close

June 2018

Maldives

Noku Maldives set to open in August 2018

On the Dhoni

Noku Maldives has announced plans to open its shores to guests in August.

A corporate dinner was held at Hotel Jen in capital Male Thursday where the resort’s General Manager Justin Heng shared the exciting announcement with travel industry partners. A lucky draw was also taken, giving two winners complimentary stays at Noku Maldives as well as its sister property, Noku Kyoto in Japan.

Previously operated as Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort by AAA Hotels and Resorts, Roxy-Pacific Holdings Ltd of Singapore acquired the leasehold interests of the island in 2016 from the local resort operator.

After extensive renovation of guest villas, public spaces and F&B outlets, the resort will open as Noku Maldives on August 1.

Located on the island of Kuda Funafaru in the northern Noonu atoll, Noku Maldives is accessible by a scenic 45-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport.

Nestled amidst luscious tropical greenery and enveloped by a peaceful blue lagoon are 20 beach villas and 30 overwater villas. Each spacious unit is designed to offer utmost privacy and fitted with modern amenities to provide comfort. The refined elegance of each villa with its soft white hues and dark wood accents complement the beauty of nature seen through large bay windows and french doors.

The spacious beachfront Palms Restaurant serves up à la carte and buffet-style dining, while the menu of Thari Restaurant features elements of Thai, Japanese and Singaporean cuisine — flavourful tastes of the countries where Noku hotels are located in. The Palms Bar allows guests to indulge in refreshing cocktails that blend Eastern and Western influences. Guests can also have a thirst quenching beverage from the Thari Bar and lounge at the large main pool area.

Embracing nature is an integral aspect of the wellness programme at Noku Maldives. Rejuvenation begins with a beautiful garden walkway leading up to six double treatment suites with a relaxing view of the ocean. Each treatment room is thoughtfully designed as a sanctuary where stone and wooden accents achieve a deep sense of calm and relaxation. The wellness treatments use natural ingredients to enhance total wellbeing.

The pristine location of Noku Maldives houses a thriving marine ecosystem that includes dolphins, rays and populous fish diversity. Professional dive instructors at the resort’s dive centre will show guests the rich diversity of marine life suitable for all levels of experiences. Guests can also catch the light ocean breeze on a chartered catamaran, or feel the adrenaline rush while riding the waves on a jet ski or windsurfing activities.

Noku Maldives is the second property to be marketed under Roxy’s premium Noku brand. The first opened in Kyoto, Japan in November 2015.

Roxy also runs the Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy hotel in Singapore and the Noku Osaka hotel in the Japanese city of Osaka. A brand new property on the Thai island of Phuket, Noku Phuket is also set to launch soon.

read more
Maldives

Coco Collection launches ‘That Summer Feeling’ dynamic summer programme

On the Dhoni

Coco Collection has introduced a dynamic summer programme at two of its resorts, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.

The programme, titled That Summer Feeling, promises to offer summer months that are jam-packed with all sorts of fun events, activities, and unique offers and experiences. From popsicle and lemonade stands and sunny BBQs on the beach, to volleyball matches with our associates, That Summer Feeling is sure to offer up a slice of the summer to everyone.

In June, Coco Bodu Hithi is hosting award-winning personal trainer, fitness blogger and author Carly Rowena, who will be conducting a week-long Floatation Fitness Residency, consisting of four bespoke workout sessions. These sessions will include yoga-based core workouts on stand-up paddle boards and bodyweight workouts on the beach.

Coco Bodu Hithi will also be hosting a retreat with Maldivian yogi Shifana Mufeed, who will be conducting two meditative yoga sessions at the resort’s overwater yoga pavilion.

At Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, guests can indulge in their competitive side and take part in the Coco Palm Mini Olympics, with tropical events such as a kayak rally, a stand-up paddle board race and a swimming competition.

“We’ve also got a very exciting summer surprise up our sleeves, so make sure to keep an eye on our website and to follow us on social media,” an announcement by the resort group read.

Three islands — Coco Bodu Hithi, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Privé — comprise the Coco Collection brand.

Coco Bodu Hithi, the flagship property in Coco Collection’s portfolio, is a chic retreat where you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the wonder of the natural world. Translating island life into contemporary sophistication, the resort, which is accessible by a 40-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport, offers 100 villas that are surrounded by the calm view of the lagoon and the soothing sound of the waves.

With seven restaurants and bars, Coco Bodu Hithi celebrates and offers a variety of exquisite cuisines, taking inspiration from the Maldives and further afield.

An award-winning wellness zone on stilts over the clear water, Coco Spa is a sanctuary for the soul. Mindful of the healing properties of nature and the ocean, the spa is designed to retreat for an escape, whether a massage in one of the eight treatment rooms or yoga on the pavilion overlooking the ocean and beach. With a range of products from the Paris label Thémaé combining the healing properties of tea, therapists at Coco Spa are trained in techniques to treat the mind, body and soul. An overwater gym within the zone inspires guests to keep up with their regime of active well ness when away on a holiday.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is dedicated to the inspiring beauty and natural wonder of the Maldives. Here, environmentally-conscious touches are woven into luxurious natural surroundings and initiatives contribute to the environmental and social sustainability of Maldives.

At USD 45,000 a night, Coco Privé is the first private island for exclusive hire in the Maldives. Secluded and utterly discrete, the island is perfectly designed for guests to escape to an entirely private paradise.

With a master residence and five guest villas all with breathtaking views, a lavish dining room, purpose-built kitchen, cocktail bar, wine cellar, library, indoor and outdoor gym areas, sauna, and a 40-metre pool, this 1.4 hectare island is the perfect space to indulge in anything you can imagine.

