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InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau to Debut in September

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Intercontinental Hotels Group is set to open the latest addition to its portfolio, InterContinental® Maldives Maamunagau Resort in September this year.

Nestled close to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the resort is located in the Southern Raa Atoll—half an hour ride by seaplane from Velana International Airport.

With over 81 Beach, Lagoon and Over-Water Villas, the soon-to-open resort is the first and only All-Club InterContinental resort. Guests can enjoy quality time by the Lagoon’s infinity pool or pamper themselves at the over-water Spa at the resort.

To create and maintain a sustainable marine ecosystem, InterContinental® Maldives Maamunagau Resort is also working closely with Manta Trust and has a manta sanctuary on the property.

Established in 1946, InterContinental Hotels has over 5,656 hotels across nearly 100 countries. Brands under IHG portfolio includes VOCO, Holiday Inn, Avid, Regent and KIMPTON.

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MMPRC Announces List of Fairs and Roadshows From July to December

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has announced the list of Fairs and Raodshows that MMPRC will be taking part from July to December 2019.

The following are the fairs and roadshows that MMPRC has planned to take part in from July to December of 2019.

MMPRC, established on March 2010, is a government body that works to promote Maldives as a destination. The organization has a presence all over the world through their promotional activities.

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Wedding

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Honeymoon in Maldives

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Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner are in Maldives for their honeymoon.

The newly-weds who married for the second time in late June at a Chateau in France, shared an intimate glimpse at their post-wedding getaway on Instagram and revealed that they are currently enjoying their honeymoon at Soneva Fushi in Baa Atoll.

Game of Thrones star, Sophie Turner shared three pictures of Jonas to her own Instagram with the caption, “Paradise, such a magical place”.

The Maldives holds a special place in the pair’s hearts, as they vacationed there, on nearby Coco Privé Island, together in February 2018 celebrating Turner’s 22nd birthday and their engagement.

The couple originally tied the knot in a small festival in Las Vegas after the Billboard Music Awards in May.

Located in Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi is owned and managed by world-leading eco-luxury resort operator Soneva. Over sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage with a spectacular view of the blue sea.

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Shangri-La Launches Global #MyShangriLa Photography Contest

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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced the global launch of #MyShangriLa Photography Contest today.

The 6-month contest aims to give new meaning to ‘Shangri-La’ – a memorable, magical moment that catches people by surprise and delights with joy. Guests, travelers and beyond are invited to capture and share their unique Shangri-La moment.

Shangri-La is both a feeling as well as a place. It’s about an unexpected moment of happiness which can happen to anyone at any time, anywhere,” said Anthony Wong, Executive Vice President Brands.

“We taste it at our favorite table. We hear it in a child’s laughter. We discover it in our travels. And it’s different for each one of us.  In our hotels and resorts, we strive to go the extra mile to connect our guests with their own Shangri-La through our thoughtful service that comes from the heart.”

From 15 July 2019 to 10 January 2020, participants can share images of what their Shangri-La looks like on Instagram with #MyShangriLa and @shangrilahotels or upload them on www.shangri-la.com/myshangrila.

It can be that special occasion, or moment; or simply a feeling of pure joy and happiness. Photos must be taken at one of Shangri-La’s hotels, resorts or destinations where the properties are situated.

Shangri-La will be giving away delightful prizes including 10,000 Golden Circle Award Points each month to celebrate the most heartwarming, unexpected moments of joy.  As the ultimate grand prize, one winner who shares the most inspiring #MyShangriLa moment will be awarded a 2-night getaway inclusive of flights to one of 10 Shangri-La destinations of their choice, including divine and exotic destinations such as Kota Kinabalu, Muscat and Istanbul.

Winners will be chosen based on photo quality, creativity and uniqueness of the entry, at the sole discretion of the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.

Renowned for its distinctive Asian hospitality, Shangri-La Hotels and Resort is an iconic flagship brand of the Shangri-La Group, currently operating over 80 deluxe hotels and resorts worldwide.

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Maldives-Holiday

Matteo Guendouzi Vacationing at Six Senses Laamu

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Matteo Guendouzi, Footballer for Arsenal has been spotted vacationing with his partner at Six Senses Laamu.

Notable for its genuine commitment to sustainability–from growing fresh produce to filtering water on-site in order to avoid importing, Six Senses Laamu is located in the heart of Laamu Atoll.

Midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the French under-21 team has shared a series of captures of their vacation at Six Senses Laamu on Instagram.

Similarly, Leo Messi with his family has been seen in Maldives with his family. Antonela Roccuzzo, wife of Leo Messi shared a picture of the couple and three kids with the tagline ‘in paradise with them’ on her Instagram profile.

Maldives has been seeing a lot of arrivals by notable professionals and celebrities from multiple industries. The latest arrivals to Maldives include Marco Asensio, Real Madrid Footballer who stayed at Joali Maldives early this month; Antonio Di Natale “Totò”, former Italian Professional Footballer at Alimatha Maldives; Lucas Paquetá, Brazilian Professional Footballer at Naladu Private Island Maldives.

