TTM Periodical | Issue 011 | November 2021

Page 1

IN THIS ISSUE:

www.traveltrademaldives.com ttm@traveltrademaldives.com

Market Overview | Editor’s Picks | People | Aviation | Emerging Resorts | Sustainability

November 2021

International Travel Trade Periodical of Maldives

EDITOR’S PICK: KUDA VILLINGILI RESORT MALDIVES

ISSUE 011


2

EDITOR’S NOTE & TEAM

EDITOR’S NOTE Dear readers,

TTM Maldives 2021 will be held from

virtually and enroll on to multiple lucky

28th to 30th November. The 5th edition

draws to win exciting Maldives holidays.

Welcome to the November 2021 issue

of TTM Maldives will be held as a

Maldives Virtual Tour is a sister brand of

of TTM Periodical. TTM Periodical is a

hybrid event this year, enabling both in-

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) which are

travel trade publication by Travel Trade

person meetings and virtual meetings.

both under Orca Media Group.

Maldives (TTM) – the leading travel

The event will showcase over 150

We at TTM are always grateful for our

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

trade business resource of the Maldives.

properties and over 200 travel trade

partners and industry stakeholders, and

Ahmed Nasir

The Maldivian tourism industry is

professionals from 30 different markets

hope to receive your continued support

DIRECTOR

showing signs of swift recovery post

will attend the 5th edition of TTM

for TTM Maldives 2021 and Maldives

Mohamed Khoorsheed

the pandemic, with travel markets

Maldives.

Virtual Tour Expo.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

opening up and target arrival numbers

Additionally, Maldives Virtual Tour Expo

Nashaath

on the horizon. As seen in our market

will be held from 20th to 27th November.

DIRECTOR

ORCA TEAM MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq

overview, the Maldives has welcomed

Maldives Virtual Tour Expo is a virtual

Ibrahim Areef

over 800,000 tourists so far this year,

consumer travel fair, which will be

MANAGER, ADMIN & FINANCE

with strong holds in various European

carried out at maldivesvirtualtour.com

and Asian markets.

enabling visitors to experience Maldives

Ali Sageef Ibrahim

MEDIA & MARKETING

Aminath Suha Mohamed Fathimath Nashama Mohamed Zeek Ashraf Shifna Ahmed Raaya Abdulla Fathimath Zeen Mohamed Mohamed Mizyan

DYNAMYST - CONTENT CREATION Mohamed Najwan Ahmed Maan Abdulla

DESIGN DIRECTION Thoo Nazim Moothi Zaya Ahmed Hamdhoon W. Aishath Shahindha

WEBSITE

orcamedia.group qrco.de/orcamediagroup

SONU SHIVDASANI

TOLGA UNAN

FOUNDER AND CEO OF SONEVA

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CROSSROADS MALDIVES

ABDUL WAHEED

JASPER SOERENSEN

SOUS CHEF AT KUDA VILLINGILI

GENERAL MANAGER OF THE STRANDARD, HURUVALHI MALDIVES

PUBLISHED BY

Copyright c 2021 Orca Media Group.All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Opinions expressed in the articles are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. While the editors do their utmost to verify information published they do not accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy. Materials in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of Orca Media Group.


GOVERNMENT

3

HERE’S HOW MMPRC FOCUSES ON ENHANCING DIGITAL PRESENCE TO MARKET MALDIVES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC The campaigns conducted presented

Virtual Maldives” is aimed to amplify

the Maldives as a ‘safe haven’ for

audience engagement and networking

holidaymakers. The safety and natural

by connecting attendees from across

isolation offered to holiday makers

the

due to the country’s unique geography

events ranging from virtual exhibitions,

and its one-island-one-resort concept,

roadshows, webinars to training and

and the stringent health and safety

live marketing events targeting travel

measures in place have been the key

trade and consumers alike. MMPRC

themes in all marketing communications

has carried out two webinars for the

during the period. The content also

French market and hosted a virtual

focused on active updates of the arrival

fair & roadshow for the South Korean

and departure guidelines, with the

market on this platform. Furthermore,

dual purpose of ensuring clarity and

MMPRC has opened up the platforms

informing guests of the procedures in

for local industry partners to host their

place, along with impressing upon them

own events.

the reliability and comprehensiveness of the measures that are in place. MMPRC has also launched a virtual event management platform during April 2021. This virtual platform, “My

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations

of the most desired destinations in

Corporation (MMPRC), also known as

the world. At the same time, the key

Visit Maldives, is the national tourism

objective is to reassure travelers that

promotion body mandated to carry

Maldives remains one of the safest

out the marketing and promotions of

destinations to travel to during these

Maldives as a tourist destination. As

unprecedented times.

a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,

Over the past year, the corporation has

however, MMPRC has had to shift gears

engaged in various digital campaigns

and approach destination marketing

with major airlines, tour operators,

with a different strategy. By adapting

booking platforms and international

to the new normal, the corporation has

medias to target key markets across the

taken a more digital route to ensure

globe including Russia, Japan, France,

strong presence and maximum visibility

Italy, Switzerland and Indonesia, to

within the market.

name a few. MMPRC also took part in

As such, MMPRC carried out various

virtual fairs to further boost destination

digital marketing activities and virtual

visibility. Furthermore, social media

campaigns in key markets across the

undoubtedly plays a major role in

globe. The activities were designed

destination

and executed with the primary aim of

MMPRC took full advantage of this by

maintaining brand strength, promoting

collaborating with platforms around the

Maldives as a safe haven for travelers,

world, such as the recent collaboration

and ultimately increasing arrival figures

with Tabi Muse, one of Japan’s top

to pre-pandemic levels. MMPRC’s goal is

travel social media platforms.

to sustain and enhance the destination’s idyllic image and it’s positioning as one

marketing

these

days.

globe

through

hosted

online


4

GOVERNMENT

GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES IMPLEMENTING HOMESTAY TOURISM - HOW WILL IT BENEFIT THE MALDIVES?

NEW LEGISLATION PUT IN PLACE TO AID LOCAL TOUR OPERATORS, AGENTS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

In recent times, the government of

opportunity

Maldives has been working to implement

intercultural competence, and foreign

various forms of tourism in the Maldives.

language practice. If implemented in

In

the Maldives, homestay tourists can

particular,

the

introduction

of

for

cultural

exchange,

‘homestay’ tourism has stirred dialogue

completely

about its potential benefits, as well as

Maldivian culture, returning home with

concerns

a fresh new perspective that they will

about

its

implementation

immerse

themselves

in

during the time of COVID-19.

not get anywhere else.

But what exactly is homestay? And how

Not only this, but homestays also have

can it benefit our hospitality industry

a lower carbon footprint compared to

and our local community as a whole?

other types of lodging. This is line with

Homestay

is

a

hospitality

where

of

the government’s aim to reduce carbon

a

emissions, as part of the collective

residence with a local household in the

global effort to combat climate change.

country they are traveling. There are

However, there have been issues raised

various types of homestays; the stay

over the implementation of homestay

can be provided gratis, in exchange for

tourism amid the prevalent pandemic.

monetary compensation, in exchange

Earlier this year, in a press statement,

for a stay at the guest’s property either

the Guesthouse Association of the

simultaneously or at another time

Maldives (GAM) had expressed concern

(home exchange), or in exchange for

over implementing homestay during the

housekeeping or work on the host’s

current COVID-19 situation.

property (barter economy). Homestays

In prompt refute, Minister Mausoom

are

collaborative

stated in a tweet that the homestay

consumption and the sharing economy.

system has been successful in countries

Homestays can therefore provide a

such as Malaysia, and that this will benefit

reliable, diversified income stream for

numerous

host families and help further support

in

the local economy by providing viable

guesthouses, and liveaboards, as well as

alternative livelihoods. It can prove to

ordinary citizens by establishing proper

be a catalyst for local entrepreneurship

guidelines.

by paving the way for ordinary citizens

How the concept will fare in the Maldives

to establish themselves in the industry.

once implemented, however, is yet

Both tourists and hosts also have the

to be seen.

examples

popular tourists

of

form share

the

tourism

Maldives

establishments

including

resorts,

Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom

will no longer be inspecting newly

has revealed that the special legislation

formed travel agencies.

now put in place by the Ministry for

Although an office is not necessary,

tour operators and tour agents in

travel agencies must still have an email

the Maldives, would provide security

address and phone number, as stipulated

to

in

by the guidelines. Additionally, a person

competition with international parties

to be held accountable for the company,

and will aid them in business growth for

along with his/her email address and

global tourism.

phone number is also required.

The Ministry of Tourism has drafted and

As per regulations, operational permit

publicized a regulation whereby travel

for travel agencies cannot be given

agencies would be able to operate in the

to companies run by a foreign party;

Maldives without the need for a physical

therefore, if a foreign company would

office.

like to expand their operations within the

The new changes brought about by

Maldives, they must do so in partnership

the Ministry are expected to greatly

with a local travel agent.

ease operators in this line of business.

