Best of the Maldives: Buggy Tracker – Dhigali

Dhigali - buggy tracker 2

There are “Best of the Maldives” features…and then there are like “soul mate” features. Features that I just adore. Not everyone will have the same effusive reaction I had to Dhigali’s “Buggy Tracker” application, but for me it was one of the highlights of the 2019 Tour.

The Buggy Tracker is an app that is both part of the resort’s own “Digalhi Maldives” app which you can download onto your smartphone (for iPhone’s, see the AppStore or you cann scan the QR code which is on every room key) – see photo below. It is also supported with an array of monitors dotted around the island at each buggy stop. The app/screen shows a map of the island as well as an icon for the constantly circling buggy so you can see how far away it is from you (see video clip at bottom).

Why a Buggy Tracker? Because Dhigali is sort of a middle sized island. We can and did walk around it, but a complete circumparaumbulation (yes, I love that word) takes nearly half an hour. If you are on the opposite end of the island to where you want to go, you might prefer to forego the stroll and just take the buggy ride. Maybe you are particularly relaxed, maybe you refreshed or it is especially toasty and you don’t want to sweat, maybe you need to be somewhere and are running behind (eg. excursion departing). On tiny island, you just walk everywhere because you are always a couple minutes away from anywhere. On big islands, you have to call for (or wait for) a buggy. When you call, you still have to wait which can be a while if they have other pickups scheduled. On a middle sized island like Dhigali, you can find yourself constantly debating “Should we walk or should we wait for the buggy?” And if you want to take the buggy and it is an on-call service, you sometimes feel a bit lazy and guilty ringing it up for a relatively short journey.

The Buggy Tracker takes all the questioning away. You look at your app or look at the screen and you can see exactly how close the buggy is. If you see if is coming round the bend, you might pop out that minute faster to grab it rather than miss it and wait for it to come around again. If it is on the other side of the island, you might choose to just hoof it. Or if you do decide to wait, it is reassuring to know exactly how far away your ride is and not have to wonder if you are going to be there forever.

Why do I love it so much?

  • Innovation – The whole spirit of “Best of the Maldives” is really about innovation. Sure, a property might be able to be the biggest or the blingest by just spending the most on some feature, but more of my pieces are about creative touches and distinctive aspects that no one has done in quite the same way in the Maldives.
  • Technology – As a software guy for my day job, I have a special appreciation for cool applications in this area. I have a particular software soft-spot for geo-location apps. Snorkel Spotter, Dive Site Database and the Admiralty Map DeepZoom all essentially mapping apps.
  • Utility – The system is so simple and so useful. I love innovations that truly enhance the customer experience.
  • Maldivian – I always enjoy meeting the fascinating people behind the scenes of the Maldives resort operations especially the local Maldivians to bring this paradise to life. Many have such distinctive talents and contributions. The entire project was the initiative of Mohamed Furuqan, the resort’s IT manager (see photo top). We got to meet up during my stay and geek out a bit about tech. It’s also especially inspiring to see the innovation stem from a homegrown initiative supported wholeheartedly by the management.

Dhigali - buggy tracker

Maldives Tour 2019: Dhigali

Tour 2019 - Dhigali

Someone who has put their customer-thinking cap on is Dhigali. Another Raa relative newcomer, it benefits hailing from the veteran Maldives stable of parent company Universal. Compared to our immediately preceding stop, the basic 5-star of Kudafushi, Dhigali has invested in a number of distinctive touches. And as such, its rack rates are also a bit higher. So are the touches worth the money? Well, that’s down to each individual guest (my mantra – “there’s no best resort…just the best resort for you”). But I will say, at least all of the special touches were clearly crafted with the guest in mind.

Dhigali have crafted an inspired sunset bar, Haali, with fun swings, comfy beach cushions. The other landscape feature they have optimised is the dense jungle of their island interior. They’ve created a little “Jungle Walk” through it which is a narrow path winding around with some guide signs posted providing fun factoids about the flora and fauna they pass. I love their main pool which sprawls and includes a number of enticing features. But my favourite optimisation is their Buggy Tracker app. Part of an overall handy app provided to all customers which is itself a superb innovation, the buggy tracker makes hitching a ride easy and convenient without the faff of calling for a buggy or waiting and wondering when one will be by.

Dhigali puts their touches of luxury into things that don’t just make the property look prettier, but more importantly directly enhance the pleasure and comfort of staying there.