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Westin Hotels debuts in Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Westin Hotels & Resorts has announced the brand’s launch in Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd of Japan and Asia Capital PLC of Sri Lanka, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort heralds the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” Mike Fulkerson, Vice President for Brand and Marketing at Marriott International Asia Pacific, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travellers, who are increasingly prioritising well-being even while on the road.”

Stunning Location

Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, guests of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will experience a tranquil escape with uninterrupted ocean and pristine turquoise lagoon views. From the atoll’s most desirable locale, guests are in close proximity to landmarks such as the Hanifaru Bay, which is known for the largest gathering of manta rays globally.

“We look forward to welcoming our guests to discover the charm of the Maldives while at the same time enjoy the unparalleled level of service,” Brendan Corcoran, General Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, said.

“Along with the Westin brand’s focus on wellness, we trust that every guest will feel exceptionally relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated during and after their stays.”

Marine Inspired Décor, Modern Appointed Villas

Led by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability. All elements of the resort’s design take inspiration from the environment from the use of natural materials, such as unique shells to the movement and flow of marine life including sea turtles and whale sharks, providing guests with a link to the region’s exceptional enchantment. An aerial view of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort reveals an outline in the shape of a fish — a distinctive reflection of the beauty of surrounding marine life — while the arrival jetty is structured to resemble clamshells and the oceans’ waves.

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort features 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater. Each villa is shaped with an eco-friendly double roofing to create the perfect natural ventilation. Outdoor rainforest showers are a distinctive feature. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square metres each, the overwater suites are among the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region.

Refined Venues, Elevated Experiences

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort presents three unique dining experiences.

The Pearl is the resort’s specialty restaurant and is ideal for indulging in exquisite Japanese cuisine with exceptional ocean views. The restaurant offers a refined Japanese menu with a focus on seafood and fresh local ingredients.

The all-day dining experience at Island Kitchen stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. At Hawker, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen in a casual bustling atmosphere. Adjacent to the Library and overlooking the azure blue Indian Ocean, Sunset Bar is a relaxed lounge serving tapas and imaginative cocktails.

More Ways to Recharge

The idyllic resort also features Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin™ with the latest in beauty treatments. The design of the spa area exudes an intimate and serene ambience that allows guests to reflect on their destination, including a spacious treatment suite for two with a Jacuzzi and panoramic ocean views.

Guests can stay active with the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio sprawled across two levels that features weight machines, free weights, and cardio equipment that faces personal flat-screen televisions; and outdoor pool and recreation ground with tennis, volleyball, basketball options.

Designed to cater to the way modern families travel, the Westin Family Kids Club® offers reimagined family experiences that are tied back to the brand’s wellness positioning for young guests between the ages of 4-12 years. Some of the activities includes nature walks, family-style runs and water activities.

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is also well-equipped to play host to distinguished ceremonies or vows renewal with its multifunctional event spaces.

Directly from the beach, guests can explore the house reef with colourful corals and be surrounded by thousands of tropical fish. Miriandhoo is a turtle sanctuary, and guests can easily and often see turtles nesting along the white beaches. Reef sharks, lionfish, manta rays and often whale sharks all reside in the Baa atoll. The stunning experience of the underwater world can be explored while snorkelling, diving, fishing and parasailing.

Additional on-site facilities of the resort include a PADI dive centre and a boutique store.

Westin Hotels & Resorts, a leader in wellness and hospitality for more than a decade, lives its philosophy “Empowering a Better You™” through the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-Being: Feel Well, Work Well, Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well and Play Well. At more than 200 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience offerings that include the iconic Heavenly® Bed, RunWESTIN™ and Westin Gear Lending with New Balance®, delicious and nutritious SuperFoodsRx™ and more.

Parent company Marriott runs several resorts in the Maldives, including The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa, W Maldives, and the upcoming JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Spa.

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MAHRP hosts workshop on HR research in decision making

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Maldives Association of Human Resource Professionals (MAHRP) has hosted a successful workshop on the topic of Essentials of HR Research and Data in Decision Making.

The workshop, held as part of MAHRP’s commitment to adding value to the HR network and community, was conducted in collaboration with Villa College’s International Research Centre on Saturday. The session was attended by over 60 HR professionals covering all industries.

During the session, officials from MAHRP shared the importance of HR professionals being aware of big data and how it can be useful in finding solutions for various challenges that they encounter on a daily basis in managing human capital. Ideas were shared around how HR data can be used in research as well as how research findings can be used as guidance in dealing with HR challenges.

Keynote speaker Dr Ali Najeeb, who serves as the Vice Rector at Villa College, shared a compelling presentation on establishing data collection methodologies and research findings, and how it can be published to the community and used it as a base to finding solutions for evolving HR matters. This keynote also included several activities and quizzes which allowed participants to work as a team to discuss HR challenges in the community.

“Having a workshop like this is crucial to keep the HR professionals aware about how to make decisions using big data and HR researches. Everyone was able to take some key learnings from these sessions. It was a privilege to host this session at Villa College. We have future research and HR survey projects which we will work closely with MAHRP,” Dr Najeeb was quoted in a statement issued by MAHRP, as saying.

