April 2018


Travel Trade Maldives 2018 kicks off with second Hotelier Summit

On the Dhoni

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) 2018 kicked off Monday with a summit dedicated to tackle the most pressing issues in the world-renowned holiday destination.

Economic minister Mohamed Saeed inaugurated the six-day, multi-event trade fair organised by local PR firm Maldives Getaways. He attended the TTM Hotelier Summit 2018 held at Bandos Maldives resort as the chief guest, and spoke about the importance of such an event to the country.

Maldives Getaways CEO Dr Hussain Sunny Umar provided the opening remarks at the event, followed by the keynote address by Ahmed Nazeer, the Secretary General of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI).

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Ziyath, CEO of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), commended Maldives Getaways on successfully organising the event on such a grand scale and highlighted the long-standing relationship between MTCC and Maldives Getaways.

Ibrahim Ziyath, CEO of Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), speaks at the TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Raufuddeen Saeed, Sub Inspector of Police, addressed the attendees on tourists safety in the Maldives. Dr. Marcus Lee, Chairman of Association of SME Business Owners (ICIF), spoke about turnaround strategies to increase Chinese visitors, which is a major market for the Maldives tourism industry.

The summit then progressed to four panel discussions, covering an array of topics ranging from growth of airport and airlines, government and national strategies to boost tourism, hotel revenue and automation, and sustainable tourism development.

A panel discussion held during TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Panelists included renowned figures such as Dr Ahmed Salih, Permanent Secretary at the tourism ministry; Mohamed Shahid, Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC); Lionnel Maugis, Chief Development Officer at Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL); Shubham Moondhara, Manager for Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA); Sheeraz Rasheed, Seaplane Manager at Maldivian; and Abdul Hameed Abdul Ghafoor, Managing Director of All H Maldives (ATSC Agents for AirAsia in Maldives).

Graeme D’Arcy Ryan, Hotel Area Manager at; Najib Khan, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives; Anil Kumar Prasanna at Co-Founder and CEO of AxisRooms; Savi Godakanda, Senior Market Manager for Maldives at Expedia; Juergen Steinemetz, Chairman of eTurboNews; Feizal Samath, Correspondent at TTG Asia; and Daksh Sharma, Co-Founder and Managing Director of TravHQ Media also participated as panelists.

Industry stakeholders at TTM Hotelier Summit 2018. PHOTO/ MALDIVES GETAWAYS

Over 100 resorts and hotels from the Maldives have confirmed their participation at TTM 2018, while more than 250 international buyers and media representatives will attend the show to be held on Tuesday at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male. Premium Exhibitors include Adaaran Resorts, Angiri Resorts, Crown and Champa Resorts, Bandos Maldives, and Villa Hotels and Resorts.

The annual gala of TTM will take place on Wednesday evening at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort.

As part of TTM 2018, the first ever Maldives Supplier Expo will be held from Friday to Saturday. More than 50 suppliers will have one-on-one prescheduled meetings with officials from procurement, accounts, finance, and F&B departments of more than 100 resorts.

TTM, which was launched last year by local PR firm Maldives Getaways, aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of two million tourists per year with over USD 3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

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Kandima Maldives appoints Brett Castleman as General Manager

On the Dhoni

Kandima Maldives has appointed Brett Castleman as its General Manager.

Born and educated in South Africa, Brett boasts a distinguished hospitality career in four and five-star properties across Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. He completed his Degree in Hotel Management at the Durban Hotel School in 1990, before starting his hospitality career in Richards Bay, South Africa. In 2015, Brett also successfully completed the Harvard ManageMentor (HMM) course.

Having enjoyed many adventures around the world, including surviving Hurricane Ivan in 2004 while working in the Caribbean, Brett says he is “excited to be part of Kandima Maldives, and relish this wonderful opportunity to exceed guests expectations whilst ensuring that the resort runs at a high level of efficiency and profitability. I will also be focusing on Krew welfare and ensuring that they are happy in their working and personal living environment. It is the software that matters!”

Brett’s hobbies include surfing, kite surfing, SUP boarding, fitness and playing tennis.

Sanjay Maniku, the new hospitality group Pulse Hotels and Resorts’ Managing Director, says: “We are delighted to appoint these two exceptional individuals [new General Manager Brett and new PR director Anna Karas], and for Brett Castleman to oversee our latest project in Maldives. I’m confident that Brett and Anna will add a new dimension to the guest experience at Kandima Maldives and contribute in achieving our group-wide targets with passion and style.”

Located on a lush tropical island in Dhaalu Atoll, Kandima offers a choice of 272 stylishly designed studios and villas, with 11 different categories to choose from, all of which have a private terrace and endless tropical views to enjoy.

The four-star plus resort, which opened just over a year ago, has first class infrastructure, boasting the largest pool in
 the Maldives, tennis courts, an art studio, a marine biology school, a kids club, a game room, a library, a gym, a yoga studio and a spa. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied and the array of activities and events on offer is endless, including a huge choice of watersports, diving or snorkelling near the house reef, yoga, Zumba, bicycles, beach volleyball, petanque, arts and crafts lessons, and much more.

The island also offers one of the largest selection of F&B outlets in the country, with an incredible choice of ten restaurants and bars, all featuring unique and individual menus offering flavours of the world from Chinese and Japanese to authentic Maldivian and Mediterranean. So be it tropical or traditional, Kandima has something to suit everyone’s tastes.

