Best of the Maldives: Logo Shot – W Retreat

W Retreat - underwater W

On our tours, we always take a shot in front of the resort welcome sign. We are not alone as this is definitely one of the top photo types one sees posted online.

The literally iconic “W” of the iconic W Retreat is not only probably the most popular logo shot in the Maldives (at least judging by Instagram posts – see bottom photo for example), but the resort generously lends a hand. The minute you step on the jetty, they take the shot for you and by the time you have checked-in and made it to your room, a framed photo of your arrival is waiting for you at the room (see ours below).

As with so many touches, the W takes this feature a step further…or should we say deeper. They have submerged a “W” in their lagoon for underwater photos. Not quite the underwater sculpture garden I “haven’t seen yet”, but along the same lines.

W would win world water witness with wonderful water wrinkle we want.

W Retreat - logo shot

Kiki Sunshine (Russia) – W Retreat

Best of the Maldives: Longest Reef – Alimatha

Alimatha - Fottheyo longest reef

While the Maldives might have limited links land above sealevel, it’s undersea world is an expansive wonderland. And the most expansive of them all is the Fottheyo reef in the Vaavu atoll

We all know that Australia has the Greatest Barrier Reef in the World, but how many of you know, which one is the Greatest One in Maldives in terms of square kilometres?! The biggest one is Fottheyo Reef in Vaavu, with its 68 SQ KM.”

Great QI challenge by Paola.

Above Ground Under Water Restaurant

Huravalhi - underwater restaurant

I’ve always wondered how they made those underwater restaurants (and spa and night clubs, etc) in the Maldives. Did they drop in components and then pump water out? As it happens, these subaquatic wonders are completely refabbed, shipped to the resort and lowered whole into their new lagoon home.

The new resort of Hurawalhi is the latest in the underwater pantheon. And some recent reports on their underwater restaurant is providing a behind the scenes look at this remarkable engineering. The supplier M.J, Murphy in New Zealand posted some “how do they do that” details on their site recently…

“Following the usual 10km route from Fitzroy’s factory to the port, the 410 tonne Underwater Restaurant was manoeuvred alongside the giant crane ship “The Fairlane”, using 3 trucks. Then on 11 Feb, the two giant 400 tonne cranes lifted the UWR onto the ship and readied for its 3 week trip to the Maldives…The acrylic is optically perfect, so diners will feel ‘immersed’ and surrounded by the ocean and the fish life. There will also be a large spectacular panoramic underwater acrylic window (190mm thick) in the end of the UWR which is expected to wow the lucky diners, with amazing long views along the sloping coral reef.”

Here’s hoping that everything goes down well at Huravalhi.

 

Huravalhi - underwater restaurant 2

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Wine Cellar – Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah Villas - underwater wine cellar

 

 

The Maldives oceans harbour treasures of all sorts. The vibrant house reef of Anantara Kihavah Villas hosts a trove of colourful gems from sparkling beauties to full-bodied crimson rarities. And you don’t need to get wet to view these treats. As they are found in the world’s only underwater wine collection. En route to the Kihavah underwater dining and function area, the resort keeps its finest wines shielded from sunlight and temperature variations in its unique cellar. Sort of a connoisseur’s version of a Marine Protected Area.

 

Best of the Maldives: Proposal Coaching – Conrad Rangali Maldives

Conrad Rangali underwater wedding proposal

 

 

Happy Valentines Day. The epicentre of romance in the annual calendar. As such, one of the most popular days for people to propose. And with the Maldives being the geographical epicentre of romance, when the two combine expect big things. Like Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s “Marry Me” packages…

“Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is launching a ‘MarryMe’ package for those planning to pop the question on Valentine’s Day. Priced at US$150, the package includes a bottle of celebratory champagne and assistance from the resort in planning the proposal. As part of the offer, couples dining in Ithaa undersea restaurant on February 14 can use the services of the dive centre for a memorable underwater proposal, complete with a diver swimming outside the windows of the restaurant to help ask the question.”

7 Underwater Wonderful Activities in the Maldives

Underwater bubbles

The 7th of the 7th for 7 Wonders. Everyone knows the “7 Wonders of the World” (well, like the Seven Dwarfs, they always forget the last one like “Doc” or “Mausoleum at Halicarnassus”). In the age of listicles, there seems to be a “7 Wonders…” of jut about every description. Of course, a while back there was the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” scam.