As a follow up to this session, MAHRP and Villa College’s International Research Centre will work together to conduct workshops on research abstract writing and research questionnaire as well as workshops on other topics of interest that will help interested HR professionals to develop and publish their research.

MAHRP’s next event will be held on October 27 at the Maldives National University’s Faculty of Education Auditorium, which is located on Ameenee Magu. Members interested in joining the half-day event can register through MAHRP’s Facebook page.

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.

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GoAir begins Maldives flights with Voyages Maldives as General Sales Agent

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

GoAir has launched its flight operations to the Maldives, directly connecting Indian cities of New Delhi and Mumbai to Male at an affordable return fare.

The inaugural flight landed at the Maldives main Velana International Airport Sunday afternoon.

The inaugural flight to the Maldives by GoAir. PHOTO/ MACL

“We are excited to see GoAir expanding its presence to Maldives.” This provides Indian and Maldivian passengers with an easy and convenient option to connect between Maldives and Indian two major cities, which will increase the traffic of tourists to both countries,” Ibrahim Faizal, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said.

Ibrahim Faizal, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

GoAir commenced its operations to the Maldives with three non-stop flight services per week between Mumbai – Male – Mumbai and two direct flight services per week between Delhi – Male – Delhi, at starting all-inclusive fares of USD 230 and USD 260, respectively.

“This new route to Maldives continues our purpose of connecting smart travellers to what’s important in their lives. This route will make it easier and faster for Indian travellers to reach the Sunny side of Maldives and Maldivians the possibility to reach Mumbai and Delhi more conveniently,” GoAir Vice President Arujun Dasgupta said.

GoAir Vice President Arujun Dasgupta. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

In November 2005, GoAir launched its operations as a low-fare carrier to commoditise air travel and offer airline seats at a marginal premium to train fares across India. The airline currently operates over 230 daily flights and approximately 1,600 weekly flights across 25 destinations — 23 domestic and two international.

At a special function held at Hotel Jen in Male Sunday evening, award-winning travel company Voyages Maldives was appointed as the General Sales Agent (GSA) for GoAir in Maldives.

Established in 1980, Voyages Maldives has been in the travel and tour business for more than 35 years, and is one of the most trusted one-stop shop for many Maldivian travellers. Voyages Maldives is also the GSA for British Airways, Lufthansa and Alitalia as well as the Passenger Sales Agent (PSA) for Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Bangkok Airways and Maldivian.

GoAir Vice President Arujun Dasgupta (L) and Voyages Maldives CEO Aminath Salah. PHOTO/ HIGHRISE

Flagship carriers of the Maldives and India currently operate scheduled flights to and from major cities, including Bangalore, Trivandrum and Chennai. Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet also operates daily direct connections between Kochi and Male as well as Trivandrum and Male.

However, no scheduled direct service exists between Male and Delhi as well as Male and Mumbai.

Introduction of flight operations by another Indian low-cost airline — and to and from two of the major business and tourism hubs in India — is expected to help both the countries, and further boost tourist arrivals to the Maldives from India, which has become a major emerging source market for the Maldives’ tourism industry.

Official figures show that 83,019 tourists arrived in Maldives from its closest neighbour last year, a 24 percent increase from the 66,955 Indian travellers that chose the Maldives in 2017.

That growth is expected to continue this year as well, as the number of Indian tourists that visited the Maldives recorded a 4.4 percent increase in the January-August period of this year to reach 51,075 compared to 48,939 in the same period last year.

Maldives has also become a sought after destination by Bollywood stars.

Famous Bollywood stars who have vacationed in the Maldives include Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor KhanAlia BhattPriyanka ChopraParineeti Chopra, the Bachchan familyNeha Dhupia and Angad Bedi, and Sonakshi Sinha.

Tickets for the new flights can be booked through Voyages Maldives, by phone (+960 301 8877 / +960 301 8866), email (goair@voyagesmaldives.com), or in person. Voyages Maldives’ offices are located on Chaandhanee Magu.

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Velassaru Maldives introduces new Infinity pool bar

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Velassaru Maldives has introduced a brand new Infinity pool bar and menu.

The new bar offers fantastic gourmet milkshakes, slushies and soft serve ice-cream. Carefully curated with artisanal premium quality ingredients, its menu draws inspiration from Velassaru’s youthful, exciting and unpretentious identity.

Francois Briel, the F&B Director at Velassaru, shares his top picks from the new menu: Love Ferrero Shake, Golden Goose Berry Shake, and Peanut Butter and Banana Shake.

New Infinity Pool Bar🍸We are very excited to announce our brand new Infinity facility and Pool Bar menu. We have introduced fantastic gourmet milkshakes, slushies and soft serve ice cream. Carefully curated with artisanal premium quality ingredients, the new menu drew inspiration from our youthful, exciting and unpretentious identity.Francois Briel, F&B Director, shares his top picks from the new menu:▫️Love Ferrero Shake▫️Golden Goose Berry Shake▫️Peanut Butter & Banana ShakeFor the full cocktail menu, please visit www.velassaru.com/fen-barhttps://goo.gl/HPcHg1

Posted by VELASSARU MALDIVES on Saturday, June 23, 2018

Owned and operated by leading local hotel group Universal Resorts, Velassaru is located in South Male Atoll and accessible by a short 25-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.

