Haven’t Seen Yet – 16

Havent Seen Yet - dolphine fruit cup

How fun is that above? (thanks Cori)

Missing our annual trip to the Maldives is not fun though.  SO I guess we will just have to continue to wallow in digital vicariousness.

Usually, this time of year we are in the Maldives on our annual research tour. I don’t think I’ve ever missed them more (especially sitting here looking out the window at the dreary rain in my woolly jumper). Right now I would be scouring the resort islands for new and distinctive features I still haven’t seen in my two decades of visits. And at the end, I would traditionally issue by bi-annual “Haven’t Seen Yet” update. Well, I may not be able to see more things yet, but I certainly have found a number of things that should be there:

  1. Aquatic Geode – These blue agate slices are simply so reminiscent of the Maldives tapestry of blues. Our daughter bought me a set of them to use as drink coasters, but they are simply lovely décor in their own right.
    Havent Seen Yet - blue geode slice
      
  2. Geode Towel – Love the colours and design. The tapestry of blue depicted on a pool-side tapestry.
    Havent Seen Yet - geode towel
      
  3. Beach Towel Cover – Clever way to make a beach towel better and hard loungers better.
    Havent Seen Yet - beach lounger cover
      
  4. Blue Tang Cloth – I came across this fabric looking for some material to have a custom COVID19 face mask sewn for me. Resorts could produce all manner of items for the resort or the gift boutique like face masks, sarongs, shirts, etc.
    Havent Seen Yet - blue tang cloth
      
  5. Colour Changing Swim Shorts – To impersonate a colour-camo-changing octopus, you can get your own pair of swim trucks which change colour when they get wet.

      

  6. Claudio Lugli Tropical Fish Shirt – I love these shirts, but unfortunately their tropical fish line is out of stock now. Maybe some resort can convince them to do another run.
    Havent Seen Yet - tropical fish shirt
        
  7. Whale Shark Legging and Top – NuWave’s leggings and top are great to not just see the whale shark in, but to *be* the whale shark.
    Havent Seen Yet - whale shark leggings
      
  8. Sharkasm T-Shirt – Loving it. No, seriously.
    Havent Seen Yet - sharkasm
      
  9. Silver Shark Bracelet – From the same makers as the Sharkasm shirt (Ocean Dose) is a charming rope bracelet with a shark charm (and available in 6 different colours).
    Havent Seen Yet - silver shark bracelet
       
  10. Shark Slippers – Wing-Tipped reef shark for the fishy cushy fashion statement.
    Havent een Yet - shark slippers
      
  11. Whale Shark Plush Toy – I love the whale size of this cuddly toy. Unfortunate about the “blow hole” painted on the top of the head (“whale sharks” are “sharks” not “whales” and so they don’t have blow holes).
    Havent Seen Yet - whale shark plush toy
       
  12. Ocean Sole – An exceptionally charming and innovative up-cycling company at its Indian Ocean neighbor Kenya. They gather up hundreds of discarded plastic flip-flops on the beaches and transform them into stunning, playful figures.
    Havent Seen Yet - ocean sole
       
  13. Shark Wine Goblets – For the more adult galeophiles to hold and savour…
    Havent Seen Yet - shark glasses
       
  14. Motorized Pool Lounger – Many pool loungers come with cup holders for your drink but not the self-propulsion to return you especially to the swim-up bar for a re-fill.



       

  15. Kayak Sail – Something to catch those gentle ocean breezes and make an outing even more lazy.
    Havent Seen Yet - paddleboard sail
       
  16. Water Boggan – Or less someone else do the work of pulling your around on the water on a matt that you can lie on, stand on or do jumping jacks on.

          
  17. Red Shark Bikes – Or less lazy, if your prefer. A step up from the previous ocean bikes noted way back in my second instalment.

       
  18. Exo-Lung – Could be ideal for house reef exploration.

       
  19. Coral Crochet – Or resorts can commission a gorgeous crocheted version of their reef for the reception. Check out the brilliant TED (2009) talk by Margaret Wertheim on “The beautiful math of coral” – “The frilly crenulated forms that you see in corals, and kelps, and sponges and nudibranchs, is a form of geometry known as hyperbolic geometry. And the only way that mathematicians know how to model this structure is with crochet.”
    Havent Seen Yet - coral crochet2
        
  20. Stephanie Kilgast Art – French artist Stephanie Kilgast is inspired by a range of natural delights especially corals and some other undersea creatures.
    Havent Seen Yet - gilcart art
      
  21. Sea Urchin Hats – After noticing his urchins carrying rocks, shells and even hermit crabs around aquarium, a Colorado aquarium enthusiast Wilson Souza started making them custom hats. Subsequent studies by marine biologist hypothesize that sea urchins don these hats (or shells other things they come across) for much the same reason humans do – UV protection from sunlight.
    Havent Seen Yet - sea urchin hats
      
  22. Golsa Golchini Art – Italian artist Golsa Golchini has a few pieces just right for the Maldives.
    Havent Seen Yet - golsha art
      
  23. Pool Roof – Not a “Roof Pool”, but a roof made out of a pool.
    Havent Seen Yet - roof pool
      
  24. Natural Pools – Like this one from Soneva, but Soneva Kiri (thanks Paola)
    Havent Seen Yet - natural pools
       
  25. In-Water Dining

    Bora Bora takes “in water” dining a step beyond a few tables temporarily immersed in the shallows.
    Havent Seen Yet - in water dining elaborate

      

  26. Tipping Breakdowns – Guests are always frustrated to know whether (a) they are tipping enough (they don’t want to offend or hurt any staff), or (b) they are tipping too much (this trip has already cost us a lot). It is complicated by the addition of mandatory service charges to all bills. In principle, this should relieve the headache as some “service” has already been provided for the staff, and I suspect that ad hoc tipping dropped considerably when that change was implemented. But still, there is an enduring sense that this service charge is just a basic amount and that additional bonus gifts are both welcome and done by a number of guests.  I think was would be very helpful is if a resort shared the profile of tipping with the TripAdvisor Forum. Something along the lines of:

    As you know, all Maldives resort bill include an amount billed for service charge which is shared among the staff. Because this amount is provided by law, we reassure guests that they are not in any way obliged to leave further gratuities. And yet, many guests want to leave further gratuities. And their generosity is frustrated to an additional degree because there is no guidance as to what is “minimum”, “average” and “exceptional”. In other countries, there are more accepted conventions. For example, in the UK, a 12% tip is considered a minimum, 15% is average and more than 15% is generous. Also, since there is no convention, people don’t have an idea of just how prevalent certain gratuity practices are. As a result, I am told that it would be helpful to share “what other people are doing”. This in not in any way intended as a prescription of what “you should be doing”. It is just information that get asked for regularly.
    · XX% leave no extra gratuities at all.
    · XX% leave very modest gestures of appreciation (for example, $10 or less to an individual staff member covering the whole stay).
    · XX% leave generous extra gifts (for example, $10 to $50 per staff member covering the whole stay).
    · XX% leave crazy generous gifts (for example, more than $50 per staff member covering the whole stay).I think this information will both help guests’ peace of mind and maybe even boost gratuity given at the resort. Those who are really tight will have solace in reading “Ah, ok, I’m not alone as XX% people also don’t give tips so it’s not just me.” But others will self-select and think “Ah, I want to be one of those “generous extra gift” people so I am going to leave that amount.
          

