Happy Valentines Day sweethearts everywhere. But especially in that global hotbed of romantic paradise, the Maldives
Get your clothes off for a hot and steamy, sensual delight, with a touch of perfume, bubbly, and flower petals. Yes, a romantic bubble bath. Here’s a not-so-dirty dozen of the best in the Maldives…
I’ve also added a “Maldives Tub Art” board to the Maldives Complete Pinterest so I can add more sexy suds as I find them.
1. Atmosphere Kanifushi [above]
2. Cheval Blanc Randheli
4. Coco Bodu Hithi (thanks Paola)
5. One & Only Reethi Rah
6. Centara Ras Fushi
8. Anantara Kihavah
9. Amilla Fushi
10. Centara Grand
11. Loama Maamagili
12. Sun Siyam Irufushi
13. Hideaway Beach
14. Zitahli Kudafunafaru
15. Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
If you want to celebrate today’s national day of the land of the Rising Sun straight from the rise of the sun, then Sun Siyam Irufushi offers a fresh a Sashimi Bar at its breakfast buffet. Our Japan blogging son Chase (chip off the old block) would have loved this option. He savours Japanese culture, adores sushi and sashimi, and ordered it the most often when we visited the Maldives as a family. The profusion of fresh fish in the neighbourhood make this culinary favourite a treat the whole day long.
Think your nose knows the notes? Then sniff out Sun Siyam Irufushi’s olfactory oenology offering.
The “Le Nez du Vin” kits by Jean Lenoir provide a collection of the most prevalent aromas, or “notes,” in wines including “fruity” ones like pineapple and cherry, or “spicy” ones like vanilla and pepper (see list below). The resort sommelier introduces the diners to the pure essence and then serves up a wine where that fragrance features prominently. I think all but the most oenological among us have had that frustration of being told that the wine’s bouquet features “liquorice and geranium” and all we can smell is, well…wine.
For the intermediate class, check out Wine Folly’s “33 of The Most Bizarre Flavors Found in Wine” (includes a few you can sample in Le Nez like liquorice and violet). Actually, here are some of the tasting notes for Cheval Blanc’s (the resort and the chateau) 1947…”The huge nose of fruitcake, chocolate, leather, coffee, and Asian spices is mind-boggling.”
Another twist on a Japanese art form are the increasingly elaborate origami-esque towel sculptures. The terry cloth swan is now appearing at a number of resorts (including our blockbuster bed decoration at Zitahli Kudafunafaru). But Sun Siyam Irufushi has taken the cygnet sculpting to a new level with it petal adornment and highlights (thanks to NikBie on TripAdvisor from his review there).
United Nations Day today. Celebrating the diversity of cultures as well as the ambitions of that global organisation to enhance health and welfare around the world.
When we first starting visiting the Maldives, a spa was actually a rarity. My first massage there was from an Australian masseuse they had contracted in and gave her a remote villa garden and massage table. Now the spas are some of the most elaborate parts of the resorts and many of the properties incorporate ‘Spa’ right into the name. With all these choices have come many variations on the theme. Anantara has tapped its Thai roots for more Thai oriented treatments. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru has an aruvedic theme.
But the veritable United Nations of spa treatments are to be found at the Sun Siyam Irufushi. The brochure describes “Personalized Spa Experiences – Guests can create their own spa journey.”
Of the 147 different treatments offered The Spa by Thalgo, it features 9 different massages from traditional Asian cultures including:
- MALDIVES – Maldivian Massage
- PHILIPPINES – Filipino Hilot Massage
- INDIA – Crystal Healing Ritual
- CHINA – Restoring Yin-Yang Therapy
- JAPAN – Shiatsu Massage
- THAILAND – Thai Massage
- INDONESIA – Balinese Massage
- SOUTH PACIFIC – Aroma Island Massage
- ASIA – Oriental Back Massage (fusion of oriental techniques)
When we visited, I was especially impressed by the Thai Massage room (see photo above). A spacious area with not only a proper Thai matt, but also two elegant ropes for the therapist to use for balance while walking on your back. I am a devotee of Thai Massage (aka. “Lazy Yoga”) and this was the finest treatment room (not over the water) for that discipline that I’ve visited.
Today is International Failure Day! A day to celebrate turning adversity to advantage. There might not seem to be anything flawed about the Maldives paradise, but it just so happens that this subject is my “other” pastime that I research and write extensively about.
Today’s embracing failure award goes to Sun Siyam Irufushi for their inspired kids play area in the main dining restaurant. Under 6’s are welcome to join this colourful and well equipped area right near a group of the tables. That way, Mom and Dad can enjoy their dinner and linger over an extra serving from the buffet while the little ones can frolic in sight. Irufushi also features delightful (and sturdy) kids’ placeware to put a smile on their faces when they do eat (see below).
