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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Ranked Fifth in ‘Most Romantic Hotels in the World’ by Big 7 Travel

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has been ranked fifth in the ‘50 Most Romantic Hotels in the World’ by the global travel site, Big 7 Travel.

Four other properties in Maldives has been featured in the list including Velaa Private Island (ranked 11th), Veligandu Island Resort (ranked 28th) and Kandolhu Maldives (ranked 43rd).

Big 7 Travel revealed these rankings in time for Valentine’s Day and has aggregated two notable romantic hotel rankings; Travel +Leisure World’s Best Awards 2018: The Most Romantic Hotels Collection and Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2019: Top 25 Hotels for Romance.

The results from these rankings were added to a scoring system that combined the results of survey results of Big 7 readers and votes cast by a panel of experts from travel media and the hotel industry.

Set on 2 separate islands connected by a bridge, the luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers spacious private villas. It boasts the all-glass underwater Ithaa Restaurant and 2 award-winning spas. 

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The Muraka at Conrad Maldives is the world’s first underwater hotel villa. The experience costs $50,000 a night and the two-story structure cost $15 million to build. The suite comes with a dedicated staff including a butler and chef.

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Stretching up to 500 m into the Indian Ocean, Conrad Rangali Island’s villas are packed full of creature comforts, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players. Beautiful sea or beach views are framed through wooden floor-to-ceiling windows.

Total relaxation can be enjoyed at the lagoon Spa Retreat and Over-Water Spa. Guests may make their stays extra rewarding by visiting the on-site Italian boutique, or learning about local culture on a day trip to one of the surrounding islands.

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Conrad Maldives’ 12 world-class restaurants and bars serve an assortment of international, Mediterranean and grilled dishes. Over 600 bottles of premium wine can be enjoyed at The Wine Cellar.

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is reachable via a 30-minute scenic seaplane transfer from Male International Airport.

All images are credited to: www3.hilton.com

 

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Amilla Fushi Introduces Floating Breakfast Concept

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Amilla Fushi has launched a new concept of floating Breakfast in a tray. The new floating breakfast can be served in overwater houses, Amilla Residences and the main pool at the resort.

The breakfast includes two packages; Floating Continental and Floating Amilla. 

The Floating Continental includes a selection of bakery items with jams, marmalade or honey with fresh fruit, cold cuts, yogurt, cheese, cereals, fresh juice (or blended) and coffee or tea.

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The Floating Amilla includes poached egg on sourdough toast, avocado, pork sausage, sautéed mushroom, bacon & rocket, Acai Bowl with homemade granola, honey, fruit & nuts, Oat porridge boiled in fresh water or skim or full milk and salt & cinnamon.

Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé International (Velana International Airport), Amilla Fushi offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestle among lush treetops or hug the shores of pristine white sand; plus 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. 

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

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

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Michelin Star Guest Chef, Jean Marc Boyer Collaborates With Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Maldives for an Exclusive Gastronomic Journey

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From 26th February to 8th March, 2019, Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa welcomes Chef Jean Marc Boyer from South of France for an exclusive gastronomic journey. The Michelin chef, together with our French executive chef Olivier Ramos, are set to create a sensory experience to delight the palates of our guests as they combine their talent and presentation of the traditional French cuisine, which is creative yet elegant with exquisitely balanced flavors to be showcased in Hideaway’s restaurants.

Jean Marc Boyer, Michelin Star Chef
Jean Marc Boyer, Michelin Star Chef
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Olivier Ramos, Executive Chef, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

A disciple of Auguste Escoffier, also known for his impromptu culinary style and astonishing creativity, Chef Jean developed his passion for cooking at a younger age and started as an apprentice at Le Reverbere in Narbonne (2 Michelin stars). Among the few, where he had some stints were Bernard Loiseau Restaurant (3 Michelin stars) in Burgundy and Lasserre (3 Michelin stars) in Paris. He learned the trade in best starred restaurants which inspired him to prioritize the freshness of ingredients – “from the basket” concept, develop a high-quality, and elaborate French cooking philosophy.

With his subsequent experiences working with great masters include Pierre Gagnaire, Gérard Mulot, known as the best Pastry Chef in Paris and the Michelin-star master himself, Alain Ducasse.

 “Every day I cook something different depending on what ingredient is available from the local market in my village. The way I cook is very sensual. I touch the ingredient, feel it and then I get inspiration of how I want to cook it. Cooking something is like to give it another life. ” – Chef JeanMarc Boyer, as quoted from one of his interviews.

“We are pleased to bring in Chef Jean and more of his caliber in the future and so I am thrilled to be able to create something exceptional for our guests that will delight and amaze their senses during their stay”, says Christian Szabo, general manager of Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa.

 “This collaboration with world-renowned Michelin chefs in the industry, by creating exquisite dishes that will surely elevate the culinary dining experience of our guests at the resort really excites me and the whole team. We want our guests to experience fine dining and brassiere concept at its best considering Chef Jean’s specialty, and this, we will continue to enhance our culinary delights and do our utmost to cater everyone’s desire”, says Mr. Michael Wieser, CEO of Lily Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd.

The Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is located on the crescent-shaped island of Dhonakulhi in the north of the Maldives, 290 km from the capital Malé and belongs to the Haa Alifu Atoll. Characteristic features are unique quietness, comfort and privacy on 297,000 square meters. 103 spacious villas in ten categories were built at a great distance from each other in evergreen tropical vegetation and in the turquoise blue lagoon. A personal butler is available in almost all categories and fulfils all guest wishes. The culinary diversity is reflected in four restaurants and bars. To explore directly from the beach is a paradisiacal house reef for divers. Hideaway Beach is the only hotel in the Maldives with a fully equipped harbour. It also offers the largest rum and whiskey menu in the Maldives and is home to “The Spa at Hideaway Maldives”, the diving school “Meridis Dive & Relax” and the professionally supervised Kids Club.

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Luxury at a Whole New Level – LUX* North Male’ is Now Officially Open!

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On 1st February 2019, the Maldives has opened the doors to an electrifying new luxury resort – The LUX* North Male’. The resort was officially opened by the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Ali Waheed.

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“If I were to describe the resort I would say its innovative, creative and one of a kind and I believe LUX* North Male’ would be an island which will enhance the Maldivian tourism industry.” Tourism Minister, Mr. Ali Waheed said.

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Designed by the Singaporean design house Miaja, the 67 double storey Villas at LUX* North Male’ are inspired by the curves, lines and the flawless finish of a luxury boat and its sails. These villas feature a private pool, oversized bathrooms with bath and couples rain shower are supplemented with an outdoor shower.

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It is to be highlighted that over 55% of Employees at LUX* North Male’ are local and LUX* promises hospitality that is lighter, brighter in the soul, style and service.

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A short transfer from Male’ by speedboat, this intimate resort is a visual feast of nautical forms and tones.

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LUX* Resorts & Hotels is a major hotel operator based in Mauritius which currently operates LUX* Belle Mare, Mauritius, LUX* Le Morne Mauritius, LUX* Grand Gaube, Mauritius; LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives; LUX* Saint Gilles, Reunion Island, LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China, LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan, Yunnan Province, China, and LUX* Bodrum, Turkey.

 

 

 

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Lily Beach Resort – Best All Inclusive Resort in Asia 2019

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Lily Beach Resort and Spa has been awarded No. 1 All-Inclusive Resort in Asia at the 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards.

“We would like to thank our guests for voting for Lily Beach and help us win the #1 All-Inclusive Resort in Asia and the #14 All-Inclusive Resort in the World recognition.” The resort said in a statement.

Lily Beach Resort enjoys a great worldwide reputation for its pristine beaches, lush tropical vegetation and the exotic house-reef a few meters away from the shore. This welcoming resort is perfect for a restful holiday, a fun family gathering or a romantic getaway. 

Located within the spectacular Ari Atoll, Lily Beach is in close proximity to some of the most amazing dive sites in the world. With diving or snorkeling at the superb house reef nearby, you can make most of the natural surroundings.

After an extensive renovation, Lily Beach Resort was reopened in 2009 as a 5-star Luxury resort, introducing the unique, pioneering concept of “Affordable Luxury” – the first 5-star All-Inclusive Platinum Plan Resort in the Maldives.

Keeping the overall concept of ‘Affordable Luxury’ in mind, ‘Platinum Plan’ is a Premium All-Inclusive Plan, offering the discerning traveler absolute value-for-money and a hassle-free holiday.

The Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide.

Held for the 17th year, the awards recognized 7,812 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide in the categories of Top Hotels Overall; Luxury, Bargain, Small, Best Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance, Family, and All-Inclusive.

Image Source: www.lilybeachmaldives.com

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The Small Maldives Island Co Introduces CBD Treatments to Therapy Offerings

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The Small Maldives Island Co once again proves its trend-setter status in the archipelago as island idyll Amilla Fushi and retro-chic resort Finolhu introduce therapeutic treatments incorporating activated hemp based products with cannabidiol (CBD) to their renowned spa offerings, being the first one in the Maldives. Aimed at relaxing, revitalising and healing, treatments combine the soothing benefits of massage with essential oils infused with hemp CBD for deeper relaxation and tension release.

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CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from hemp that when applied topically can potentially encourage hydration, minimize moisture loss and decrease inflammation. CBD oil has also been shown to help in reducing muscle soreness and tension, as well as calm anxiety and stress. Guests at luxury island resorts Amilla Fushi and Finolhu will have the option to customize any of the spa’s signature massage treatments with the addition of a CBD oil application. Choosing which benefits are most important to them, from calming, detoxifying, stimulating or immune boosting qualities, guests can select a treatment option formulated to address these specific concerns.

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The banyan-shaded Javvu Spa at Amilla Fushi features 10 treatment pods; a yoga pavilion; fitness centre; a wet area; a private training studio and Wellness Café. Javvu’s holistic approach is complemented by an integrated spa menu of blissful pampering, featuring results-driven treatments from a carefully curated edit of world-class brands and ancient healing and energy therapies. 

Finolhu’s happening hub, The Cove Club, strips the spa concept back. Here, massage, movement, and chill is medicinal and the fun glamorous side of the Sixties is at play. The Cove Club offers a totally chilled out, unintimidating haven in which to drop anchor and just relax. Ten chandelier-lit treatment hubs, each celebrating an iconic diva of the 60s and 70s, are complemented by a fitness centre, yoga, and movement pavilion and an outdoor ‘Palm Beach Gym’. 

