Best of the Maldives: Dhoni Lounge – Rahaa

Rahaa - dhoni lounge

The dhoni is one of the iconic images of this iconic destination. In particular, its scimitar-like flared bow sprit give it a tell-tale aesthetic signature which lends itself to all sorts of artistic application. The latest example I have found is Rahaa’s Dhirun Bar. I especially appreciate the rooftop deck which simulates the flat-top perch on covered dhonis that we enjoy sunbathing on with an extra bit of perspective across the blue tapestry of the Laccadive vistas.  I also appreciate when resorts put a bit of extra care into designing their bar areas since chilling with a tropical cocktail is such an essential and memorable part of any Maldives stay (and as such, I have added a “Bar” tag).

Rahaa - dhoni lounge 2

Best of the Maldives: Glass Bar – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - glass bar

Best place in the Maldives for a glass of something. Soneva Jani’s “The Gathering Bar” features a captivating vitreous sculpture for its bar and seating:

  • Drinks and tapas can be enjoyed at any time at this day-into-evening overwater bar. As the sun begins to set, ease into an organic aperitif. Our main bar has one of the best selections of freshly made cocktails, spirits and liqueurs in the Maldives.”

Glass has long been a very fitting material for the Maldives with its aqua-green hues and light refracting properties evoking the glassy lagoons themselves.

Best of the Maldives: Champagne Themed Bar – Hurawalhi

Hurawalhi - champagne bar 1

While bottles are standard décor for a bar, traditionally arranged across long, mirrored shelved behind the bar, Hurawalhi’s Tattinger Champagne bar is the first time I’ve seen cork as the theme of the décor. The drinks table look like corks Stewart Little would have in his lounge. And, the bar stools were particular inspired with the stool legs made to look like muselets.

Hurawalhi - champagne bar 2

Best of the Maldives: Observatory Bar – Anantara Kihavah

I am tasting stars” – Dom Perignon

Now you can taste Dom Perignon among the stars. On Anantara Kihavah’s new rooftop observatory and bar:

  • Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas has taken the wraps off its new SKY overwater observatory, which combines a luxury cocktail bar, a resident story-telling ‘Sky Guru’ and its very own telescope.”

Kihavah has extended the ultimate bottom-to-top vista to the heavens now including the most exquisite wines to accompany every concourse.  And even if you have cloudy night, you can enjoy your sparkling wines under a sparkling firmament in the bar with a luminous ceiling display of constellations (see photo at bottom).

Anantara Kihavah - observatory

Best of the Maldives: Whale Bar – St. Regis Vommuli

Vommuli - whale bar

Someone who needs no straw in the Maldives is the legendary whale shark. It cruises the ocean with it’s up to 5 foot wide mouth completely open actively sucking in seawater which it runs across filter pads on its gills which sift out plankton, fish eggs, baby shrimp, etc.

At St. Regis Vommuli, you can get sucked into the mouth of the aquatic beast to quaff your own liquid nourishment at their award winning “Whale Bar”

  • “A tropical bar in the Maldives designed to make guests feel like they’re in the mouth of a giant whale emerged the big winner at international design awards held in London. The Whale Bar, St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, dreamed up by the Singapore and London-based design group WOW Architects l Warner Wong Design, beat out luxury hotels, residences, and restaurants around the world to be declared the most beautifully designed space at the SBID International Design Awards 2017. From the outside, the bar’s distinctive shape recalls the carcass of a giant whale shark. Inside, guests sip on cocktails against light-oak interiors, a soft neutral palette and Maldivian art.”

The whole concept reminded me of a tradition I read about when I first visited the Maldives for coming-of-age young men. Boys, often no more than 13 years old, would jump off a boat with a rope in hand, free dive into the water where a whale shark was swimming, SWIM INTO THE WHALE SHARKS MOUTH, and then OUT ITS GILLS, hence lassoing the fish. Young boys were the just small enough to pull off this crazy feat. I would certainly consider someone to have proven their “manhood” if they did such a thing. Not surprisingly, the government prohibited this practice years ago because too many young lads were drowning in the effort.

I would much rather toast my arrival at manhood at the Whale Bar, methinks.

(With this post, I’ve added the new topic tag of “Design”.)

Best of the Maldives: Piano Bar – Athuruga / Thudufushi

Athuruga - Thudufushi - piano bar

And the “Best of the Maldives” for “Piano Bar” goes to…<drum roll>… Athuruga and Thudufushi. “La La Land”, the story of a piano playing jazz musician Sebastian trying to bring Jazz to the fore had a bit of a problem at last night’s Oscars. No troubles, though, with Diamonds’ own Daniele (see above) bringing jazz and pop standards to your dinner playing at the overwater restaurants there. The live performance gave the music a more personal and intimate feel than piped in tracks, and the acoustic styles were soothing. You can enjoy his music over dinner or you are able to go to the restaurants for drinks.

See you in the Maldives.

Best of the Maldives: Coconut Bar – LUX* Maldives

LUX Maldives coconut bar

If you would like to be treated like a god(dess) on Coconut Full Moon weekend (or any other day of the year), then one of LUX Maldives’ omnipresent surprises is a ‘Coconut Bar’ where fresh coconut is provided for passing guests. Just about all resorts have some worker who will retrieve a fresh coconut for you and prepare it, but at LUX’s Coconut Bar, it is already prepared for you to sample this tropical treat offering.