Pool Sharks

A post shared by Alexander MAVRIN (@mavrin) on

The very first resort attribute I tracked was whether a property had a pool or not. Despite being surrounded by mill pond aquamarine lagoons, the kids still enjoyed the sand-free and salt-free water of a pool. Hence I created a spreadsheet so I could keep track of which resorts had pools. Back in the 90s, less than half of the resorts had a pool. Now it is rare for a resort not to have pool and many of the rooms have their own private pools. And it’s not just the kids who love them. The adult crowd of fashionistas love a good dip in the pool as todays’ National Swimming Pool Day collection shows:

  1. Viki Odintcova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah [ABOVE and BOTTOM Cocoon]
  2. Pamela Reif (Germany) – Vommuli
    Pamela Reif (Germany) – Vommuli
      
  3. Ekaterina Smirnova (Russia)
    Ekaterina Smirnova (Russia)
       
  4. Kate Onyshchenko (Russia) – Sun Island
    Kate Onyshchenko (Russia) - Sun Island
       
  5. Duda Lukyanova (OAE) – Hideaway Beach
    Duda Lukyanova (OAE) - Hideaway Beach
      
  6. Alice Fabbrica (Italy) – Kandima
    Alice Fabbrica (Italy) – Kandima
      
  7. Margarita Lorens (Russia) – Kandooma
    Margarita Lorens (Russia) - Kandooma
      
  8. Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) – Paradise Island
    Svyatoslava Vladzimirskaya (Russia) - Paradise Island
       
  9. Natalie Danish (Ukraine) – Cocoon
    Natalie Danish (Ukraine) - Cocoon
       
  10. Olga ST (Russia) – JA Manafaru
    Olga ST (Russia) – JA Manafaru
       
  11. Ania Szubert (Poland) – Kuramathi
    Ania Szubert (Poland) - Kuramathi
       
  12. Irina (Russia) – Kuredu
    Irina (Russia) – Kuredu
       
  13. Amanda Strachan (Canada) – Milaidhoo
    Amanda Strachan (Canada) - Milaidhoo
       
  14. Emma (Australia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Emma (Australia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  15. Elvira Bar David (Russia) – Constance Halaveli
    Elvira Bar David (Russia) - Constance Halaveli
       
  16. Kristyna Teimerova (Czech) – Furaveri
    Kristyna Teimerova (Czech) - Vilu Reef
       
  17. Nataly Shpakova (Russia) – Vadoo
    Nataly Shpakova (Russia) - Vadoo
       
  18. Vladzimirskaya Svyatoslava (Russia) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Vladzimirskaya Svyatoslava (Russia) - Gili Lankanfushi

       
  19. LeToya Luckett-Walker (USA) – Vommuli
    LeToya Luckett-Walker (USA) - Vommuli
       
  20. Steffanie Roberts (Australia) – Finolhu
    Steffanie Roberts (Australia) - Finolhu
       
  21. Ilenia Lai (Italy) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Ilenia Lai (Italy) - Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili
       
  22. Yadi Liang (China) – Angsana Velavaru
    Yadi Liang (China) - Angsana Velavaru
       
  23. Brooke Hil (USA) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Brooke Hil (USA) - Cheval Blanc Randheli
       
  24. Yulia Rybakova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Yulia Rybakova (Russia) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  25. Victoria Lopyreva (Russia) – W Maldives
    Victoria Lopyreva (Russia) – JA Manafaru

  26. Montana Rose Brown (United Kingdom) – Jumeirah Vittaveli
    Montana Rose Brown (United Kingdom) - Jumeirah Vittaveli
       
  27. Myrtille Revemont (France) – St. Regis Vommuli
    Myrtille Revemont (France) – St. Regis Vommuli 2
       
  28. Adriana Jennings (Australia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Adriana Jennings (Australia) – Ranveli  
       
  29. Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Belinda Young (Taiwan) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
       
  30. Ann Korshun (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Ann Korshun (Russia) – Summer Island
       
  31. Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – NIYAMA
    Ksenia Tsaritsina (Russia) – NIYAMA
       