A dedicated team of personal staff including private chefs, butlers and spa therapists ensure a level of service that is unparalleled. Every guest is given a completely personalised experience, and this is what makes stays on the island so exceptional.

read more
Maldives-Holiday

Soneva Jani Overwater Villa

cropped-lowbudgetmaldives_icon.jpg

MALDIVES MOST LUXURIOUS RESORT

Maldives: composed of about 1,190 small islands sitting in Indian Ocean, 500 miles from the land of Sri Lanka. A home of world class water villa, colorful and stunning coral reef landscape, one of the best diving spots in the world.

Video credit: Kara and Nate
Website: Soneva Jani

The Maldives Country Located

The post Soneva Jani Overwater Villa appeared first on Low budget Maldives.

read more
Maldives-Holiday

Soneva Jani Overwater Villa

cropped-lowbudgetmaldives_icon.jpg

MALDIVES MOST LUXURIOUS RESORT

Maldives: composed of about 1,190 small islands sitting in Indian Ocean, 500 miles from the land of Sri Lanka. A home of world class water villa, colorful and stunning coral reef landscape, one of the best diving spots in the world.

Video credit: Kara and Nate
Website: Soneva Jani

The Maldives Country Located

The post Soneva Jani Overwater Villa appeared first on Low budget Maldives.

read more
Maldives

After Sri Lanka, SATA 2018 evaluations begin in south India

On the Dhoni

Evaluation of nominees from Sri Lanka for South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 concluded on Thursday.

A jury evaluated Sri Lanka based nominees from Monday to Thursday at the Ramada Colombo hotel.

The panel is now in Bangalore where they are conducting evaluation of nominees from south India. These sessions are being held at the Chancery Pavilion.

On July 2, the panel will travel to New Delhi for the evaluation of nominees from north India.

Nominee evaluations are conducted by an all-women jury, which comprises Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

Evaluations are being held in six cities, including Male, Colombo, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Paro. During the evaluation, each property has to do a presentation of 10 minutes before a panel consisting of multi-national judges.

Nominations for the third edition of SATA, which consists of 36 categories in 10 segments, closed in April with a record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Jumeirah, Soneva, Sun Siyam Resorts, Coco Collection, Villa Hotels, The Kingsbury, Amaya Hotels and Resorts, Adaaran Resorts Maldives, Heritance Hotels, Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Marriott and Taj Hotels are some of the well-known brands that have been nominated for the awards.

Online voting is ongoing, and will be carried out via the official website till June 30.

SATA 2018 gala is scheduled to take place in India’s commercial capital Mumbai from September 14-15.

Launched in 2016 by Maldives based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in the 2017 edition of SATA, which took place at the southernmost Maldives atoll of Addu in October.

read more

A Guide to Destination Dining in the Maldives

no thumb

The Maldives Islands are considered one of the most romantic destinations in the world for the plethora of romantic ways to spend an evening with your loved one in tropical paradise. Explore the simple guide to unique destination dining experiences in the Maldives and enjoy the ultimate combination of tranquility, culinary expertise and exceptional service with Crown & Champa Resorts.

 

On the Beach

Experience a wonderful sense of the world under your feet, sand between your toes and stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Meeru Island Resort & Spa, Komandoo Island Resort & Spa and Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa offer an intimate and private candlelight dinner on the beach underneath a starlit sky.

 

With a Veli Dinner from Kuredu Island Resort & Spa and Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, a decorated sandy table and sandy chair are dug into soft and white sand to provide the most romantic venue, complete with scenic views of paradise and a divine menu to enjoy.

 

Komandoo Beach Dinner

 

Out at Sea

Take sailing to the next level with the flair of luxury at Hurawalhi Island Resort and through the glorious Indian Ocean with your loved one. Enjoy the serenity, peacefulness and romance that draws lovebirds to this heavenly piece of paradise.

 

What better way to stargaze than on a cruise with that special someone in the middle of the ocean? Spend the evening together at Veligandu under a beautiful sky full of stars with a glass of sparkling wine and canapés.

 

Luxury Sailing Maldives

 

Under the Sea

Hurawalhi’s spectacular 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is the world’s largest, all-glass underwater restaurant and offers one-of-a-kind romantic dining experience. Guests enjoy a multi-course tasting extravaganza of Haute cuisine, garnished with a state-of-the-art location 5.8 meters below the lagoon.

 

Underwater Restaurant Maldives

 

Private Luxuries

Spend the morning in bed and relish the luxuries of a delicious Champagne Breakfast, brought to your Villa. Later, indulge in a romantic private dinner on your porch or terrace and enjoy the pristine views of paradise with your loved one.

 

Have your own, secluded Island Picnic surrounded by soft white sandy beach and stunning turquoise lagoon to snorkel and swim around, be it Dream Island, Madivaru Island or a special Robinson Crusoe Excursion.

 

Private Island Picnic Maldives

 

Enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a secluded, peaceful, natural setting in the Maldives with Crown & Champa Resorts.

 

Click on each Resort name to book your next holiday and find out more information about the unique destination dining experiences in paradise.

read more
Maldives

Ron Kaufman on building distinctive service culture in Maldives’ saturated hospitality sector

On the Dhoni

Maldives hospitality industry is becoming more and more saturated, with at least a dozen new openings every year. But in terms of product offerings, there is so much hoteliers can do. Every resort in the Maldives is blessed with powder soft white sand beaches, palm trees, and turquoise waters that hide gardens of corals and a rich marine life.

So what can hoteliers do to stand out? The answer lies perhaps in service excellence.

With that in mind, the newly formed Maldives Association of Human Resource Professionals (MAHRP) has announced plans to bring world’s leading customer experience consultant Ron Kaufman to the Maldives.

