QI Question of the Day: “In what type of landscape is the Huraa Marine Protected Area found?”
A: The ocean?
QI: <BUZZ> No, the Huraa MPA is a mangrove swamp found o the Huraa island in the North Male atoll.
Think all “Marine Protected Areas” (MPAs) are under water?
Well, one of the MPAs are actually only semi-aquatic. The “Huraa” MPA is actually a mangrove island…
“Huraa Mangrove Nature Reserve (HMNR) has been designated a Protected Area, in recognition of the fact that it is an important natural mangrove habitat which contains species of particular conservation significance to the Maldives and the rest of the world. A human community also live on Huraa Island who is itself affected by the existence of the Nature Reserve, and whose day-to-day life and activities in turn impact on the mangrove ecosystem.”
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa is its namesake neighbour and plays an active role in supporting is preservation.
This weekend was a chance to catch up on some updates to the website including the addition of new property, White Shell Beach Inn Maafushi. I came upon it after finding this great picture of a “climbing tree” that has gone completely horizontal creating its own unique arch canopy.
White Sheel Beach Inn is really classified as a guest house and I have made a concerted decisions not to focus on guest houses. I have never stayed in one and so I’m don’t feel qualified to comment on what makes for a good experience, what sort of things should people be looking for, etc. As it happens, it is located on Maafushi island which has more guest houses than any other Maldives islands (a distinction in itself).
There is a big call for budget options especially close to Male (for limited duration trips and to avoid high transfer costs). White Shell Beach Inn has a good website and quite a good property so I decided to add it to the database as a further step to even more completeness.
Another enclosure of vibrant colour is the orchid nursery at Kurumba. Except to hard-core horticulturalists, nurseries are often about as interesting as a pair of old wellies and a dirty spade. Usually, they are an example of the whole being less than the sum of the parts. In this case, the parts being hundreds of fragrant blossoms. But all packed into a tedious and cramped barracks.
Kurumba has turned this explosion of hue and scent into a feature itself. Not just by welcoming guests into it, but by investing in make the nursery itself a real attraction. The centrepiece is the water feature which is a dramatic fountain adorned will all manner of vegetation.
Horticulturist and Garden Manager, Upul Kumara, commented that the Orchid Nursery ‘is completely natural and uses coir rope, bamboo and a pond with a waterfall has been used a centre piece of the garden. This will definitely be a new attraction to all our guests and not only that, the space will be suitable for a romantic dinner, a private yoga session or a relaxing stroll.’ He added that in nature, orchids have humid environments with near-constant air circulation. The water pond not only adds beauty, but also helps take care of the orchids. For those who have enjoyed the nursery in the past, we are sure the renovation will be greatly welcomed. With the following addition we hope it imprints to guest a lasting impression on the varied experiences while seeing the Maldives in Full Colour at Kurumba.
Soon, the resort is going to start offering guest dinners in there. A delightful blend of culinary and floral aroma.
Kurumba is not alone in featuring bounteous blossoms and this post has convinced me to add a new category tag for “Flowers”.
100th Chelsea Flower Show, one of the bellwethers of sunshine and blossoms in climate-challenged England, opens today. To mark the occasion we have our own online exhibit of botanical curiosity. Mirihi not only has it’s very own blossom, but it is its namesake. GM Martin Vossen describes, “Mirihi is named after the flower! 🙂 I think it can be found on other Islands as well, but I have never seen it anywhere else and I would not be aware of where else it can be found, so it is really quite unique.”
If you like floating flowers in pools of water, then Nika’s spa is an aquatic wonderland of lily pads and other ornamental pond greenery. Nika gives a new slant to the concept of an ‘over water’ spa.
The sellout Chelsea Flower Show in London started yesterday and tickets are scarcer than some of the prize blossoms trotted out for the horticultural world to admire. Flowers have always been part of the Maldivian paradise spectacle. From lining the flour soft sand paths to arranged in stunning bedtime displays.
Of all of the fabulous flora, only Kanuhura has its very own flower – the ‘Dendrobium Kanuhura’ (yellow and orange) registered orchid developed by Kanuhura nurseries.
And the orchid extravaganza doesn’t stop there. Kanuhura has over 15,000 orchids on the island when they are in season in over 15 colours.
Everyone talks about the Maldive seascape, but despite lacking in size, the Maldive landscapes are often just as striking in their colour and beauty. Most resorts work hard to bring out the very best with primping and fussing over bougainvillea, hibiscus, and oleander lining the pathways and accents around the island. But the winner of the blue ribbon for gardening has to go to Adaaran Vadoo.
Vadoo’s garden is one of the first things to hit you on arrival. Leaving the jetty, you emerge through a gate into a manicured horticultural masterpiece like stepping into some sequestered Eden. Passing through reception to the rest of the island brings you to an even more expansive park with flowers, topiary, paths, little sitting areas, ‘turtle sanctuary’, etc. Not only are the gardens exquisite, but they are also the dominant feature of the island itself. Being one of the smallest islands in the Maldives line-up, there is no room for even any villas (so they have 100% water villas). What little space exists is devoted more to blooms and blossoms than any other island.