While over 400 travel agents are in

Previously, travel agencies had to have

the Maldives, due to the COVID-19

a designated office, with email and fax

situation, many companies have halted

facilities in place. New entrants to the

operations. Work is currently being

market also had to meet certain criteria

done by the government to pave the

outlined by the Ministry.

way for further opportunities for such

However, the changes brought to those

businesses in the Maldives.

those

businesses

operating

regulations now mean that the Ministry


GOVERNMENT

VISIT MALDIVES LAUNCHES MICROSITE FOR ‘I’M VACCINATED’ CAMPAIGN As

part

of

the

‘I’m

Vaccinated

Visit

Maldives

requests

industry

campaign, Visit Maldives launches a

partners to provide their vaccination

microsite giving the most up to date

updates,

information

images, videos, and other necessary

about

the

vaccination

news,

press

releases,

process within the tourism industry.

information

The website can

com to ensure that all industry news

be accessed at

to

lafwa@visitmaldives.

https://vaccinated.visitmaldives.com/

regarding the vaccination campaign is

This microsite includes the number of

covered on the microsite.

tourist industry staff vaccination as well

His

as information regarding registration

Mohamed

for

employees

COVID-19 Dhifaau campaign on 1st

and the latest HPA guidelines. In

February 2021 with the aim to provide

addition, the microsite will include

free COVID-19 vaccines to all citizens

updates from the campaign as well

and residents of the country. As of 23rd

as promotional videos, pictures and

June 2021, 96% of resort employees

stories that reflect the immense efforts

have received the first dose of the vaccine

undertaken by the tourist establishment

while 70%% of the resort employees are

aligned with the campaign.

fully vaccinated.

vaccination

of

Excellency Solih

President

Ibrahim

launched

the

5

During April 2021, Visit Maldives in

destinations to travel to during this

collaboration with the Ministry of

unprecedented time. In addition, the

Tourism launched the “I’m Vaccinated”

campaign will also assure travelers

campaign in order to share a positive

from all over the world of the immense

message regarding the vaccination of

effort and investment into ensuring

staff working in the tourism sector

the safety of both the local population

as well as promoting the initiatives

and travelers.

undertaken to ensure the Maldives

Maldives reopened its borders for

remains one of the safest destinations in

tourists of all nationalities on 15th July

the world for travelers.

2020, with rigorous procedures in place

Under this campaign, the ultimate

to ensure the safety of tourists and

target is to make Maldives the first

tourism workers. Tourists are required

fully vaccinated tourism sector in

to fill an online health declaration form

the world. Along with the unique

within 24 hours prior to their departure,

geographical formation of the islands

as well as have a negative PCR

which offer natural physical distancing,

test result, conducted 96 hours prior to

and the stringent health and safety

their departure.

measures in place, a fully vaccinated tourism sector will become an added advantage in encouraging tourists to visit the destination. The campaign will uplift the destination’s beautiful name in the global market and reassure travelers that Maldives will further remain as one of the safest


6

GOVERNMENT

NEWLY PUBLISHED INTEGRATED TOURIST RESORT DEVELOPMENT REGULATION TO HERALD AN INNOVATIVE FUTURE FOR THE INDUSTRY Tourism Ministry has published the

tourist

facilities

resorts,

lands, islands, or lagoons leased for

lagoon or land leased for tourism real

integrated tourist resort development

hotels, guesthouses, snorkeling and

the integrated tourism development

estate development projects can be

regulation, giving 20 years of license to

diving establishments, restaurants &

projects will be issued based on the

sold to a third party only after 10 years

develop multiple tourist facilities in an

cafes for tourists, souvenir and retail

financial capability to carry out such a

of development and operation of the

integrated tourist resort.

shops for tourists, and various other

project. The licensee should present

integrated tourist resort.

Though resorts have been developed as

establishments providing services to

necessary documents to the Ministry

per the one island, one resort concept,

tourists. The regulation also states that

proving that he/she can invest 20% of

with the changes brought to the Tourism

resorts currently in operation can also

the total investment of the project.

Law in 2020, the opportunity is now

pay the required license fee and opt to

In addition to this, under the tourism real

open to develop integrated tourist

go for an integrated tourist resort. The

estate project, integrated tourist resort

facilities with this regulation.

license validity for an integrated tourist

development can be issued only for

As per the regulation, an integrated

resort is 20 years.

100% government owned companies,

tourist resort can develop multiple

Tourism Ministry further stated that

according to the regulation. The island,

BA in

including

Tourism and Hotel Management Intakes: January, May & September

www.villacollege.edu.mv


GOVERNMENT

MMPRC ROADSHOW & FAIR LIST 2021 MAR 16 MAR 18 MAR

16 SEP

MITT

DELUXE TRAVEL MARKET IN DUBAI - ORIENTAL EDITION

05 OCT 08 OCT

Russia, CIS Jumeriah

Moscow, Russia, CIS

B2B B2C Dive Trade

DEC

IFTM TOP RESA (VIRTUAL EVENT) Paris, France Virtual

06 DEC09 DEC

19 MAR 26 MAR

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN RUSSIA Moscow, Kazan, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg

24 MAR 26 MAR

THE NATIONAL WEDDING SHOW

13 OCT 15 OCT

Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy

London Olympia

SOUTH ASIA TRAVEL & TOURISM EXPO (SATTE)

INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET (ILTM) NORTH AMERICA

14 OCT

APR 16 MAR 18 MAR

MOSCOW DIVE SHOW Moscow, Russia

Virtual

LUXURY TRAVEL MART (LTM) MOSCOW

26 SEP

Ahmedabad, India To be Announced

29 SEP 30 SEP

ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET (ATM)

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN MIDDLE EASY (Coinciding with ATM) Dubai, UAE

Nehru Center, Worli, Mumbai, India

01 OCT 2021 31 MAR 2022

08 NOV 09 NOV

London, UK Virtual

05 NOV 12 NOV

Dubai Exhibition Center, Dubai, UAE

05 OCT 06 OCT

Madrid, Spain

MICE INIDA AND LUXURY TRAVEL CONGRESS (MILT) Mumbai, India

IFEMA, Madrid, Spain

Poland, Romania , Bulgaria, Czech Republic To be Announced

16 NOV 18 NOV

QATAR TRAVEL MART 2021 Doha, Qatar

08 NOV 03 DEC

25 JUL 27 JUL

LUXURY TRAVEL ADVISOR ULTRA SUMMIT

THE BIG OCEAN SHOW MOSCO Moscow, Russia

Pavilion 55 of the VDNKH Exhibition Center

Shanghai, China

24 NOV 26 NOV

Kiev International Exhibition Center

06 OCT 07 OCT

SEP 02 SEP 05 SEP

UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL MARKET (UITM) 2021 Ukraine

Texas, US

La Cantera Resort & Spa San Antonio, Texas, US

ITB CHINA (VIRTUAL EVENT) Virtual

05 OCT 06 OCT

Visit Maldives Vitual Platform

ITB CHINA (IN-PERSON EVENT) Shanghai, China

Shanghai World Expo and Exhibition Center

VISIT MALDIVES TRAVEL EXPO (VMTE) VIRTUAL South East Asia

28 NOV 30 NOV

TRAVEL TRADE MALDIVES (TTM) Maldives

05 OCT 08 OCT

IFTM TOP RESA (IN-PERSON EVENT) Paris, France

Paris Porte de Versailles, Paris, France

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN SPAIN Madrid, Barcelona, Velencia, Bilbao, Malaga

To be Announced

TBC

VIVAHA BRIDE FAIR INDIA Mumbai, India To be Announced

TBC

MALAYISA INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL MART (MITM) Malaysia

To be Announced

TBC

MATTA FAIR Mumbai, India Malaysia

To be Announced

JUL

TBC

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

Doha Exhibition and Convention Center

FITUR

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

WTM LONDON (VIRTUAL EVENT)

EXPO 2020 Dubai, UAE

MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL DIVE EXPO (MIDE) World Trade Center (WTC), Kuala Lumpur

MICE ROADSHOW IN UK To be Announced

OCT

Taj Dubai

19 MAY 23 MAY

TBC

London, UK

TRAVEL AND TOURISM FAIR (TTF) Mumbai, India

Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE

03 NOV

MALDIVES ROADSHOW IN AHMEDABAD

Dubai, UAE

17 MAY

ExCel London Exhibition & Convention Center

MONACO YACHT SHOW Port Hercules

Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park

16 MAY 18 MAY

TBC

Monaco

Moscow, Russia

MAY

To be Announced

WTM LONDON (IN-PERSON EVENT) London, UK

22 SEP 25 SEP

Gostiny Dvor Exhibition Center

08 APR 11 APR

01 NOV 03 NOV

NATIONAL BOATING SHOW Male’, Maldives

CHINA OUTBOUND TRAVEL AND TOURISM MART (COTTM SUMMIT)

NOV

INTERNATIONAL MALDIVES TRAVEL MARKET (IMTM) Maldives

DEC (TBC)

Virtual

Fairmont, Mayakoba, Mexico

21 SEP 23 SEP

Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Boulevard de la Croisette, 06403 Cannes, Cedex, France

Paris, France

Mexico City, Mexico

Delhi, India

India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi NCR, India

TTG TRAVEL EXPERIENCE Rimini, Italy

London, UK

20 SEP 23 SEP

INTERNATIONAL LUXURY TRAVEL MARKET (ILTM) CANNES Cannes, France

Crocus Expo, Moscow, Pavilion 1

18 SEP 19 SEP

Virtual

7

To be Announced


8

MARKET OVERVIEW

MARKET OVERVIEW As the Maldives bounces back from the

the Middle East. Daily average arrivals

COVID-19 situation, tourist arrivals

for the year remain above 3,100 as of

to the Maldives have shown steady

27th September 2021.

improvement.

According

Since

the

country

to

the

latest

SHARE OF BED CAPACITY BY TYPE BEDS IN OPERATION AS OF 26 SEP 2021)

statistics

reopened its borders to international

released by the Ministry of Tourism,

travellers from 15th July 2020, the

there are currently 883 total tourist

destination has continued to witness

accommodation facilities in operation,

recovery and remains on course in

including resorts, marinas, guesthouses,

reaching its target arrival figure of 1.5

safari vessels and hotels. The current

million.

operational capacity equates to 51,056

In fact, on 16th July 2021 a total of

beds.

3%

RESORTS

Arrivals continue to gain momentum as

annual total of 555,494. By 27th

travel restrictions ease across the world.

September the total arrivals to the

In July, borders reopened for South

Maldives exceeded 858,000, an increase

Asian markets following a temporary

of 114% compared to that of 2020.

closure due to the worsening COVID-19

While major markets such as Russia

situation in the region. Now, India is

and India made full recovery with strong

leading as the top source market for

positive growth rates, new markets

tourist arrivals to the Maldives.

