Digging the Advent Calendars out of the attic today. A colourful tradition to count down the final days to Christmas. The British versions feature little treats, usually chocolates, as a sort of methadone palliative to hold people over until the big extravaganza of gifts and gorging.
It’s also about time for my semi-annual “Haven’t Seen” piece (Edition 9!) So I’ve assembled a collection of 24 luxury innovation as a sort of mini-gift to resort managers. Including a few items on the end which make their own great gifts for the Maldives lover…
1. Underwater Bicycling [above] – (thanks Momo)
2. Local Honey – I guess never thought there might be bees in the Maldives, but my visit to J Resort Alidhoo showed me that there was (picture below of bee hive from my visit there). People love to buy local products and honey is a very popular natural sweetener there.
3. Lobster Curry – No “Haven’t Seen” post is complete without the latest crustacean omission. And of all the lobster cuisine, how can a place in the middle of the INDIAN ocean not have lobster curry.
4. Proper Lobster Chowder – Made with potatoes and cream, it’s possibly a bit heavy for the warm weather, but you can make it more light and it is one of the seafood classics.
5. Egg Neptune – Eggs Benedict made with Lobster. Bit obvious me thinks…
6. Toasted Coconut Chips – Drink nibbles are one of the tell-tale touches that often distinguish stars. Too often resorts punt with peanuts and crisps. Toasted coconut flakes are less sweet and don’t turn into coconut grit chewing them.
7. Video Art – Video is integrating with performance art, space design, even gourmet dining.
8. Coconut Reveal – Or for an old school culinary show…(thanks Paola)
9. Cozies – Sweaty water (and other) bottles that get warm in the hot air. Custom designs could make for yet other gift shop item for the stockings.
10. In-Ocean Massage – Maybe not so far as the Blue Lagoon, but how about a table in the lagoon?
11. Underwater Fashion Shoot – We’ve already established that (a) the Maldives is a top destination for fashion photoshoots, and (b) its underwater wonderland is unrivalled, soooo….
12. Models on Call – And with the popularity of Maldives photography, some local models could provide the subjects for some stunning fashion photography.
13. Underwater Kissing Contest – The most romantic place on earth and popular destination for Chinese. Seems like the obvious venue for the “open water championships”.
14. Paper Napkin Roses – The Maldives ranks among the best in the world for towel art and bed art, but I think they can up their game on table/napkin art.
15. Oar Board SUP Sculling – I’ve already yearned for sculling in the mill pond still waters of the Maldives, but OarBoard offers up a solution which (a) would be easier to transport there, and (b) literally dovetail to the increasingly popular paddleboards there, and (c) be more resilient to less calm waters.
16. Kabbadi – Beach Kabbadi! This distinctly Indian sport played in a distinctly Indian Ocean way.
17. Floating Golf Green – I’ve long mused about exploiting the Maldives’ aquatic expanse as the ultimate water hazard. Namely, teeing off on a resort island with a hole green set up on a nearby island. Until that dream comes about, here is a min-alternative for some short range pitching practice.
18. Wake Surfing – While the Maldives offers some amazingly long and gentle breaks ideal for beginner and trickster surfers, in many places the ocean is just too tranquil. But wake surfing is an increasingly popular way to surf even when the surf is not so up.
19. Inflatable See-Saw – No “Haven’t Seen” piece is complete without a whimsical blow-up of pool/water toy.
20. Water Sofa – The key thing here is the back support allowing you to sit more upright while you bob along. Perfect for catching up on that holiday reading while still immersing yourself in the aquatic landscape.
21. Outdoor Sleeping – Mind you Lori and I have fallen asleep under the stars on many a Maldives trip on deck lounge chairs, but setting up a proper bed (perhaps on request) with a four-posted canopy (to allow for privacy and/or breeze protection, could make the al fresco snoozing more inviting. (thanks Paola)
22. Wooden Hammock – For those who want the reclined swaying without all the awkward flimsiness (thanks Paola).
23. Snorkel Rubber Duck – These would swim off the gift store shelves. Especially a custom order in blue (instead of yellow). Of course, only Schnabels will do.
24. Water Villa Play Set – Now you too can own your very own Maldives water villa!