Best of the Maldives: Reefscaping Labels – Kandooma

Kandooma reefscaping labels

While for many the downsides of big lagoons are their less dramatic snorkelling and more remote house reef, many resorts now are using Reefscaping to both enhance the snorkelling in the lagoons as well as the aquatic environment overall. In fact, Lori and I have our own frames presented to us by Four Seasons Kuda Huraa (#KH327) and by Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru (#LG729 – which we assembled together at their Marine Discovery Centre).

Now many resorts are getting in on coral reef regeneration – Constance Halaveli, Coco Palm Dhuni Kholu, Waldorf Astoria Maldives, Banyan Tree Madivaru, Baros. But Kandooma led the way and was the first project I covered.

They’ve added a touch with I think both personalises and incentivises this fine initiative – labelling the frames with the donor names (see photo above…’Su’ is no relation). I am involved with a number of charities and in fund raising (especially capital drives), the first question that you ask is ‘what are the naming opportunities?’ American Universities have this down to an art form where just about every light switch has a mini plaque honouring the gift of some patron. Yes, people are generous and do give just for the sake of the cause. But people also have a bit of pride and getting their name (or the name of a loved one) marked indelibly on a place or thing that means something special to them is a huge boost. I also think that the approach adds a certain personality to the Reefscaping project. You can see the diverse people, with names clearly from many different countries and cultures, who have all converged to contribute to making this place of earth even more of an aquatic treasure.

Best of the Maldives: Repeater Honour – Komandoo

Komandoo - tshirts repeater


A bit of a numerically milestone event. Especially for British and Americans for whom ’11-11’ has long represented a day of honours for the nations’ veterans. The date itself marks the end of the First World War (aka Armistice Day) which goes even further as it officially ended on the ‘11th Hour’ today. Now in 2011, the 11’s string further. The day is a holiday of respect and remembrance for all who have served country. Often the day is marked with musical parades, wearing uniforms and erecting plaques.

Komandoo has a similar tradition every day for its ‘veterans’. Like all guests there, returning resort heroes are welcomed with a singing corps. Every repeater also gets a special ceremonial uniform in the form of t-shirt featuring one turtle (very prevalent around Komandoo especially with the nearby Kuredu caves) for every stay they have had (see photo above). After 4 stays, you get a custom plaque naming your villa after you for the duration of your stay (see photo below). After 7 stays, you get a special gift package presented by management.

I am a bit of a t-shirt aficionado (and in fact get stroppy when the resorts don’t sell good t-shirts). Not only is using turtle as ‘belt notches’ fun, but I also love the similar designs that Komandoo gives to honeymooners which has two turtles holding hands/flippers (see photo bottom).

May your 11-11-11 be a memorable one.

Komandoo - repeater plaque

Komandoo - plaque

Komandoo - tshirts