I’ve already featured the striking artistry of Soneva Jani’s arrival jetty, but it wasn’t until our visit there that we could appreciate the ubiquitous artistry of all its jetties. Unlike its sister resort which is primarily land oriented (and only recently added water villas), Soneva Jani has been from its inception very water oriented. So it is fitting that the byways connecting all of the (striking) constructions should itself be an aesthetic journey. Details like the Soneva signature driftwood pieces (see bottom) to the lit glass room numbers inlaid into the walkway timber as extra flair (see photo below – thanks Poala!) to the Suess-like whimsy of these central design elements.
When we were first considering going to the Maldives two decades ago, our friends described their trip and how they were on their resort island and saw another even smaller island across the water. They waded out a bit further to get a better look and before long they hade waded all the way across the lagoon to it (Rihiveli Beach). This one anecdote stuck in my mind more than others and seemed to capture the plot-of-sand-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean vibe more than any other illustration of the Maldives.
Since, then I’ve been on the constant lookout for miniscule islands as a part of the distinctive Maldivian aesthetic. With this post, I’ve even introduced a tag for it, “Mini Island”. The latest is this little sandbank with a touch of greenery and a small thatched cabana at The Residence Dhigurah. With the jetty passing so near, it might just be the closest of the detached mini-isles (thanks Francisco – long time fan of the original “mini island” at Rihiveli).
First impressions make the biggest impact. It’s one of the reasons why I added a photo of the “Arrival Jetty” to the Maldives Complete Profiles. We were particularly struck by Shangri-La Villingili’s towering welcome pier this summer. But Soneva Jani has set a new high bar in terms of aloha artistry with its sculpted creation.
“A good first impression can work wonders.” – J. K. Rowling
I am trying to keep the Profiles somewhat limited so they are a real “at a glance” impression of the resort. I try to focus on distinctive aspects of the resorts that all my readers enquire about. Each photos and datapoint needs to be some variety across resorts which is why I don’t feature pictures of palm trees and sunsets that often fill the resort web sites as they just aren’t different enough from one resort to another. But there also has to be some constancy within the resort which is also why I don’t feature restaurants and bar photos. There are usually more than restaurant and bar and they often differ considerably. As a result, it is hard to choose one photo that typifies the F&B areas.
But in this last Tour, I was especially struck on the vast variety across Arrival Jetties. Some are simple docks while others are elaborate constructions. It is your first (and last) impression of the resort so it always has impact. We love walking along the resort jetties. They are great places for getting out over the water and you always see so many creatures scurrying about often attracted to mini-artificial reef-like structure it forms.
With a bit of snapping this summer and some further web research, I amassed 47 resorts which I think is just enough to add this piece of each resort to the Profile.
To mark this occasion, I also wanted to call out one of the most impressive arrival jetties I came upon in my research. It’s always easier to claim distinction for objective and quantity differences rather than subjective and quality ones. Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa appears to be the longest arrival jetty in the Maldives. It’s so long that they have added a couple of sheltered pavilions along it. I am guessing to give visitors a chance for a rest along their stroll from one end to another.
As always, if you have any snaps of any arrival jetties that I don’t yet have, I would love to have them to add to the database. Thanks!