If the treetops aren’t high enough for you, then Velaa tower is the palm-topping pinnacle. Yes, I’ve already posted about Tavaru, but I neglected to mention that getting to the top is half the fun. The elevator is completely open so you get a captivating bird’s eye view as you ascend.
No “Swiss Family Robinson Chic” (with a little bit of “Indiana Jones Panache”) is complete without the treetop rope bridge. In Soneva Fushi’s case, it overlooks the lush tropical canopy leading to its “Fresh in the Garden” restaurant. They also have a more solid sinuous bridge leading to its observatory if you prefer your spectacular view to be upward rather than downward.
As much as people think about the underwater landscape of the Maldives, I enjoy just as much the view down on the mottled blue landscape. So it’s great when resorts offer a slightly elevated platform from which to enjoy the cerulean scene.
A number of high decks are available on resort islands, but Nika’s water villas provide a great platform from the comfort of your own vacation home and smack in the centre of the azure action. I’ve titled it “Standard Water Villa” because Six Senses Laamu also has a water villa roof deck, but it is a significantly higher cost band.
From Carolina Amora’s snap above, it looks like a nice view to me (the ocean looks good too).
If you are into steamy views, then Velaa’s spa is the just the vista (though the guy in the official picture below seems to be enjoying more of yesterday’s kind of view than the outside beauty of the Maldives)…
Most spa amenities like the steam rooms and saunas are tucked away in the back recesses of the facility. I guess the conventional thinking goes that people want privacy and the focus of the room is enclosing heat. As a result, the more closed off, then the easier to pull off. I have to admit, that a sauna and steam can get a bit tedious. Yes, I realise that I could just enjoy the sensually soothing heat, but I still find staring at four walls a bit tiresome.
Velaa’s spa is one of the most inspired that I have been to in the world never mind just the Maldives (which is, admittedly, turning into a bit of a global spa smorgasbord). I’ve already featured its beachside blizzard “Snow Room” and “Spa Pod”, and my recent visit turned up several more distinctions like this post. You don’t have to sacrifice enjoying views of the Maldive water as you can sit with in the steam room gazing out at the sun drenched, azure-dappled sea.
Today is just the day to highlight Velaa’s spa. Because today IS the “future”. Well, “Back to the Future Day”. The long anticipated “Back to the Future” day that Marty McFly travels to in his DeLorean. And, Velaa is the DeLorean of Maldives resorts with its sleek, edgy, innovative design. Furthermore, it is arguably the most futuristic of the Maldives resorts with its space-age “Spa Pod” and its alien-spaceship-like Tower (another inspired vista). And, like Velaa’s stylish guests to its steam room, the car arrives and departs in a cloud.
Another very important place to add to the “view” category is Soneva Fushi’s tree house toilet. But its elevated vista is not even its most impressive feature. The ‘facilities’ at Soneva’s “Fresh in the Garden” restaurant is a self-composting green latrine.
A self-composting toilet processes the material before dumping it into a sewage outlet. First of all, 90% of toilet output is water and that is evaporated off. The small amount of remaining solid matter is then processed so it is safe for adding to a garden without risk of bacteria or other pathogens.
Loo with a view!
From the sea to the skies, Anantara Kihavah Villas’ perspective on the Maldives panorama extends more vertically. Starting from its celebrated underwater dining, the Sea, Fire, Salt, Sky dining concept is capped by the most elegant roof deck in the Maldives. I’m a big fan of lofty vistas in the Maldives – flying over the atolls, Trader’s Azur, Kandooma’s own deck. But Kihavah elevates this experience to new heights.
This post has prompted me to add a new category tag – “view”.
The vogue thing in the Maldives is the underwater features, but I am an unabashed fan of the over water views as well. Waaaay over water. The sea plane rides and any place that provides a broader perspective on the distinctive aquatic landscape.
You can drink with a view, dine with a view, and workout with a view. And you can even relax with a view at Adaaran Vadoo Prestige’s spa right at the window looking out over the ocean from a rare (in the Maldives) 3rd story.
Everyday is an air show in the Maldives. One of the most exciting parts of a trip there is the arrival. When your plane first touches the edges of the sprawling archipelago you are treated to an other-worldly vision of a blue kaleidoscope. Always do whatever you can to get a window seat for flights in and out of Male airport.
This view was formally recognized this week by the website PrivateFly.com who surveyed their members for the ‘Top 10 Airport Approaches in the World’ and Male came in #5…
"It is an Island Airport, on its own island..The airport is surrounded by deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees…approaching over the Maldivian Atolls where you often see turtles and dolphins on approach."
The airport touchdown isn’t the only thing at Hulhule with a great vista. The Hulhule Hotel features its restaurant buffet on its 4th floor with the best mealtime vistas in the Maldives. Most buffets are relegated to the interior of the island without even a glimpse of the ocean, but at Hulhule the entire expanse of blueness is spread before you as copiously as the delectable items before you with big picture windows on both sides of the room.
Sometimes there are less attractive tankers in bay, other times some of the glitziest yachts. One of the sights, obviously, is the Male airport, so the restaurant also would have made a great grandstand for this week’s airshow.
Enjoy the approach yourself with some of the videos on YouTube…
Kandooma puts the ‘up’ in ‘upscale’.
Aside from a Red Bull infusion (and Vettel is in pole position), a sea plane transfer or a parasailing excursion, the best way to ‘get wings’ in the Maldives is Kandooma’s various decks. The whole aesthetic of the Maldives is ‘low lying’. Maximum of elevation of a few feet and simple structures. Increasingly, resorts are looking to provide new perspectives with higher constructions. Anantara Kihavah, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, and Vadoo are just a few of the resorts with rooftop decks to provide a broader view of the spectacular surrounding ocean.
But the highest, outside of Male itself, is Kandooma’s architecture. I’ve already written about its library which itself is location on the upper floor or reception with its own delightful vista over the arrival harbour. The resort is chock full of 2-story villas with decks looking out over the ocean. It also has a rooftop deck over its The Kitchen restaurant. But the literally towering achievement is its rooftop deck (see photo above) to its aptly named ‘The Deck’.
Lori and I sat on the cosy bean bag chairs sipping mojitos watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. Bottoms up.
The worst thing about working out is the dreary, indoor tedium. Some gyms try to add some distractions with a television screen. But how about being uplifted and inspired by one of the most beautiful scenery on the planet?
Many resorts along with upgrading their fitness facilities in general, have also taken them out of the back rooms secluded in the middle of islands and moved them to waterside for some inviting scenery to dull the pain. I’m not sure which is the ‘best view’, but the ‘best vista’ has to be Adaaran Vadoo.
Vadoo combines elevation with view. It’s gymnasium is on the third floor of its main centre. It is rare to find a second story in the Maldives, never mind a third floor. And the view is set out over the villa lagoon and ocean beyond. For this reason, I chose Vadoo over Traders which has a top floor gym 13 stories up. But the windows look out over the which is mostly over the city of Male (the North view from Azur is the great view of the ocean).