The event, titled Secrets of Achieving Superior Service Excellence, will be held on August 4 at the main auditorium of the Maldives National University. During this one-day event, Ron will share powerful insights on achieving a sustainable competitive advantage through uplifting service, which has delivered substantial business results in many major companies around the world. His vast experience and scope with customer service experience across a range of businesses, from government agencies to world-class multinational companies including Singapore Airlines, Changi International Airport, Xerox, Marina Bay Sands, Wipro, Singtel, American Express, HP and Nokia will also be shared as a part of this learning experience.

As MAHRP gears up for its first major event, Maldives Insider speaks to Ron about his personal visits to the Maldives, his take on the country’s hospitality industry, and his partnership with the first professional association in the Maldives dedicated to human resources development.

Maldives Insider: When did you first visit the Maldives? What were your first impressions?

Ron Kaufman: I’ve always been a scuba diver. I moved to Singapore from the US in 1990, and within the first 18 months, I visited the Maldives. I was impressed by the physical beauty of the destination. It’s warm and wonderful. It’s an economy designed for tourism. The local people fit the physical environment. And I was happy here.

MI: What motivated you to keep on returning to the Maldives?

RK: I found it as a place to scuba dive, read, and enjoy with my wife. When our daughter was growing up, we brought her here and she got to enjoy the joy of the Maldives. So, we just kept coming back.

It’s a five-hour flight from Singapore, so it’s conveniently located. I actually prefer Maldives because it’s pure Maldivian. If you go to Phuket, it’s Thai and a mix of many other influences. If you go to Bali, it’s Indonesian and a mix of many other influences. But if you come to the Maldives, you’re in the Maldives and it’s pure!

Ron Kaufman delivers a speech at a live event held in the Maldives in 2011.

MI: What have you noticed from the service culture of Maldivian resorts? How would you compare it to other similar destinations?

RK: Maldivian hospitality has a unique dynamic, which is a result of the percentage of Maldivians working in the industry. There’s a national culture that exists, and it’s part of the hospitality culture of any resort here.

The management of every resort tends to involve a certain number of non-Maldivians, and they bring with them the ethos, style and expertise. They’re trying to create certain standards for guests who’re also not Maldivians. So, there’s a very unique dynamic. For example, if you go to Phuket, you’ll find Thai guests as well as Thai workers, and it’s a more fluidly cosmopolitan environment. Here, it’s a more national environment in which there are expatriate managers and a global guest population.

MI: With the rapid changes taking place in the Maldivian hospitality sphere, what’re the challenges in terms of human resources?

RK: Every resort is competing with each other. But as an industry, the Maldivian hospitality sector should be competing with Mauritius, Seychelles, Phuket, the Bahamas, Bali, Australia and every other place that has nice beaches.

Global tourism and the airline industry are also growing. People now have more choice. Maldives is not too close to a number of regions. It’s convenient to come to the Maldives from the Middle East and parts of Asia, but there are a lot of competing destinations that are also conveniently located. So why should they choose to come here?

The challenge at the national level is, how do we make the Maldivian hospitality experience so distinguishable and unique there’s a reputation for it globally.

MI: What has to be done to overcome those challenges?

RK: If you don’t have a good framework for understanding how to build a culture — how to create it, how to make it stronger, how to sustain it and how to differentiate it —  you’re just grasping at straws, and you end up with all sorts of ingredients chopped and thrown in a bowl. It’s not the same as chopping certain types of things and making a perfect curry, a stew or a salad. In all of those situations, the ingredients are the same, but the end product is distinctive.

You can’t have a distinctive and sustainable culture unless you’ve a framework for thinking about it. What’re the components that lead the culture and how do you make it stronger? Most people in HR don’t have that mindset. They understand training, performance management, compensation and benefits. But the culture issue is not just related to HR. You need the leadership team and every member of the whole team to recognise it. That requires a framework that everybody can look at and understand.

Ron Kaufman at a training session held for the team at LUX* Resorts and Hotels. PHOTO/ LUX*

MI: How important is it to develop local talent?

RK: There’s a gentleness to Maldivian hospitality. There’s a timidity when it comes to creativity. The willingness of Maldivians to say, I can be responsible for making something different, stronger, better, proactive and more responsive.

In general, people just wait for instructions. That’s what needs to change. From an HR development perspective, we want people who’re thinking ahead, looking at the big picture, anticipating what could be possible, and then constituting themselves as someone committed to make that happen, not waiting for that to happen. My job, as an expatriate, is not to tell you what to do, but to help you get what you need to achieve it; let’s say budget and technical support. I might have an opinion on what you can do, but you’ve to come up with what to do, how to do it and how to make it happen.

Everything is possible. That phrase immediately opens up opportunities; anything is possible, what are we going to do? Let’s do this and that. I don’t see that from most of the Maldivians. They’re just waiting for instructions. That needs to change.

MI: What more can be done to develop local talent?

RK: Take the lead. If you’re waiting to be given the chance to lead, you’ll be waiting a long time.

I was recently at my daughter’s graduation in the US, and one of the speakers advised the students: take charge and don’t wait to be given responsibility. Of course she was talking to a bunch of people graduating from university, and such advice was expected there. Here, you have local people who want to have a job, and be assessed well and be given a raise. Looking at what you can do for your boss is very different from looking at what you can do to make something happen in order to excite and delight your guests.

MI: What’s your message to locals wishing to join the industry?

RK: Develop your competence. Learn your skills. Learn your job. Develop sensibilities, so that in different situations you’ve good instincts as to what to do and what’s right. Develop your own creativity and your leadership ability to work with people and to make the future happen.

Local telecom giant Dhiraagu signs up with MAHRP as the main sponsor of the upcoming event with Ron Kaufman. PHOTO/ MIHAARU NEWS

MI: Please comment on your partnership with MHARP. How do you think the organisation will help locals in the industry?

