Best of the Maldives: Kids Club Old School Arcade Games – SAii Lagoon

SAii Lagoon - kids club basketball

Maldives is the ultimate escape destination. Sequestered in the middle of the Indian Ocean, can you isolate yourself from the rest of the world and modern-day life if you like. But escaping the ubiquitous diaspora of the digital web is tricky even here. And even harder with active children seeking constant stimulation. If they have had enough salt, sun and sand for the day, but you don’t want them retreating into an electronic screen, SAii Lagoon’s (with its own retro sounding name) “Junior Beach Club and Camp” offers a range of nostalgic arcade games to pass the time and burn off whatever energy they have left. I enjoyed the walk down memory lane seeing the basketball shooting, air hockey, hoop toss, and variety of others straight from our local entertainment center.

SAii Lagoon - kids club air hockey

Best of the Maldives: Alternative Ping Pong – Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu - ping pong table

Holy Ping Pong Batman! This is not just something I have not seen at any other Maldives resort…I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the world (thanks Paola). Sort of like table tennis with golf hazards. Six Senses Laamu describes…

  • This is a ping pong table that we have made here at the resort as part of our fun & quirky concept. It is placed on the beach outside Sip Sip along with other games we have made here on the island (giant score four, jenga etc). It is not easy as it looks! The table has holes with nets on it so one would have to have great aim to play without dropping the ball in the hole.”

Beer pong returning to its ping pong origins, though contrary to the resort statement, I think there definitely should be a version where you drink a beer if your opponent sends it into one of the holes.

A real *smash* hit!

Six Senses Laamu - smash


Best of the Maldives: Board Game – LUX* Maldives

400! That’s how many ‘Best of Maldives’ pieces I have logged with today’s post. Looking for something suitable for this quadricentennial milestone. ‘400’ is the square of 20, the HTTP status code for a bad client request, the top wealthy people in Forbes. It is also the price for ‘Boardwalk’ in the American version of Monopoly. With all of its hotels, money spending, and entrepreneurship in the Maldives tourism industry, that seemed particularly apropos for Maldives Complete.

Most resorts have a selection of classic board games at a common area library or from reception – chess, checkers, Risk. And the all-time classic for when you really have lots of time to while away – Monopoly. LUX* Maldives, in their characteristically creative-quirk style has lent a twist to even this simple pastime…

Monopoly that makes a difference. Join us in a villa or a suite where we will set up the game and convert the Monopoly money ‘winnings’ of the victor into a real currency donation to our carefully screened and approved community projects.”

It got me thinking that they should do a Maldives Monopoly custom-version.

Each ‘colour’ collection could be a different atoll (with an effort at trying to get escalating prices of properties featured)…

  • Dark red – North Male (Club Faru, Summer Island)
  • Light blue – South Male (Fihahlohi, Club Rannalhi, Kandooma)
  • Pink – North Ari (Chaaya Ellaidhoo, Maayafushi, Bathala)
  • Dark Yellow – South Ari (Vilamendhoo, Vakarufalhi, Mirihi)
  • Red – Nilandhe (Angsana Velavaru, Filitheyo, Niyama)
  • Yellow – Gaafu (Park Hyatt, Ayada, The Residence)
  • Green – Baa (Anantara Kihavah, Soneva Fushi, Four Seasons Landaa Giravaru)
  • Dark blue – (The Rania Experience, Dhoni Island)

Alternatively, each grouping could be a resort operating group…

  • Dark red – (Club Faru, Fihahlohi)
  • Light blue – Villa (Holiday Island, Paradise Island, Sun Island)
  • Pink – Chaaya (Hakura Hura Huraa, Dhonveli, Elaidhoo)
  • Dark Yellow – Crown & Champa (Meeru, Komandoo, Kuredu)
  • Red – AAA (Medhufushi, Filitheyo, Zitahli Kudafunafaru)
  • Yellow – Universal (Kurumba, Baros, Velassaru)
  • Green – Adaaran (Dhigu, Naladhu, Kihavah)
  • Dark blue – Four Seasons (Kuda Huraa, Landaa Giravaru)

Other changes could include…

  • ‘Houses’ would be ‘Villas’
  • ‘Hotels’ would ‘Water Villas’
  • ‘Railroads’ would be ‘Liveaboards’ (Yasawa Princess, Atoll Explorer, Dhaainkan’baa, Four Seasons Explorer)
  • Utilities would be ‘Dive Centre’ and ‘Water Centre’
  • ‘Jail’ would be the ‘Male Airport Transfer Lounge’.
  • ‘Free Parking’ would be ‘Free Diving’

Community Chest and Chance cards would have things like…

  • ‘Step on coral, pay $500 reef restoration fine’ (this idea courtesy of Vilamendhoo)
  • ‘Advance Token to the Nearest Dive Centre’
  • ‘Advance Token to the Nearest Water Sports Centre’
  • ‘Get PADI certified. Pay $150’
  • ‘Pay decompression chamber fees of $100’
  • ‘You have won second prize in a swimsuit contest – Collect $10’

The tokens would have to be all changed…

  • Ship → Dhoni
  • Old shoe → Fin/flipper
  • Top hat → Cocktail with umbrella
  • Doggie → Turtle

Any other suggestions??

Best of the Maldives: Bocce Ball – Club Med Kani

Club Med Kani bocce ball



This weekend featured the World Championship of Bocce Ball in Del Mar, California, but the champion bocca ball pitch in the Maldives has to be Club Med Kani’s. Anyone can throw a few balls in the sand and call it ‘bocce’. Kanu has chosen a select place under a sprawling palm canopy by the ocean’s edge. They have levelled out the sand pitch and marked it off with boarding on all sides. Finally, just for that added touch of official-ness, they have a special bocca ball stand in native palm-frond style.


Club Med Kani bocce ball stand

Best of the Maldives: No Shoes Games – Reethi Beach

Reethi Beach games room


Games rooms are plentiful enough and ‘no shoes’ experience is plentiful enough, but the two together is a real treat that Reethi Beach has done best.

Games rooms are usually they are housed in an air conditioned building in the main area. Another very practical reason why games rooms tend to be solid floors is the matter of levelling the pool/snooker table. But I played on it and they seemed to a figured out how to get it all level.

Also, the ‘no shoes’ experience of the basic Maldives, for a while, seemed like a bit of a declining treasure as more upscale venues developed more conventional dining restaurants with solid floors. I think now the resorts are starting to realise that their is a certain priceless allure to soft, warm sand between your toes no matter where you go including diner or post-prandial play-time (that said, there is a balancing act of catering to a jet-setting posh segment that want to wear their Manolo Blahniks around the island).

Reethi Beach is certainly one of the ‘old school’ resorts with the feel of traditional Maldives with friendly, collegial atmosphere, simple and natural landscaping, and of course the ‘no shoes’ experience throughout. The games room also includes a Foosball table and Ping Pong table. A final bonus point for Reethi Beeth was the blue felt on the pool table. It really captured that aquatic Maldivian aesthetic.

Games on!