  27. Max Benjamin “Maldives” Diffuser – Gift from Lori from Christmas. Stocking these in the boutique makes a lot of scents!.
    Havent Seen Yet - maldives diffusers
        
  28. Electric Seaplane – Ok, which eco-minded resort is going to be the first to boast one of these babies??
    Havent Seen Yet - electric sea plane
        
  29. Mango Shaved Ice – Famous Taiwanese dessert whose tropical fruit and frozen temperature seem like a perfect treat for the Maldives.
    Havent Seen Yet - mango shaved ice
        

Haven’t Seen Yet – 15

Havent Seen - shark rock

Despite nearly 100 new “Best of the Maldives” items uncovered during my 2019 Tour I still have not seen everything. So for those resorts looking to truly stand out with feature and offerings that no one else has, not even 150 other Maldives resorts, here are even more opportunities…

  1. Creative Instagram Photopoints – With Maldives so prominent with the on fleek Instagrammers, properties really ought to up their game beyond the now ubiquitous (a) beach photo frame, and (b) lagoon swing/hammock. Something like Jimmy Swift’s inspired piece above.
         
  2. Snorkeling Trash Bags – The environmental organisation “Un Ocean de Vie” has developed little blue mesh bags that can easily be brought with people when snorkelling and provide a handy way to pick up trash found in the water and bring it back to the resort for proper disposal.
    Havent Seen - snorkel bag
       
  3. Grass Straws – We didn’t see a single plastic straw during our tour last month, but these straws provide a quintessentially natural options for the resort cocktail bars. Made in Vietname by a company named Ống Hút Cỏ out of grass reeds.
    Havent Seen - grass straws
      
  4. Octopus Kites – I’ve called out sea creature themed kites before, but these octopus versions are just extra special (thanks Ilyas).

        
  5. Shark Hook Remover – I’m not a big fan of the ubiquitous fishing trips on offer as excursions. Yes, I know that I nosh on the reef fish extensively during my stay, but pulling these creatures out of the water is not something I particularly relish. Still, I have been coaxed on several fishing trips during my stays and the last one was particularly disconcerting as I end up hooking a baby reef shark. These juvenile white tips are one of my favourite creatures in the lagoon aquarium of the Maldives and it just gutted me to see this one squirming on the line. Even worse was the reaction by the guides on the boat. Instead of taking the shark onto the boat and removing the hook like the other fish caught, they simply cut the line as the shark dangled off the side of the boat (for fear of getting bitten). So the shark swam away now with a hook still in its mouth. But there are a number of devices on the market that fishing excursions can use to remove this risk and remove the fishing hook from the mouth at the same time. I was prompted to add this by a friend who was fishing off Alaska or salmon and the boat used a sort of funnel device to pry the mouth open safely so they could access and extract the hook when they snared the occasional shark. I couldn’t find that device on the web, but I did find this device below which achieves much the same objective.
    Havent Seen - shark hook remover
      
  6. Crystal Bath Tub – Costing up to $1 million (yes, stet) and described as “The super-exclusive tubs come in three variations: green quartz; rock crystal; and rose quartz”.
    Havent Seen - crystal tub

         
  7. Boat Tub – Gorgeous tubs are nothing new, but this one is appropriately built by a boat builder using techniques and style from the maritime craftsmanship (thanks Lori).
    Havent Seen - boat tub
          
  8. Dhoni Fountain – Ahem.
    Havent Seen - dhoni fountain
       
  9. F&B Trickery – In fairness, I have posted a whole range of food prep marvels, but this compilation provides a buffet of ideas for a staffer looking to stand out or a resort looking to expand its repertoire.

       
  10. Custom Whisky Blend – I previously noted the idea of custom blended perfume and a friend recently recounted a similar olfactory concocting at their wedding. One of the wedding party was a whiskey connoisseur and he polled the guests for words which they felt described the betrothed couple. Then he blended a whiskey from his extensive collection with notes and characteristics that corresponded to the most frequently cited qualities of the couple and presented the crafted bottle (complete with commemorative label) to the couple as a gift.
    Havent Seen - custom whiskey blend
      
  11. Pool High Diving Board – A staple of most public swimming pools I knew growing up in America, the “high dive” is the centrepiece for swan dives, flips and the ubiquitous cannonball. With pools pretty much standard fare at the Maldives resorts, a high dive at one would provide some distinctive entertainment to keep the kids even happier for even longer while Mom and Dad doze in the lounge chairs.
    Havent Seen - high dive
      
  12. Snorkel Talkie – IWOFT.

       
  13. Micro-Cocktails – Could be a solution to keeping the pina coladas very cold.
    Havent Seen - micro cocktails
       
  14. Smart Mirror – We had one of these at our glitzy ski resort in the Dolomites and it seemed like just the sort of high tech gadgetry for some of the contemporary super deluxe properties.
    Havent Seen - smart mirror
       
  15. Personal Seaplane – Okay, this might be pushing things (and safety) a bit far, but still, how can I not include this?
  16.  

Haven’t Seen Yet – 14

Even after a decade of exploring the Maldives in person and online, with my 14th edition of the “Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives” series there is still no shortage of candidates keep on popping up. If you think you have seen it all in the Maldives…no you haven’t.

