Best of the Maldives: Vinotherapie – Velassaru

Velassaru - Vinotherapie

Alcohol, at its most generic hydroxyl chemical functional group level, has a couple of properties which make it for popular for stirring the senses. First, it is volatile. This enhances aromas as it evaporates quickly. Second, it bonds to both water and fat, making it a great catalyst to bringing out the flavours in food. It seems creative applications have been conjured up to excited nearly every sense – the spectacle of sight, the aroma of smell, the titillation of taste. And Velassaru gives you the opportunity to experience the epidermal emollience of its “Vinotherapie” spa treatment…

“The Spa at Velassaru, Maldives offers couples the chance to experience sensual bliss through a full body scrub, wrap and a massage, with its newly launched wine therapy – Vinotherapie. This indulgent treatment uses red and white wine as its main ingredients and is followed by a specially prepared candlelit bath to enjoy, complimented with a delicious bottle of wine. This three-hour sensual therapy allows couples to enjoy serene and rejuvenating moments together to rekindle intimacy and romance at only USD 640 per couple.”

A cheeky little number for your cheeks.

Best of the Maldives: Tapas – Velassaru

Velassaru tapas

 

Today is the anniversary of Columbus sailing the ocean blue to discover the “New World” which Spain celebrates as its “Fiesta Nacional de España”. Another “new” the Spaniards have brought the world is spin on bite-sized “nouvelle” cuisine – tapas. It seems like everything in the trendiest restaurants is a tasting menu these days. I’m a big fan of this foodie fashion as a I would much prefer a smorgasbord of tastes than a smothering of serving size. And at Maldives resorts, the ubiquitous buffets do provide a DIY sampling opportunity. But if you want the a true Spanish tapas experience, then you must paseo over to Velassaru who offer a special tapas menu at their Chill Bar restaurant.

Ole!

Best of Maldives – Online: Interactive Map – Dreaming of Maldives

Dreaming of Maldives interactive map

Like the resurgent corals, the vibrant inter-web thingy just gets richer and more colourful every day. When I launched Maldives Complete, there was a really dearth of good, useful information about the resorts. The resorts themselves had weak and limited websites. Nowadays, things are much more sophisticated.

Probably my second favourite Maldives website, after Maldives Complete, is Sakis Papadopolous’ ‘Dreaming of Maldives’. Just as I started with an anchor of a comprehensive database, Sakis’ starts with simply the best collection of images on the Maldives around. But like Maldives Complete, he hasn’t rested there and has branched into a range of other areas. His section on families, “The child-friendly Resorts in Maldives, all the Kids-clubs,’ remains one of the most comprehensive reviews of resorts on the Maldives. He has started to move into videos with dazzling results. And his latest innovative addition is this ’Maldives Photo Map’.

When I first launched Maldives Complete, one of the fun bits I added was the DeepZoom control of the British Admiralty Maps of the country. As I launched it, you can zoom into the charts to exacting detail. I had fantasized about pushing this party trick even further. I had pictures for both aerial shots of the island and prominent features like the swimming pool. I had thought that once one zoomed into an island, you would see an aerial photo (see directly below). And if you zoomed in on the photo, then it would take you to a shot of the pool (see bottom). A bit like a Russian doll photographic drill down reminiscent of the second half of the iconic film, ‘Powers of Ten’.

In the end, I didn’t see a lot of traffic on my interactive map and Microsoft never really developed the Deep Zoom technology much. Its editing tool, Deep Zoom Composer, remained klunky and incomplete. So I decided it would be too much work to add these extra layers of images. Also, soon the Google and Bings maps caught up on the imagery and so the aerial shots were pretty good. And now Sakis has taken the final step of allowing you to zoom even closer into gorgeous shots of island highlights.

 

Velassaru deep zoom island

 

Velassaru deep zoom pool

Best of the Maldives: Make-Up Table – Velassaru

Velassaru make up counter

 

The award for “Best Make Up” might have gone to ‘The Iron Lady’ last night, but the Best of the Maldives Award for ‘Best Make-up Table’ goes to Velassaru. All too often the ‘make up table’ is stuck away in some alcove or hallway typically between the bathroom and bedroom. Sometimes it is in the bathroom itself, but often facing the wall in order to face the mirror. Velassaru’s waterv villas positioned the make up table front and centre by one of the prominent windows in the room. Now getting ready for the day or evening is not a chore relegated some corner of the room, but a truly delightful setting. Velassaru makes becoming breathtaking a breathtaking task itself.

