Overwater and on-water hammocks have become almost cliché from the countless Instagram photos posted of them, but Dhawa Ihuru offers the first (I’ve seen) *in* water hammocks. No, not sitting in the lagoon. But you sitting in a refreshing mist of cool spray while you relax in the tropical sun. For making your own misty water-coloured memories of the way you were in paradise.
The main event in the Maldives is the ocean view. Bering such a tiny plot of sand in the middle of the vast ocean (or if you are underwater!), the aquatic vistas surround our and consume you. Whenever I am in an area of outstanding natural beauty, I always am bemused by buildings with small windows. Why don’t they make as expansive a window as possible to enjoy such a distinctive sight? One resort that has gotten this right to the extreme, pretty much bringing the entire outdoors right into the bedroom, is Ritz Carlton Maldives. Absolutely the biggest villa “window” on the water that we have seen in the Maldives.
If a few too many pina coladas are affecting your cognition or your manual dexterity, but you still want to put away your fancy jewelry for the evening (many insurance policies require that items over a certain value must be kept in a safe when not being worn), then Emerald villa safe offers biometric locking. One-touch authentication have become commonplace for our phones and computers security and now locking away your valuables is just as convenient. These devices only support one user, but it also has the option for a pin/password as well (like phones and computers) so other members of your party can access it as well.
If you want to frolic in the octopus’ garden, then Soneva Jani has taken water villa slides to the next level. Not only are they higher and longer than previous water villas slides, they are installed most water villas as well as a public area on at “The Gathering” hub. About time I added a “Slide” tag. Below is Lori enjoying a thrilling ride during our stay at Soneva Jani.
For a destination with a “No Shoes, No News” vibe, a shoe caddy would seem a bit out of place, but actually I quite welcomed this distinctive amenity at Ritz Carlton Maldives. I wear shoes to transfer, and the heat means I sweat. Jetting off to such a swanky place as the Maldives (and the Ritz no less), I bring my nicer clothes. And the soft leather would lose shape and appearance if I didn’t put a shoe tree in them when I took them off. Not everyone wear flip flips and if you want to wear some nice shoes for your gourmet meal, you can keep your fine footwear in pristine shape.
One of the first words people think of to describe the destination of the Maldives is “natural”. And (short of going full grass thatch hut), the most natural material is wood. I have a bit of a soft-spot for wood. Our house is filled with burr-wood furniture and natural grain finishes. I had a tradition of giving my godson a wood gift every Christmas. Amilla Maldives imbues this [natural] aesthetic with an extensive collection of wood items in each villa – desk accessories, cocktail utensils, room instructions. And to remember your trip, your own complementary luggage tags (see above). We’ve been using them for the past year and not only are they stylish, but they are also especially sturdy with their wire cable attachment.
Cora Cora has decorated its villas with a bit of local artistry with a unique painting on everyone depicting some activity at the resort. The portraits were all painted by Maldivian artist Shameen who is now in residence at the resort (stay tuned).
“Set on their own private pocket of beach, the new villas are designed provide a safari-style stay whilst mirroring the beauty and diversity of the island’s verdant flora and fauna. Natural wooden frames are swathed in white fabric, which can be rolled up completely to offer unparalleled views of the turquoise ocean beyond from floor-to-ceiling windows.”
There is something about the soft, flowing textures of the cloth crown that is so suited to the natural aesthetic of the Maldives especially the soothing undulation of the ocean right next to it.
One of our favourite aspects of visiting the Maldives is sitting al fresco in the (nearly) always temperate air with the equatorial warmth livened by the cool ocean breezes. A number of luxury resort feature outdoor cabanas. And other feature second buildings for children’s (or other guest’s) quarters. But Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru features an outdoor open-air “villa” that is so extensive that it is like an alternative “outdoor” residence. The two-story construction includes dining area, lounge seating as well as an area to just hang out and look out of the ocean. Also, an excellent segregated working area if you want to take your work away from and not disturb the rest of the family.
I’d actually been on the lookout for something like this my latest “Not Yet Seen” draft when I came upon an outdoor sauna pod doing Christmas shopping. Not a sauna, but a steam bath at Soneva Jani with a bonus twist of being perched on the deck of one of their water villas. The room was sensibly designed with two large floor-to-ceiling walls facing the turquoise vista of the lagoon (I didn’t get to try it out to see how much the steamed glass affected the view). Still, I love the idea of relaxing in the soothing heat coming from something other than rays of sunshine while still taking in the outdoor scenery (as opposed to being sequestered away in some nook of a spa facility).