  1. Baby Shark Abs WorkoutOk, some resort NEEDS to offer this in their kids club AND their adult fitness classes! [ABOVE]
  2. Whale Shark KitesOr octopus, or manta ray, or sting ray, or dolphin, or turtle.
    Havent Seen - Whale Shark Kite
      
  3. Sunshine Guarantee – Offer for free rooms (or some system) for ay vacation more than 50% rain (or could do, if you have more than one day of rain, then each additional day is complimentary for a future visit).
    Havent Seen - sunshine guarantee
      
  4. Plot of Sand and a Palm TreeWhen people ask me to describe the Maldives, I respond, “You know that iconic image of a deserted island with a plot of sand and a single palm teee? That’s the Maldives. A thousand of those.” And while the image captures the diminutive, tropical, aquatic topology of the Maldives, curiously, I have never actually come across a sand bank with a single palm tree on it. If a resort would transplant a palm tree, they would have instance Instagram bait.
    Havent Seen - palm tree island
      
  5. Faux-fluencer Photoshoot – Some resort needs to host Celeste Barber to do all the classic Maldives Instagram poses (eg. lying on the edge of the infinity pool, walking up the water villa ladder, pink flamingo float, coconut drink, sitting on a palm tree, backfloat, wallowing in the shallow water, etc).
    Havent Seen - Faux Fluencer
        
  6. Underwater Photo Spot Frame Photo frames have popped up all over the Maldives resorts, but none where all the action is – underwater.
    Havent Seen - underwater frame
       
  7. Vilebrequin Outlet – One of the finest makes of swimwear in the world with styles just perfect for the Maldives.
    Havent Seen - Vilebrequin
       
  8. Bird Baths – The enchanting tropical birds from the ubiquitous Makana to Rihiveli’s famous Crab Plover bring a colourful creature dimension to enjoying the natural charm and beauty of the Maldives destination. On a number of occasions we have found the Makanas visiting our pool for a fresh water drink. Which made us think that the tiny desert islands must be a classic case of “water, water everywhere, but not drop to drink.” So why hasn’t a resort set out a stylish birdbath to both help the feathered friends out and provide an attraction where guest can observe them regularly. Many resorts still do (controversial) fish feeding to show the marine creatures up close, so why not the ornithological ones? (thanks Lori)
    Havent Seen - bird bath
      
  9. Naturist Holday – A friend of mine works at UK travel agency, Eton Travel, which among other things is a UK leader in naturist holidays (yep, hanging out with it all hanging out). She said that the UK has 5 million naturists and it is one of the rapidly growing segments. There is an obvious reason why naturism hasn’t hit the Maldives and that is because nudity is prohibited (mind you, that hasn’t stopped a slew of exhibitionist Instagrammers). But the resorts have always been given some discretion about how non-Muslim visitors want to behave (like drinking alcohol and eating pork) and so perhaps there is something that could be done in this area. One concern would be to shield the Maldivian staff from exposure to such, well exposure. But maybe the resort could give their local staff a holiday for a week where they devoted the property to a special naturist week, or the resort could limit the naturism to a nearby picnic island.
    Havent Seen - Naturist
       
  10. Spa Sommelier – “After guests perceive the aromas of a selection of oils and taste several wines from our Abadía Retuerta winery, the Spa Sommelier analyses their tastes and aromatic preferences and recommends the best spa experience for their individual wellness needs.”
    Havent Seen - Spa Sommelier
       
  11. Seaweed Flavoured Butter – Flavoured butter is becoming a bit of a thing with variations such as Moose Maple Butter, Abernethy Smoked Butter, Ampersand Cultured Butter, and the appropriately luxurious Black Truffle Butter. But I think the mist apropos flavor would be Le Beurre Bordier’s Seaweed Butter.
    Havent Seen - Sea Weed Butter
      
  12. Maldivian Harvested Sea Salt – Use on tables, in spas and sell in boutiques.
    Havent Seen - sea salt harvesting
       
  13. Cut Fruit/Veg CraftingA step beyond just carving to actually construction.
    Havent Seen - special fruit and veg carving
        
  14. 3D Decorated Cake SceneCould a birthday cake be more appropriate for the Maldives?
    Havent Seen - 3D cake scene
      
  15. RGB Intelligent Light FaucetJust because.
    Havent Seen - RGB Light Faucet
      
  16. Roll-Outside Bed The lavish La Terraza Suite comes with a king-sized bed that can be rolled out onto the open-air at La Valise Hotel, Mexico City. (thanks Paola)
    Havent Seen - Roll Out Bed
       
  17. Glass-Bottom Rooftop Swimming Pool – How can the Seychelles have a resort feature this amazing without the Maldives having it?
    Havent Seen - Rooftop Glass Bottomed Pool
      
  18. Underwater Restaurant MermaidResorts like Finolhu have hosted professional mermaids for photoshoots, but this underwater performance is especially enchanting. 
    Havent Seen - mermaid underwater restaurant
        
  19. Deserted Island Laser TagWhenever you have a variation of the capture the flag game (eg. paintballing, laser tag, or simple old capture the flag) the boundaries are critical (and often a source of dispute as to whether an opponent has crossed of them). But setting up a laser tag game on an uninhabited picnic island would provide a natural boundary. Your very own Hunger Games re-enactment.
    Havent Seen - Deserted Island Laser Tag
        
  20. Snorkeling Guitar SoloAn appropriate act to celebrate International Snorkeling Day.

         
        

Haven’t Seen Yet #11

And we’re off. Flying out today for Tour #8 of Maldives resorts. I will once again be exploring the unseen pockets of paradise capturing new discoveries of special features and offerings. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I might even encounter one of the following sweet sixteen items that neither visits nor research has revealed as of yet…

  1. Mini-Dive

  2. Glass-Bottomed Row Boat – Well, a Ruth wherry, built by Tim McCann in Maryland, USA, wirth an elegant construction befitting some of the super-premium resorts’ clientele.
    Havent Seen - glass bottom row boat
  3. Sumo Tubing – Surfing or pulled by a boat


  1. Advanced Palm FoldingThere’s palm folding…and then there is geometrically designed palm-folding into a life-like sea creatures.
    Havent Seen - advanced palm folding
  2. Starry Sea Table – By Alexandre Chapelin, perhaps this should go to Rangali in recognition of the bioluminescence pictures that went viral.
    Havent Seen - starry sea table
  3. Sologamy – One of the hot wedding destinations of the world might look at this new trend – “Self-marriage or sologamy is marriage by a person to oneself. It is known as a commitment that values self-love, and self-compassion.”
    Havent Seen - sologamy
  4. Panoramic Reef Video – More resorts are offering panoramic room and resort videos, but how about the main event on the house reef like this National Geographic creation.
    Havent Seen - panoramic reef video
  5. Beachgoers Reading Room – Another gem from Hammacher Schlemmer.
    Havent Seen - beach reading room
  6. Musical Toilet – Plays music in your cubicle so no one hears you going about your business.
    Havent Seen - musical toilet
      