19%

51,056

555,006 tourist arrivals had already been reached, exceeding the 2020

6%

GUESTHOUSES SAFARI VESSELS HOTELS

72%

emerged from the European Region and

SHARE OF MAJOR MARKETS 2019 - 2021

50.0 45.0 40.0 35.0 30.0

MARKET SHARE (%)

25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 SWITZERLAND

AUSTRALIA

JAPAN

ITALY

CHINA

FRANCE

KAZAKHSTAN

U.K

SPAIN

UKRAINE

SAUDI ARABIA

U.S.A

2021

GERMANY

2020

RUSSIA

2019

INDIA

0.0

As of 26th September 2021, the top

meaning that travellers from the UK

What’s more, Italy’s Health Minister

And

ten source markets to the Maldives

will no longer need to self-isolate for 10

signed an ordinance, established on

the

are: India with 22.9% of the market

days when returning from the Maldives.

an experimental basis and with precise

Maldives looks set for a highly promising

share, Russia with 19.8%, Germany with

Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals

safety protocols, giving the go-ahead

tourist season.

6.1%, U.S.A with 4.1%, Saudi Arabia

will no longer have to take a PCR test

for travel to various non-EU tourist

with 3.5%, Ukraine with 3.3%, Spain

before they return to the UK from the

destinations including the Maldives,

with 3.0% shares, United Kingdom

Maldives. Additionally, the Foreign,

without the need for quarantine either

with 2.1%, Kazakhstan with 2.1%, and

Commonwealth & Development Office

on arrival or return. Prior to the

France with 1.9%.

(FCDO) has announced that it no longer

pandemic, Italy was one of top three

The future outlook of the Maldivian

advises against all but essential travel to

source markets to the Maldives. With

tourist market is nothing short of

the Maldives. As a result, it is expected

the easing of the aforementioned travel

promising either. Recently, Maldives

that tourist arrivals from the UK will

restrictions, it is likely that arrivals from

was removed from the UK’s ‘red list’,

increase in the coming months.

Italy will surge as well.

so,

as

upcoming

we

edge

festive

closer period,

to the


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2 0 20


EDITOR’S PICKS

NAKAI DHIGGIRI RESORT – THE PERFECT ROMANTIC ESCAPE IN THE MALDIVES Set on a private island in the dreamy

atmosphere at night. Afterward, Guests

oasis of Vaavu Atoll, the NAKAI Dhiggiri

head over to the main bar to sip on a

Resort is the epitome of romantic life.

cocktail or two, as they sit back and

Designed as an adults-only luxury

relax to the sound of the waves softly

resort, Dhiggiri is a heaven for couples

lapping by the beach.

and honeymooners, offering its guests

For couples that are looking for

a perfect balance between serenity,

the ultimate form of relaxation, the

intimacy, and barefoot bliss on white-

Maadhiga Spa at NAKAI Dhiggiri Resort

sand beaches.

is the perfect place to be. There, Guests

Villas at NAKAI Dhiggiri Resort will stun

can awaken their senses with a variety

you with their lavish comfort and amazing

of massages and spa treatments. The

views. Guests have the possibility of

scents of essential oils will immediately

choosing between 34 overwater villas,

soothe the soul, allowing people to

27 beach bungalows, and 1 splendid

rediscover the balance between mind

garden villa with a private backyard. A

and body.

common thread between them is the

What the island of Dhiggiri is most

contemporary wooden interior, warm

famously known for, however, is the

and sophisticated, designed with a light

spectacle of nature that surrounds it.

Italian touch. Whether you prefer to

Vaavu Atoll is home to some of the best

revel in lush greenery or have the ocean

dive sites in the world, filled with flashy

at your doorstep, prepare to let yourself

marine life and curious biodiversity just

be quietly carried away by the magic of

waiting to be explored. If you’re looking

Dhiggiri.

for something a bit more relaxing

The resort also presents two restaurants,

instead, you could take a sunset cruise

where you can experience the diverse

or an excursion to a local island and even

flavors of both Italian and Maldivian

be greeted by a few friendly dolphins

cuisines. The main restaurant, located

along the way.

in the center part of the island, is the perfect spot to indulge in mouthwatering fare, freshly prepared by Dhiggiri’s expert chefs. Meanwhile, the overwater restaurant offers gorgeous panoramas of

the

crystal-clear

Indian

Ocean

during the day and an entirely different

11


12

EDITOR’S PICKS

MIRIHI ISLAND RESORT — REDEFINING THE MALDIVIAN DREAM In the warm waters of the crystalline

island life. With no motorized water

sea lies a dreamy tropical paradise. A

sports, no discos or nightlife disturbing

small and precious gem of white sands

you with loud music and noise, Mirihi is

and fringed palms swaying in the gentle

a world apart, a haven of serenity and

breeze…

tranquility.

We’re talking about none other than

In fact, the resort boasts a gorgeous

Mirihi Island Resort.

natural pool too — the azure waters of

This eco-friendly, Maldivian-style resort

the Indian ocean.

is one of the smallest in the country,

The guest experience is personalized

allowing its guests to enjoy the special

to a tee, as Mirihi’s dedicated team of

feeling of being on their own private

well-trained staff deliver true Maldivian

island. The property is located in the

hospitality.

idyllic South Ari Atoll, reachable from

In line with its laidback island ethos, the

Male’ on a 30-minute seaplane flight.

resort offers no television in the villas

Combining

traditional

and nothing else to come in between

elements, Mirihi redefines the Maldivian

you and the true meaning of relaxation.

dream, offering guests a taste of real

No frills, no fuss; just pure bliss.

modern

and


EDITOR’S PICKS

Indulge

in

an

incredible

culinary

corner of the beach or if your wish is to

experience with exquisite international

sail away in a wooden yacht.

flavours and authentic Maldivian cuisine

Meet up with friends over the extensive

at Mirihi’s restaurants and bars.

rum collection at Anba bar. And during

Whether its freshly caught seafood

your stay, explore a few of the labels at

at the overwater Muraka Restaurant,

our intimate Ruhgandu Wine Lounge.

or daily international theme nights at

And when you don’t feel like going

the sand floored Dhonveli Restaurant,

out, any delicacy on the island can be

or a local delicacy at the Anba Bar,

brought right to your door with in-villa

Executive Chef Felix will take you on a

dining.

gastronomical journey every day. ¬ Blessed with the most romantic setting under the dazzling star-strewn Maldivian sky, Mirihi offers impeccable venues for private dining; either on a remote

13


14

EDITOR’S PICKS

RIDE AN ETERNAL WAVE WITH MALDIVES’ FIRST EVER SURF SIMULATOR AT CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI

Sun’s out, surf’s up!

most fun. The resort’s water sports

waves in paradise very soon.

memories.

Experience the thrive of catching a

Ambassadeurs are on hand to provide

Set in the pristine Noonu Atoll, Cheval

On the occasion of the property’s

wave, regardless of the conditions of

assistance as well as coaching, and

Blanc Randheli is an intimate and

reopening, guests can enjoy the Endless

the sea. Cheval Blanc Randheli has

ensure you safely enjoy this experience.

contemporary

40-minute

Summer Offer, an invitation to prolong

recently opened the only surf simulator

Once a week, the little ones can join

journey north of male, the 46-villa

the summer with unique experiences;

in the Maldives that gives guests the

a complimentary try-out to discover

Maison has been conceived in harmony

pamper yourself with a spa and discover

opportunity to experience the thrive of

surfing with Le Carrousel Ambassadeurs.

with the island’s lush surroundings and

the local flavour of their Maldivian night

catching a wave directly in the FlowRider.

Though the resort is currently closed for

lagoon views. Ideal getaway for couples

while your little ones will be offered

The FlowRider allows anyone to ride a

refurbishment, don’t fret! Cheval Blanc

or families, the resort’s Ambassadeurs

complimentary stay.

wave, beginners and more experienced

Randheli has announced its reopening

are

surfers of all ages. After all, the best

on 15th September 2021, so you can

unforgettable moments for you and

surfer out there is the one having the

look forward to riding those eternal

ensure a return home with everlasting

waiting

haven.

for

A

you

to

create



16

EDITOR’S PICKS

KUDA VILLINGILI RESORT MALDIVES – THE MALDIVES REDEFINED

Kuda island

Villingili Resort Maldives where time and space

Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives is a

Mediterranean.

luxurious new property making waves in the Maldivian tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Kuda Villingili’s signature

Located in the North Male’ Atoll, a

dining establishment, The Restaurant

mere 30-minute luxury speedboat ride

is located right on the beach. The

from Velana International Airport, Kuda

Restaurant serves handcrafted food with

Villingili is the Maldives redefined – a

the freshest ingredients for breakfast.

unique,

concept,

Dine in the evening from choice of three

home to an impressive lineup of gourmet

dining spaces with cuisines influenced by

dining options, an idyllic beachfront

the themes of Fire, Earth, and Ocean.

spa, and an azure spacious 150m pool,

For a casual cocktail by the powdery

encircled by stylish sunbeds, cabanas

shore, don’t miss out on The Beach Bar,

and bars.

where a South American take on the

When it comes to culinary experiences,

classic beach menu is available.

guests at Kuda Villingili will be spoilt for

Spend time with loved ones, make up

choice. From casual Hawker-style fare

for a lost time, strengthen friendships,

to fine dining on the beach, the resort

or form new ones - whether guests are

boasts a diverse array of gastronomic

travelling as a couple, family, group of

delights. At the Hawkers, grab a bite

friends, or alone, Kuda Villingili is a slice

by the pool with various choices of

of paradise where everyone is welcome.

cuisines, perfect for sharing. With a bar

The resort’s focus on time and space,

and three different restaurants – Spice,

balancing a sense of togetherness

East, and Med – you can take your taste

and

buds on a journey across the world, with

independence, allows guests to have

indulgent flavors from India, the Arabian

a personal experience, making each

Peninsula, Japan, Thailand, and the

journey unique.

experience-driven

inclusivity

with

privacy

and

is an matter.

