Best of the Maldives: Experience Passport – KIHAA

KIHAA - experience passport

The joke is that the entire Brexit campaign was primarily to get “Blue” passports for the Brits (the traditional colour for British passports until they joined the EU and the passports became burgundy coloured). Well then the British will love the alluringly azure blue “Experience Passport” by Kihaa Maldives.

I always appreciate when properties make something special out of the ordinary. Most resorts simply print out information sheets left in binders or folders in the room. These hard copy versions are increasingly being replaced by digital catalogues of info, Kihaa has developed a “hand-held” guide with a more retro inspiration. Like a proper passport, just the right size for a pocket. It includes:

  • Map of the Island
  • Floors plans for all the room types
  • Index of services, with hours, etc.
  • Restaurant pages
  • And other information about the area and resort

KIHAA - experience passport 2

Best of the Maldives: Origami – LUX North Male Atoll

LUX North MAle Atoll - palm folding kids gift

Resorts have a tradition of bestowing welcome gifts to their arriving guests. While many are branded tat pulled from the hospitality bumph catalogue, some properties have made an effort to present more distinctive mementos. As a fan of the art of palm folding, so I was particularly enchanted by the origami palm fish that LUX North Male Atoll presents to kids on arrival.

   

Best of the Maldives: Plastic Bag – Conrad Maldives

Conrad Maldives - plastic bag

Black Friday! The biggest shopping day of the year. Of course you will need something to carry all those purchases and you don’t want to be adding to the landfill with shopping bags. If you do your early Christmas shopping at Conrad Rangali you not only get a useful and stylish bag for your shopping and more, but the bag itself doesn’t just stop added plastic consumption, but it actually removes waste plastic from the ocean. The bag is made from recycled plastic removed from the ocean. Parley’s website describes

  • The bags are made with Ocean Plastic® — a premium material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, waters and coastlines by our growing global cleanup network. Each Parley Ocean Bag in the artist series is made from approximately 5 intercepted plastic bottles and funds the removal of another 20 pounds of marine plastic waste by the Parley Global Cleanup Network.”

Bag for Sea Life!

   

Best of the Maldives: Popcorn – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - popcorn

A nibble to spike that thirst for the mini-bar? NIYAMA’s villas all come with hot-air popcorn poppers and a supply of gourmet popcorn for a quick, fresh, hot, healthy snack. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, they also provide complementary cassava chips for something a bit more exotic.

With this post, I’ve added what is really a long overdue category tag for “Mini-Bar”.

   

Best of the Maldives: Room Bonus – Safari Island

Safari Island - dhoni room bonus

Bonus room! Not just an extra bed, but a completely distinctive experience sleeping on the water. Not just in a water villa perched over the water, but in a Maldivian-styled dhoni yacht. Not just hearing the ocean gently sloshing below you, but feeling the ocean languidly rock you to sleep.

If you are lucky, some resorts will occasionally offer a free upgrade for a night or more from their beach villas to their water bungalows.  But Safari Island, if you stay 7 nights you get a free dhoni tour like a sunset cruise or fishing. If you stay 14 nights, then you get a free night on the dhoni.

Best of the Maldives: DIY Creations – Kurumba

Kurumba - welcome cocktail mixer

If you are inspired to be your own concoct your own cocktail creations, then arrival at Kurumba will start your holiday on the right foot. They provide all the fresh ingredients to make your own mojito precisely to your liking when you walk into your room. We loved the concept because it spurred us to indulge in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise done. When you arrive, it doesn’t feel appropriate to raid the mini-bar right off the bat. And if you did, all you can really do is have a simple drink like a beer, glass of wine or neat liquor. But the layout inspired us to create an especially refreshing and interesting drink to accompany our unpacking and settling in.

Cheers!

Best of the Maldives: Snorkel Bag – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi - snorkel bag

It’s fashion and freebies all around this week – London Fashion Week, The Oscars…You can’t swing a snorkel bag and hit some a designer frock and some decadent swag. And the resorts are equally generous with their toiletries and amenities. They are great for when you have forgotten something, but usually we are pretty prepared with the basics. But probably the most useful and gratefully received item was Huvafenfushi’s snorkel bag. You really do need something to gather up your fins and masks for various forays to different parts of the house reef or for excursions on snorkel safaris. We had a great one, but we wore it out over the years and had been looking for one for some time.

Now that’s a bag that really goes with your outfit.

Best of the Maldives: Custom Complimentaries – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi toilettries

Even getting free gifts right can be tricky. We often feel bad when the resort management has left a traditional complmentary greeting in our room and it’s something for some reason or another we can’t enjoy. Sometimes it’s not something we fancy at the moment or just isn’t our preference.

The same can be true in the bathroom, that trove of complementary items. We still often bring our own shampoo and conditioner because we’re not certain that the resorts will supply some to our liking.

Soneva Fushi makes sure that all of its generosity hits the mark from the moment they first greet you at the airport lounge. As well as offering you refreshment and sorting out your registration, the hostess also presents you will samples of Soneva’s fragrances (lemon grass and peppermint for shampoo, conditioner and lotion) and bath salts (lemongrass and rosemary). You get to sample their fragrance and choose the one that you would like your room will be equipped with.

They also ask you for your choice of bottle of red, white or champagne for a welcome libation.

There’s an old adage in customer service…”Ask the customer what they want, and give it to them.”