Maldives is renowned for that marooned on a deserted island aesthetic. The recently revamped Bathala resort introduced a sort of dhoni-houseboat styled villa that is quite literally (or littorally) a “Beach” spa. Sort of a shipwrecked version of Cocoa Island.
To get as close to somewhere over the rainbow as possible (and other celestial sights), Soneva Fushi sets a new highwater, well high in the air, mark for an open vista platform. Recently completed its latest villa, the five-bedroom Villa 37. The 11 metre tall viewing tower, reached by a winding staircase encircles a dining table called the Moonlight Table at the summit. This viewing tower is now the tallest point on the island and the ideal spot to take in the panoramic views, sunrises, sunsets, dining experiences and stargazing.
More of a spoken word rendition is a feature of Cocoon’s rooms. “Talking Furniture” in particular. Each of the Lago designed pieces comes with a smart tag for takemehome.cocoonmaldives.com :
- “An experience out of the ordinary is what LAGO has transformed here at Cocoon Maldives, notwithstanding the unique design and the LAGO TALKING FURNITURE project that powers interaction with the furniture. Connecting to each guests’ Smartphone device through a wired chip in the furniture, to activate a direct interaction with the resort, to learn about themed evenings or indeed to share images and reviews of the experience.”
Amilla Fushi takes villa innovation a beyond architecture and design to entirely new concept with its Wellness Tree House. The villa is more than accommodation, but better described as an entire experience centred around well-being:
- “The one bedroom Wellness Tree House by Bodyism at Amilla combines a secluded spa, fitness and healthy eating experience in the treetops so that your entire wellbeing is holistically cared for.”
Refreshing the body and spirit isn’t confined to a few appointments at a spa, but instead is woven into nearly every part of your stay. The villa package includes trainer who visits and all of the sodas and energy drinks and junk food are removed from the room and replaced with healthy ones.
Also, with its rare tree house setting, certainly the most uplifting stay in the Maldives.
Bonus room! Not just an extra bed, but a completely distinctive experience sleeping on the water. Not just in a water villa perched over the water, but in a Maldivian-styled dhoni yacht. Not just hearing the ocean gently sloshing below you, but feeling the ocean languidly rock you to sleep.
If you are lucky, some resorts will occasionally offer a free upgrade for a night or more from their beach villas to their water bungalows. But Safari Island, if you stay 7 nights you get a free dhoni tour like a sunset cruise or fishing. If you stay 14 nights, then you get a free night on the dhoni.
Festival of Sleep is possibly the true and appropriate end of the holiday festivities. Established to “some shut-eye and relaxation after the holidays”, possibly the chronological and spiritual antithesis to “Black Friday” which kicks off the mayhem of the season.
- “The residence is a two storey collection of villas with an expansive wraparound swimming pool spread over a large area with generous outdoor living space. The master bedroom boasts its own private swimming pool measuring 111.3 m2 and an outdoor bathroom but there are five additional guest bedrooms, a children’s bedroom, a smaller nanny’s bedroom and of course one for the Mr./Miss Friday butler.”
Rental prices will range from $11,300 – $30,000/night depending on the season.
Wishing everyone a restful recovery from the holiday season!
In all our nearly 20 years of travelling to the Maldives, we have never lost anything in a room. I think the room staff there are amongst the most virtuous in the world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your valuables in a safe. The biggest threat that a safe protects you against is…yourself. Being in a completely different environment and routine, it is quite easy to misplace something. Especially if you are transferring to multiple properties during your holiday. Putting all the important stuff – passports, wallets and cash, jewellery, maybe special electronics – imposes a discipline on you to put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket. There is quite a risk that you just put something in the wrong place. And then before you know it your idyllic get-away is ruined wondering if someone has walked off with it. Simply remove all doubt and a lot of the risk by methodically locking stuff in the safe. And if you have lots of stuff, consider a stay a Velaa.
If you can’t build out, then build up. Given the limitations of real estate in the Maldives, I always wondered why there weren’t more multi-story buildings there. The higher levels also have the added benefits of providing a vantage point over the mottled maritime mosaic that surrounds every island.
