Daylight saving time moved the clocks forward in the UK this week. Other countries have other dates when they adjust their clocks (eg. the USA did theirs two weeks ago). Some countries in the world are even shifted a half hour or even 45 minutes.
The Maldives also has their own set of time variations despite all of the islands sitting on virtually the same longitude (time zones move by latitude). This has created the curious notion of “resort time”. Resort time is an hour different to the main Maldives time which is also known as “Male time”. But some resorts go even further. Nika’s resort time is 2 hours behind Male.
But Maalprolfulshi resort has topped them all by setting its resort time to 37 and half minutes ahead of Male time. The Director of Chronology R.U. Ciddingmee commented:
- “We at Maalprolfulshi have pioneered the most curious innovations to the guest experience and we feel that this distinctive clock time will help our visitors to completely disconnect with the rest of the outside world not just geographically, but also chronologically. Even if they try to join that conference call with work, there is no way they will be able to figure out exactly when it is taking place so they will have to miss it.”
Maldives resort Oprefooshi has combined the top two reasons to visit this bucket list destination – honeymoons and snorkeling – into a single, once-in-a-lifetime experience: Snorkel Wedding.
Couples are provided with a Snorkel-Guide/Wedding-Officiant. Unlike underwater weddings (which have been conducted at various resort), snorkeling allows the bride and groom to share their vows by actually speaking to each other (while treading water). Why have a seaside wedding when you could be *in* the sea?? And you don’t require special training and certification to opt for this nautical nuptials (in fact, if you are a weak swimmer, the property has a special wedding dress with buoyancy aids sewn into the garment (which also add a special buxom look for your wedding photos).
We can fully appreciate the romance of the house reef venue as Lori and I celebrated our anniversary snorkeling (see photo below).
With interest in sustainable local sourcing of foods (and now some of the supply chain constraints with the coronavirus pandemic), the Mookowfushi resort is expanding its chef’s garden (where it has grown a range of herbs and vegetables) into a chef’s pasture that will support a small herd of Angus steers for the property’s dinner plates.
Their initial trial of the husbandry hit issues with the island not providing enough grazing land. But they quickly determined that the bovine palettes were as happy with sea grass as they were grass on land. The problem was that sea grass washed up on the beach was dead and sandy. They needed the bovine buffet to be fresher to the animals. So they experimented with the classic Maldivian accessory – the mask and snorkel. The animals took to the devices very readily (see photo) and were happy to use them to see and find fresh sea grass in the lagoon shallows that they can graze on.
Mookowfushi doesn’t just serve “Surf and Turf”…it puts the turf in the surf!
…and you will find them in amongst the vibrant and varied marine life of the Maldives! Snorkeling and diving has long been one of the great appeals to this aquatic wonderland. Triggerfish, reef sharks and wrasses are ubiquitous, but some species are much more elusive. After 20 years of visiting the Maldives staying at over 90 resorts, we have yet to see a whale shark. Mind you, I would be just as happy if I spotted one of these rare creatures in my underwater meanderings…
- ZEBRA BAT FISH – Swimming in schools, their stripes confuse the predatory Lion Fish (above).
- LACCADIVE CROCODILE – Distant relative to the African variety thought to have migrated from Madagascar (below).
- SEA-REX – A living fossil as ancient as the Megalodons that prowled these waters millions of years ago (bottom).
The Maldives has long been synonymous with honeymoon romance and spectacular reef diving. In recent years, it has established itself as a world class center for other things like Michelin star cuisine and top flight surfing attracting top talent to its shores. Its natural tranquillity has also turned it into a bit of a yoga haven. No premium resort is complete without sunrise and sunset yoga sessions for the guests. And its uniquely placid, reef-sheltered lagoons have afforded yet another opportunity for such Asanas practice – Underwater Yoga. So much so that the International Federation of Floatational Yoga (IFFY) are hosting their annual World Yoga Championships in the Maldives today. They are being hosted by the resort Apreelfulshi Spa and Villas. Below are a few snaps from the early qualification rounds.