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Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part


Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has announced Olda Zitek has been appointed as executive sous chef.

Zitek will join the private island resort in early May 2018 from Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square where he worked as executive sous chef from November 2016.

Prior to this, Zitek held the position of head chef at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel London, after roles in other five-star London hotels such as Claridge’s and The May Fair Hotel.

Zitek will support the executive chef at The St. Regis Maldives in supervising operations at the resort’s six distinct dining venues, which offer sophisticated cuisine from around the world.

He will oversee the entire culinary team, which delivers exceptional food and drink experiences to guests.

Commenting on the appointment, Alexander Blair, general manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Olda join us at The St. Regis Maldives.

“We pride ourselves on delivering unrivalled experiences and exceptional service, so Olda’s background with some of London’s most luxury hotels means he is great fit for our team.

“We look forward to working with him and can’t wait to see to see his skillset being put to use for our guests.”

Zitek is originally from the Czech Republic and is fluent in Czech, English, and Slovak.

World Spa Awards

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort will host the World Spa Awards later this year.

Taking place on October 26th, the event will welcome leaders from the global wellness industry to the Maldives.

Find out more on the official Website:-

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Zitek takes up sous chef role at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort


The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has announced Olda Zitek has been appointed as executive sous chef.

Zitek will join the private island resort in early May 2018 from Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square where he worked as executive sous chef from November 2016.

Prior to this, Zitek held the position of head chef at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel London, after roles in other five-star London hotels such as Claridge’s and The May Fair Hotel.

Zitek will support the executive chef at The St. Regis Maldives in supervising operations at the resort’s six distinct dining venues, which offer sophisticated cuisine from around the world.

He will oversee the entire culinary team, which delivers exceptional food and drink experiences to guests.


Commenting on the appointment, Alexander Blair, general manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Olda join us at The St. Regis Maldives.

“We pride ourselves on delivering unrivalled experiences and exceptional service, so Olda’s background with some of London’s most luxury hotels means he is great fit for our team.

“We look forward to working with him and can’t wait to see to see his skillset being put to use for our guests.”

Zitek is originally from the Czech Republic and is fluent in Czech, English, and Slovak.

World Spa Awards

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort will host the World Spa Awards later this year.

Taking place on October 26th, the event will welcome leaders from the global wellness industry to the Maldives.

Find out more on the official website.

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Kurumba Maldives celebrates Earth Day 2018

On the Dhoni

Kurumba Maldives has celebrated Earth Day 2018 with a number of activities for guests and team members to enjoy.

Each year on 22nd April, millions of people around the world gather to celebrate Earth Day, holding different activities to honour our home planet.

At Kurumba, the day started with a house reef and lagoon cleanup organised by the resort’s team, followed by tree planting around the island. A special back of house tour was conducted by the recreation team, which coincided with the grand opening of the resort’s second green house.

To end the day’s celebration, a traditional Maldivian Bodu Mas show was held during the resort’s weekly management cocktail.

Two of the resort’s restaurants, Café and Thila also offered a special discount on their vegetarian menu. Glass bottles were used in place of plastic bottles in all food and beverage outlets as well as mini bars in the rooms.

Kurumba, the very first resort in the Maldives, is set on a tropical island in the North Male Atoll, conveniently located a brief 10-minute speedboat ride away from the main airport.

Kurumba draws on its proud 45-year history, charismatic personality and heartfelt service, to offer compelling and diverse experiences amidst a stunning island setting.

The resort offers an array of eight styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread among the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants and four bars to choose from.

Kurumba will charm you with its unparalleled choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment; all the while maintaining idyllic spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and family alike.

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Over 300 local, intl tourism professionals gather as Travel Trade Maldives 2018 set to begin on Monday

On the Dhoni

More than 300 hoteliers, suppliers and industry professionals from local and international travel trade are gathering in the Maldives as the country’s first and largest international travel trade show kicks off on Monday with a summit dedicated to tackle the most pressing issues in the world-renowned holiday destination.

The second edition of Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) will take place from Monday to Saturday with multiple events held at different venues, including capital Male and neighbouring resorts. As the first event, the TTM Hotelier Summit 2018 will be hosted on Monday from 9am to 1pm at Bandos Maldives resort.

Economic minister Mohamed Saeed has confirmed as the chief guest of the kickoff event of TTM 2018. He will inaugurate the second Hotelier Summit, which targets hotel investors, leading hotel owners, operators, developers, architects, interior designers and consultants.

Founder and Director of Crown Company Ahmed Nazeer, who also serves as the Secretary General of Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), will give the keynote address, which will be followed by the platinum partner speech by Maldives Transport and Construction Company (MTCC) CEO Ibrahim Ziyath.

Other speakers include top officials from the tourism ministry, economic ministry, Privatisation and Corporatisation Board, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC).

Apart from the keynote speeches, four panel discussions are scheduled to take place at the summit.

Amongst the 150 tourism professionals confirmed to attend the summit are resort and hotel owners, general managers and resident managers as well as key international travel trade stakeholders and professionals. The summit will further witness the attendance of international delegates from, Expedia, AirAsia, Axisrooms, TUI, Kuoni, TravHQ and LonelyPlanet.