For Maldives fans, the latest of interest has to be the “Seven Wonders of the Underwater World”…

  1. Belize’s Barrier Reef
  2. Deep Sea Vents, Ecuador
  3. Northern Red Sea, Africa
  4. The Great Barrier Reef
  5. Lake Baikal, Russia
  6. Galapagos Islands
  7. Palau Reefs

One might argue that Maldives is glaring by its omission. But I have always thought that the Maldives’ ultimate charm is not below the water nor above it. But right at the water’s edge. It occupies that magical balance not being mostly beneath (like the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea), nor being quite high above (like the Galapagos or much of the South Pacific). If you are looking for that wonder that is right on the edge of aquatic and atmospheric, the Maldives commands a list of only 1.

1. Get Engaged – Conrad Rangali Maldives.  Mastering neutral buoyancy to get down on one knee.

Conrad Rangali wedding proposal

2. Get Married – Centara Grand. Buddy breathing for life.

Centara Grand underwater wedding 2

3. Run the Country – In 2009, the President held an underwater Cabinet meeting to highlight the risks of global warming.

Underwater cabinet meeting

4. Build a Reef – A number of resorts (eg. Kandooma, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, Four Seasons Kuda Hura, Kurumba) now offer Reefscaping which involves attaching small pieces of coral onto support frame which allows them to grow

Kandooma reefscaping 2

5.  View an Art Exhibit – Soneva Fushi. New meaning to “Watercolours”.

Soneva Fushi olly and suzy art 1

6. Shoot a Movie. LUX Maldives. Life Aquatic sequels galore.

LUX Maldives Underwater Festival

7. Celebrate the Holidays. Anantara Kihavah. Eau Christmas Tree, eau Christmas tree…

Anantara Kihavah underwater Christmas tree

Best of the Maldives: Bubble Blowing – LUX Maldives

LUX Maldives bubble blowing

Today is Domink’s day…Guinness World Record Day.

“I once tested the count of bubbles on one breath. I ended up with 42. Since the Guinness world record is stated to be 18 I guess I should submit a video to them.”

Dominik Ruhl, GM of LUX* Maldives, doesn’t (yet) have a video of 42, but he does have this quite impressive YouTube clip of an extra big one (see above). Dominik has the special advantage of his freediving mastery which is primarily focused on breath control.

The dive master at Bathala did an impressive air bubble when we were diving the house reef with him, but that was with a scuba tank for air.

Dominik might not have the official Guinness record (yet), but as far as documented bubble blowing, he seems to be the best of the Maldives at least.

Best of Maldives: Underwater Dance – Maayafushi

Maayafushi Harlem Shake

 

 

Con los terroristas. Ey Shake. Ey Shake. Ey, Ey, Ey, Ey.

I’ve enjoyed a number of the Harlem Shake renditions sweeping the net recently, but had to give a special nod to the Maayafushi dive centre at TGI Maldives for their underwater performance.

This month’s video has prompted me to add a ‘video’ tag to the Maldives Complete as the Blog now boasts 14 different video posts.

Shake, Ta. Ta. And do the Harlem Shake. Ey Shake, Ey.

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Pool – Maaprolfulshi

Avrilfulshi underwater pool

 

Underwater marvels are some of the signature features of the Maldives paradise. And with the flood of underwater restaurants, bedrooms, night clubs, function rooms, spas, cabinet meetings, golf courses, Christmas trees, art, and even scuba massage, innovative new offerings are demanding more and more creativity. So many are there that I have introduced an ‘underwater’ tag to the blog today (not the natural features and creatures, but the man-made stuff).

The lesser known resort of Maaprolfulshi has tossed its hat into this watery ring with its newly introduced underwater pool. No, not a ‘pool’ that is underwater. That would be just silly! But an underwater pool table. It also accommodates games of billiards and snooker (see above).

Break!

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Club – Niyama

Niyama Deep Six club

 

 

 

Of all the ‘wow’ factors in the Maldives, their most famous are their underwater features – restaurant (and bedroom), function room, spa. And now lounge. I might have to make a separate ‘Best of the Maldives’ category for them all.

The recently opened NIYAMA resort introduces its ‘Deep Six’ nightclub. Not just the first in the Maldives, but the first in the world…

“The world’s first underwater club. International DJs. Global music. Splashes of colour – indigo, blue. Glass walls overlook a spot lit sea. Modern moods with a flair for the marine. Take the party below the sea for all-night dancing beneath the waves.”

I think I would have to nickname the club ‘Sebastian’s Hideaway’…

We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
know how to jam here
Under the sea.