Banyan Tree Resorts Organizes Malé City Cleanup on International Coastal Cleanup & World Cleanup Day 2019

Marking 25 years as a responsible hospitality organization, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru organized a cleanup in the Maldives’ capital city Malé, supporting both the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019.

The Maldives is somewhat of a haven, pristine white sand beaches lined with swaying palm trees and endless blue sky that melts into the aqua-marine waters, surrounding some 1,200 islands that are scattered across the Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, it is easy to overlook the current challenges being faced to maintain this picture-perfect, diverse and abundant ecosystem. Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans, with the Maldives being especially impacted; since only 1 percent of the entire Maldives is covered with the land while 99 percent is open ocean. Like a giant sieve, these fragile coral islands sift through the marine garbage circulating the Indian Ocean. One only needs to walk around the shorelines of these islands or beside the ferry terminals in the capital city Malé to experience the issues faced by the country, in regard to effective waste management.

Cleaning activities organized by Banyan Tree, and held in collaboration with local partners and communities, aim to remediate and cleanse local surroundings, to maintain the pristine environment for all society to enjoy. Banyan Tree aims to conduct a minimum of four clean-ups per year to raise awareness about effective waste management. So far in 2019, over one tonne of waste has been collected with the help of more than 750 people; engaging local councils, community members, school children and both guests and associates from the two Banyan Tree properties in North Male’ Atoll. The organization believes that it is essential to raise awareness about the importance of responsible consumption and production to combat the wider problem. Since pledging to become single-use plastic free on Earth Day 2018, the two Banyan Tree properties have achieved a combined total reduction of 75% of targeted categories of single-use plastic items, including the complete elimination of items such as straws, plastic bottles, cocktail stirrers, takeaway containers and disposable cutlery. The ambitious target of eliminating 100% of single-use plastic items across all 43 Banyan Tree Properties worldwide, remains the ultimate goal.

This year, the Banyan Tree Group celebrates its 25th Anniversary, a significant milestone marking its unique journey rooted in sustainability, from the very first Banyan Tree property – an abandoned tin mine in Phuket that began with a painstaking task of cleansing and remediating the toxic and polluted land surrounding. This led to the creation of Asia’s first and largest integrated resort, Laguna Phuket. In memory of this feat, Banyan Tree Maldives has organized a cleanup on Malé, on the 21st of September, aligning with the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019. This is being organized and conducted in collaboration with valued partners: the American Center Maldives (ACM), and Maldives Girl Guides Association (MGGA), Dive Desk, Let’s Do It Maldives (World Cleanup Day) and Parley; who share the same philosophies about environmental conservation and social empowerment. By rallying together with those who share a common goal, collecting and documenting the trash that litters the coastline of Malé, Banyan Tree and its partners strive to protect, conserve and preserve the environment for the future generations to come.

Individuals or groups who are interested in joining the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day are invited to be present at Alimas Carnival on Saturday, the 21st of September 2019 at 08:30am. All participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to the cleanup event to ensure a minimal plastic footprint.

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Luxurious JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa set to open on Nov 1

Marriott International has announced the opening of luxurious JW Marriot Maldives Resort and Spa to be on 01st November 2019.

JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Spa is a 55 minutes flight from Velana International Airport (VIA) and is 192 km away from Male’ City. The resort contains 68 water villas, each with its own private pool. JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Spa also contains a rooftop restaurant, a spacious wine cellar, a kids club and a vibrant reef showing the marine beauty of the Maldives as per the General Manager, Mr. Marc Gussing.

Marriott International is the largest hotel chain in the world running 422 hotels in 60 different countries. The opening of JW Marriot Maldives Resort and Spa will be the first of their premier luxury brand in the Maldives. It will be their fifth property. Marriott’s brands already present in the Maldives include St. Regis Hotels & Resorts (The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort), W Hotels (W Maldives), Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa), and Westin Hotels & Resorts (The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort).e resorts in the Maldives before the two companies merged.


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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa wins ‘Best Hotel in Asia’ & 5th place in ‘Best Hotels in the World’

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa wins the ‘Best Hotel in Asia’ and has been ranked in 5th place in the ‘Best Hotels in the World’ category in the 2019 Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards.