Velassaru offers luxurious beachfront and overwater accommodation with uninterrupted ocean views. Featuring wooden ceilings and floors for a tropical atmosphere, the contemporary-styled villas and bungalows offer chic serenity.

A wide variety of international specialities are offered at Velassaru’s five restaurants, including fresh contemporary seafood, Japanese, international and grill pan Indian options. The two beach bars serve cocktails and wines.

Guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments in overwater pavilions, or hop on a Maldivian boat and watch the crew demonstrate traditional fishing methods. Other resort facilities include a fitness centre, tennis court and infinity pool with the view of the beach and the ocean.

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Soneva Fushi wins Community Engagement Award at PURE 2018

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Soneva Fushi has picked up the Community Engagement Award at PURE 2018.

The winners were announced at the PURE Awards Party hosted at Sofitel Marrakech on September 12.

The Community Engagement category recognises a project or initiative that strategically and sensitively integrates the local community, aligning itself with the values of the inhabitants and protecting the authenticity of their culture, while enriching the experience of the traveller.

Two initiatives won Soneva Fushi the award; the Soneva Ocean Stewards, a programme that teaches Maldivian children to swim and to learn to love and protect the marine environment, and the Soneva Eco Camp, which educates children on the environmental challenges faced by their communities in the hopes of inspiring them to become environmental stewards.

“We are thrilled that Soneva Fushi won the award for Community Engagement, and we couldn’t have done it without our fantastic Community Engagement team, headed by Ahmed Moomin. They have done an incredible job teaching so many local children how to swim, training swimming instructors and raising awareness in local communities on how to safeguard the Maldives’ natural environment,” Sonu Shivdasani, Soneva’s CEO and co-founder, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

Despite living in an island nation just one metre above sea level, a large number of Maldivians are unable to swim, a problem that poses a particular risk to children. According to UNICEF, child drowning is an epidemic that happens less than 500 metres from home. While safety is an important driver for the Soneva Ocean Stewards programme, it is also about introducing children to the marine life in the Indian Ocean, which many of them never get the opportunity to see.

Soneva believes that if children are taught how to swim, then taken snorkelling to see reefs and marine animals, then they will want to protect the ocean. Combined with environmental education, the aim is to inspire children to become the next generation of ocean stewards.

The Soneva Ocean Stewards programme is divided into three focus areas: training swimming instructors, teaching children how to swim and apply these new skills, and educating them on environmental awareness. A train-the-trainer programme was put into practice to ensure there were enough qualified local swimming instructors to have an impact on many local islands.

Children in the programme can choose to take either an intensive two-week programme or weekly swimming classes over a longer period of time. The programme focused on third graders who are at a good age to learn to swim, with water festivals arranged as a means for them to put their skills into practice.

The Soneva Ocean Stewards programme has taught over 300 children how to swim, which was achieved by training 38 swimming instructors who will ensure that the number of children who learn to swim continues to increase. This programme is currently running on three local islands, which should increase by another six over the next 12 months.

Conversely, the Soneva Eco Camp is an initiative that invites local children on a five-day training course at Soneva. During this time, they get to see first-hand how Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth facility recycles 90 percent of its solid waste and turns it into real financial value, and also to learn about the biodiversity on land and in the sea.

In addition to the Soneva Eco Camp, Soneva regularly invites local Maldivian and Thai school groups to take the Soneva Eco Tour, which are day trips to Soneva to see its Waste-to-Wealth practices in an effort to build their interest in environmental protection.

Fifty children have participated in the Soneva Eco Camp so far. A collaboration with UNDP provide theoretical depth to the learnings at the camp, while experts from Soneva provided the children with tangible examples.

Soneva has also hosted over 150 children on the Soneva Eco Tours. The success of the programme can be seen in this statement from one of the participants of the Soneva Eco Camp: “I want to actually make a difference to our society. I want to protect our environment, not using PET bottles. I have been using one single bottle since I came here. I think I will try to stick to that.”

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.

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Kuredu Resort Maldives to host Football Escapes’ coaching course in December

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Kuredu Resort Maldives has partnered with Football Escapes to offer a children’s football coaching course this December.

The five-day coaching course will be available to kids visiting Kuredu from December 23-28 (excluding 25th). The course is open to children of all abilities, aged 5-15.

The course offers five days of coaching with two hours of daily football activity at Kuredu’s FIFA regulated, 11-a-side pitch. Each child that enrols in the course is provided with a full kit, including a shirt, shorts and socks as well as a signed certificate and medal on completion of the week’s course.

“Football Escapes’ players and coaches immerse themselves fully on and off the pitch providing families a unique experience to help make that special holiday even more exceptional. Whether it’s around the pool, by the bar or at breakfast, their team are on hand and always happy to say hello,” an announcement read.

“The courses are led by ex-professional players, supported by a great team of UEFA licensed coaches, all of whom come from renowned English Premier League clubs.”

