Rochelle Kilgariff - General Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives
EDITOR‘S PICKS Is All Inclusive Pricing the New Standard for Hotels & Resorts?
TTM TAKEOVER Ifuru Island Maldives
TOURISM & GREEN INVESTMENTS Investing in Green Architecture – Shaping Sustainable Tourism
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Introduces B Balanced by Bamford at the Iconic Ritz-Carlton Spa
National Flag Carrier Maldivian to Acquire 2 New ATR42-600 Aircraft
Barceló Hotels & Resorts Unveils its Inaugural Maldivian Jewel: Barceló Whale Lagoon Resort
Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi Raises the Sustainability Bar in Partnership with Global Green Journeys
Unlock Unforgettable Festive Celebrations at Marriott Bonvoy’s Portfolio of Resorts in Maldives
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
TTM MALDIVES 2023
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Volume – November 2023
Publisher‘s Note Dear Readers, Welcome to the November 2023 edition of Travel Trade Maldives, our print publication dedicated to travel, trade and tourism in the Maldives. This year in the Maldives, tourism has been truly remarkable, with the country showcasing remarkable resilience and staging a strong comeback by graciously welcoming over 1.4 million visitors to its shores, reaffirming its standing as a top-tier global destination. As we bid farewell to 2023, our cover story for this issue explores tourism and green investments, aligning with the theme of World Tourism Day. It underscores the need for the tourism sector to embrace sustainable architectural practices to address environmental concerns and elevate tourist destinations. As part of our TTM Takeover, we’re thrilled to showcase Ifuru Island Maldives, the Maldives’ best-kept secret! This exclusive oasis seamlessly blends luxury with untouched landscapes, creating a one-of-a-kind adventure. Our Editor’s Picks explore other exciting properties in the Maldives, including SO/ Maldives, Sun Siyam Iru Veli Resort, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, and Fushifaru Maldives. In our People section, we had insightful chats with industry experts such as Rochelle Kilgariff, General Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives, Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Jurgen Ortlee, APAC Managing Director at IDeaS Revenue Solutions and Tolga Unan, the CEO and Founder of Unan Hospitality. As always, our regular news segments encompass various aspects of the industry, including aviation, wellness, sustainability, what’s on, and awards and accolades, giving you a comprehensive view of the latest developments in the Maldive’s thriving tourism landscape. To wrap up the issue, we are also excited to bring you the captivating highlights of TTM Maldives 2023, Maldives’ leading international travel trade show, held from 22 - 23 August 2023. Happy reading!
NOT A RESORT... A WORLD-CLASS DESTINATION
Market Overview The Maldives’ tourism sector has exhibited consistent growth in recent years, characterised by a continual rise in the number of tourists visiting the country.
significance for the country’s tourism industry, as it continues to be a crucial contributor to the economy of the Maldives.
According to the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Report 2024-2026 released by the Ministry of Finance, the Maldives is projected to experience an 8.3% increase in tourist arrivals in 2024. In 2022, the Maldives experienced a faster recovery than anticipated, welcoming an estimated 1.68 million tourists and accommodating 12.3 million bed nights, surpassing the initial projections of 1.63 million tourists and 10.4 million bed nights.
The Ministry of Tourism statistics reveal that most tourists arriving in the Maldives hail from three main source markets: Russia, China, and India. These countries collectively account for 11.4%, 10.9%, and 10.9% of the market share, respectively, making them the top three source markets for Maldives tourism. Other prominent markets include the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the USA, France, Spain and Switzerland. The Maldives has successfully positioned itself as a highly sought-after tropical destination, boasting an impressive daily average of 4,981 tourist arrivals and an average length of stay of 7.6 days.
The first quarter of 2023 witnessed a substantial surge in tourism, attributed to the reopening of Chinese borders and the resurgence of the Chinese market in January 2023. During this period, the Maldives received 523,928 tourists, marking a significant 21.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022 and an 8.5% rise compared to the first quarter of 2019. Additionally, the total number of bed nights reached 3.9 million, reflecting a 15% increase from 2022 and a remarkable 29% increase from 2019. As of October 21, 2023, the number of tourists arriving in the Maldives has reached 1,464,340, marking a 13.6% increase compared to the same period last year. This significant improvement from the 1,289,579 arrivals recorded in the same period of 2022 holds immense
The Maldives government has set an ambitious target of welcoming 1.9 million tourists by the end of 2023, which appears well within reach given the current growth rate. Having already achieved its previous target of 1.6 million tourists in 2022, the country’s tourism industry reached a significant milestone. This success can be attributed to the Maldives’ diverse offerings and its commitment to attracting visitors from around the globe. This year, the government has set a new target of attracting 1.9 million tourists. With the steady flow of tourists arriving daily and an expected increase during the peak tourism season in November and December, likely, this year’s target will likely also be accomplished.
Ifuru Island Maldives The Maldives’ Best Kept Secret!
Nestled in the azure embrace of the Indian Ocean, Ifuru Island emerges as a shimmering addition to the Maldives’ hospitality landscape. This newly opened, independent, all-inclusive resort redefines the art of island getaways, combining social camaraderie, breathtaking natural beauty, and exceptional experiences that cater to all. Unveiling its charm, Ifuru Island stands apart with a dash of playfulness and a commitment to preserving nature and guest satisfaction. With the convenience of direct access via its private airport, Ifuru Island ensures that your journey begins smoothly. At the heart of Ifuru Island lies a fervent desire to provide spaces where guests can connect, celebrate, rejuvenate, and explore. The resort’s 24-hour premium all-inclusive offering indulges your taste buds with a tantalizing fusion of local and international cuisine. Discover secluded beaches, exhilarating skydiving, romantic beach weddings, and sunset cruises under the Maldivian twilight, all while rejuvenating at XANADU Spa with personalised treatments that embrace the island’s natural beauty. From elegant suites to luxurious villas, Ifuru Island promises more than a vacation—it offers a transformative journey, reshaping your views on luxury, adventure, and peace. Embrace the unexpected, let Ifuru Island captivate your senses, and embark on a voyage that will etch a lifetime of cherished memories in your heart. Ifuru Island Maldives is a private haven with 147 meticulously designed beach suites and villas, all on the sunset side of the island. Each abode captures the captivating beauty of sunsets, offering direct beach access and contemporary amenities for utmost comfort. The Sunset Sky Suite welcomes guests with modern sophistication, panoramic views, and a private terrace, creating a seamless blend of luxury and nature. The Sunset Beach Suite provides direct access to
the sandy shores and turquoise waters, immersing guests in a vibrant atmosphere. For an added touch of luxury, the Sunset Beach Villa with Pool combines a private beachfront setting with a personal swimming pool, offering an exquisite retreat for relaxation and indulgence. For families or groups of friends, the Two-Bedroom Sunset Beach Villas with Pool provide spacious accommodations with sweeping ocean views, ensuring a luxurious and memorable stay. With six dining options, including two signature restaurants and 4 bars, the island becomes a canvas for gastronomic delights, blending local flavours with international cuisines. At Social House Restaurant, dining is not just a meal but a vibrant social experience. The Waterfront Restaurant is a stunning overwater fine dining experience that reinvents Asian cuisine, featuring open interactive kitchens where you enjoy watching skilled chefs prepare exquisite meals. The Palm Grill, a rustic grill steakhouse, offers a romantic ambience against the backdrop of the ocean. Hubba Hubba Bar is the place where it all happens! And The Beach Club is the place to be for the ultimate boho beach club daylight experience, making every experience an unforgettable memory. Beyond the culinary delights, Ifuru Island beckons with a tapestry of experiences. Embark on island-hopping adventures, exploring secluded beaches and vibrant coral reefs. Feel the adrenaline rush with skydiving, where paradise and thrill collide. Dolphin watching becomes a poetic dance with the ocean’s angels, and sunset cruises set the stage for romance under the Maldivian twilight. For a taste of local tradition, join the island’s fishing excursions, and for thrill-seekers, water sports ranging from jet-skiing to windsurfing await in the warm, clear waters.
Indulge in Ifuru Island’s luxuries, where every moment feels like a dream. The island offers a plethora of activities that cater to diverse desires. Experience the heart-pounding thrill of skydiving, where the azure ocean stretches infinitely beneath you, and couples can even plan a skydiving marriage proposal for a truly unique romantic gesture. Witness awe-inspiring sunsets from the comfort of your beach suite or villa, creating cherished memories against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. Ifuru Island also offers the perfect setting for intimate beach weddings, where natural beauty and intimacy intertwine to create unforgettable moments. Additionally, the resort’s intentional design fosters social connections and friendships among guests, making every stay an opportunity to make lasting memories. Nestled amidst the untouched magnificence of Ifuru Island, XANADU Spa emerges as a haven of luxurious tranquillity. Expert therapists craft personalised wellness journeys, offering indulgent treatments and specialised programs for inner peace, balance, and harmony. With a focus on environmental responsibility, XANADU Spa collaborates with Vinoble for facial treatments, promoting clean luxury through natural, sustainable, and effective ingredients. The spa’s sustainable approach includes locally sourced raw materials and grape-based ingredients, minimising its ecological footprint while maximising its effectiveness. Guests can unwind in the spa’s eight treatment rooms, plunge pools, saunas, and steam rooms, immersing themselves in a holistic wellness experience.
Discover the Best of Ifuru Island Maldives with Standout or Jump Out Adventures Ifuru Island Maldives offers tantalising experiences that range from serene sunset cruises and intimate dolphin encounters to heart-pounding water sports and authentic cultural immersions. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, or a couple seeking a romantic getaway, Ifuru Island promises to cast its enchantment on your soul.
Skydiving: Where Paradise and Adrenaline Converge Prepare to be captivated, exhilarated, and left in awe as you embark on an extraordinary skydiving experience on Ifuru Island, where paradise and adrenaline converge in a passionate dance. Ifuru Island’s private island airport is the perfect launching pad for your skydiving escapade. Surrounded by pristine turquoise waters and lush greenery, the airport provides a stunning backdrop as you gear up for your sky-high adventure. Ascend into the heavens and witness stunning panoramic views unfolding before your eyes. Marvel at the endless expanse of the Indian Ocean, its azure depths stretching as far as the eye can see. Feel the gentle sea breeze as anticipation builds for the adrenaline rush that awaits.
Ifuru Tri-Challenge: Skydiving, Scuba Diving with Sharks, and Swimming with Whale Sharks Strap in for an adrenaline-pumping experience that combines the incredible thrill of skydiving, the aweinspiring beauty of swimming with whale sharks, and the adrenaline rush of scuba diving with sharks. This unique challenge allows participants to conquer three incredible activities that will test their courage, showcase their resilience, and give them unparalleled accomplishment.
Exploring Nature’s Masterpieces: Island Hopping Adventure One of the most exhilarating ways to savour the Maldivian beauty is through island hopping. The Maldives, an archipelago of over a thousand coral islands, each possesses its unique charm. Ifuru Island stands as an ideal starting point for your island-hopping adventure. Climb aboard a traditional Maldivian dhoni boat and set sail to explore secluded beaches, lush greenery, and the vibrant underwater world of coral reefs. Visit neighbouring islands where the warm smiles of the locals and the scent of tropical blossoms beckon you to a slice of paradise.
Dolphin Watching: Dancing with the Ocean’s Angels Envision yourself aboard a luxurious yacht, gently gliding across the serene waters as the sun begins its descent. This idyllic scene sets the stage for an enchanting experience on Ifuru Island – dolphin watching. As the dolphins gracefully leap and play in the boat’s wake, you’ll connect profoundly with the ocean’s majestic creatures. The Maldives is home to several species of dolphins, including the charismatic spinner dolphins. Witnessing their acrobatic displays against the backdrop of a Maldivian sunset is a memory that will forever reside in your heart.
Sunset Cruise: Romance in the Twilight The Maldives has long been a favoured destination for honeymooners and couples searching for romantic getaways, and Ifuru Island offers the perfect setting for romance. A sunset cruise from Ifuru Island is an intimate experience, ideal for couples looking to savour the beauty of the Maldivian twilight. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner on the deck, raise a toast with champagne, and let the ocean’s gentle lullaby serenade you as you create cherished memories together.
Coconut Kids Club – Little Explorer’s Club Local Boat rides and excitement when they meet the local islands’ school kids and donate handmade paper embedded with seeds also include a donation. Kids love buying the Little Explora pack, with their backpack, water bottle and Hat, that consists of the trip and donation to the local school.
Fishing: A Taste of Local Tradition Fishing is a must-do activity for those yearning to immerse themselves in local traditions. Participate in the island’s fishing excursions on Ifuru Island for a genuine encounter with Maldivian culture and experience the exhilaration of catching your fish,
Water Sports: Thrills and Spills If your heart races at the thought of adventure, Ifuru Island offers many water sports to satisfy your adrenaline cravings. From jet-skiing and parasailing to windsurfing and paddleboarding, there’s no shortage of activities to get your heart pumping. The warm, clear waters provide the perfect playground for thrill-seekers, and the island’s professional instructors ensure your safety and enjoyment as you explore the ocean’s depths or ride its waves.