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a resort surrounded by a shimmering turquoise lagoon, pristine white sandy beaches and swaying palms in North Malé Atoll. This 5-star resort offers endless water recreation including diving, snorkelling, boating, sailing, jet skiing and more. Located 15-20 minutes away from Velana International Airport and 1km away from the nearest inhabited island, this Maldives family resort showcases 176 hotel rooms, beach bungalows and overwater villas, many with private pools. Guests can choose to dine-in from seven hotel restaurants and bars, featuring International cuisine, island views and signature cocktails.

The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards is run by the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine association with Blue Bay Travel. They stated that this year the results are based on the opinions of 74,915 readers clamouring to nominate their picks of some of the industry’s most astonishing travel destinations and show-stopping hotels, across a variety of travel-related categories. This year marks the 2nd year for this annual prestigious award.


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Banyan Tree Resorts Initiates “Connect To Earth from Dusk till Dawn”

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru initiated a monthly event called Connect to Earth from Dusk till Dawn.

Inspired by the Earth Hour Movement, a yearly event celebrated by switching off the lights for one hour, Banyan Tree Resorts Maldives decided to take the movement to the next level and dedicate twelve hours every month to connect to Earth.

The 14th of September 2019 marked the first of what will be a series of Connect to Earth from Dusk Till Dawn, and the monthly occurrence is set to take place during the full moon to take advantage of the moon’s natural luminescence as the two resorts switch off the lights from 6pm until 6am the following day.

“By switching off the lights for one hour, we can make a substantial difference in the energy consumption and we can help reduce the effect of global warming,” says Hicham Najdi, the General Manager of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru. “Just imagine how much more we can save if we switch off the lights for twelve hours every month instead of just one hour every year,” Najdi added.

The resorts dubbed the monthly occurrence as 6to6, taken from the start and end time of the event. The restaurants and bars will be candlelit in the evening and a special full moon in-villa dinner can be arranged for the guests upon request.

An “Under the Full Moon Night Snorkel” with the Marine Lab Team will be organized as part of the 6to6, aiming to give a delightfully unique underwater experience to the guests. The event aims to help raise awareness and show support in sustainable approaches to tackle climate change.

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru are located in North Male’ Atoll, just 25 minutes away by speedboat from the airport. The two resorts are just 5 minutes by boat away from each other.

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Economic Ministry To Push Selling Authentic Maldivian Products In Resorts

Economic Ministry has announced that they want to focus on selling authentic Maldivian products in resorts during the inauguration of Fannu Expo 2019 on 16th September.

Speaking at the “Fannu Expo” organized by the Ministry of Economic Development, Minister Fayyaz Ismail highlighted that the ministry wants to pace the way for local producers and provide them opportunities to sell their products in resort souvenir shops. He further added that the ministry along with the business council is working to deploy a special logo to represent the authenticity of Maldivian products.

Fannu Expo is a National level exhibition organized by the Ministry of Economic Development to promote the creative arts & craftsmanship works of the Maldives. The expo is set to be held on 22nd to 28th November 2019 at Dharubaaruge, Kalaafaanu school and Children’s park.

His Excellency Vice President Faisal Naseem Inaugurated Fannu expo 2019.


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“Journey to the Sunny Side” Roadshow commences in Germany & Austria

As part of the series of roadshows planned by Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) the “Journey to the Sunny Side” has commenced in Germany & Austria.

The roadshow is being held at three prominent cities in Germany, including Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich from 16-18 September 2019, and in Vienna, Austria on 19 September 2019. Maldives Roadshow in Germany & Austria is the sixth event of the series “Journey to the Sunny Side”; a marketing campaign launched by MMPRC in 2019.

The four-city roadshow targets the German-speaking market to maximize the Maldives brand exposure. This event will serve as a platform for Maldives tourism industry partners to showcase products and network with top travel trade industry partners to increase tourist arrivals from these target markets. Seven companies from the Maldives Tourism Industry have participated in this roadshow to create potential opportunities and to further strengthen the relationship with the German and Austrian tour operators. In addition to the destination presentation and one-to-one networking sessions during the event, a raffle draw winner will be chosen from each city to spend holidays in the Maldives, with sponsorship from LUX* North Male Atoll. MMPRC has received excellent support from Maldives industry partners to the “Journey to the sunny side” series roadshows in 2019.