London-based Football Escapes provide premier football coaching courses in partnership with some of the finest and most exclusive resorts around the world. The company has worked with world-renowned hotel groups such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, JA Resorts & Hotels, Jumeirah and Kempinski Hotels in leading destinations, including the Maldives, Mauritius, Dubai, Cyprus, Portugal and China.

Located on a 1,800 metre by 325 metre remote island in the northern atoll of Lhaviyani, Kuredu is accessible by a 35-minute scenic seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport. This 4.5-star resort has 383 rooms, including beach and water villas, making it the second largest resort in the Maldives.

The island boasts a dive and snorkel centre, a water sports centre, a spa, golf and tennis courses, a kids’ club, and an extensive choice of restaurants and bars. Kuredu guests can also dine in 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at the neighbouring Hurawalhi Maldives resort.

This fantastic five-day football course, run by Football Escapes is available for USD 750 (not including accommodation). To book your child’s place, or to receive more information please contact the resort

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Veligandu Island Resort introduces drone photography package

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Veligandu Island Resort and Spa has introduced a new drone photography package for guests.

With the package, guests can enjoy a scenic trip to the nearby Madivaru Finolhu island for a two-hour photoshoot session. Professional and friendly photographers from the resort’s in-house Raalhu Photo team will capture high quality images and video from the revered DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera drone.

“The Drone Package is the ideal option to capture the best of your holiday, whether you are a photography enthusiast, travel blogger or simply looking to feature high quality captures from your holiday on Instagram,” an announcement by the resort read.

The fun and memorable experience is USD 370 per couple, and includes:

  • Two-hour photoshoot session
  • One-minute drone video
  • 10 drone images
  • 20 camera pictures
  • Inflatable doughnut
  • Speedboat transfer

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 91 rooms, including 54 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 10 Water Villas, 16 Jacuzzi Beach Villas and 11 Beach Villas.

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Hulhule Island Hotel bags Leading Airport Hotel title at South Asian Travel Awards

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH) has bagged the award for the Leading Airport Hotel in South Asia.

At the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 gala held at The Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on September 15, HIH won two accolades: the Leading Airport Hotel in South Asia and the Maldives.

HIH, the only hotel located on the airport island of Hulhule, provides free two-way shuttles to Velana International Airport, just five minutes’ drive away. With 136 guest rooms in various categories, HIH boasts a private beach, an outdoor pool and a golf putting green.

The hotel has six food and beverage options. Offering an international menu, Uduvilaa features glass walls overlooking the sea, while the 24-hour Faru Coffee House specialises in European, Japanese and Italian dishes.

Guests can enjoy a game of tennis or beach volleyball, or exercise in the fitness centre. Massages and body treatments are offered at the spa, which also features a sauna.

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.

A record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 36 categories in 10 segments included in this year’s edition of SATA.

This year’s evaluation process was carried out in the most vibrant cities in each country: Maldives capital Male, Sri Lankan capital Colombo, south Indian city of Bangalore, Indian capital New Delhi, Nepalese capital Kathmandu, and the Bhutanese town of Paro. The evaluation was carried out by an all-women jury, which comprised Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

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Maldives showcased at TTG Travel Experience

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Maldives has been showcased at TTG Travel Experience, one of the largest tourism fairs for the Italian market.

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) together with 37 officials from 20 companies across the Maldives tourism sector are promoting their products and services at the fair, being held in Rimini, Italy from October 10-12.

At the three-day fair targeting the Italian travel trade, officials are meeting with industry professionals to explore means to further develop and strengthen the presence of Maldives in the Italian market.

Apart from the business meetings, activities are being organised at the stand, which measures 64 square metres, to attract more visitors.

Visitors have the opportunity to experience the Maldives in virtual reality and see the underwater beauty of the country through VR gear. Visitors also can take a selfie at the stand and post on social media with hashtag #visitmaldives and #TTG2018 to win a surprise gift from the Maldives. They can also have a taste of Maldivian flavours at the stand, which is designed to colourfully display the beauty of the Maldives.

Being one of the leading tourism fairs in Italy, TTG Travel Experience is the gateway to the Italian outbound market. This fair provides one of the main B2B tourism marketplaces in Italy to sell tourism products, to network and win new business as well as exchange views and find new ideas.

Although the target is mainly the Italian market, this event also gives the unique opportunity to meet with representatives from various sectors of the tourism industry from all over the world.

With more than 2,550 exhibitors from 150 destinations represented at the fair, more than 72,000 visitors are expected to visit this year. These include 1,500 buyers from 90 countries along with 750 journalists and 300 bloggers.

Italy is one of the major source markets to the Maldives, with 88,848 Italians having visited the Maldives in 2017 — an increase of 24 percent compared to the previous year. According to the latest arrival figures, by the end of August 2018, a total of 69,787 tourists visited the Maldives from Italy, which is a 19.1 percent growth compared to the same period of last year.

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Amilla Fushi bags award for South Asia’s Leading Wellness/Spa Resort

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Amilla Fushi has won the award for the Leading Wellness and Spa Resort in South Asia.

At the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 gala held at The Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on September 15, Amilla Fushi was presented with two accolades: Leading Wellness and Spa Hotel / Resort in South Asia and the Maldives.

