Best of the Maldives: Bride Litter – Conrad Rangali

Conrad Rangali - bridal litter

If she is like a cat, I have litter…” – Steve Martin

And if she is like an exotic princess, I have a different type of litter.

Great leadership lifts up its staff, and great service lifts up its guests. In the case of Conrad Rangali, they take this a bit literally for some wedding ceremonies. Or should I a say ‘litterally’.

Best of the Maldives: Table Decorating – JA Manafaru

JA Manafaru - table decor 1

JA Manafaru doesn’t just use painted grains of sand to make a stunning tableau, but also painted grains of rice to make a stunning table. And not just on the sand itself, but on the tables on the sand (of beach dinners). Actually throughout the resort too (eg. dining rooms, bars, other places of celebration). A meander through the #jamanafaru Instagram account brings up a whole gallery of masterpieces.

JA Manafaru - table decor 3

JA Manafaru - table decor 2

JA Manafaru - table decor 4

Best of the Maldives: Bed Art – Velaa

Velaa - bed 1

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).

Velaa - bed 4

Velaa - bed 3

Velaa - bed 2

Best of the Maldives: Sand Painting – JA Manafara

JA Manafaru - sand painting Figi

While the glitterati use sand to paint themselves, artist Ahmed Shahid of JA Manafaru uses paint to adorn sand. When he is not working in the resort boutique, he creates a variety of sand compositions, but his specialty is football motifs. The resort reports “He works at the boutique. He is a very good self taught artist who makes these designs. They are made for guests, when we are aware of a football team that they support.” His proudest moment was when one of his favourite players, Luis Figo, posed with one of his creations when visiting the resort (see above).

JA Manafaru - sand painting Man City

JA Manafaru - sand painting 2

Best of the Maldives: Towel Animals – LUX South Ari Atoll

LUX South Ari Atoll - towl animals 1

LUX South Ari Atoll has a different pageant of bathing cuties. I’ve seen a few towel art creatures at resorts, but LUX has produced an entire menagerie of them…

“The towel art done by Shareef and Ali. Started as a way to entertain children on the island and to surprise them with little towel toys upon their return to the villas. Based on our guests’ feedback, we came to know that those towel toys started to replace the children’s comfort toys (that in most case got left behind at home) making their time on the island more enjoyable. Shareef has been working in housekeeping since more than 13 years, 3 of which at LUX*. Towel art is now part of his daily routine, it takes an average of 15 minutes for him to create a little elephant, turtle or even a whale shark. He also takes persona responsibility in teaching this trick of the trade to the guests wanting to learn. Shareef did not learn how to make these great towel sculptures anywhere, he tries over and over again until he gets the perfect shape – it’s pure ‘learning by doing’.”

The line above pictured above includes…

  • Rear row – penguin, swans, flower, elephant
  • Front row – snake, lion, donkey, elephant seating, turtle

LUX’s creativity has inspired me to add a new board to the Maldives Complete Pinterest for “Maldives Towel Art”.

LUX South Ari Atoll - towel animals 2

LUX South Ari Atoll - towell lily

Best of the Maldives: Foot Washing – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah foot washing 2

 

 

If there is anything that needs cleaning in the “no shoes” world of the Maldives and needs a bit of pampering after long haul travel, it is the piggy toes. Here Charmaine is treating Lori to a signature welcome by One & Only Reethi Rah. Foot washing is also a gesture of great respect and hospitality in many cultures with even Biblical references.