Over 100 resorts and hotels from the Maldives have confirmed their participation at TTM 2018, while more than 250 international buyers and media representatives will attend the show. Premium Exhibitors include Adaaran Resorts, Angiri Resorts, Crown and Champa Resorts, Bandos Maldives, and Villa Hotels and Resorts.

The annual gala of TTM will take place on Wednesday evening at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort.

As part of TTM 2018, the first ever Maldives Supplier Expo will be held from Friday to Saturday. More than 50 suppliers will have one-on-one prescheduled meetings with officials from procurement, accounts, finance, and F&B departments of more than 100 resorts.

TTM, which was launched last year by local PR firm Maldives Getaways, aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of two million tourists per year with over USD 3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

Minister Saeed commented on the importance of TTM, saying that it connects Maldivian tourism industry stakeholders with a global network of travel agents and tour operators.

He further stressed the need for Maldivian tourism industry to come together and work as a cohesive unit with agents and operators in order to achieve the government’s ambitious target of attracting two million tourist arrivals per annum by 2020.

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Hanimaadhoo Island | Map, Hotel, Guesthouse, Airport,


Hanimaadhoo island located in the most northern part of Maldives, one of the inhabited island of Haa Dhaalu Atoll. The Hanimaadhoo Airport (International and Domestic) also setting in this Island, it is 287.57 km (178.69 mi) distance from the main Airport in Maldives (Velana International Airport).

One of the biggest Island in the Maldives with the area of Length 6.800 km (4.225 mi) Width 0.730 km (0.454 mi), with almost 2,000 population.

Hanimaadhoo island Map

Hanimaadhoo island is one of a develop island in the Maldives, this island has onsite hospital, a school, a mosque, a post-office, and a police station. Research center also located in this island. The climate observatory located At the northern end of the island. And the investigating aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere and the Brown Cloud phenomenon have been initiated from Hanimaadhoo.

Hanimaadhoo airport code “HAQ“: Check Flights Schedule in Hanimaadhoo Airport Maldivian Airline.

Other Local near in Male city Island Maafushi

Manimaadhoo Guest house and Hotel in the Island

The Barefoot Eco Hotel

A four star hotel setting in the island mo Manimaadhoo. this property has a private beach area and water sports facilities. Guest can enjoy in their 1 onsite restaurant that serves Italian, Mediterranean, Pizza, Local, International foods, open for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and the free wifi most of the area.

Rooms has own bathroom, sitting area to be relax (some rooms has garden area view, sea view area), conditioning room.
==> Low season rate: US$85 per night for two person (online rate) more information.

Hany tropical Maldives

A budget accommodation in the island only 1 minute walk to the beach, all rooms equip a flat-screen TV. some of the rooms have a sitting area to be relax from a busy day. There is a coffee machine and a kettle in the room.
24 hours front disk and a free wifi.
Nearest Restaurant and Market
*cool garden Restaurant almost 1km
*lavaza cafe Cafe/Bar almost 1km
*fish market Market almost 1km
==>Rate in low season: US$90 per night for 2 pax (online rate) more information.

Check: Budget Bungalow Villas

Sea esta lodge, Maldives

One of the budget deal guesthouse in this island, the property has private beach area. Guest can roaming around using their bike for rent. It has free wifi in all areas in the property. There’s a lot of activities can do in the island such as water sports, snorkeling, fishing and more.

==> US$120 per night 2 pax, Low season rate (online price) more information.

Cerulean View Residence

Softy white sand, crystal clear lagoon, stunning coral reef landscape, this are the few description in the Maldives, the summer capital. Cerulean View Residence offers accommodation in the Island of Hanimaadhoo. Every room has flat screen tv, preconditioning, private bathroom. The guest can enjoy roaming around using their bicycles for free. They have two type of rooms, standard with only 1 bed and the deluxe with 2 twin beds.

==> US$127.50 per night for 2 pax (online rate) more info.

Raakani Home

1 minute walk to the beach. All rooms equip aircon, safe, Fan, Family Rooms, Non-smoking Rooms, Iron, 2 twin beds, telephone.
==> $40 per night 2 pax (online rate) booking.

The post Hanimaadhoo Island | Map, Hotel, Guesthouse, Airport, appeared first on Low budget Maldives.

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Sun Resorts appoints Alexandre Hulen as Vice President Sales and Marketing

On the Dhoni

Mauritius-based Sun Resorts has appointed Alexandre Hulen as Vice President Sales and Marketing.

Of French nationality and a graduate of London’s South Bank University, Alexandre, 42, started his career in the Concorde Hotels and Resorts group in 1998. He has a wealth of experience with prestigious hotel groups, including Eton Collection in France, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, overseeing sales and marketing at Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove and Le Meridien Barbarons in the Seychelles, and Anantara and Naladhu in the Maldives.

In 2010, he took the position of Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing for Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts in the Maldives, before joining the Regent Group in Bali as Director of Sales and Marketing. Before joining the Sun Resorts team, based in Mauritius, Alexandre was Director of Sales and Marketing for One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai.

Alexandre is delighted to embark on this new stage of his career at Sun Resorts, with his position encompassing sales and marketing activity across the company’s four hotels in Mauritius — La Pirogue, Sugar Beach, Long Beach and Ambre, alongside the iconic Ile aux Cerfs, a leisure island featuring a championship golf course designed by Bernhard Langer, and the eco-friendly Bubble Lodges.