 

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Rugby World Cup 2019 action with live commentary by England’s rugby heroes at Soneva

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For the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Soneva Fushi, Maldives and Soneva Kiri, Thailand are flying in three former England rugby players to commentate live on select matches.

James HaskellJason Robinson and Austin Healey—England’s rugby heroes will be commentating live and in person on select matches which will be shown at resort bars and are complimentary for guests.

A sporting legend in both Rugby League and Rugby Union, Jason Robinson is a fullback and wing player formerly of Wigan and Sale Sharks, has scored 30 tries in 56 international matches, including a try in the 2003 World Cup Final against Australia, which England went on to win.

As for Austin Healey, he is one of the most highly regarded English rugby players of the modern era. He has played as a full-back for Leicester Tigers (with whom he won two European Cups), won 51 caps for England and toured with the Lions in 1997 and 2001.

James Haskell, who recently retired from professional rugby on May 7 of this year, began his senior career playing for the Wasps (2002-2009 and 2013-2018). He is known for being able to play in any of the three back-row positions.

James Haskell will be covering the matches from September 19th to October 3rd at Soneva Fushi while Jason Robinson will be commentating from October 18th till November 3rd. Unlike the other two rugby heroes, Austin Healey will be commentating from October 20th till November 4th at Soneva Kiri in Thailand.

With over 3 resorts under their portfolio, Soneva is a collection of ultra-luxury resorts in Thailand and the Maldives where a barefoot philosophy and sustainable living are part of the natural order.

Founded in 1995, Soneva Fushi was the first ‘castaway’ resort in the Maldives, pioneering a trend for back-to-nature luxury holidays.

It established a blueprint for a highly acclaimed international business, followed by spectacular Soneva Kiri on the unspoiled Thai island of Koh Kood in 2009 and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, Maldives, in 2016.

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Jumeirah Vittaveli receives 5 awards at 2019 World Luxury Spa and Restaurant Awards

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Jumeirah Vittaveli receives 5 awards at the 2019 World Luxury Spa and Restaurant Awards, celebrated this past weekend in St Petersburg, Russia. Swarna and Fenesse restaurants, as well as Talise Spa, received International recognition for the third year in a row.

A subdivision of the long-established World Luxury Hotel Awards, World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards is considered the pinnacle of achievement for high-end spas and restaurants across the globe, setting the standard for quality, innovation, and service. The accolades are the result of a month-long voting process, all carried out by guests with this year’s edition seeing in excess of 250,000 votes cast for the qualifying spas and restaurants.

Swarna Restaurant

Swarna was recognized as ‘Best Indian Cuisine’ and ‘Most Luxurious Ambience’, both as the Continent winner. Swarna serves inspired Indian cuisine in an exceptional culinary experience with three-open-air dining cabanas and one Chef’s table, all set-up amidst a lush Maharaja style garden venue. The Swarna Gold menu celebrates exclusivity and authenticity, with finest handpicked ingredients from different states of India all finished with a touch of edible gold.

The over-water French fine dining venue Fenesse won two Continent awards – ‘Most Romantic Atmosphere’ and ‘Best French Cuisine’. Blissful Talise Spa was awarded Regional winner as ‘Leading Luxury Wellness Spa’.

Fenesse Restaurant

‘Winning these awards yet again this year attests to our efforts to excel in offering memorable dining to our guests on a daily basis –  made possible through the support of the outstanding team we have on the resort. We are all beyond honored to see our efforts recognized on a global stage.’ says Amit Majumder, General Manager of Jumeirah Vittaveli.

Located in South Male Atoll, just a 20-minute boat ride from Velana International Airport, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers romantic escapes as well as family retreats, with 7 restaurants & bars, 3 lounges, gym, an award-winning spa, kids club, and 5-star dive and water sports center. The newly revamped Private Ocean Retreats with Slides and 9 of the Infinity Pool Ocean Villas have been refurbished with 23-meter water slides, so the young-at-heart can plunge straight from the villa into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

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Maldives-Holiday

Kurumba Maldives’ Thila Restaurant Awarded the Regional Award in World Luxury Restaurants Award 2019 for the second consecutive year

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Kurumba Maldives’ signature restaurant—Thila has been awarded the regional award in World Luxury Restaurant Awards 2019 for its cuisine and concept.

Established in 2015, the World Luxury Restaurant Awards is a recognized global organization which inspires excellence, ignites healthy competition in the luxury restaurant industry, and provides restaurants with the recognition they deserve.

The awards serve as a recognition of sustained commitment to service excellence and outstanding achievement in the international luxury restaurant industry.

Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives.

At Thila Restaurant, travelers can start the day with a premium breakfast with scrumptious continental buffet. For the evening dinner, earthy Maldivian flavors and savory spices — bites of succulent lobster and tiger prawns, can be enjoyed either at beachside or perched over the water.

Kurumba Maldives is conveniently located 10 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from Malé capital.

This is the second consecutive year Thila has received the accolades for the best Luxury Seafood Restaurant and Luxury Theme Restaurant in the Indian Ocean.