CBD add on starts from USD$20 for specified treatments and USD$40 for full body massage.

Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé International (Velana International Airport), Amilla Fushi offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestle among lush treetops or hug the shores of pristine white sand; plus 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.

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Just 30 minutes by speedboat from sister resort Amilla Fushi, Finolhu is a stylish and eclectic retreat with a buzzy bon-vivant vibe and a refreshing, retro-inspired burst of fun for the region. Bringing toes-in-the-sand relaxation to fun-loving beach-erati alongside the best DJs, live acts and most fabulously chic parties in the Maldives. Finolhu’s 125 villas come on the ocean, the lagoon or by the beach, with or without a pool in either one or two bedroom options being the ultimate island experience for chic couples, fun-loving families and gatherings of friends alike. 


Located in the UNESCO world biosphere of Baa Atoll, both resorts can be reached by either seaplane in just 30 minutes from Velana (Malé) International Airport or by a 20-minute flight to Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport in Baa Atoll followed by a short speedboat ride.

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Kanuhura Maldives Among the Top Ten Luxury Resorts in the Maldives

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Kanuhura Maldives has been recognised as a winner in the categories; Top 10 Luxury Hotels, Maldives and Top 10 Hotels, Maldives of the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice® Awards.

“We’re very proud to announce that our resort has been recognised as a winner in the categories Top 10 Luxury Hotels — Maldives and  Top 10 Hotels — Maldives of the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice® awards.” The resort said in a statement.

“We thank every guest who took the time to share their review on this platform and our team members, who every day go above and beyond to create #TimelessMemories for our valued guests.”

Kanuhura is located on the eastern rim of Lhaviyani Atoll, on its own private island. Famed for its laid-back luxury and authentic, natural Maldivian charm, the award-winning resort offers the highest standards of accommodation, service and culinary experience. Every effort has been made to retain the natural beauty of the island and wherever possible, employ the use of only natural materials.

The island measures approximately 1000 meters in length and 200 meters in width, with a north-south orientation. It offers the best in watersports and diving.

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide.

Held for the 17th year, the awards recognized 7,812 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide in the categories of Top Hotels Overall; Luxury, Bargain, Small, Best Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance, Family, and All-Inclusive.

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Milaidhoo Island Maldives Wins TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Best Service

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The 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards positions Milaidhoo Island Maldives as number one in the ‘Top Best Service Maldives’ ranking, seventh in ‘Best Service Asia’ and 20th in ‘Top Best Service of the World’, representing the Maldives as one of the most exclusive luxury destinations of the world.

The resort is placed in the top ten of several other Travelers’ Choice Awards rankings, coming in second in the ‘Top Hotels, Maldives’ and 10th in the ‘Top Hotels Asia’ rankings. The island resort is also recognized as third in the ‘Top Best Romance Maldives’ as well as ninth in the ‘Top Romance Asia’ ranking. Milaidhoo Island Maldives is furthermore acclaimed as one of the top luxury resorts in the Maldives, being fourth in the ‘Top Luxury Maldives’ ranking.

“This acknowledgment of the exceptional quality of hospitality of Milaidhoo is another chapter in the resort’s successful story, of providing the best standard of customer service,” the resort said, in a statement.

Travelers’ Choice award winners were determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide. In the 17th year of the awards, TripAdvisor has recognized 7,812 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide in the categories of Top Hotels Overall, Luxury, Bargain, Small, Best Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance, Family, and All-Inclusive. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice hotels winners are remarkable quality, service, and value.

Opened in November 2016, Milaidhoo Island Maldives is a boutique luxury resort in the Baa Atoll UNESCO biosphere reserve, close to Hanifaru Bay, 126km northwest of Male. It’s perfect for nature lovers as its own coral reef, which completely circles the island, is a protected area and noted as an outstanding snorkeling and diving site in its own right. The tiny beautiful island, abundant with tropical greenery, measures just 300m by 180m and is fringed by white soft deep sand beaches. Designed for couples and honeymooners, Milaidhoo welcomes guests aged nine and above. 

Milaidhoo is reached by a scenic 35-minute seaplane ride from Male International Airport.

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Le Club AccorHotels Welcomes Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ Branded Properties

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Le Club AccorHotels welcomes Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ branded properties into its loyalty program worldwide.  To celebrate the launch, members can enjoy four times the Rewards Points for stays at Banyan Tree, Angsana and Cassia properties worldwide during the offer period when they book by 24 February 2019 for stays until 14 April 2019.

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Elite members of Le Club Accorhotels will also enjoy member benefits and privileges to make their stays even more special as the program is about truly recognising loyalty members with personalised services when they stay at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts.  

AccorHotels and Banyan Tree announced a strategic long-term partnership in December 2016 whereby both groups will collaborate to develop and manage Banyan Tree-branded hotels around the world. The partnership also gives Banyan Tree access to AccorHotels’ global reservation and sales networks as well as the renowned Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program.

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There are currently 48 properties under the Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ global network, of which 37 will take part in the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program. 