RK: I’m a friend, a fan, and in a way a family member. The birth of MAHRP is something I’m delighted about, and I’m lucky to be present during the pregnancy and for the birth of the organisation. Now we’ve a little baby. So, it’s a privilege to be able to contribute during the early stages of the association.

I think the future of the association should be incredibly strong for the nation. This country is so dependant on its human resources, for its commercial success and future. For young people who’re yet to begin their careers and for those who’re already working, they’d be able to grow their careers for the nation’s economy to be able to grow. I don’t think HR has been as much a world of concern as training, but it’s always been about getting a bunch of people for a job. But now everyone’s looking at it as more of a national database of humanity.

MI: What would your focus be at the upcoming event in the Maldives?

RK: It’ll be around building and sustaining a distinctive culture of excellence in service. It’s not just about how to give great service, but also about doing it in a culture that’s distinctive. There are 100 plus resorts in the Maldives and they all want to stand out from each other. How do you do that? You also have guests who come here with different expectations; some are here to play, some are here to relax, some are here to get healthy and heal, and some are here to get married. So, you want your team to be able to use its culture effectively, creatively and responsibly. But the culture itself needs to have some characteristic that stands out.

MI: What should attendees expect during the event?

RK: Enjoyment, entertainment, energy, education, and engagement with me as well as with everyone in the room. It’ll be a day well spent with somebody who loves the Maldives. They’ll find a teacher who’s a friend, a fan and a member of the family.

MI: How would the event help in developing the skills of seasoned and up-and-coming executives?

RK: For seasoned executives, the Uplifting Service architecture allows them to reflect on which areas they’re doing well and which areas they could do better. Sometimes the world of work is so full, you don’t see what’s going on and what’s ahead with the same kind of isolation. For example, if you’re working out on your body, you do a certain kind of exercise and your muscles feel that. But you don’t notice that until you did that particular kind of exercise. So, our overall framework would be helpful for seasoned executives.

For somebody who’s new to the industry, it’s more of seeing the big picture. You’ll be seeing not just how to be a good service provider, but also how to be a better service provider and how to think about the service culture of the entire organisation.

MI: What’s your message to potential participants, ahead of the event?

RK: Don’t miss this! There aren’t a lot of opportunities for a truly world-class, full day community event like this. You have the HR conference and the HR summit, and they’re all very good initiatives. I know in the future many more thought leaders will also come here. But in this particular case, you’ve a thought leader who adores the Maldives, and has been part of brands like One&Only and LUX*. I know what the competition is; the state of Four Seasons, Hilton and others.

So, don’t just come alone. Bring your team. Bring four to five people because the quality of conversation you’ll be having after this event will be very different from those you’ll be having if one person came along and later relayed the content to others in the team. You can’t influence someone’s biology the way you can influence by being in that room all day.

Interested in participating in a world-class customer service training seminar? You can register for the the Secrets of Achieving Superior Service Excellence with Ron Kaufman by contacting +960 7778035, via email to president@mahrp.org or admin@mahrp.org, or by filling this form

read more
Maldives-Holiday

Four design hotel stars of the summer

karenbates-3-1.png

Four design hotel stars of the summer – TOPHOTELNEWS TOPHOTELNEWS

GET ACCESS TO THE HOTEL PROJECTS DATABASE

TOPHOTELNEWS

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to “allow cookies” to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click “Accept” below then you are consenting to this.

Close

read more
Maldives

Soneva Fushi opens ‘Once Upon a Table’ at new ‘Out of the Blue’ dining destination

On the Dhoni

Soneva Fushi has opened Once Upon a Table, the most intimate dining experience available at the resort’s recently opened Out of the Blue dining destination.

To celebrate the opening, Once Upon a Table is set to host more than 30 of the world’s top chefs throughout Soneva’s 2018 Festival of Colour, with most of the chefs having Michelin stars or included in the San Pellegrino Top Restaurants lists. All the chefs who will cook at Soneva’s Out of the Blue will be visiting chefs to Soneva’s flagship resort in the Maldives.

Once Upon a Table offers a private horseshoe-shaped table that seats only eight guests. This intimate setting allows guests to watch the chefs at work creating and serving their dishes, and to also interact with the chefs themselves.

There is no set menu, as each of the visiting chefs draws upon their culinary expertise to create a unique experience each and every time creates meals as per their own preference and specialisation.

Offering an evening of inspired cooking and culinary creations, Once Upon a Table is completed by a retractable roof, that enables guests to enjoy view of the twinkling night sky as they dine. The floor-to-ceiling windows complement this further by affording guests sweeping views of the Baa atoll and Maldivian sunsets.

Included in the line-up of visiting chefs at Once Upon a Table are three highly skilled chefs who each boast three Michelin stars: Sushi Master Kenji Gyoten from Japan, the country’s youngest three-starred chef; Chef Christian Le Squer from Restaurant Le Cinq, France; and Chef Gert de Mangeleer from Hertog Jan, Belgium. Other notable chefs include the two-starred Tim Raue, of Netflix’s Chef’s Table fame, Chef Tom Aikens, the youngest British chef to receive two Michelin stars when he was just 26, and the two-starred Kiko Moya from Spain, amongst many others.

Aerial view of Out of the Blue. PHOTO/ SONEVA

Out of the Blue is Soneva Fushi’s latest dining destination. It is a two-storey overwater structure that houses five brand new dining experiences, from intimate settings of just five diners presided over by world-famous chefs, to large alfresco shared dining areas.

Central to this new dining outlet is the eponymous 50-seater, all-day dining area Out of the Blue. This space shares a seating area with the Chinese Kitchen and Modern Japanese Kitchen and lets guests choose between sitting under cover or on the open deck. So Hands On is the dedicated sushi counter, seating five diners for lunch and dinner. Soneva Fushi’s first Teppanyaki table, So Bespoke, is an open-air restaurant with western views of the Baa atoll. Finally, the Bar and Cellar is where guests can choose from the extensive beverage encyclopedia, that includes a selection of 200 expertly chosen high-end wines by the glass.

