Best of the Maldives: Vegan Popup – W Maldives

W Maldives - vegan popup

With its cultural culinary connections to the Indian subcontinent, it has never been difficult to find plenty of great vegetarian food, but veganism is growing in popularity and the removal of dairy ingredients (milk, eggs) considerably narrows one food options further. At least for a period, vegans (and “vegan curious”) at W Maldives can sample cow/chicken-friendly fare

  • “W Maldives has launched a vegan pop-up menu by celebrity Chef Priyanka Naik that will be available for its guests till October 2023. The initiative in collaboration with Chef Priyanka, a prominent champion of sustainable cooking, will boost the resort’s culinary offerings. The Go W-egan menu was introduced on the occasion of World Vegan Day, a day that invites global communities to embark on conscious gastronomical journeys.”

Best of the Maldives: Social Media Mob – W Maldives

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 3

One resort with its own collection of Instagram luminaries is W Maldives:

  • “Reebok Women invited 12 ladies from Southeast Asia and the Pacific to W Maldives as the faces and voices of their #PerfectNever campaign in the region, with the aim of flipping the conventional notion of perfectionThese are influencers with a huge following on social media and admired for their flawless lifestyles. With the #PerfectNever campaign set in the perfect environment, the aim of the happening was to show that there are more to these women than the airbrushed images on their social media accounts – the grit and the determination that makes them human and ‘perfect’ in their own way.”

Already a top 10 resort for attracting Insgrammer fashionistas, this esteemed group of snappers add another 7.7 million followers to their tally. Rest assured that Maldives Complete will be featuring many of the snaps shared on their popular Instagram feeds in upcoming photoshoot collections, but if you can’t wait, here is the list of Instagrammer stars and their feeds…

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 1

W Maldives - Rebok instagram 2

Best of the Maldives: Pastry Class – W Retreat

W Retreat - pastry class

Just before the coffee, is the dessert course and the W Maldives is taking those to treats to an equally artistic level. Star chef Julien Alvarex visited the resort to share his ganache guidance and coulis coaching to not just staff, but guests as well…

  • “W Maldives has partnered with World’s Best Pastry Chef Julien Alvarez to host a series of culinary events on its tropical playground in September 2017. His signature style incorporates unique design of desserts, amazing combination of colours, tastes and impressive decoration techniques.”

Béatrice Peltre once said, “Dessert is to a meal what a dress is to a woman,” if that’s the case, then W Retreat is the must-have haute couture this season.

W Retreat - pastry class 2

W Retreat - pastry class 3

Best of the Maldives: W Retreat – Pool Float

W Retreat - float

Eid Mubarack! If you need to just lie down after all the feasting, then W Retreat offers literally the biggest armada of pool floats to lull you to a gently bobbing repose.

When we visited the Maldives with our children years ago, Lori and I would read by the pool while they splashed about (perhaps the very first beginnings of Maldives Complete was my research into which resorts had pools which the kids adored). If we had the W’s Canopy Float (see photo above), I could have enjoyed my reading in the pool rather than beside the pool. Especially with the sun-protecting canopy which keeps the light from being too harshly bright on the eyes while reading.

And if you want to make the biggest splash with a blow-up pink flamingo Instagram pic, the W has just introduced the largest in the Maldives, the mother of all pink flamingo floats (see below)…

W Retreat - giant pink flamingo

Best of the Maldives: Biggest Private Island – W Retreat

W Retreat - group

Your own private island in paradise for just you…and 150 of your closest friends. A billionaire fantasy that might just be reachable to mere multimillionaires.

Coco Prive is notoriously *only* available for renting out in its entirety, but it is a mere 5600 square metres in size with only 7 rooms (there are some suites larger than that in the Maldives). Finolhu recently gave its entire island to the Delavingne girls for a week, but that was a one-off launch publicity stunt. I supposed any resort island would rent itself out entirely to a single customer (and their posse of friends). I have heard tell of a few Middle Eastern princes doing just this. It’s not easy to do as most resorts allocate out inventory to distributors and agents over a year in advance. But W Retreat has introduced a “island buyout” package with a standard advertised rack rate. The package includes:

  • Island buyout of all 78 rooms
  • All dining venues
  • Free flow of food and house beverages
  • Unlimited spa (inside operation hours)
  • Unlimited water sports
  • Shared seaplane transfers to and from the resort

Mind you this is not a budget punter’s paradise with rates at these levels…

  • 7 nights – USD $6,250,000
  • 6 nights – USD $5,500,000
  • 5 nights – USD $4,750,000
  • 4 nights – USD $4,000,000

Start saving your pennies…

Best of the Maldives: Graffiti Art – W Retreat

W Retreat - grafitti art 1

From the other extreme of rustic simplicity, W Retreat is featuring a number of vibrant graffiti pieces painted by the Maldivian artist Sobah from @TOXI_CREW. He was also learning from Alec Monopoly who came to W Maldives to paint the walls of the “W The Store”.   He was joined by Japanese graffiti artist Shiro to give the 15BELOW underground club a facelift (see bottom).  W is always pioneering bringing a current, modern vibe to this ancient paradise for a distinctive mash up of new and natural.

W Retreat - grafitti art 2

W Retreat - grafitti art 3

W Retreat - graffiti

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: Glow – W Retreat

W Retreat - glow drinks

The Maldives radiates so much beauty…on land or sea, over water or beneath, as well as daytime or night. Most people first think about the sun drenched scenery, but the visual spectacles don’t stop with the fiery sunsets. The night time turns on its own display of lustrous luminescence. The Milky Way pageant of celestial sequins sashay across the sky. And the occasional bioluminescent displays bestow the Maldivian shorelines their own shimmering necklace.

The W Retreat is resort for night time radiance. Their recent “Resident Luminous Artist” Tom Bacher conducted “Let It Glow” painting classes where people learned the craft of playing with light. And he also worked on his own pieces (see below) which is plans to exhibit in the future.

Or you could also enjoy the luminous tonic-and-limelight just sitting back over a refreshing drink as they introduced their line of “Glow” drinks concocted with special ingredients that glow in UV lighting (see above)…

  • Elderberry Glowing Cocktail – blue curacao, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, rum, gin, vodka, Cointreau, raspberry puree
  • Hendricks and Berries Glow – cucumber juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup, sliced cucumber, Hendricks gin, fresh berries (blue berries, raspberries, cranberries), tonic
  • Glowing Herb – lime juice, ginger syrup, sugar syrup, homemade rosemary infused gin, tonic cubes, tonic, rosemary, mint

Mind you, there are a few possibilities that I think they missed in their “Let It Glow” line up…

  • “Frozen” Margarita
  • GlOlaf
  • Cristal-off champagne cocktail

W Retreat - glow painting