Happy Halloween! While resorts are adorning their properties with spooky décor for the occasion, Soneva Jani’s main restaurant is permanently bedecked with a hauntingly alluring mobile of ghostly jellyfish. This post is the latest instalment in its catalogue of suspended sea life sculptures so I’ve added the handy “Mobile” tag for them.
Conrad Maldives is putting the “up” into upcycling plastic with its jellyfish chandelier. The article “How A Hotel In the Maldives Is Fighting Plastic Pollution” describes this and a number of other initiatives (stay tuned) the resort is undertaking to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to minimise it from their property:
- “The most visible symbol of the hotel’s commitment to the cause can be found inside Rangali Bar. Dangling from the wood ceiling of the open-air bar is a massive jellyfish. At first glance, it could be mistaken for a Chihuly, with its long, translucent tentacles resembling blue-tinted glass. But the sculpture comes from eco artist John K. Melvin, who was commissioned to create the site-specific piece at the resort. Melvin, whose work has appeared in places like Puerto Rico’s Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, spent a six-week residency collecting more than 5,000 plastic bottles from three islands in the Maldives, sculpting and then stringing them with coconut rope, steel cable, wire and other materials. The upcycled work is titled EvoGyre, a portmanteau of “evolution” and “gyre,” which is a circular ocean current formed by wind patterns and the forces resulting from the Earth’s rotation. Plastic gets stuck in these vortexes.”
Creative approaches to eco-sustainability are looking up at Rangali.
- “What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn’t be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.” – David Hockney
At most resorts, the staff give at bit of themselves every day to make the visit by the guests memorable and distinctive. At Amilla Fushi, this investment is expressed indelibly in a unique exhibition of creativity and personality.
The Mystique Garden is a chef’s garden where you can enjoy special meals prepared and served for you al fresco. But your nook is more than the lush greenery of an equatorial paradise. It accented by a collection of striking art works suspended in the tropical canopy. These pieces are the works and gifts of the resort staff themselves.
When the property was near completion and the new team of staff being assembled, the management got everyone together and presented them with a challenge to design and produce pieces of sculpture to adorn the Mystique Garden. The resort provided any tools and materials that they needed. The staff were assembled into department teams as the project was a way to bring the group close together prior to the opening with a focus on thrilling the impeding guests with something out of the ordinary. The teams worked for over a month and the top pieces were selected for inclusion in this open air gallery. The pieces featured and the teams that created them are…
- Chandelier by Management
- Morovian Star by Engineering
- Peace Sign by the Spa
- Dodecahedron by the Front Office
- Silver Mobile by Recreation
I’ve been to lots of chef gardens in the Maldives (in fact, with this post, I am adding a new tag for them “Chef Garden”, but Amilla’s is a bit extra-magical, surrounded not just by the natural beauty of the location, but also by these inspired pieces which offer a personal welcome from the hearts, minds and souls of the resort team to their guests.
One resort can *guarantee* that you will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the soaring Manta. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is a major destination for Manta watching with their proximity to the manta favoured Hanifaru, their ‘Manta Ray Research Project’ and their special ‘Manta on call’ service. But even if all that falls through, you can always enjoy their manta masterpiece they commissioned for their Marine Discovery Centre.
The piece was created by British artist Scott Gleed who specialises in marine subjects like sharks and mantas. Finalist in the David Shepherd International Wildlife Artist of the year competition, you can find his work at the Paris Aquarium, Imperial War Museum and the House of Fraser. He also does commissions and private sale pieces if you wanted a memento of your own manta encounter.
I was inspired by the terry cloth creature above to take the plunge into the latest social media – Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to set up albums to share collections of photos. I’ve already featured room art a number of times including ‘Bed Decoration’ and ‘Bed Art’, but this particular piece (shared with permission from guest Vincent Benita) is by far the most elaborate and cheeky I have ever seen.
The piece made me realise that I regularly come across great examples of bed and room decorations and rather than constantly revising my ‘Best Of’ posts, it would be better to create an honour gallery where al my discoveries could be collected and showcased. I’m started with the following two ‘Boards’…
I was tempted to create a ‘Maldives Sunset’ Board since there are so many prize examples of those on the web, but I’m going to start with these first.