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 to February 2019.

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.

read more
Maldives-Holiday

Visit Dr Machts at Mall of Berlin in Germany and win a free Holiday to Maldives

German-Embassy-Campaign-1-300×200.jpg

Maldives Embassy in Germany together with the Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) have launched a campaign with Dr Machts one of the famous salons in Mall of Berlin, Germany to promote Maldives.

Mall of Berlin, being the most preferred and the biggest shopping Centre in Berlin this would be a great opportunity to reach out to locals and tourists visiting Berlin. All three TV’s at the Salon will be displaying promotional videos of Maldives. The outside TV on the store front window is exclusively targeted for the shoppers who are shopping at the Mall.

A separate corner in the salon will be dedicated to Maldives with promotional materials. Clients visiting the salon are entitled to win holidays to Maldives simply by answering questions about Maldives. This opportunity will be great to promote the destination and to provide locals with a learning experience for the German.

Germany is currently the second largest source market to the Maldives. A total of 112,109 Germans chose Maldives for their vacation in 2017 which is a growth of 5.2% compared to 2016.

read more
Maldives

Maldives crowned Best Honeymoon Destination in Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards 2018

On the Dhoni

Maldives has been crowned the winner of Best Honeymoon Destination in the prestigious Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards 2018.

Conquering impressive competition from scores of romantic honeymoon destinations from across the globe to take the coveted title, the luxurious and romantic Maldives won over readers of the magazine to become the first-ever winner of the accolade.

“The Maldives is well known amongst UK travellers for being one of the world’s most desirable honeymoon destinations, so we are delighted to have been recognised in the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine awards,” tourism minister Moosa Zameer was quoted as saying, in a statement issued by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

“With most resorts in the Maldives located on their own individual islands, honeymoons in the Maldives are exclusive and secluded and with several new resorts opening during the next year, visitors will have even more choice.”

The awards, run by Luxury Lifestyle Magazine in partnership with Salcombe Gin, saw thousands of readers clamouring to nominate their picks of some of the industry’s most astonishing travel destinations and show-stopping hotels, across a variety of travel related categories. Designed to reward the travel industry elite for excellence in a number of categories, winners were eventually selected by an expert panel of judges.

UK is one of the most important source markets for Maldives tourism.

Official figures show that arrivals from Britain increased by 2.1 percent in 2017 to reach 103,977 from 101,843 the previous year. That growth has gained momentum in 2018, as 51,076 Brits visited the Maldives in the first five months of the year — an 11.9 percent increase over the 45,656 in the same period last year.

Maldives has won several global and regional accolades for being amongst the romantic destinations in the world. Surveys and studies analysing travel trends have also shown that a healthy majority of travellers that choose the Maldives are honeymooners.

Most recently, the Maldives was named amongst the most honeymoon-worthy destinations in the world for a second year in the annual Brides Honeymoon Awards.

Photo: Kurumba Maldives

read more
Maldives-Holiday

Fairy-tale wedding pavilion offers overwater wedding ceremonies

JV-wedding-chapel-02_photo-Azzu-300×246.jpg

Walk down the glass floor aisle to say yes to your love, surrounded by the stunning vistas of the Indian Ocean at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli has launched an enchanting overwater wedding pavilion, offering wedding ceremonies and vow renewals.

The Wedding Pavilion sits serenely tucked away in the resort’s overwater fine dining complex, adjacent to French fine dining venue Fenesse, the newly opened wine library Cuvée, and the tranquil overwater lounge Cyan. Panoramic glass doors provide 360 degree views, and decorations can be adjusted to suit the wedding couple’s personal wishes.

“The Maldives provide a wonderful, romantic location for weddings, and we have arranged a number of stunning ceremonies, on a secluded beach, a remote and deserted sandbank, and even an underwater exchange of vows. We can now offer this spectacular new venue to guests who wish to celebrate in style at Jumeirah Vittaveli. Imagine watching your partner appear to walk on water and down the glass floored aisle that stretches over the shimmering turquoise lagoon,” said Amit Majumder, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli.

The wedding pavilion can be booked for ceremonies in advance or once guests are on location. Additional romantic packages include the Wedding Ceremony in Paradise or the Romance in Maldives offer which includes a romantic dinner by the beach and couple’s spa massage. Marriages at the resort are purely ceremonial and not legally binding.

Enhance your romantic escape and stay at the picturesque Private Ocean Retreats. Cocoon yourselves into this indulgent hideaway with a loft-style bedroom upstairs, overwater hammocks, private infinity pool and full outdoor daybed. The Villas are freestanding in the lagoon ensuring maximum privacy while only a two minute ride on board the complimentary boat service from the main island. The Private Ocean Retreats are designed to offer all the resort services at your fingertips, from in-villa dining, to yoga on your own open air deck, to an indulgent couple’s massage.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers romantic escapes as well as a variety of land- and water-based activities, including the destination’s first ice rink, a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, six restaurants and bars, and two lounges; an underground tasting room and a wine library will open soon.

read more
Maldives

Jumeirah Vittaveli launches fairy-tale overwater wedding pavilion

On the Dhoni

Jumeirah Vittaveli has launched an enchanting overwater wedding pavilion, offering wedding ceremonies and vow renewals.

The wedding pavilion sits serenely tucked away in the resort’s overwater fine dining complex, adjacent to French fine dining venue Fenesse, the newly opened wine library Cuvée, and the tranquil overwater lounge Cyan. Panoramic glass doors provide 360 degree views, and decorations can be adjusted to suit the wedding couple’s personal wishes.