 

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Faarufushi Maldives earns the title for 2019 BRIDES (USA) Honeymoon Award for Brides Best Honeymoon Beach Resorts

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Faarufushi Maldives has been awarded the title – 2019 BRIDES (USA) Honeymoon Award for Brides Best Honeymoon Beach Resorts.

The BRIDES Honeymoon Award is granted to the top picks in hotels, resorts, and cruises that tick off all of the important elements that make up a perfect honeymoon getaway. These elements range from the inspiring destination and beautiful accommodations to the food, activities, and amenities available there.

The list is culled through hundreds of new, as well as tried-and-true places, to 70 award-winning hot spots.

Located in Raa Atoll, Faarufushi Maldives is a haven for seekers for tranquility amidst contemporary luxury that co-exists with the natural phenomena of the small coral island. Ten Beach Bungalows and 27 Beach Retreats with Pool are cocooned around the island in addition to 39 sleek Ocean Retreats with Pool stilted over the azure lagoon of Faarufushi.

Various culinary experiences are offered from the Iru restaurant while Athiri offers a collection of dining options serving tapas, teppanyaki and more. Just a scenic 50 minutes journey by seaplane, this is the latest addition to the portfolio of leading local operator Universal Resorts.

Faarufushi Maldives was listed among the Brides Honeymoon Awards 2019: The Most Romantic Spots To Travel in the June/July 2019 issue of Brides.

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Planhotel Hospitality Group reopens Bathala as a Sandies Resort in the Maldives

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Planhotel Hospitality Group based in Lugano, Switzerland, has announced the opening of Sandies Bathala Resort in the Maldives. The completely newly built 4 stars island resort, reachable by a scenic 15-minute seaplane flight from the international airport of Male, is located on the northeastern rim of the Ari Atoll.

Surrounded by a pristine white beach, Bathala boasts one of the best house reefs in the area frequented by a host of exciting marine life and is among the most popular with divers from all over the world.

“We are thrilled to open this resort as we continue growing our brands in the Maldives” said Sara Rosso, President of Planhotel Hospitality Group “This resort embraces everything the Sandies Brand has to offer with its friendly atmosphere and highest consistency in quality and service. Our all-inclusive holiday experience ensures guests feel at home whilst enjoying excellent value for money.”

Sandies Bathala has undergone an extensive renovation and now offers 70 rooms, including 24 Water Villas, 22 interconnecting Beach Bungalows, 24 Beach Bungalows. The modern Water Villas are built on stilts on two separate piers, host a spacious private terrace with dining area, comfortable sun beds and direct access to the crystal clear island reef. The charming Beach Bungalows, with private verandas, face the pristine shallow water of the lagoon and have direct access to the white beach. The Beach Bungalows have floor to ceiling windows to allow the beautiful surrounding nature to become part of the room.

The Resort’s facilities include a reception, an infinity swimming pool, a boutique, a gym, an MVUA Spa and a recreation center offering daily entertainment and water sport activities. The diving center offers courses from Open Water to professional, following the SSI, CMAS and PADI guidelines. The Warner Lau Diving Center offers Nitrox diving and underwater scooters and proposes excursions to the best dive sites of the Maldives, as Fishhead, Mayaa Tila, Maaga Tila und Manta Point, in close vicinity of the island.

The Island Gallery restaurant serves a rich and fresh buffet during breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring Mediterranean and international cuisine, whereas the Beach Grill offers a picturesque dining experience under the stars.

The renewed Sandies Bathala Resort is an affordable retreat where everyone can enjoy a charming holiday in an informal atmosphere and unique location surrounded by nature. It is particularly suitable for couples looking for a relaxed environment or friends looking for a fun holiday in an original setting.

Planhotel Hospitality Group, founded in 1997 in Lugano, is a leader in the management of resorts in the Indian Ocean. Planhotel is well known around the world for its unique combination of local traditions, Italian style, and customer care. Further to Sandies Resorts, Diamonds Athuruga Maldives and Diamonds Thudufushi Maldives are part of the Planhotel Hospitality Group.

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Maldives-Holiday

Mirihi Island Resort Launches “Horoscope Holidays”

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Mirihi Island Resort is set to delight guests with the launch of four bespoke astrology-based packages tailored to the elementary groups in the Zodiac and their distinct traits: Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

The new astrology-based ‘experience’ packages, available to book now at Mirihi Island, include:

Earth Experience (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)

Zodiac attributes: Earth signs tend to be grounded individuals with a strong sense of duty. They are lovers of all things beautiful and enjoy indulging in the finer things in life.

This exciting offering is designed to allow Earth signs to experience the beauty of nature and gain a fascinating insight into the country that exists beyond the luxury hotels. Guests choosing to book the ‘Earth’ experience package will relish in a selection of both indulgent and rewarding activities, including an exquisite champagne sunset dolphin cruise on the island’s private yacht, sunrise yoga to align the senses, and an immersive trip to a local island where guests can meet locals and gain a glimpse into the Maldivian way of life.

The ‘Earth’ package starts from USD 4,800 per couple for seven nights in a Water Villa on a half-board basis including seaplane transfers.