“The integration of Banyan Tree’s branded properties into Le Club AccorHotels is a joyous occasion for us and we hope that this partnership will give our members an opportunity to accrue Rewards points for their stays and enjoy the unique offerings which Banyan Tree, Angsana and Cassia hotels have to offer,” said Henrik Berglind, Vice President Loyalty Asia Pacific.  

“With the introduction of the three new brands into one global loyalty program, our members now have even more destinations and more hotels to choose from around the world, with Banyan Tree’s luxury hotels and resorts offering a sanctuary for the senses in unique and modern accommodations.”

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Ms Ho Ren Yung, Vice President, Brand HQ of Banyan Tree Holdings said, “As an independent company, our strategic alliance with AccorHotels allows us to continue securing hotel management agreements on our own while accelerating Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ expansion with AccorHotels’ expertise to grow our brands around the world. With Banyan Tree Group celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year, we are excited to participate in the Le Club loyalty programme and hope to create exceptional experiences for the members at our exotic destinations – steeped in a sense of place through sustainable activities, design and architecture built in harmony with nature.”

Winner of the Freddie Award for Best Loyalty Program for two years in a row (2015, 2016) in Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa and Middle East and this year named Best Program for the third year running in Europe/Africa, Le Club Accorhotels is the pioneering hotel loyalty program which allows members to use their points at over 3,500 hotels in 100 countries across 20 brands. 

The program has over 53 million members globally with 16 million members in Asia Pacific.

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Trans Maldivian Airways Welcomes 52nd Aircraft to its Fleet

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World’s leading seaplane operator, Trans Maldivian Airways has welcomed the 52nd aircraft to it’s fleet. 

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The new Four Season branded aircraft was ferried in from Zimex, Switzerland and reached Velana International Airport around 11:30 on Monday. 

TMA will operate and maintain the aircraft on behalf of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. which manages two luxury resorts in Maldives. This aircraft would solely be dedicated for the use of Four Seasons company. 

TMA currently operates an all-amphibian fleet on regular flights throughout the Maldivian archipelago and the company was recently crowned the World’s Leading Seaplane Operator at the World Travel Awards 2018.

The seaplane operator started in 1989 as a company operating a helicopter fleet under the name Hummingbird Island Helicopters. Eight years later, the name was changed to Hummingbird Island Airways, as the first seaplane was added to the fleet. The transition to a seaplane-only fleet was completed in 1999. A year later, the name Trans Maldivian Airways came to be, and still, today represents a synonym for connecting the Maldives islands.

Seaplane is the preferred mode of transport between the main Velana International Airport and dozens of resorts, especially those located in the outer atolls.

 

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Maldives Ranked Sixth on the World’s Most Instagrammable Countries 2019

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Big 7 Travel has ranked the Maldives sixth in the World’s Most Instagrammable countries 2019. 

Australia won the title of the world’s most Instagrammable country according to the press released by Big 7 Travel on Monday. The travel website stated all the countries were ranked in order of the visual allure and the popularity on the social media.

The rankings are as follows:

1. Australia
2. Hong Kong
3. Canada
4. Indonesia
5. South Africa
6. Maldives
7. India
8. United States of America
9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
10. Singapore

In addition to the World’s Most Instagrammable Countries the Travel Website also unveiled the ‘Seven most Instagrammable Spots in Maldives’ The list mainly included the resorts, however, Capital Male’ and Laamu Atoll also received high honors.

Most Instagrammable Spots in the Maldives:

1. Niyama Private Islands
2. Male’
3. Laamu Atoll
4. Angsana Velavaru
5. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
6. Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
7. Gili Lankanfushi

Big 7 Media the parent company of Big 7 Travel creates highly shareable content across three channels – Big 7 Travel, Big 7 Hotels and Big 7 Food.

Big 7 Travel features socially-shared photography and videos of the most exciting places in the world as well as original content from the Big Seven creative team.

 

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Luxury Maldives Resorts Amilla Fushi and Finolhu to Transform Into Fantasy-Filled Wonderlands for Easter 2019

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The Small Maldives Island Co has announced a diverse range of magical Easter experiences at luxury Maldivian maverick Amilla Fushi and retro-chic sister resort Finolhu. This year, families can escape down the rabbit hole into Amilla Fushi’s twist on Alice in Wonderland, or enter a world of pure imagination with Finolhu’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired programme.

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Those looking for a whimsical Easter adventure are invited to step through the looking glass at Amilla Fushi. Led by the White Rabbit on a Wonderland Egg Hunt Carnival around the island’s enchanted forests,  guests will meet the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and of course the Easter Bunny along the way. The celebrations begin with a Fashion Show hosted by Alice and friends at the Sultan’s Village kids club, and a fun-filled Pirate Day that is sure to leave participants grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Kid’s yoga and fitness classes, as well as themed arts and coconut crafts sessions, will provide welcome moments of calm amongst all the egg-citement.

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Don’t be late as Amilla Fushi’s exclusive three-day ‘Amilla Four Seventeen’ football team led by legendary Everton FC and Socceroos star Tim Cahill, invites children from five to eight years and teens from nine to 16 years old to train through elite coaching on the island’s very own full-sized pitch. Tennis fans can perfect their technique for the new season with fun drills and rallies with LUX Tennis’s exciting Grand Slam Tournament on the resorts two floodlit courts.  At night the island will transform into a sensational Twilight Affair Cocktail Party followed by an exquisite Easter dinner.

