Best of the Maldives: Wristband Keys – NIYAMA

NIYAMA - wristband key

One of the top joys of the Maldives – throw on your swimsuit, grab your snorkeling gear and head out to the house reef.

Oh wait, don’t forget the villa key. Now where to put it (swimsuits don’t really have many secure pockets). Instead of the typical credit-card style proximity keys, NIYAMA has key band for guests. It’s completely waterproof so they can wear it in the pool, on the housereef or wherever.  (thanks again Paola)

Particularly good for people who wouldn’t remember their own head if it wasn’t attached to them.

Best of the Maldives: Eco-Doors – One & Only Reethi Rah

One and Only Reethi Rah Eco-doors


Some resort gizmos don’t just help you control your villa, but they actually control it for your automatically. One of our favourite eco-innovations is featured by One & Only Reethi Rah’s climate control. When either front door or deck door is open, the AC automatically cuts off. That way you can invite the outdoors into your villa where you are relaxing or getting ready without having to remember to turn the air conditioning off.

Best of the Maldives: iPads – Park Hyatt Hadahaa

PArk Hyatt Hadahaa - ipad apps

My wife can live without her computer in the Maldives and even her phone, but her tablet is still standard equipment. It’s handy light reading and comfortable way to check on email and update her Facebook posts in the comfort of her lounger.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa has embraced the iPad with its own rich resort app. And each room is equipped with their very own iPad which includes useful information such as dining menus, activities, spa menus, island map, etc.

Paradise?…There’s an app for that.

Best of the Maldives: Wireless Technology – Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc iport



A bit slow posting this week working my day job at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam where we at Ericsson and 1,500 other firms were showing off the latest electronic gadgetry to hit the home screen.

Probably our biggest tech pain when visiting the Maldives with this suitcase full of tech toys is charging the battery of batteries – computers, camera, ipad, phones, GoPro, dive light. We always seem to miss one out and it dies right when we need it most.

Cheval Blanc Ranheli recently announced its new iPort LaunchPort service which not only provides a leading edge villa control unit, but also performs the magic of wireless charging…

“The world's first and only wireless charging and magnetic mounting system for the iPad. LaunchPort is available in all 45 villas on the property and for use at the front desk, concierge, spa and on-site restaurants and bars… The custom-branded LaunchPort for Cheval Blanc Randheli consists of a sleeve and a magnetic mounting and inductive charge station for the tabletop or wall. Initially created for residential home automation, LaunchPort allows guests to operate all electronic controls in their villa including door locks, TV and lighting. An iPad is easily mounted and dismounted via discrete magnets that are embedded into the case and charging station…LaunchPort will also be available throughout the resort for staff to update and charge their iPads used to provide concierge services including booking reservations in the on-site restaurants and scheduling appointments in the spa.”

Today’s post prompts a new “Best Of” category that I am seeing quite a bit more of recently across the archipelago – Technology.

(thanks Francisco)

Best of the Maldives: Interactive TV Guide – Constance Halaveli

Constance Halaveli interactive TV guide

For the digerati who want the latest gadget to enhance their day, Constance Halaveli has deployed the most sophisticated in room guide we have come across. The TV remote driven application not only provides a range of films and television on demand, but also controls the room’s sound system (we listened a soothing range of ambient playlists during our stay) as well as offers a range of guest services and resort information.

Pass the remote!

Best of the Maldives: Digital Breakfast – Lily Beach

Lily Beach - ipads at breakfast


As Apple announced today, sometimes you just need a little iPad.

Even sequested on an exotic ‘no shoes, no news’ island. Some people do miss their daily news tidbits, sports scores, and Facebook cat pictures over coffee in the morning. Lily Beach has its own offering for people who need a little iPad fix with their ‘iPads at Breakfast’ offering. They keep a selection of iPads at the restaurant that guests can borrow and use in the dining area in the wifi hot spot.

Thinking different!

Best of the Maldives: Beach Web Surfing – Paradise Island

Paradise Island - beach web surfing

Another surfer’s Paradise in the Maldives. This time for ‘web surfers’. And offered up by the eponymous Paradise Island. The resort not only offers wifi that extends to the beach in front of their reception, but also they have run power outlets to the tables. As a result, you can surf for hours without running out of juice (well, you might need a top up for your pina colada).

Paradise Island - beach web surfing 2

Best of the Maldives: Innovation – Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Queens Award for Innovation

Happy Birthday Your Majesty! And thank you for the very kind mention on your special day of ‘Piero’ (the company I manage) as an exemplar of British innovation. My day job is stewardship of a small software developer that provides sport broadcast graphical tools called Piero and today Her Majesty The Queen announced that we had been awarded The 2011 Queen’s Award for Innovation.

On a far less majestic scale, if I had to give out an award for Innovation in general to Maldive resorts, it would go to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. They not only innovate with a range of creative touches (many of which I haven’t had the opportunity to post yet), but they also must be the most technology rich resort. They have embraced ‘reefscaping’ more extensively than any other. Their Marine Discovery Center sponsors and conducts research in innovation for marine bio-sustainability.

A brilliant example of both service innovation and using technology is their ‘Manta On-Call’ service. One of the givens to nature is it unpredictability and that is especially true with many of its most beguiling and intriguing creatures. While it is part of the territory that there is no guarantee what you might see when you venture into the wild (as we learned on our Hammerhead excursion while visiting Kuramathi’s not-so-eponymous Hammerhead Point that day), it is nonetheless frustrating when you have so little time during your visit. While the lovely water and general aquatic flora and fauna always provide excellent consolation, it can be a bit disappointing heading out on a number of excursions hoping to see something as dramatic as manta rays but come back unsuccessful. To help increase the chances of seeing mantas, Landaa has a service called ‘Manta On-Call’. The reception gives you your own mobile phone and keeps in touch with the dive trips and snorkel excursions throughout the day. If a group of mantas is spotted, they telephone you wherever you are on the island and arrange an excursion to take you out so you can see them as soon as feasible.

Hat’s off to Landaa, congratulations to Piero, and Happy Birthday to Her Majesty the Queen.