For those worried about the sounds of happy children disturbing their own meal, Irufushi also provides a few separate dining areas so peace-and-quiet seeking adults can eat there.
I always feel bad for kids in fancy restaurants or holiday spots being under pressure to be extra well-behaved especially at the table. Doesn’t sound like much of a holiday for them to me. I love that Irufushi has decided embrace the failure to bottle up kids natural energy and exuberance and catered for it instead.
[Our own ‘Maldives Shark’ filmed this summer at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi]
National Poetry Day today. The big “Maldives” poem is of course Herman Melville’s “The Maldive Shark”. Coincidentally, the poet of the family, our daughter Isley (herself a veteran of many a Maldives visit and Maldive shark encounters) just participated in a Melville marathon as a part of last week’s London Literature Festival which read Meville’s classic “Moby ” over 4 days.
Melville hailed from my home state of Massachusetts, USA and also shared my fascination with both the ocean and world travel. He hopped a merchant ship when he was 20 (the same age I ventured to Togo, West Africa). But it was his time on the whaling ship “Acushnet” (two years later) that inspired much of the masterpiece “Moby ” The travels definitely have taken him to the other side of the world, but it doesn’t appear that he ever made it as far as the Maldives themselves. So his now famous account was likely based on the tales of fellow sailors. The poem reinforces the dated mythology of sharks as a mindless menace, but it is so sumptuously composed, it is still worth of admiration.
The Maldive Shark
About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat—
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.
The fanciest wheels in the world will be on display starting today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the largest auto show in the world. But for the most rad roadsters in the Maldives, the show is at Hideaway Beach and Sun Siyam Irufushi. They both are bringing a bit of rad styling to the paths of the Maldives.
Pimp my ride!
And now at Amilla Fushi too (thanks Paola)
One of the myths I hoped to bust with the “Best of the Maldives” series is that “there is nothing to do in the Maldives.” Well, 1,000 “Best of the Maldives” pieces posted or drafted and I can assure you that there is something for every possible interest and taste. One resort that exemplifies the smorgasbord of offerings is Sun Siyam Irufushi. They publish an Activity Schedule that runs nonstop 7:30 am through 1:00 am. Every hour, every day. It’s great to have lots of equipment and activities on offer, but it is especially inviting when a special slot has been organised when others might be able to join in. I particularly liked the fact that they organised like tournaments and competitions. So if you like table tennis or pool, but get a bit tired of just hitting the ball around with your youngsters, you have to opportunity to be matched up with someone else on the island who also plays a bit more seriously for a more engaging match.
Below is one day’s agenda of activity taken at random from their weekly schedule…
- 06:30 – 09:30 Sunrise Snorkeling Safari
- 11:00 – 12:00 Round Ping Pong Competition
- 12:00 – 19:00 Brewery Day
- 15:00 – 16:00 Darts Challenge
- 15:00 – 18:00 Holhudhoo Island Experience
- 15:00 – 16:00 Body Building
- 16:00 – 18:00 The Cooking Class
- 16:45 – 17:15 Introductory Yoga Class
- 17:00 – 18:00 Family Happy Hour
- 17:00 – 19:00 Happy Hour
- 17:30 – 18:30 Beach Volleyball
- 17:30 – 19:30 Lucky Dolphin Sunset Cruise
- 18:30 – 22:00 Shanghi Night Buffer
- 21:00 – 01:00 Mojito Night with DJ
Your waterworld adventure starts from the very arrival at Sun Siyam Irufushi’s extensive welcome jetty. The overwater boardwalks fork, one heading to the over-water dive center and the other to the bustling arrival jetty with its dual seaplane docks, and snake across the azur lagoon Its jetty reception room is in the form of giant dhoni floating on the water. Their tropical coconut mint iced tea was one of the more memorable arrival drinks of the tour (note to self – on future tours, post the different arrival drinks of each resort which vary so widely).
Still Sun Siyam Iru Fushi is not the flashy head-turning Carmen-type, but rather more of the quietly winsome Micaela. The entrance to the island itself is a bit understated. You arrive at the hub of activity from the watersports center on your immediate left to the games areas sprinkled across the grounds. Irufushi hasn’t invested in chic design fashions to catch the eye, but everything is high quality and high standard.
Its spa is one of the biggest in the Maldives and its beach expanse rivals Kudafunafaru and Velaa (what is it about Noonu beaches?). Its huge lagoon is also one of biggest I have seen, but the long jetty to the dive centre makes the house reef relatively accessible. The resort is big without a big feel meaning that no part of it is neither crowded nor overwhelming. Being bigger, Sun Siyam has something for everyone (including adrenalin-packed jet-boarding only found at a couple of resorts). I came away with a warm appreciation for the resort which seemed to grow the longer I stayed and the more I explored.