Double header for the double deckers at Finolhu this week. This one is a bit more dramatic and as stunning underneath as it is on top as a waterfall cascades into the pool enveloping the in-pool bar. More “Ballers” than “Baywatch” (with more than a hint of Starship Enterprise).
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)…
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.
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.
For a just above the surface treat, LUX South Ari Atoll offers breakfast en bain. Maybe not radio controlled, but close enough to another “finally seen”.
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.
A break from the Olympics today. And I mean a real break…sort of the opposite of the Olympics. National Lazy Day today. Like the Tweet below (which does take laziness to gold medal standard).
A great training camp for laziness is Shangri-La Villingili with their villa in-pool loungers. Like the Maldives islands themselves, the loungers are situated at that perfect elevation just above the level of the water. Just low enough to be cooled by the pool water perhaps dangling one feet in, but high enough so that you don’t have to be submerged.
Take your laziness to the next level.
In the land of endless water spectacles, Cocoa Island’s hydrotherapy pool might just be the biggest indoor water feature in the Maldives. It certainly is the biggest hydrotherapy pool in the country, and in fact it claims to be the biggest in Asia. It’s the biggest I have seen and I am a connoisseur of spas around the world. Even Lori was impressed as she uses hydrotherapy pools professionally as a part of her therapy practice. It includes bubble loungers, drench fountain, back massager and a whole array of relaxing water jets. It is available to all guests on a complimentary basis and fresh ginger tea is on tap non-stop.
For extra water safety, maybe not “wrapped in cotton wool”, but wrapped in a 360 degree floatation device. And in the safe confines of the Club Med Kani pool. Chalk up another “Finally Seen” (#12 of Part 5).