“We are very pleased that Alexandre is joining us to support the expansion of Sun Resorts in the international level. This nomination salutes his career and his success in developing the hotels he represented. His leadership and extensive experience in the hospitality industry will be vital qualities for Sun Resorts,” David Anderson, CEO of Sun Limited, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

In the Maldives, Sun Resorts owns and operates Kanuhura Maldives.

Located at the heart of one of the most spectacular Maldives atolls, Kanuhura is considered to be one of the most iconic barefoot beach resorts in the Indian Ocean. Part of the Mauritius-based hotel and leisure group Sun Resorts, Kanuhura hosted its first guest in 1999.

A reimagining of the resort in 2016, which includes the acquisition of neighbouring Masleggihura uninhabited island, positions it for the latest trend travellers have identified as Gypset; part gypsy in their drive for freedom and jetset, reflected in their wealth and craving for luxury living. The gypset muse of Kanuhura is Erin Wasson, famous top model and face representant of Maybelline.

The new rooms are luxury villas and suites with unusual elegance and furnished with natural materials with a touch of refinement and modernism. Whether you stay on the sunrise or sunset side of the island, you will be overwhelmed by the breathtaking view of the sea. The water villas have a private terrace with private access to the lagoon.

With its eight restaurants and bars, Kanuhura will make you discover various cuisines from all over the world such as Italy, Brazil and the Maldives. The chef also provides interactive cookery demonstrations.

Those looking for tranquility and well-being will be able to visit Kokaa Spa, the resort’s award-winning wellness and spa centre that offers a unique sensual experience for uplifting your body and mind. The spa features nine spacious treatment rooms including three doubles for side-by-side couples’ treatments, an outdoor beachside spa pavilion, cold plunge pools, jacuzzis, separate steam bath and dry sauna, and a beauty salon. It also features an air-conditioned gym and an aerobics studio, while a professional instructor is on-site to conduct yoga sessions.

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The Residence Maldives’ Falhumaa restaurant introduces new menu

On the Dhoni

The Falhumaa restaurant at the The Residence Maldives by Cenizaro has introduced a new menu.

Created by the resort’s Executive Sous Chef Ashish Domee, the new menu features a selection of Western cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood and grilled meats, and curated with the finest produce gathered from around the Maldives.

The Falhumaa is The Residence Maldives’ overwater speciality restaurant, and is located at the end of a 230-metre-long jetty above the reef. It offers a memorable dining experience flavoured with the ocean breeze, as guests can relax in the intimate setting of the bar where they can begin the evening with an aperitif or retire for after-dinner liqueurs.

Awarded the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor consecutively since its opening in 2012, The Residence Maldives lies on the unspoilt southern island of Falhumaafushi in the Gaafu Alifu atoll.

The intimate retreat located just 20 kilometres north of the equator offers 94 beach-front and overwater villas. Designed to complement its surroundings and provide a sense of place, the villas have been created using natural materials and are decorated with local artefacts.

The Spa by Clarins is the only one of its kind in the Maldives, and offers a range of treatments created exclusively for the hotel and a place to escape – it sits out on a jetty in the lagoon. Other facilities include water sports, a fitness centre, kids club and excursions to nearby islands.

The diving surrounding the resort is exceptional, and its PADI five star certified dive centre offers all level of snorkelers and scuba divers the opportunity to discover the unspoilt coral reefs and rich marine life of the southern Maldivian atoll.

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Soneva Fushi to welcome celebrated Chef Prateek in May

On the Dhoni

Soneva Fushi is set to welcome Chef Prateek Sadhu from the acclaimed restaurant in Mumbai, Masque, in May.

Chef Prateek, who is known for its degustation menus that hinge on the farm-to-table culinary ethos while keeping sustainability at the forefront, will be at Soneva Fushi from May 8-14 as part of the Festival of Colour, showcasing his botanical bistronomy for lucky guests. 

Born in 1986, Chef Prateek grew up around farms and could be found in the kitchen by the time he was 10 years old, where he learnt the basics from his mother and aunt. His culinary career started when he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with double gold medals to his credit. From there he worked in the kitchens of Alinea, The French Laundry, Bourbon Steak, and Le Bernadin, followed by a tour of some of Europe’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

It was under Rene Redzepi at Noma that Chef Prateek learnt to cook from the region and harness the soil. His cooking style and technique have developed into a true-to-the-earth philosophy. After moving back to India Chef Prateek met Aditi Dugar, who had left a career in finance to pursue a catering. Aditi has worked at La Gavaroche, Zuma, Le Petite Maison and Bo.Lan. Meeting Chef Prateek the two travelled around India meeting farmers and farmers’ collectives before opening Masque.

Since opening in September 2016, Masque was ranked in Food Tank’s top 10 restaurants in the world using sustainable practices. It was voted the Best Global and Most Iconic restaurant in Mumbai by the Epicurean Guild and Restaurant of the Year by the Times Food & Nightlife awards. Masque’s ever-changing degustation menus focus on seasonally available produce, showcasing the ingredients in their prime. The restaurant also has its very own farm outside of Pune where it grows a lot of its own produce.

In February, Soneva launched its first ever year-long campaign known as a ‘Festival of Colour’ to celebrate the diverse array of guest activities and experiences on offer this year. Soneva has confirmed a huge line-up of visiting experts, including chefs, authors, wine producers, world-champion free-divers, astronomers, artists, wellness practitioners, tennis coaches and more at all resorts. Soneva’s Festival of Colour runs from February 2018 – February 2019.

