Kuramathi’s Waheed Saamid pentathlete of a room decorator. He not only pioneered a medium I’ve not seen in my decades of visits, he’s mastered all of its fundamental disciplines:
- Wording (both cut and formed)
- Towel sculpture
- Bubble Bath
- Path/Floor messages (pioneer)
I caught up with him and he shared a bit about his background:
- “I have started room decorations as I began my career as a villa Attendant. Since then I have learned and improving my skills. I’m a self taught decorative. During this journey of a villa Attendant, I have met many creative colleagues in room decorating. I get ideas from my friends and through the internet. Mostly I love doing different types of leaf decorations. Room decoration is an important element of Housekeeping service, to demonstrate my skills and give our guests a little gesture of that we care them.”
His Instagram feed is the most diverse collection of works and I highly recommend following him for your own daily dose of decorating.
All of the world has its eye on the “path to the White House” this week, but Waheed Saamid, room decorator extraordinaire is focused on the path to your villa. I thought that I had seen all the variations on custom room decorating – towels, flowers, bed, coral pieces, bath. When I came across his Instagram feed, I saw sterling examples of all of those. But I was also struck by his innovating thinking outside the box of the villa itself with his walkway decoration made of artistically sprinkled sand.
There’s bed decorating…and then there is bed artistry. Some of the duvet ovations at Velaa are worthy of a museum. Didn’t know whether to sleep in the bed or frame it. Anantara Kihavah is also executing similarly exquisite renditions, but I gave the nod to Velaa because I have come across more examples and their peacock above is simply masterful. I particularly like the use of blue flowers. Most bed pieces are red petals, increasingly green fronds, and sometimes yellow petals. But blue is sort of the Maldives national colour (if there was one).
Bedroom artistry in the Maldives has evolved from a few petals sprinkled on the pillow to elaborate constructions. A recent masterwork is Diamonds Thudufushi’s mixed media opulent opus – petals, towel sculpture, palm fronds, lettering.
Another twist on a Japanese art form are the increasingly elaborate origami-esque towel sculptures. The terry cloth swan is now appearing at a number of resorts (including our blockbuster bed decoration at Zitahli Kudafunafaru). But Sun Siyam Irufushi has taken the cygnet sculpting to a new level with it petal adornment and highlights (thanks to NikBie on TripAdvisor from his review there).
Winner and new champion of the hotly contested bed decorating. Custom room greeting décor has become such an extreme art form in the Maldives, I started a Pinterest page a while back to showcase the best I came across.
Room décor falls into two basic categories…
- Bed Decoration – The original classic involving flower petals, sheet folding and palm fronds (mostly for spelling out greetings).
- Towel Art – Folding towels into various sculpture.
Zitahli Kudafunfaru has set the new bar with its “Happy Anniversary” extravaganza which elegantly combined both. Mind you it was a particularly special one (30th). The only downside is that is was so beautiful that we were tempted to sleep on the sofa so as not to disturb it. Gorgeous.
I’m a big fan of bed decorating. The classic motif is the arrange flower petals. Some resort incorporate palm fronds. And Club Med Kani even has towel folding. But Jumeirah Dhevanahfushi blends all three into a stunning bed collage. Compliments of Andy and Linnet who actually were the couple that introduced Lori and I to the Maldives years ago making their first return to the Maldives in over a decade.
The latest celebrity Maldives visit (also in a ‘family way’) is Marvin and Rochelle Humes. No surprise that they too are staying at Reethi Rah. Daily Mail coverage included a pic of their bath decoration. Petals in the bath water are de rigeur for romantic spa experiences, but Reethi has gone a step further applying this time honoured bed decoration to the other most relaxing (and at time romantic) part of a villa.
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.
Bed decoration, with petals and blossoms from local gardens, is a longstanding tropical resort tradition practiced with great panache in the Maldives. Kuramathi has innovated on the concept with towel sculptures. And Anantara Veli provides another twist with coral floor decorations (see photo above). They create a variety of artistic greetings to guests using coral bits from the beach.
This distinction seemed appropriate to call out today with the passage of another romantic rock flirtingly brushing by the earth more closely than it has in over three decades – Asteroid 433 Eros (‘Eros’ of course the ‘God of Love’). Mind you, that intimate encounter is still 16 million miles away.
So today in Anantara Veli you can get romantic signs from above in the heavens or below at your feet from possibly the most romantic rocks in the Maldives.