Best of the Maldives: Table Tennis Area – Rihiveli Beach

Rihiveli Beach - table tennis area

Pretty much every resort will offer a table tennis table. Some even have elaborate outdoor pavilions, but I haven’t seen any ping pong area as stadium-eque Rihiveli Beach’s beach bar. They have set the table in a sunken area with a couple of rows of raked seating around the sides. Perfect for that family holiday grand championship tourney.

Best of the Maldives: Art Studio – Finolhu

Finolhu - art studio

For a heartfelt gift, you can make your own. Especially at one of the many Christmas workshops that are traditional this time of year. My church’s annual workshop was where I learned half my craft skills (straw stars, clove oranges, yuletide wreaths).  A number of resorts offer various artistic studios (pottery, painting, glass making), but Finolhu have one of the most comprehensive that I have seen with a wide variety of media.  The also have a festive Christmas workshop schedule (including ceramics) for all those budding Santa’s elves who prefer the sunny tropics to the frozen Arctic.

Best of the Maldives: Ice Rink – Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli - skating rink

Dhevanafushi’s sister resort, Jumeirah Vittaveli, is also showcasing their own distinctive water feature albeit a bit less toasty…in fact a bit chilly…actually downright freezing. Well, actually no water has been harmed in the making of this winter wonderland. In fact, no water was even used. The rink is made out of a special artificial ice plates supplied by Glice®…

  • “An experience unlike any other, guests can take a dip in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, then step off the white sandy beaches and into a pair of skates to glide over the resort’s glistening ice skating rink. Launching shortly before Christmas, the ice rink adds a little more magic to this already enchanting season.”

Ice skating has become an essential ingredient of the yuletide season. Even those not living in cold enough climates to have their neighbourhood ponds freeze over, many towns and cities now set up special holiday rinks. The classic is New York’s Rockefeller Center. London has one next to the Natural History Museum. So iconic is it that the legendary Peanuts “Charlie Brown Christmas” opens with all of the characters ice skating to the silky smooth sounds of Vince Guardaldi…

giphy

Best of the Maldives: Holiday Pirate Treasure – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - pirate treasure

International Talk Like A Pirate Day today, but if you want to act like a pirate then avast ye’ these special programmes at Six Senses Laamu

  • “Twice a year during Easter and Christmas break we have many families with children visiting Six Senses Laamu. So twice a year we offer this excursion. It is a pirate themed trip that leaves at 10:00 in the morning and returns about 15:30. We have some scarfs, eye patches, foam swords, water guns, a treasure map and we make up a story. We take snorkel equipment along as well as children’s lunch. At the end the excursion leads to a “treasure” of sweets for the children. We usually have boys and girls between 6 and 13 years old and sometimes a parent comes along too. The price is USD 150++ (10% service charge & 12% GST)”

Blow me down and shiver me timbers!

Six Senses Laamu - pirate treasure 2

Best of the Maldives: Kickboxing – Kanuhura

Kanuhura - kickboxing

The World Kickboxing Championships conclude today, but the Maldives champ is Kanuhura with their celebrity guest kickboxing programme:

“We are collaborating with the famous fighter and world champion Irshaad Sayed, he is the patron of our martial arts academy. We have launched the beta phase in April during Easter and have received fantastic feedback from our guests. The private or group training sessions with Irshaad rank from beginners so pro level and can be purchased in singe sessions or package rates. Several fighters and trainers will be based on the island in the future, the project will be fully up and running by August 2017.”

Yet another thing to get a kick out of the Maldives.

Best of the Maldives: Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa – Beach Sport

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa - beach rugby pitch

Dhigufaru might be the “beachiest” island, but Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa is definitely the beachiest activity center. Hakuraa Huraa boasts its own impressive expanse of brilliant white sand (and when the tide goes out it more than doubles in size). Here is there impressive line-up of beach activity…

  • Beach Rugby – A few resorts play some beach rugby (eg. Adaaran Hudhuranfushi, JA Manafaru), but no one has a permanent pitch with goals and line markers in the sand (see above).
  • Beach Cricket – I’ve seen cricket played in the Maldives, but not Beach Cricket. Again, a permanent bowling area in concrete has been set in the beach.
  • Beach Darts – I’ve only seen this at a few resorts.
  • Beach Volleyball – Ok, lots of resorts have this too and Hakuraa Huraa’s is a nice set up.
  • Beach Badminton – You can find this at several resort, but most resort that do offer badminton offer a hard surface court. The beach would make it harder to run, but could make for some crafty strategy (getting someone out of position is all the more valuable) as well as some heroic diving saves.
  • Beach Football – And this is common, but not to be left out here.

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa - beach darts

Best of the Maldives: Alternative Ping Pong – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - ping pong table

Holy Ping Pong Batman! This is not just something I have not seen at any other Maldives resort…I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the world (thanks Paola). Sort of like table tennis with golf hazards. Six Senses Laamu describes…

  • This is a ping pong table that we have made here at the resort as part of our fun & quirky concept. It is placed on the beach outside Sip Sip along with other games we have made here on the island (giant score four, jenga etc). It is not easy as it looks! The table has holes with nets on it so one would have to have great aim to play without dropping the ball in the hole.”

Beer pong returning to its ping pong origins, though contrary to the resort statement, I think there definitely should be a version where you drink a beer if your opponent sends it into one of the holes.

A real *smash* hit!

Six Senses Laamu - smash

 

Best of the Maldives: Boom Netting – Maalifushi

Maalifushi - boom netting

If you would like to mix your own body up with plenty of refreshing fluids and a shot of adrenalin, then check out the boom netting experience is part of Maalifushi’s Splash Cruise and Dolphins” excursion:

  • “Try a sunset cruise with a twist – or a splash – and join us on our Splash Cruise. Bring your swim wear and relax in the cargo nets as the water washes over you. If we are lucky some dolphins can be encountered on the way. “

Offered 16:30 to 18:30 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at a cost of $95 pax (also Private Charter for $500 for 2 hours +$25 pp for food/drink, and $47.50 pp for children 7-12).

Best of the Maldives: Equatorial Cruise – Outrigger Konotta

Outrigger Konotta - equatorial cruise

For a deeper ocean experience, you can visit one of the most famous lines in the world – the Equator. Visitors to Gan get a certificate for flying over it, but visitors to Outrigger Konotta can take an excursion to swim right in it (and get a certificate)…

  • “Equator Cruise is a specialty cruise unique to Outrigger Konotta Maldives and lies its roots deep within the folklore history of Maldivian culture and traditions. It is a long cruise that begins with a wonderful on-cruise breakfast while the guests are on the way to the equator line. The hosts will be giving a brief history and briefing about the equator and historical stories related to Maldives. Upon arrival to the location, guests are required to change costumes to Local sarong, with Traditional fisherman Hat or Handmade Coconut palm leaves hat and Necklaces of tree root with corals or shells. The captain or main host will then make the announcement and will have a stick referred to as “King Neptune Pole stick.” The yacht will then put a balloon on the equator line. All guest will be instructed to go to the back of the yacht and say King of sea, Neptune..please let me cross your world and then jump. The guests will then need to swim 5 meters to cross the line. Lunch will be served on the way back to the resort where our GM and senior management will be waiting at the jetty to receive the guests and present them with certificates of participation. A group photo will be taken and framed to give to the participating guests upon departure.”

That really crosses the line!

Outrigger Konotta - equatorial cruise 2

Outrigger Konotta - equatorial cruise 3