Indulge and Unwind on Ifuru Island: XANADU Spa‘s Recipe for Radiance
Situated amidst the untouched magnificence of Ifuru Island in the Maldives, XANADU Spa beckons as a haven of luxurious tranquillity and revitalisation. Whether seeking a serene escape or a spa experience that rejuvenates you, the expert therapists at XANADU Spa are relentlessly committed to crafting a top-tier wellness adventure tailored precisely to individual preferences. With an array of indulgent treatments and specialised programs, XANADU Spa emerges as the ultimate destination for those on a journey to discover inner peace, balance, and harmony. The spa is home to eight treatment rooms, an extensive menu brimming with beauty and body treatments, and exclusive amenities, such as separate plunge pools, saunas, and steam rooms designed for both male and female guests, in addition to the introduction of Vinoble facial treatments. XANADU Spa proudly collaborates with the renowned cosmetic brand Vinoble for facial treatments. Vinoble’s “clean luxury” products represent a seamless blend of natural ingredients, sustainability, minimalism, and effectiveness, offering skin rejuvenation and environmental preservation. XANADU Spa is committed to environmental responsibility, consistently opting for locally sourced Massage Oils from Coco Atoll, proudly Maldivian-owned. This sustainable approach helps both the environment and the local community. Vinoble products are entirely free from harmful substances such as parabens, paraffin, PEG, synthetic dyes, and hormonally active substances. The formulations are chosen ingredients that guarantee the best possible skin tolerance with maximum efficacy. These products are also vegan and registered with the Vegan Society.
Social, Fun, & Tantalizing Culinary Experiences at Ifuru Island Maldives Ifuru Island Maldives, the surprise new resort opening, challenges the norm with social fun and culinary excellence to create lasting memories. Celebrating the synergy of food, culture, and the art of bringing people together in a vibrant atmosphere, this exclusive destination boasts six dining options, including two signature restaurants and four bars that promise an enticing culinary journey meticulously curated by their talented chefs. Guests can savour local and international flavours at this dine-around experience. Each dish is expertly crafted with unwavering passion and creativity, promising a symphony of tastes that will leave a lasting impression. Beyond culinary delights, Ifuru Island is also the perfect destination to celebrate the everlasting bonds of friends, family, and loved ones amidst the natural beauty of the Maldives.
Social House Proudly being more than just a place to eat, Social House strives to serve as a social hub for its guests. Understanding that dining is not solely about the food but also the holistic experience and connections forged, guests, are welcomed into a lively and vibrant atmosphere from the moment they enter the establishment, all thoughtfully designed to foster social interactions.
The Waterfront Redefining the flavours of Asian cuisine, dishes are crafted fresh and customised to guests’ preferences. The culinary approach adds a new dimension to traditional Asian fare, blending talented chefs and influences to create unique dining in a spectacular location. For a Spoil Yourself exclusive dining experience, guests can explore the top floor featuring an à la carte Japanese Teppanyaki & Sushi Counter, where their preferences take centre stage.
The Palm Grill The à la carte grill steakhouse is a culinary haven that draws inspiration from local traditional cooking styles and features fresh, locally caught fish. Catering to meat lovers, seafood enthusiasts, and vegans, it offers a vibrant dining and entertainment experience. It is ideal for a romantic evening with breath-taking ocean and starry night vistas.
Hubba Hubba Bar The ultimate hub for entertainment! Beginning with laid-back tunes and refreshing cocktails and gradually transitioning into a lively pool party scene, Hubba Hubba, the main resort bar, stands at the heart of entertainment on the island. With in-house and international DJs turning up the heat as the day progresses, it’s the ultimate destination for non-stop fun and excitement.
Poolside Pizza With a little twist — made fresh and baked in a stone oven, pizza by the metre right next to the pool overlooking the ocean is available for an afternoon delight.
The Beach Club The Beach Club offers unparalleled sunset vistas in the prime beachfront location. Think Mykonos meets St Trope! Here, guests can unwind to the rhythm of upbeat tunes while savouring beach buckets filled with ice-cold drinks and indulging in tailor-made cocktails. It’s the ultimate spot for seaside relaxation and vibrant beachside experiences. Dancing on the bar is encouraged, and becoming a sunset must!!
IFURU Eats IFURU Eats offers a menu that’s fast, simple, and healthy. Guests can conveniently press the Magic Button on the phone, and the IFURU Eats food buggy delivers incredible late-night snack options right to their doorstep. For those with a must-have, take-away options are also available.
Hubba Hubba Bar
The Social House
The Palm Grill
Beyond Dreams: 5 Unforgettable Experiences at Ifuru Island Maldives Indulge in the island luxury of Ifuru Island Maldives and get ready to be dazzled, inspired, and utterly thrilled as the resort emerges as the most exciting surprise of the year in the Maldives. Your spirit of adventure will soar as you wholeheartedly embrace the unexpected. Explore a world where the extraordinary is every day, and let the Maldives unveil its hidden treasures in ways that will surpass your wildest imagination. Ifuru Island curates diverse experiences to match travellers’ desires, ensuring each visitor finds magic in this tropical paradise.
Soar Above Paradise: Skydiving Thrills Await Prepare for an awe-inspiring skydiving adventure on Ifuru Island, where paradise meets adrenaline. Ifuru Island’s private island airport is the perfect launching pad for your skydiving escapade. As you ascend into the heavens, witness panoramic vistas of the Indian Ocean, coral reefs, and scattered islands. Skydiving season opens from November to the end of March, and guests booking seven nights can enjoy a free skydive. For daring couples seeking an exhilarating adventure, Ifuru Island Maldives also offers a thrilling Skydive Marriage Proposal experience. Freefall hand in hand, glide under a parachute, and arrive at your proposal sign, all captured by a videographer for a cherished memory in the perfect blend of adventure, romance, and natural beauty.
Fabulous Sunsets: Where the Magic Happens Experience magical sunsets at Ifuru Island! The Maldives offers it all, whether you seek adventure, romance, or quality time with loved ones. With 147 beach suites and villas, Ifuru Island delivers unrivalled sunset views from your beach. Private decks overlook the ocean, perfect for sunset cocktails. Join the Sunday sunset beach cocktail parties featuring cocktails, mocktails, canapés, live music, and stargazing. For a romantic experience, savour a private sunset dinner. Whether for socialising or celebrating, it’s the ideal paradise conclusion. Additionally, enjoy sunset massages and personal/ group yoga sessions.
Eternal Love: Your Ifuru Island Wedding Celebrate your love on Ifuru Island, Maldives, where natural beauty and intimacy set the stage for the perfect beach wedding. With a 7-night stay, your wedding day becomes a cherished gift. An expert resident planner will oversee all the details for an unforgettable day, featuring a signature cocktail, an elegant venue, a wedding cake, prosecco, a flower bouquet, spa treatment, and more. This special offer, including festive seasons, is valid year-round and requires a minimum 7-night stay.
The Ultimate Social Playground The Ifuru Island experience is intentionally designed to be social, playful, and cheeky, built upon four main pillars: Social, Fun, Lifestyle and Great Value. It celebrates food and culture and brings people together, offering vibrant social interaction and personality. The resort hosts daily activities, including sunset cruises, cocktail parties, group cooking classes, and more, encouraging lasting connections and friendships among guests.
Radiant Beauty and Eco-Conscious Luxury Nestled within lush tropical gardens, Xanadu Spa at Ifuru Island offers a luxurious oasis of tranquillity. With a team of dedicated expert therapists, it provides guests with personalised wellness journeys, including indulgent treatments and specialised programs. The spa features eight treatment rooms, separate plunge pools, saunas, and steam rooms, along with the introduction of Vinoble facial treatments. XANADU Spa proudly collaborates with the renowned brand Vinoble for facial treatments, offering clean luxury products prioritising natural, sustainable, and effective ingredients.
NOOVILU SEAPLANE TERMINAL
VILU BUSINESS Lounge @VelanaAirport
HEART SHOCK MACHINES READY FOR THE RESCUE!
Rochelle Kilgariff General Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives With over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Rochelle currently holds the position of General Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives. In our exclusive interview, Rochelle shares her incredible journey to the role of General Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives and provides valuable insights into the secrets of success for luxury resorts. Tell us a little about your professional background and critical milestones that have led you to your current role as the General Manager of Ifuru Island. My name is Rochelle, and I am the General Manager of Ifuru Island Maldives. We are the surprise opening of this year. This is my fourth resort in the Maldives, and I consider myself an opening specialist. I love the dynamics of building relationships, inspiring a team, and laying the foundations to develop the new energy of island resorts. I transitioned from sales and marketing into general management, providing a unique experience of understanding the buyer’s perspective and selling a resort. Maldives is one of the most iconic hospitality destinations in the world and home to several leading resorts. What does Ifuru Island Maldives bring that is unique to the location? We have several unique stories to share. The first and most exhilarating is the introduction of skydiving. From November to March, our skydiving season will offer tandem jumps and skydiving boogies for experts who wish to jump solo. Additionally, we are proud to have our private airport, allowing guests to arrive without the hassle of overnight stays or delays in Male City. This airport benefits our skydiving operations and ensures guests can reach at any time, making their journey to the resort seamless. Our resort boasts a magnificent beach that stretches over one kilometre, with all our villas offering sunset views. Ifuru Island is ideally situated, offering a pristine and secluded Maldivian experience with no view of other islands or resort properties. We exclusively provide beach villas, creating an authentic natural Maldivian island atmosphere. Moreover, we offer a unique all-inclusive experience, available 24 hours a day, giving you access to all our signature restaurants and dining options. Ifuru Island provides indulgent opportunities like the Xanadu Spa, luxury yacht excursions, diving, and skydiving. We have many hidden surprises and more to reveal when we open. Our dedicated team of all-stars is committed to creating magical moments and providing exceptional experiences throughout your stay. Every moment at Ifuru Island is pure magic. As someone who has travelled extensively to 90 countries, how have your adventures influenced the guest experience you aim to create at Ifuru Island? Uniquely, I have chosen an exceptional work-life balance, so when I am not working remotely, I am travelling to remote and unique destinations.
Having had the opportunity to visit over 90 different countries, I’ve learned that creating genuinely memorable guest experiences is more than just a luxurious setting; it’s about the magic of the connection with those who provide that experience. That’s why here, we’ve elevated all our team members to the status of ‘all-stars’ because they are the ones who have the power to create exceptional guest experiences. Building a confident and empowered team has allowed them to excel. When I assure them of my unwavering support, it boosts their confidence, knowing they can make the guest experience even more exceptional. For you, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job? It’s all about the energy and connection. Building a strong bond with your team translates directly into the guest experience. Interacting and creating experiences that surpass guest expectations necessitates doing the same for your staff. They must be assured of consistent support because my effectiveness as a manager depends entirely on my team. When the team feels confident and can confidently approach my guests, I’m convinced they will be delighted. And when you have contented staff, you naturally have more satisfied guests, creating a positive environment for all to enjoy. Your journey to becoming a General Manager is remarkable, having opened resorts in Oman, Bali, Australia, and now Ifuru Island. How have these diverse experiences shaped your leadership style and approach to managing luxury properties? I’ve had the opportunity to open and manage some of the best unique resorts. So, choosing to take a year or two off between properties gives you the exciting energy to pursue and create a substantial project. This is one of the healthiest industries for such endeavours. Hospitality is an immensely rewarding experience as you get to care for happy people on holiday and work to make them even more comfortable. You’ll be richly rewarded if you discover your passion in this industry. Working in different countries and with various nationalities builds connections, understanding, and empathy. It’s all about human connections to exceed guest expectations. With a confident and empowered team, they can genuinely make a difference. As a seasoned professional, what advice do you have for individuals pursuing careers in the hotel industry? Maldives has an exceptional opportunity to offer robust careers in tourism. They are fortunate to embrace what they have here. It is a spectacular destination that stands out globally and can create a unique career and future for many. As someone who has overseen various hospitality properties, what do you believe are the key factors contributing to a luxury resort’s longterm success? Transforming a remote location into a thriving community is crucial. This involves building a solid foundation and fostering confidence within the team, as you’re working closely around the clock. It’s imperative to ensure everyone’s comfort and happiness while working together toward a common goal. Clear direction and strong leadership allow people to excel, which is essential when opening a business.
Mohamed El Aghoury General Manager at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa In this exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Mohamed El Aghoury, the General Manager of the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.
What strategies do you have in place to continue strengthening the positioning of the resort in the market as a place where the world comes together?
With a rich and diverse career in the hospitality industry spanning several decades, Mohamed shares his remarkable journey that led him to his current role as the head of this prestigious resort in the Maldives.
The Maldives is an incredibly exclusive and exotic destination, and it operates within a highly competitive market with an influx of new resorts. For Sheraton, it’s imperative that we maintain a leading edge and consistently stay competitive. First and foremost, it’s essential to focus on our team. They are the backbone of our operation, and they must be fully prepared and ready to meet the high standards and service quality expected in the Maldives. This involves extensive training, exposure to best practices, and careful talent selection to ensure they can effectively compete within the market. Secondly, our service standards must be elevated to align with the top-tier luxury resorts found in the Maldives. As a premium five-star resort under the Sheraton brand, we need to match the level of service excellence offered by other luxury properties. Achieving this primarily relies on our people.