Soneva, a world-leading luxury resort operator, runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and its second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of 24 overwater villas and one island villa set in a 5.6 kilometre private lagoon located in the northern Noonu atoll. The resort spans five islands surrounded by pure white beaches, covered in rich tropical vegetation, offering the ultimate in privacy and luxury.

Each of the resort’s multilevel water villas has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars. Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below. Other hotel highlights include a spa, an observatory — home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean — and an outdoor cinema.

Since its opening, Soneva Jani has created a lot of buzz amongst luxury travellers with its exciting features such as the retractable roofs and the water slides. It has been named the Best Over-the-Top Luxury hotel of the year by, the best new resort in the world by CNN, and the Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in South Asia and Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in Maldives.

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Expedia appoints Savi Godakanda as Senior Market Manager for Maldives

On the Dhoni

Expedia Group has appointed Savi Godakanda as the Senior Market Manager for Maldives.

Having been actively immersed in the travel trade for the best part of a decade, Godakanda has been with Expedia since early 2015. In his new role, he hopes to help travellers in the Maldives make memorable leisure and travel experiences, and emphasise on the use of latest technology to deliver incredible value.

“In a market where customers seek extraordinary experiences and world class service, I believe technology and novel ideas, should be further explored in the coming years,” Godakanda said.

His love affair with travel began early in life. It was fostered by his noticeably exuberant interest in experiencing various customs, cultures, exquisite cuisines and his insatiable curiosity to understand the perspective and lifestyle of people who come from countless walks of life. He believes that each perspective, each person and every culture has a fascinating story to share out of which you could learn from.

Expedia Group is one of world’s largest travel platforms, with brands including,, Expedia Partner Solutions, Egencia, trivago, HomeAway, Orbitz, Travelocity, Wotif,, ebookers, CheapTickets, Hotwire, Classic Vacations, Expedia Media Solutions,, Expedia Local Expert, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, SilverRail Technologies, Inc., ALICE and Traveldoo.

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Veligandu Island adds new speciality Destination Dining options

On the Dhoni

Veligandu Island Resort and Spa has added speciality Destination Dining options.

The new Bubbly Sunset Love Bed and Veli Dinner promises to create unforgettable experiences for the resort’s guests. These new options include:

  • The Bubbly Sunset Love Bed: a private dinner setting on the beach while watching the spectacular sunset into the Indian Ocean view, beyond doubt, an adoring way to begin your evening.
  • The Veli Dinner: the perfect romantic dinner on a sandy table and sandy chair, dug into the soft and white sand and where a sumptuous three course menu of either seafood or meat will be served on the marvelous setting. Such divine scenery will definitely complete your holiday with us.

“We are excited to engage more additional activities as we move towards providing services based on our highly in-demand feedback and requests from our valued guests,” the resort said, in an announcement.

Veligandu, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and a long stretch of white sandy beach, is the only resort on the island of Veligandu in North Ari Atoll. The resort, which is accessible by a scenic 20-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport, has 76 rooms, including 54 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 10 Water Villas and 12 Jacuzzi Beach Villas.

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Retro-chic Maldives resort to stage free ‘yoga marathon’ to mark Global Wellness Day

 Celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year, Global Wellness Day is all about the idea that ‘One Day Can Change Your Whole Life’ – and Finolhu is totally down with that. The Island playground is challenging guests to a ‘yoga marathon’ of five complimentary wellness-inspired classes throughout the day on 9th June. Shining a light on the benefits of healthy living and inspiring creative ways to embrace wellness into everyday life, Finolhu has curated a fun-filled line-up of wellness activities.

Kicking off the ‘yoga marathon’ with a Namaste, baby! Guests are invited to rise and shine with resident yoga trainer, Shinto, for a sunrise session on the idyllic outdoor Yoga and Movement Pavilion – a serene space that will leave guests feeling energised, refreshing spirit, body and mind. Additional classes dare guests to join a Master UFC GYM trainer for an intense kickboxing and conditioning session on the beach; test their limits with a strength and endurance class using TRX and high interval training equipment in the ultimate beach gym; take time out to breathe and disconnect from the world with an Aerial Yoga session using soft silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling; before winding down with a Sunset Yoga session on the Sun Bank.

Staying with the retro beach vibe, Finolhu’s happening hub, The Cove Club, strips the spa concept back where massage, movement and chill is medicinal and the fun glamorous side of the Sixties is at play. The Cove Club offers a totally chilled out, unintimidating haven in which to drop anchor and just relax. Ten chandelier-lit treatment huts, featuring Divas of the day, are complemented by a fitness centre, yoga and movement pavilion and an outdoor ‘Palm Beach Gym’. Inspired by the island’s natural environment, guests can embrace their fitness goals with capoeira and paddle boarding to ballet and kickboxing, while other awesome facilities include a relaxation area overlooking the beach, steam/sauna, wellness area, salon and retail pavilion. Situated on Palm Beach, Thunderball boasts an incredible 1.5km long lagoon that is perfect for the many adrenalin filled motorised and non-motorised water sport activities from jet skis and Seabobs to the thrill of knee boarding, wake boarding or water skiing.