Water Experience (Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio)

Zodiac attributes: Water signs are often emotional and empathetic individuals, with a love for animals and natural sources of water, whether it be in the form of the ocean, rivers or lakes.

Guests who wish to book the ‘Water’ experience package will explore the turquoise sea on a magical manta ray safari and whale shark discovery boat trip. Guided by a team of local experts, water babies will sail aboard a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat or a beautiful 55ft pine-wood yacht in search of these mysterious creatures of the deep. A night scuba diving excursion will also allow guests to experience a myriad of exotic colors by torchlight.

The ‘Water’ package starts from USD 5,200 per couple for seven nights in a Water Villa on a half-board basis including seaplane transfers.

Fire Experience (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

Zodiac attributes: Fire signs are passionate and dynamic individuals with a sense of adventure and a taste for learning.

Aries, Leo and Sagittarius guests who stay on the ‘Fire’ experience package will try their hand at an interactive Maldivian cooking class, where the island’s executive chef will teach foodies how to create delicious Maldivian curries and other mouth-watering local dishes on an open flame. Islanders can also enjoy beachfront rum and chocolate tastings, followed by a fishing trip to welcome in the evening’s fiery sunset.

The ‘Fire’ package starts from USD 4,900 per couple for seven nights in a Water Villa on a half-board basis including seaplane transfers.

Air Experience (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra)

Zodiac attributes: Air signs tend to be fun loving, free-spirits who are intrigued and fascinated by the world around them.

Guests who book the ‘Air’ package will be invited to enjoy a private, beach movie night under the twinkling stars. Islanders will have a selection of iconic films to choose from, whilst they relax, toes in sand, on scattered cushions and beanbags. Those booking this experience will also delight in a planet-gazing lesson, where an expert member of staff will be on hand to teach guests how to use Mirihi’s very own high-strength telescope, whilst explaining the unique constellations in the night sky.

The ‘Air’ package starts from USD 4,700 per couple for seven nights in a Water Villa on a half-board basis including seaplane transfers.

Located in the South Ari Atoll, Mirihi Island Resort is considered as being one of the smallest islands in the Maldives. With 37 rooms, the island offers an intimate and welcoming atmosphere where Guests will immediately feel at ease. Travelers can enjoy a pampering spa treatment at the Duniye Spa or try a wide selection of experiences including a visit to a local island, snorkeling and sessions of tasting the most comprehensible wine collection.

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Tourism is coming to Thiladhunmathi

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Thiladhunmathi is the northernmost atoll of Maldives, closest to Sri Lanka and India. Thiladhunmathi was divided into its northern and southern divisions on May 21, 1958. The north division was integrated with Ihavandhippolhu, forming a new atoll for administrative purposes called Haa Alif atoll or Thiladhumathi North. The southern section of Thiladhunmathi Atoll includes the island of Makunudhoo or Maamakunudhoo (Malcolm Atoll in the Admiralty Charts) with its large reef, as well as the southern part of the larger Thiladhunmathi or Tiladummati Atoll.

Thiladhunmathi is considered one of the least explored areas in Maldives by tourists due to the distance from Velanaa International Airport and lack of tourism infrastructures. Currently, there are only three operating resorts in the Thiladhunmathi, which are JA Manafaru Maldives, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa in Haa Alif Atoll and Hondaafushi Island Resort Maldives in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.  There are about 10 guest houses and one tourist hotel available in Thiladhunmathi for its visitors. Hanimaadhoo international Airport is the only operating airport in Thiladhunmathi. The second airport in Kulhuduffushi island is scheduled to be opened in August 2019.

Thiladhunmathi is one of the most beautiful atolls of Maldives. Unique natural islands with lush vegetation, long beaches and turquoise lagoons yet to be explored fully. It’s a perfect adventure holiday and getaway destination, with the added benefits of getting to enjoy true Maldivian hospitality. Apart from natural beauty, the islands of Thiladhunmathi are blessed with a rich culture and heritage. A holiday in the Thiladhunmathi is a chance to gain an insight into this unique country, by exploring island villages, sourcing local handicrafts, visiting heritage sites, tasting local cuisine, and watching cultural performances.

The main tourist attractions in Thiladhunmathi includes:

Utheemu

Utheemu Aerial View

Located on the east side of Thiladhummathi Atoll, Utheemu is famous in the Maldives due to the cultural relevance and the rich history of the island. Renowned as the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, who, with his brothers and his companions, fought an eight-year-long war to drive out Portuguese invaders who had occupied the Maldives from 1558 to 1573.

“Utheemu Ganduvaru” is one of the main attractions and a must-visit for any visitor to the island. Utheemu Ganduvaru is the wooden palace in which Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu lived and grew up. It is well preserved and evokes memories of the early days of Maldives and the lifestyles of the ruling class from centuries ago, more than any other existing building in the country. Other attractions include the ancient cemetery, the Old Mosque, the New Mosque, and the beautiful stretch of beach on the north side of the island.