What experiences and career milestones led you to become the General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa? I started my hospitality career back in 1993 in Egypt, where I was born. I joined Starwood Hotels and Resorts after graduating from university. Although I didn’t study hospitality, I had always been passionate about it. My first job with Starwood was as a front office receptionist at one of the Sheraton hotels in Alexandria, Egypt. After a short time, I transitioned from front office to sales and marketing. Most of my career was spent in sales and marketing, where I moved from one city and hotel to another within Egypt, all under the Starwood Hotels and Resorts umbrella. I learned a great deal from exceptional leaders and mentors, which prepared me for continuous growth in my career. After spending around 11 to 12 years in sales and marketing in Egypt’s various hotels, I desired to explore the world and work in a different country and city. In 2004, I made the move to Dubai, where I joined one of the Sheraton hotels as a Director of Sales and Marketing. Then, I faced a crossroads in my career and decided to pursue my passion for operations. In 2006, I transitioned to operations, playing a crucial role in opening several new hotels in Dubai with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. This experience allowed me to gain extensive knowledge about hotel operations, especially during the opening phase. I steadily progressed through different positions, from Executive Assistant Manager to Deputy General Manager and eventually to General Manager. I consider myself fortunate to have had outstanding leaders and mentors who guided me throughout my journey, and I aim to do the same for the next generation of hoteliers. I’m always eager to enrich my CV and learn new skills, which led me to engage in various experiences such as hotel openings, deflagging hotels, rebranding properties, and managing transitions between owners and companies. All these experiences have prepared me for the position I hold today. Moving to the Maldives was another significant step in my career, as I sought to explore a new continent and enjoy the unique challenges and experiences that this beautiful destination offers.
Being one of the early resorts in the Maldives, Sheraton holds a unique position. It’s crucial for an older property like ours to continuously undergo improvements, renovations, and enhancements. Currently, we are in discussions with the owners to develop a comprehensive plan for the future of the resort. This plan aims to refresh our product offering in the market and ensure that we maintain a competitive edge. It’s not just about good marketing; it’s about delivering a fresh and appealing experience to our guests. How do you foster a culture of innovation and creativity within your team, and encourage them to think outside of the box when it comes to providing exceptional guest experiences? I firmly believe that some of the best ideas originate from our associates. They are the ones who are on the floor day in and day out, interacting with our guests and engaging with our operations, which allows them to spot valuable opportunities. However, it’s worth noting that some junior associates and young team members might lack the confidence to share their ideas with the management. We are committed to eliminating this fear and ensuring that they feel comfortable communicating with us. To achieve this, we’ve established various platforms and forums where associates can freely express their ideas on how to enhance our service, operations, and overall guest experience.
These initiatives have yielded many excellent ideas that we have not hesitated to implement, all for the benefit of our valued guests. Additionally, we consistently strive to create incentive programs and provide motivation for our associates to engage with us and share their valuable insights and suggestions. Our efforts in this regard have proven successful thus far.
Additionally, networking with industry colleagues is an excellent source of learning. I find that engaging with peers and sharing experiences is incredibly beneficial. Furthermore, there are numerous workshops and events hosted by the government that are worth participating in. Even when you think there might not be anything entirely new to learn, every piece of information can be valuable.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance, and what are some of your hobbies or interests outside of work?
What are your thoughts on the future of hospitality industry in Maldives? And how do you see Sheraton Maldives contributing to the growth and development of tourism in this country?
Working in the demanding hospitality industry here in the Maldives, where our work never stops on this island, it’s essential to strike a balance between work and personal enjoyment. Our industry is not just about work; it’s also about having fun. I prioritize personal activities in my life, maintaining a lifelong passion for sports. Around 15 years ago, I took up squash, inspired by my children, and dedicated time to master the game. More recently, I delved into an exciting new hobby – motorbike riding. Since relocating to the Maldives, I’ve expanded my interests to include diving and snorkeling. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the hospitality industry, and how do you incorporate these into the resort’s offerings and services? I learned something a few years ago during one of our company workshops, and it’s a principle I firmly believe in: you cannot truly understand the world from behind your desk. In our industry, where we interact with guests from different countries and cultures every day, the most valuable learning comes from these interactions. We gain insights into the world, various cultures, and much more by engaging with our guests. Another aspect is taking advantage of the multitude of online learning opportunities available today. This includes reading industry publications, participating in workshops, forums, and various training programs.
Looking ahead, I believe the future for Maldives is promising and will involve growth. With more resorts slated to open, the country will attract increased business and visitors. The expansion of the airport will also facilitate more flights and tourism. The passion of the local people, along with the government’s support and marketing efforts, positions Maldives favorably for sustained growth in the number of tourists, a trend that has been consistent year after year. As for Sheraton Maldives, we aim to be an active contributor to this growth and development. We continually explore new markets, such as Brazil, to expand our reach and attract more tourists to the destination. By doing so, we not only benefit Sheraton but also contribute to the overall growth of tourism in the Maldives. Moreover, we actively collaborate with the government in various initiatives that promote the destination and engage in marketing efforts. This includes hosting fan trips and media trips, among other activities, all geared towards fostering the growth and development of the Maldives as a premier tourism destination. We are committed to being a partner in the country’s continued success in the hospitality industry!
Jurgen Ortelee APAC Managing Director at IDeaS Revenue Solutions In an exclusive interview, Jurgen Ortelee, Managing Director for APAC, shares insights into IDeaS’s unique approach, the pivotal role of revenue management, challenges faced by Maldivian resorts, adapting to industry disruptions, and future trends. As a leader in the competitive hospitality industry, IDeaS distinguish itself through data-driven pricing and revenue management strategies, leveraging diverse data sources for accurate revenue optimization. IDeaS Revenue Solutions presently collaborates with 45 resorts in the Maldives. Can you tell us about IDeaS Revenue Solutions and your role at the company? We are a revenue management company, and our focus is on providing hotels and resorts with solutions to optimize revenue across various revenue streams, not limited to room revenue alone. These solutions can encompass multiple aspects of a resort’s business, including function space, food and beverage, and other hotel departments. As the Managing Director for APAC, my role involves overseeing all New Business efforts in the Asia Pacific region. In the current competitive landscape, what sets IDeaS apart from other revenue management solution providers in the hospitality industry? I think one of the key points to consider is the sheer volume of data available today, making it difficult to determine which data is relevant and should be used. What really stands out in my mind is our focus on using the most pertinent data to inform your pricing and revenue management decisions. We gather data from various sources, including property management systems (PMS), rate shopping, reputation scoring systems, and tools used by hotels. It can also originate from other sources. We then consolidate all this information in the G3 Revenue Management System to develop the best possible forecast and strategies to achieve the best revenue results. From your experience, how has using a revenue management system proven to be crucial for hotels, especially in maximizing revenue and profitability? For many years, having a revenue management system was considered a luxury because, obviously, it’s an investment that the company has to make. However, after approximately 30 years of revenue management, it’s no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. In my opinion, it’s required to achieve commercial success in a hotel. It’s one of the essential tools that a hotel must have, similar to having a CRM or a property management system. You can’t effectively run a hotel without it. Hotel investments are substantial, often reaching millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases. Not having a tool that helps you achieve a return on investment is unacceptable. We believe it’s no longer a luxury but a standard requirement.
“Revenue optimisation” is an essential concept in revenue management. Could you explain what it means and how IDeaS incorporate this principle into its solutions? Revenue optimisation involves achieving the right mix of business. This means attracting the right customers at the right time, who are willing to pay the right price for a specific product. Achieving the optimal balance in this mix will result in the highest possible results. We encounter numerous challenges in this area. I’ll mention one example from the Maldives, where many hotels rely on static rates or wholesale business. Sometimes, this may not be the most advantageous approach, and diversifying the types of business can be beneficial. Finding the right mix of business not only optimises room revenue but also considers segments of guests who may spend more in other areas such as the bar, restaurants, or spa. It’s essential to focus on these segments as well. IDeaS have a significant presence in the Maldivian hospitality industry, working with numerous resorts. Could you share some insights into the distinctive revenue management challenges that Maldivian resorts face, and how IDeaS’s solutions are designed to address and support businesses in this region? Regarding Maldivian Resorts, I should clarify that they are not necessarily isolated, but they are situated in highly unique locations. When guests stay at these resorts, they tend to spend a significant amount of their time on the property. While they may venture out for excursions or boat trips occasionally, the majority of their activities, including dining, evening drinks, spa visits, and more, take place within the resort premises. This creates a captive audience. This is where Maldivian Resorts distinguish themselves from resorts on a single island, where guests have the freedom to easily explore neighbouring areas and restaurants. In the Maldives, such exploration is more challenging, making it even more crucial to analyse your business based on the fact that guests will primarily remain within your resort. Getting the mix of guests right, with those that will spend the most money at the resort, is the key to successful revenue management of all revenue streams. The hospitality industry has faced significant challenges in recent times, with the pandemic and changing travel trends. How has IDeaS adapted its revenue management solutions to address these challenges and support its clients? The pandemic disrupted everyone, leading to complete closures or partial closures and a steep decline in business, with some areas and properties experiencing almost zero occupancy. We’ve undoubtedly learned valuable lessons from this experience, such as becoming more agile in our forecasting and decision-making processes for hotels. We’ve also assisted hotels in shifting their focus to other areas, encouraging them not only to consider what to do during peak periods but also how to optimize during quieter times.
Even when a hotel is only 10% occupied, as was the case for some properties during the pandemic, you can still maximize the potential of those 10% and attract the right clientele. In many instances, we’ve made adjustments to our backend and algorithms to adapt to these extreme fluctuations in business. Even as we emerged from the pandemic, there were fluctuations in business levels, with periods of growth followed by declines due to various factors, but now we are seeing a gradual recovery.
We offer various services, including onsite training and consulting. For instance, when new hotels open, we assist them in positioning themselves effectively in the market. We assess the market dynamics and align their hotel’s objectives with the market conditions. Additionally, if a resort wishes to change its approach, particularly on the commercial side, we can guide them through this transformation. We refer to these services as “transformational services.” It’s not solely about the system; it’s about adapting to a new way of thinking.
Last year was very successful for the Maldives, for example, but this year presents more challenges. We’ve learned how to adapt to this ever-changing environment, which is much more dynamic than in the past. This adaptability is one of the key lessons we’ve taken from the pandemic.
For businesses considering adopting revenue management solutions, what advice would you give them to ensure a smooth and successful implementation process?
Regarding our presence in the Maldives, we’ve had a presence there for approximately 15 years. Personally, I’ve been visiting the Maldives for work for the past seven years, collaborating with hotels and conducting workshops. However, our relationship with hotels in the Maldives predates that, with some properties having our system installed for even longer. As a leader in the revenue management space, what do you see as the future of revenue management solutions, and how does IDeaS plan to stay at the forefront of this evolving landscape? As I mentioned right at the beginning, having a revenue management system is no longer a luxury but a necessity. It’s one of those essential tools you must have, especially for hotels and resorts. The focus is shifting towards optimizing profits rather than just revenue. Even though we still call it revenue management, it’s increasingly about improving the bottom line—how can a revenue management solution contribute to profitability? In the early days of revenue management, the primary focus was on room revenues. Today, even hotels with a strong room revenue strategy are exploring how to maximize their other revenue streams. They are looking at improving negotiations with wholesalers by gaining a deep understanding of their booking patterns. This requires having analytical intelligence, which we emphasize as crucial for success. In addition to AI (Artificial Intelligence), we emphasize the importance of Analytical Intelligence.
Yes, try not to wait. Start by getting any system, any help. Eventually, you will figure out which system works best for you, but it’s crucial to get some assistance to kick things off. Don’t rely solely on individuals who may or may not have extensive experience in revenue management to make your pricing decisions. In my view, you need expert guidance. What we often observe is that, due to the challenge of finding experienced professionals, hotels sometimes entrust pricing decisions to junior staff. I always wonder, “How can you have a junior person determine the entire pricing strategy for the resort?” We need to improve this and provide education for these individuals, as they are often eager to learn and grow professionally. So, it’s also a benefit for them if the resort partners with a vendor that can offer assistance and support their professional development. One key point to reiterate is that revenue management is not just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. We often come across situations where hotels delay budgeting for revenue management, but this can result in missing out on an incremental 3%, 4%, or even 5% of revenue. While these percentages may seem small, they can have a significant impact. Especially when you consider other revenue streams, the impact can be substantial. Additionally, revenue management or a revenue management system is often viewed as a cost item, but we see it as an investment item. When you invest in a revenue management system, you expect a return on investment, and you will receive it many times over.
