Best of the Maldives: Floral Iced Teas – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi - flower iced teas

This weekend is the height of that colourful harbinger of English spring – the Chelsea Flower Show. And the perfect time to raise a glass to the most apropos accompaniment – Soneva Fushi’s floral iced tea selection…

  • Roselle Flower – Roselle flowers have well documented antioxidants which are believed to tackle hypertension. Several studies have also shown that the roselle flower’s antioxidants can reduce the risk of cancer and that they promote good health by enabling oxidative balance.
  • Butterfly Pea– Contains natural anti-oxidants and improves blood circulation. Helps prevent hair loss and greying hair. Cleanses blood, & improves night vision, revitalizes skin & hair. Nature’s answer for aging with grace!
  • Chrysanthemum – Rich in chlorogenic acid, carotene, vitamins, and potassium, chrysanthemums offer a multitude of health benefits.
  • Bael – Bael assists digestion, combats disorders, ulcers, hypertension, diabetes, and numerous other ailments. The ripe fruit acts as a laxative but is not digested easily. Unripe bael fruit on the other hand, promotes digestion and cures diarrhoea.
  • Hibiscus – Hibiscus is believed to have anti –inflammatory effect, help lower high blood pressure, help lower uric acid levels in gout sufferers, and improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in pre-diabetics and diabetics. Studies have shown that it also appears to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in a petri dish
  • Rose Petal – Rose petals contain vitamins A, B, C, D, and E! The petals are also home to antioxidants, and they acts as a mild sedative, anti-depressant, and mood-enhancing agent. Rose water is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and can be used for all kinds of skin ailments from eczema to psoriasis…and even sunburns!

Cuppa flowers in elegant and vibrant surroundings.

Best of the Maldives: Floral Drink – Dusit Thani

Dusit Thani - floral drink

“LORI, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS DEEPER THAN THE BLUES OF THE MALDIVES WATERS AND BRIGHTER THAN ITS WHITE CORAL SANDS!!!”

Today Japan marks “Beloved Wives Day” when men shout out their love for their wives. But actions speak even louder than words no matter what the volume. So, if I want to demonstrate my adoration for Lori, I would book her into a Dusit Thani spa treatment. She loves a bit of pampering, but Dusit distinguishes itself for my wife with their floral drinks. My wife enjoys flavours like rose and lavender (Santa brought her those flavour chocs). Dusit’s spa serves a drink made from the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower (photo above) which is one of the few floral drinks that I have actually enjoyed myself (not a big fan usually).

BELOVED, YOU ARE SWEETER THAN A FLOWER IN PARADISE!!”

Best of the Maldives: Lemonade – Mirihi

Mirihi lemonade

 

 

“If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade.”

This is the week for blogging milestones as my other major (and longer standing) blogging pursuit – ‘Bruce Lynn Blog’ – celebrated its 7th anniversary yesterday. The site explores the themes of ‘Leadership and Management’ as well as ‘Embracing Failure’. The two subjects are united in the common thread of how people deal with risk.

To celebrate the occasion, I thought I would post something apropos. Perhaps one of the all-time classic ‘embrace failure’ sayings is about making lemonade out of lemons, so I thought I would turn to the best and most varied lemonade I have found in the Maldives.

Mirihi offers 10 different signature cocktails at Muraka bar including the following tart treats…

  • Mihiri Lemonade – “Fresh muddled strawberries, aged rum, strawberry and vanilla liguer with soda.”
  • Wild Honey & Orange Lemonade – “Vodka, Drambuie, Cointreau, honey, oranges and orange lemonade
  • Green Tea & Chili Lemonade – “Green tea, fresh limes, Southern Comfort, Brandy and a bit of chili” (see above enjoyed with fellow TripAdvisor Forum contributor).

Admittedly, ‘embracing failure’ by drinking lemonade in a tropical resort isn’t too hard of a sell.

Best of the Maldives: Iced Tea – Sun Island

 

 

 

In ‘The South’ of the USA, there is one spontaneous refreshment you will find on every corner – tea. Not the ‘tea’ that everyone else in the world thinks of…a steaming cuppa. But ‘iced tea’. The ‘iced’ is considered superfluous because ‘tea’ is ‘tea’ in The South and it is primarily served one way.

My wife Lori growing up in North Carolina was raised drinking iced tea out of her baby bottle. Southerners are very particular about the brewing of their iced tea (only Lipton). Moving the UK, despite being a land of tea drinkers, you nonetheless can’t get a decent glass of iced tea (according to Lori). But, lo and behold, the refreshment drink she received after her Aaruma spa treatment was like a sip of home. Yes, Sun Island brews their iced tea and used Lipton tea bags. We have been coming to the Maldives for 15 years and home-like sunshine and heat always inspired a bit of a tea craving by Lori, but this is the first time she enjoyed a glass a good as home.

Unfortunately, the iced tea in the restaurant wasn’t as spectacular. The F&B manager needs to see how they are making it at the spa and copy that across the island.

Best of the Maldives: Spontaneous Juice – LUX* Maldives

LUX Maldives scret juice

If the wet refreshment you want close at hand is for ingestion rather than immersion, then LUX* Maldives makes sure a range of colourful and tasty natural juices are available as you explore the island. As a part of their ‘surprise treats everywhere you turn’ ethos, they have complimentary fresh fruit drinks laid out in hollowed out log ice buckets scattered around the island. If you pass by one and simply feel like pouring yourself a tall, cold glass of ‘Pineapple Mint’ or ‘Strawberry Cooler’, just grab yourself a glass.