Based on the Arrival figures of the first half of this year, Germany is ranked fifth for the highest performing markets to the Maldives accounting for 7.2 percent of the total market share with 71,479 tourist arrivals. This is 10.4 percent increment compared to the first six months of 2018. Austria also showed a growth of 9.3 percent with a total of 13,415 tourist arrivals compared to the same period of 2018.

MMPRC plans to further boost the number of arrivals from these markets with additional activities throughout the year.

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Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives brings Mediterranean flavours with ‘Pesto, Pistou’ Menu

Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives brings international guests and local residents flavours of the Mediterranean with the launch of its latest global menu – ‘Pesto, Pistou’.

Marking another gastronomic triumph for a brand synonymous with culinary excellence for more than 70 years, the expert chefs at Mövenpick have perfected a new and innovative range of pesto’s (Italian) and pistous (French) to create seven experimental dishes, available at Latitude 5.5 throughout October 2019.

Chef Deden Permana, who heads the culinary team at Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, will lead the kitchen in preparing the Pesto, Pistou based dishes. These two classic European sauces are both based on the aromatic herb, basil, which is harvested in late summer. Savoury favourites will include seared Ahi Tuna with olive, and eggplant pesto and seafood soup with tarragon pistou. For dessert, a sweet treat with a real difference – Bundt cake with chocolate-mint pesto, served alongside a frothy Mövenpick Espresso.

“We are excited to work with these luscious basil-based sauces, introducing them to guests in ways they have not likely experienced before,” said Chef Deden, Executive Sous Chef, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives. “The seasonality of using pesto and pistou is important to us, as basil is traditionally harvested in late summer and preserved into these rich, oil-based sauces that are full of colour, flavour, and healthy omega-3s – perfect for brightening up our cuisine, and our spirits, amid the cooling weather.”

Maciej Gruszecki, General Manager, added: “While our guests and our local fans love to return for their favourite classic Mövenpick dishes, we always seek to surprise and delight with innovative seasonal offerings, or special food-related events. We are certain that our Pesto, Pistou menu will excite the palates of even the most experimental foodies while providing a fitting send-off to summer with a tribute to the flavours that conjure up the Mediterranean sun and sea.”

Pesto and pistou are two versions of a flavourful sauce based on basil, olive oil and cheese. Italian pesto, which originates in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, Italy, is blended from garlic, basil, pine nuts, grated pecorino cheese (or sometimes parmesan) and olive oil while its French cousin, pistou, is a Provençal cold sauce with similar ingredients, but without the pine nuts and with or without cheese.

Mövenpick’s versions add new surprising ingredients to the blend while preserving the essence of both Mediterranean speciality sauces to create seven pesto, pistou-inspired dishes:

  • Ahi tuna with olive and eggplant pesto: pan-seared yellowfin tuna fillet with a modern interpretation of ratatouille, pine nuts and black tapenade.
  • Seafood soup with tarragon pistou: a touch of tarragon and a unique blend of sweet aniseed and mild vanilla bring this speciality seafood dish to life.
  • Tagliolini with walnut-basil pesto: walnuts replace pine nuts to create an imitable new pesto blend that is smooth, sweet and deliciously buttery.
  • Black cod with pesto Rosso: accompanied by risotto, made from aged Acquerello rice to absorb every ingredient and flavour in full.
  • Beef fillet with red cabbage pesto: a traditional winter vegetable, with a sweet edge gives this pesto dish punch.
  • Corn-fed chicken breast with bell pepper pesto: with peas, snow peas, egg, a basmati rice galette and sublime bitter-sweet yellow-red pesto.
  • Bundt cake with chocolate-mint pesto: a timeless German cake with a cool mint and rich chocolate pesto twist, served with a Mövenpick Espresso.
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Kobe Restaurant of Kuramathi Maldives Introduces New Dessert Menu

Kobe, the overwater teppanyaki restaurant at Kuramathi Maldives has introduced an all-new dessert menu.