Connect with your loved ones, make up for the time lost, strengthen friendships and create new ones in this slice of paradise; whether you are a solo traveller, a couple, a family or traveling in a group, this idyllic haven perfectly balances a sense of togetherness and inclusivity with utter privacy and independence. Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives invites you to embark on a journey of self-discovery.

kudavillingili.com A r r i va l Pa v i l i o n


EDITOR’S PICKS

17

4 REASONS WHY FURAVERI MALDIVES OFFERS AN ESCAPE LIKE NO OTHER

True Maldivian experience, adrenaline-

International airport. The very spacious

(Steam, Sauna Hot and Cold plunge

4. A Taste of Maldivian Culture

pumping adventure, unmatched luxury

168 villas offer uninterrupted privacy

pools),

Outdoor

Get the chance to discover this unspoiled

and unparalleled tranquility with the

and indulgence.

Badminton & Tennis Court, D’LAZZATH

paradise and its people. Hailing from

Wellness Café and more, Furaveri’s

the belief of recreating the values of

very best of nature; Furaveri Maldives

Relaxation

Areas,

offers an escape like no other. While the

2. Sanctuary for Wellness

Wellness Village represents a Spa and

traditional Maldivian hospitality, the ‘art

reasons why you should visit Furaveri

At Furaveri Maldives, you will get to

holistic wellness sensibility that is both

of listening’ is at the core of the Furaveri

are endless, here’s a brief glimpse into

create a balance for your Body, Mind and

pure and personal.

team in offering the best possible

what makes this resort so truly special.

Spirit in its Wellness Village to achieve

experience for you.

the highest potential of well-being for

3. Adrenaline-Pumping Adventure

Guests can also discover the culture and

1. The Beauty of Mother Nature

your health. You will find yourself in a

The professional Fun Water Sports Team

traditions of the Maldives by choosing

As you gaze upon the island, you will

serene world of delicate scents with a

offers a wide array of motorized and

from a wide range of exciting excursions

see a tropical 23-hectare natural and

comprehensive range of facilities set

non-motorized activities to experience

such as a visit to the local Maldivian

un-reclaimed island with lush green

in a beautiful rustic-looking Wooden &

the refreshing waters of Furaveri Island.

island Meedhoo.

vegetation. The white sandy shores

Bamboo interior. Each village pavilion

Whether it is a snorkeling excursion

Add an escape to this safe haven for

surrounding the island with turquoise

is set within lush gardens, surrounded

to discover a nearby coral garden with

your next tropical adventure to see

waters reflect the beauty of mother

by gentle white shores, tropical life and

its vibrant marine life, or a romantic

the extraordinary nature, adventure,

nature at its best.

nature.

catamaran cruise while the sun slowly

wellness and culture. Truly the one

Furaveri Maldives is situated in the

Featuring a Spa with 8 Treatment

sets and turns the surface of the Indian

island that’ll surely end up offering you

exotic Raa Atoll near “Hanifaru Bay”

Pavilions (4 open-air pavilions and 4

Ocean into golden shades, indulge in an

many memories.

a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This

air-conditioned pavilions with open-air

incredible water sports experience to be

sanctuary is just a mere 45-minute

shower & bathtub, Pedicure/Manicure

enjoyed with the family or friends.

scenic

Room, Beauty Salon, Hydrotherapy

seaplane

ride

from

Velana


18

EDITOR’S PICKS

FIYAVALHU MALDIVES — NATURAL PRIVATE PARADISE IN MANDHOO Nestled in a natural and private alcove

lazing on the sun loungers on the private

view of the island as we did, by going

the island again. Just as how the resort

of the inhabited island of Mandhoo in

patio, listening to the everlasting sounds

for parasailing. It’s an experience of a

has made its mark on the inhabited

South Ari Atoll, Fiyavalhu Maldives offers

of the sea or taking a well-needed soak

lifetime, one that you will definitely not

island of Mandhoo with its footprint,

an all island experience at this hidden

in the waters.

forget, as you fall in love with the perfect

offering the best of both worlds.

paradise. As you arrive at the island, the

If you don’t want to give a break to

setting of the island with its lush green

For bookings and further information

first thing you will notice is how green

the sun, sea and pool—the beachfront

vegetation in the calming blue water

about the island getaway.

and lush the island is, the mesmerizing

Riya Cafe’ is the perfect place to be at.

calling out to you.

azure waves crashing onto the white

Adjacent to the main pool and recreation

We can assure you, your stay at Fiyavalhu

visit www.fiyavalhumaldives.com

sandy beaches, the gentle calling and

center of Fiyavalhu Maldives, you can

Maldives will make you nostalgic to visit

Contact: info@fiyavalhumaldives.com

cooing of the local birds—fitting right

quench your thirst with fresh coconuts

into the image of your perfect getaway

and other non-alcoholic beverages,

experience.

snacks or special bites at this spot. For

“Exquisite haven”, is the best way

a gastronomic culinary experience, take

to describe the place. With over 44

a stroll into the Koveli Restaurant and

beautiful

try the delectable simple and authentic

private

villas,

Fiyavalhu

Maldives offers the ultimate private

cuisine

from

around

the

world.

escape to paradise with six different

Positioned at the centre of the resort,

room categories for your choosing. The

surrounded by coconut palms with a

pool villas here are some of the best

beachfront view, this is a delightful place

we’ve seen, with an open plan concept

to begin your mornings or enjoy dinner

allowing the perfect balance of both

with open buffets or ala-carte option

indoor and outdoor. With a private

under the breathtaking views of the

plunge pool set in a petite garden of,

stars and sea.

and villa set meters away from the azure

The watersports centre at Fiyavalhu

water of the island—you’ve got the best

has a wide range of activities catered

of both worlds. The interior of the villas

specially for the thrill seekers. Try

are elegantly designed in warm earthy

wakeboarding, catamaran sailing or

tones of grey and tanned woodworks in

even windsurfing at the azure lagoon

harmony with the natural ambience of

and sate your adventurous needs! Get

the island. Drift into tranquility while

an adrenaline rush and a euphoric


EDITOR’S PICKS

19

TOP 10 REASONS WHY YOU MUST VISIT PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA IN 2021 Luxury is personal at Park Hyatt Maldives

professional team of multilingual hosts

Hadahaa. Nestled amongst untouched

available to assist guests at any time

natural marine beauty in one of the most

throughout their stay. Currently, the

remote atolls in the world, the location

hosts can converse in English, Arabic,

boasts one of the best house reefs

and Russian to aid guests, while other

in the Maldives. The barefoot luxury

staff throughout the resort are also

resort is defined by peace, time and space and offers a range of enlightening experiences that highlight connecting with the natural world, living in harmony

Treehouse.

accommodate up to six guests. The

and

can

comfortably

extended private infinity pool terrace features sunken loungers and a shaded

A new dining option at Park Hyatt

retreat where soft furnishings of light

Maldives Hadahaa, Koi @ The Drift

brown

is elegantly situated over the lagoon

with

overlooking the beautiful horizon of the

features for a blissful ambience. The

Indian Ocean. The intimate Japanese

residence boasts a private gym, large

restaurant serves the freshest, high-

whirlpool on the master bedroom

quality sushi and sashimi while featuring

terrace, spa, TV room with 85-inch TV

more than ten types of a fine selection

and next-generation games console,

of sake. A highlight of Koi @ The Drift

kitchenette and the services of a 24-

is the open sushi bar, served a la minute

hour private butler, personalized chef

in front of guests. Open for dinner from

and spa therapist. With direct access

6:00 pm-10:30 pm, the restaurant has a

to the lagoon house reef, enjoy the

seating room for 8-10 persons.

best in overwater living and underwater

dedication and commitment displayed

by every member of the Park Hyatt

Seamlessly integrating local culture and

family,

environment, all 50 villas are minimalist

glowing reviews from satisfied guests

in style, designed and built with guests’

throughout 2020 and since the resort

privacy and comfort in mind.

re-opened on February 01, 2021.

and

bathrooms

An intimate overwater Japanese restaurant, Koi @ The Drift, well-versed in many languages. The serves the freshest and quality team at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa seafood and a fine selection of ‘unmatched service’ demonstrates the sake

with nature and reconnecting to oneself.

Tailor-made

Koi @ The Drift, and Chef’s Garden

consistently

mentioned

in

personalized

experiences are a highlight of a getaway

The Dhoni

at Park Hyatt Maldives. Guest are

Built-in 2007 by local wood artisan,

encouraged to embrace the SLOW life

or Kissaru Vadaan, Mr Adam Yusuf,

– a life that is sustainable, local, organic

the upside-down Dhoni at Park Hyatt

and whole. A stay at the resort is about

Maldives has been fashioned to mimic

feeling the sand between your toes or

the oldest known sea vessel in the

enjoying dinner under the stars with

region. A magnificent cultural display of

your loved ones. The tranquillity and

heritage for local Maldivians, the Dhoni

remoteness of the resort are unmatched

will now be used as an educational

and provide a peaceful haven for luxury

space to connect guests and inspire a

travellers wanting to embrace the best

love for the culture and traditions of the

that the Maldives has to offer. Here are

Maldives. True to its name as the oldest

the top 10 reasons why you must visit

known sea vessel in the region, the Dhoni

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa in 2021.

is a space to discover, connect, inspire and change. Embark on a journey into

outdoor dining and lounge area, while separate decks adjoin the master and king bedrooms. Enjoy the comforts of home in this contemporary overwater and

aquamarine

state-of-the-art

room

combine control

explorations at the brand-new Hadahaa

All-plant based restaurant at Presidential Overwater Residence. the Chef’s Garden Treehouse, 5 meters from Hadahaa shores Refreshed Villas Embrace the simplicity of living off the

Under current refurbishment, all villas

land as you pick your own tasty and

are undergoing a makeover of new

nutritious organic vegetables for your

colours and fresh linens. The new colour

dinner. An innovative dining concept

of the villas captures the blue hues of

for the conscious traveller, Chef’s

the Indian Ocean, and each villa will be

organic garden or within the atoll.

villas provide a welcoming space to

Entirely plant-based, the delicious menu

reconnect to oneself and nature during

is served in a 6-course or 8-course

a luxuriously comfortable stay.