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Indochina revisited


Indochina is one of our most popular regions, but the more we visit, the more we uncover. Our specialists report back from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to reveal their latest discoveries.

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Sirru Fen Fushi officially opens as Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

On the Dhoni

Sirru Fen Fushi has rebranded under AccorHotels’ Fairmont brand, two months after opening the shores of the brand new luxury resort to guests.

Located on the Shaviyani atoll, the stunning new Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi offers 112 luxury villas, each with a private pool. Sirru Fen Fushi, which means ‘secret water island’ in the local Dhivehi language, is set on an exceptionally lush island bursting with flora and fauna. The picturesque locale is also surrounded by powder white sand beaches, peppered with thatched-roofed villas overlooking an endless turquoise sea.

The all-villa resort is ideal for couples or families, and features 200 metres of infinity pools as well as luxury safari-style tented villas nestled in the island’s lush interior jungle.

Homage to the abundant sea life and pristine coral house reef surrounding this world-class resort, Maldives’ first coral regeneration project in the form of an Underwater Art Installation is created by celebrated underwater naturalist and artist Jason deCaires Taylor. Its May 2018 launch is highly anticipated by international media and guests alike.

“We are thrilled to introduce the first Fairmont and our third development in the Maldives since our entry into this region in 2017. Fairmont guests feel like they are in the heart of the destination; and at our first Fairmont property in the Maldives, we are delighted to offer them the full Maldivian immersion with locally inspired design and indigenous cultural experiences, enhanced by Fairmont’s welcoming service and the destination’s fabled natural beauty,” Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia at AccorHotels, was quoted in a statement, a saying.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the sole hotel on the pristine atoll, and its previously untouched location has allowed marine life to flourish, with manta rays, turtles, large pods of bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins regular visitors in the crystal-clear waters of the 600-hectare lagoon. The nine-kilometre-long house reef, directly accessible from the beach, is home to vibrant corals and a thriving ecosystem teeming with life. Uniquely, a manta ray cleaning station at the house reef, offers guests a rare close and extended glimpse of one of the world’s most majestic marine creatures, many of which drop by in a beautiful display of aquatic symbiosis with smaller sea life.

The 112 villas are categorised based on the island’s stunning topography, and include Beach Villas, Water Villas, and Tented Jungle Villas. Copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing on furniture lend the villas a bohemian rustic chic vibe. Specially adapted to the Maldives, the unique tented jungle villas offer privacy and a romantic castaway vibe; other guests can also experience the verdant island interiors with glamping BBQs or jungle cinema.

A strong connection to nature guides guests throughout their stay, even at the resort’s contemporary dining outlets. These include an international all-day dining spot called Raha Market; an overwater Japanese restaurant, sushi bar and sea lounge named Kata, where Chef Dharmen brings creative flair to add modern and Maldivian twists to Japanese dishes; and the overwater fine dining destination, Azure, where fresh seafood and fish-market displays of daily local catches are complemented by fantastic wines and Champagnes.

Throughout the resort, still and sparkling water produced by the resort’s desalinisation process are served in the Fairmont-branded glass bottles for guests’ ease of consumption.

Adjacent to the main all-day dining restaurant, the intimate Raha Market Bar is a relaxed space for aperitifs or digestifs to round off a meal at the water’s edge. At the all-bamboo Onu Onu, loungers and fire pits add to the laid-back poolside atmosphere, while sunsets are best enjoyed with a sundowner at the Kata Roof Top Bar and lounge which overlooks the entire western side of the island. Destination dining experiences draw guests further into nature with private meals enjoyed under the stars and powder-soft sand beneath the toes.

It’s the same tranquil natural surroundings from which the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Maldives draws its energy and vitality. The 2,000 sqm wellness area has been adapted to Maldivian island chic in its concepts with the use of endemic herbs and Indian Ocean-inspired treatments. The architectural design features hand-carved wooden doors, with sea breeze passages designed to draw fresh sea air into the treatment rooms. A dedicated Olympic size Jacuzzi pool is provided for spa guests for pre or post treatment immersion.

Both AccorHotels and the Fairmont brand have a strong reputation globally for sustainable tourism and are committed to improving the well-being of local communities and ecosystems wherever they operate and addressing the environmental impacts of their operations.

Fairmont is renowned for capturing the heart of a destination through community engagement and memorable guest experiences. At Sirru Fen Fushi these include cooking classes with a Maldivian master chef, local island adventures, and sunset fishing aboard an authentic Maldivian dhoni while learning traditional line fishing methods to give guests a taste of the Maldivian way of life. The surrounding idyll is showcased with castaway picnics and overnight cruises to enjoy the stunning night sky of the Maldives from the luxury of the resort yacht.

When the mood takes them – and it will – the resort’s on-site art studio offers guests all the tools and materials required to be inspired and express their creative spirit with the guidance of resident and visiting artists.

With a tailored selection of units suitable for families and children at the resort, a variety of daytime activities including coconut painting, canvas creations, jewelry and making dreamcatchers are available. Families are well-catered with a Kid’s Club, Toddler’s play garden, and the dedicated Teen Town, offering a wealth of exciting experiences for young adults.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is also poised to bring the essence of its secret water island location to life with experiences that bring guests closer to nature. A sunset dolphin tour offers guests the chance to watch dolphins playing in the light of the setting sun.

Guests can also give back to nature by planting coconut trees on the island, or by participating in coral restoration efforts and turtle release programmes.