Best of Maldives Online: Most Languages – Velassaru

Velassaru website languages

Today is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day which seemed an appropriate occasion for a shout out to Velassaru for their language rich and diverse web site. Their 8 supported languages far surpasses any others I have come across…

  1. English
  2. French
  3. German
  4. Russian
  5. Spanish
  6. Italian
  7. Korean
  8. Japanese

Oddly, no Chinese which is the very first language that I translated my website into. With Velassaru’s extensive shallow lagoon, one would think it would be an attractive option for swimming-challenged Chinese.

Best of the Maldives: Sand-Between-Toes Dining: Velassaru

Velassaru beach dining

 

Dining on the beach is pretty standard now, but dining ‘in’ the beach? There are ‘beach chairs’ and then there are ‘beach’-chairs. As in ‘made out of beach’. And I don’t mean ‘beech’.

If you like getting down for dinner, then Velassaru takes ‘sand between your toes’ dining to a whole new level. A level down into the sand for sand between your toes, legs, and anything else.

I’ve always been a big aficionado of beach dining in the Maldives and have been frustrated when resorts sequestered guests off into to cinder block dining halls for meals.

Best of the Maldives: Bean Bags–Velassaru / Baros

Velssaru bean bags

 

If you don’t want to sit on a gigantic beach towel, then Velassaru has the biggest beach beanbags I have ever come across…”Fatboys”. Bean bags are becoming more an more popular in the Maldives as a cozy seating. We saw them at Kurumba and Kandooma. But ‘Fatboys’ are the Cadillac, or should I say ‘Hummers’ of the genre.

According to a Daily Mail feature, the Fat Boys are also at nearby sister Universal resort of Baros as well…

“With a flourish, Jihad threw open the door to our villa and our children-squeezed past us, ignoring the emperor-sized bed, the teak decor, flatscreen TV, iPod charger and the Moet et Chandon on ice, and instead headed straight for the dazzling beach beyond the veranda. 'Mummy! Daddy!' they cried, 'they've got a fat boy here!' Amanda and I glanced at each other in horror; were we now about to face an outraged and indignant parent? Fortunately, the 'fat boy' turned out to be a Fatboy, a giant waterproof cushion, a sort of amphibious beanbag equally at home on the beach or in the water, and from then on it became the most heavily used piece of kit on the island.”

Best of the Maldives: Biggest Water Villa Private Pool – Velassaru

Velassaru water villa suite pool

 

If the biggest private pool is not enough aquatic acreage for you, then of course you have the water villa option. And if you really want it all, then you can have a big private pool on your water villa. Velassaru’s Water Suite features a 30 metre long pool covering 105 sq/m that pips Shangri-La Villingili Villa Muthee’s (104 sq/m).

Best of the Maldives: Biggest Glass Floor – Velassaru

Velassaru glass gloor

 

For those with weaker sea legs, you don’t have to go on the high seas or undersea to have a window to Maldivian marine life.

In fact, just this week the topic of glass floors came up on the Trip Advisor Forum. A couple of posters dismissed them as just gimmicks. But I actually applaud them. They are fun in their own right to see sea life from your very room. The whole allure of the Maldives is the gorgeous ocean and it seems a shame to ‘leave it’ when you close your villa door coming inside for the night or some other reason during the day.

Many times, water villas are built in shallow, sandy lagoons and so there is not the most fish life to see. I always wish that if a resort is going to invest in a glass floor feature, that they make sure it is over some coral cropping that will attract some colourful fish to actually look at. And if there is not a coral cropping handy, then invest in a SeaMarc regeneration frame to start some.

But even where there are few fish, the simple window over the water can have a dramatic feng shui effect over the villa. The light comes into the villa with the characteristically aquatic dappling which brings a bit of the playful spirit of the sea inside.

Sometimes these glass floors are rather modest little portals which nonetheless provide that stylish design touch. But, the most dramatic glass floor I have found in the Maldives is Velassaru’s Water Suite which measures an expansive 138 square feet. I used to live in a room that was smaller than that.