Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Womb-Like Slumber Guaranteed--For a Price

This room at the Conrad (as in Hilton) Maldives Rangali Island looks pretty sweet, as long as a whale doesn't bump into it in the middle of the night or a hurricane doesn't throw a yacht at it.
Arrive at our Maldives hotel in style in a seaplane over the lagoon, dine in the world's first all-glass, undersea restaurant and indulge in luxurious spa therapies.

Sited in a picturesque corner of the Maldives, our luxury Maldives resort is spread across two islands, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and lagoon. Twice voted 'Best Hotel in the World' and several times 'Best Resort', our Maldives hotel boasts 50 luxurious water villas, 79 exotic beach villas and 21 fabulous spa water villas with private treatment rooms.
Okay, time to paraphrase (so you don't have to read the word Maldives 400 more times): an 18,000 bottle wine cellar, a spa built above a coral reef (and probably killing it), 7 restaurants (including one underwater), and don't worry--there is also a souvenir shop, jewelry store, and high-end Italian clothing boutique on-site so you don't have to miss out on spending obscene amounts of money shopping just because you're in an island paradise, m'kay?

So, let's see...150 rooms at double occupancy is 300 guests on a good night. The staff for these 300 guests is probably around 300 (bellman, waiters, chefs, prostitutes, line cooks, dishwashers, reception staff, cleaning personnel, boat drivers, seaplane pilots, spa personnel, store clerks...).

Where does the product of 600 people going to the bathroom every day wind up on a tiny sandy island in the middle of the ocean? Did they create their very own 'human waste reef' on the side of the island nobody is allowed to visit? Where the "sea-monster" lives?

Ah, the creativity of the megarich businessmen selfishly portioning out the world for their own gain...

Some more photos to entice you (book through me and I get a 20% vig): 

That's some bridge, eh?

Beach Villa

The spa built over a reef, which can't be good

The underwater restaurant, where they must have put a bed for the photo at the top

Water Villa on-stilts, off-shore

Private spa on my villa on stilts in the ocean? Yes, please.

Anyway, I'll be in residence at this resort for the next year or so--feel free to drop in and say hi!


Interesting Facts about the Maldives, courtesy of wikipedia:

- The entire string of 1,192 coral islands 435 miles off the coast of Sri Lanka is the lowest country in the world, with an average of 4ft-11in above sea level and the highest point reaching only 7ft 7in.

- "Over the last century, sea levels have risen about 20 centimetres (8 in). In November 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed announced plans to look into purchasing new land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia because of his concerns about global warming and the possibility of much of the islands being inundated with water from rising sea levels. Current estimates place sea level rise at 59 centimetres (23 in) by the year 2100. The purchase of land will be made from a fund generated by tourism. The President has explained his intentions:
'We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades.' "
- The first inhabitants were from the Indian subcontinent around 500 BC. The islands became Buddhist, then formed an Islamic Sultanate from 1138-1968, were colonized by both the Dutch and the British, and were finally granted independence in 1965 (after they acquired most of the good land, I'm sure) with a condition that drunk Brits are allowed to vacation there in perpetuity and be waited on in extreme luxury by underpaid indigenous inhabitants.

- Their first President banished the Prime Minister to a remote atoll in 1975 and then fled to Singapore with millions of dollars from the treasury in 1978. Some dude then ruled the country as 'President' for the next 30 years, although he had to fight off THREE coup attempts from the former, even more corrupt President.

- The per-capita income is less than $5000 for its 396,334 inhabitants

- There are crazy underwater creatures there, like the Oriental Sweetlips and the Whale Shark (as seen in Life Aquatic), all of which will probably die soon as a result of seaplane landings, raw sewage, overfishing, pollution, etc.

- 2/3 of the coral reefs were killed in 1998 by El Nino, who I think was a half-British, half-Spanish toddler with particular destructive power.

- "Maldives was the first country to hold a cabinet meeting underwater. The cabinet meeting was chaired by President Mohamed Nasheed. In the meeting, the President, Vice President, and the cabinet signed a declaration calling for concerted global action on climate change, ahead of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen. The underwater meeting was part of a wider campaign by international environmental NGO"

Boy, that was a big're welcome.


1 comment:

Goodtime Charlie said...

btw, a standard Water Villa with King Bed is only $13,000 for a week ($1250/night), which includes $1600 in taxes alone.

The most expensive villas are $1800/night...