The Javvu Spa at Amilla Fushi is a beautiful, home from home hang out with two sides to its nature – a private side and a social side. You can retreat into the protective canopy of the trees or chill out in the large, communal lounge for your treatments.

The spa has an ‘open door’ policy and you are welcome to simply stop by and flop, read a magazine on one of the comfy chairs or sofas, shop, nibble and have a drink (champagne and herbal tea) served from the drinks trolley  — whether you are booked in for a treatment or not, and the only thing that whispers here are the leaves in the trees.

The Javvu Spa is made up of 10 wooden double treatment pods with either a sauna or a steam room, a relaxing tea lounge, a wet area which also includes a no-bookings required sauna and steam room. There is also a wonderful spacious outdoor yoga and meditation pavilion.

The socialising Amilla spa-style area has a specialist barber, hair salon, exclusive manicure and pedicure areas, a beauty bar and relaxation area overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean.

Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from the main Velana International Airport, Amilla offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestled amongst lush tree tops or huggin the shores of pristine white sand. Additionally, eight spectacular four to eight-bedroom Beach Residences ideally suited to large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy are also available.

Amilla’s innovative restaurants range from the diverse, informal foodie hub Baazaar to the relaxed yet sophisticated overwater dining at the signature Feeling Koi. Guests can even drop in to gourmet café and deli The Emperor General Store or The Wine Shop and Cellar Door to treat themselves to lighter snacks, a favourite bottle or a gourmet selection of artisanal cheeses.

With an unrivalled range of purpose-designed multi-bedroom accommodation options, and an exciting, inspiring and active Kids’ Club, Amilla is putting the Maldives on the map as a destination not just for couples, but for families and friends.

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.

A record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 36 categories in 10 segments included in this year’s edition of SATA.

This year’s evaluation process was carried out in the most vibrant cities in each country: Maldives capital Male, Sri Lankan capital Colombo, south Indian city of Bangalore, Indian capital New Delhi, Nepalese capital Kathmandu, and the Bhutanese town of Paro. The evaluation was carried out by an all-women jury, which comprised Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

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Velassaru Maldives launches new environment-friendly initiatives

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Velassaru Maldives has launched a series of environment-friendly initiatives.

Amongst the initiatives is a comprehensive recycling facility, which includes a shredding machine for plastic bottles and a glass grinder for all non-returnable glass. A new botanical waste chipper and mulcher produces material that can either be converted into compost or used as mulch for the resort’s gardens. Kitchen bio-waste is also processed in a bio-composting machine to supplement the on-island compost initiative, which makes its way onto the gardens.

Velassaru has also started reusing grey water, which makes up the largest portion of wastewater on the resort. All grey water on the island is now processed through a pro-biotic aeration plant and reutilised to irrigate the gardens.

As part of Velassaru’s green initiative, a purpose built water filtration and bottling facility is to be commissioned on the island soon in order to produce premium quality still and sparking water in reusable glass bottles. This initiative will replace plastic water bottles used by guests and staff members, removing a minimum of 200,000 plastic bottles per year and a million every five years.

Additionally, Velassaru has stopped using plastic drinking straws.

Owned and operated by leading local hotel group Universal Resorts, Velassaru is located in South Male Atoll and accessible by a short 25-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.

Velassaru offers luxurious beachfront and overwater accommodation with uninterrupted ocean views. Featuring wooden ceilings and floors for a tropical atmosphere, the contemporary-styled villas and bungalows offer chic serenity.

A wide variety of international specialities are offered at Velassaru’s five restaurants, including fresh contemporary seafood, Japanese, international and grill pan Indian options. The two beach bars serve cocktails and wines.

Guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments in overwater pavilions, or hop on a Maldivian boat and watch the crew demonstrate traditional fishing methods. Other resort facilities include a fitness centre, tennis court and infinity pool with the view of the beach and the ocean.

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Gili Lankanfushi appoints Sarah Davies as new Marine Biologist and Environmental Officer

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Gili Lankanfushi has welcomed a new Marine Biologist and Environmental Officer, Sarah Davies.

With a degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography from the University of Plymouth, followed by a masters in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Exeter, Sarah is a well-versed expert in the conservation of marine life.

Her undergraduate training included the study of animal behaviour, marine mammal physiology, ecology, physical and chemical oceanography and marine and coastal environment assessment and management. Following this, her postgraduate study involved scientific surveying, sampling, coral reef management, climate change and habitat management strategies.

Having worked in Mexico for Global Vision International as a Marine Science Officer and Divemaster between May 2010 and August 2012, Sarah’s experience led her to train volunteers in marine survey work and analyse the data collected. She also gained proficient knowledge of Caribbean fish, coral, invertebrate and algae species identification. Besides this, Sarah was involved in environmental outreach and awareness with local communities, fishermen and hotels as well as running the turtle monitoring programme during nesting season.

Her next placement was as a marine biologist with Seamarc at Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, where she was involved in delivering science presentations to guests, guiding daily snorkelling trips, sea turtle rehabilitation and assisting the coral restoration project.