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Over at fun-loving sister island Finolhu, guests will feel like they’ve found a Golden Ticket as the island transforms into a Willy Wonka-themed imaginarium. Brimming with extraordinary experiences to delight all ages, Finolhu’s specially curated Easter programme includes a Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Fashion Parade at the resort’s famed 1OAK Beach Club, the Oompa-Loompas’ Golden Ticket Hunt, and a children’s truffle-making class led by Willy Wonka’s nemesis, the one and only Mr Turkentine.

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While no-one will be turned into a blueberry, guests needing a gentle reminder about the perils of gluttony can join a series of Stretch & Dance lessons hosted by Willy Wonka himself, whilst specialist UFC Gym trainers are on hand with special ‘Earn That Chocolate’ fitness sessions. The fun doesn’t stop there as guests will also have the chance to tackle Augustus Gloop on the football pitch or take a dip at the resort’s daily retro pool party.

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Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé International (Velana International Airport), Amilla Fushi offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestle among lush treetops or hug the shores of pristine white sand; plus 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.

Just 30 minutes by speedboat from sister resort Amilla Fushi, Finolhu is a stylish and eclectic retreat with a buzzy bon-vivant vibe and a refreshing, retro-inspired burst of fun for the region. Bringing toes-in-the-sand relaxation to fun-loving beach-erati alongside the best DJs, live acts and most fabulously chic parties in the Maldives.

 

 

 

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LUX* North Male Atoll Maldives: A New Perspective on Luxury

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Next level” is the best way to describe LUX* North Male Atoll, opening February 1, 2019.

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This new resort presents a disruption to the Maldivian mould with these over-sized, penthouse residences, which demonstrate fresh forward-thinking design for the Indian Ocean. By blending super-yacht panache with a South Beach pulse, these standalone stays upstage the traditional thatched villa vibe. Discerning travellers seeking a smooth transition to holiday mode, have enriching adventures ahead, along with pure peace and pampering so they can reset, recharge and recalibrate — uninterrupted. A short transfer from Male by luxury speedboat or scenic seaplane, as remote as this desert-island resort may feel, it is easily accessible, yet far from any other islands.

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DESIGNED FOR SPACE AND PRIVACY 

Singaporean design house Miaja specialises in styling unique properties to reflect the beauty and charm of their surroundings. Inspired by the curves, lines and the impeccable finish of a luxury boat and its sails, it has taken years to painstakingly perfect this resort on Olhahali, a six-hectare island fringed by white-sandy beaches. Welcome to a new level of living thanks to these 67 double-storey residences each featuring a private pool. “We are so excited to be opening a truly different resort which dares to get away from what we call the ‘sea of sameness’ with a thoroughly original approach to a luxury Maldivian holiday. As well as offering a fresh alternative to the Indian Ocean’s traditional thatched villas thanks to our penthouses and nautical design, there are lots of impressive new services and surprises — all part of our intention to create an exceptional Maldives experience for those wanting uncompromising personal service and first-class facilities as well as unexpected touches and a lighthearted atmosphere. Guests spending their precious time away with us can rest assured that the team at LUX* North Male Atoll will make every moment matter” shares Dominik Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer of The Lux Collective. 

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VILLAS WITH A VIEW — RETREAT, RELAX, PLAY 

Each of the residences sits right on the beach or over the water with living areas that are at least 350 sqm. These breezy, spacious villas host a choice of spaces in which to eat, drink, relax — from the rooftop relaxing areas to the sun terraces — treating guests to continuous pastel panoramas of the Indian Ocean. Hide away entirely with intimate barbecue dinners in the privacy of your own penthouse villa, stargaze using a telescope and have your personal villa host explain the Maldivian skies or simply summon the bartender to shake up your favourite cocktail right on your roof terrace. The oversized bathrooms with bath and couples rain shower are supplemented with an outdoor shower. Throughout your stay, rest assured that your butler-style villa host will give you all the assistance — or privacy — needed and will never be short of ideas to make each moment on the island extra special. Indulge a passion in painting or sketching, or simply switch off and savour the serenity.

 

INSPIRED WINING AND DINING 

In the mood to mingle? Venture out to charismatic social spaces to relax among other cosmopolitan guests. We’ve mastered balancing salty, sour, sweet, bitter and umami flavours in all that we do, serving our original dishes and drinks in unusual, uplifting environments. Barium is the secluded private dining room with a wow-inducing underwater fish tank. Join other guests in eclectic wine tastings, communal chef tables or let us arrange a private dinner for you and your friends. INTI is the Peruvian-Japanese restaurant with a prepared-in-front-of-you sushi bar. Chef Gaston, the Maldives’ only Peruvian chef, prepares smoked guacamole, ceviche and aged meats introducing guests to this exotic and exciting cuisine laced with tastes from Peru, Argentina, Japan, Ecuador and Mexico. Expect pisco sours and a dazzling range of sake. Travel the globe at GLOW, as we showcase the best of European classics, Italian and Spanish delicacies through to South East Asian specialities. Here, our celebrated Beach Rouge has a pool-club feel, combining strong contemporary lines, world-class cuisine, a wood-fired pizza oven and Josper charcoal grill as well as awe-ensuring views over the infinity pool — all soundtracked by a live DJ. Soak up that sunshine on loungers by day, make a splash with a jump in that pool, sip cocktails at the bar and enjoy a nightcap at the rooftop shisha bar.