Tolga Unan CEO and Founder of Unan Hospitality We had the pleasure of interviewing Tolga Unan, the CEO and Founder of Unan Hospitality. This new Integrated Resorts-focused consulting firm brings over 30 years of global hospitality experience. His five-year tenure as Managing Director at CROSSROADS Maldives adds to his prominent corporate presence. Tolga is known for pushing boundaries and seizing unconventional opportunities, transforming challenges into thriving prospects. As an innovative, risk-taking leader, he’s marked by his unique blend of expertise and vision, offering a fresh perspective in the hospitality industry. With a relentless commitment to innovation and a knack for strategic risk-taking, Tolga envisions pathways to success that elude the conventional mind. Could you tell us a little bit about Unan Hospitality? At Unan Hospitality, we specialise in consultancy services tailored for large-scale ventures, specifically focusing on integrated resorts. Our expertise lies in creating successful frameworks enabling investors to maximise their initial investments and excel in managing diverse brands and business entities within a unified integrated resort framework. What are your core services at Unan Hospitality? Our proven solutions have already yielded remarkable results in the integrated resort environment of the Maldives. This setting seamlessly integrates multiple resort brands, diverse business units, retail spaces, a yacht marina, a beach club, event facilities, and entertainment venues, all operating harmoniously under a unified destination umbrella brand. We provide a comprehensive solution that aligns seamlessly with strategic objectives, maximising operational synergies for optimal returns. Our approach is multifaceted, and as the business expands, new components can be integrated for continuous growth. Our services are grouped into four pillars: Destination Advisory: We partner with key local companies, leveraging our expertise in the Maldives. Our services include advising on available investment opportunities, foreign investment law, risk management, market analysis, positioning, and feasibility studies. Integration Planning: We design organisational structures that form winning teams and utilise a business unit model. This ensures the proper brand selection, HR and financial structure, and equilibrium between operational efficiency and multiple brand positioning.
Facility Management: Our community model is at the centrepiece of the integration plan, promoting cost efficiency and profitability. Multiple brands and business units share facilities, and we offer services related to resort support, utilities, sustainability, property maintenance, and security. Technology Solutions: We provide IT solutions, including turnkey options, hardware and software planning and implementation, offthe-shelf IT solutions, and customised applications that work across businesses and brands, with ongoing support and updates. Tell us your recommendations on investing in the Maldives. Investment prospects in the Maldives stem from the robust demand for this sought-after destination. Opportunities range from inhabited islands to artificial lagoon developments, open to global investors, and the location selection depends on factors like transport accessibility and natural beauty. We offer crucial insights for informed decisions. Moreover, islands hosting operational resorts are often available for sale, promising swift transformation through infusion of capital and rebranding. What is integration, and how do you plan for it? Embarking on substantial investments encompassing multiple resorts, retail outlets, marinas, or even theme parks beneath a singular destination umbrella offers many advantages to investors, particularly in cost management. When executed meticulously, an Integrated Resort establishes a distinct niche capable of yielding significant returns. Nevertheless, the challenge lies in harmonising the functioning of diverse brands. This is where our expertise excels. We optimise the potential of each component while collectively contributing to the overall success, ensuring investors gain maximum returns from their investment. Ultimately, investors aspire to reap maximum returns from all facets of their investment rather than merely portions. Our role is to stand alongside the developers in achieving this objective – negotiating with resort brands, crafting destination marketing strategies, formulating organisational blueprints, and devising operating protocols that secure long-term benefits for the investment. Imagine an integrated resort as an orchestra, with each brand and section as distinct musicians converging to create a harmonious symphony. In the conductor role, we bring your vision to life, orchestrating a synchronised experience. The “Umbrella” Brand signifies an all-encompassing destination where various amenities converge seamlessly, offering a comprehensive Maldives experience. Each Business Unit within this brand holds a unique purpose, from accommodation to entertainment. Synergising these elements allows a resort to be recognised as a haven of enjoyment and leisure.
Every Business Unit can include multiple or single brands if they align cohesively and project unique values while considering price points. We aim to establish an organisational framework where each business unit and brand significantly contributes to the overall success, utilising shared facilities under the Community Model principles. How can facility management be effectively leveraged, and what does a community model entail? In establishing an integrated resort, facility management is a pivotal factor. Managing facilities as a distinct Business Unit is essential, serving all brands under the integrated resort. Four pillars encompass facility management: Employee Experience: Building an inclusive community across all brands and business units. Guest Support Services: Offering support services under a clientsupplier relationship, including laundry, gardening, transportation, welfare (dormitory and staff canteen), public area cleaning, pest control, and community recreational and retail areas. Utility Management and Sustainability: Focusing on vital resort operations, including the powerhouse, RO plant, incinerator, waste management, beach maintenance, and marine biology. Property Management and Security: Covering security and loss prevention, compliance, licenses, clinic, disaster management, emergency response, and risk mitigation. How do you form a community in a setting where there are multiple brands at play? Are you saying this is the key to success? The operation of a multi-branded integrated resort poses challenges, primarily addressed through effective human resource management. We cultivate successful teams within diverse brands using our community model, fostering a dynamic micro-economy and harmoniously aligning teams under the overarching integrated resort umbrella. Facility management nurtures a community spirit that shapes the identity of the integrated resort despite brand diversity.
How do technology and IT solutions come to play? Managing large-scale operations requires sophisticated IT infrastructure with seamless integration to provide instant access to data at both Business Unit (BU) and multi-BU levels. Performance comparison is crucial for progress. We’ve developed a customised software suite in facility management to integrate seamlessly with major Property Management Systems (PMS). Our proprietary applications bridge gaps in addressing the unique requisites of multi-brand integrated resorts. Our solutions efficiently manage large teams within a single company or across multiple entities. With our software suite, handling thousands of team members becomes manageable. We offer a comprehensive turnkey solution, linking international hotel brands and identifying areas needing customised solutions. Our extensive experience has resulted in refined applications suitable for the dynamic environment of multi-branded integrated resorts. We provide design, installation, configuration, and maintenance of complete IT solutions, including GPON, Switch, Wi-Fi, and CCTV networks. Our services encompass PMS, POS, Finance, Revenue Management, Reservations, Events Management, HR, and Procurement solutions tailored to various brands. Our proudest achievements are the customised IT solutions for Facility Management, Security Tracking, Transportation, Staff Movement, and Access Control, all designed for multi-brand, multi-business unit environments, enhancing operational efficiency. What does Unan Hospitality provide as a value offering to prospective clients? With our Turn-Key advisory service, we support clients throughout the entire process. We assist in the planning phase, helping analyse data, evaluate scenarios, and authenticate their vision. During development, we guide site selection, design coordination, procurement, IT support, brand selection, and design. We’ve also created an active lifestyle Beach Resort brand to propose to prospective developers. In the operational phase, we optimise resources and offer proven organisational structures, enabling the outsourcing of specific areas, like facility management. We also provide Consolidation and Asset Management to measure and adjust for improved business expansion.
Director of Sales at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
Director of Sales & Marketing at SO/ Maldives
Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
Marketing & Communications Manager at Ifuru Island Maldives
General Manager at Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi
Director of Sales at Villa Haven
HR Manager at Canareef Resort Maldives
Director of Food & Beverage at SO/ Maldives
Sales Manager: PR & Events at Ifuru Island Maldives
KHUN JEAN-LOUIS RIPOCHE
Front Office Manager at Cora Cora Maldives
General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives
Resort Manager at Le Meridien Resort & Spa
RAI VIANY PANDE
Assistant Director of Sales at Baros Maldives
Cluster Director of Marketing & Communications at CROSSROADS Maldives
Managing Director, UK at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll
Director of Operations Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
Sales Manager: Contracting at Ifuru Island Maldives
Director of Sales at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa
Investing in Green Architecture – Shaping Sustainable Tourism In the face of escalating environmental concerns, the tourism industry stands at a pivotal juncture, urgently seeking ways to mitigate its impact on the planet. In response to this challenge, adopting sustainable practices, particularly in architectural design, has emerged as a beacon of hope. This paradigm shift not only addresses environmental concerns but also enhances the allure of tourist destinations. Green architecture, also known as sustainable design or green building, endeavours to minimise negative impacts on the environment by considering the entire life cycle of a structure, from its inception and construction to its ongoing operation and eventual demolition or reuse. Sustainability manifests in myriad forms, from innovative technologies such as smart technology and photovoltaic glass to circular economies, centralised power networks, and modular building techniques. At its core, green architecture symbolises the fusion of aesthetic appeal and environmental consciousness, a harmony that resonates profoundly in the tourism industry. In an era where global travellers are increasingly mindful of the ecological toll of their journeys, the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable options is soaring. Within this context, green architecture emerges as a solution that satisfies the environmentally conscious traveller and rejuvenates the charm of tourist destinations.
The Significance of Green Architecture in Tourism Architecture transcends bricks and mortar; it shapes the essence of travellers’ experiences. Modern tourists seek more than just a cursory visit; they yearn for an immersive experience that aligns with their values. Herein lies the significance of green architecture. By integrating sustainable design principles, architects can create spaces that resonate with the eco-conscious traveller, nurturing a profound connection between the visitor and the destination. This shift from opulence to eco-conscious luxury marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of tourism.
Environmental Benefits & Economic Impacts Beyond its aesthetic appeal, green architecture is a guardian of the environment by reducing energy consumption, conserving water, and minimising ecological impact, thereby championing a sustainable future. Supported by compelling statistics and research findings, its environmental benefits are irrefutable, underscoring its pivotal role in reducing tourism’s environmental footprint. Additionally, the economic advantages of green architecture are substantial, serving as a tipping point for stakeholders. These benefits encompass reduced operational costs, increased revenue streams, and job creation. Real-life case studies illustrate green architecture’s tangible impact on tourist destinations’ economic viability, demonstrating that eco-conscious choices can be financially astute.
Case Study – Kudadoo Maldives An exemplary instance of sustainable design is evidenced at Kudadoo Resort in the Maldives. Embracing environmental responsibility as a core value,
Kudadoo exemplifies sustainability through solar power, sustainable building materials, and environmentally conscious activities. Situated in a delicate environment, the resort emphasises preserving nature and supports local communities. Kudadoo Resort is a pioneer of green architecture, showcasing the seamless coexistence of luxury and environmental consciousness, setting a global example for sustainable tourism practices.
Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Green Architecture Transitioning to green architecture is full of challenges; financial constraints and stakeholder resistance often pose significant hurdles. However, within these challenges lie opportunities for innovation and collaboration. Examining successful strategies and innovative approaches sheds light on how destinations can overcome these obstacles, fostering an environment conducive to the widespread adoption of sustainable architectural practices.
Future Trends and Innovations The landscape of green architecture is continually evolving, with emerging trends and innovations reshaping the industry. From integrating renewable energy sources to implementing innovative technologies and sustainable materials, the future of architectural design brims with possibilities. By embracing these trends, tourist destinations can redefine the visitor experience, offering a glimpse into a future where sustainability and luxury coexist, shaping a world where our architectural footprint treads lightly on the Earth. In combining sustainable design and architectural innovation, we create a future where tourist spots shaped by green architecture stand as symbols of our dedication to preserving the Earth for future generations.
Scan and experience Maldives like never before
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
Is All Inclusive Pricing the New Standard for Hotels & Resorts? The hospitality industry has long been known for its diverse pricing models, with guests often faced with a barrage of additional charges beyond the initial room rate. From resort fees to parking charges and even in-room amenities, these extra expenses can quickly add up and leave travellers feeling nickel-and-dimed. In response to consumer demand for transparency and fairness, a growing number of hotels and resorts are adopting a new approach: inclusive pricing. But is this model poised to become the new standard?
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
51 Jumeirah Maldives
Improved Guest Experience: Guests appreciate simplicity and value for their money. Inclusive pricing enhances the overall guest experience by reducing frustration and ensuring guests feel they are getting a fair deal. Enhanced Brand Reputation: Hotels and resorts that adopt inclusive pricing are likely to earn a more positive reputation among travelers. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. Competitive Advantage: As inclusive pricing gains popularity, hotels and resorts that adopt this model may have a competitive edge over those still clinging to the traditional pricing approach.
Challenges and Considerations While inclusive pricing offers numerous benefits, it’s not without challenges and considerations: Pricing Accuracy: Hotels must carefully calculate and set their inclusive prices to ensure they cover costs and generate a profit. Overestimating or underestimating can lead to financial problems.
The Traditional Pricing Model For years, hotels and resorts have relied on the traditional pricing model, which typically involves offering a base room rate and then tacking on additional fees and charges for various amenities and services. These extras might include resort fees, Wi-Fi charges, transfer fees, and more. While this pricing strategy has allowed hotels to advertise lower room rates upfront, it often results in guests feeling frustrated and misled when they discover the true cost of their stay upon checkout.
The Rise of Inclusive Pricing Inclusive pricing, on the other hand, aims to provide guests with a more transparent and straightforward pricing structure. With this model, hotels and resorts bundle the cost of amenities and services into the initial room rate, giving guests a clear understanding of what their stay will cost from the outset. This approach eliminates the surprise expenses that have become synonymous with the traditional pricing model.
The Benefits of Inclusive Pricing Transparency: Inclusive pricing promotes transparency, allowing guests to budget more effectively for their stay. They know exactly what they’ll be paying without the fear of hidden fees.
