Best of the Maldives: Beach Table Tennis – Mirihi

Mirihi table tennis

 

Many think that the Olympics have some and gone, but here in the UK the ‘London 2012 Games’ were just the warm up. Now London is buzzing with the Paralympics which are equally sold out and in many ways even more enthralling than the conventional Games. One of the events I have been watching recently is Table Tennis.

For all those Table Tennis fans out there who are inspired to sharpen their skills, Mirihi lends a touch of paradise to the sport with a twist…’Beach Table Tennis’. Their table is set up in its own shaded alcove on a pitch of deep, soft sand. Reethi Beach has a ping pong table on sand, but it is indoors.

If such idyllic training isn’t enough to inspire you, then check out the video below. One of the greatest sports promotional short films ever filmed…

Meet the Superhumans.

 

 

Meet the Superhumans

Best of the Maldives: Natural Frontage – Holiday Island

Holiday Island front

 

 

Could be dubbed ‘Best Curb Appeal’.

All of Holiday Island buildings have been kept sequestered behind bush so the beach looks completely natural. Walking along the beach, you could convince yourself that you were on your very own dessered island. The resort even had an instance of a guest convincing the boat transfer driver to take them to neighbouring Sun Island because they thought Holiday was uninhabited since they couldn’t see any buildings on it. Sun also has this aspect for large stretches, but a number of welcome and activity buildings belie the resort behind the greenery.  The picture above is indeed the front of Holiday Island.

Eau naturel.

Best of the Maldives: Beach – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru beach

Whether it’s weddings, tanning, games or just relaxing, one of the best beaches in the Maldives is Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. Now, the entire Maldives nation is renowned for its seaside, so what makes FSLG so special…

  • Size – FSLG is certainly one of the largest beaches in the Maldives where scale is often a rarity. Some people prefer the tiny little island feel with a little plot of sand, but if you want the grand expanse of open seaside vista, then Landaa has that for you.
  • Facilities – Befitting the Four Seasons ethos and its luxury marque, Landaa offers a distinctive array of services and across the beach from one of the best stocked water sports centres in the Maldives to a convenient restaurant. Despite its massive size, the brilliant white soft sand is kept immaculately groomed. There are plenty of loungers with parasols and more than plenty of free sun crème in meg-sized dispensers. The beach-side pool is also a handy way to get a salt-free dip if you prefer.

Life’s a beach!

Best of the Maldives: Longest Shoreline – Kuredu

Shorelines Edwin Lynn

 

Happy Birthday Dad.

Today is my father, Edwin Lynn’s, birthday. And probably his best present is his recently published book ‘Shorelines’. It’s a present for himself to see this distillation of a life’s work of insight and reflection come to reality. It is also a present to everyone who is inspired by the ocean and draws wisdom and serenity from it. As such, it seemed to be just right for the Maldives.

I grew up in a seaside town north of Boston, Massachusetts called Ipswich. It features one of the longest and finest beaches in the northeast USA…Crane Beach. It was there that my Dad would regularly brave the cold and sleep deprivation to catch a sunrise over the ocean. On a couple of occasions I was enticed to join this ritual lured more by the promise of fresh Marty’s donuts at the end than the celestial spectacle.

My Dad always favoured seaside holidays and during them got even more opportunity to watch the sunrise (or set on western shores). My Dad even got the opportunity to visit the Maldives when we took my parents to Conrad Hilton Rangali in 2000 (see photo below). Of course, one of the great luxuries of the Maldives is that you can easily watch both sunrises and sunsets!

In honour of ‘Shorelines’ and the lengthy, white sand Crane Beach that inspired him, today’s ‘Best of Maldives’ is its Longest ‘Shoreline’ or really ‘Beach’. A number of islands have long shorelines, but they interrupted by structures or rocks or something else blocking the way. According to Maldives legendary guru, Adrian Neville, Kuredu is “still the longest beach and so fine”. This assertion is confirmed by the island size data in the Maldives Complete database.  Gan is a very long island, but the ‘resort’ beach is limited. Kuramathi and Palm Beach are also a longer islands, but the ‘beach’ is broken up by infrastructure and some inaccessible rock/coral croppings.

May your shorelines be as refreshing and inspiring as a Maldivian sunrise.

 

Edwin Lynn Conrad Rangali 2

 

Edwin Lynn Conrad Rangali 1

Best of the Maldives: Beach Tennis – Palm Beach

Palm Beach beach tennis

 

While perhaps the most famous ‘beach’ sport (and the only one of Olympic standing), Beach Volleyball is not the only ‘beach’ game in town. In fact, there are so many, that the Maldives was just this month announced as host of the next 2013 South Asian Beach Games. Including some I have never even heard of.

One of those is ‘Beach Tennis’ which Palm Beach features. It is also known by its Italian name, Racketoni. Basically, it is a paddle like racket with a slightly heavier tennis ball. You will often see it on beaches around the world where people play without any net or court just hitting it to each other and trying to keep a volley going. But Palm Beach has a proper, dedicated court at Palm Beach as well as an instructor, Mohamed Adam (shown here in the far court).

Best of the Maldives: Beach Volleyball – W Retreat

W Retreat beach volleyball

If you like your beach time a bit more active, then probably the most popular beach activity is Beach Volleyball. Not just in the Maldives, where it is definitely the sport you will see most often set up at resorts by the waterside with often a keen staffer stirring up some play among the guests. But worldwide in this Olympic year. In my day job with Red Bee Piero, we are starting to prepare special functionality for covering the London 2012 Games and Beach Volleyball is right at the top of the list of events that major market broadcasters cover in detail.

A number of resorts have the nets and line markers laid out quite well. But only a few have the soft sand for those diving saves. W Retreat not only offers both of these, but a number of other uniques in its world-class standard Beach Volleyball court. First, it has padded net stands for further protection from ambitious play. Secondly, the W provides ‘antennae’ for out of bound marking on net (the photo doesn’t show them).

Spike!

Best of the Maldives: Beach Canopy – Club Med Kani

Club Med Kani canopy

 

When it comes to Club Med Kani, it is not all go, go, go. But even if relaxing on the beach under the shade of a palm tree is your thing, then Kani does that ‘big’ too.

Palm vistas surround the island, but beach side is the most dramatic and about a half kilometre in length. Facing out onto the lagoon, they were planted years ago in striking, neat rows by the previous resident. Forget the thatches umbrellas peppering most resort beaches, this boulevard of palm provides the living, natural, towering shade for as far as the eye can see.

 

Club Med Kani beach canopy