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A WELLNESS SANCTUARY

This over-the-lagoon world of wellbeing is no ordinary spa. Here, the two-hour treatments for twosomes include body scrubs, massages and aromatherapy bathing rituals, ensuring you never miss a moment together. Feel stress and tension melt away with a Watsu session — Zen Shiatsu in the water reaches the parts that other therapies can’t. The treatment rooms are right over the water in view of where the ocean currents collide. Or let us provide private spa treatments in your villa or in the fresh air on the rooftop with the waves as your soundtrack.

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EXTRAORDINARY SNORKELLING AND DIVING 

Not many islands are blessed with such a spectacular reef, metres from the beach, entertaining you with tropical fish, stingrays and the occasional pods of dolphins. For the more adventurous, there’s a world-class PADI dive centre and access to the Maldives’ most famous shipwrecks and caves. Spend time with our resident marine biologist to understand our coral restoration projects or discover turtles, spotted eagle rays, bannerfish and reef sharks who are all visitors to the house reef. 

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YACHTING AND WATERSPORTS

Luxury yachts are available for charter and we tailor-make activities for guests of all fitness and experience levels. The expert watersports team can arrange jet-skis, semi-submarine or flyboarding adventures or host SUP sessions and kayaking tours. If an excursion to a nearby sandbank on a nimble speedboat is not enough, charter a private yacht, which can be docked right at your water villa’s terrace.

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WHY LUX*? 

There are always so many Reasons to Go LUX*. We promise hospitality that is lighter, brighter in soul, style and service. John Rogers, General Manager of LUX* North Male Atoll declares, “We have carefully created a team that is dedicated to providing genuine, meaningful experiences and making each moment matter. I am proud and excited to help LUX* nurture a unique new destination in the Maldives. Our journey is about to begin, and we are looking forward to making LUX* North Malé Atoll stand out on the map by creating a world-class resort which takes innovative luxury hotel experiences to the next level.” At LUX*, every moment matters: we create simple, fresh, sensory experiences to indulge guests throughout their stay in stylish surroundings and with imaginative attention to detail, which alchemises the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa to Launch Specially-Chartered Seaplane!

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Who would not like to start this holiday with this dreamlike experience? With an exclusive seaplane – rising from the water high into the air – from far above the turquoise, clear ocean and the paradise, the home for the next time is, from above admired. 

This dream comes true: with a specially-chartered seaplane from the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, from March 1, 2019, guests will fly from Male directly to the island of Dhonakulhi / Maldives. 

The 65-minute flight takes you over turquoise waters and emerald-green lagoons. Apart from the faster arrival, it is an unforgettable moment. With this paradisiac sight begins for each guest already the holiday, all everyday stress escapes. 

Already on arrival the name of the resort is “Hideaway” program. At the Male Airport, guests are greeted by a dedicated team and treated to an exquisite selection of drinks, canapés, pastries and free Wi-Fi in the Hideaway VIP Lounge at the Trans Maldivian Airways Seaplane Terminal. The flights will be operated by Trans Maldivian Airline and the offer will be effective from 1 March 2019 for all visitors to the Hideaway Beach Resort. This luxurious and faster trip to Hideaway Beach Resort costs about $600 round trip transfer or if you have already booked a domestic transfer and decided to upgrade, a $120 supplemental charge applies per person one way. Children from the age of two years are included and guarantees a dream vacation right from the start. 

Thanks to this new charter flight, guests save themselves the journey to Hanimaadhoo or the onward journey by speedboat and get a holiday reminder of a very special kind.

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is an exclusive world for those who seek ultimate luxury, comfort and privacy. Situated in Haa Alifu Atoll and spanning 297,000sqm, Hideaway is home to the first Yacht Marina in the Maldives.

Villas at Hideaway epitomize comfort, luxury and a fully equipped home-away-from-home. The 8 categories of 103 villas ranging between 176sqm to 1,400sqm are amongst the largest in the Maldives.

Guests may also wish to be pampered at the enchanting Hideaway Spa & Beauty Palace. Hideaway takes luxury to a whole new level with its private Butler service. Guests are given the unparalleled promise that their every wish will be anticipated and catered to by a personal Butler.

A delightful blend of Eastern and Western dishes influences the 5 restaurants. Guests can dine in the privacy of their Villa, 24 hours a day, or on a secluded part of the beach.

This sumptuous resort, freshly renovated, provides the perfect backdrop for a glamorous retreat. Escape from the buzzing life, and taste the exquisite charms of Hideaway!

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Maldives Travel Awards 2018 – Kandima Maldives, The Leading Designer Resort

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At the Maldives Travel Awards 2018 Gala held at the Paradise Island Resort, Kandima Maldives has defended the title of Leading Designer Resort in the Maldives.

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Located on the largest island in Dhaalu Atoll, Kandima Maldives has the longest outdoor swimming pool in the Maldives, an abundance of water-sports, the largest beach club and tennis and basketball courts. It offers a marine biology centre, an art studio, and cooking classes.