  7. Eco-Toilet Cistern – “So when you flush the toilet, the cistern refills through a hole in the top of the cistern, saving water and being bloody efficient. Here it is refilling” (thanks Eileen).
    Havent Seen - eco toilet cistern
  8. Dhoni Roof-Top Shelter – These were standard issue on the dive and transfer boats in Indonesia an they really provided a bit of pampered lounge area for a rooftop vista.
    Havent Seen - dhoni roof shelter
  9. Coffee Ice – For that extra “iced” coffee coldness without getting watered down.
    Havent Seen - coffee ice
  10. Ice Cream Barlour – One of our most decadently favourite drinks is a Haagen Daaz Brandy Alexander (vanilla ice cream, crème de cacao, brandy, nutmeg). The cold cocktails are emerging with places like Tipsy Scoop in New York City. I mean, OMG, “Aperol Creamsicle”!!
    Havent Seen - ice cream barlour
  11. Fruit Waffles – That “Villingili” on his Instagram feed is not Shangri-La. These and some of his other “rawtarian” delights deserve a place at a resort.
    Havent Seen - fruit waffles
  12. Food Carving Extraordinaire – I’ve seen plenty of food carving displayed at the elegant buffets of the Maldives resorts, but nothing on this guy’s level.
    Havent Seen - carved avacado
  13. Coconut Ice Lolly – Still no end of the delicacies one can concoct out of coconut, but this one is particularly apropos for the tropical sun.
    Havent Seen - coconut ice lolly
  14. Coconut Bread – A Buzzfeed tested top recipe. Time for a Maldives appearance.
    Havent Seen - coconut bread
  15. Whale Shark Car – Okay, no roads in the Maldives, but still I couldn’t resist.  With it’s long size and funky vibe, it wouldn’t be entirely out of place at LUX South Ari Atoll.
    Havent Seen - whale shark car
  16. World’s Biggest Water Hazard – Tee on one island and green on neighbouring island.  The picture below is the only one of the top “Island” holes in golf is the only one that is a proper “island” but you can wade to it (a world first for the Maldives is awaiting).
    Havent Seen - remote golf hole

Haven’t Seen Yet – Part X

Seven years…and yet, I still come across so many things I haven’t seen yet in the Maldives. With 22 sleeps to Christmas, here is a Santa List for every resort…

1. EXTREME WATERMELON CARVING – Despite some pretty amazing renditions, I still don’t feel we have hit peak watermelon in the Maldives. [ABOVE]

2. SPA SALT BED – Came upon one of these during our visit to Urbino, Italy. Massage treatment is done on a bed of salt. Allegedly, especially good for skin and respiratory ailments.
Not Seen - Salt spa bed

3. RECOVERY RETREATS – Spas have traditionally been loathe to treat cancer patients because there has been thinking that the ‘treatments’ could actually facilitate the spread of the illness. As it turns out, no clinical evidence exists to support this notion. On the contrary, many doctors are recommending spa treatments to help patients cope with the stress and discomfort of their chemo and other medical treatments. And I know from personal friends facing “big C” challenge, that there is nothing like staring your mortality in the face to inspire some carpe diem and move your bucket list items (like visiting paradise) higher in your personal priorities.
Not Seen - spa

4. LIVING PHOTOGRAPHS – “Cinemagraphs”, which many have referred to as “living photographs”, are a new way to show image and video in one. The new technique – in which one element of the image moves continuously, much like a video, while the rest of the image remains static – is making waves in advertisements and social media because it allows people to connect longer with what they are looking at”.

5. BUTTER COFFEE – The latest craze in coffee decadence with a health-benefit twist. Supposedly a good ‘treatment’ for sleep deprivation (for those long-haul red-eye flights to the Maldives.
Not Seen - butter coffee

6. SUGAR-FREE COCKTAILS – A delights for weight watchers and diabetics, but also the trendy thing in “Healthy Hedonism”.
Not Seen - health headonism

7. SHARK FIN ICE – “Shark Fin Soup”…bad! But “Shark Fin Ice”…brilliant.
Not Seen - Shark Ice

8. SLIDING-SEAT ROWING CATAMARAN – I’ve previous reflected on the fun of having a scull in the Maldives. Even an ocean-going skiff (like they now have at Hulhumale and Gaafu Dhaalu). This ocean going rowing cat seems like an even more stable, low maintenance option for a similar outing.
Not Seen - catamaran

9. PEEK THROUGH SUP – What SUP?? Why isn’t this in the Maldives? Every resort now has the trendy paddleboard. Great activity for the calm atoll waters. But with the added bonus of facilitated portal into the aquatic wonderland below.
Not Seen - see through SUP

10. SEE-THROUGH SUP – Actually, now that we are talking about it…
Not Seen - See Through SUP 2

11. INFLATABLE BOAT PLANE – Yep. For a bit higher vista (admittedly, it would likely be difficult to get a two-person version so a trained resort staff member could pilot it).

12. SELF –PROPELLED AQUANAUT SUIT – Another Hammacher-Schlemmer gem…
Not Seen - aquanaut suit

13. MERMAID TOWEL – Anything mermaid deserves a place on the shelves of the resort gift shops.
Not Seen - mermaid towel

14. MERMAID BLANKETS – Maybe a bit warm for the toasty temps of the Maldives, but still an irresistible item for a Maldive gift shop.
Not Seen - mermaid blanket

15. RECYCLED BAG SHOES – Actually made from plastic bag refuse from the Maldives, some gift shop should have these in stock.
Not Seen - recycled baf shoes

16. DRONE FISHING – For the aspiring fishermen with less stable sea legs.

17. ‘JAWS’ CINEMATIC COURAGE CHALLENGE – Lots of resorts have cozy outdoor cinemas on the beach now. How about moving those ‘seats’ a bit further out into the lagoon?? Sort of an extra “immersive” dimension to the cinematic experience. And if a wrasse comes up to nibble on your sunburnt toes, then this
Not Seen - Jaws challenge

18. SHARK CHAIR – This needs to at least be in some Kids Club.
Not Seen - shark chair

19. SHARK PUMPS – And when you aren’t putting your feet up…
Not Seen - shark shoes

20. ALL GLASS FLOOR VILLA – There are some pretty big glass floors in the Maldives, but I don’t think we have reach peak floor yet either.
Not Seen - glass floor

21. UNDERWATER LOUNGE – In all fairness, the “underwater lounges” in the Maldives are really lounges that are just under water. They are not lounges that are *UNDER* water.  Smile

22. CONVERTIBLE OUTDOOR SLEEPING – The dazzling skies, clear of light and air pollution, are one of the natural treats of the Maldives. Our family loves to sit on the beach after a resort dinner ad just stare up at all the stars. The downside is getting yourself up of the ground as you drift away more and more in your relaxed state. A villa lounger can be an improvement, especially if you grab a large beach towel to cuddle under in the cool night sea air. But this solution seems the most alluring of all. (thanks Paola)
Not Seen - convertible bedroom