Most recently, she has been working as a marine biologist and dive guide with Azalea cruise in the Maldives, where she has delivered presentations on the marine life of the Maldives, guided daily dives and assisted the cruise director with daily schedules and logistics.

“Bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, we look forward to have Sarah take us to greater heights in our sustainability efforts and to continue preserving our natural habitat at the resort,” an announcement read.

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.

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Maldives crowned best destination at 2018 Seven Stars luxury hospitality awards

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Maldives has won the Seven Stars Destination Award at the 2018 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards (SSLHLA).

Maldives competed with other world-class destinations such as Dubai, Seychelles, Mauritius and Singapore to win the Signum Virtutis, the Seal of Excellence, in the Seven Stars Destination category. Dr Hala Hameed, the Maldives ambassador to Switzerland, received the award at a gala held on October 6 at the Capsis Out of the Blue Elite Resort in Crete, Greece.

This is the third time that the Maldives had secured this award, after having won the same category at SSLHLA in 2013 and 2014.

“For a world-class destination, winning at the Seven Star Luxury Awards will enhance the image of the destination as a high profile luxury destination,” Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), the official tourism promotion agency of Maldives, said, in a statement.

The 2018 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards, held in Crete at the amazing Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort, showcased the pinnacle in luxury hospitality and lifestyle to the world.

Winners hailing from Nigeria, Bali, Fiji, Cyprus, Greece, Mauritius, Maldives, Turkey, Russia, Zanzibar, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Austria were present at the highly exclusive gala ceremony held at the stunning Cretan Resort.

HSH Prince Massimiliano della Torre e Tasso, Baroness Nerina Keeley, Greek Star Nina Lotsari, Carmen Edelson, Thanos Liontos, Amani Vernescu, star Photographer Oliver Jiszda, Miriam Seferian and Andrea Luri were amongst the Luxury Panel Members of the SSLHLA in attendance in order to present winners with the SIGNUM VIRTUTIS , the seal of excellence.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by talented Greek Mainstream Star Naya who mesmerized the crowd with her Voice, high energy and stunning looks.

The event was hosted by Turkish Celebrity presenter Ece Vahapoglu who brought glitz and glamour to the stage with her impeccable style and beauty.

“The event was a great success with winners from over 15 different countries. We are delighted to have been the first luxury hospitality award to host an event in Crete and I am sure it will not be the last time. This great Island offers fantastic hospitality, a great climate, and warm people,” Khalil El-Mouelhy, Chairman President/Founder of SSLHLA, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“I would like to thank all our winners for traveling great distances to be with us and we are both happy and thankful to have been able to celebrate their success with them. I would also like to thank the team of the Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort for their support and for helping to make this evening of celebrations a great success.”

Now in its sixth year, the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards is designed to identify and to separate the exceptional from the very best by bestowing the Signum Virtutis, the seal of excellence upon the most exceptional luxury hospitality and lifestyle properties and products worldwide. The number of winners each year is capped in order to provide maximum exclusivity and benefit for the winners.

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Kandima Maldives unwraps Oh-so Kool 2018 festive schedule

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Kandima Maldives has announced the programme for this year’s festive celebrations.

This holiday season, an oh-so yummy blend of delicious cuisine, stylish cocktails and playful entertainment is on offer at Kandima. The festive programme, which includes delicious dining choices, fun-packed activities for kids, relaxing spa treatments, plenty of sparkling bubbles and fireworks, is all part of the celebrations in the island (desti)nation.

This year’s festive programme includes:

  • Music from The Tigers and the UK’s Eurovision 2017 singer Holly Brewer.
  • Christmas tree lighting on December 22, followed by a cocktail party and barefoot BBQ on the beach. After dinner live music from Maldivian band The Shiuz.
  • A Christmas Eve TropiKal Cocktail Party on the beach with canapés, oysters and chill out tunes by the resident DJ.
  • A four-course set menu at Smoked restaurant featuring prime meat cuts and freshly caught seafood. Plus a traditional Christmas Dinner at the resort’s all-day restaurants, Flavour and Zest.
  • Santa arrival on Christmas Day to hand out festive snacks to the little VIPs.
  • A KULA art festival on December 28, where 20 local artists encourage guests to find their inner Picasso. There will also be a KULA colour fun run.
  • Fiesta Del Sol party on December 31 kicks off with cocktails and live entertainment on the beach. Both Zest and Flavour restaurants offer scrumptious all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner followed after party on the beach with The Tigers and Holly Brewer. What better way to end the year! The evening ends with an awesome firework display over the tropical lagoon.
  • January 1, a lavish Hangover Breakfast awaits all the guests at Zest and Flavour restaurants, which will be followed by an awesome brunch taking place until 2.30pm.
  • An Orthodox Christmas Eve Barefoot BBQ on the beach on January 6.

Located on a lush tropical island in Dhaalu Atoll, Kandima offers a choice of 266 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.

For bookings, please contact Kandima’s Rez Krew by email mykindofplace@kandima.com or phone +960 676 0077.

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Faarufushi Maldives to host recruitment open day on Oct 12

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Faarufushi Maldives has announced plans to host a recruitment open day next week, as the brand new resort prepares to welcome its first guests later this year.