  32. Sammi G. (China) – Vilamendhoo
    Sammi G (China) - Vilamendhoo
       
  33. Lily Berry (Australia) – Centara Ras Fushi
    Lily Berry (Australia) - Centara Ras Fushi
      
  34. Alana Mamaeva (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Alana Mamaeva (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  35. Est Are (Nigeria) – Kurumba
    Est Are (Nigeria) - Maafushivaru
       
  36. Dasha Sidorova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Dasha Sidorova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  37. Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Maria Martelo Perez (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
        
  38. Ester Evans (Russia) – Constance Halaveli
    Ester Evans (Russia) - Constance Halaveli
       
  39. Rose Huntington-Whiteley (United Kingdom) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Rose Huntington-Whiteley (United Kingdom) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
       
  40. Ashley Alexiss (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Ashley Alexiss (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
      
  41. Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Yulia Schastlivaya (Russia) - Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
       
  42. Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Olesya Malinskaya (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  43. Karen Clifton (USA) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Karen Clifton (USA) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
       
  44. Anna Chibisova (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Anna Chibisova (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
       
  45. Rym Saidi (Tunisia)
    Rym Saidi (Tunisia)
       
  46. Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) – ShangriLa Vilingili
    Alessandra Ambrosio (Brazil) - Shangri-La Vilingili – GQ Brasil
       
  47. Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Taj Exotica
    Julia Adasheva (Russia) – Taj Exotica
       
  48. Nikki Phillips (New Zealand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Nikki Phillips (New Zealand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
       
  49. Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Dhigu
    Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Dhigu
       
  50. Silje Alice (Norway) – Anantara Dhigu
    Silje Alice (Norway) - Anantara Dhigu
       
  51. Laura Muljadi (Indonesia) – Velaa
    Laura Muljadi (Indonesia) – Velaa
       
  52. Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
    Jessica Lee Buchanan (South Africa) – NIYAMA
       
  53. Marvel Mayu (Japan) – Amari Havodda
    Marvel Mayu (Japan) - Amari Havodda
       
  54. Perrie Edwards (United Kingdom) – The Residence
    Perrie Edwards (United Kingdom) – The Residence
       
  55. Natalie Morris (USA) – Velassaru
    Natalie Morris (USA) – Velassaru
       
  56. Wang Likun (China) – LUX Maldives
    Wang Likun (China) – LUX Maldives
       
  57. Giulia Andrea Gaudino (Italy) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
    Giulia Andrea Gaudino (Italy) – Coco Palm Bodu Hithi
       
  58. Yuliya Sazh (Ukraine) – Lily Beach
    Yuliya Sazh (Ukraine) – Lily Beach
        
  59. Jennifer Trinh (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Jennifer Trinh (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
       
  60. Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
    Karina Irby (Australia) – Adaaran Hudhuranfushi
       
  61. Mandira Bedi (India) – Hideaway Beach
    Mandira Bedi (India) – Hideaway Beach
       
  62. Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Raica Oliveira (Brazil) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
       
  63. Yanita Yancheva (Bulgaria) – Anantara Veli
    Yanita Yancheva (Bulgaria) – Anantara Veli
       
  64. Margo Bushueva (Russian) – Ayada
    Margo Bushueva (Russian) – Ayada
       
  65. Palbunky (Australia) – Conrad Rangali
    Palbunky (Australia) – Conrad Rangali
      
  66. Enikő Mahilik (Hungary) – Gili Lankanfushi
    Enikő Mahilik (Hungary) – Gili Lankanfushi
       
  67. Innessa Dudakova (Austria) – Constance Halaveli
    Innessa Dudakova (Austria) – Constance Halaveli
       
  68. Elle (Australia) – W Maldives
    Elle (Australia) – W Retreat
       
  69. Ann-Katrin Vida (Germany) – Coco Bodu Hithi
    Ann-Katrin Vida (Germany) – Atmosphere Kanifushi
      
  70. Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa
    Patricia Panigoro (Indonesia) – Velaa
       
  71. Mind Napasasi (Thailand) – Vadoo
    Mind Napasasi (Thailand) – Vadoo
          

    

A post shared by VIKI ODINTCOVA (@vi_odintcova) on

Best of the Maldives: Longest Pool – Sirru Fen Fushi

Sirru Fen Fushi - longest pool

If you are looking for pool big enough to fit the fashionista flotilla of floats, then your best bet is Sirru Fen Fushi with its 200 metre long chlorinated lake. That’s the length of 4 Olympic sized swimming pools laid end to end and pips the previous champion by a similar amount (thanks Paola). It extends from one side of the island pretty much complete to the other side almost like a dissecting canal (see below).

