Best of the Maldives: Staff Art – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - garden 2

  • What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney

At most resorts, the staff give at bit of themselves every day to make the visit by the guests memorable and distinctive. At Amilla Fushi, this investment is expressed indelibly in a unique exhibition of creativity and personality.

The Mystique Garden is a chef’s garden where you can enjoy special meals prepared and served for you al fresco. But your nook is more than the lush greenery of an equatorial paradise. It accented by a collection of striking art works suspended in the tropical canopy. These pieces are the works and gifts of the resort staff themselves.

When the property was near completion and the new team of staff being assembled, the management got everyone together and presented them with a challenge to design and produce pieces of sculpture to adorn the Mystique Garden. The resort provided any tools and materials that they needed. The staff were assembled into department teams as the project was a way to bring the group close together prior to the opening with a focus on thrilling the impeding guests with something out of the ordinary. The teams worked for over a month and the top pieces were selected for inclusion in this open air gallery. The pieces featured and the teams that created them are…

  • Chandelier by Management
  • Morovian Star by Engineering
  • Peace Sign by the Spa
  • Dodecahedron by the Front Office
  • Silver Mobile by Recreation

I’ve been to lots of chef gardens in the Maldives (in fact, with this post, I am adding a new tag for them “Chef Garden”, but Amilla’s is a bit extra-magical, surrounded not just by the natural beauty of the location, but also by these inspired pieces which offer a personal welcome from the hearts, minds and souls of the resort team to their guests.

Amilla Fushi - garden 1

Best of the Maldives: Salad Dining – Sun Island

Sun Island Restaurant Zero

My meal at Amsterdam’s Restaurant de Kas was part of a public relations initiative I undertook in my previous role marketing at Microsoft called ‘Room with View’ (a play on the word ‘Windows’, since they were often hosted a venues with big windows looking out of distinctive vistas, as well as the notion of having a press briefing that offered fresh and clear perspectives on the company’s direction). If I had the budget to fly everyone down to the Maldives, I would have had an even more apropos option with Sun Island’sRestaurant Zero’.

At Restaurant Zero, not just the herbs and vegetables are local, but everything served there is local including local fish and other produce. Their specialty is salads with a number of types of lettuce and other greens grown for serving.

And you don’t just dine on the vegetation and among the vegetation, but also on top of the vegetation. Several of the tables are located on a Swiss Family Robinson style tree deck accessed by a rope bridge (see picture below). Now that’s a Room With a View.


Sun Island Zero restaurant


Sun Island Zero restaurant 2

Best of the Maldives: Herb Garden Dining – LUX* Maldives

LUX Maldives herb garden

I’m visiting a low lying country that would be one of the first to suffer widespread inundation if global warming triggers rising sea levels. No, not the Maldives, but the Netherlands. In Amsterdam for the International Broadcast Conference as a part of my day job with Red Bee Media Piero.

One of my favourite restaurants in Amsterdam is Restaurant de Kas that I discovered at another Amsterdam trade show. It is situated in the Frankendael Park and has its own extensive garden. All of the dishes are prepared with greens, veg and herbs from that plot.

LUX* Maldives has its own version of ‘de’Kas’ dining. You pick your own salad from the garden for your starter. All the meal is cooked in front of you with ingredients from the “Jardin d’Herbes.”…

“Perfumed, sheltered idylls, these jardin d’herbes offer a change of scenery for guests looking to dine al fresco but out of the sun and away from the social purr of our restaurants. These charming oases also supply our kitchens with fresh ingredients…Reserve a spot for an intimate lunch or dinner, help our chefs pick some fresh herbs and savour the senses as they prepare your private table d’hote.”