Above and below, a top contenders in the Ladies Levitating Lotus (Heat 1)…
While below an entry in the Men’s Seafloor category warms up for his heat (Quarterfinal-FInal)…
The shallow lagoons of the Maldives provide an ideal venue for the popular Semi-Submerged Padmasana (Semi-FInal round)…
A number of demonstration workshops were also featured for aspiring fans attending the event. Below one of the master classes is led by an underwater guru…
Namaste #1! Go team! Winning!
With the cancellation of the Sri Lankan Airlines direct service and British Airways curtailing its own London-Male service in the summer months, most UK travel to Maldives has required the tedious stop-over. But the customer-focused Virgin Airways has not only stepped into the breach with its own daily direct service to the Maldives, but it has done with an aeronautic innovation so appropriate to the destination…glass bottomed planes.
Richard Branson himself announced, “The Maldives is a destination renowned for its spectacular seascape. People marvel at its aquatic sights underneath the surface with glass floors in many villas and they do so when they fly above this amazeballs azure archipelago. It is the perfect destination to launch our new state-of-the-art planes which lets every passenger enjoy this turquoise tapestry when they arrive.”
Using the same pressure-resistance, high tensile strength glass that the famous underwater restaurants there use, every seat is a window seat! The scenic wonder is ideal for that climactic arrival to the otherworldly archipelago as the distinctive tapestry of blues emerge in the seascape below. I much prefer these windows-full planes to the windowless planes the industry has been talking about recently. And lest you think this can’t be real, see the full details on Virgin’s website – “Virgin launches glass-bottomed plane”.
From nutty to knitty (and maybe not much difference between the two even). The less known Haa Pril Fulshi resort has introduced new developed crochet dive suits. This new fashion must-have for the trendy diver combines colourful whimsy with soft natural fabrics instead of the awkward conventional neoprene gear. Unfortunately, the suits can only be worn once due to shrinking. Available on Etsy.com.
Underwater marvels are some of the signature features of the Maldives paradise. And with the flood of underwater restaurants, bedrooms, night clubs, function rooms, spas, cabinet meetings, golf courses, Christmas trees, art, and even scuba massage, innovative new offerings are demanding more and more creativity. So many are there that I have introduced an ‘underwater’ tag to the blog today (not the natural features and creatures, but the man-made stuff).
The lesser known resort of Maaprolfulshi has tossed its hat into this watery ring with its newly introduced underwater pool. No, not a ‘pool’ that is underwater. That would be just silly! But an underwater pool table. It also accommodates games of billiards and snooker (see above).
If a sliver of sand is not close enough to aquatic blissful relaxation, then Kurumba’s underwater scuba massage treatment (launched today!) should literally soak away the stress. Aprille Phoulle of the Veli Spa explained…
“Many of our divers get a whole range of muscle soreness and tensions from having heavy tanks on their backs. We figured why not provide the soothing treatment they need in the environment they love. Sure, more and more resorts are offering underwater spas and restaurants, but we are the first to go truly underwater with our services. At our latest underwater management meeting (modelled after the government’s cabinet meeting) decided to literally take to plunge. Customers have the choice of a table massage (anchored to the lagoon floor) or a ‘free floating’ treatment. The latter combines the benefit of a ‘flotation tank’ as the clients are set at neutral buoyancy. Due to the warm tropical waters of the Maldives, it is quite comfortable diving in just a t-shirt and trunks making it easy for the PADI-certified therapist to work those sore muscles (not mussels). We use only the finest Ayurveda, eco-friendly fish oils like ‘Tranquility Tuna’ and ‘Box Fish Bliss.’ The treatment also naturally includes something that has become a popular pedicure treatment in Europe, fish depilation, as wrasses delight in gently nibbling at the dead skin especially the crispy, sunburnt type. A tank of air is just right for a half-hour session.”
The Euro-Diver dive centre has also collaborated with the Veli Spa on a range of other treatments designed for the diver set such as the “Nitrox Detox” and the “Scuba Scrub”. They are also working with PADI to develop a range of new specialty skills that can be combined with ‘Underwater Massage’ such as ‘Compressed Air Aromartherapy’ for a ‘Dive Therapist’ certification.