“Our resort and the destination itself are inextricably linked. As the location for the Maldives’ first Underwater Art installation we hope to raise awareness that encourages long-term reef protection and sustainable tourism,” Denis Dupart, General Manager of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, said.

A newcomer to the Maldives booming tourism industry, AccorHotels is on a major expansion drive, with three existing properties and two under development in the island nation.

The French multinational hotel group took over the management of Dhevanafushi from Dubai-based hospitality group Jumeirah in September, with plans to reposition the luxury resort under the iconic Raffles Hotels and Resorts brand.

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, the only resort in the Maldives with direct access to an airport, welcomed the first group of tourists in August. The resort, located in the southern Gaafu Alif atoll, was officially inaugurated in late September.

AccorHotels has also signed up to manage another resort being developed in Gaafu Alif atoll.

Set to open next year, the Pullman Maldives Maamutaa resort is a traditional ‘one island, one resort’ property located a 10-minute speedboat ride away from its sister property, the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort. The five star resort will offer upscale modern facilities such as two swimming pools, a sunset bar overlooking the lagoon, a luxury spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a kids club, beach playground, tennis courts, gourmet restaurants, organic gardens, a dive centre and a water sports centre.

Alongside Raffles, Pullman, Sofitel, Swissôtel and MGallery, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is part of the luxury brands portfolio of AccorHotels. With 75 properties in 24 countries, hotels under the Fairmont banner offer guests an extraordinary place that is created by combining unique architecture and structure, expressive decor and artistry, magnificent features and exceptional service all in one great location.

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Hard Rock International appoints Todd Hricko as global hotel development chief

On the Dhoni

Hard Rock International has promoted Todd Hricko to the post of Senior Vice President and Head of Global Hotel Development.

Supported by Hricko’s more than 20 years of property development experience, the new position will showcase Hricko’s strong hospitality network, paving the way for collaborations with some of the largest industry-leading owners and operators of commercial real estate in the United States. He will oversee the development of hotels for the entire brand, working directly under Hard Rock International’s Chief Operating Officer Jon Lucas.

Hricko joined the Hard Rock brand in 2014 serving as Vice President of Business Development for Hard Rock Hotels, where he spearheaded the development of the Hard Rock Hotels portfolio throughout the US and Canada. During this time, he played an essential role in identifying strategic markets and sites to develop, managing contract negotiations for the brand and leading negotiations for management agreements in key markets, such as New York City, New Orleans, Atlantaand Daytona Beach. He also participated in the development of Hard Rock’s new upscale select-service brand – Reverb by Hard Rock.

“Todd’s extensive experience in the acquisition, disposition, financing and development of hotels and vacation ownership resorts makes him an asset to the Hard Rock International brand,” Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer for Hard Rock International, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“We greatly value his hard work and dedication to the brand and we look forward to him bringing Hard Rock International to new global heights.”

Before joining Hard Rock International, Hricko was Vice President of Development at Wyndham Hotel Group. This experience not only expanded his professional portfolio, but also afforded him long-term relationships with national owners and development partners in the industry.

The promotion of Hricko comes as the Hard Rock Hotels portfolio actively expands in key cities and destinations across the globe, including the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and Hard Rock Cafe Maldives, which are slated to open on October 1.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and Hard Rock Cafe Maldives are part of the first phase of the highly anticipated Emboodhoo Lagoon project, which is undertaken by leading Thai developer Singha Estate as the first integrated tourism destination in the Maldives. The first phase consists of a USD 311.5 million investment that is expected to stimulate tourism, offering vacationers a rich combination of world-class offerings such as hotels, entertainment, retail and fine dining.

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will be one of three resorts included in the development, boasting 178 expansive guest rooms, family suites, beach villas, and one and two-bedroom overwater villas.

Just steps from the hotel, guests will enjoy authentic American cuisine amidst the ultimate rock atmosphere at Hard Rock Cafe Maldives. With direct boat transportation from the airport and situated within the Emboodhoo Lagoon development, Hard Rock Cafe Maldives will provide approximately 185 seats both indoors and outdoors while offering diners exclusive beach access, taking dining with a view to a whole new level.

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Supporting Earth Day 2018 towards a sustainable Maldives


Earth Day is one of the largest civic-focused days of action in the world held every year, where more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in green initiatives to highlight the importance of sustainability.


On April 22, 2018, each of the Crown & Champa Resorts showed their support of the initiative with a variety of activities involving guests and staff, from Reef & Lagoon Cleaning to educational tours and the daily commitment towards a greener Maldives.


Veligandu Earth Day 2018


Under the theme “End Plastic Pollution” and the impact of plastic on the Indian Ocean, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa and Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa held a lagoon cleaning activity to maintain the beauty and health of the marine life. The activity included members of the Euro-Divers and Ocean Dive Center teams, as well as staff and in-house guests at the respective Resorts.


Kuredu Island Resort & Spa held an active Island cleanup, while Meeru Island Resort & Spa hosted an informative Nature Walk and Back-of-House Tour. As TUI-certified Environmental Champions of 2017, the two Resorts continue to be leaders in sustainable efforts, with Kuredu recently introducing an eco-friendly linen bag to help guests recycle items back home that currently cannot be recycled in the Maldives.