Kelaa

Kelaa Aerial View

Kelaa Island is located in Thiladhummathi Atoll, just 30 minutes away from Hanimaadhoo International Airport by speedboat. Kelaa Island is large compared to other Maldivian islands, 3 km in length and over 1600 residents living in the island. Only one third of the island is inhabited, which makes the rest of the island an amazing set up for those who enjoy seeking out their own adventures.

From historical archives, it is known that in 1934 the British created an outpost in the island and it functioned until the end of the Second World War, as an analog of RAF Gan in the south of the country.

A mosque built during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Ibn Ali (Muhammad Mohyeddine) (AD 1692-1701) of the Utheemu Dynasty still stands today as a historical place of interest on the island. This was the king who re-established the Islamic penal code in the Maldives.

Hanimaadhoo

Hanimaadhoo Aerial View

Hanimaadhoo island is located on the eastern edge of the Thiladhummathi Atoll. The island is among one of the longest islands in the Maldives with 6.8 km in the length and 0.7 km at the widest point. Hanimaadhoo boasts scenic views of some of the country’s most spectacular beaches, complemented with its large and shallow turquoise lagoon surrounding the island. The island has its own international airport and several accommodation options available for visitors. The world-class Maldives Climate Observatory – Hanimaadhoo is also located on the island.

Uligamu

Uligamu Aerial View

Uligamu is the most northern inhabited island in the Maldives, located at the north end of Thiladhunmathi atoll. The island is unique in its formation with a beautiful white sandy beach and lagoon around the island. Due to the unique strategic location of the island, Uligamu has become a popular stopover for yachts en route from Sri Lanka to the Red Sea. There are a school and a hospital on the island also. Local residents live by fishing and farming, although many are already working in the tourism industry.

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Places to visit in Thiladhunmathi

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Thiladhunmathi is the northernmost atoll of Maldives, closest to Sri Lanka and India. Thiladhunmathi was divided into its northern and southern divisions on May 21, 1958. The north division was integrated with Ihavandhippolhu, forming a new atoll for administrative purposes called Haa Alif atoll or Thiladhumathi North. The southern section of Thiladhunmathi Atoll includes the island of Makunudhoo or Maamakunudhoo (Malcolm Atoll in the Admiralty Charts) with its large reef, as well as the southern part of the larger Thiladhunmathi or Tiladummati Atoll.

Thiladhunmathi is considered one of the least explored areas in Maldives by tourists due to the distance from Velanaa International Airport and lack of tourism infrastructures. Currently, there are only three operating resorts in the Thiladhunmathi, which are JA Manafaru Maldives, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa in Haa Alif Atoll and Hondaafushi Island Resort Maldives in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.  There are about 10 guest houses and one tourist hotel available in Thiladhunmathi for its visitors. Hanimaadhoo international Airport is the only operating airport in Thiladhunmathi. The second airport in Kulhuduffushi island is scheduled to be opened in August 2019.

Thiladhunmathi is one of the most beautiful atolls of Maldives. Unique natural islands with lush vegetation, long beaches and turquoise lagoons yet to be explored fully. It’s a perfect adventure holiday and getaway destination, with the added benefits of getting to enjoy true Maldivian hospitality. Apart from natural beauty, the islands of Thiladhunmathi are blessed with a rich culture and heritage. A holiday in the Thiladhunmathi is a chance to gain an insight into this unique country, by exploring island villages, sourcing local handicrafts, visiting heritage sites, tasting local cuisine, and watching cultural performances.

The main tourist attractions in Thiladhunmathi includes:

Utheemu

Utheemu Aerial View

Located on the east side of Thiladhummathi Atoll, Utheemu is famous in the Maldives due to the cultural relevance and the rich history of the island. Renowned as the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, who, with his brothers and his companions, fought an eight-year-long war to drive out Portuguese invaders who had occupied the Maldives from 1558 to 1573.

“Utheemu Ganduvaru” is one of the main attractions and a must-visit for any visitor to the island. Utheemu Ganduvaru is the wooden palace in which Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu lived and grew up. It is well preserved and evokes memories of the early days of Maldives and the lifestyles of the ruling class from centuries ago, more than any other existing building in the country. Other attractions include the ancient cemetery, the Old Mosque, the New Mosque, and the beautiful stretch of beach on the north side of the island.

Kelaa

Kelaa Aerial View

Kelaa Island is located in Thiladhummathi Atoll, just 30 minutes away from Hanimaadhoo International Airport by speedboat. Kelaa Island is large compared to other Maldivian islands, 3 km in length and over 1600 residents living in the island. Only one third of the island is inhabited, which makes the rest of the island an amazing set up for those who enjoy seeking out their own adventures.

From historical archives, it is known that in 1934 the British created an outpost in the island and it functioned until the end of the Second World War, as an analog of RAF Gan in the south of the country.

A mosque built during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Ibn Ali (Muhammad Mohyeddine) (AD 1692-1701) of the Utheemu Dynasty still stands today as a historical place of interest on the island. This was the king who re-established the Islamic penal code in the Maldives.

