Best of the Maldives: Mist Hammocks – Dhawa Iruhu

Dhawa Ihuru - mist hammock

Overwater and on-water hammocks have become almost cliché from the countless Instagram photos posted of them, but Dhawa Ihuru offers the first (I’ve seen) *in* water hammocks. No, not sitting in the lagoon. But you sitting in a refreshing mist of cool spray while you relax in the tropical sun. For making your own misty water-coloured memories of the way you were in paradise.


Best of the Maldives: Convertible Cabana – Velaa

Velaa - convertible cabana 1

If only the corals could push some button for a bit of cooling shade when they get too warm. At least guests at Velaa have that luxury with deck cabanas with tops that can be rolled out for a bit of shade or rolled back for sunshine (or starshine if you want to lie back on the deck lounger and gaze at the stars at night).

Velaa - convertible cabana 2

Best of the Maldives: Turkish Refreshment – Ayada

Ayada - Turkish lounge

Today is International Coffee Day. And for those who want to celebrate with a cup of extra high test, the quintessence of caffeinated elixir is considered by many aficionados to be the Turkish concoction where the consistency is more stew than broth.

The Turkish even have a traditional saying which underscores the sanctity of this buzzing beverage – “Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir.” It means “A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.” It is used to remind us that friendships should not be taken lightly and we should invest in them for a long term commitment.

And an afternoon refreshment at Ayada’s lounge is just the place to leisurely enjoy that friendship. Packed with Ottoman ottomans and the Turkish delights of Turkish Delight, you can also partake of a wide range of teas and shisha as well.

Best of the Maldives: Slumber Guru – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah Villas - slumber guru

A break from all of the intense Olympic activity with Relaxation Day today. And if you need more than a special day to help you relax, then head to Anantara Kihavah Villas for a bit of coaching and coaxing from their “Slumber Guru” service…

“The Slumber Guru escorts guests to their villa where a silky milk bath awaits them in their candlelit bathroom and tranquil background music sets the tone for an evening of rest and relaxation. The pampering continues with a massage on the villa’s private deck, with a choice of Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oils. Before guests retreat to bed, the Slumber Guru serves infused herbal tea or hot chocolate and homemade cookies, evoking nostalgic childhood memories. The guests’ choice of pillows from the Pillow Menu are misted and lavender silk eye masks and ear plugs ensure that no light or sound disturb their rest. With a softly spoken “Good night, sweet dreams” the Slumber Guru turns off the lights and tip-toes outside leaving one to drift off into a deep and restoring sleep. While a good night’s sleep is priceless, the cost is $200 per couple.”

Best of the Maldives: Bath TV – Ayada

Ayada - bath television

When I’m not in the Maldives, my two relaxation havens are (a) in front of the TV, and (b) in a hot bath. But if you are in the Maldives, then you can have the relaxation trifecta with both looking over the somnifacient seas of the Maldives at Ayada water villa. One of the all time great combinations up there with peanut butter and chocolate, Paul McCartney and Steve Wonder, or Star Wars and Lego.

Best of the Maldives: Turkish Bath – Ayada

Ayada - Turkish spa

Happy Turkey Day. No, not yet Thanksgiving, but Turkey’s national Republic Day. This is the resort Ayada’s day. Ayada takes is style and motif inspiration from that vibrant Bosphorus link where east meets west.

One eponymous way to celebrate could be in Ayada’s own glittering Turkish bath. You can have an authentic Turkish massage on the central stone slab. Or just melt away in the resplendent sauna which goes up to 50 degrees.

In Turkey, they say “Hamama giren terler.” (“he who enters the sauna, sweats”…sort of a version of ‘reaping what you sow’) but sweating has never been so sweet!

Best of the Maldives: Glass Bottomed Bath – Anantara Kihavah

Anantara Kihavah glass bottom bath tub

If you want to soak in your own bath of floral scents and colourful visuals, then Anantara Kihava’s glass bottomed bath extends right down into the ocean. You can be surrounded by vibrant petals floating above and vivid sea creatures scurrying about beneath.

Kihavah’s distinction has tipped that balance of “bath” features enough for me to now add a “Bath” sub-category to “Relaxing” in the Best of Maldives.

Glass bottomed soak.

Best of the Maldives: Spa Flowers – Nika

Nika spa flowers



From water walking to water wafting. Of the fragrant bouquets of aquatic bouquets that pack the Nika spa area.

When you first enter the appropriately names Lotus Spa, you are greeted by stereo bowls of dazzling blossoms floating in bowls of water by the gate. Arranged meticulously and artistically is an array of flower petals that are changed every day. Not just the petals, but the design itself (see below for another example).

Then in the spa itself set amidst a sprawling water feature packed with more diverse water lilies and other water flowers than I have seen in the Maldives (see bottom) of different colours and shapes adorning the surface in the bright sunshine.

Nika is just bursting with colour of both fauna and flora.


Nika spa flowers 2


Nika spa water lillies