Breath-taking natural 360 the ancient formation of the Maldivian Garden Treehouse features a menu of equipped with 65-inch digital television degrees house reef and diving atolls and islands with a spectacular ingredients all sourced from the Chef’s with access to Netflix. The refreshed sites pictorial and engaging narrative, while One-of-a-kind dive and snorkelling

the atmospheric. The Dhoni is the

experiences can be found at the

luxury resort’s dedicated educational

wonderfully preserved house reef just 50

space and is open for guests as well as

m from the powder-white sand shores

the local community to partake in Kids

as well as over 40 world-class dive sites

activities, marine talks, social events,

nearby the resort. Filled with unique

and presentations surrounded by the

marine life and gorgeous coral diversity,

inspiring cultures and traditions of the

swim among sea turtles, blacktip reef

Maldives.

sharks, barracudas, spotted eagle rays,

spread. Chef’s Garden Treehouse is 10:30 pm, and reservations must be

Addition of the newest Ayurveda Packages

made 24-hours in advance. Coming

Discover

soon in December. A newly built

Ayurvedic healing in the untamed natural

overwater

Hadahaa

setting of Hadahaa Island. Restore the

Presidential Overwater Residence with

balance of your three doshas through

open for dinner only from 6:00 pm-

three-bedroom

else, this is an exceptional opportunity

Unique Culinary Experiences a personalized chef and 24-hour butler With a Variety of International service. Cuisine & Gourmet Options

to dive and snorkel at one of the best

With an outstanding choice of 5 dining

scuba diving regions.

venues, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

and colorful tropical fish species. As the dive sites are rarely visited by anyone

offers guests the chance to embark

Personalized Guest Experiences on a tantalizing culinary journey of Supported by Multinational international cuisine & gourmet options. Associates The 5 on-site restaurants include The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa employs a

Dining Room, The Island Grill, The Bar,

5,000-year-old

authentic

a unique detoxification treatment that relieves stress and rejuvenates the body.

Reconnect with your natural

A luxurious retreat perfect for families

state of health and wellbeing through

and friends. Boasting 895 sqm with

our

panoramic views of the Indian Ocean,

fourteen day’s journey to rejuvenate and

the villa features an incredible 16-meter

harmonize mind, body and spirit. These

long freshwater infinity pool, three

tailored packages include several luxury

bedrooms with ensuite air-conditioned

experiences not to be missed.

carefully

curated

seven

and


SPECIAL PACKAGES FOR BUSINESSES, RESORTS & GUESTHOUSES COVID-19 PCR TEST RESULTS IN 6 HRS! Hotline 776 1662


EDITOR’S PICKS

21

5 INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO ENJOY AT NAKAI ALIMATHÀ RESORT Island is the closest of these (about a 30-minute boat ride away), and it is the perfect place for a day trip. During a visit to the fishermen’s island, one can admire the rich architecture, stunning craftsmanship, and traditional customs of the Maldivian people.

3.Get Competitive at the Sports Courts Stay fit and have fun, together as a family. At NAKAI Alimathà, guests can engage in a range of sports and fitness Discover a world of endless opportunities

brand new infinity pool, where you’ll

at NAKAI Alimathà Resort, located

have the best seat in the house as the

in the vibrant atoll of Vaavu in the

sun leaves behind its resplendent glow.

Maldives. NAKAI Alimathà Resort tells

The sports on offer include beach volley,

playing sports in the idyllic paradise

villas, delicious food and beverage

of the Maldives is an experience no

options to indulge in, and plenty of

sportsman should miss.

exciting recreational activities. enjoy

sports center.

darts, windsurfing, and more. After all,

adventure, with luxurious Italian-style

you

courts, the gym, as well as the water

bowls, table tennis, futsal, canoeing,

a thrilling story of boundless, fun-filled

Whether

activities at the resorts’ designated

underwater

Treatment When you and your family are wiped out from all the fun and excitement, soothe your sore muscles at the Maadhiga Spa at NAKAI Alimathà. Here, guests can relax, unwind, and

adventures, playing island sports, or

awaken their senses with a variety of

simply relaxing at the spa, Alimathà is

massages and spa treatments. The

the ideal tropical getaway for you and

scents of essential oils will immediately

your family. Here’s a list of 5 incredible

calm the soul, allowing guests to

experiences to have at NAKAI Alimathà

rediscover the balance between mind

Resort. 1.Indulge

5.Rejuvenate Your Senses with a Spa

and body. in

Spectacular

Seafront

Dining Ready for your tastebuds to be wowed? NAKAI Alimathà Resort has a main restaurant and multiple bars, each located in different parts of the island. The main restaurant, which has recently been renovated to better serve its guests, offers mouthwatering buffetstyle dining comprising both Italian and Maldivian cuisines. Immerse yourself in a gastronomical journey led by Alimathà’s specialty chefs, as you take in the surrounding views of white and azure. And if you’re in the mood for a drink, why not grab a thirst-quenching Alimathà special at the Horizon Bar? With your cocktail in hand, take a dip in Alimathà’s

2.Discover the Underwater Magic of the Maldives NAKAI Alimathà Resort is located close to a selection of truly unique dive sites in Vaavu atoll. With the help of the resorts’ expert dive instructors, guests can discover a fascinating new world

4.Live as a Local and Visit an Inhabited

lurking beneath the surface.

Island

With a number of famous reefs and

Live as a local for a day and experience

channels, this atoll offers a gateway to

true island life! Immerse yourself in

an entirely different dimension, magical

authentic Maldivian culture by taking

and weightless, filled with flashy marine

an excursion trip to an inhabited island

life and curious biodiversity just waiting

nearby, easily accessible by boat upon

to be explored. In fact, most of the dive

request.

sites are within protected areas, and

NAKAI Alimathà is close to a large

some are renowned for being on the list

game fishing area, with five fishing

of top dive sites in the world.

islands within easy reach. Fulidhoo


22

PEOPLE

SONU SHIVDASANI

FOUNDER AND CEO OF SONEVA Sonu Shivdasani is the founder and

thought that Maldives would remain

CEO of Soneva, a luxury resort chain

firmly a mass market destination in the

founded in Maldives in 1995. Our team

future.

sat down with Sonu to have a chat about

In the old days, the Maldives was

Soneva’s journey thus far, delving deep

financed through bed contracts with

into sustainability, pandemic-induced

tour operators. One island, one tour

challenges, tourism trends, and more.

operator. But because we wanted to create something luxurious for people

Could you tell us a bit about how from all over the world, we didn’t want the Soneva journey all began? to sign a bed contract with the tour Why the Maldives? operators, so we failed. We managed to get Kunfunadhoo after a settlement It all began back in 1986 when I met my

with its previous lessee, but there was a

wife, Eva. Though I am of Indian origin,

bit of a struggle in getting the financing.

I was born and brought up in England,

Of course, I went to the State Bank of

and I’d never heard of the Maldives.

India, they were the main lending bank.

I was studying up at Oxford at the

They weren’t interested. They wanted

time, and she’d been a very successful

our bed contract with the tour operator

Image by Julia Neeson

as a background. So, she and a couple

Soneva made history by being I mentioned before, to guarantee the very first developer to offer not in love with your partner – it’s very income for the next ten years. We’d villa ownership in the Maldives. boring. You can walk around the islands, even put together some projections – a Could you please tell us a bit the islands are very small, and that’s $200 average room rate. They said, “no, more about this concept? How about it. Back then, tourism was limited this is too high – the Maldives can never has it fared over the years?

of other models along with the crew

have a $200 average rates”. Today, our

to the Male’ Atoll and Ari Atoll, due to

arrived here in 1980, in Lhohifushi I

average rate is $3000.

the lack of air transfers as well.

Villa ownership is a win-win, all round.

It took us a couple of years to get the

There was also an issue with food. When

The reason for this is that the Maldives

money together. There was a bank

we opened, people couldn’t understand

has a high repeat level, generally as a

in Thailand that had financed luxury

how you can get such incredible food

destination. 55% of our revenue comes

resorts in Thailand, and understood

in the Maldives. Our opening chef

from returning guests. People coming

that the future for Asia was luxury. They

was Gary Jones, who’s currently the

here every year, or every other year, to

were the ones who financed us, and we

executive chef at Le Manoir, which

visit our resorts. That’s very important,

opened Soneva Fushi in 1995.

boasts two Michellin stars. Now, we’ve

because we’re a long-haul destination.

holidays – Christmas, New Year – to

got 12 different restaurants here at

All our markets are long-haul; they’re

You first founded Soneva Fushi we’d met, Eva suggested that we do in the mid-nineties, over two India for a week and then go down to decades ago. How has the travel the Maldives. And we did that – we flew industry in the Maldives evolved since then? to the Maldives, and I was blown away.