Sirru Fen Fushi - pool aerial

Paradise Postcards from the Edge

Ria Michelle (USA) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

There might not be a “Maldives Fanatic Day”, but there is a “National Swimming Pool Day”. And if there is one posing spot that the Maldives fashionistas are fanatical about it is the pool. You can be in the pool or beside the pool. Lounging, standing or floating. But the quintessential pose on every photographer’s check list is the “Pool Edge Recline”. The classic rendition includes arched back, tilted head, raised knee nearest the camera and pointed toes. But as the diverse Maldives display, there remain countless variations. And here are more than a few (dozen) examples…

  1. Ria Michelle (USA) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi [ABOVE]
  2. Alana Mamaeva (Russia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Alana Mamaeva (Russia) - One & Only Reethi Rah
  3. Brooke Hogan (Australia) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Brooke Hogan (Australia) - Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  4. Yong (Laos) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
    Yong (Laos) - Sun Siyam Irufushi
  5. Julianna Mizon (United Kingdom) – Soneva Jani
    Julianna Mizon (United Kingdom) - Soneva Jani
  6. Emily Campbell (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Emily Campbell (Australia) - Club Med Finolhu Villas
  7. Karri Nicholas (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Karri Nicholas (Australia) - Amilla Fushi
  8. Katherine Legg Bondi (Australia) – LUX South Ari Atoll
    Katherine Legg Bondi (Australia) - LUX South Ari Atoll
  9. Liria Dedvukaj Sinishtaj (Albania) – The Residence
    Liria Dedvukaj Sinishtaj (Albania) - The Residence
  10. Jenny Phm (Vietnam) – Conrad Rangali
    Jenny Phm (Vietnam) - Conrad Rangali
  11. Valeriya Samchileeva (Ukraine) – Olhuveli
    Valeriya Samchileeva (Ukraine) - Olhuveli
  12. Oxana K (Russia) – NIYAMA
    Oxana K (Russia) – NIYAMA
  13. Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Milana Koroleva (Russia) – Cheval Blanc Randheli - 2
  14. Mari Danica Reynes (Philippines) – Vadoo
    Mari Danica Reynes (Philippines) - Vadoo
  15. Katya Ogo (Russia) – Safari Island
    Katya Ogo (Russia) - Safari Island
  16. June Lau (United Kingdom) – Maalifushi
    June Lau (United Kingdom) - Maalifushi
  17. Toni Garrn (USA) The Residence
    Toni Garrn (USA) The Residence
  18. Marina Mantega (Brazil) – NIYAMA
    Marina Mantega (Brazil) - NIYAMA
  19. Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Maggi Apa Bhavilai (Thailand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas

  20. Galit Levi (Israel) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Galit Levi (Israel) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  21. Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Kihavah
    Annette Rian Skjølberg (Norway) – Anantara Kihavah
  22. Karenin G. (Switzerland) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Karenin G. (Switzerland) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
  23. Raquel Mattar de Faria (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
    Raquel Mattar de Faria (Cheval Blanc Randheli) – Ayada
  24. Milana Dubovska (Russia) – Olhuveli
    Milana Dubovska (Russia) – Olhuveli
  25. Alia Bhaat (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
    Alia Bhaat (India) – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  26. Erin Victoria Holland (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
    Erin Victoria Holland (Australia) – Amilla Fushi
  27. Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu
    Vik Voynikova (Russia) – Anantara Dhigu

  28. Gabriela Vieria (Brazil) – One & Only Reethi Rah
    Gabriela Vieria (Brazil) – One & Only Reethi Rah
  29. Jacqueline Fernandez (Sri Lanka) – Conrad Rangali
    Jacqueline Fernandez (Sri Lanka) – Conrad Rangali
  30. Jill Limatan (Peru) – Viceroy
    Jill Ltn (na) – Viceroy
  31. Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
    Bipasha Basu (India) – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
  32. Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Margaret MacPherson (Australia) – Club Med Finolhu Villas

