Best of the Maldives: Memorabilia – Hard Rock

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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.

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Best of the Maldives: Dhoni Lounge – Rahaa

Rahaa - dhoni lounge

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).

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Best of the Maldives: Wood Ends – Soneva Fushi

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Soneva Fushi has pioneered the design style of Swiss Family Robinson chic in the Maldives, but perhaps the acme of this arboreal aesthetic is its Villa 37. While the rough trunks are standard elements throughout Soneva, Villa 37 take the timber to a new dimension with a tapestry of cross sections forming the ceiling and various highlights.

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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

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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

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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.

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