Among the five delightful treats introduced by their culinary team includes Mizu Mochi, a must-try Japanese raindrop cake made exclusively for Kuramathi. Hokkaido Milk Aisukurimu, made with the best Japanese Hokkaido milk in the world, guaranteed by the team to melt an ice cream enthusiast’s heart. They have also included a Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Molten Lava Cake.

Set in Rasdhoo Atoll, Kuramathi Maldives offers a naturally Maldivian holiday experience with unique twists to suit everyone. Whether a couple on a romantic getaway or a family seeking to enjoy the quality time together.

In addition to the three main international buffet restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, Kuramathi has nine à la carte restaurants offering a range of cuisine to suit all palates.

56 kilometres west from Male’ International Airport, Kuramathi is about 1.8km long. Guest villas are scattered around lush gardens, facing secluded areas of long beaches or poised over water.

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Hotel Booking Platform “Bidroom” Announces Its Arrival in Asia Pacific

A fast-growing and multiple award-winning online hotel booking platform with a radically different business model based on zero commissions aims to start their operations in the Asia Pacific hotel sector.

Bidroom’s no-commission membership-based hotel platform has already attracted leading hotel brands and apartments, as well as Visa from the payments sector.

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Launched in 2014 in the Netherlands, Bidroom currently offers 125,000 hotel properties in 128 countries to frequent travellers who benefit from guaranteed lower room rates compared to other OTAs. The company’s primary mission is to serve as a fair alternative to the online booking market which is currently defined by excessive OTA commissions that hurt hotel bottom lines. For the first five years of operation, Bidroom focused on building its hotel stock in Europe and North America.

“Bidroom works as an annual membership model, whereby hotels only pay a contribution after proven success,” says Ros. “This substantial saving is shared with the online frequent traveller who will subsequently be paying a guaranteed lowest-available price.” COO and co-founder Michael Ros added: “Bidroom is demonstrably cheaper than all known OTAs. The result is also a significant margin of financial improvement for hoteliers.”

Hotel profits are already under pressure in Asia and Pacific destinations with new openings in arguably oversupplied destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Maldives. Reducing OTA commissions is therefore vital to hotel viability, says Ros.

“While online travel will continue its massive expansion, especially in Asia,” he says. “The honeymoon period with OTAs using manipulative techniques must end. Bidroom stands apart as a more profitable and fair-minded booking solution for hotels in the region.”

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‘Minus 6 Meters’ at Ozen by Atmosphere – First underwater restaurant in an all-inclusive plan

Opening the doors to an unparalleled, immersive dining experience, M6m, the brand-new underwater restaurant at OZEN by Atmosphere is the first underwater restaurant within the South Malé Atoll and the first in the Maldives to be included on an all-inclusive plan.

An open sea venue that’s truly a world away, M6m (an acronym for ‘Minus 6 Meters’), is the result of painstaking planning, conceptualization, and detailed design, with a focus on protecting the environment and the delicate, world-renowned aquatic life in the Maldives.

Complementing OZEN’s luxury flair with delectable modern seafood cuisine and plush interiors, the restaurant’s aesthetic intertwines sleek white furnishings with splashes of color inspired by the hues of the surrounding lagoon. The result is surroundings that will make guests feel like they’re at the heart of the ocean as sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and vibrant angelfish glide past.

Adhering to Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts’ philosophy of integrating world-class experiences into all-inclusive holiday plans, M6m will be included on the Atmosphere Indulgence Plan for all guests – a first in the island nation. The inclusion will mean that guests can’t be stung with an additional bill at the end of their stay.

The five-star resort will also boast a number of other fine-dining experiences, ensuring guests will never be short of eatery options. These include The Palms, the resort’s main restaurant, serving up fresh international cuisine, Traditions – IndoCeylon, an ambient restaurant in keeping with the resort’s South Asian culinary roots, Traditions – Peking, a favourite with fans of Far-East cuisine and Joie de Vivre, a stunning poolside bar and pizzeria.

