Best of the Maldives: Popcorn – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - popcorn

A nibble to spike that thirst for the mini-bar? NIYAMA’s villas all come with hot-air popcorn poppers and a supply of gourmet popcorn for a quick, fresh, hot, healthy snack. And if that doesn’t satisfy you, they also provide complementary cassava chips for something a bit more exotic.

With this post, I’ve added what is really a long overdue category tag for “Mini-Bar”.

   

Best of the Maldives: Biodegradable Coffee Pods – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa - biogradable coffee pods

Park Hyatt Hadahaa introduces the eco-friendly coffee with its Ecocaffe coffee pods on its villa’s mini-bar.

  • The world’s only certified biodegradable coffee pods for Nespresso machines to Maldives resorts. Almost all resorts are using plastic or aluminium pods in their rooms.”

Not having to leave you room for a tasty brew in the morning also makes it ‘low miles’ to converse your own personal energy.

Best of the Maldives: Mini-Bar Wine – Huvafenfushi

Huvafenfushi - CUBE mini bar

National Drink Wine Day today. The perfect occasion to splash out of bit of a special tipple. And if you really want to celebrate but are worried about stumbling back to your villa, then check into Huvafenfushi which offers the most exquisite bottle of wine I’ve come across…in its mini-bar. A $695 bottle of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtescede. If you are not splurging, then you might want to be a bit careful “raiding the mini-bar”.

Best of the Maldives: DIY Creations – Kurumba

Kurumba - welcome cocktail mixer

If you are inspired to be your own concoct your own cocktail creations, then arrival at Kurumba will start your holiday on the right foot. They provide all the fresh ingredients to make your own mojito precisely to your liking when you walk into your room. We loved the concept because it spurred us to indulge in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise done. When you arrive, it doesn’t feel appropriate to raid the mini-bar right off the bat. And if you did, all you can really do is have a simple drink like a beer, glass of wine or neat liquor. But the layout inspired us to create an especially refreshing and interesting drink to accompany our unpacking and settling in.

Cheers!

Best of the Maldives: Re-fresh-ment – Kandooma

Kandooma orange juicer

Kuramathi wasn’t the first resort to offer locally made beverage. While coffee presses are all the rage at the luxury resorts, Kandooma offers a more natural orange juice press in every room. My wife and I enjoyed fresh OJ the mornings we were there and it was a real re-FRESH-ing treat and change from the bottled, processed stuff normally found in a mini-bar.  As the old jingle goes, ‘A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine’…and that would be a real shame in the Maldives!

Best of the Maldives – Music: W Retreat

W Symetry CD

Music is as integral to the W Retreat as the colour blue is to the Maldive waters.

It’s certainly not just background. Nor is it merely a special touch (some resorts do get the music horribly wrong with dated pop which is almost more grating than muzak). At the W Retreat, music is more of an obsession.

First of all the infrastructure. Music is piped everywhere. Through high-quality Bose systems. The jetties are lined with speakers. They are sprinkled around the pool and dining areas. Each room has quad sound in the rooms and a sub-woofer (see picture below)! No other resort has sub-woofers in every room. The stereo is also piped to the back deck and the outdoor bathroom. The fitness centre provides high quality head-sets to listen to while you work out with disposable ear pads for hygiene (see photo below right).

The music is a big focus for the W chain and they have a Director of Music Michael Angelo who produces special mix play list for the W Retreat streamed from New York. The video on their monitors (in the room and around the resort) highlight various music artists. W signature music is available on CDs for sale at the mini-bar (see photo above). W Hotels Worldwide has also just released the W Hotels APP for iPhone allowing you to stream more than 40 hours of music for free (as well as book hotels and even order room service while you are at a W Hotel).

Keeping the music fresh is resident DJ (yes, ‘resident’…add that to the list of ‘Best Jobs in the World’) Kit Diesel. He plays tracks at the bar at sunset and then moves onto the ’15 Degrees’ nightclub later in the evening. Mostly ‘chill out’ and ‘club’ music prevails, but when my wife and I came into the nightclub one night (before the younger set had started to arrive), he subtly and considerately shifted the mix to a funky selection closer to our generation (some Barry White). DJ Kit also offers mixing lessons and you get a personalised CD of your mixing session.

As the first W Retreat ‘Best Of’ from my tour, I must also note that, not unexpectedly, my visit there yielded a massive number of pieces to write about. The W concept from the outset has prized distinctive touches and creative service so I fully anticipated all sorts of curious distinctives. And the W didn’t let me down. To date, the dominant resort in the ‘Best Of’ derby has been the delectable Four Season Landaa Giraavaru, but now the W stands shoulder to shoulder with them in terms of the number of total pieces I have lined up on each (hard to say definitively at this stage as a number of items still require research).

W Retreat sub woofer     W Retreat headsets

Best of the Maldives: Mini-Bar – W Retreat

W Resort

What amenities do you need at a Maldivian resort…and then what are those things that really take a bit of creative consideration on behalf of the management to deliver an amazing stay. W Retreat is renowned for its attention to detail and special amenities. Its W Resort in the Maldives snared the #2 spot for Askmen.com’s survey of the Best Hotel Minibars in the world.

“As a haven for super-skinny fashionistas looking to cram their size-zero bodies into something suitably small for the beach, it’s hardly surprising that the W Retreat & Spa has stocked its minibars with an unusual item — a bikini by luxury beachwear label Heidi Klein. In most hotels, guests are expected to bring their own beachwear, but apparently not here. Crafted in W’s signature purple, the bikini is a limited edition sold only on-site and comes with stunning silver hammered-chrome detailing. Oh yeah, and there’s booze and food stocked alongside it.  Best part: If the bikini provided doesn’t fit, then a “Bikini Butler” is on-hand to measure your girl up for something more her size.”