Communication: Clear communication with guests is crucial. Hotels must make it abundantly clear what is included in the room rate to avoid misunderstandings. Customization: Some travelers prefer a la carte pricing, where they only pay for the services they use. Inclusive pricing may not appeal to everyone, so hotels should consider offering options. Market Acceptance: The adoption of inclusive pricing may vary by region and hotel type. Market acceptance and guest preferences will play a role in its success.
Is Inclusive Pricing the Future Standard? While inclusive pricing represents a positive shift towards transparency and guest satisfaction, it may not become the universal standard for all hotels and resorts. However, it is likely to gain more traction, especially among upscale and luxury properties where the guest experience is paramount. Ultimately, the success of inclusive pricing will depend on how well hotels can adapt to changing guest expectations and market dynamics. As travelers increasingly seek fairness, transparency, and value for their money, hotels and resorts that embrace inclusive pricing may find themselves leading the way towards a new industry standard. Whether it becomes the norm or not, one thing is clear: inclusive pricing is a step in the right direction towards a more guest-centric and honest hospitality industry.
SO/ Maldives – Where Luxury, Adventure, and Culinary Excellence Converge SO/ Maldives, the much-anticipated luxury island resort, is poised to set new standards in luxury, adventure, culinary, and leisure experience as it prepares for its grand opening on November 1, 2023. Developed by Ennismore, SO/ Maldives is committed to offering guests a distinctive and unforgettable stay. With its avant-garde design, the resort encourages exploration and promises guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the stunning Maldivian archipelago. Here, they can indulge in exceptional culinary delights and a wide array of leisure activities.
Luxurious Villas SO/ Maldives has curated a stylish collection of 80 beachfront and over-water villas designed for open-plan living with panoramic ocean views. Each villa comes with a private pool and deck.
Wellness Camp Whether your preferred mode is active or relaxed, retreat to SO/ Maldives’ serene wellness camp. It features a bespoke spa with a hammam, steam and sauna facilities, modern organic treatment rooms, and a state-of-the-art gym.
Culinary Delights SO/ Maldives boasts a specialty restaurant that will transport guests to an Arabian night with colorful Levantine cuisine, all against the backdrop of panoramic ocean views. Additionally, guests can relax poolside at the Art-Deco-inspired beach club, indulging in seasonal plant-based dishes.
Bespoke Dining Departing from the traditional all-day buffet concept, SO/ Maldives offers bespoke culinary concepts. A chef’s table provides an interactive dining experience, while open-air spaces with neutral terracotta palettes and rattan furniture allow guests to savour unforgettable evenings under the Maldivian skies.
Beyond Dining SO/ Maldives isn’t just about culinary experiences. The resort also features an oceanfront wedding venue, perfect for romantic ceremonies, and well-designed meeting spaces for business travelers. These facilities, combined with the resort’s commitment to luxury and personalization, aim to redefine the guest experience in the Maldives.
Experience Pure Romance and Luxury at Sun Siyam Iru Veli Resort For those in search of the perfect romantic retreat, the Sun Siyam Iru Veli presents its exclusive “Romance Experience” offer, meticulously curated to ignite passion and create unforgettable moments. Situated in the South Nilandhe Atoll, Sun Siyam Iru Veli stands as one of the distinguished five-star resorts within the renowned Sun Siyam Resorts hospitality group. Escape to the Sun Siyam Iru Veli and embark on a journey of romance and relaxation that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon, or simply seeking a romantic interlude, the Romance Experience at Sun Siyam Iru Veli promises to deliver an extraordinary escape that transcends the ordinary. To take advantage of the Romance Experience offer, which includes a Romantic Couple Massage, Romantic Beach Dinner, Lucky Dolphin Sunset Cruise, Romantic Turndown Service, Flower Bath, and In-Villa Romantic Breakfast, bookings must be made with a minimum stay of 4 nights. Sun Siyam Iru Veli showcases elegant and expansive suites nestled along immaculate white beaches that fringe a vast azure lagoon. The resort offers a range of amenities, including a spa, the SSI dive center, and an array of six dining and beverage establishments. Among these is an exclusive pool bar designated for adults, which hosts lively weekly pool parties. All these offerings collectively present Sun Siyam Iru Veli as the ultimate destination for luxurious tropical getaways and indulgent experiences.
Experience Tranquillity in Noonu – Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives Nestled in the untouched Noonu Atoll, discover the Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives – a place of unmatched luxury and calm. With its promise of tranquillity, seclusion, and exceptional hospitality, the resort is an invitation to experience a peerless escape in paradise.
The Resort Just a short 45-minute seaplane ride from Malé, Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives offers a range of 105 villas and suites. These include 72 overwater pool villas, 30 beach pool suites, and three beach spa pool residences, each featuring a private plunge pool. This enchanting haven welcomes families seeking adventure and couples searching for a romantic getaway. Accessible via a scenic 15-minute speedboat ride from Maafaru Island Airport in Noonu Atoll, the resort transports guests to a world of privacy and natural beauty.
Architecture Architects from MOTIV in Poland envisioned the resort as a blend of innovation and the allure of the Maldives’ landscapes. The result is a harmonious design where organic roof shapes merge seamlessly with the surroundings. Inside, the focus on ergonomics keeps guests connected to the beauty outside. Modern aesthetics meet local heritage, turning the uninhabited Kuredhivaru into an architectural masterpiece.
Culinary Mövenpick’s culinary expertise shines through in four dining experiences. ONU Marché Restaurant offers buffet and à la carte dishes from locally sourced ingredients. The Mövenpick Coffee & Wine Lounge caters to coffee lovers, while Latitude 5.5 provides poolside dining with stunning ocean views. The Bodumas Seafood Restaurant is a delight for seafood enthusiasts, set against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean. A daily highlight is the Mövenpick Chocolate Hour in the lobby, offering guests a delightful encounter with premium chocolates.
Experiences Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru is a blend of relaxation and adventure. The Little Birds Club is perfect for families with young children. For those seeking excitement, there’s a diving centre offering snorkelling, house reef explorations, and cruises. The Sun Spa by Esthederm is a haven of rejuvenation, offering signature facials and massages.
A Venue for Memories An exclusive beach pool spa residence is an ideal setting for intimate weddings and private gatherings for up to 20 guests. This reflects Mövenpick’s commitment to creating cherished moments.
Fushifaru Maldives — A Boutique Jewel in the Indian Ocean Crown Fushifaru Maldives, the prestigious 5-star boutique resort in the pristine enclave of Lhaviyani Atoll, has firmly established itself as an extraordinary island sanctuary. Nestled in the pristine embrace of Lhaviyani Atoll, Fushifaru Maldives epitomizes paradise found in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Its idyllic setting features powdery white sand beaches gently lapped by crystalline turquoise waters, providing an idyllic backdrop for guests seeking luxurious comfort and complete privacy. This boutique gem boasts 63 modern villas, each thoughtfully designed with a distinct Maldivian essence. Guests can choose between 44 beachfront villas and 19 overwater villas, each offering an immersion into the azure waters or the serenity of a private pearl-white beach. A dedicated Resident Host stands ready to attend to every need, ensuring an unforgettable stay experience. Discerning gastronomes are spoilt for choice at Fushifaru Maldives, with three remarkable dining venues to explore. Korakali, the resort’s main restaurant, tantalizes taste buds with an array of global and islandinspired flavours served beachside. At Teppanyaki, dinner becomes theatrical as flame-grilled Angus beef, fresh seafood, and Japanese cuisine take centre stage. Lastly, under a thatched pavilion overlooking the glistening sea, Raakani offers the freshest catch of the day, grilled meats, and seafood platters. For aficionados of underwater adventures, Fushifaru is a gateway to a world of marine wonders, boasting access to a multitude of world-class dive and snorkel sites. The protected marine area of ‘Fushifaru Thila’ offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the vibrant sea life that inhabits the coral reefs. Guests can also embark on a castaway sandbank experience with their Resident Host or sail into the sunset aboard a traditional dhoni, accompanied by a meticulously prepared gourmet picnic. Following a day of exploration, guests can unwind and rejuvenate at the award-winning Heylhi Spa, indulging in well-deserved pampering. Fushifaru Maldives further enriches the experience with yoga classes and spa treatments designed to soothe the mind and revitalize the body.
Your Ultimate Bucket List Quest Indulge in the extraordinary with Trans Maldivian Airways – your gateway to the secluded paradise scattered across the Indian Ocean. We fulfill the promise of a paradisiacal escape for over a million travelers every year, transferring them to over 90 resorts. Our seaplane transfers transcend mere transportation; they are the embodiment of awe. Picture yourself gliding above crystal clear waters, where vistas of unparalleled beauty unfold. Guided by our barefoot pilots, the true maestros of this aquatic wonderland, who skillfully navigate the skies and waters, ensuring your flight is as enchanting as the destination.
National Flag Carrier Maldivian to Acquire 2 New ATR42-600 Aircraft Maldivian, the national carrier of the Maldives, has announced plans to bolster its fleet by acquiring two new ATR42-600 aircraft. The airline has recently concluded a Sale and Purchase Contract with ATR, signalling its ongoing commitment to expanding its aircraft inventory. This decision to procure additional aircraft underscores Maldivian’s dedication to upgrading and enhancing its operational capabilities. Specifically, these new ATR42600 aircraft are intended to replace the aging Dash-8 aircraft currently within the airline’s fleet. Maldivian has already successfully integrated three ATR aircraft into its operations, demonstrating their reliability and efficiency as replacements for older models. The first ATR42-600 is slated for delivery by the end of 2023, with the second one following suit in early 2025. This timeline aligns with the airline’s overarching strategy of providing passengers with a safe, comfortable, and contemporary travel experience.
Beond Airline to Begin Flights in November to Munich, Zurich and Riyadh Beond — the world’s first premium leisure airline — unveiled its sophisticated and unique aircraft livery yesterday at an event in Malé, Maldives. The event was attended by dignitaries, investors, supporters, and employees, where the airline showcased its first aircraft, an Airbus A319 seating 44 passengers in a luxurious alllay-flat configuration. “Welcome to Beond. Our aim is simple: to fly our customers to Maldives. At this unique and unspoiled destination, they can release their inner explorer on the most memorable vacation of their lives,” said Tero Taskila, CEO of Beond, and a founder. “We could not be
more pleased to showcase our aircraft in Maldives, our home. We wish especially to thank the government of Maldives and our supporters there, the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority, SIMDI Group and other investors from around the world — each of whom believed in our vision for a new airline in Maldives. Our team will do its best to bring tourists to this beautiful nation.” Beond’s inaugural flights are scheduled for November 2023, with the Riyadh inaugural departing November 9, the Munich inaugural departing November 15, and the Zurich inaugural departing November 17. Between today and the scheduled service launch, early bird customers have chartered the aircraft to experience the Maldives. “Today is the realisation of a dream I first had for years,” said Max Nilov, Chief Strategy Officer of Beond, and principal founder. “I had a dream of this airline, for this aircraft, and for this experience for passengers. We have created a premium experience coupled with an operating philosophy that is unmatched.” Sascha Feuerherd, Chief Commercial Officer of Beond said “The response by customers and stakeholders have been excellent in our launch cities — which was to be expected. And now the interest has grown from other new origins on our route map. I look forward to greeting our first passengers as they board.” Beond will fly a fleet of state-of-the-art Airbus A320family aircraft in a unique luxury, lay-flat configuration, bringing passengers to Maldives from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. This first Beond aircraft will be displayed at the Dubai Air Show in midNovember. Additional Airbus aircraft will join the Beond fleet in late 2023 and early 2024. Beond is building a positive footprint in Maldives. Indeed, even before starting service, the airline has more than 75 employees in Maldives and anticipates hiring 1,600 pilots and cabin crew for Maldives
TMA Introduces The Flying Turtle by Six Senses Laamu
Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) introduced Six Senses Laamu as the newest jewel in their distinguished array of seaplane destinations with the arrival of the Flying Turtle by Six Senses Laamu, now a member of the world’s largest seaplane fleet. TMA operated its inaugural flight to Six Senses Laamu on the Flying Turtle, commencing an awe-inspiring journey from Velana International Airport. The special livery, meticulously crafted and adorned by TMA’s inhouse team for the resort, will be exclusively dedicated to transporting mutual guests of Trans Maldivian Airways and Six Senses Laamu. This bespoke experience will allow travellers to uncover the natural beauty and allure of Laamu Atoll like never before.