Soneva Fushi. You can spend a fortnight

flying 12 hours to come to us. At that

here and not eat dinner at the same

point, it becomes a win-win, because if

venue twice. The whole wellness side

you’re coming back every year, if you’re

was lacking too, because there were no

spending 3 or 4 weeks on holiday with

spas. We introduced the first spa back

us during the key seasons, over time,

There were limited things you could do

in 1995.

the value of your holiday becomes 7

on resort islands back then, and we felt

It has evolved tremendously, in many

It’s very competitive these days when

or 8 percent of your purchase price. It

ways. Firstly, we were the first luxury

you have so many luxury resorts

becomes very appealing then to own a

resort in the country back then. When

competing with each other on new

villa. Especially in Europe, where the tax

we had the island in 1991, we were

content, new experiences. So, it’s

rates are very high.

trying to get the money from banks.

evolved considerably. It’s evolved from

In addition to that, from our perspective,

So, we had to show that there was

a destination that initially had no luxury

it’s a great way for us to increase our

an inherent demand. We also had to

hotels, and was considered solely for

inventory in a non-capital-intensive

understand exactly what the challenges

mass market tourism. The Maldives

way. If we have a lot of demand, we have

were with existing resorts. What were

now, one could argue, is like the Sillicon

to build more hotel rooms. That costs

the customers saying? The customers

Valley of luxury resort hotels globally.

money. So instead, what we do is we sell

back then were really the tour operators,

There’s nowhere in the planet where

the residence, we make a small capital

because it was one island, one tour

there’s such a high concentration. In a

gain on it, but then we have some more

operator. Eva called about 50 tour

way it’s good, because it keeps up all on

hotel rooms that we can sell, and we

operators that were selling the Maldives,

our toes; we’re always looking for ways

share the revenue with the owner.

and they were saying that the problem

to improve.

model, traveling all around the world. One of her assignments was with this German brand; they wanted to do an advertising campaign with the Maldives

believe. Tourism had started in 1972, so it was still fairly undeveloped. Eva loved it, and she concluded that she must come back with someone she loved. Six years later, we met. Since I’m from Indian origin, my family used to go back to India for the big

to do. If you’re not a keen diver, if you’re

meet friends and relatives. A year after

that we could create a bit more activity. So, I went to discuss with the Director of Foreign Investments, Ahmed Naseem, who is now the Minister of Health. The Director of Tourism at the time was auctioning some islands in Ari Atoll. We bid for those islands but we failed, because we wanted to do something luxurious. We wanted to build half the number of rooms but double the rate. The general perception in those days was that luxury travel wouldn’t work, and that our project wouldn’t be successful. Luxury travel wasn’t established; people

with the Maldives is that there’s nothing


PEOPLE

23

These have been some of the recent trends in luxury travel. What do you think is next?

Just the fact that you can use your

they’re cool, they’re wearing shorts. It’s

We realized that testing was going to

villa for 3 or 4 weeks a year, we call

a lot more sustainable that way.

be the key to create a COVID-free

that usage the ‘return on life’. Then the

We introduced the first solar panels

environment. All our hosts are tested on

owners rent it out, and we give them

here in the country, back in 2008, and

arrival, and again on day 7 and day 14.

about a 5% yield on average. Over

we’re now adding more. We also banned

Our guests, even though they come in

Well, I think there’s going to be more

time, when they eventually sell the villa,

branded water in our hotels back in

with a negative PCR test result, they still

focus on sustainability. The IPCC has

they make a small capital gain. We’ve

2008. We’re recycling more than 90%

have to test on arrival. It’s not too much

said that even if we stop all economic

had a few resales, and the sellers have

of our waste through our Eco Centros.

of a bother; people have been able to

activity, the world temperature will still

achieved about a 5% increased return on

Our most recent project has been

enjoy the privacy of their own beach and

go above 1.5 degrees, risking feedback

investment on their property. So, they

Soneva Namoona, with the Baa Atoll.

pool until they’re out of quarantine. So,

loops. Global warming has become more

get three types of returns: the return

We adopted three islands in Baa Atoll

it works quite well.

and more of a challenge, and there’ll be

on life, usage, the yield, and the gains.

to eliminate the single use of plastic.

There are very few investments that’ll

Maalhos was the first island to end open

give you that kind of returns. It becomes very compelling.

more and more consciousness globally

How do you foresee the future about living life in a more sustainable burning, so we created a waste-to- of the Maldivian hospitality manner. With greater urbanization over wealth center there, where their waste is industry? the last 30 years, we’ve gone from about managed. We’ve now built such centers

The guiding ethos of the Soneva brand is SLOW LIFE, placing sustainability at its core. How do Soneva resorts in the Maldives embody this philosophy?

50% of people living in cities to about

at Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo. In

I think the Maldives has a bright future.

70%. People are going to want more

Maalhos, we also have a water bottling

The Maldives will run out of hotels

nature, and unique experiences around

plant, so we’ve avoided about 180,000

before we run out of tourists. And

it. They’re going to want that barefoot

plastic bottles so far. So, little things

the reason for that is very simple – we

feeling. That fresh fruit plucked from

here and there that we’re working on –

only have about 500 usable islands

the garden that morning. That’s what

it’s always new ideas all the time.

in the country. There are 1300, but

they’re going to value.

At Soneva, we’ve proven that you can

some are inhabited, and some are too

The COVID-19 pandemic their health and minimizing the impact undoubtedly wreaked havoc on the planet. Wellness, sustainability on the global economy, and no and luxury are not opposites. They industry fell as hard and as fast work hand in hand; they feed off each as tourism. How has Soneva back from those other. That’s really what we’re trying bounced to achieve. Luxury is a philosophy. It is unprecedented challenges?

small. If you think about it, 120 resorts

essentially that which is rare, which you

the US, the majority of their business is

offer your guests luxury, whilst enhancing

call

myself

fortunate

to

can accommodate about 1.2 million tourists. With 500 islands, we’ll have about 5 million tourists, which is very small, for various factors. Firstly, when you consider mature tourist destinations, such as France, Spain or

don’t get every day. It’s new, but it still

I

have

short haul. They’re traveling less than

feels true; it rings a chord in your heart

experienced many crises. I believe very

4 hours to come to France, which has

when you touch it and you experience it.

much in the words of Lao Tzu, who

about 90 million tourists a year. About

Today, our guests are urban. They live

says that ‘good fortune has its roots in

80-90% of that is from the EU and

and work in cities, they are self-made

disaster’. I’ve come to realize that if you

Switzerland. For us here, 90% of our

and leading very stressful lives. It’s

can look at a crisis in a positive manner,

business is long haul. Even if the long

impossible to have fresh air and fresh

it can be very beneficial. In a way, we’re

haul stays the same, there is no growth

food in an urban context. Space and

a bit like a coastline – it’s the storms that

in long haul travel.

privacy are at a premium. By questioning

define and shape us. In fact, it’s how we

Invariably, the short haul market will

and challenging what is really rare,

respond to these storms that actually

grow. Europe, countries like France,

for our guests who are urban and live

determine our future success.

Spain, US, they only have about 400

in the city, we can create very simple

All crises eventually come to an end;

million people living within short haul

things that are luxurious. You know,

I’ve gone through many. When we had

distance. Whereas here in the Maldives,

like walking barefoot for a week – it’s

the COVID situation, we knew we were

we have 2.4 billion people living within

hugely luxurious for people. You might

going to get over this as well. So, we

that distance. So, there’ll be a huge

be the richest man in London or New

were very positive about it; we had to

demand. It’s inevitable that 90% of our

York or Paris, but can you walk barefoot

address our hosts, we had to tell them

arrivals will be short haul. So even if

for a week? It’s terribly healthy for you.

that there was going to be very little

long haul stays the same, there’ll still

There are many studies that show that

work whilst the borders were closed. We

be 10 million tourists looking to visit

walking barefoot creates reflexology on

managed to get about 80 guests here at

the Maldives. But where will they stay?

the feet, and it keeps you grounded.

Soneva Fushi from other resorts through

There won’t be any hotels, because we’d

One is calmer, one’s blood pressure

the lockdown, because a lot of resorts

have run out of islands.

reduces when walking barefoot. It’s just

just closed and sent their employees

So, the Maldives will always do very

simple science. And of course, it’s more

away. We realized we couldn’t do that,

well. The RevPARs will continue to be

sustainable, because if your guests are

because they’re all a part of our family.

among the highest in the world.

Sustainable eco-friendly restaurant floor being sand. It doesn’t When the borders opened, we set holidays, private residences, need to be air conditioned, because up our own laboratory in Maafaru. immersive local experiences… walking barefoot, they don’t mind the

They’re the asset of the company.


24

PEOPLE now welcomed its first guests on 6th

myself a lot here. I’ve even learnt to

June 2021.”

make Maldivian cuisine, dishes such as mashuni, kukulhu riha, and a lot more.

What made you want to become a chef?

It’s very similar to Indian cuisine, so it’s

I’ll tell you a short story. When I was

How does Kuda Villingili cater to its guests’ tastes?

around 13 or 14, my mother became

easy to learn.

very ill. We were expecting a visit from a few relatives. She asked me to help

Our aim here at Kuda Villingili, is to

out in the kitchen. I was taught to make

make our guests happy, that they would

biriyani for the very first time, that day.

remember us forever. I want to leave

The guests were so happy, they gave

them with an everlasting impression

me a nickname in our language which

of my food, because that’s what really

meant ‘chef’.

makes it – the memory attached to a certain moment, a certain dish. It’s very

I approached four cousins who were

special.

pastry chefs in various parts of the world. One of them guided me and

ABDUL WAHEED

SOUS CHEF AT KUDA VILLINGILI RESORT Abdul Waheed is a Sous Chef working

with this opportunity, and I thought it

at Kuda Villingili Resort, a luxurious new

was a wonderful idea to immerse myself

property making waves in the Maldivian

in a different opening.

Tourism industry. Thanks to his hard work and dedication to the culinary

After having worked there for a while,

arts, Abdul has traveled the globe and

I had to moved back to India to attend

worked for leading international hotel

some personal matters. There, I opened

chains in the industry before joining the

a pastry shop along with my cousin and

team at Kuda Villingili two months ago.

worked for a year to stay close to my family. After that, I was on a lookout

Here, Abdul shares the story of how his

again for an opportunity to work

passion for cooking turned into a full-

abroad, which led me to Kempinski Al

fledged career and reveals the culinary

Othman hotel in Saudi Arabia. I worked

secrets of Kuda Villingili’s signature

there for two years then post that, I got

‘Spice’ restaurant, a live-kitchen hawker

the chance to work at VOX Cinema in

style venue offering delectable Indian-

Saudi Arabia. It was a new and exciting

Arabic inspired fare.

experience, working with Michelin star chef Gary Rhodes Restaurant, opening a

Could you tell us about your cinema kitchen as it was something I had career so far? never done before. After the pandemic struck the world was at halt, businesses I’ve been working in the industry for

were greatly affected and the staffs were

about ten years now, specialized in all

asked to go including myself.

cuisines – Indian, Arabic, French, and more. I first started my career at Hotel

Finally, I got the opportunity to come to

Royal Orchid, Bengaluru, India and then

Kuda Villingili in the Maldives, which has

moved to One & Only the Palm Dubai, as

been a great and fulfilling experience so

a pre-opening property, with 3 Michelin

far.

star chef Yannick Alleno. I worked there for two years, after which I moved to the

amount of time I’ve spent on them,

Maldives to work at Park Hyatt Maldives.