“The Maldives provide a wonderful, romantic location for weddings, and we have arranged a number of stunning ceremonies, on a secluded beach, a remote and deserted sandbank, and even an underwater exchange of vows. We can now offer this spectacular new venue to guests who wish to celebrate in style at Jumeirah Vittaveli. Imagine watching your partner appear to walk on water and down the glass floored aisle that stretches over the shimmering turquoise lagoon,” Amit Majumder, the General Manager at Jumeirah Vittaveli, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

Located a short 20-minute ride on board a luxurious motorised catamaran from capital, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalised exploration, whether you are seeking a romantic getaway or an exotic destination for your family.

In addition to the Royal Residence, Jumeirah Vittaveli comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon. The private and spacious villas are available with one or two bedrooms making them the ideal accommodation for both families and couples.

Guests can enhance their romantic escape and stay at the picturesque Private Ocean Retreats, an indulgent hideaway with a loft-style bedroom upstairs, overwater hammocks, private infinity pool and full outdoor daybed. The villas are freestanding in the lagoon ensuring maximum privacy while only a two-minute ride on board the complimentary boat service from the main island. The Private Ocean Retreats are designed to offer all the resort services, from in-villa dining and yoga on a open air deck to an indulgent couple’s massage.

For the evenings, guests have the choice of a culinary journey through India in the resort’s signature restaurant Swarna, or an overwater fine dining experience featuring French cuisine at Fenesse.

The Talise spa at Jumeirah Vittaveli has been named Best Luxury Wellness Spa in Maldives by the World Travel Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Treatments at the spa are inspired by concepts of light and space connecting with the purity and vibration of ingredients. The team produces their own island made 100 percent pure coconut oil, which is used in treatments and available as a take-home souvenir. The garden and overwater treatment rooms provide romantic spaces for couples who wish to enjoy blissful relaxation, while the spa menu also includes dedicated Mother-Daughter and Father-Son pampering sessions.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers romantic escapes as well as a variety of land and water-based activities, including the destination’s first ice rink, a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, six restaurants and bars, and two lounges. An underground tasting room and a wine library will open soon.

read more
Maldives

MATATO to host leadership seminar with renowned coach Dr Michael Brenner

On the Dhoni

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened registration for a leadership training programme with renowned leadership coach Dr Michael Y Brenner.

Organised jointly with McQuire Rens and Jones Sri Lanka, the programme will be held at the Champa Central Hotel in capital Male on July 12. Registration is open till July 7.

Themed as ‘Becoming an Influential Leader’, this one-day seminar is targeted towards executives, and for those at managerial and leadership roles. Participants will explore characteristics of influential leaders, and the skills and practices that they employ for effective leadership.

As president of Right Chord Leadership, Dr Brenner has helped busy leaders cultivate more effective teams, more creative cultures and more productive employees. He has worked with several high profile companies, including Sap, AVC, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

MATATO has a long term agreement with McQuire Rens and Jones to bring their premium programmes to the Maldives. Since 2012, MATATO and McQuire Rens and Jones have jointly organised more than six training programmes in the Maldives, including one-day programmes on Telephone Etiquette and Customer Service and Social Media Marketing last year.

An exclusive training programme on women in leadership was also held in March.

MATATO has also hosted the first ever human capacity building programme conducted in the Maldives by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

read more
Maldives

LUX* South Ari Atoll to host art workshop series with local artists

On the Dhoni

LUX* South Ari Atoll has announced plans to host a series of art workshops with talented local artists.

In partnership with local NGO Maldivian Artist Community (MAC), three talented local artists are set to take residency at LUX* South Ari Atoll from June 28-30, where they will be hosting three classes that focus on each of their skills.

Renowned local artist Hussein ‘Iphpha’ Iffal will be leading the series with his signature coffee art class at the resort’s Café LUX*, using freshly roasted coffee. During his two-hour workshop on June 28, Iphpha will teach the techniques in which he is able to create detailed portraits and beautiful scenes from the Maldives landscape.

Famous for his underwater painting and coffee art portraits, Iphpha tries to link the popular Maldivian pastime of meeting at cafes and drinking coffee with his own part in this present day cultural trend. Recognised by the local and international community, Iphpha recently held an exhibition in Abu Dhabi with 66 artworks using coffee as a medium. He is also a talented underwater painter.

On the second day of LUX* South Ari Atoll’s art workshop series, up-and-coming artist Insha Hassan will host a two-hour class on watercolour painting at the resort’s Beach Rouge restaurant. The workshop series will wrap up on June 30 with a two-hour acrylic art class hosted by popular local artist Ahmed ‘Baachy’ Azmee at the Veli Bar Beach.

Insha currently works as a visual artist in various souvenir shops and guesthouses. Since starting her career in 2016, Insha has exhibited her works at the National Art Gallery and at Kandima Maldives resort’s first ever Kula Art Festival.

A self-taught abstract artist, Baachy uses sensual and bright colours as well as various mediums including acrylic, oil and charcoal to create contemporary canvas art. He has participated in various art related events, including the Kula Art Festival at Kandima.

Cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resorts in the Maldives.

With 187 private villas dotted at the water’s edge along four kilometres of powder fine beach or perched on stilts above a crystal clear lagoon, these spacious pavilions and villas bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives.

Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX*, and at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.

While the resort has a PADI-certified dive centre, two infinity pools, a floodlit tennis court, a fitness centre and a renowned spa which hosts a wellness concierge and a menu of indulgent treatments, what sets the property apart from its neighbours are surprises, or better known as #ReasonstogoLUX. Designed to create lasting memories for guests, these ‘reasons’ can range from island-roasted coffee in Café LUX* to impromptu movie screenings at cinema paradise and the chance to hang your wishes on the Tree of Wishes.

read more
Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi relaunches main restaurant, unveils new gourmet experience

On the Dhoni

Gili Lankanfushi has relaunched its signature island restaurant as Kashiveli, showcasing locally-sourced nutritious ingredients and vibrant Maldivian  flavours.