Sichuan Airlines Resumes Flights to the Maldives Sichuan Airlines, one of China’s leading carriers, has officially resumed flights to the Maldives, signifying a pivotal moment for the country’s tourism industry. The resumption flight, carrying 186 passengers, gracefully landed at Velana International Airport at 6:05 PM yesterday evening, where it was welcomed with a special water salute, symbolizing the revival of tourism connections. Sichuan Airlines will operate three weekly flights, bridging the gap between Chengdu and Maldives. This move adds to the existing Chinese airlines operating flights to the Maldives, including Beijing Capital, which operates weekly charter flights, and China Eastern, offering weekly
scheduled flights every Saturday. The airline is resuming flights after 7 long years. The last flight was operated on 23rd March 2016. The reopening of Sichuan Airlines’ operations at Velana International Airport is poised to significantly boost Maldives tourism and stimulate economic growth. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of China’s borders, the Chinese market played a crucial role in driving the Maldives’ tourism industry. Since the reopening of its borders earlier this year, Chinese tourism has been consistently increasing, now ranking as the fourth largest source market for the Maldives. The Maldives, renowned for its pristine beauty, picturesque landscapes, and luxurious resorts, has been a preferred destination for Chinese travellers seeking an enchanting vacation experience. With Sichuan Airlines’ resumption of flights, the Maldives is well-positioned to regain momentum in attracting Chinese tourists, further solidifying its status as an alluring global tourist hotspot.
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Barceló Hotels & Resorts Unveils its Inaugural Maldivian Jewel: Barceló Whale Lagoon Resort A new chapter in soft-club style hospitality is written as Barceló Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of its maiden Maldivian resort — the exquisite Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives. As the doors of this breathtaking paradise swing open, Barceló embarks on a journey of opulence, relaxation, and discovery in one of the world’s most coveted travel destinations. Nestled amid the ethereal beauty of the Maldives, the Barceló Whale Lagoon Resort is a sanctuary that harmoniously blends natural splendour with refined service. Today, the resort celebrates the momentous occasion of its grand opening, extending a warm welcome to its inaugural
guests who are destined to experience the epitome of hospitality. Santi Rodriguez-Bustelo, General Manager of Barceló Whale lagoon Maldives shared their excitement, stating, “The Barceló Whale Lagoon Resort marks a significant milestone in our global journey, representing our dedication to creating extraordinary experiences. This enchanting resort exemplifies the beauty and allure of the Maldives, offering a haven for discerning travellers seeking unmatched indulgence”.
Guests embarking at the Barceló Whale Lagoon Resort can look forward to an array of unparalleled amenities and activities, including: Elegant Retreats: Unique villas and suites thoughtfully designed to embody the essence of the Maldives, each providing sweeping vistas of the ocean and direct access to pristine beaches. Culinary Excellence: A symphony of flavours awaits at the resort’s distinguished restaurants and bars, where guests can relish global gastronomic delights, local delicacies, and inventive libations. Spa: The resort’s spa offers a haven of relaxation, delivering an assortment of treatments and therapies that nurture holistic well-being amidst serene surroundings. Marine Adventures: A plethora of aquatic escapades, encompassing snorkelling, diving, and water sports, affording guests the opportunity to explore the vibrant marine life and resplendent coral reefs of the Maldives. Cultural Revelry: Immersive encounters that honour the local culture and heritage of the Maldives, spanning traditional performances and curated excursions.
Six Senses Kanuhura Maldives Officially Opens Six Senses Kanuhura Maldives has announced its official opening to guests, commencing on September 1, 2023. The resort offers a total of 91 spacious beach, family, and overwater pool villas, situated amidst a picturesque lagoon that provides a haven for resident turtles and marine life. The unveiling of Six Senses Kanuhura Maldives marks a noteworthy addition to the array of beach destination resorts in the Maldives. Following a comprehensive renovation and integration into the Six Senses portfolio, the resort is poised to redefine the Maldivian experience. The overarching objective has been to preserve the island’s natural beauty while enhancing existing amenities and resources. Visitors to the resort will find improvements across various aspects, including the dining options at Drift and Bottega outlets, as well as the organic gardens, which now feature a microgreens nursery alongside the allure of wild orchids. Notably, among the 91 beachfront and overwater villas, there are 12 new Beach Retreats. These accommodations offer one to three bedrooms and private pools, providing an ideal setting for families or larger groups.
Suited for families, couples, or groups of friends, the resort offers an array of activities both on land and in the water. Younger guests, aged three to 11, can partake in enriching experiences at the Grow with Six Senses kids club, where they can engage in activities like treasure hunts, kids’ yoga, crafts, and upcycling. Families can bond over activities such as family cooking classes, water sports lessons, or private beach dining, allowing for quality time together. The Island Hideout caters to teenagers, providing them with a dedicated space to relax and enjoy games with their peers. Couples can savour romantic moments while gazing at the renowned sunsets of Lhaviyani at the new multi-deck Point restaurant and bar or create memorable “I do” moments with private beachfront dinners under the stars. Nestled in the pristine surroundings of the Lhaviyani Atoll, Six Senses Kanuhura is conveniently located 150 kilometres north of Male, accessible via a brief 40-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport (MLE).
Soneva Secret to Welcome Guests in January 2024 Soneva, the world-leading sustainable resorts operator, has revealed the launch of the new, ultra-bespoke Soneva Secret. Located in Haa Dhaalu, the Maldives most remote atoll, the debut Soneva Secret will welcome its first guests on January 10, 2024. Thirty years in the making, the Soneva Secret resort concept builds upon Soneva’s experience at the forefront of exceptional hospitality, and will set a new, unmatched standard in intuitive, personalised service, exquisite private villas and unspoiled settings, surrounded by nature. Soneva Secret features just 14 beach and overwater villas, including lagoon Cruse Villas, accessible only by boat, and the Castaway, the Maldives’ first floating villa. Each is designed in perfect harmony with the untouched natural setting, with direct access to the white sand beach or sparkling lagoon. As well as vast master suites, including a roof that slides to reveal star-strewn skies, every villa also features adjoining bedrooms, offering ample space for families or additional guests. Soneva’s superlative service reaches new heights at Soneva Secret, with a dedicated Barefoot Guardian and Barefoot Assistant for every villa, curating an utterly personalised stay and one-of-a-kind, rare experiences for every guest. The resort’s 14 private chefs, one for each villa, craft bespoke menus and unique culinary journeys, whether savoured in the privacy and comfort of the villa or enjoyed in nature at the island’s most picturesque spots.
Other dining experiences will include Out of This World, a castaway dining tower, observatory and wine cellar in the lagoon, reachable by zipline; a toes-in-the-sand firepit dining experience at So Primitive; and The Living Room, the island hub and casual dining and lounge venue, which is also home to a library, boutique and Soneva’s renowned ice cream, chocolate and cheese and charcuterie rooms. At Soneva Secret, fully bespoke rare experiences are curated for every guest, reconnecting them with the abundant nature that surrounds the island. An underwater haven, the crystal-clear waters are home to colonies of majestic manta rays, pods of curious dolphins and gentle whale sharks, alongside shoals of colourful tropical fish. Family experiences go far beyond The Den, whether picnics on castaway shores, sunset dolphin cruises, guided snorkelling with the experienced Marine Biologist, or navigating the night skies with exceptionally clear views of the Milky Way with the resident Astronomer. Soneva Secret can be reached via a scenic 75-minute seaplane flight direct from Velana International Airport in Malé, a 40-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, or a leisurely full-day cruise from Soneva Fushi onboard Soneva in Aqua. Guests can also fly directly into Kulhudhuffushi Airport in the Haa Dhaalu Atoll and take a one-hour speedboat ride to the resort.
New Jawakara Islands Maldives Now Open New Jawakara Islands Maldives opened its door on 22nd October 2023, offering an adventurous bolthole where multigenerational travellers can collaborate, indulge and rejuvenate. This is the latest opening in the Crown & Champa Resorts portfolio, which includes Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, Hurawalhi Maldives, and Kagi Maldives Resort & Spa in its luxury collection. Jawakara is a 290-villa, ‘One Island, One Resort’ Maldivian concept. Just 40 minutes either by luxury speedboat from Madivaru domestic airport in Lhaviyani Atoll or 35 minutes by seaplane from Malé International Airport, the five-star getaway comprises two separate islands – Mabin and Dheru – connected by an overseas walkway.
Jawakara will be managed as one resort, focusing on family-friendly and multigenerational experiences. Guests can choose to have an action-packed schedule from surfing, diving, motorised and non-motorised water sports, including kite surfing, kayaking and many more and snorkelling to golf, paddle and football tournaments on a full-sized pitch with much more inbetween. Alternatively, there are two Suhla spas, an extensive kids club, a yoga retreat and two infinity pools. Maurice Van Den Bosch, General Manager, Jawakara Islands Maldives, comments: “Jawakara is designed to be every family’s dream for a luxury getaway – every detail has been thought of for all generations alike for an all-encompassing offering that will define Jawakara as the pioneer for luxury multi-generational travel in classically Maldivian surroundings.” “I would always say that Jawakara will make a difference in the market with its offerings and unique concept. Jawakara caters for everyone’s needs and is not limited to just one segment. It’s a very large five-star, familyfriendly and active Resort,” emphasised the Director of Sales and Marketing, Crown and Champa Resorts, Ahmed Shaheen.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Introduces B Balanced by Bamford at the Iconic Ritz-Carlton Spa A design masterpiece and retreat of spa excellence, The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is one of the Maldives’ most sought-after spa experiences. A halo of serenity has been guiding guestwellbeing since the resort’s opening in 2021, and is fast becoming an iconic Indian Ocean wellness destination. Not only the first spa in the Maldives to feature Bamford, the destination announces a worldwide resort-exclusive of the British wellness brands’ newest treatment ‘B Balanced’. Designed to alleviate symptoms brought on by hormonal changes and long-term illnesses, this bespoke full-body treatment will launch at the resort in October 2023. Harnessing the power of botanicals to rebalance the mind, body and support overall wellbeing, the treatment is particularly beneficial for those experiencing hormonal imbalances or recovering from long-term illness. Crafted to centre and restore, B Balanced at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands can target any hormonal and energy imbalances and, for women’s health, includes alleviating symptoms of peri and post menopause ensuring optimum wellness while travelling and beyond. The 90-minute treatment is practiced in the haloshaped design-spa hovering masterfully over its sparkling lagoon, and will join the destination’s stellar menu of wellness. To nature’s soundtrack of hypnotic ocean rhythm, proven to have restorative effects, resort therapists ensure a tailored experience for every guest.
Guests will understand the importance of powerful, deep breathing to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, assist lowering blood pressure and support a healthy immune system. With guidance, the breath is directed to the heart space, rib cage and sacrum to reap the full benefits of fully oxygenating the lungs.
Bamboo tapping is used to wake-up the circulation, clear stagnation, support lymphatic drainage and encourage a smooth flow of blood and energy around the body. Sending a calming signal to the brain, the practice will help to rewire reactions to stressful thoughts and situations.
B Balanced gua sha massage and cooling gel application will work to release excess heat from the body. Targeting the bladder and kidney meridians this will help expel heat from the lungs, ease lower back and joint discomfort, disorders in menstruation, poor memory, blurred vision, and menopause syndrome.
In the B Balanced treatment, attention turns to breathwork, bamboo tapping and gua sha massage.
B Balanced at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands brings 90 minutes of pure indulgence, dedicated entirely to nurturing wellbeing and bringing the body and mind back to balance. The treatment joins a menu brimming with transformative experiences from the Bamford Signature Journey – a resort-exclusive, incorporating chakra, breath work and sound therapy with island shells, to the cult Bamford Wellness Facial, Bamford After-Dive Ritual and the B Silent, Vibrant and Strong series.
Amari Raaya Maldives Launches Maai Spa Offering Holistic Wellness Packages The newly opened exquisite resort, Amari Raaya Maldives, operated by ONYX Hospitality Group, a reputable force in Southeast Asia’s hospitality industry with over five decades of hospitality management experience that delivers unparalleled experiences in a dynamic and competitive market, meeting the everevolving demands of travellers, is celebrating the launch of its very first maai spa, which opened on 1st August 2023. To mark this occasion, the resort is offering an exclusive holistic wellness package titled ‘Reconnect Mind, Body, and Soul.’ This package is designed to support the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of guests while igniting creativity through a series of thoughtfully tailored experiences. The exclusive wellness package starts with daily sunrise or sunset yoga and healthy smoothies at the muchloved Amaya Food Gallery. Included in the package is a private dinner at watch tower, one of the remnants of Seb’s castaway story that is converted to a private dining and star gazing venue. The private watch tower dinner will serve nutritionally balanced wholesome meal including vegan option by the resort’s renowned chefs. Guests will also receive a 120-minute signature
massage at maai spa, using the signature algae massage oil; that detoxifies, nourishes and releases muscle tension and a mini revitalization facial for softer and smoother skin. Guests are also invited to explore their creativity side by taking a private art therapy session at the resort’s art zone and complete the pot pourri of wellness experiences at UNO Salon that caters to luxury beauty services at Amari Raaya Maldives. With its debut in Thailand and the Maldives, “maai spa “emerges as a beacon of luxury, catering to discerning travellers seeking all-encompassing wellbeing. Rooted in the transformative journey of silk, the spa intertwines elegance and innovation crafting a holistic experience that transcends the borders. maai spa at Amari Raaya Maldives boasts 10 beautifully relaxing treatment room and yoga pavilion surrounded by the lush greenery. Derived from the metamorphic process of silk, maai spa harmoniously blends contemporary Thai hospitality with a devotion to science and art. The seamless fusion encompasses a wide array of exceptional treatments. The treatments are thoughtfully combined with traditional Thai treatments, employing natural elements with delightful fragrances to deliver relaxation through comprehensive care and attentive service.
Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi Raises the Sustainability Bar in Partnership with Global Green Journeys Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, a private island resort in the serene Shaviyani Atoll, stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of luxury and sustainability. With its unwavering commitment to environmental conservation and responsibility, the resort has scaled up its sustainability efforts with a new partnership with Global Green Journeys.
Global Green Journeys is a project that is raising awareness about effective global solutions while promoting scalable and sustainable approaches for widespread adoption. The team’s objective is to emphasise multiple catalytic projects and activities working towards social, environmental and economic sustainability. This exciting collaboration perfectly aligns with Fairmont Maldives’ core values and vision, adding to its existing innovative initiatives, enabling the resort to build, promote, and implement more impactful sustainability programming for a greener future.
As part of the partnership, the pilot project focuses on the plastic pollution epidemic and the technology developed by Precious Plastic to deal with plastic recycling and create wider socio-economic benefits for the local communities. The project will provide unique insight into the property’s on-site Sustainability Lab, the Maldives’ first resort-based recycling facility, and ultimately contribute to a global conversation on the importance of sustainability. As part of the pilot project, two celebrities visited the island resort to design bespoke products from recycled plastic and participate in various eco-inspired activities; including a visit to a local school, that helps divert plastic waste to the Lab and forms part of the resort’s CSR School Education program, to help inspire the next generation to lead a more sustainable life. Fairmont Maldives is the first Fairmont property in the world to achieve the coveted Green Globe certificate for its dedication to sustainable operations and development. The idyllic island hideaway’s crowing jewel, the resort boasts the Maldives’ longest infinity pool which leads guests to the Coralarium — a captivating underwater art installation by acclaimed eco-artist Jason deCaires Taylor and the country’s first coral regeneration project in the form of a gallery. The resort’s 120 luxurious villas, whether on the white sandy beach, amidst the lush island jungle, or perched over the glistening waters of the Indian Ocean, offer a harmonious blend of chic, understated, Maldivian rustic charm.
Banyan Tree Marine Lab, “Home of Conservation” in the Maldives for 19 Years The inauguration of the Banyan Tree Marine Lab in 2004 marked a significant milestone as the first resort-based establishment in the Maldives dedicated to safeguard the natural environment and marine ecosystem. Operating under the guiding philosophy of conservation, restoration, education, and research while catering to both Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Dhawa Ihuru, formerly known as Angsana Ihuru, the pioneering Marine Lab has been instrumental in supporting essential fieldwork carried out by visiting experts. Over time, the Marine Lab has expanded its role to become a leading advocate for sustainability initiatives conducted by both resorts, such as spreading awareness about marine conservation in local schools and nearby communities.
Marine Talk The primary objective of the Marine Lab is to enlighten guests about the indigenous marine ecosystems. Through a weekly schedule of Marine Talk, lasting for 2030 minutes, guests are educated on topics such as coral reefs, the current challenges they confront and proactive measures to safeguard them.
Citizen Science Twice weekly, snorkelling sessions with the resident marine biologists are conducted to document various species and monitor local populations residing in the house reefs. Within this process, the team meticulously record three distinct categories of marine life: megafauna, groupers, and butterflyfish. These encompass an array of captivating creatures, including reef sharks, nurse sharks, eagle rays, turtles, trevally’s, peacock groupers, crown of thorns starfish, and racoon butterflyfish. The presence and abundance of megafauna populations play a pivotal role as indicators of the overall marine ecosystem’s health. They offer insights into prey availability, water quality, and the overall ecological integrity of the area. Groupers, unfortunately, have faced considerable decline in population due to overfishing, primarily driven by their high value in fish markets. Nonetheless, they serve a vital ecological function by controlling the populations of herbivorous fishes, thus preventing overgrazing of corals, and promoting reef recovery. Butterflyfish, known as ‘bioindicators,’ have a symbiotic relationship with coral reefs. By closely monitoring their populations, the team gain valuable understanding of the impact of coral bleaching, pollution, and habitat degradation on the health and vitality of the reefs.
Reef Clean-up Ensuring the cleanliness of the reef is crucial to enhance the survival prospects of corals and protect the overall reef ecosystem. Two predators are actively removed – the crown of thorns starfish (COTS) and the pincushion starfish (PINS), both notorious for consuming coral polyps, resulting in significant coral loss throughout the reef. These species are referred to as ‘corallivores’ due to their primary diet consisting of corals. The crown of thorns starfish can devour up to 75 square feet of corals annually, far surpassing the rate at which we can grow and replant corals.
Coral Nursery At the Marine Lab, one of the major initiatives revolves around coral restoration, aiming to breathe new life into the reefs. The coral rope nurseries offer a promising solution for giving a second chance to coral fragments that break off from the main structures. These fragments, also known as coral recruits, are carefully collected, and affixed to rope nurseries, which typically span 10 metres in length and 2 metres in width. Experienced divers staying at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Dhawa Ihuru are invited to join the resident marine biologists in this meaningful endeavour.
Electric Reef To enhance the preservation and restoration of local biodiversity and coral reefs, three electric reefs have been implemented and strategically positioned across both islands. This innovative approach fuses technology with ecology, yielding more efficient conservation outcomes. An electric reef comprises a sizable metal framework linked to a low voltage power source, generating a localised electronic field that facilitates increased calcium deposition on the metal surface. The Banyan Tree Foundation pioneered the integration of this technology into the Maldives’ reefs with the construction of the Barnacle in 1996, way before the Marine Lab was built. Subsequently, the Necklace and the Lotus were put together in 1998 and 2001, respectively, further extending the network of electric reefs to amplify our conservation efforts. Over the past 19 years, the Banyan Tree Marine Lab has been a beacon of conservation and sustainability in the Maldives,” said Nicholas Hardman, Regional Marine Lab Manager. “We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made in coral planting, protecting house reefs, and promoting eco-friendly practices. Our commitment to fostering environmental awareness through educational activities remains steadfast as we continue to inspire positive change in our guests and the wider community.”
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Unlock Unforgettable Festive Celebrations at Marriott Bonvoy’s Portfolio of Resorts in Maldives Escape to paradise this holiday season and celebrate in style at Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives. Guests can choose between the curated holiday packages at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, W Maldives, Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa, and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort as they step into a wonderful world of festive delight on this secluded haven, surrounded by the endless blue of the Indian Ocean.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands: Embrace the Festive Glow Located at Fari Islands, in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands features 100 villas from one to three bedrooms, with legendary service refined by an Aris Meeha, butler. The property offers a choice of outstanding culinary venues serving an array of international and local cuisines, in addition to a full suite of fitness and recreational facilities including Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program, and a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa introducing Bamford to the region. This festive season, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands invites guests to immerse themselves in the captivating beauty of Maldivian sunsets and sunrises. Holiday traditions and signature island experiences await you, complete with lavish gala dinners, a special Ritz Kids program, exclusive Bamford spa and wellness journeys, and immersive nature experiences with JeanMichel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the sea.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort: An Exquisite End to the Year The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort boasts islandinspired design in each of their 33 on-land and 44 overwater villas promising picturesque ocean or garden views from private terraces and pools. The signature St. Regis Butlers deliver bespoke service day or night. There are seven distinct dining venues, including two Asian specialty restaurants featuring Eastern haute cuisine
and modern Japanese Kaiseki-style gourmet cuisine, an international restaurant that offers dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients, an underground wine cellar, a shack style restaurant, a signature overwater bar that rolls out stunning views of dramatic sunsets including Champagne sabrage, and a restaurant located inland amongst the tropical gardens featuring middle-eastern cuisine.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
For complete relaxation, guests can also enjoy the Iridium Spa, which presents six overwater treatment rooms, including two that are dedicated to healing Ayurvedic treatments. A highlight at the spa is the Blue Hole pool, which contains seawater with different water jets – a system with proven benefits to the body. Escape to the tropical paradise of St. Regis Maldives this festive season and indulge in the ultimate luxury experience.
W Maldives: Where the Festive Vibe Never Ends Located on the heart-shaped Fesdu Island in North Ari Atoll, and surrounded by one of the best house reefs in the country, W Maldives is all geared up to set the stage for a festive season filled with fun and exhilarating activities. The luxury adult playground is the ideal destination for those seeking the perfect combination of relaxation, exclusivity and thrill featuring 77 private suites, six creative gourmet dining venues and lounge bars, overwater treatment rooms at AWAY ®️ Spa, and the world beneath the waves at DOWN UNDER. Guests can also indulge in countless activities including snorkelling, diving, and jet skiing, among others. For those who would like to get the best of both island and ocean life, the luxurious two-cabin ESCAPE yacht is ready to sail for day-long adventures, private dive trips, sunset proposals, or even for exclusive airport transfers. For the holiday season this year, from the Let It Shine Parade to enchanting Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinners, along with unique events like the New Year Swim and Smokin’ Hot Dinner, W Maldives ensures that the festive vibe never runs out.
Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa: Glow in the Dark
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa: A World of Wonder
Nestled amidst breath-taking natural beauty, Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa features a range of stylish and spacious one and two-bedroom overwater or beach villas, allowing guests to immerse themselves in unparalleled luxury while enjoying stunning views of the tropical landscape, whitewashed beaches, and turquoise lagoon. Indulge in the resort’s exceptional dining experiences, starting with a delightful buffet breakfast at Turquoise Restaurant, where you can savour a variety of culinary delights. For a memorable evening, treat yourself to beachside dining at Velaa Bar & Grill, where you can relish a delectable three-course menu featuring grilled seafood, meats, and wood-fired delicacies.
Situated on a private island in North Male Atoll, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa features seven restaurants and bars, two freshwater pools, a tennis court, a 24-hour gym and ample of on-island activities including Sheraton’s signature Side-by-Side Family Program, the resort is the picturesque destination for honeymooners, families with young children or teens and solo travellers alike.
Embrace the essence of savouring the good life this festive season at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, where European traditions meet holiday enchantment. Guests can look forward to indulge in daily buffet breakfasts, themed dinners, and 3-course set menus. Relax with an exclusive savings at the Explore Spa and capture the essence of your moments with a complimentary photoshoot. Adventure seekers can enjoy daily complimentary water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkelling.
At Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, festive celebrations cover family traditions, a Santa Claus BBQ Island, exciting family programs, a Festive Artisan Market, Wine Master Class, and more. This year, guests can experience the magic of neon lights in the lush tropical garden, transforming the woods into a luminous wonderland. Countdown to New Year’s Eve with magical fireworks and a symphony of cheers and laughter on the beach.
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives Adds Free Scuba Diving for Guests
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, just days after being awarded Best Dive Resort 2023 in the Maldives at TTM Maldives 2023, has added complimentary scuba diving for guests as part of their stay. The resort has it’s own five-star PADI Resort dive centre, known as Kandooma Dive complete with experienced and professional dive instructors, purpose-built facilities and a dedicated fleet of dive boats. Mark Eletr, the General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, joyfully expressed, “We are thrilled and this recognition at TTM Awards 2023 stands as a testament to Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives’s unwavering commitment to delivering a world-class diving experience with the top dive sites close by. It’s a celebration of our passion for the ocean and the incredible world beneath the waves, and we’re deeply grateful for this recognition.” “This inclusion sets us apart from our competitors and offers something pretty fantastic for keen scuba divers visiting the Maldives. It serves as a unique selling point, enticing guests to choose our resort over competitors. Scuba diving is not only an exciting activity but also an opportunity for education and conservation. By making it accessible to all guests who are licensed scuba divers, we can raise awareness about marine life, coral reefs, and the importance of preserving these ecosystems.” added Mark.
hardly any current around this area making it suitable for less experienced divers. 5. Manta Point: Witness the mesmerising dance of manta rays as they gather to feed and be cleaned by smaller fish. This site promises awe-inspiring interactions with these majestic creatures. 6. Lhosfushi: The channel deepens inside to a sandy bottom to 30 metres. There are plenty of fish and marine life including turtles, schools of snapper, sweet lips, fusilier, tuna, Napoleon and white-tip reef sharks. There are also large morays, ribbon eels and elegant fire gobies.
