The image of spotted eagle rays above was taken by Anglo-French divemaster-photographer Henley Spiers at COMO Maalifushi in Thaa Atoll in The Maldives. Girlahead has stayed here both in beach-set villa #203, with its own eight-metre pool, and also in overwater-villa #318, perfect for sensational sunsets and, at all hours, viewing the ocean’s wild life (though she did not, admittedly, go diving, unfortunately). As Henley Spiers, author of such books as Black is the New Blue, and Guide to Cebu, says, ‘diving is much more akin to meditation than a sport’, and fortunately the resort has 32 dive sites within an hour’s boat ride.
Happy Thanksgiving all Americans (Girlahead watched a rivetting deeply-historical account of the Mayflower last night, and how William Bradford’s unique account of the Pilgrims’ voyage was found, two centuries later, in UK and sent in 1897, to its present home, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts). For those lucky enough to be on Maui, now or in the next month, head for Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. On 27th December 2020 it launches Culinary & Cocktail Collaborations. This is first in what is planned to be a pop-up series of interactive masterclasses. For three days, a 16-year old New York-based speakeasy company called Employees Only will be the featured guests, offering a menu of eight to ten cocktails. As well as serving the bar society’s staples of the calibre of, say, an Amelia (vodka shaken with fresh lemon, elderflower liqueur and blackberry purée) Employees Only will all specially craft a bespoke libation recipe inspired by Hawaii’s tropical flair and island environment. Girlahead likes the fact this concoction will later be added to the drinks menu of the Botero Lounge, named after the hotel’s eight black Boteros, typically rotund lifesize black statues that recline in and around decorative outside pools (they are part of the hotel’s $30-million art collection). Grand Wailea is run by JP Oliver.
As should be apparent, Girlahead attempts to be impartial but she is partial to anything that is un-stuffy, not arrogant and so on and so forth. One of her many favourite luxury hotel brands is 25hours, for so many reasons, all of which are allied with the three-letter word spelt FUN. 25hours is part of the just-announced Ennismore lifestyle collection, 2/3 owned by Accor, the rest by Sharan Parischa, who started Ennismore, which owns Hoxton hotels (and, inter alia, Gleneagles). 25hours’ CEO Christoph Hoffmann says he is really happy that 25hours is now part of a larger platform, with all the support Accor can give. Girlahead’s take is that this collaboration shows that several incredibly bright minds can together achieve more than each, individually – other players in this drama are, of course, Accor’s Sébastien Bazin and his long-time colleague Gaurav Bhashan, who will CO-CEO Ennismore with Parischa.