And Yet Still More Haven’t Seen Yet – Part 7

Fish hanging seat

After 70+ resorts and nearly two decades of touring the Maldives, you would think that I had seen it all about now. And yet in my web and other worldly wanderings, I’ve still come across another couple dozen curiosities that that are just crying out for the right home in the Maldives…

1. Fish Hanging Chairs – The newer properties are getting more arty and edgy, and the hanging swing seat has long been a staple for relaxing in the ocean breezes. [ABOVE]

2. Corner-Turning Sliding Glass Doors – It’s all about the scenery in the Maldives, and resorts are making villas more and more open to bring in the outdoors.
Sliding window walls

3. Shark SuitWhy put on a boring one-piece of the same geometric design that every Instagrammer in the world is wearing when you can wear this. Do just watch the shark…be the shark!
Shark swimsuit

4. Fashion Fins – Just because…
High heel fins

5. Bird’s Eye Perspective Resort Map – A few resorts (eg. Anantara, Baros), have 3D(ish) aerial resort maps. Four Seasons has a birds eye perspective, but more cartoonish, than photorealistic. I would like to see one of these throw backs proper Victorian vintage maps.
Birdseye map

6. Hand-held Underwater Propulsion – A number of resorts have seabobs, but these toned down versions seem more appropriate for gentler exploration (thanks Momo).

clip_image007

7. Underwater Drone – Another way to explore the reef without getting wet.
Underwater drone

8. Underwater GeoCache – A few geocaches have hit the resorts islands, but the obvious fun is undersea.
Underwater geocache

9. Underwater Yoga – I was going to do an April Fools post on this idea…until I found out it is no joke.
Underwater yoga

10. Pedal Board – Not a “paddle” board…”pedal” board.

11. Water Motorcycling – While the very notion will send the heebie-jeebies up the spine of most Maldives aficionados, in the spirit of “completeness” this couldn’t go without a mention. Not too much different to a jet ski in noise and disruption, really. And with a number of adrenalin sports hitting the Maldives (eg. power boarding) and a number of Red Bull events, it’s not so crazy a notion.

12. Aqua Lily Pad – On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, for the more sedentary…
Aqua lily pad

13. Activity Pinwheel – For the more indecisive. If even making a decision is too much of an effort on a Maldives holiday, I found this handy device in Copenhagen.
Activity pinwheel

14. Hemp Milk – Hot new thing in the epicenter of global coffee culture (Seattle).
Hemp milk

15. Paradise Island– Perfect toast to the “plot of sand with a palm tree” aesthetic that defines the Maldives.
Paradise Island cocktail

16. Ice Figurines – More fun with ice shapes.
Ice figurines

16. Chocolate Ball Reveal – For all of the glitzy gourmet presentations, nothing comes too close to this one.

17. Pineapple Lolly – Form and function in this fruit art.
Pineapple lolly

18. Yogurt Parfait Popsicles – And yet another option in the cold refreshment department with a bit of a healthy slant.
Forzen yogurt lolly

19. Cocktail Slushies – Or less healthy if you prefer…
Cocktail slushes

 

20. Ceiling Stars – While bed decorating gets more and more imaginative, how about a different surprise custom decoration for guests returning to their bedrooms? You turn out the lights and “Happy Honeymoon” is written in stars across the ceiling. Resorts can use light adhesive like blue tack to they are removable and reusable.
Ceiling stars

21. Wave Power Generator – Not so great for the inner atoll resorts that are shielded from such waves by the outer reefs, but an intriguing possibility for even more eco-sustainability in the outer atoll regions (thanks Paola).

22. Ocean-scraper – Okay, now I admit that we are getting silly.
Ocean-scraper

23. Underwater Police – Maybe this will deter the coral-standers and rogue fishermen (thanks again Paola).
Underwater police

24. Mermaid School – Not a “school of mermaids”, but “mermaid school”. I’ve had “swim with a mermaid”, but Sirenas Mediterranean Academy takes the aquatic dramatisation a step further.
Mermaid school

  

Advent Calendar (24) of More Not Seen Yets #9

Underwater biking

Digging the Advent Calendars out of the attic today. A colourful tradition to count down the final days to Christmas. The British versions feature little treats, usually chocolates, as a sort of methadone palliative to hold people over until the big extravaganza of gifts and gorging.

It’s also about time for my semi-annual “Haven’t Seen” piece (Edition 9!) So I’ve assembled a collection of 24 luxury innovation as a sort of mini-gift to resort managers. Including a few items on the end which make their own great gifts for the Maldives lover…

1. Underwater Bicycling [above] – (thanks Momo)

2. Local Honey – I guess never thought there might be bees in the Maldives, but my visit to J Resort Alidhoo showed me that there was (picture below of bee hive from my visit there). People love to buy local products and honey is a very popular natural sweetener there.
Honey tree

3. Lobster Curry – No “Haven’t Seen” post is complete without the latest crustacean omission. And of all the lobster cuisine, how can a place in the middle of the INDIAN ocean not have lobster curry.
Lobster curry

4. Proper Lobster Chowder – Made with potatoes and cream, it’s possibly a bit heavy for the warm weather, but you can make it more light and it is one of the seafood classics.
Lobster chowder

5. Egg Neptune – Eggs Benedict made with Lobster. Bit obvious me thinks…
Lobster eggs neptune

6. Toasted Coconut ChipsDrink nibbles are one of the tell-tale touches that often distinguish stars. Too often resorts punt with peanuts and crisps. Toasted coconut flakes are less sweet and don’t turn into coconut grit chewing them.
toast cocnut flakes

7. Video Art – Video is integrating with performance art, space design, even gourmet dining.
Dining video art

8. Coconut Reveal – Or for an old school culinary show…(thanks Paola)
Coconut cutting reveal

9. Cozies – Sweaty water (and other) bottles that get warm in the hot air. Custom designs could make for yet other gift shop item for the stockings.
Cozies

10. In-Ocean Massage – Maybe not so far as the Blue Lagoon, but how about a table in the lagoon?
In ocean massage

11. Underwater Fashion Shoot – We’ve already established that (a) the Maldives is a top destination for fashion photoshoots, and (b) its underwater wonderland is unrivalled, soooo….
Underwater fashion shoot

12. Models on Call – And with the popularity of Maldives photography, some local models could provide the subjects for some stunning fashion photography.
Maldives model beach shoot

13. Underwater Kissing Contest – The most romantic place on earth and popular destination for Chinese. Seems like the obvious venue for the “open water championships”.
Underwater kissing contests

14. Paper Napkin RosesThe Maldives ranks among the best in the world for towel art and bed art, but I think they can up their game on table/napkin art.
Paper napkin roses