Kandooma is known for it’s diving, positioned on the doorstep to some of the Top 10 Dive Sites in the Maldives. Divers can expect to see a wealth of marine life, including manta rays, whale sharks, reef sharks, colorful reef fish, turtles, eagle rays, and a variety of coral species. Some of the dive spots near to Kandooma, include: 1. Kandooma Thila: This renowned pinnacle showcases schools of vibrant fish, colourful coral formations, and an abundance of marine life. From white-tip reef sharks to eagle rays, the site is a captivating spectacle of biodiversity. 2. Guraidhoo Corner: Drift along the currents and witness the congregation of gray reef sharks, white- tip sharks, and eagle rays. The site’s dramatic underwater structure adds to the allure of this exciting dive. 3. Cocoa Corner: Known for its thrilling currents, this site is a magnet for pelagic species. Divers often spot hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and other large marine inhabitants as they glide through the deep waters. 4. Kuda Giri: The Kuda Giri wreck is an interesting dive site in South Malé in the Maldives, which includes both a small wreck and a pinnacle. They have created a welcoming habitat for a variety of marine life. There is
7. Medhu faru: This channel dive is good for both incoming and outgoing current. You will be likely to spot Napoleon, the graceful Eagle rays and a wide selection of colourful fish. Medhu Faru is one of the best dive sites to see large numbers of reef sharks at close range. 8. Kandooma Caves: Explore a labyrinth of swimthroughs and underwater caverns adorned with sponges and gorgonians. The site is known for its macro life and the occasional appearance of larger predators. 9. Waggiri: This is a great dive site for every diver, especially those who love to see small life and have long dives. The formation of this giri is very unique and a perfect place to try a night dive. Expect to see anemone fishes, groupers, frogfish, ghost pipe fish, schools of bat fish, stonefish and yellow mouth moray eels. 10. Miyaru Kandu: This channel dive features an explosion of marine life, including barracudas, snappers, and reef sharks. The site’s coral-encrusted overhangs and vibrant soft corals create a stunning backdrop for underwater exploration. Marketed as Dive Free @Kandooma the new inclusions are available to full paying guests staying a minimum of three nights and includes two single tank group dives for two certified divers per day of stay. All dives are fully guided and include free dive equipment, boat transfers and air/Nitrox. Guests must be fit to dive and be fully certified. Additional terms and conditions also apply for guests’ convenience and safety
Cora Cora Maldives Unveils a Mesmerising Festival of Two Decades Cora Cora Maldives, the luxury resort nestled in the heart of the Maldives, has announced a spectacular Festival of Decades to celebrate two enchanting decades of excellence. Imagine taking off on a captivating voyage through the ages, all while gazing out at the expanse of the Indian Ocean. This year’s festive season unfolds like a time capsule, transporting you seamlessly from the exuberant Roaring 20s to the electrifying Rocking 80s. Brace yourself for an extraordinary and indelible adventure that awaits our cherished guests. The festivities commence with the grand Christmas Tree Lighting, a timeless tradition that ushers in the season’s joy and warmth. As the resort transforms into a magical wonderland, guests can look forward to an array of exciting activities over the next two and a half weeks. Cora Cora Maldives invites guests to indulge in lavish buffets and attend glamorous cocktail parties that will enchant their senses. From sunrise to sunset, there will never be an empty stomach in sight. The evenings will come alive with a captivating music lineup and a mesmerizing Light Mirror show, promising an atmosphere of pure enchantment. As an extraordinary treat, Cora Cora Maldives will also be welcoming the renowned Chef Chet Sharma from Bibi Restaurant in Mayfair, London. Guests will have the unique opportunity to participate in a masterclass, gaining insight into Chef Chet’s culinary genius, followed by a delectable dinner prepared by the maestro himself. New Year’s Eve will be nothing short of extraordinary, with an extravagant dinner that leaves no palate unsatisfied. As the clock strikes midnight, a dazzling fireworks display will illuminate the night sky, while a special Rocking 80s party will set the stage for an unforgettable New Year celebration.
The Festival of Decades at Cora Cora Maldives is designed to cater to guests of all ages and preferences. Young adventurers can embark on thrilling activities, while those seeking relaxation can indulge in the serene oasis of the MOKSHA®️ Spa & Wellbeing Center. The CoRa kids®️ Club ensures that even the youngest travellers have a memorable experience during their stay.
JA Manafaru Maldives Awarded Worldwide Kids Accreditation JA Manafaru Maldives has been awarded the distinguished independent seal of excellence for safe and professional childcare by Worldwide Kids (WK). The Worldwide Kids Accreditation is granted to luxury resorts that meet international childcare training and health and safety standards while consistently demonstrating their commitment to enhancing the experience of families and their young guests. Tucked away within the interior of the island, kids’ facilities include the CoolZone play space with separate family pool, Recreation Pavilion and the ChillZone indoor games room, allowing young guests and their families to enjoy their Maldivian experience, alongside honeymooners, couples and friends alike savouring the tranquillity of this island paradise. The resort’s childcare facilities have successfully completed the comprehensive WK audit, demonstrating their dedication to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for children. JA Manafaru’s dedicated childcare team has also undergone accredited training by Worldwide Kids, equipping them with the expertise and skills necessary to deliver exceptional care to young guests. This training ensures that children staying at JA Manafaru will receive top-quality care while enjoying their time at the resort.
“We are very proud to achieve this accreditation from Worldwide Kids, demonstrating our commitment to incorporating a superior experience for our youngest guests as part of our wider luxury offering,” says Jason Kruse, General Manager, JA Manafaru Maldives. “The diverse range of activities available allows families to discover the magic of the Maldives together, and parents can be certain little ones are receiving the very best care while enjoying time alone in our spa and restaurants.” “We are delighted to recognise JA Manafaru Maldives with our independent seal of excellence for safe and professional childcare,” says Lal Askar, General Manager, Worldwide Kids. “This achievement underscores JA Manafaru’s commitment to providing an exceptional experience for families, ensuring that children have a safe and enjoyable stay. We applaud their dedication to maintaining the highest standards in childcare services.” This recognition solidifies JA Manafaru Maldives as a premier luxury resort in the Maldives, offering topquality services for families whilst catering to its wider clientele of luxury holidaymakers.
Soneva Makes the World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023 List Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani have been named No. 7 and 36 respectively in the new ranking of The World’s 50 Best Hotels 2023. The list includes industry-defining hotels across six continents, highlighting outstanding hotel experiences that shape the aspirations of consumers, travellers, and hoteliers worldwide.
Water Reserves are among the largest of their kind in the world. Guests can stay entertained with visiting experts as part of the Soneva Stars calendar, explore fine dining destinations, discover transformative wellness at Soneva Soul or make time for play at The Den – one of the largest children’s playgrounds in South Asia.
In addition to making the Top 50 list, Soneva also won two special prizes. Sonu Shivdasani OBE, CEO and CoFounder of Soneva, was crowned the recipient of the prestigious SevenRooms Icon Award while Soneva Fushi was honoured with the Lost Explorer Best Beach Hotel Award.
Lying at the heart of a 5.6-kilometre lagoon, Soneva Jani is one of the world’s most exclusive and lowestdensity resorts. Located in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, the resort has seven islands and 51 overwater villas, split between the North Jetty and South Jetty – each offering Soneva’s signature Barefoot Guardian service and uninterrupted ocean views. The playful escapism of this sparkling lagoon setting makes Soneva Jani irresistible to experience seekers with iconic overwater residences and unparalleled access to water sports and marine experiences.
Nestled in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi is a natural treasure with magical experiences at every turn. The resort’s 53 private island villas are ensconced in a verdant jungle, while the eight
Villa Nautica and Villa Park Receive Prestigious Honours at TopHotels Awards Villa Nautica and Villa Park have been honoured with two prestigious awards, cementing their positions as leaders in the world of luxury hospitality. TopHotels.ru, a renowned authority in the travel industry, has recognised both resorts for their outstanding commitment to excellence, bestowing upon them the highly coveted Tophotels Digital Hospitality Award and the esteemed title of Top 100 Best Resort Hotels in the World for 2022. TopHotels Annual Hotel Rating is a highly regarded international quality award within the hospitality industry, focusing on a hotel’s performance in the tourist market. The rankings are determined through meticulous analysis of behavioural data from TopHotels users, representing genuine feedback and support from guests. This exclusive list showcases 100 exceptional resorts worldwide. Impressively, only seven hotels from the
Maldives made it to this prestigious ranking, with the order not following traditional rankings but instead arranged based on total review scores by the end of 2022. In addition to their inclusion in the Top 100 list, Villa Nautica and Villa Park have also received the Tophotels Digital Hospitality Award for their exemplary online reputation management. This award recognises hotels that actively engage the audience to maintain an impeccable online presence, emphasising guest communication and the accuracy of information provided. The list of award winners comprises hotels from seven countries, with a noteworthy presence of four resorts from the Maldives. This recognition underscores the global appeal and high-quality standards upheld by Villa Nautica and Villa Park.
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TTM Awards & Gala 2023 Recognizes Remarkable Hospitality Across 22 Categories
The TTM Awards & Gala 2023 was held at CROSSROADS Maldives on the evening of 23rd August 2023. The occasion marked the announcement of this year’s award winners, spotlighting remarkable accomplishments within the industry. This year, the awards were expanded with the introduction of 2 new categories: Editor’s Choice All Inclusive Resorts and Editor’s Choice Adults Only expanding the total to an impressive 22 award categories that reverberate the unmatched excellence of Maldives’ hospitality.
The award winners are as follows:
Best Beach Resorts Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives Villa Nautica
Best Fun & Friendly Resorts Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives LUX* South Ari Atoll The Standard, Maldives
Best Wellness Resorts
Best Emerging Resort
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Kagi Maldives Resort & Spa
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
Best Honeymoon Destinations ROBINSON Maldives Angsana Velavaru
Best MICE Destination CROSSROADS Maldives
Best Family Resorts The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
Best Boutique Resorts
Most Innovative Resort Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi
Most Sustainable Resorts Reethi Beach Resort Soneva Fushi
Most Picturesque Resorts Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa W Maldives
Best Surf Resorts
Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives Fushifaru Maldives
Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi
Best Dive Resorts
Best Content Creators
Fihalhohi Island Resort Furaveri Maldives Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives
Cora Cora Maldives Siyam World
Best Private Island Cheval Blanc Randheli
Best Design Hotels
Best City Hotel JEN Maldives, Malé by Shangri-La
Editor’s Choice: Adults Only Resorts
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Oaga Art Resort
Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives Baros Maldives Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
Best Wedding Destinations
Editor’s Choice: All-Inclusive Resorts
Naladhu Private Island Maldives CROSSROADS Maldives
Baglioni Resort Maldives Heritance Aarah
Best Culinary Resorts Niyama Private Islands Maldives Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa JA Manafaru Maldives
TTM Top Producers 2023 Bliss Maldives – Russian Market Resort Life Maldives – Russian Market Maldiviana – Russian Market Viluxur – Russian Market Island Hopper – Indian Market Tatabye – Indian Market Pick your trial – Indian Market Island Life – Indian Market My Value Travel – Indian Market British Airways – UK Market Hummingbird – UK Market Sporting Vacanze – Italian Market Secret Escapes – Italian and UK Market TUI – German, UK, Swiss, Austrian and Czech Market FTI – German, UK, Swiss, Austrian and Czech Market Der Touristik – German Market Koveli Travels – US Market VUE Maldives Collection – US Market Hotelbeds – Spanish Market Nanjing Whale Trip – Chinese Market Voyage Prive – French Market Travel Connection – French Market Emirates Holidays – UAE and Saudi Arabian Market Dnata – UAE and UK Market Loft Top Korea – Korean Market Zen Travel – Koren Market Eturia – Romanian Market Total Holiday Options – Australian Market Thompsons – South African Market Intour Maldives – Local DMC Pearl Travels – Local DMC Book Me – Local DMC Diethelm Travel – Local DMC Naalis – Local DMC Exciting Travel – Local DMC Ryoko – Local DMC Travelers Street – Local DMC Booking.com – OTA Agoda – OTA Expedia – OTA Make My Trip – OTA
The culmination of TTM Maldives was graced by the presence of travel trade professionals, harmonizing with an evening of delightful dining, live music, and meaningful networking, marking the event’s resounding success.
TTM Maldives 2024 to be held from 21st to 22nd August 2024 Travel Trade Maldives has announced the dates for TTM Maldives 2024 are set for August 21st to 22nd, 2024. This year’s event began with the TTM Connect meetings that took place from August 22nd to 23rd at the Meerumaa Events Conference Facility. The event attracted over 1000 travel trade professionals and more than 100 hoteliers, where over 3000 prescheduled meetings were conducted. The TTM Awards & Gala of TTM Maldives 2023 recognized the outstanding achievements in the hospitality industry of the Maldives. This year’s awards were expanded to encompass 20 different categories, showcasing excellence across resorts, hotels, and top producers. New features were also added to the TTM Connect, the online travel trade portal with a range of exciting enhancements aimed at empowering the Maldives’ travel industry with cutting-edge tools for strategic decision-making and networking. These upgrades offer precise data, analytics, and insights to the travel community, covering areas like including property details, star ratings, competitive positioning within the hotel industry, travel trade sentiment, tourism and aviation statistics, airport data, taxation information, hotel directories, upcoming hotel projects, revenue figures, average daily rates (ADR), occupancy rates, and market penetration insights. The online portal, which leverages the latest technology, serves as a year-round networking platform for a diverse range of travel industry players, including hoteliers, online travel agencies (OTAs), tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, and travel trade media from across the globe. TTM Connect’s revamped user interface allows password resets, eliminating intermediaries. Moreover, attendees of TTM events enjoy streamlined experiences with features like real-time updates on arrival status, meeting notifications, and venue entry alerts.