Best of the Maldives: Ayurvedic Refreshers – Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi - Aruvedic Refreshers

One of the most common body-and-spirit philosophies from the Indian Ocean region is ‘Ayurveda’. Translated as “the knowledge for long life,” it is a Hindi-based system of traditional medicine and as such it is typically found at the resorts spas in the form of treatments. But, at Gili Lankanfushi you can start your day with an Ayurvedic boost. An Ayurvedic ‘Refresher’ drink which is included as part of the breakfast buffet. They had tonics for Balance, Energy, Well Being, Cleansing, Cardiac, Detoxifying, and Rejuvenating. Sort of the same concept as a morning pro-biotic drink, but with different concoctions.

Best of the Maldives: Breakfast Juice – Soneva Gili

Soneva Gili breakfast juices

 

This is photo of Soneva Gili by Six Senses is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

If you prefer your revitalising fluids inside you rather than around you, then you might want to start you day off at Soneva Gili. I was first alerted to Soneva Gili’s exceptional juice array by Sakis in a Trip Advisor Forum post where he noted proposed Gili as one of the best breakfast buffets in the Maldives: “One of the best is Soneva Gili for breakfast buffet, the choice among 60 fresh juices makes it also unique.” Few people have seen more Maldive resorts than Sakis so it’s a pretty compelling endorsement to me.

Their juice menu is full of healthy and tasty concoctions like…

  • “Ocean Basic” – Apple and Carrots
  • “Morning Berry” – Raspberry, Apple, Orange, Spirulina
  • “Bloody Carrot” – Carrot, Beetroot, Celery, Lime).
  • “Green ‘n Pear It” – Broccoli, Celery, Pear (great name for anything with broccoli in it).

As you can see, their offerings include veggie juices as well as fruit. Each item on the menu also has a complete nutritional breakdown as well as notations on benefits to Energy, Detox, Immunity, Degestion and Skin.

 

Soneva Gili juices

Best of the Maldives: Re-fresh-ment – Kandooma

Kandooma orange juicer

Kuramathi wasn’t the first resort to offer locally made beverage. While coffee presses are all the rage at the luxury resorts, Kandooma offers a more natural orange juice press in every room. My wife and I enjoyed fresh OJ the mornings we were there and it was a real re-FRESH-ing treat and change from the bottled, processed stuff normally found in a mini-bar.  As the old jingle goes, ‘A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine’…and that would be a real shame in the Maldives!

Best of the Maldives: Bottled Water – Kuramathi

Kuramathi bottled water

 

If you prefer to imbibe rather than immerse in Maldivian aqueous refreshment, then Kuramathi has developed the tipple for you…

Kuramathi Water. This clean, potable water made on the island emanates from a Classic Crystal purification system, ensuring the highest levels of quality and standards. The finished product is a glass bottle containing fresh drinking water. The bottle comes in two sizes, 500ml and 1 litre, and is a complimentary amenity for guests staying on Full Board. The bottles are also replenished from the guest’s stock every day. Reusing glass bottles is a milestone for Kuramathi, making our carbon footprint smaller as it would save the usage of about 300,000 plastic bottles discarded every year. To provide our guests with a memoir of Kuramathi, the bottles will be sold at the bars for very reasonable prices. One other interesting aspect about this water is that they are bottled in two forms; as still and sparkling waters.”

Perfectly timed launch coinciding with the Maldives’ ‘Always Natural’ campaign.

Among the old-timer Maldives aficionados, there is a bit of nostalgia for the ‘no shoes, no news’ simplicity of old school Maldivian simple paradise. One of the details of that nearly by-gone era that my wife Lori and I miss are the battered ‘re-used’ soda bottles. With the ecological mantra of “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle”, the re-used bottles were actually more environmentally progressive than the current practice of recycling. They had a sea-glass charm covered with the patina of many quenched thirsts. They also had sturdy heft to them for durability, but also making drinking from the bottle like holding a sculpted glass mug.  But, Kuramathi now takes it a reuse a step further adding locally produced beverage.

Best of the Maldives: Mocktails – Traders Hotel

Traders Hotel Male Azure mocktail

How was that New Years party last night? A bit too much to drink and ferreting around for the headache tablets. For those who do not prescribe to the ‘hair of the dog’ treatment, then perhaps a more gentle ‘mocktail’ is in order for rehydration. And there are no better Mocktails in the Maldives than the Traders Hotel in Male

While all of the resort islands have special licenses to serve alcohol to guests, Traders being smack in the middle of the major population centre has not been granted this privilege. So instead what Traders have done at their rooftop Azur bistro is crafted an imposing menu of ‘Mocktails’ (alcohol free cocktails) that provide as delectable and stimulating refreshment as anything a resort barman will serve up.

I had the ‘Innocent Mojito’ which is “muddled lime, brown sugar, green tea, mint, soda water”. According to Ria (see photo below). The server (see picture above) who has been there since opening and actually served us on our first visit, told me the most popular seller is the ‘Maldivian Sun’. Others on offer include Lil Rita, Kumiko Sparkle, Byzantine, Lychee and Lime, Chili Pineapple Frappe, Melontini, Cosmo.

Speaking of cocktails, Azur also serves the best shrimp cocktail I have ever had with monster prawns (oxymoron I guess).

Traders Hotel Male Innocent Mojito