A 30-minute flight from Male’ and followed by a 20-minute boat ride to the island, the resort offers studios and villas with a private terrace and private pool. They offer endless tropical views.

For fitness lovers, Kandima Maldives has a gym with personal trainers and provides classes like anti-gravity yoga, Zumba, aqua-bike classes and POUND® fitness lessons. Guests can hire bikes or electric scooters.

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Guests can choose among the 10 restaurants and bars the resort offers. Sea Dragon serves authentic Chinese cuisine while Forbidden Bar plays live music in the night. Start the day at Aroma with fresh beverages and baked goods.

For total relaxation, choose from massages, facials and a range of Signature local treatments. The Kandima Kids Club is run by a multilingual team of certified child caregivers. 

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honor the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totaling 55 categories.

Just like last year, MATATO is hosting the People’s Edition to recognize successful pioneers and long-serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

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Maldives Travel Awards 2018 — Gala Celebrations takes Place

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Photo: sun.mv

The Maldives Travel Awards gala took place on Thursday evening at the Paradise Island Resort, which also hosted the first gala of the premier travel event of the Maldives back in 2012.

More than 200 industry professionals came together at the Gala, to celebrate the winners in 25 categories of the gala edition.

The Gala Edition is exclusive for resorts, airlines and liveaboards operating in the Maldives.

Winners:

Leading CSR Programme: Crown & Champa Resorts

Property for Leading Human Resources Management: One&Only Reethi Rah

Leading Meeting and Conference Resort: Paradise Island Resort

Leading Dive/Water Sports Centre: Sun Siyam Diving

Leading Wellness and Spa Resort: The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives

Leading Airport Hotel: Equator Village

Leading Dive Resort: Bandos Maldives

Leading Eco-Resort: Six Senses Laamu

Leading International Carrier: SriLankan Airlines

Leading Surf Resort: Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

Leading Liveaboard: Horizon 3

Leading Liveaboard Brand: Voyages Maldives

Leading Local Hotel/Resort Brand: Sun Aqua

Leading International Hotel/Resort Brand: Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Leading All-Inclusive Resort: Hurawalhi Maldives

Most Supportive Resorts: Paradise Island Resort

Newcomer of the Year: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Leading Family Resort: Amilla Fushi

Leading Designer Resort: Kandima Maldives

Leading F&B Resort: One&Only Reethi Rah

Leading F&B Outlet: Le 1947, Cheval Blanc Randheli

Leading Private Island: Naladhu Private Island Maldives

Leading Beach Resort: Cocoon Maldives

Leading Luxury Resort: Cheval Blanc Randheli

Most Romantic Resort: Huvafen Fushi

This year, Maldives Travel Awards showed a record number of nominations in all the major categories.

Winners were selected based on a combined rating of scores awarded by a panel of judges and popular vote collected via SMS and online platforms. More than 250,000 votes were registered on both platforms in 2018. The panel of judges, representing six industry professionals, travelled to nominated properties over a period of one month to evaluate the nominees. Winners in some of the categories in the Gala Edition such as airlines are decided on popular vote alone.

Winners of Maldives Travel Awards People’s Edition were also announced at the gala. The five exceptional travel professionals recognised in the People’s Edition include:

Ali Ahmed – Director at Vista Company

Ismail Hameed – Managing Director at Highrise Pvt Ltd

Hussain Waheed – Airport Manager at One&Only Reethi Rah

Mark Hehir – CEO and Curator at The Small Maldives Island Co.

Qaisar Naseem – Group General Manager at Villa Hotels Resorts (Recognition for Outstanding Performance in Travel Industry)

Initiated in 2012 by MATATO, Maldives Travel Awards celebrate and honour the best tourism and hospitality products in the Maldives, while fostering relationships with suppliers and local travel agents. From 20 categories in 2012, the awards have now expanded into three editions totalling 55 categories.

Just like last year, MATATO is hosting the People’s Edition to recognize successful pioneers and long serving individuals in the tourism industry, a Guesthouse Edition, which celebrates the outstanding performance of the up and coming guesthouse sector, and the Grand Gala, which is exclusive for winners in the categories for resorts, airlines and liveaboards.

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Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi Defends World’s Best Wine Lists Awards

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Constance Halaveli Maldives and Constance Moofushi Maldive have won World’s Best Wine Lists Awards for another year.

Awarding three stars to Constance Halaveli for the fourth year, judges noted that a great deal of time and thought has been given to the wine list at the resort, where an interesting and fruitful selection of by-the-glass options are available, including Mas Amiel 1975 Maury and Niepoort Colheita 2001, in addition to a plethora of full bottle options divided into various chapters.

A few of the stand-out options in Constance Halaveli’s wine list includes Billecart-Salmon’s single-vineyard Blanc de Noirs Clos St Hilaire 1998, and Deutz Cuvée William Deutz and Blanc de Blancs 1988. Amongst more familiar but equally special prestige cuvées are Dom Pérignon, Roederer Cristal, and Cristal Rosé.

Offering guests a luxurious island holiday, Constance Halaveli Resort features spacious villas with private plunge pools. Providing comprehensive spa and diving facilities, it has 3 dining options and tennis courts. 

Featuring hardwood flooring and well-crafted furnishings, open-concept villas feature views of surrounding greenery or the lagoon. Each well-equipped villa has amenities like a flat-screen TV, iPod docking and free Wi-Fi. 