Overseen by Executive Chef Aldo Cadau, the restaurant celebrates the bounty and abundance of the island’s lush tropical location, marrying the very best produce from land and sea.

Located where the island meets the sea, Kashiveli is named after the coralline white sand which fringes the  shoreline and  plays a central role in traditional Maldivian home life. For generations, islanders throughout the archipelago have collected the brightest kashiveli sand and used this to decorate their homes, changing the white sand floors every Ramadan to represent the new beginning.

To celebrate the relaunch of the restaurant, Gili Lankanfushi is introducing the Gili Culinary Journey, a rotating selection of international dishes which offer guests a global tasting tour without stepping foot off the spectacular beaches of the NorthMale Atoll. The menu will touch upon nine global gourmet hotspots, from Alicante in Spain to Nosy Be in Madagascar and Padang in Indonesia.

Offered three nights per week at Kashiveli, the Gili Culinary Journey celebrates the heritage and talent of Gili Lankanfushi’s culinary team. The diverse range of signature dishes include handmade culurgiones pasta with lobster, artichoke, Vermentino wine and saffron inspired by Cadau’s hometown of Caligari in Sardinia — and richly spiced lamb aatukkari kuzhambu by Executive Sous Chef Harinath Govindaraj, who hails from Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu.

Gili Lankanfushi’s vast organic garden, which is amongst the largest in the Maldives, provides an abundance of fresh produce for Kashiveli, from herbs and spices to fruits and salad leaves. Additional fresh, seasonal produce, including reef fish, meat and vegetables are sourced sustainably through local suppliers, fishermen and farmers.

Kashiveli joins the island’s two existing dining options: By the Sea, which serves delicious Japanese fusion dishes using locally-sourced seafood and reef fish, overlooking the calm waters of the island’s northern shore; and Overwater Bar, which offers lighter lunches and sundowner cocktails with a view of visiting sharks and rays.

Gili Lankanfushi also offers an enticing array of destination dining locations, from BBQ dinners on secluded sandbars to lantern-lit feasts amongst towering plants.

Set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Male Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations, where ultimate privacy can be found. This luxury resort is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.

At Gili Lankanfushi, an idyllic personal hideaway is one of 45 spacious, rustic overwater villas crafted from natural wood and glass. A palette of sparkling blues paints the horizon, the ocean stretching to infinity wherever on the island. The open design, with indoor and outdoor living space, allows guests the freedom to be themselves, the sound of the sea and warm breeze soothing all senses.

read more
Maldives

SATA 2018 evaluations begin in Sri Lanka

On the Dhoni

Evaluation of nominees from Sri Lanka for South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 began on Monday.

The evaluation sessions are being held at Ramada Colombo hotel.

Sri Lankan brands nominated to SATA 2018 include The Kingsbury, Cinnamon, Heritance, Uga Escapes, Royal Palms, Jetwing, Mövenpick, Sun Aqua, Centara, RIU, Saman Villas, Ishq Villa, Ramada, Anantara, Grand Hotel, Grand Kandyan, Find MyFare, Nivadu Deals, Casons, Lanka Sawari and BMICH.

Evaluation of nominees for SATA 2018 began on June 19 with nominee presentations from the Maldives. The sessions took place at Mookai Hotel in capital Male till Sunday.

Nominee evaluations are conducted by an all-women jury, which comprises Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

According to organiser Highrise, evaluations will be held in six cities, including Male, Colombo, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Paro. During the evaluation, each property has to do a presentation of 10 minutes before a panel consisting of multi-national judges, it said.

Nominations for the third edition of SATA, which consists of 36 categories in 10 segments, closed in April with a record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Jumeirah, Soneva, Sun Siyam Resorts, Coco Collection, Villa Hotels, The Kingsbury, Amaya Hotels and Resorts, Adaaran Resorts Maldives, Heritance Hotels, Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Marriott and Taj Hotels are some of the well-known brands that have been nominated for the awards.

Online voting is ongoing, and will be carried out via the official website till June 30.

SATA 2018 gala is scheduled to take place in India’s commercial capital Mumbai from September 14-15.

Launched in 2016 by Maldives based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in the 2017 edition of SATA, which took place at the southernmost Maldives atoll of Addu in October.

read more
Maldives

Ismehela Hera resort in Maldives south to open in December

On the Dhoni

A brand new resort being constructed on the uninhabited island of Ismehela Hera in the southernmost Addu atoll will open in December, the developer has announced.

Moosa Didi, CEO of South Palm Maldives Pvt Ltd, told state broadcaster Public Service Media (PSM) on Sunday that 69 percent of the civil works have been completed. The resort will open in December with 100 beds, he added.

“Civil works at the island’s power house have been completed. Material required for other parts of the project are on their way. In the meantime, we’re making the necessary preparations,” Didi said.

The four-star resort is being developed in three phases, with the first phase covering 60 beach villas, 30 water villas and 20 ocean villas along with a restaurant, bar and spa. The second phase will bring the total number of rooms to 240, while the third phase involves linking the adjoining Kedevaahera island via a causeway and developing more water villas.

Didi noted that the resort will create 600-700 jobs, with 80 percent reserved for locals.

“Our contract staff are also mostly locals from neighbouring islands,” he said.

Development of a tourist resort on the island of Ismehela Hera has long been planned out with the project making headlines as recently as 2015 when the government announced that it was in talks with two foreign investors that had expressed interest in developing the island. Tourism minster Moosa Zameer told local journalists at the time that the resort would have at least 600 beds.

The announcement was followed by the launch of Ismehela Hera Integrated Resort Development Project on April 28, 2015 by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. No progress, however, was made.