  33. Nikki Phillips (New Zealand) – Club Med Finolhu Villas
    Nikki Phillips (New Zealand) – Cocoa Island
  34. Daria Akoeva (Russia) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
    Daria Akoeva (Russia) – Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

Best of the Maldives: W Retreat – Pool Float

W Retreat - float

Eid Mubarack! If you need to just lie down after all the feasting, then W Retreat offers literally the biggest armada of pool floats to lull you to a gently bobbing repose.

When we visited the Maldives with our children years ago, Lori and I would read by the pool while they splashed about (perhaps the very first beginnings of Maldives Complete was my research into which resorts had pools which the kids adored). If we had the W’s Canopy Float (see photo above), I could have enjoyed my reading in the pool rather than beside the pool. Especially with the sun-protecting canopy which keeps the light from being too harshly bright on the eyes while reading.

And if you want to make the biggest splash with a blow-up pink flamingo Instagram pic, the W has just introduced the largest in the Maldives, the mother of all pink flamingo floats (see below)…

W Retreat - giant pink flamingo

Best of the Maldives: Dive Centre Pool – Shangri-La Villingili

Shangri-La Villingili - dive centre pool

One of the most unexpected swimming holes I’ve come across traipsing about the full extent of the Maldives was Shangri-La Villingili’s “diving pool”. I’ve seen all manner of artistically sculpted infinity pools with frothing fountains, so what was so distinctive about this simple enclosed pool tucked away in the island right next to the dive centre?  That’s just it. It’s not designed to be the centre of attention, but to make students in it the opposite of the centre of attention.

Standard operating procedure for novice divers taking a PADI course during their Maldives holiday is to go through some of the introductory activities in the resort pool. It might be safe and secure from currents, sand or murky water, but it’s considerably less so to a surrounding gallery of pool loungers encircling you like an amphitheatre. Learning to dive can be a bit of a stressful experience for some, and those students’ anxiety isn’t going to be lessened by having an audience of strangers.

The diving centre pool is only available to diving centre students. Another unusual characteristic of Villingili’s pool is that it is raised up. This means that not even the random passer-by can overlook your efforts to get to grips with operating underwater. Definitely the place to learn scuba for the self-conscious.

Best of the Maldives: Ocean Pool – Hulhumale

Hulhumale - ocean pool

Hulhumale’s “lagoon pool” ticks off another “Finally Seen”. The authentically natural swimming experience, but a bit protected and groomed (ie. sand) for some people’s comfort. We still bump into folks visiting the Maldives spooked to go in the ocean for fear of the little puppy sand sharks swimming about. Come to find out, some people don’t want to swim in any water that has any fish in it. I can’t guarantee that some enterprising piscatorial bounder hasn’t literally made the leap to check this feature out, but you should be pretty safe.

Hulhumale - ocean pool aerial

Best of the Maldives: Water Lovers – Canareef

Canareef - pool water

Perhaps the greatest allure of the Maldives is its intimacy with the ocean. The diminutive islands are nettled just at the water level so you are never far from it vertically or horizontally. Some of the bigger islands lose a bit of this aquatic intimacy. But one of the longest islands, Canareef, has as much if not more pervasive ambience of surrounding seaside. Primarily, because it is so skinny. With the shoreline only a few dozen meters away on either side of the island, the ambient noise of gentle waves permeate the air up and down the island.

And this stereo seaside is just one aspect of the resort’s water immersed motif. If you are a water lover, then Canareef is the resort for you. It features water of every size and shape…

  • Seashore – One side dramatic surf, the other side mill pond calm. Both along the longest coastline in the Maldives resorts.
  • Lakes – 3 of these relatively rare bodies of water in the Maldives
  • Pools – Also a top of the league table number.
  • Channel – A relatively rare feature in the Maldives.

Even your own Jacuzzi if you like in the Jacuzzi Villas. If water is what drew you to this destination that is 99% ocean, then Canareef tops it up just a bit further.