constantly.
Putting the “fun” into “fungi” and the “eco” into the “enoki”.
So much is my appreciation for gazpacho, and so apropos a dish for the equatorial paradise of the Maldives, I have now added a special “gazpacho” category to the blog to tag all of the distinctive examples sampled here. Today’s chilled cheer goes out to Soneva Fushi’s “Mango Gazpacho” (see above). The mango is a perfect tropical flavour to the characteristic smooth and silky gazpacho style. If you want a taste of paradise at home, here is a recipe for it (including a nod to Soneva in the comments).
This weekend is the height of that colourful harbinger of English spring – the Chelsea Flower Show. And the perfect time to raise a glass to the most apropos accompaniment – Soneva Fushi’s floral iced tea selection…
- Roselle Flower – Roselle flowers have well documented antioxidants which are believed to tackle hypertension. Several studies have also shown that the roselle flower’s antioxidants can reduce the risk of cancer and that they promote good health by enabling oxidative balance.
- Butterfly Pea– Contains natural anti-oxidants and improves blood circulation. Helps prevent hair loss and greying hair. Cleanses blood, & improves night vision, revitalizes skin & hair. Nature’s answer for aging with grace!
- Chrysanthemum – Rich in chlorogenic acid, carotene, vitamins, and potassium, chrysanthemums offer a multitude of health benefits.
- Bael – Bael assists digestion, combats disorders, ulcers, hypertension, diabetes, and numerous other ailments. The ripe fruit acts as a laxative but is not digested easily. Unripe bael fruit on the other hand, promotes digestion and cures diarrhoea.
- Hibiscus – Hibiscus is believed to have anti –inflammatory effect, help lower high blood pressure, help lower uric acid levels in gout sufferers, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in pre-diabetics and diabetics. Studies have shown that it also appears to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in a petri dish
- Rose Petal – Rose petals contain vitamins A, B, C, D, and E! The petals are also home to antioxidants, and they acts as a mild sedative, anti-depressant, and mood-enhancing agent. Rose water is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and can be used for all kinds of skin ailments from eczema to psoriasis…and even sunburns!
Cuppa flowers in elegant and vibrant surroundings.
A segue from “sole cleansing” to “soul cleansing” (or even more unpardonable, from “heeling” to “healing”), as Soneva Fushi introduces its own Healer in Residence, Jaqueline Bourbon. She is described as a “leader in enlightening wellness experiences”
“Soneva Fushi is proud to welcome Jacqueline Bourbon, its very own ‘Healer in Residence’…A fully qualified Medium, Spiritual and Shamanic Healer and Teacher, Jacqueline will offer her services to resort guests on a one-to-one basis by performing treatments such private sittings, energy readings and healing, spiritual assessments and traditional Tibetan Sound Healing…’Eva and I have worked with Jacqueline for a couple of years, and have witnessed quite how often she has a positive and life-altering affect on guests, even the most cynical ones. She is one of those highly intuitive people that come into your life rarely. She is brilliant at unlocking the past and setting people back on track for a far healthier and happier life,’ commented Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Chairman of the Soneva Group…Jacqueline’s healing works on many levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.”
If there was ever a place for a “positive and life-altering affect” it would be the Maldives…