Set to take place from 9am to 5pm on October 12 at the Maagiri Hotel in capital Male, the recruitment open day will seek interested and qualified candidates to fill vacancies in these sectors: food and beverage, kitchen, housekeeping, front office, spa, finance, engineering and transport.

“Be part of the opening team at the newest five-star luxury resort to create a sophisticated but pure experience; understated perfection,” an announcement read.

Interested candidates are requested to bring their CV and a recent photograph. Those who cannot attend the open day can email their CV to careers@faarufushi.com.

Offering a combination of all the things travellers want from a luxury Maldivian resort, the brand new resort by leading local resort operator Universal Resorts is set on the private island of Faarufushi in a remote part in the northern Raa atoll, and is just a scenic 50-minute journey by seaplane or a flight via Ifuru Domestic Airport from the main Velana International Airport.

Faarufushi will welcome guests from December 15, 2018 with 80 spacious villas that offer a striking realisation of contemporary design amidst a naturally stunning seascape.

Ten Beach Bungalows and 27 Beach Retreats with Pool are cocooned around the island in addition to 39 sleek Ocean Retreats with Pool stilted over the azure lagoon of Faarufushi. The three Ocean Suite with Pool and the Island Residence with Pool offer the ultimate sanctuary with an expansive infinity pool overlooking at its very own stretch of the Indian Ocean.

Indulgent dining choices will be offered in a modern and most unpretentious environment with a full view of the horizon whilst focusing on the highest quality of ingredients in three restaurants and two bars.

Iru is the all-day dining restaurant located next to Sangu Bar, overlooking the infinity pool of the resort, presenting unlimited views of the sea. The crescent shaped overwater signature restaurant, Eclipse offers an immersive gourmet experience and a non-obstructed panoramic view. At the reef’s edge is Boli, with seating open to the sky, offering a guaranteed sunset view throughout the year, complemented with the finest wines, carefully crafted cocktails and music. Athiri is a casual beachside gathering bringing several island facilities together, including water sports and gym overlooking the beach and ocean. Athiri’s centre piece is the collection of dining options serving tapas, teppanyaki and more, under one roof.

Nika Spa blends in with the blissful vegetation of the island with six treatment rooms, each representing a tree canopy and a garden compound with a hydro pool surrounded by outdoor salas and relaxation pavilions.

Faarufushi is an island owned and developed by Faarufushi Investment Pvt Ltd and managed by Universal Resorts Management Pvt Ltd.

Universal Resorts operates the largest resort collection in the country, including iconic properties such as Kurumba Maldives, Velassaru Maldives, Kuramathi Maldives, Baros Maldives, Kandolhu Maldives, Dhigali Maldives, Maafushivaru, and Milaidhoo Island Maldives.

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Novel festive experiences at Kanuhura Maldives

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

This festive season, treat yourself and your loved ones to an unforgettable holiday in paradise. Kanuhura’s tropical oasis offers a world of unbridled luxury for discerning gypsetters in the heart of the Maldives, further enhanced by novel festive season experiences and offerings which have been carefully created to spoil the guests — this festive season is bound to be your best yet.

Embrace the smooth sounds of a live band and resident DJ as you sip on your favourite tipple at dusk, indulge in a glass of champagne and fine canapés during a luxury sunset cruise or treat yourself to the Champagne and Caviar Breakfast. This special time of year deserves to be celebrated in style.

In the unfettered paradise, the team at Kanuhura will do whatever they can to ensure that your festive season is everything you could dream of, and more. Allow them to spoil you and your significant other with a romantic dinner set up somewhere special on the island, paired with one of the novel ‘destination dining’ menus, enjoy the thrill of a sunset fishing excursion followed by the preparation of your catch for you or spend a day on the private neighbouring island Jehunuhura, made all the more extraordinary by a festive season beachside BBQ picnic, drinks and games.

Little gypsetters are as important as their parents, which is why Kanuhura has a comprehensive and fun-filled holiday programme for them to have the holiday of a lifetime in the sun while their parents enjoy a little rest and relaxation. From kid-friendly cooking classes, exciting water sports, arts and crafts sessions and festive season-related activities and games to time to write letters to Santa and his surprising arrival on Christmas Day, your kids are sure to have an incredible holiday.

The Christmas and New Year’s Eve programmes curated by Kanuhura are absolutely extraordinary, with something to delight all the guests, young and old. From an array of gastronomic offerings to suit the palates of the diverse gypsetters that include everything from seafood specialities to traditional festive season favourites and end of year cocktails to a spectacular New Year’s Eve ‘White Evening’ beach party, Kanuhura promises you a festive season unlike any other you have experienced before.

Located at the heart of Lhaviyani atoll, one of the most spectacular Maldives atolls, Kanuhura is considered 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 USD42 million reimagining of the resort in 2016 has positioned 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 three 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, the wellness and spa centre for a unique sensual experience uplifting body and mind.

Interested in visiting Kanuhura over this special time? Then get in touch with the resort to book your holiday in the sensational island paradise. 

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Kuredu Resort Maldives announces special offer for stays in November, December

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Kuredu Resort Maldives has announced a special offer for stays this November and December.