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Cocoon Maldives Brings International Kite Festival to Maldives for 2nd year

Cocoon Maldives will be hosting International Kite Festival for the 2nd consecutive time in the Maldives in collaboration with Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC). This festival will be hosted at different venues to attract more audiences to experience live Kite performances of 3 world-renowned kite flying champions, Edy Angelino, Guilherme Linares Palau, and Daniel Y. Wu.

The first session of International Kite Festival will be held at Male’, Ekuveni Cricket Ground on 28th September 2019 whereas the second event will be held at Hinnavaru, Lhaviyani Atoll on 04th October 2019. This will be a delighting opportunity for the public to experience live kite flying techniques and formations of Kite flying champions from Italy, Brazil and China. The visitors to the festival will get FREE gifts and one lucky winner from the public will get a FREE holiday at Cocoon Maldives.

Kite Exhibition week will also be held at Cocoon Maldives for its stay vacationers from 28th September 2019 – 03rd October 2019. This humongous event is open for all guests to take part where Edy Angelino, Linares Palau, and Daniel Y. Wu will be showcasing Kite imprints they used and their signature kiting techniques. This will a great opportunity for valued guests to take fly Kite learning sessions from versatile kite flying champions all the way from Italy, Brazil, and China.

Cocoon Maldives, Located in Ookolhufinolhu Island in Lhaviyani Atoll, blends the best of Italian design with Maldives’ stunning natural beauty. Cocoon’s interiors are exclusively designed by Lago, one of Italy’s finest design companies.

About Kite Exhibitors:
Edy Angelino: Edy Angelino is a world-renowned Kite Champion from Italy. He is the only rider to be able to fly 4 acrobatic kites with music alone. He is well known for his exceptional performances, achieved after hours and hours of training but coordinated in ballet with music, very spectacular! Edy has created a club of passionate kites, of which he is the inspirer and the President: “Free Fly Sports Association”.

Guilherme Linares Palau: Linares Palau is the Kite champion from Brazil. He has been making kites since he was four. Now in his 50s, the lightweight creations have become his main occupation and he has traveled the world following this “big passion” of his. In 2018, Linares Palau won the gold and silver medals at the International Kite Festival in Weifang, China.

Daniel Y. Wu: Daniel Y. Wu is a kite enthusiastic from China. He can fly 1‐ line kite, dual-line kite, quad line kite, set to music as an aerial ballet. He specializes in fly fighter kites, rokkaku as well as display kites. Daniel Y. Wu has been running kite workshops for children for about 10 years, ranging from simple sleds to complex ripstop kites working with schools, colleges and kite groups in China.

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MMPRC Hosts First-Ever “Tourism Marketeers Evening”

Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC) has hosted the first edition of discussion gathering exclusive for the tourism industry marketeers, themed under “Tourism Marketeers Evening” on 10th September at Kurumba Maldives. Tourism marketing professionals representing resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, and travel agencies participated in this event organized by MMPRC.

Initiating the program, Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of MMPRC spoke on the importance of streamlining MMPRC’s efforts in marketing with that of the industry stakeholders’.

“We hear many expert opinions every day about the potential for even more types of tourism and products for our industry. Therefore we believe the exchange of ideas between the industry professionals will help us better envision our future.” He said while adding that MMPRC is actively strategizing to diversify its marketing efforts. “We are also preparing to market Maldives brand to niche markets such as MICE, Cultural, Sports, and Recreational Tourism. These are just a few of the many possible paths we can take to diversify our marketing.”

The session was divided into two main components; firstly discussing the marketing efforts by MMPRC thus far in 2019 and secondly exploring and sharing new ideas of marketing by industry marketeers. It was a fruitful discussion where the stakeholders shared numerous enhancements to MMPRC’s current activities and possible activities for the year 2020.

MMPRC is currently carrying out Fairs, Roadshows, Global campaigns, Joint campaigns, and Digital marketing activities focused on 23 markets.

The first six months of 2019 has recorded the biggest growth for the tourism industry in terms of arrivals in the past 5 years with 1.1 million tourist arrivals. By the end of 2018, a total of 1.4 million tourists visited the Maldives. The industry’s target is to receive 1.5 million tourist arrivals by the end of this year.