15. Oar Board SUP ScullingI’ve already yearned for sculling in the mill pond still waters of the Maldives, but OarBoard offers up a solution which (a) would be easier to transport there, and (b) literally dovetail to the increasingly popular paddleboards there, and (c) be more resilient to less calm waters.
Oar Board SUP sculling

16. Kabbadi – Beach Kabbadi! This distinctly Indian sport played in a distinctly Indian Ocean way.
Beach Kabaddi

17. Floating Golf Green – I’ve long mused about exploiting the Maldives’ aquatic expanse as the ultimate water hazard. Namely, teeing off on a resort island with a hole green set up on a nearby island. Until that dream comes about, here is a min-alternative for some short range pitching practice.
floating golf green Maldives

18. Wake Surfing – While the Maldives offers some amazingly long and gentle breaks ideal for beginner and trickster surfers, in many places the ocean is just too tranquil. But wake surfing is an increasingly popular way to surf even when the surf is not so up.
Wake surfing Maldives

19. Inflatable See-Saw – No “Haven’t Seen” piece is complete without a whimsical blow-up of pool/water toy.
Inflatable see saw Maldives

20. Water Sofa – The key thing here is the back support allowing you to sit more upright while you bob along. Perfect for catching up on that holiday reading while still immersing yourself in the aquatic landscape.
Water sofa Maldives

21. Outdoor Sleeping – Mind you Lori and I have fallen asleep under the stars on many a Maldives trip on deck lounge chairs, but setting up a proper bed (perhaps on request) with a four-posted canopy (to allow for privacy and/or breeze protection, could make the al fresco snoozing more inviting. (thanks Paola)
Outdoor bedroom

22. Wooden Hammock – For those who want the reclined swaying without all the awkward flimsiness (thanks Paola).
wooden hammock

23. Snorkel Rubber Duck – These would swim off the gift store shelves. Especially a custom order in blue (instead of yellow). Of course, only Schnabels will do.
Snorkel rubber ducky

24. Water Villa Play Set – Now you too can own your very own Maldives water villa!
Maldives water villa play set

36 TIHSYINTM (Things I Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives) #8

Wedding paddleboarding

 

“Wedding Paddleboarding”. I guess that’s something coming to the new resort The Patina Thanburudhoo (according to the picture taken from its placeholder home page above).

I’m packing my final items for our 6th Maldives tour starting in just 2 more “sleeps” (details on next post). I’m always on the lookout for things I haven’t seen yet in the 55 other resorts I have visited not to mention the countless hours of research, emailing, chatting, etc.

One marketplace as competitive as Maldives resorts is a sector of London pubs. Buzzfeed recently ran a listicle that featured bold steps various establishments are taking to make themselves stand out from the crowd and echoed many a “Best Of the Maldives” post.

Here is the latest instalment for resorts looking for that “remarkable” feature worthy of the Maldives…

  1. Glow PathPhotoluminescence is a relatively rare and spectacular sight which went a bit viral over the past year. Resorts can actually offer a nightly star-like glow (in their own shade of blue) and help guests find their find in the night time darkness.
    Glow rocks
  2. Glow-Table – For a touch of non-bio luminescence closer to home, how about a colourful glow table (I’m admittedly drawn to this creative innovation due to my fondness for the wild and rugged look of burr wood).
    Glow table
  3. Glowing Toilet Seats – For an even more practical application of glow, something to help you find late night relief without disturbing the slumber of your partner by turning the bathroom light on (especially for some villas where the bathrooms are more integrated into the villa whole or there is just a glass division).
    Glow toilet seat
  4. Underwater Pool Stool – For more grounded water seating (with a bit of its own luminescence) try the instant pool-side bar.
    Underwater glowing pool stool
  5. Rafts – Multi-purpose and sturdy air rafts could even serve as a floating bar or just your own little plot of paradise if the diminutive Maldivian island wasn’t small enough for you.
    Turbo rafts
  6. Pool Poof – Some people prefer to hog their own massive space to lie down. These Brookstone models come in more stylishly sedate colours to appease the lilo cynics).
    Lilo poofs
  7. Side-by-Side Lounger – But if you are on a more amicable basis with your companion, you might prefer the more intimate and friendly float…
    Duo lilo
  8. Hydro Hot Tub – Instead of your lounger in the water, how about water in your lounger?? Hottub + Hammock. Best combo since peanut butter and chocolate.

