Best of the Maldives: TV Easel – Faarufushi

Faarufushi - TV easel

Not a lot of people want to take time away from gazing at paradise to stare at the boob tube (some Maldive purists even object to having TVs in villas as all though they are handy when the rainstorms occasionally hit), but they are often cleverly dual purposed as displays to bring a collection of videos from around the island into your room. Faarufushi provides an extra aesthetic touch to its artistic videos displaying them on a stylish easel which highlights the allure of the scenes of paradise.

Best of the Maldives: Water Closet – Joali

Joali - water closet

Bathrooms are so critical to buyer appeal that they are the number one room in the house for remodelling return on investment. Maldives bathrooms in the top properties have become quite lavish affairs with sculpted tubs set in pride of place with stunning views. But even the most lavish still sequester the toilet, affectionately known as the “water closet”, in pretty non-descript cells. Joali has gone to unmatched extents to model their WCs with striking style. The lavish loos are lined floor to ceiling with green Norwegian marble. And the light turns on automatically when you open the door so there is no fumbling around for the light switch in the middle of the night.

Bodacious bog!

Best of the Maldives: Evacuation Map – Joali

Joali - evacuation map

If you are keen for a plaque for your wall, I recommend Joali and their exceptionally high spec evacuation map. Most room maps are simple printouts with maybe a bit of lamination. The luxury villas might have a printed plastic sign up. But the Joali is an artistically etched brass plaque. No troubles finding the way out with these directions as the aesthetic allure of it draws your eye to it.

Best of the Maldives: Jetty Lights – Joali

Joali - jetty lights

You need some sort of lighting on the jetties to make sure people don’t wander into the ocean on the way to their villa, and resorts have tended to install a variety of basic fixtures along the path. Joali has extended its art immersion ethos to these simple finishes with a not just utilitarian lamps to light the way but specially carved globes. These balls provide a pleasing aesthetic detail to follow during the day, but in the night they bathe pathway with a constellation of light specs mirroring the celestial canopy overhead.

Joali - jetty lights 2

Best of the Maldives: Carpet – Velaa

Velaa - carpet 2

Design is about creating a feeling with ingredients. Some might consider a carpet at a Maldives resort an unnecessary extravagance. The typically stone floors feel cooler to the touch in the hot climate so why spring the expense for something so seemingly extraneous. Well, it’s all part of the Velaa vibe which is possibly the most homey of any resort we have been too. Which is not surprising since the very genesis of the resort was as the resort owner’s private vacation home that eventually grew to a resort in its own right.

Most hotel properties try to get by with spartan décor to cut costs. This approach is why do many hotel rooms seem to sterile and uninviting even if they are done with panache and style. Velaa’s villas feel like someone’s home you are visiting. Only at a home would you put so much care into adding so many details which I’ve highlighted before. The rugs are not cheap industry bulk buys, but really elegant orientals that add a distinctive touch of style as well as warmth.

Velaa - carpet 1

Best of the Maldives: Most Thatch – Makunudu

Makunudu -thatch 1

If you are into the arboreal aesthetic, especially the indigenous palm thatch vibe, then you will find it pervasive at Makunudu. Not only are the villas covered in the traditional thatch, but virtually everything on the island that have any type of cover – trash bins, air conditioning units, lamps, swings. Even the partitions are made of palm thatch.

Makunudu - thatch 4

Makunudu - thatch 2

Makunudu - thatch 3

Best of the Maldives: Wood Painting – Rihiveli Dream

Rihiveli Dream - flags

With all of the glitzy bling scattered around the Maldives like toddlers throwing tinsel on a Christmas tree, some of the old school décor with retro charm stand out even more distinctively. One example is Rihiveli extensive oil on wood paintings. The reception features one of the most handsome island maps I have seen, and I love the little vexillological (word of the day for you) retrospective.

Rihiveli Dream - reception map