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Raffles Maldives Meradhoo opens new overwater villas

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo has opened 16 new overwater villas.

The resort, which soft-opened in May, is located at the southern tip of the Maldives in the remote and pristine Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Raffles Maldives Meradhoo’s Overwater Island Experience completes the resort for their official opening on 22nd September. With its vast overwater villas and residences, sophisticated Nikkei restaurant Yuzu and sunset-facing Yapa pool bar, it provides unparalleled luxury.

The resort informs that all the facilities of the resort will be at their full disposal by their grand opening. A unique offering, a Marine Butler is available to every guest and will lead snorkelling tours of the resort’s two fascinating house reefs. Gaafu Alifu atoll is one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls and the astoundingly clear, blissfully warm waters immediately surrounding the Raffles resort teem with a kaleidoscope of colourful fish. Guests are encouraged to keep an eye out for Apollo, one of the 20 resident hawksbill and green turtles that regularly swim by to say hello.

“For couples looking for an unforgettable romantic hideaway, our exceptionally spacious villas and the discreet expertise of the Raffles butler service redefines the resort experience. From intimate dining with our private chef service to snorkelling and diving in the world’s most breathtaking coral reefs, we create a place where guests can enjoy the best of both worlds in a destination known for its stunning surroundings,” said Oliver Larcher, General Manager of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

On the beach island, the overwater Raffles Spa combines Eastern practices with age-old local influences and offers highly personalised facials by Biologique Recherche; rejuvenating body treatments from Aromatherapy Associates; and signature manicure and pedicure services by Margaret Dabbs London. An expansive gym caters to all fitness levels; yoga sessions are held on an ocean-facing deck; a jogging route winds its way along with gardens abloom with hibiscus and bougainvillaea; visiting practitioners will lead practise sessions in tai chi, mindfulness and more.

Relaxed feet-in-the-sand dining is encouraged at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. The Firepit is an outdoor barbecue restaurant where hearty seafood and meat specialities such as spicy lobster with green papaya and tender beef tenderloin are flame-grilled over the charcoal fire. The tables and chairs carved from the sand are set directly on the shore for uninterrupted views of the starlit skyline. Starting with healthy smoothies and freshly baked pastries, breakfast is a highlight at the all-day international restaurant Thari. Paying homage to its namesake at Raffles Singapore, guests can enjoy the signature Maldives Sling at the Long Bar which features a special concoction of gin, grapefruit, coconut, cinnamon and clove that mirrors the Maldivian evening sunset.

“Accor is bringing to the resort our expertise in delivering unparalleled luxury experiences renowned in our Raffles brand. The Raffles collection now includes 14 distinguished properties in leading addresses across 12 countries and we are thrilled to welcome guests at the first Raffles in the Maldives,” said Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer of Accor, Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia and the Maldives.

Accommodation at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo starts at US$1800 per night, including taxes and service charge, breakfast and complimentary speedboat transfers from Kaadedhdhoo Airport. An hour’s domestic flight south of Malé International Airport to Kaadhedhdhoo Airport is chargeable at US$500 net per person roundtrip.

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Fairmont Maldives Unveils New Underwater Art By Jason DeCaires Taylor

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort has unveiled new underwater art installation by British sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor.

In 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi opened with an underwater art installation by renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor but unfortunately, the sculptures were pulled to the surface for depicting human forms. Revised now the Coralarium is complete with a series of new sculptures, designed to imitate coral colonies rising from ten semi-submerged plinths.

This Coralarium is the first and only coral regeneration project in the Maldives that comes in the form of an underwater art installation. The British environmentalist and eco-artist behind it took inspiration from the natural beauty of the coral reef to create artworks that raise awareness of the threatened ecosystem, rehabilitate the reef and to educate the resort’s guests about the marine habitat.

This structure and submerged artwork has been designed to act as an artificial reef that with time will provide a habitat for the expansive lagoon’s marine life – sculptures rising up to five meters in height attract fish and crustaceans with their ceramic ‘starfish’ structure with cubby holes providing a hiding place for fish and shellfish. This gives the resort’s guests close encounters with the marine species while swimming and snorkelling between the works of art with a marine biologist or on one of the specially curated evening snorkelling tours.