Meanwhile, government last year revealed that a local company had won the bid for the island and had paid the acquisition cost.

The latest initiative to develop Ismehela Hera is part of a new push by the government to develop tourism in the southernmost Addu. A state owned enterprise has separately launched a project to develop 3,000 guesthouse beds in Addu to cater to backpackers and budget travellers.

Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, has resorts in the hundreds spread across the archipelago. The industry has in recent years expanded to introduce more affordable segments, including guesthouses and liveaboards.

Despite several new resort developments and a boom in guesthouse tourism in the Maldives, Addu as a whole has lagged behind for years in attracting tourism-related investments. The relatively large atoll, which has unique geographical features compared to other parts of the island nation, is home to only two of the some 120 tourist resorts in the Maldives; Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, and Canareef Resort Maldives.

However, tourism in the south has recently received a much needed boost from the launch of direct flights to Gan International Airport by SriLankan Airlines.

Neighbouring Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier, which is particularly popular amongst tourists who travel to the Maldives from Europe, currently operates six weekly flights to Gan from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

read more
Maldives

MAHRP partners with Dhiraagu to host service training with leading consultant Ron Kaufman

On the Dhoni

Maldives Association of Human Resource Professionals (MAHRP) on Sunday announced a partnership with local telecom giant Dhiraagu to host an exclusive training event with world’s leading customer experience consultant Ron Kaufman in Maldives.

At a ceremony held at Marble Hotel in capital Male, MAHRP President Hussain Afeef and Dhiraagu’s Senior Manager for Brands and Communications Mohamed Mirshan signed the sponsorship agreement.

Afeef told journalists that Dhiraagu was chosen as the main sponsor of the event based on the company’s excellent record in customer service.

“For instance, Dhiraagu was the first company in Maldives to set up a 24-hour call centre,” he said.

Mirshan stressed the importance of human resources development to keep up with the rapid expansion of the service sector in Maldives. MAHRP’s dedication and commitment to develop local talent will help businesses in the service sector grow, he added.

The event, titled Secrets of Achieving Superior Service Excellence, will be held on August 4 at the main auditorium of the Maldives National University. Interested parties can register for the event by contacting +960 7778035 or via email to president@mahrp.org or admin@mahrp.org.

During this one-day event, Ron will share powerful insights on achieving a sustainable competitive advantage through uplifting service, which has delivered substantial business results in many major companies around the world. His vast experience and scope with customer service experience across a range of businesses, from government agencies to world-class multinational companies including Singapore Airlines, Changi International Airport, Xerox, Marina Bay Sands, Wipro, Singtel, American Express, HP and Nokia will also be shared as a part of this one-day learning experience.

Rated one of the “Top 25 Who’s Hot” speakers by Speaker Magazine, Ron presents powerful insights and global best practices from working with clients on every continent for more than twenty years. His energetic keynote speeches and workshops have inspired millions.

He is author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller, “Uplifting Service! The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues and Everyone Else You Meet” and 14 other books on service, business and inspiration. Ron is also the founder of UP! Your Service, a company that enables leaders and organisations to build Uplifting Service cultures for sustainable advantage.

Ron’s experience and passionate commitment to results have been distilled into proven methods to help clients upgrade service performance and build strong service cultures. His unique approaches to learning and leadership have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Ron was invited to Asia in 1990 by Singapore Airlines and the government of Singapore to create and launch a national service quality training organisation.

He is a graduate of Brown University, USA with studies in France, London and Berkeley, California. He is a professional member of the Author’s Guild, Global Speakers Federation and International Association of Learning Providers.

Inaugurated in February, MAHRP is the first professional association registered in the Maldives, dedicated to human resources and people development.

The association’s mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most current and comprehensive resources, and to advance the profession by promoting HR’s essential values, setting professional standards and providing the know-how. It is committed to linking and connecting HR professionals and practitioners locally and oversees through signature events and membership activities.

Photo: Mihaaru

read more
Maldives

SATA 2018 evaluations conclude in Maldives, jury heads to Sri Lanka

On the Dhoni

Evaluation of nominees from Maldives for South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 concluded on Saturday.

A jury evaluated Maldives based nominees from Tuesday to Sunday at Mookai Hotel in capital Male.

The panel will then head to Colombo where they will conduct evaluation of nominees from Sri Lanka. The evaluation sessions will take place at Ramada Colombo.

Sri Lankan brands nominated to SATA 2018 include The Kingsbury, Cinnamon, Heritance, Uga Escapes, Royal Palms, Jetwing, Mövenpick, Sun Aqua, Centara, RIU, Saman Villas, Ishq Villa, Ramada, Anantara, Grand Hotel, Grand Kandyan, Find MyFare, Nivadu Deals, Casons, Lanka Sawari and BMICH.

Nominee evaluations are conducted by an all-women jury, which comprises Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

According to organiser Highrise, evaluations will be held in six cities, including Male, Colombo, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kathmandu and Paro. During the evaluation, each property has to do a presentation of 10 minutes before a panel consisting of multi-national judges, it said.

Nominations for the third edition of SATA, which consists of 36 categories in 10 segments, closed in April with a record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bhutan.

Jumeirah, Soneva, Sun Siyam Resorts, Coco Collection, Villa Hotels, The Kingsbury, Amaya Hotels and Resorts, Adaaran Resorts Maldives, Heritance Hotels, Jetwing Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Marriott and Taj Hotels are some of the well-known brands that have been nominated for the awards.

Online voting is ongoing, and will be carried out via the official website till June 30.

SATA 2018 gala is scheduled to take place in India’s commercial capital Mumbai from September 14-15.

Launched in 2016 by Maldives based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in the 2017 edition of SATA, which took place at the southernmost Maldives atoll of Addu in October.

read more