    Jacuzzi hammock
  9. 2-Person Rocking Chair – Perhaps you prefer a drier seat to waft along to the sea breezes together. Two things the Maldives are famous for – indolence and romance. Enjoy both, literally, together.Duo rocker
  10. Swing Seat – Or you could rock alone in a simple hammock-seat. The design is actually very reminiscent of the traditional Maldivian swing seat, but a bit more comfortable and stylish.Hammock seat
  11. Sofa Swing – Or you could stretch out in something a bit more plush and roomy…Sofa hammock
  12. Zero Gravity Hammock Chair – Take it one step further – Chair + Umbrella + Hammock. Three great relaxation classics in one.
    Zero gravity hammock chair
  13. Portable Hammock – Something simpler to be able to move around like your beach chair.
    Portable hammock
  14. Science Sleep – If all those comfy seats don’t relax you enough during the day, then how about a technologically enhanced night sleep? The maker With Things describes “It Tracks your nights [monitoring your heart rate and breathing]; understands your sleep. Sleep and nap programs. Wakes you up with a scientifically validated light & sound program at the best time of your sleep cycle.”
    Techno sleep enhancer
  15. Tranquillity Pod – A sort of brute force version of Velaa’s “spa pod” with built-in massaging.
    Tranquliity pod
  16. Specialised Pillows – A few decadent resorts now have pillow menus that allow you to choose your own pillow. But these options are fairly standard variations of fabric, softness and size. How about some *really* specialised pillows like the one below (the ones below are for people who sleep on their sides).
    Side pillow 2  Side pillow 1
  17. Night Surfing – If for whatever reason you just can’t sleep (maybe too much pool napping during the day), then how about some Night Surfing. The Maldives is most famous for snorkelling and a number of resorts offer night snorkelling excursions. But it is also getting to be a world renowned destination for surfing, so…
    Night surfing
  18. Wave Skiing – Another surf-hybrid, a cross between kayaking and surfing with specially designed boat.
    Wave skiing
  19. Surf Kayaking – More of a kayak, but designed to ride the waves.
    Surf kayaking
  20. Foil Surfing – Or on the more extreme side, your own personal hydro-foil.
    Foil surfing
  21. Jet Surfing – Something for those intra-atoll islands without the great surf breaks. This one has LUX Maldives written all over it…
    Jet surfing
  22. Para-Inflatable – Inflatable rides are everywhere and many resorts offer parasailing, so what’s not to like…
    Para-inflatable
  23. Flying Underwater Wheelchair – Or you could fly…underwater. The sand and water can be a bit of an extra obstacle for the disabled, though many resorts have added a number of special facilities catering to their special requirements. None so spectacular as Sue Austin’s “flying underwater wheelchair” (yes, re-read that even though you did read it right the first time) which brings the whole “main event” of the Maldives dazzling reefs to life in the most dramatic way (looking at you Kurumba).
    Underwater flying wheelchair
  24. Swim With a Mermaid – Nearly as magical, Cheval Blanc’s sister resort at St. Barth features a “swim with mermaids” where “on a snorkelling expedition in Flamands Bay…the instructor gives the signal for Amaryllis the mermaid to appear for a game of hide-and-seek (…an expert freediver in a scaly fin suit).
    Mermaid hide-and-seek
  25. Geo-Caching – Some prefer seeking out magical treasures on land and a number of resorts offer a range of clever treasure hunts for children, but popular geo-caching is provide a treasure hunt for adults and kids alike.
    Geo-caching
  26. Locks of Love – Not only a surging trend in a number of cities, but also a gap in the romance market with dismantling of the Pont des Arts in Paris. One could treat the locks with the same substance Reefscapers uses on its reef frames and make the symbol of your love the basis for an eternal and vibrant reef. You would attach a coral regeneration fragment to it and lock it onto a chain link (also appropriately treated) set in the ocean.
    Locks of love
  27. Pool Petals – I’ve obviously had the bed petals and even bath petals, but how about pool petals?
    Pool petals
  28. Rock Pool – Pools have rock “Features”, but I haven’t seen an entire pool done in a natural motif replicating the feel of a fresh water mini-lagoon like this one at Sofitel in Tahiti for a more natural aesthetic.
    Rocky pool
  29. In-Pool CinemaSoneva Fushi pioneered the outdoor cinema which now features at a number of resorts, but this inflatable screen lets the audience combine Hollywood hits with floating in the pool.
    Inflatable cinema
  30. Lagoon Bar – I’ve featured a few in-water experiences, but Seacrets in Ocean City, Maryland shows just how far you can go with this concept.
    Lagoon bar
  31. Chill Glass – A step beyond just a “chilled” glass, but a glass that keeps your drink extra cold for extra long. As someone for whom one criterion of the perfect pina colada is how cold it is, this innovation helps guarantee a flawless freeze.
    Chill glass
  32. Frozen Cocktails – I’ve already proposed frozen juice pops, but why aren’t these there (thanks Gareth)??
    Frozen cocktails
  33. Snow Cones – A summer heat wave staple that could turn into a tropical treat with exotic fruit juices (looking at you Velaa).
    Snow cone
  34. Children’s Tasting Menu – The Michelin-starred Das Tue in Berlin features an 8-course tasting menu specifically for children “with the option to pair each course with organic grape juices (“To match the gutsiness of the gnocci with sage and Iberico ham, the sommelier suggests a cheeky Portugierer rose with hints of raspberries…” I’ve long advocated the appeal of the Maldives for families with children and this idea lets them taste a bit of gourmand gastronomy.

    Childrens tasting menu
  35. Floating Water Villas – Okay, Maldives…one word…”when?”
    Floating water villas

   

15 (More) Things I Haven’t Seen Yet in the Maldives – Part 7

Maldives looking for things

 

Despite all of the things that the Maldives does have, the list keeps growing of the things that the Maldives inexplicably just doesn’t have (yet). Yes, it’s time for instalment #7 (see links on bullet titles for more details)…

  1. Waterbird – Aka “Aqua Skipper”. I can’t tell which name is better.Waterbird
  2. Social Media Concierge – Someone to take care of posting those envy-worthy sunset photos of adoring looks by the waterside.
    Maldives social media concierge
  3. Bean-Bag Hammock – The best of two relaxation all-stars combined into one relaxation super-group.
    Maldives beanbag hammock
  4. Snookball – Or another ace amalgam more on the active side – Football and Pool.Maldives snookball
  5. “Pool” Table – If there is any place deserving of this billiard brilliance it is the Maldives.Maldives water pool table
  6. Lobster Pad Thai – No “Haven’t Seen Yet” piece is complete without some crustacean-based concoction glaringly omitted from the Maldivian menus. Lobster is the ultimate luxury seafood ingredient and abundant in the area so I am always surprised when resort restaurants don’t use it to upscale ordinary dishes. The latest suggestion is Lobster Pad Thai which I sampled at the London pioneer of design, cocktail and culinary innovation – Crazy Bear. Thai food is frequently found in the Maldives and Pad Thai is probably the most popular signature dish. Typically made with prawns, the swapping in of lobster instead as your crustacean of choice gives it a gourmet vibe. Thai themed Anantara and Dusit, I’m looking at you.
    Maldives lobster pad thai
  7. Sea life Adopting – Take a page out of amateur astronomy and star spotting, as well as zoology/botany. That is, if you submit a turtle that is not in the database yet, then you get to name it. For example, Four Seasons is sponsoring a turtle identification project to crowd source turtle spotting.  It would also be a nice touch if one of the Marine Biologists sent the spotter some sort of certificate of “naming”.  Naming (sometimes referred to as “adoption”) is a big money spinner for conversation groups.  People could “adopt” other residents like mantas and whale sharks that have similar identification research projects in the Maldives.
    Maldives turtle tracking project
  8. Remote Control Snack Float – I’m lounging in the sun, floating in the resort pool and even though it is blessed with an in-pool bar, it takes soooo much effort to drift in that direction…Maldives remote control snack float
  9. Silent Areas – Vilamendhoo has a “kids free”, adult only part of the island. One of the qualities that is most regularly cited and vigorously guarded (from airplane, motor boat and ebullient guests) is the peaceful “silent” tranquillity. This article (thanks Paola) “Silence is the latest trend in luxury resorts” makes me wonder whether resorts couldn’t amplify (well, the opposite of amplify really) that quality by designating certain “quiet areas” of an island. Sort of like the library section or the increasingly prevalent “quiet cars” on trains.
    Maldives silence
  10. Sound Art – Our son, Chase (himself a veteran of many Maldives trips) is a Sound Artist (a piece he did was featured at an exhibition in London and mentioned in Wired magazine). Sound Art is the use of sound to construct a number of sound sensations, experiences and environments. The iconic gentle waves and whale calls found in many spas are a popular form many people are familiar with. Many resorts invest huge amounts in design, style, décor and artwork. A more ambitious installation of sound art created to capture the zeitgeist of Maldivian tranquillity would be an innovative ambient complement.
    Maldives sound art
  11. Protected Soundscape – Some of the most beautiful sounds are found in nature. But just like the ocean, those sounds can be endangered by airplanes, engines, boats, recreational craft, etc. Many countries actually have “protected soundscapes” – areas where manmade noise levels are tightly regulated to minimise noise pollution. Chase is actually going to Japan in a month to do field recordings of a number of their soundscapes (Japan has more protected soundscapes than any other country). Maldives has been a leader in protecting marine areas so much so that an initiative is underway to make the entire country a UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserve. Being such a leader in environmental sustainability, I think it would be great for the Maldives to identify its own protected soundscape. One could ensure that sea planes and ferries deviated around it sufficiently and access could be limited to a wind powered dhoni. Our son, Chase, noted that the Maldives could create the world’s first underwater protected soundscape. Possibly with the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. His many visits of snorkelling there struck him that a particularly unique soundscape there was the underwater sounds of trigger fish crunching coral and other assorted echoes of marine life.
    Japan protected soundscape
  12. Stingray” Sun Umbrella – Stylish and ever so apropos (thanks Paola).Maldives stingray umbrella
  13. Beloved Wives Day – Especially for the increasing number of Chinese visitors, but I bet a few other nationalities could enjoy joining in the declarations.
    Maldives beloved wives day
  14. Ice Balls – Advanced version of the “Flower Cubes” (#35) with its own special maker.Maldives ice balls
  15. Heart Shaped Island – With 1900 to choose from, you would think at least one would have randomly formed into something vaguely resembling this symbol of love. People are enchanted by such islands. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi claims to be heart shaped, but it is more of an anatomical heart than an icon of romance. With all of the terraforming on resort islands, you would think that one could make a few tweaks.
    Maldives heart shaped island