Kuredu Eco-Friendly Bag


Another Environmental Champion, Komandoo Island Resort & Spa features glass water bottles and reusable straws, as part of the day-to-day sustainable operations. 5-Star Hurawalhi Island Resort brings environmental awareness through education in several initiatives over the year, including community outreach programs.


For more information on Crown & Champa Resorts’ committed towards preserving the Maldives and global environment, read our Sustainability Report.


To find out how you can help while on holiday in the Maldives, download your free copy of the 5 quick tips to saving water & energy.

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5 Reasons to Visit Dubai in November


When to visit Dubai is a question we frequently get from our clients. And while this cosmopolitan Middle Eastern city is certainly a fantastic destination to visit all year round, November in Dubai is considered one of the best times to visit Dubai for great weather. Mainly November in Dubai is when the heat is much milder and you can enjoy the “winter” days outdoors with temperatures in the early 30s – perfect for pool and beach days without the searing heat of the summer months. Plus, there are some fantastic events on in Dubai in November that makes a visit well worth it. Here are five reasons to visit Dubai in November…


Dubai Weather in November

The weather in Dubai in November is some of the best all year round. With daily temperatures in the late 20s to early 30s and very little rainfall, the months from November to March offer the perfect temperature to be outdoors and get that suntan without the roasting heat of the summer months. The Middle East only truly has two seasons – hot and hotter. November is the start of the slightly cooler season and there is very little humidity so it’s pleasant being outdoors.


Dubai Golf in November

The much-anticipated DP World Tour Championship is held in Dubai in November each year. One of the world’s very best golfing championships, the month of November in Dubai attracts many golfers and their fans to the city. Held on the Jumeirah Golf Estates, the tournament lasts four days and is a must for golfing enthusiasts. But don’t worry if you’re not a golfing pro yet – there will be plenty of entertainment for you too with golf lessons, live music and great food and drinks to keep you sustained! And what’s more… it’s FREE to enter


Dubai Citywalk

Design lovers unite! The Dubai Design Week is a great reason to visit Dubai in November where over 200 activities, exhibits and performances will take place across the city. Bringing art to the people, the aim of this six day festival is to involve people in creative thinking with all sorts of installations popping up on JBR Walk and other landmark spots throughout Dubai. Visiting during Dubai Design Week is an exciting time where plenty of colourful surprises await…


Dubai Dining

The weather in Dubai in November is some of the best with mild temperatures perfect for spending outdoors. And dining outdoors is phenomenal – you won’t need a cardigan – and you can enjoy some of the best al fresco restaurants and eateries. There are plenty of outdoor tables along the Dubai Marina, the Creek Boardwalk or along the beachfront or you can stay at your hotel and enjoy atmosphere poolside dining – we love the candlelit cabanas at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah.


Dubai holiday offers

Looking for a good holiday deal in Dubai in November? We’ve got some great November Dubai offers at some of our very best luxury hotels just for you! Our holiday deals offer everything from great savings to complimentary Half Board thrown in, making travelling to Dubai in November even more affordable.


Looking for a reason to travel to Dubai in November? Chat to our Travel Specialists for the hottest tips or browse our website to find some fantastic holiday offers in Dubai for November.


The post 5 Reasons to Visit Dubai in November appeared first on The Edit.

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Let’s start with the fact that the Fish and Crab Shack is half way along Finolhu’s 1.8km sand bank (see photo). You will never find a setting even similar. Unique – tick.

Finolhu changed the concept of a Maldives island resort with its chic retro beach club theme on what is now the grooviest island in the Maldives. There’s nothing else like it. Unique- tick.

The Fish & Crab Shack itself gives you the ultimate laid-back dining experience, eating lunch with your toes in the sand or dangling in the water. Combined with the above, unique- tick.

Of course, then there’s the food. Maybe a cold appetizer like Yellowfin tartare, Alaskan crab or the simple pleasure of a Bucket of prawns. Or a hot starter such as Sautéed calamari, butter, garlic and ginger, or Coconut Prawns.

There’s the ever-so-slightly-daunting Seafood Sampler for Two (if you can share) with steamed kingcrab, seared tuna, salmon ceviche, scallop ceviche, reef fish sashimi, Pacific rock oysters, green lip mussels, crispy tuna roll, fried calamari, sautéed prawns – and more.

Or some crab? Perhaps the famous Crab Shack Salad with King crab, Asian mixed leaves, grapefruit and fennel, or an Alaskan King crab Caesar, with a whiff of tarragon. And if that’s not enough for crab lovers, topping the Shack’s delicious hit parade are the Crab Curry and and Crab Tacos. Unique – tick.

There are so many fabulous dining options at Finolhu with the chilled-out Baa Baa Beach Club at its heart. There is the star dining venue Kanusan that spans three areas: a vibrant overwater bar area; a relaxed indoor space and an al fresco lower deck for a theatricality of Asian spirit. The boutique-style Baahaa Grill restaurant celebrates the legendary spice blends of pre-Moorish North Africa, while Finolhu’s old-school tuck shop, Milk Bar treats holiday makers with a range of guilt-free wraps, smoothies, and Bodyism Shakes to carefree ice creams or amazing coffees.

But it is the Fish and Crab Shack on Finolhu’s spectacular sand bank that offers the ultimate Finolhu experience of delicious seafood with your feet in the sand and smooth beats in the air.

#Islandplayground #quirkyandproud #groovysparkle

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