I think these two projects have been

Then, I got a good opportunity to work

the most significant in my career, and

at Cheval Blanc Randheli as part of a

definitely the most intense to complete.

pre-opening team again. A chef who

But here we are today, and we have

was a friend of mine approached me

completed a beautiful resort, which has

told me what to study, what to do after college, and laid the path out for me.

Could you tell us more about ‘Spice’? What makes this restaurant so unique?

That’s how it all unfolded. As you know, ‘Spice’ is one of the three

What has your experience in the restaurants at the Hawkers, a relaxed Maldives been like so far? and social dining venue which is located by the impressive swimming pool at I’ve been in the Maldives for three years,

Kuda Villingili. There’s also a bar, and

this year being my fourth. In terms of

two other distinctive restaurants, ‘East’

culture, the Maldivian people are very

and ‘Med’, which offers Thai -Japanese

friendly and hospitable. I’m enjoying

and Italian-Mediterranean fusion street


PEOPLE food through their respective open, live

for our guests here, so anything that

introduce beef shawarmas.

kitchens. All outlets at the Hawkers are

they choose is certain to be delicious.

But like I said, it’s hard to pick one or the

now open for service.

Some guests might like meat, or they

other. If a guest is here for a week, they

‘Spice’ serves up soulful, sharing style

might be vegetarian, or they might like

should give everything on our menu a

creations inspired by Indian and Arabic

seafood; it’s all a matter of taste and

go, at least once. All the dishes we have

cuisines, including flame-grilled kebabs,

preference really.

are unlike anything else out there, and

charcoal-grilled tandoor and delicious shawarmas.

“I’m

Indian,

and

I’m certain that our guests will leave

I’ve

That said, I would highly recommend

‘Spice’ feeling satisfied no matter what

worked extensively in the Middle East,

our tandoori platter, this is a must-have.

they choose.

so I believe I have a good sensibility

It’s a unique combination of flavors

and knowledge regarding the fusion

and marination. They’re all completely

concept of Indian and Arabic food.

different, with various types of meats

I have Moroccan and Indian chefs

and vegetables. The chaat masala

working here with me, so together, we

we use is actually a secret recipe, and

combine our skill sets to create fantastic

is really what completes the dish, I

fusion dishes. The spices used in Indian

think. For dessert, I’d recommend

and Arabic cuisines are similar, though

the gulab jamun mousse cake. It’s a

the process of cooking is completely

unique style of serving a gulab jamun

different. So, it’s an interesting concept

which is traditionally a soft fried ball in

we have, to fuse the two cuisines

sweet syrup. Here, we turned it into a

together. “

mousse cake. On the Arabic front, we serve some

What are the best dishes you’d recommend from here?

spectacular shawarmas. It’s one of our bestsellers. Before, we used to have only chicken shawarma, but due to popular

Honestly, it’s hard to choose one or two

demand, we’ve added a lamb option as

dishes. We handpick the very best dishes

well. Hopefully, in the future, we may

25


26

PEOPLE beautiful country.

the Maldives is all about.

At The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives how has the brand interpreted a more laidback island environment in the Maldives? How do you differentiate yourself from other luxury resorts here?

What can we expect to see from The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives in the future? What’s next? We’re excited about a return to more active socializing with fewer restrictions. We have some exciting activations

JESPER SOERENSEN

GENERAL MANAGER OF THE STANDARD, HURUVALHI MALDIVES

Our design is like nothing else in the

planned for the fall including our first

Maldives, where else can you find a disco

ever Celebrity Guest Chef Residency!

ball above your bathtub? Our culinary

We also have a plethora of activities

offering is also very different than the

planned for Festive Season including

typical resort. Our signature restaurant

wonderfully curated dining experiences,

Guduguda is a gorgeous space that

guest DJ’s and live entertainment.

showcases the delights of Maldivian

Beyond that our commitment to health

cuisine which is shockingly very rare to

and wellness on property remains

find in the Maldives at a resort. We also

strong. We have a robust offering of

bring an element of fun for singles and

activities from sunrise yoga and CBD

groups rather than solely focusing on

massages to retreats and workshops

couples like many other properties do.

with world-class practitioners.

We have an incredible array of activities available that you just won’t be able to find anywhere else, such as diving

What do you consider to be your biggest personal success?

with the majestic Manta Rays off the Jesper

Soerensen

is

the

General

everything I do as a general manager

Manager of The Standard, Huruvalhi

today but also throughout my career.

Maldives, a glamorous boutique resort

The hospitality industry is amazing and

nestled in the idyllic Raa Atoll. Our team

has so many different sides to it, as we

had a chat with Jesper to find out more

cater to various types of dreams that

about his career and experience in the

anyone might have. At The Standard,

Maldives so far.

Could you tell us a bit about your career thus far? How did you get into the hospitality industry?

Hanifaru Bay, and starlight snorkeling

My ability to adapt, listen and make

with nocturnal marine life under the

changes. I can apply this to any personal

beautiful Maldivian sky filled with more

achievement or success I can think of.

stars than you’ve ever seen.

As a world we’ve adapted to a new “new” due to COVID-19. Look how

What sort of challenges did far we’ve come. I listen to everyone Huruvalhi Maldives we have Guest you face as a result of the around me and see what I can do to Villas, Restaurants, Spa & Wellness, COVID-19 pandemic? How did make someone feel better about any given situation. I apply change where Watersport & Dive, Bars, Live Music, you overcome them? Kids Activities, and so much more – in short – there is literally nothing we can’t provide and there isn’t much we can’t

necessary for a greater benefit for

It was incredibly difficult to suspend

someone or everyone. I can apply these

operations of a hotel we had just

3 to any successes I’ve had with guests,

launched

was

team, businesses or personal life. The

so

successfully.

It

I fell in to the hospitality industry in

offer. From a career perspective, this is

2004 as a front desk supervisor at Ian

my heaven

particularly difficult for our hotel staff,

biggest personal success would be that

who live and breathe The Standard,

I love what I do!

How has your experience in the Maldives been like so far?

Huruvalhi Maldives experience, daily.

and that’s how it began. I have a big love

It has been incredible. There is nothing

travel. Our approach to sales, marketing

for people and that’s essentially what

in the world like this. Or shall I say in my

drove me here today. As the years have

world there’s nothing like it. Paradise in

passed, 17 years to be exact, the layers

short. I’m in love with the local culture,

of knowledge have become many but it

the local people and our surroundings.

always ties back to my love for people.

The white sands and ocean makes

My career path has been amazing and

everything vanish and become less

I consider myself incredible lucky and

important when you realize you are

grateful to have been able to do this.

just a small piece in this magnificent

Nothing ever came easy and still doesn’t

paradise. We’ve been sheltered a lot

but if your desire to succeed is bigger

from what the rest of the world have

than fail then it’s endless. Failures are

been and still is going through. Maldives

important as they shape you and become

was always a safe place to be and still

learnings. I’ve had learnings which gives

is simply because of the 1000s of

me the ability to add dimension to

individual islands that makes up this

Schrager London hotel St Martins Lane. This was my first job in hospitality. Prior to this I was in Fashion & Beauty industry but my path lead to hospitality

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has incredibly constrained international

Do you have any words of advice for those looking to join the industry?

and PR has adapted to engage travelers who are able to make the trip based

Yes – do it! You are the creator of your

on the availability of flights and their

own success. This industry offers so

governments

regarding

many paths for anyone to move on which

travel to the Maldives. For those

is incredible freeing and liberating. We

looking for longer stays, we’ve re-

are creative and we are nerds. We are

invigorated our Stowaway program,

everything. Anyone wanting to join, call

which allows guests to stay longer

me anytime.

regulations

more affordably, and our kid’s program provides the perfect complement to remote education. On property we are laser focused on creating a safe and restorative experience for our guests so they can be free to relax, which is what


PEOPLE

27

NEW APPOINTEES

FATHUHULLA NASEER

USHA RASHEED

ADITYA RAJ SINGH

HASSAN SABREE

MOHAMED SHIHAB

PETER GREMES

AHMED JIHAD

MAURICE VAN DEN BOSCH

RAINER STEINHILBER

CROSSROADS MALDIVES - CLUSTER SALES MANAGER

GRAND PARK KODHIPPARU MALDIVES - RESORT MANAGER

COCOON MALDIVES - CORPORATE GENERAL MANAGER

KIHAA MALDIVES - DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

SIYAM WORLD - DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING

COCO BODU HITHI - GENERAL MANAGER

AMAYA KUDA RAH - HEAD OF SALES

REETHI FARU RESORT - GENERAL MANAGER

SANDIES BATHALA RESORT GENERAL MANAGER


WWW.ASMARINEMALDIVES.C OM | +960 664 6066 | INFO@ASMARINEMALDIVES.C OM


HULHUMALÉ A SMART CITY ON A REVOLUTIONARY PATH

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30

PEOPLE

TOLGA UNAN – MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CROSSROADS MALDIVES umbrella that puts all of them together.

first multi-island, fully integrated leisure

You are among the first people Quite a few, to be frank. First of all, to join this venture. Tell us a bit when you look at the general population of hotels in Maldives, almost all of them about how the project started.

destination. Nestled in the breathtaking

are designed to attract external clients,

and expertise of various different people

Tolga Unan is the Managing Director of CROSSROADS Maldives, the country’s

One of the main strengths we have is that we can capitalize on the knowledge

Emboodhoo Lagoon in Kaafu Atoll,

Well, I am literally the first one. My

meaning tourists that arrive in Maldives

and businesses, and create a unified

CROSSROADS Maldives is perfectly

employee number is HRHM001. When I

from overseas. At CROSSROADS, more

leisure destination unlike any other.

