Two of my favourite features – island maps and bed decorating. Both are quite distinctive in the Maldives with their “all on one island” resort properties and their tradition of elaborate blossom bed creations. Kudafushi has merged the two together for a mattress-based map of the island’s landscape (thanks Paola). One of the most exquisite works of bed decorating I’ve seen.
I’ve featured a number of Bed Decorating distinctions over the year and I keep a Pinterest board that includes a broader range of contenders. In fact, I first proposed holding a bed decorating competition 3 years ago. In the controlled environment of an adjudicated competition, the Maldives Housekeepers Forum Competition, it was Vadoo who took home the top prize seeing off a king-sized field of competition…
- “More than 50 housekeepers from over 25 resorts and hotel operators participated in the competition; including Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, Velaa Private Island, Kurumba Maldives, Meeru Island Resort & Spa, Centara Hotels and Resorts, Baros Maldives, NIYAMA Private Islands, Bandos Maldives and Hulhulé Island Hotel. Other hotels and resorts which competed in the competition are Hotel Jen, Naladhu Private Island Maldives, Anantara Maldives Resorts, Hurawalhi Island Resort, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, Komandoo Maldives Resort, Coco Collection and W Maldives.”
Vadoo’s gold medal team comprised of Hasaan Majeed and Ahmed Hafiz (see above). Runner-ups were Baros and Hulhule Island Hotel.
I wasn’t quite sure what to call this recognition, but I knew I need to call out Kuramathi’s exceptional touches to old fashioned relaxation. Kuramathi was the first resort that I ever posted for its distinctive bed-art marking. They have clearly made it a resort trademark, in fact taking it up a notch with the latest generation of bedroom artistes.
All of the creations shown here are the work of 24 year old room attendant Adam Naseer. Kuramathi shared these details about his work…
- “Adam has been working in another resort for about two years after he found out about Kuramathi on the internet and from some friends (who also work here) and decided to work for Kuramathi, this is now one year ago. He works at the Thundi area of the island and takes care of about 4 to 5 villas per day. His favourite part is decorating the bed or even the bath with towel art including flowers. It is his passion to make the guests happy and to see their smile on their face as he always receives a grateful feedback and the guests always want to have a picture with Adam and his designs. Mostly he likes to make heart shaped or honeymoon designs.”
My favourite is his birthday greeting complete with towel birthday cake (see photo at top).
For a gallery of Maldives bed decorating masterpieces, check out the Maldives Complete “Bed Art” Pinterest board.
Today is the International Day of Failure. Which happens to be, along with Maldives resorts, my other specialist subject. I’ve written about as much about embracing failure as I have about quirky features at Maldivian resorts. And today I get to combine the two. Enjoy!
- Helengeli – According to Wikipedia, “HANE” is either “Hereditary angioneurotic edema” or “High-altitude nuclear explosion”. Neither is probably a happy occurrence to a new bride. [ABOVE]
- Cinnamon Dhonveli – The guests weren’t being rude when they said he’d married a cow.
- Amilla Fushi – I guess at Amilla they keep track of your achievements and this guest is now at “5”
- Atomosphere Kanifushi – I’ve posted about Babymoons, Blood Moons, Full Moons, Coconut Moons and Super Moons, but somehow I’ve missed out the basic “Happy Moon”.
- Dhigufaru – Is the “Valentine 2” performing for a romantic duet?
- Hurawalhi – Wow, a baby born on the resort itself!
- J Resort Alidhoo – Unless this is some cryptic formula, this appears to be text slang for “Welcome, Oh My…”
- Kuredu – For smaller achievements, I guess this is appropriate.
- Meeru – But this one for really big, heavy achievements.
- Meeru – It’s no big holiday, it merely Christmas.
- Mirihi – I know, I know, everyone’s a chritic these days.
The Maldives mattress medium just gets more and more sophisticated. The latest artistic talent to showcase is Anantara Kihavah Villas’ mixed medium artistry (thanks Paola). I’m particularly fond of their use of the pink bougainvillea, the underwater scene is especially a propos, and their towel palm tree is the first I have seen using towels in a pictorial rendition.
These bed decorations are ultimately a form of performance art. As evanescent as the blossoms which compose them.
There’s bed decorating…and then there is bed artistry. Some of the duvet ovations at Velaa are worthy of a museum. Didn’t know whether to sleep in the bed or frame it. Anantara Kihavah is also executing similarly exquisite renditions, but I gave the nod to Velaa because I have come across more examples and their peacock above is simply masterful. I particularly like the use of blue flowers. Most bed pieces are red petals, increasingly green fronds, and sometimes yellow petals. But blue is sort of the Maldives national colour (if there was one).
Winner and new champion of the hotly contested bed decorating. Custom room greeting décor has become such an extreme art form in the Maldives, I started a Pinterest page a while back to showcase the best I came across.
Room décor falls into two basic categories…
- Bed Decoration – The original classic involving flower petals, sheet folding and palm fronds (mostly for spelling out greetings).
- Towel Art – Folding towels into various sculpture.
Zitahli Kudafunfaru has set the new bar with its “Happy Anniversary” extravaganza which elegantly combined both. Mind you it was a particularly special one (30th). The only downside is that is was so beautiful that we were tempted to sleep on the sofa so as not to disturb it. Gorgeous.
I’m a big fan of bed decorating. The classic motif is the arrange flower petals. Some resort incorporate palm fronds. And Club Med Kani even has towel folding. But Jumeirah Dhevanahfushi blends all three into a stunning bed collage. Compliments of Andy and Linnet who actually were the couple that introduced Lori and I to the Maldives years ago making their first return to the Maldives in over a decade.
Bed decoration has been a delightful service in many tropical resorts and it seems particularly popular in the Maldives. You often feel a tinge of sadness to leave the outdoor paradise for your indoor lodging, but arriving to such an artistic treat is like a bit of paradise indoors.
I’ve already featured a piece on bed decoration after culling through hundred of examples where a Meeru example came out the most exquisite. But now I’m alerted to a whole new genre of bed decoration pioneered by Kuramathi with stunning impact – towel sculpture. Check out the charming examples above from Vicky Kafala.
Kuramathi is no slouch in the bed decorating department either as the photo below testifies. I think they have taken this whole tradition beyond simple decorating to an art form in its own right.
For some cutting edge hotel room ‘bed art’, check out MSNBC’s report on the creations of Bert Kreischer, host of the Travel Channel’s “Bert the Conqueror” television show.