More resorts feature more artistry from local creatives, and some bring these pieces into the villas, but Oaga features a veritable museum of distinctive art in its Veyoge Gallery Pool Villa room category. And if you are looking for an inspired memento of your ‘night at the museum’, you can purchase the pieces displayed. And even if you don’t buy one, your stay benefits the local artists who graced your space:
- “Suvāsthi Gallery Art: Revel in the art exhibited on the wall, part of our in-house art collection from Maldivian artists. All the displayed art is acquirable via our Suvāsthi Retail Gallery. Fun fact: For each night spent in this villa, an allocation will be made to the contributing artist community.”
The latest addition to the gallery of local artists adorning villas will innovative creations is Cora Cora who features an expansive collection of dynamic piece from their very own artist-couple-in-residence, Shameen and Sheenez.
We love seeing sharks in the Maldives…this Neon Bull Shark art installation by Carla O’Brien was an especially bright sighting at the Ritz Carlton Maldives:
- “This large-scale light art installation is a lifesize depiction of a fully grown female Bull Shark, fabricated from a laser and hand-cut metal and LED Neon Flex, a revolutionary replacement for glass neon. The US-born artist, Carla, is best known for the NEON ANGEL WINGS, which went globally viral in 2016 when Katy Perry posted on social media, a photo of herself ‘wearing’ the Wings at the Burning Man festival in Nevada, the USA, in 2016.”
The piece is part of the resort’s 14 piece art collection of modern works in a variety of media.
Cora Cora has decorated its villas with a bit of local artistry with a unique painting on everyone depicting some activity at the resort. The portraits were all painted by Maldivian artist Shameen who is now in residence at the resort (stay tuned).
One of the shorthand acid tests I use as an indicator of property quality is it beach chairs – 3 star properties have plastic beach/lounge chairs, 4 star have wooden ones, 5 star have wooden ones with cushions. And super premiums go that bit extra in comfort and distinction. With One & Only Reethi Rah, it is embellishing such beachware with Missoni’s style:
· “Missoni’s maximalist design has made it to the Maldives. The venerable Italian fashion house just gave the beach club at the One&Only Reethi Rah resort a colorful makeover. The reimagined alfresco space captures the essence of the tropical surroundings through a vibrant spectrum of blues, greens and whites. Naturally, you can expect plenty of Missoni’s signature patterns, too. Designed by Alberto Caliri, the creative director of Missoni’s home collection, the club is equipped with custom furniture showcasing the label’s recognizable motifs. Everything from the loungers and cabanas to the popsicle stand and DJ booth has been given the Missoni treatment. Guests can even make use of Missoni-designed paddleboards, bicycles and golf carts.”
I love the way the Missoni pattern evokes the tapestry of blues in the adjacent lagoon. If I win the lottery, I’ve always wanted a Missoni upholstered Roche Bobois ‘Composition’ sofa. Until then, at least I can get a bit of lounging on Missoni in the Maldives.
While not every room is so individually appointed, the distinctive décor of Hard Rock’s Rock Star Villa does evoke the spirit of individually decorated rooms that I called out back in 2014 in my 5th instalment of “Haven’t Seen Yet”. The unique design aesthetic evokes world famous artistic hotels like Crazy Bear (UK), Ice Hotel (Sweden) and Atelier sul mare (Italy).
Now they need to just take it to the next step. They should honour a rock star every year with a free visit and the villa the star stays in gets christened the “So-And-So Villa”. Sort of like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star would bring a few bits of paraphernalia to contribute to the room décor (in addition to prints of photos and concert posters the resort would have already) and the villa would have the obligatory “So-And-So Slept Here”.
I’ve already featured the striking artistry of Soneva Jani’s arrival jetty, but it wasn’t until our visit there that we could appreciate the ubiquitous artistry of all its jetties. Unlike its sister resort which is primarily land oriented (and only recently added water villas), Soneva Jani has been from its inception very water oriented. So it is fitting that the byways connecting all of the (striking) constructions should itself be an aesthetic journey. Details like the Soneva signature driftwood pieces (see bottom) to the lit glass room numbers inlaid into the walkway timber as extra flair (see photo below – thanks Poala!) to the Suess-like whimsy of these central design elements.
The heart of the Hard Rock ambience are the ubiquitous memorabilia displays of the most renowned acts in the music world. The sprawling landscape of an entire resort provides a stadium-scale palette for the mementos of performing history underscoring their very distinctive aesthetic like a ten-foot bass tower. Like the most pioneering artists themselves, Hard Rock knows what it is as an entertainment and lifestyle offering and it is not afraid to go all out in expressing it. I find the most tedious resorts to be those vanilla concoctions that try to be all things to all people and only end up being nothing special to everybody. The vibrant vibrations vibe may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who do enjoy it, few do it better.
The dhoni is one of the iconic images of this iconic destination. In particular, its scimitar-like flared bow sprit give it a tell-tale aesthetic signature which lends itself to all sorts of artistic application. The latest example I have found is Rahaa’s Dhirun Bar. I especially appreciate the rooftop deck which simulates the flat-top perch on covered dhonis that we enjoy sunbathing on with an extra bit of perspective across the blue tapestry of the Laccadive vistas. I also appreciate when resorts put a bit of extra care into designing their bar areas since chilling with a tropical cocktail is such an essential and memorable part of any Maldives stay (and as such, I have added a “Bar” tag).
Joali’s kids club has the most whimsically decorated beds for little ones as each crib is designed to resemble a hot air balloon. Up, up and away to the land of nod.