Hanimaadhoo

Hanimaadhoo Aerial View

Hanimaadhoo island is located on the eastern edge of the Thiladhummathi Atoll. The island is among one of the longest islands in the Maldives with 6.8 km in the length and 0.7 km at the widest point. Hanimaadhoo boasts scenic views of some of the country’s most spectacular beaches, complemented with its large and shallow turquoise lagoon surrounding the island. The island has its own international airport and several accommodation options available for visitors. The world-class Maldives Climate Observatory – Hanimaadhoo is also located on the island.

Uligamu

Uligamu Aerial View

Uligamu is the most northern inhabited island in the Maldives, located at the north end of Thiladhunmathi atoll. The island is unique in its formation with a beautiful white sandy beach and lagoon around the island. Due to the unique strategic location of the island, Uligamu has become a popular stopover for yachts en route from Sri Lanka to the Red Sea. There are a school and a hospital on the island also. Local residents live by fishing and farming, although many are already working in the tourism industry.

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The Spa At Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives Claimed As The Regional Winner For The “Luxury Spa Retreat” At The World Luxury Spa Awards 2019

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The Spa at the Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives again won three awards and made it to regional winners for the title of “Luxury Spa Retreat” followed by “Luxury Destination Spa” and “Luxury Eco Spa “ as continent winner in a glitzy affair at The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This was the fourth event of its kind, and more than 200 guests flew in from around the world, representing more than 90 countries, 450 spas and 270 restaurants.

The World Luxury Spa and Restaurant Awards recognize establishments for world-class service excellence. Awards are presented on a country, regional, continental and global basis. Winners are selected by public vote online, providing real recognition that reflects the hard work and dedication exhibited by the staff.

Treatment Room of the Spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives

On this event, Raffaele Solferino, General Manager of Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives added “We are thrilled to receive this recognition second time in a row and would like to express our gratitude to all our guest who voted and believed in us and obviously to our dedicated and diverse team at Spa, who made this happen with their continuous devotion. It’s a motivational boost for all of us at the Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives to continue providing the services par excellence.”

Located on North Malé Atoll and a mere 20 minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport, Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives is a luxurious one-island-one resort destination in the Maldives featuring a collection of 120 idyllic beach-front pool villas, breathtaking overwater villas and spacious two-bedroom villas.

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives Concludes Celebrate Service Week

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives concludes a series of events for #IHGCelebrateService as part of 10 remarkable years of #TrueHospitality.

The premium luxury brand celebrated the Celebrate Service Week (CSW) with themed evenings with food & entertainment from different countries (where IHG employees come from), including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and of course an evening for the Maldives.

Several activities also took place including harbor cleaning, digging up the time capsule, reef scaping (building frames to help rebuild the coral reef), and an afternoon of fun games.

“What a fantastic week, from heartfelt thank you’s to inspiring stories, Celebrate Service Week saw thousands of colleagues from around the world celebrating the service our hotel colleagues provide to our guests. This year was extra special as we marked a decade of Celebrate Service Week in partnership with the IHG Owners Association and it was great to see so many hotels get involved.” was stated by InterContinental Hotels Group about the #IHGCelebrateService

Over 1,500 posts on social media using the hashtags #IHGCelebrateService and #TrueHospitality, over 6,000 thank you’s were sent using the IHG ecard tool and over 700 inspiring stories of True Hospitality were shared on the IHG microsite.

This is the 10th year InterContinental Hotels Group has been celebrating this initiative. CSW is about celebrating the diversity of IHG people as well as the common beliefs, like preserving the environment, that unites everyone.

InterContinental Hotels or IHG, is a British multinational hospitality company with 5,656 hotels across nearly 100 countries including Holiday Inn Resort Goa, Holiday Inn Resort Half Moon Bay and Holiday Inn Resort Le Touquet.

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Italian midfielder Francesco Ardizzone and Italian defender Francesco Cosenza vacation in Maldives

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Italian midfielder Francesco Ardizzone and Italian defender Francesco Cosenza visited Maldives to enjoy their summer vacation at Alimatha’ Maldive.

Both Football players arrived to Maldives with a group of family and friends on June 19th and departed to Italy on July 2nd.

They have shared a series of pictures on their Instagram profiles @francescoardizzone_92 and @cicciocosenza13, including the diving trip to the Halaveli Wreck.

Italian defender Francesco Cosenza (@cicciocosenza13)

The Halaveli wreck, originally the “Highly 18”, is a cargo vessel sunk by the Halaveli Diving Center in 1991.  It sits upright with the bow facing northwest, 20 meters from the reef.

Located in Vaavu Atoll, with over 96 bungalows, 34 over water rooms and 26 garden rooms with a private garden, Alimathà is the perfect mix between relaxing on a white sand beach and enjoying several activities, from scuba diving to dozens of sports which can be played on the island. The word Alimathà originally meant “the face of a woman”.

 

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Three Michelin-Starred Chef Kenji Gyoten return to Soneva Fushi

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Three Michelin-starred Chef Kenji Gyoten is set to return to Soneva Fushi on August 15th-24th to showcase his culinary craftsmanship.

Guests at Soneva Fushi will get the chance to experience a complimentary dinner with wine pairing by Chef Kenji during his visit.