Having first been constructed in 2018, the steel Coralarium structure is already flooded with marine life. Hard corals, sponges and thousands of schooling fish live within these walls now, which let the light stream in through a coral perforated design, illuminating the sculptures. Those inspired by Taylor’s installation can even get the opportunity to create own marine-inspired masterpiece in the on-site art studio or plant their own coral. The guests can revisit and see their own art in years to come.

Located in the Shaviyani Atoll, the resort is a 55-minute seaplane flight from Male’ and have placed much of its focus on the environment since opening. As well as establishing the Coralarium and its coral regeneration project, the resort has installed its own water distillery and in 2020 the island will generate power from solar panels. This all a part of the Fairmont Sustainability Partnership, which focuses on protecting local environments, improving the well-being of local communities, reducing energy and water consumption, waste generation and carbon emissions, and establishing wildlife conservation efforts.

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Soneva’s Shades of Green recognized in top 5 sustainable dining places in Asia

Soneva Fushi’s Shades of Green dining labelled as ‘Dinner that doesn’t cost the earth’ by The Purpose Business.

The Purpose Business is the 360-degree network of sustainability and business advisors in Asia. They are a team of qualified professionals with experience and passion in responsible business ranging from investor relations to sustainable tourism, glass recycling to storytelling, waste management to shared economies. Shades of Green is listed among the 5 sustainable dining locations in Asia as compiled by their advisor Chris Dwyer.

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The 20-seat vegetarian restaurant is located in the resort’s organic garden and is only open for dinner. The concept and menu were created by Carsten Kyster, a Danish chef who has worked alongside Jamie Oliver at the River Café and Peter Gordon at The Sugar Club in London.

Shades of Green menu features simple yet experimental plant-based dishes, blending Maldivian and south-east Asian cuisines, which are prepared using Nordic techniques such as smoking, salting, fermenting and pickling. The dinner experience begins with all diners going on a guided tour of the garden to learn about the herbs, vegetables and fruits grown there. Through the use of all five senses, the diners will pick ingredients to be used in their meal. They are encouraged to examine, pick, smell, and taste the herbs, fruits, and vegetables growing in the garden. Along the way, they will come across a number of amuse bouche hidden amongst the greenery. After this, the diners gather around a fire pit for the first course before being seated at tables beneath the shade of the pergola and fruit trees.



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Kudadoo Maldives among the best-designed hotels in the world

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island listed in the hospitality architecture category at the prestigious Dezeen Awards 2019.

The resort opened on December 2018, consists of 15 Zen-style villas circling the island’s periphery like a diadem, providing uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea’s horizon. Dining, spa visits, and other activities happen in the solar-powered resort nerve centre area known as The Retreat. Kudadoo is also the first fully sustainable resort in the Maldives.

One of the luxury bedrooms at Kudadoo Maldives. It can only be reached by seaplane

Architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was selected by the owner to design and build the resort, “wanted something that has not been done before.” With a sustainable mindset, Kudadoo Maldives is scattered with local plants to preserve the ecology.  “Architecturally, we wanted something modern but not overly designed,” said Yamazaki of his fourth project in the tropical nation.

All villas are located 10-20 meters away from the reef edge of one of the Maldives most healthy and vibrant coral reefs. The exteriors of the villas are crafted out of cedarwood where oil built into the wood gives it an elegant silver-grey tone over time. The roof of the retreat is pitched at an angle to allow rainwater to slide, and each solar panel is built into the design. The architect is most proud of the way he designed the interiors of the airy 3,000-square-foot villas where natural breezes sweep through them, making air-conditioning superfluous.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi is managed by Bradley Calder as part of Crown & Champa Resorts collection. The resort can be booked entirely for exclusive use from $80,000 – $140,000 per night depending on the season, alternatively residences can also be booked from $3,800 per night.


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The new InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort opens with Butler Service in every villa

After three years of development and construction, the sparkling new InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau resort officially opened on September 1 with butler service at each of their villas.

