If you want to re-create your favourite scene from the movie “Big” or just improvise your own version of “Barefootin’”, Soneva Fushi has brought the Gulliver-scale piano with the introduction of its “Audio Floor”. Or you might want to compose your very own ‘Sonata Footsie.’
Best of the Maldives: Photographic Gallery – Huvafenfushi
A sense-ational week this week – Smell, Taste, Touch. So how about something for the eyes. If you want something as entrancing as a cabernet’s bouquet, as exquisite as artful nectar, and as soothing as a warm bath, the Huvafenfushi’s newly launched art gallery offers an indulgence of visual delights. The exhibition features both iconic shots of the Maldives, but also a collection of dazzling destination portraits from around the world…
“Per Aquum gallery on the Maldivian island of Huaven Fushi has become the first photography gallery in the world to only be accessible by speedboat or seaplane. Each visitor to the exclusive gallery is greeted at one of the private jettys with a cocktail and are then guided through exclusive prints, only available on the island. Photographer Paul Reiffer had been shooting for the island owners when he saw an opportunity to create a unique exhibition. The 35 year-old said: ‘We’ve done it in part because it’s quirky. If you look at it from a commercial view it’s a stupid idea but we wanted to do something a bit different and it completely works.”
This post has prompted me to add a “Photography” tag for all posts literally focused on the fine art of the camera.
Best of the Maldives: Recycled Christmas Tree – Anantara Dhigu / Veli
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There’s only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
One more sleep until Santa pays his visit to the good girls and boys. The girls and boys at Anantara (Dhigu and Veli) have been so good this year, they made their Christmas tree from discarded coconut husks. It shines in the day from the bright whit paint as well as at night with the constellation of fairy lights. One & Only Reethi Rah also has its own coconut Christmas tree (see below), Anantara has not just one, but three trees.
Furthermore, Anantara has gone a step further with another tree made out of old Evian bottles (see below)!
The three coconut trees on Dhigu are 2.5 meters, 3.4 metres and 5.0 metres high, with the tallest one made from 800 coconuts. The other two trees take up around 400 coconuts between them. The bottle tree is 6 meters high and is made from 720 bottles.
O Tannebaum! You’re Green not only in the summertime…
Best of the Maldives: Pool Sculpture – Coco Prive Kuda Hithi
Animal sculptures can adorn more than beds. Coco Prive Kuda Hithi features a pod of cavorting dolphin sculpture in front of its main pool bordering the beach. Handcrafted in Indonesia, they provide a playful depiction of one of the more enchanting scenes in the Maldives waters.
Best of the Maldives: Towel Swans – Sun Siyam Irufushi
Another twist on a Japanese art form are the increasingly elaborate origami-esque towel sculptures. The terry cloth swan is now appearing at a number of resorts (including our blockbuster bed decoration at Zitahli Kudafunafaru). But Sun Siyam Irufushi has taken the cygnet sculpting to a new level with it petal adornment and highlights (thanks to NikBie on TripAdvisor from his review there).
Best of the Maldives: Bamboo Decor – Velaa
Question – What type of plant does bamboo come from?
Answer – Tree?
Actually bamboo is a “grass”.
Question – How often does a bamboo plant flower?
Answer – Once a year?
Actually, a bamboo plant will only flower once in 65 to up to 120 years. And for good reason because once it has flowered, it then dies. Botanists don’t really know why it does this though it has a few thoeries including stabilizing selection, predator satiation and the fire cycle hypothesis.
And that’s just a few of the “Quite Interesting” aspects to Bambusoideae. Many of which will be discussed at the The World Bamboo Congress which convened today in Damyang, Korea (here’s the link if by now you think I’m just making stuff up). For example…
- Strength – The tensile strength of plated bamboo cables is as strong as or stronger than a steel cable of the same size. Hemp rope loses 20% of its strength when wet while bamboo cables increase in strength by as much as 20% when wet.
- Sustainability – It grows easily and cheaply (again, think “lawn of grass”, not “forest of tress”) so it easily regenerated. An acre of bamboo can sequester about 25 metric tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per year (better in bamboo than in the oceans acidifying them and hurting the coral reefs).
- Inspiration – The ancient bamboo toy called the “dragon fly” is the origin of the modern helicopter.
(thanks to MidAtlantic Bamboo for their fine page of fun facts about bamboo)
If you want to get into the expert level topics, here are few of the papers being presented this week…
- “Bamboo: The Secret Weapon in Forest and Landscape Restoration”
- “Bamboo Carbon Potential for Mitigating Climate Change”
- “The Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative”
- “Bambusa: pioneering Latin America’s first craft beer made out of bamboo”
Yes, Bamboo Beer! We actually have a bamboo wood floor in our own bathroom (not round tubes of you are used to seeing, but a flat veneer sheared from the “logs” horizontally). In fact, I even wear underwear made out of bamboo (still not making this stuff up…BAM”)!
No resort exploits the versatility of bamboo more than Velaa where it is a thematic element to all their design. It is used extensively as both a building material and a decoration. I’ve included photos of a few examples here from the practical (fence below) to the ornate (flower wall scone above).
Best of the Maldives: Bed Decorating – Zitahli Kudafunafaru
Winner and new champion of the hotly contested bed decorating. Custom room greeting décor has become such an extreme art form in the Maldives, I started a Pinterest page a while back to showcase the best I came across.
Room décor falls into two basic categories…
- Bed Decoration – The original classic involving flower petals, sheet folding and palm fronds (mostly for spelling out greetings).
- Towel Art – Folding towels into various sculpture.
Zitahli Kudafunfaru has set the new bar with its “Happy Anniversary” extravaganza which elegantly combined both. Mind you it was a particularly special one (30th). The only downside is that is was so beautiful that we were tempted to sleep on the sofa so as not to disturb it. Gorgeous.
Best of the Maldives: Jumbo Mirrors – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
If you want more literal self reflection, the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is the place to go. I know I gave a nod to W Retreat’s seeing glass motif. So to fairly distinguish the two, I’m calling out Dhevanafushi’s “free standing” looking glasses. They have extensive wall mirrors too, but the more striking striking features are the framed one placed various places around the villa – The bathroom has a double sided mirror, the outdoor shower has one, the dressing room has a giant one (see photo above)
Great for vamping, less good for vampires.
Best of the Maldives: Black Sand – Conrad Rangali
“Admire the black volcanic sand imported from New Zealand on the floor, which gives a stylish counterpoint to the white sand floors throughout the rest of the resort.”
The place to celebrate New Zealand Waitangi Day today is in the Maldives is Conrad Rangali. Their distinctive plot of sand is as black as the Maldives beaches are white. The juxtaposition is sort of a geological circle of life. The black sand comes from relatively recent volcanic eruptions while the Maldives themselves are anciently defunct volcanoes.
Their marketing manager Katherine Anthony elaborates…
“Yes, the black sand in the Cheese and Wine Bar (the only place we have it) is volcanic sand from New Zealand. We liked the contrast with the white sand that we have everywhere else throughout the resort.”
Best of the Maldives: Goldfish Pond – Sun Island
The reflecting pool. The increasingly prevalent third ‘water’ feature on a Maldives resort (after the swimming pool and, of course, the ocean). Very often these artistic aquatic creations are found at receptions of the resort and the spa. Sun Island’s Araamu Spa has a water feature as extensive as its treatment list. Many water features around the Maldives are simply the water and some add a few reef fish, but Araamu’s is a classic gold fish pond packed with colourful fish throughout. A glimmering land lagoon!