May Day, May Day…I need help…with my wine choice! May Day today is better known as a celebration of workers. Each year this day, I highlight an initiative that a resort is making in its people. This year is One & Only Reethi Rah who certify all their sommeliers through the internationally recognizes WSET standard:
- “This is a professional course and there is different levels, starting at Introduction Level 1 to advanced Level 4. All our sommeliers are certified thru this global group as well as about 20 other F&B staff members with more being certified next year.”
Raise a glass to all the resort workers who help make the Maldives even more of an experience of paradise. At Reethi Rah, “S.O.S.” stands for “Sommeliers Outstanding Service”.
Mantas at Hanifaru Bay, Baa atoll
Most visitors to the Maldives was to just switch off and that includes all the stress inducing electronic devices, but at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru you just might look forward to that phone ringing in your room. If it is their signature “Manta on Call” service.
- “Sign-up for this thrilling adventure, that sees you contacted wherever you are in the Resort and whisked away by speedboat to snorkel with these elusive gentle giants”
Creatures in the wild sort of follow their own whims and there are never any guarantees of seeing the critters you want to see when you want to see them. Even in a place like Baa atoll renowned for its population of Mantas (and even the occasional whale shark. That said, even Baa Atoll or the even more confined Hanifaru Bay part of the Baa, is a big place and the mantas could be anywhere. You can spend (and we have spent) an entire day just trawling around in the dhoni looking for signs of mantas. That is why Landaa keeps in regular contact with dive boats through the day to keep updated on the latest manta sightings. If a large group has decided to collect at some point, the resort calls your room and can have you on a speedboat in minutes to take you to the gathering so you can enjoy a view of these majestic animals and even join them for a swim.
If you think resorts in the Maldives are expensive, try using your mobile phone while there. Most of the top properties offer butler and other “guest experience” staff to cater to the clients’ every whim. But if you are lounging on the beach, how do you let your host know that you fancy a pin colada? Well, One & Only Reethi Rah gives your own mobile phone for the duration of your stay with a speed-dial setting for your very own concierge. If you’ve forgotten something back at the room, have a question about some plans or just want another cocktail in some obscure part of the island, they are just one button push away.
The Christmas-New Year period is the ultimate calendar week for lingering languor. Lori and I couldn’t make it to the Maldives, but we are still enjoying lounging by the seaside at our family’s place in North Carolina. Our feet are up and we are grazing on American junk food. But it still doesn’t compare with the dormant decadence of Hideaway Beach’s beach bed complete with candlelight and delicacies.
At the WTM, each country invests all sorts of creativity and panache into their booths to stand out from the crowd as agents and operators mull what trips to send their clients on. But no Excursion Desk in the Maldives, where you go to decide what trips you want to go to during your stay, have the flair of Finolhu’s pink microbus. All part of the resort’s retro chic vibe.
Yes, another you read it here first “Finally Seen” in the Maldives. Conrad Rangali has introduced the “world’s first Instagram Butler”. I’m not sure about that claim since I raised this idea nearly two years ago – #2 in Part 7. However, that was a “Social Media Concierge” and maybe no one has yet just focused on Instragram. Here are some details of their offer…
- “Conducting tours around Rangali Island’s most photogenic locations, all the while offering advice on the best times of day to photograph and the optimal camera angles to use…Stop-offs along the way, on what the hotel calls the #Instatrail, include a traditional Maldivian swing on the beach (an undholi), and Ithaa, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant. But the fun isn’t limited to the walkabout. Yoga enthusiasts can take part in classes whilst at the same time receiving tips from the hotel’s resident instructor on how to strike the most Instagrammable poses. The Instagram Butler service, which the hotel believes to be the first of its kind, can also be combined with a number of special itineraries curated by the hotel in order to lend an alternative to the usual Maldivian photo-fodder of white sand beaches, curvaceous palm trees and turquoise seas.”
Ma’m, would you like filter cropping for breakfast today?
Sometimes all you want is a snack. You don’t want to be beholden to restaurant schedules and so grabbing a lite-bite is a great way to handle the hunger pangs. All the more tasty when served over an azure lagoon like Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa. The resort offers a range of sacks throughout the day. They also put on snack stations at certain times like a mid-afternoon creperie.
Lots of resorts offer treats throughout the day, but what swung it for Hakuraa Huraa for me was their seaplane transfer snack-pack (see photo above). When you are flying back, they prepare a box with an assortment of sandwiches, fruit, cakes, etc. The seaplanes usually don’t even serve water (the domestic flights often have water and sometimes a little packet of nuts or biscuit). Lori and I had been a bit busy the morning before our departure getting last minutes things attended to and we didn’t really have time to go to lunch with our early afternoon flight time. So the snack was an especially welcome sustenance for journey to Male.
International Picnic Day today. And the Maldives resort go a bit beyond the blanket and basket. There are dinners “on” the beach, but in the Maldives you can dine “in” the beach. In luxurious style. Here are the Maldives Complete Top Ten “IN” beach dinners for your end your picnic day in paradise…
1. Dusit Thani [ABOVE]
3. LUX Maldives
5. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
6. Amilla Fushi
7. Gili Lankanfushi
8. Taj Exotica
9. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
10. Anantara Veli
Our neighbour wakes up his wife each day by bringing her a cup of coffee in bed each day. We’ve always thought that this was a touching and romantic ritual. If that sound lime more your cuppa tea than an alarm clock blaring in your ear or even a room phone ringing off the hook, then Taj Exotica will be happy to oblige. For your wake-up call, they bring your tea or coffee (according to your request) to your villa and present it with a gentle knock on the door. As a bonus service, they will also block all calls to your room until your wake up call time.
Christmas is just a few sleeps away and most of us are nestled by the fire accompanied by shot of hot toddy as the winter chill (first day of winter yesterday) hits the air. And just because you are spending your holidays in the sun-drenched tropics doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the sweet and spicy distilled delights of a toddy. Especially at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu which serves palm toddies (thanks Paola). In fact, they can be delivered to your door daily. The Christmas ‘spirit’ all year round!