Chef Kenji Gyoten was born in 1982 and influenced by his grandfather, a sushi chef, and encouraged to become a sushi chef himself. After working underneath his mentors in Tokyo, the chef opened ‘Sushi Gyoten’ in Fukuoka at his age of 26, and since that time has received three Michelin stars in three consecutive years since 2014 and is one of only four sushi chefs with three Michelin stars.

He will be using the rarely seen hontengaeshi (hand flip) technique to prepare his bite-sized sushi. Chef Kenji’s sushi is known for the way in which the rice blends seamlessly with the topping, creating a symphony of flavors to delight the palate.

His passion and dedication to the art of sushi can be seen in his dexterous movements and knife work, with each morsel served at just the right time and temperature to bring out the depth and complexity of its flavors.

Kenji’s restaurant in Fukuoka, Sushi Gyoten, currently has a waiting list of 12 months. For those who love fine Japanese cuisine, this is a rare opportunity to beat the queues and sample his creations surrounded by the natural paradise of Soneva.

He takes great care in sourcing only the freshest and best ingredients from around Japan, as well as Tokyo’s Tsukiji market for his omakase menus. Taking pride of place, as the foundation of sushi, is rice sourced from Kyushu that is simply seasoned with salt and red vinegar.

Chef Kenji is further expected to visit Soneva on November and January 2020 under Soneva’s Festival of Colours to showcase his highly coveted craftsmanship and offer the guests a chance to sample the culinary delights and become part of a truly rare culinary experience at Soneva.

Soneva’s year-long campaign, Festival of Colour aimed to celebrate the diverse array of guest activities and experiences on offer. Soneva will welcome a huge line-up visiting experts, including chefs, authors, wine producers, world-champion free-divers, astronomers, artists and wellness practitioners at all resorts.

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Sargun Mehta Vacationing with T.V. Actor Husband Ravi Dubey at Milaidhoo Island Maldives

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Popular television star Sargun Mehta has been seen on Milaidhoo Island Maldives with husband Ravi Dubey.

The couple, who is currently on vacation in the Maldives, have been sharing a series of loved-up pictures from their vacation for their Instafam.

In one of the pictures shared by Ravi on his Instagram profile (@ravidubey2312), the couple can be seen donning white outfits as they pose happily on the beach. Similarly, Sargun has shared pictures of her and Ravi enjoying the poolside of Milaidhoo Island Maldives.

The couple started dating in 2010 and got married in 2013, after working together in the TV show 12/24 Karol Bagh and Nach Baliye.

Opened in November 2016, Milaidhoo is a boutique luxury resort in the Baa Atoll UNESCO biosphere reserve, close to Hanifaru Bay, 126km northwest of Male.

Designed for couples seeking peace and privacy, everything at Milaidhoo is custom made and made for comfort; crafted around visitors needs.

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Indian Market in Maldives Show Tremendous and Steady Growth

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“A rapidly growing younger population combined with an escalating middle class, along with increasing amount of disposable income will make India a leading outbound tourism market in the world over the coming years.”

India is the second most populated country in the world with over 1.3 billion people and is expected to overtake china as the world’s most populated country by 2022.  It’s among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with roughly a 7% rise in GDP projected in 2018. India is likely to become the world’s second-largest economy by 2030, next only to China and overtaking the US, according to Standard Chartered’s long-term forecast released on Jan 2018.

Along with growing economy and population, India has become an important travel market in the world travel market. In recent years, India has tremendously improved its travel and tourism competitiveness, rising from 65th position in 2013 to 40th position in The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017. India is now one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, with its domestic demand reaching nearly 100 million passengers. With the growing economy, disposable income of the Indians increasing gradually. It results increasing in demand for travel in India. According to Indian Consumer Travel Report 2017, travel is one of the popular lifestyle purchase among Indians, especially by using online platforms. While, comparing to other optional spending categories, overall travel ranks fifth place, which is behind financial investments and slightly behind purchases like electronics and home improvements. Online, travel purchases rank second only to retail shopping, with three quarters of travelers indicating that they usually purchase travel online.

In the recent years, Indian outbound tourism has been increased rapidly with the annual growth of 15-18 percent. In 2018, there are over 23 million Indians travel abroad and the outbound tourist figure expected to be double in 2 years’ time. The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. According to Phocuswright, in 2018 two in five online travelers journeyed internationally and more than six in 10 international travelers had taken a trip abroad previously. Also reports that there is a significant share of young millennials and rural residents traveled outside of India for the first time in the past 12 months.

Looking in to the online booking statistics, in 2018, Indian OTA gross bookings were projected at $6.2 billion, up 18% year over year, and the market will reach $10.8 billion by 2022. According to the Phocuswright report, OTA share of the Indian online travel market is forecasted to increase from 48% to 52% during the same period, driven by the surge in online hotel bookings and traveler uptake of mobile bookings. MakeMy Trip is the top performing OTA in the market. Other leading Indian OTAs in the market include Yatra and Cleartrip. Over the past years, these brands have fiercely competed on customer acquisition for online bookings, and while they do still compete with one another, they have also found their respective niches and are growing rapidly in the online travel market.