“We’re not just in the business of selling rooms, we sell experiences,” says Stefan O. Huemer, General Manager of the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau. The resort is located in the southern tip of the Raa Atoll, not far from the country’s only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In addition to being the brand’s first hub in the Maldives, the 81-villa property is also the first anywhere to offer Club InterContinental benefits to all guests, elevating the experience for all who check-in.

InterContinental Maldives overwater pool

The butler service is one of the signatures of the resort, with the dedicated host taking care of everything from personalized mini-bar and making spa appointments to organizing activities like secluded island dinners, stargazing sessions, outdoor movie nights, campfire storytelling, wine tastings, and all manner of water sports and snorkelling/diving/sailing excursions. In addition to this service, complimentary club benefits are offered to all guests that include a daily buffet and a la carte breakfast (served at the all-day dining Café Umi and the adults-only The Retreat), multi-tiered afternoon tea service, and evening cocktails and canapes. Other meals and drinks can be taken at one of the six restaurants and bars, which range from the seafood-focused, Southeast Asian-flavored Fish Market (also home to a boat-shaped Sunset Bar and an impressive wine cellar) to The Lighthouse, a romantic spot for 360-degree views and Mediterranean-influenced fare from an El Bulli-trained Spanish chef.

The resort has also partnered with Manta Trust in support of the Maldivian Manta Ray Project, to nurture a safe habitat for the manta rays within the resort’s lagoon as well as providing guests with information and opportunity to swim alongside these graceful creatures and snorkel in underwater coral gardens.


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Chinese Football Players Arrive at Maldives for World Cup Qualifiers Match

Chinese professional football players Wu Lei, Nico Yennaris and Elkeson have been spotted arriving in the Maldives.

The Brazil-born Elkeson is to lead China against the Maldives in their opening fixture of 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on 10th September in the Maldives. He plays as an attacking midfielder or as a forward for Guangzhou Evergrande of the Chinese Super League.

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His new international teammate, Nicholas Yennaris (known in China as Li Ke) is an English-born Chinese professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Beijing Guoan. He began his career in the academy at Premier League club Arsenal and came to prominence in the Football League with Brentford. He won 10 caps for England between U17 and U19 level. In 2019, he was naturalized as a Chinese citizen and made his international debut for China later that year.

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Wu Lei is a Chinese professional footballer who plays as a left-winger for Spanish club RCD Espanyol. He is the all-time top goalscorer for Shanghai SIPG with 169 goals. He is the second all-time top goalscorer in Chinese Super League history with 102 goals. Wu also holds the record for being the youngest player to have appeared in a Chinese professional league match aged 14 years and 287 days.

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DJ Snake Vacationing at Waldorf Astoria Maldives

French-Algerian DJ and record producer from Paris – DJ Snake is at the Maldives.

The DJ has shared a series of video clips on his Instagram story of him holidaying at the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.

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DJ Snake debuted into the international scene with singles “Bird Machine” and “Turn Down for What” in 2013. “Bird Machine” is a collaboration with fellow French musician Alesia. The single was picked up by Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label run by Diplo, and released on February 2013. In June 2013, DJ Snake was invited by Diplo to do a live mix on his radio show, “Diplo & Friends”, which airs on BBC Radio 1.

On 30 April 2014, DJ Snake was labelled as an “Artist to Watch” by FoxWeekly.  In March 2018, Billboard named DJ Snake as number nine on their 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100.



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Safety and security inspection concludes for Baa Atoll, Hulhumale’ & Alif Dhaalu Atoll

The safety and security inspection at tourist facilities have been completed for Baa Atoll, Hulhumale’ and Alif Dhaalu Atoll.

The inspections are carried out as a joint effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Police Service and Maldives National Defence Force to find out if any businesses are operating without proper registration and licensing.

These reviews are carried out in resorts, guesthouses, dive centres and yacht marinas in the Maldives and inspections in Haa Alif, Haa Dhaalu, Faafu, Gaafu Alif, Gaafu Dhaalu, Fuvahmulah City and Addu City have already been completed. Surveys in remaining Kaafu Atoll and Vaavu Atoll are underway now.

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed previously stated that employee ratio and service charge rates in these businesses will also be inspected. The ministry plans to complete the inspection before September 2019.

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