Sandy white shores and crystal-clear lagoons surround Constance Moofushi, a luxurious beach escape in Maldives’ South Ari Atoll. It boasts a beautiful infinity pool, free Wi-Fi and a pampering spa. 

Featuring uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean from private sun decks, each air-conditioned villa features designer furniture, an iPod dock and flat-screen TV. Villas provide luxury and convenience with a minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Constance Moofushi is a 25-minute seaplane ride from Velana International Airport. 

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Inside Sam Faiers’ Lavish Maldives Getaway at Finolhu Beach Resort

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Sam Faiers is on a festive getaway to the stunning Maldives with her partner Paul Knightley, their children and his mum Gaynor.

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And she has been giving fans a glimpse of her sun-soaked break in the Maldives with her son Paul, three, daughter Rosie, one, and her beau, 30, over the festive season.

The Mummy Diaries star, 27, has spared no expense on her lavish beach getaway, as she and her family spend their time on the sandy beaches, by the pool, or enjoying the coconut Christmas tree.

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While the resort was clearly the perfect spot for her little ones to play, as one image saw dad Paul run around with the kids by the huge coconut tree, while another saw Rosie playing inside a beach car.

Sam’s adorable son Paul seemed to be having a great time, as he beamed for photos where he splashed around in the pool, while the pair were also seen enjoying the gorgeous sea views from a rustic patio.

 

 

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Trans Maldivian Airways Crowned as The Leading Seaplane Operator! at the World Travel Awards 2018

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Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) has defended the title of World’s Leading Seaplane Operator at the World Travel Awards.

At the World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2018 held at the historic Pátio da Galé in Lisbon on December 1, TMA once again secured the position after beating Harbour Air, Kenmore Air, Seaborne Airlines, Seawings, and Sydney Seaplanes.

TMA currently operates an all-amphibian fleet of 50 aircraft, on regular flights throughout the Maldivian archipelago, making it the largest seaplane operator in the world!

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The seaplane operator started in 1989 as a company operating a helicopter fleet under the name Hummingbird Island Helicopters.

Eight years later, the name was changed to Hummingbird Island Airways, as the first seaplane was added to the fleet. The transition to a seaplane-only fleet was completed in 1999. A year later, the name Trans Maldivian Airways came to be, and still, today represents a synonym for connecting the Maldives islands.

In 2016, TMA operated over 120,000 flights, transferring close to a million passengers, including 80,000 residents.

Seaplane is the preferred mode of transport between the main Velana International Airport and dozens of resorts, especially those located in the outer atolls.

World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

World Travel Awards™ celebrates its 25th anniversary year in 2018. Its annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the global industry. Each year World Travel Awards™ covers the globe with its Grand Tour – a series of regional gala ceremonies to recognise excellence within each continent, culminating in a Grand Final at the end of the year.

World Travel Awards™ gala ceremonies are regarded as milestone events in the industry calendar, attended by the industry’s key decision makers and figure heads, as well as key trade and consumer media. The programme, its winners and its sponsors are represented globally on social media, with fresh daily content featured on six platforms and in 10 languages, including Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Arabic.

In 2018, World Travel Awards™ Grand Tour features regional gala ceremonies in the Middle East (Ras Al Khaimah, UAE), Europe (Athens, Greece), Asia & Australasia (Hong Kong), Latin America (Guayaquil, Ecuador), Africa & the Indian Ocean (Durban, South Africa) and North America & the Caribbean (Jamaica). Regional winners then compete head to head in in the corresponding world categories. The winners were announced on the night of the World Travel Awards™ Grand Final in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2018.

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Mohamed Afeef Appointed as New Director of Operations at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives

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4-star resort, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives has appointed Mohamed Afeef as the resort’s new Director of Operations.

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Afeef is joining the Olhuveli team from Fushifaru Maldives, where he worked as the Director of Guest Experience. He will oversee the day-to-day operations of Olhuveli and lead the resort to it’s goals for the future.

“We are pleased to announce that our search for a new Director of Operations has been a success. We are very excited to have Afeef with us,” Resident Manager at Olhuveli, Ahmed Rifau said.

Afeef has held top positions in guest relations and front office department of renowned local resorts such Bandos Maldives and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

With over two decades of experience in the local hospitality industry, Afeef also has a proven track record of success in motivating and managing staff along with developing and following best practices in hospitality. 

Olhuveli is part of local resort chain Sun Siyam Resorts, which has a portfolio of boutique luxury resorts in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, including The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, Sun Aqua Vilu Reef Maldives and the newly opened Sun Aqua Iru Veli in the Maldives, and Sun Aqua Pasikudah in Sri Lanka.

At the tip of South Male Atoll, the luxurious Olhuveli Beach And Spa offers an island escape with beautiful white sandy beaches. It is nestled within tropical gardens and has 4 restaurants, 3 bars and a PADI-certified dive school. 

Elegantly decorated with wooden furnishings, the spacious air-conditioned rooms and villas are equipped with a flat-screen TV, Chinese TV channels, DVD player and a minibar. Some villas come with a private sun deck and spa bath overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The resort accessible by a 45-minute exhilarating speedboat transfer from the main Velana International Airport.

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