 

As Indian tourists have gained travel experience, their travel frequency has increased, and more are venturing out beyond the country’s borders for the first time. Along with the increasing in the outbound tourism in India, Indian tourist expenditure also increasing rapidly and it makes the Indian market an attractive one in the world travel market. Indian tourists are among the world’s highest spenders per visit made abroad. Indian outbound tourist spent nearly $19.2 billion on outbound tourism-related expenses in 2016. In 2018 Indian outbound tourist spend over $23 billion and this figure is expected to increase to $45 billion by 2022. This amount makes Indian market among the top 20 countries in terms of outbound tourism expenditure.

Looking in to the Indians outbound tourism destinations, most number of Indian outbound tourist travel to countries belongs Asia Pacific region. Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are among favorite places for Indian tourist.  Indian tourists prefer South East Asian destinations mainly because of the proximity that makes less time wasted for traveling. Moreover, these destinations also not very far from Indians in terms of culture and food, the familiarity factor gives a feeling of safety for Indian tourists, especially those who are making outbound travels for the very first time. In Europe, Indian tourist market has been increasing rapidly. According to UNWTO reports, 20% of outbound tourists who visited European countries in 2017 are from India. UK, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland are among the popular countries among Indian tourist in Europe. Australia and New Zealand are also popular among Indian outbound travelers for adventure tourism. More than 10% of Indian outbound tourist travel to Australia and New Zealand in 2017.

Strategically and geographically, India is an important market for Maldives tourism industry. Hence, the India is geographically located near Maldives, the growing economy and population will impact positively to the Maldives economy. India remains one of the emerging market to the Maldives, holding firmly to the fifth position with 6% shares at the end of 2017.In the past years Indian market has performed very well, with solid growth. India’s market share doubled over the years, from 3.4% in 2013 to 6% by 2017. In 2018, Maldives received 90,474 tourists from India, which is 9% increase compare to the previous year and it contributes 6% to the Maldives tourism market share.

In the recent years, Maldives is becoming a popular tourist destination among Indian tourists. Maldives Visitor Survey (MVS) indicated that Honeymoon is the main reason why Indian tourists visit Maldives. Apart from honeymoon, rest and relaxation are also significant reasons for the Indians to visit Maldives. Moreover, the quality of beach and privacy are also a significant factor that motivate Indian tourist to visit Maldives.

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“Hack Your 21st Century Digitized Body” with fitness expert to the stars, Yasmin Karachiwala at Vakkaru Maldives

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Vakkaru Maldives to host world-renowned fitness expert, Yasmin Karachiwala from 9th to 13th August 2019.

Awarded “Best Fitness Instructor” by VOGUE, Yasmin Karachiwala and her team have curated a bespoke programme “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body” to rev up the daily routine.

With over 26 years in the industry and the pioneer of Pilates in India, Yasmin is also India’s first “Balanced Body Master Pilates” instructor and “Fletcher Pilates” instructor. With numerous awards and accolades including best-selling author to her name, her elite client list reads like the cover of a fashion magazine, literally. India’s A-lister’s from Katrina Kaif to Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt to Kareena Kapoor and more train with Yasmin to sculpt, tone and look their ultimate best for one of the world’s largest film industry, Bollywood.

 

Harnessing all her knowledge and experience, Yasmin invites guests to unplug and reset at Vakkaru Maldives. “I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing my brand of fitness to the Maldives for the first time. I am looking forward to “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body” as I have created a holistic experience where guests will be able to take away a little bit of everything. My personal goal is to increase your knowledge of Pilates and to beat the common misconception that you need equipment to work out. I want you to know that you can work out anytime, anywhere! I will also be joining forces with the culinary team at Vakkaru Maldives to curate my ultimate breakfast table every morning, spend an afternoon sharing my hacks on the best travel-friendly snacks and smoothie concoctions as meal replacements and share some of my well-kept secret recipes for desserts. At my masterclass, I want you to understand that the food you eat must not be a tedious diet that you have picked out of a magazine, but a variable routine that you look forward to each morning,” says Yasmin Karachiwala.

To “Hack Your 21st Century Digitised Body” at Vakkaru Maldives with Yasmin Karachiwala, guests can book an all-inclusive-retreat or a class-by-class session.

This 2019, complementing Vakkaru’s island offerings will be a collection of curated, ultra-immersive and cherishable guest experiences in collaboration with luxury guest experiences specialist, The Magnolia Creative Collaborations.

From culinary greats to wellness mentors, from scent experts to fitness guru’s, from luxurious fashion collaborations to exquisite artisanal pop-ups, Vakkaru Maldives will be inspiring guests to create timeless memories, effortlessly.

“Nestled within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll in the Maldives, Vakkaru Maldives is the perfect setting to bask in the ultimate luxury of “time” and “space” where guests are invited to relax, reflect and refocus. We recognize that our guests are on a lifelong, personal and emotional quest towards a fulfilling health and wellness goal and we are dedicated to ensuring they have access to the best,” says General Manager Nicholas Mason.

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