In an announcement, the resort said a 25 percent discount will be offered for bookings made from now to October 31 for stays between November 1 and December 23 in a Garden Bungalow, Beach Villa, Jacuzzi Beach Villa, Sangu Water Villa or Private Pool Villa. There is no minimum stay requirement, and bookings can be made on Full Board, All-Inclusive Plus and All-Inclusive Gold meal plans.

“Raise your hand if you are flirting with the idea of spending a holiday in the Maldives, but you just don’t know how to make it work. The good news: Kuredu, one of the Maldives’ most well-known resorts – and a favourite to honeymooners, families and sports enthusiasts alike – is offering a hot deal for stays this coming November and December,” the announcement read.

“Enjoy summer temperatures, excellent ocean conditions and Kuredu’s 30th anniversary celebrations during the Maldives’ high season for 25% less when you book before 31st October 2018.”

Kuredu’s anniversary week runs from December 10 to 17.

Located on a 1,800 metre by 325 metre remote island in the northern atoll of Lhaviyani, Kuredu is accessible by a 35-minute scenic seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport. This 4.5-star resort has 383 rooms, including beach and water villas, making it the second largest resort in the Maldives.

The island boasts a dive and snorkel centre, a water sports centre, a spa, golf and tennis courses, a kids’ club, and an extensive choice of restaurants and bars. Kuredu guests can also dine in 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at the neighbouring Hurawalhi Maldives resort.

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MATATO to elect new executive board

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has opened candidacy for its new executive board.

MATATO is accepting applications till October 31, with candidates to be announced 15 days prior to the annual general meeting, which is set to be held in November.

Launched in 2006, MATATO is one of the leading organisations in the travel industry of Maldives, representing local travel agents and tour operators as general members.

The non-profit is governed by an executive board of nine members, elected once in every two years from amongst the member representatives. Only general members can nominate and vote in the executive board election. A period of 30 days is given for registration of nominations and representatives.

The current board is headed by Abdulla Giyas Riyaz from Inner Maldives Holidays, with Abdulla Suood from Tropical Collections and Ibrahim Shiham from Yacht Tours Maldives serving as vice president, and Ali Ahmed from Vista Travel and Services as the treasure. Board members include Aminath Nina Nizar from Sun Travels & Tours, Ahmed Fiyaz from Pearl Travel Service, Mohamed Khaleel from Reollo Travel, Mohamed Jinan from Voyages Maldives and Khathim Hassan from Island Pearl Holidays.

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Coco Bodu Hithi to host six-course dinner with MasterChef Judge Monica Galetti

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Coco Bodu Hithi is set to host a delightful six-course dinner to its guests this October with MasterChef Judge Monica Galetti.

Born in Samoa and brought up in New Zealand, Chef Monica moved to Britain in 1999 to work alongside Michel Roux Jr. at Le Gavroche in London. She became a household name in 2009 when she joined the BBC1 team as a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals and has gone on to co-present BBC2’s Amazing Hotels – Life Beyond the Lobby. In 2017, she and her husband opened their first restaurant, Mere, in London. Monica is the author of two bestselling books: Monica’s Kitchen and The Skills.

Monica has created a six-course menu, with wine pairing recommendations, which will give guests the chance to experience first-hand her passion for working with only the finest and freshest ingredients to create showstopping contemporary dishes. The exclusive menu takes inspiration from Monica’s South Pacific heritage and celebrates the wonderful local seafood and produce available in the Maldives.

Monica’s dinners will be served at Aqua Restaurant on the evenings of October 23 and 25.

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.

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Ace Aviation named South Asia’s Leading GSA Service Provider

MALDIVES Diana and Bodgana at Adaaran Vadhoo in Male atoll, DOUBLE TAP IF YOU LOVE, COMMENT WITH LOVE PHOTO BY Asad

Ace Aviation Services Maldives has been named the Leading GSA Service Provider in South Asia.

The award was presented to the company at the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) 2018 gala held at The Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on September 15.

“We continue to innovate at every touch point of the customer service experience to provide the best to meet their growing demands. Indeed, this recognition is an inspiration for us to move forward achieving newer heights,” Roshan Madurawala, Country Manager of Ace Aviation Services Maldives, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

This is the second consecutive year Ace Aviation Services Maldives demonstrated its commitment to excellence by receiving the notable recognition.

“It was an immense privilege to be the recipient of this award, especially on the soil of Gan Island last year, and we are thrilled to defend the same award this year in Mumbai,” Mohamed Firaq, Managing Director of Ace Aviation Services Maldives, said.

Ace Aviation Services Maldives is the General Sales Agent (GSA) in the Maldives for SriLankan Airlines.

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.

A record 500 plus nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 36 categories in 10 segments included in this year’s edition of SATA.

This year’s evaluation process was carried out in the most vibrant cities in each country: Maldives capital Male, Sri Lankan capital Colombo, south Indian city of Bangalore, Indian capital New Delhi, Nepalese capital Kathmandu, and the Bhutanese town of Paro. The evaluation was carried out by an all-women jury, which comprised Amal Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Rinku Madan from India and Hinna Khalid from Maldives.

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