      

12 Even More Things I Have Yet To See In The Maldives…from Hammacher Schlemmer (Part 6)

Maldives - not seen - reading lounger

Forget Louis Vuitton, it’s Hammacher Schlemmer who should open up their own resort. Researching a few leads on the latest “Haven’t Seen”, I tracked them down to the Hammacher Schemmler catalogue. Browsing around and I had a field day of clever gadgets and gizmos that could lend some innovative fun to many Maldive resorts…

1. Drink Pool Lounger – And a drink at hand is an extra bonus. Especially great for those resorts with pool bars. Instead of a “drive thru”, they could introduce a “float thru”. “Inflatable pool lounger with coolers built into each armrest.” $150. Best Resort for this item – Royal Island (they have an in-pool bar facing the sunset where lots of guests gather to watch the twilight spectacle sipping their cocktails).

Maldives - not seen - drink pool lounger

2. BBQ Dining Boat – I’ve seen a range of sunset cruises and dhoni dinners, but this dingy is in a league of its own. “This is the boat with a built-in barbecue grill, umbrella, and trolling motor that provides waterborne cookouts for up to 10 adults.” $50,000. Best Resort – W Retreat (masters of BBQ and style).

Maldives - not seen - BBQ dining boat

3. Sandless Beach Mat – Another Hammacher special. Military-grade technology comes to beach lounging – “Developed for military use, this is the beach mat that is impossible to cover with sand. Used in military applications to contain sand and dust when helicopters land and take off, the mat is made from two layers of patented woven polyurethane that instantly filter sand to the beach as soon as it falls on its surface.” Even comes in 4-person size. $60. Best Resort – Anantara Kihavah (with its expansive, circumambient beach)

Maldives - not seen - sandless matt

4. Reading Lounger – Yes, the Maldives make you so lazy that the labour of reading does seem to sometimes require technological assistance. “Recommended by physical therapists, this lounger provides optimal support and comfort while you lie prone or supine$170. Best Resort – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi (with the highest butler ratio, the truly super-lazy might be able to get their butlers to even turn the pages for them).

Maldives - not seen - reading lounger

5. Solar Velomobile – The eco-friendly golf cart. “A solar panel built-into the roof powers the 600-watt electric motor for up to 45 miles on a single charge or 100 miles when combined with pedaling.” $9,900. Best Resort – Soneva Fushi (the eco-obsessed, large island).

Maldives - not seen - solar velomobile

6. Petiole Hammock – “Recipient of Les Découvertes award for innovation at the prestigious Maison & Objet design show, this is the handmade, self-suspended hammock. The culmination of 20 years of research and design, the hammock is made in Sweden by two artisans who painstakingly mold each piece during a process that requires four weeks to craft one hammock$35,000. Best Resort – Kandooma (fits right into the other white, canvas, arches at the resort reception and pool area).

Maldives - not seen - Petiole hamock

7. Floating Obstacle Course – “One length of the course tests balance while walking over a 2′-wide “beam” – an ideal spot for water-noodle jousting matches – while another encourages players to jump over a two-section water “pit” or descend and climb out. Twin climbing obstacles require participants to decide if climbing over their inflated beams is quicker than crawling through a handful of arches.” $13,500. Best Resort – One & Only Reethi Rah (the king of lagoon inflatable play fun).

Maldives - not seen - floating obstacle course

8. Body Launching Inflatable – “Launches a person sitting on its surface into the air when another person jumps onto the inflatable.” $600. Best Resort – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru (king of the portable inflatables).

Maldives - not seen - body launching inflatable

9. Floating Lighting Pool Fountain – “This is the floating fountain that turns a pool into an effervescent light and water display.” $100. Best Resort – W Retreat (a bit of extra musical lighting for their DJ nights).

Maldives - not seen - floating lighting pool fountain

10. Electric Motor Boat – The posh (and lazy) version of the pedalo. “The watercraft’s 12-volt electric motor drives its two-bladed propeller, providing leisurely 4-mph cruises over calm lakes or ponds, ideal for accessing secret swimming holes, fishing spots, or visiting neighboring docks.” $4,000. Best Resort – Gili Lankanfushi (an updated personal transport to their Residence Villas).

Maldives - not seen - electric motor boat

11. In Pool Exercise Glider – “This aquatic exercise apparatus takes advantage of water’s natural buoyancy and resistance to deliver an effective low-impact workout that’s gentle on joints and muscles.” $1,600. Best Resort – Club Med Kani (to take their aqua aerobics to the next level).

Maldives - not seen - in pool exercise glider

12. Water Skiing Chair – Getting up on water-skis for the first time can be one of the most frustrating things in life. Our kids first got up on skis in Mauritius where the boat had a bar attached to the boat, instead of a rope, to hold onto which made it more stable. This seated device looks like a great progression from bar to rope where one could then move on to standing. “This is the patented chair that is mounted to a pair of waterskis, allowing beginners and experts alike to ski from a stable seated position.” $600. Best Resort – Kurumba (with their great catering to disabled guests, this might provide adaptive water skiing for some).

Maldives - not seen - sitting water ski