But an increasing number of Presidential villas and palatial super-premiums do come in multi-story in recent years. In fact, I would hazard that a second floor is almost becoming standard fare in the super luxe category.
Still, you don’t need an elevated budget to get an elevated view. A number of value-priced resorts also offer upper level rooms in the form of duplexes (eg. Bandos, Club Med Kani, Kandooma). And if you really want not just a room, but a whole resort, “with a view, then the entire Club Rannalhi has an lofty vibe to the whole property. Everything two stories it seems – reception, dive centre, spa, rooms, some of the new water villas. Even the theatre has raked seating.
Boost your holiday at Club Rannalhi.
With the latest resort launched from Soneva (that’s Sonu&Eva), I’m expecting the new Soneva Jani property to open up all sorts of new possibilities. And it has literally *opened up* the universe to its guest with a stellar feature (which happened to be on my latest Haven’t Seen post #22) – a retractable roof:
“Each master bedroom will feature a retractable roof. Guests will sleep under the stars at a touch of the button, as the roof slides back to reveal the night sky.”
Soneva Fushi is the run-away leader of “Best of the Maldives” innovations and distinctions (77 compared to runner-up One & Only Reethi Rah’s 63) so I am expecting all sorts of delights to fill their latest creation. But the one that most captivates me is that all villas feature a retractable roof for stargazing!
Lori and I have fallen asleep countless times under the Maldives starscape. But eventually, you have to move inside from the hard, narrow deck loungers or sandy blanket. Now you can drift to sleep under starlight in the comfort of your villa bed. Last summer, we had a blast driving around Italy in a sporty convertible. Now you can snooze in the Maldives in your own stylish convertible.
“Raise the roof and have some fun” – All Night Long, Lionel Richie
When we were growing up, we used to ask my parents, “There is a Fathers Day and a Mothers Day, but when is Children’s Day??” My parents always used to answer (disappointingly to us), “Every day is Childrens Day.” Well, there is finally a Childrens Day today. Universal Children’s Day, established to promote the welfare and well being of children around the world.
When I first started Maldives Complete, my very first inspiration was children. In the nineties, Maldives was known for (a) honeymooning, and (b) diving. But when we visited, we found it a great destination for children.
While the Maldives in general is great for children, one increasingly popular feature has become a bit of a child-challenged ghetto…water villas. The obvious reason is safety. The jetties are typically flat walkways which the occasional stumble can send adults (or even bikes and buggies) over the edge into the water below. There have been rumors, often cited by resorts where children are not allowed in water villas, that it is against Maldivian regulations to allow them, but that is not actually the case.
Given that today is International Children’s Day promoting the welfare of children, understanding the ins and outs of children in the water villas is an important subject.
The water villas are typically located in calm lagoon shallows so a rescue is pretty straightforward. As with bringing a child to a locale surrounded by water, however tranquil that water may be, vigilant attention to the child is always paramount anyway. And many parents are willing to pay the price of this extra diligence and supervision for the benefit of enjoying the distinctive water villa experience as a family.
Every resort is different when it comes to child policies in the water villas. I have been trying to capture most of the various policies in the Room Type Profiles. But the resort which seems to have to mot child-friendly approach is Centara Grand according to TripAdvisor’s Maldives Travel Article “Maldives: Children in the Maldives”…
“Reputed to have the most family friendly villas in the Maldives and also the only resort which allows children in the Over Water Villas (OWV) without the need to sign a disclaimer first, Centara is a popular family choice. The pool is also a major draw.”
“The Family Water Villa's on Centara are children friendly. They have a railing, with vertical slats all the way around the decking which is at least a metre high and there is a gate which you can lock at the top of the stairs which leads to steps down into the lagoon. There is also a gate at the entrance of the Water Villa which is lockable to prevent the children from running straight onto the jetty as lets face it the robes won't stop them falling. They are the most child friendly water villa's I have seen in the Maldives.”