Best of the Maldives: Water Breakfasts – Sun Siyam Vilu Reef

The aquatic wonderland of the Maldives is all about the water. And Sun Siyam Vilu Reef have made the water a venue for a comprehensive range of distinctive dining experiences:

  • Pool Breakfast
  • Lagoon Breakfast
  • Sand Spit Breakfast

We’ve always loved eating our breakfasts by the water, and we have eaten them in the water with the increasingly grammable pool breakfasts, but we have never experienced so many and such diverse water-centric morning feasts.

I’ve added a new Tag for “in water” offerings and activities for things you normally wouldn’t do in water, but Maldives resorts have found a way to add an aquatic twist.


Best of the Maldives: In Water Table Tennis – Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani - in water table tennis

The Maldives exists at that sweet spot right on the edge of land and ocean. The lagoon shallows make it one of the best places in the world for wading in mill pond calm water with refreshing ocean cooling your feet. Soneva Jani brings that vibe into its Den kids club with its in-water table tennis set-up. Cool!

Best of the Maldives: In-Water Refreshment– Velaa

Velaa - pool table

The Maldives is the ultimate life aquatic. Never mind the “SUNNY side of life” (there is sun all over the tropics), the Maldives is the aquatic side of life. A destination that is 99% sea. That’s what you go for. The best experiences are all about the water – the otherworldly sense flying over the waterworld of islands, the world’s best snorkelling. The water offsets the warmth of the pervasive sunshine with a compelling contrast. And the sun-and-sea blend is also quite common among tropical resorts. It’s just that few destinations have as intimate a connection with the water as the diminutive plots of sand in the Maldives.

A few resorts have provided their guests with a chance to savour the water even more soaking their toes with waterside dining tables or even Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru’s in-pool table. But none so ambitiously as Velaa. They have loungers in their pool (see bottom), and dining tables in their pool (see above). They even have pools in their dining room. Yes, they have designed their seaside dining area with a small pool for diners to sit in over their meals if they prefer a more sheltered and secluded table to the pool option.

There’s nothing like a good foot soak. Along with a steamy air (tick for that too in the Maldives), it’s sort of the caricature of the cure for what ails you. Also, the “no shoes, no news” barefoot ethos of the Maldives is decadently delightful, but all that salt and sand can take its toll on the unaccustomed feet used to being cosseted in cotton and leather. So a cooling soak over that pina colada or just about any mealtime is an added sensory treat.

Velaa - in water dining room

Velaa - in pool lounger

Best of the Maldives: Lagoon Wine Tasting – Kurumba

Kurumba - in lagoon wine tasting

Why sip your red wine by the water, when you can savour it in the water? Immerse yourself in the aquatic paradise that is the Maldives.

I’ve long pined for more extensive use of the lagoons. With one of the “best” lagoons around, Kurumba has found a way to make more use of it than just sheltered snorkelling and leisurely ocean dips. It offers a weekly lagoon wine tasting hosted by one of the resort sommeliers (above left). They offered a selection of both red and white of some thoroughly enjoyable bottles made more than mouth-watering with its exquisite venue.

I’ve long mused about what criteria to use to “rate” the resort lagoons (any suggestions?), but I have added yet another new tag for “Lagoon” so people can wade through all of the Maldives Complete pieces on the, well, not so deep subject.

Kurumba - in lagoon wine tasting sunset

Best of the Maldives: Waboba Ball – Kurumba

Waboba action at Kurumba

Mill pond flat water. One of the trademarks of the Maldives seascape. Especially in the sheltered lagoons. Just perfect for skipping stones. But the soft sandy beaches of the Maldives are devoid of stones pretty much. Anyway, you find the perfect skipping stone and then it’s gone after a single throw. It sinks to the watery abyss starting and finishing its skipping career in a single moment of glory.

The Australian innovation, Waboba Ball, takes the fun of skipping stones and turns it into a beach game. It is a ball weighted just enough to give it great skipping action. You can play skipping-catch (see above) or compete to see who get get the most skips in a throw.

An ideal Christmas gift for someone hanging around the Maldives shallow waters. Of course, such a great gift is only found in one of the Maldives’ finest stores, Kurumba’s Nala boutique.

Special thanks to my demonstrators Cailen and Keegan Calkin who provide the action demo above.

Kurumba - waboba ball beach

Best of the Maldives: Lagoon Table – Centara Ras Fushi

Centara Ras Fushi - in lagoon lunch

I love Maldives lagoons. The whole magic of the Maldives centers around its unique shallow and calm waters. In my “Haven’t Seen” series, a recurring theme is resorts not doing enough “in water”. A few resorts are starting to move tables into the shallows for some wet-piggy-toes dining, but Centara Ras Fushi has made a bolder move with a thatched-parasol table set permanently in its lagoon.

You can even pre-book the table for your lunch at no extra charge (the seafood platter is appropriately the most popular). Mind you, you do need to think about the tide timings (see below).

I have now added the “In Ocean” category tag for all of the examples of exploiting this unique resource.

Centara Ras Fushi - lagoon table high tide

Best of the Maldives: Aqua Yoga – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 1

Bouncing around in the water takes a more controlled, purposeful and therapeutic dimension at Park Hyatt Hadahaa. Their Vidhun Spa offers its own special Aqua Yoga programme.

The developer and teacher of this innovative activity is spa yoga teacher Deeksha (see photos). Like many activities (especially those that involve a bit of pain and effort), her charisma and energy mutes the discomfort and difficulty. She personally turns the pool into an effervescent jacuzzi of can-do with her bubbly personality.

Water is such an immersive part of the Maldives experience, I love it when resorts take activities into the water. The cool and refreshing water provides a crisp contrast to the soothing heat of the ever present sunshine. But when it comes to yoga, the aqueous venue provides extra benefits. First, the natural buoyancy of your body in water facilitates a whole range of yoga moves for a beginner that would require guru level balance and proficiency to achieve standing on land. Secondly, water provides a natural source of resistance. Instead of bands or other devices to provide strength building resistance, Deeksha has devised a number of gentle movements in the water where the water itself is your resistance.

The whole concept does raise the potential for an entirely new range of yoga moves…

  • Downward Facing Dogfish
  • Dolphin Plank
  • Eagle Ray Pose
  • Half Frogfish

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - aqua yoga 3

in water