located just a 15-minute speedboat

first arrived here, it was in the very early

than half of our guests are actually local

ride from Velana International Airport.

stages of construction. It was a mega-

guests. The Marina at CROSSROADS

Our team sat down with Tolga to delve

project, so there were many different

is similar to an open-air shopping

deeper into his career, and what his

elements to consider. We had a team

mall, and 90 percent of our guests at

experience in the Maldives has been like

of architects, engineers and designers,

the Marina are locals. So, we really

so far.

each of which had a different task, so to

had to understand how to position

say. My role was to bring the operations

ourselves in that way, and to work

alive.

with local authorities to help them

The desire to be able to come out of

My initial responsibility was only Hard

understand our concept.

the urban environment, Male’ City, has

Rock Hotel; our goal was to create a

Then, there is the concept of the yacht

always been there. The first time I came

At a young age, I was introduced to

hotel that we could position differently

marina, which is the very first yacht

to Maldives was in 2001, so I know the

hotels, because my father was a hotel

in the Maldives. We felt there was an

marina in the Maldives. Along with it

country’s past very well. Even back

chain manager in Turkey. I then went

opportunity in the market to create a

came its own set of challenges – how to

then, people looked forward to going

on to study hospitality in Florida,

hotel where there are a lot of activities,

operate the yacht marina, what type of

out of Male’, going on picnics to various

in the United States. That’s how my

catering to a very active lifestyle,

boats we should welcome, what services

locations. I lived in Hulhumale’ during

career started. Right after university,

attracting families with kids. So, that’s

we should provide.

the time of its construction, and it was

I initially worked for Club Med. Later

what I mainly focused on.

Could you tell us a bit about your career?

As you have mentioned before, CROSSROADS Maldives is mainly focused on the local market. What attracts locals to CROSSROADS Maldives?

nice to see people come out at night

on, I became a part of many leading

Furthermore, CROSSROADS is the first

time, visiting coffee shops, strolling

hotel chains including Hilton Group,

integrated destination; it doesn’t have

around and passing the time. That was

Intercontinental Hotels, and Banyan

Being the first integrated resort just one single brand. Here, we have SAii what inspired the initial idea. What we in the Maldives, what are the Lagoon, Hard Rock, the yacht marina, provide here at CROSSROADS sits in and the Marina with so many different between these ideas. It’s a beautiful challenges you have faced?

Tree, before ending up in the Maldives to work on the CROSSROADS project.

retail shops. CROSSROADS is the big

location, and while it’s a bit more upscale, it’s only fifteen minutes away from Male’. We have people coming here, having lunch, and going back to work. We have people coming to visit the beach club, passing the whole day in the swimming pool. We have those coming to have events, weddings, and meetings. We have those coming to visit the Maldives Discovery Center, which is a museum, so there is a cultural aspect to it as well. We also have people visiting like merchants; when we do the street markets, we open stalls for local merchants for that particular day, to sell what they want. What’s more, there is no obligation. Nowadays, if you want to go to a resort as a day visitor, either you have to buy a package, or you have to call up the general manager and ask for permission. This concept is very unique to the Maldives. In Bangkok, for example, if you want to go to the Hilton, you don’t


PEOPLE have to call the general manager; you

the house, for me, it’s the heart of the

of clientele during the day. It definitely

simply walk into the hotel. It’s different

house – it’s a 1200 bed facility. It has

marks another milestone for us.

here in the Maldives, because the islands

its own gym, a large mosque, a private

Above all, the most important thing that

are private. So, we’re trying to challenge

beach for the staff, along with three

we take the most pride in is our picnic

that status quo. Today, a person can

staff canteen operations. We have the

island. Our picnic island is a big stretch

just buy a ferry ticket and come to

largest powerhouse in the Maldives, as

of land that sits unoccupied today, with

CROSSROADS, stroll around, consume

well as the largest laundry operation.

a beautiful, untouched beach. Here,

absolutely nothing and go back; no harm

We also literally have a water bottling

we’re designing a local island concept

will be done. Or they may come here in

plant, which is gigantic just by itself. If

with various attractions. Locals from

a group of twenty people and have an

you look at our warehouse, it’s the size

Male’ and other local islands will be

absolutely festive meal, and go back

of Walmart. So, it’s clearly a massive-

able to visit and spend the day there,

afterwards. It’s open for everybody.

scale operation.

for leisurely travel. This will be the next

It is not only challenging, but also

project for us, and we’re very excited to

impossible to manage it as a whole. But

be able to bring this to life.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the industry. As we head into a new normal, what’s the next step for CROSSROADS Maldives?

luckily for me, I have a great team that manages very small business units. We have department heads and business

Why is CROSSROADS Maldives special?

leaders who take each business unit and manage it separately. They combine

A lot of people ask me why this place

I think certain preventative measures

the business resources and present it as

is called CROSSROADS. Geographically,

are here to stay. The good thing is, now

CROSSROADS; for that, it requires very

Maldives has a very strategic location; it

that it’s been almost fourteen months

solid human resource management.

sits very close to the Indian Peninsula,

since we restarted operations, we really know how to operate under pandemic conditions. We’ve really learned how to

not far from the Arabic Peninsula. In

What does the future hold for CROSSROADS Maldives?

cope with it.

the olden times, sailors who were doing commerce needed shelter, which the Maldives provided. Initially, the idea of

I also think that this pandemic has

First of all, there is SO/, a new resort

CROSSROADS stemmed from this. It’s a

allowed travelers to see the Maldives in

that we’ve officially announced. It will

place where people from different parts

a different light. People who might have

be built on Island 3, the island next to

of the world, from different cultures,

never thought about coming to Maldives

Hard Rock Hotel. The construction of

can seek shelter.

before have now visited us and said,

this project will commence at the end

If you and I were to meet at a crossroads,

wow, that was fun! And I believe that

of the year, hopefully in November or

a four-road square, I probably wouldn’t

they will come back. CROSSROADS,

December. The resort will be an upscale

know which direction you were heading.

Hard Rock, Saii Lagoon – this integrated

property by Accor, which signed a hotel

You probably wouldn’t know which

concept has been designed especially

management agreement with S Hotels

direction I was heading either. But the

for families. There is so much to explore

and Wai Eco World Developer to bring

fact that we met at the crossroads is a

here.

the SO/ brand to the Maldives. So,

sign of unity. This is what we try to do

this will be the newest addition to our

here at CROSSROADS Maldives; taking

portfolio. We will have Hard Rock, which

visitors from all walks of life, local and

is positioned as a lively, upbeat family

foreign, combining them together and

resort; we’ll have SAii Lagoon, with

creating one single, unique destination.

CROSSROADS employs the largest workforce in the Maldives. How do you keep track of and manage their everyday tasks?

Asian hospitality, a little bit adventurous and laidback; and finally, we’ll have SO/ which will sit in the luxury segment.

The team behind CROSSROADS is

Secondly, we now have a new beach

made up of about 1200 members.

club

Undoubtedly, this is the largest team in

Club. They operate a few beach clubs

Maldives. There are a lot of nationalities,

in Dubai, and we’ve partnered with

a

the

them to operate our new beach club,

relationships we have work on various

which is a fantastic setting for events

different levels. There are partners here

and parties. Their presence here will

who own restaurants or businesses, and

also add to our offerings, because as I

they purchase dormitories and staff

explained before, we are only as strong

meals and transportation services from

as our partners are. Having an operator

us. It’s not only that they are our clients,

that has the experience and knowledge

they are also our tenants.

in successfully running a beach club,

When you look at the heart of the house

offering entertainment in the night-

– I don’t like referring to it as the back of

time, while attracting a different type

lot

of

stakeholders,

and

operator,

Sensations

Beach

31


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9


AVIATION

INDIGO COMMENCES INAUGURAL FLIGHT FROM COCHIN TO GAN IndiGo, the Indian low cost airline, has

Earlier this month, the airline also

landed its inaugural flight from Cochin

announced that it will be launching

to Gan, Addu earlier this week.

direct flights from Male’, Maldives to

This

first-of-the-series

flight

from

Chennai and Hyderabad, India.

Cochin to Gan carried 177 passengers.

After the addition of these flights,

In partnership with ACE Travels, the

IndiGo will be the airline with the

airline has planned to commence

highest connectivity to India from the

additional direct flights between Cochin

Maldives, with 6 destinations covered:

and Gan on the 20th, 24th and 30th of

Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai,

August as well. Each of the flights will

Hyderabad and Cochin.

carry 180 passengers.

VISTARA RESTARTS FLIGHTS TO MALDIVES FROM INDIA India’s

carrier

due to the travel restrictions imposed

Vistara Airline has resumed flights to

on the South Asian countries with the

Velana International Airport from 2

increase in COVID-19 cases.

September 2021.

Vistara Airline is a joint venture of Tata

The

finest

airline

full-service

resumed

group and Singapore Airlines. Vistara

COVID-19

Airline is India’s highest-rated airline

pandemic on 3rd March 2021 with flights

on Skytrax and Tripadvisor and has also

between Mumbai and Male’. Vistara

been the winner of several ‘Best Airline’

Airline operated 3 times a week under

awards. As Vistara Airline starts its non-

India’s transport bubble agreement to

stop flights to VIA, it is the fourth Airline

Velana International Airport. The airline

that operates directly from different

had halted the transport in May 2021

parts of India.

operations

had

initially

during

the

MALDIVES G ETAWAYS

Bespoke Maldives Holidays www.getaways.mv

33


34

AVIATION

EMIRATES CARRIED 15.8 MILLION PASSENGERS AS THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE IN 2020

What a difference a year makes. Over

customers and employees, and provide

option to access the Emirates Lounge,

the counter, breeze through the airport

the summer travel months of July and

the most updated travel information

and more than 380,000 customers have

and proceed directly to immigration.

August, Emirates handled nearly 1.2

for customers across the world. These

used biometric gates to board their

Following the positive reception from

million customers at its hub, compared

investments over the past 12 months

flight.

customers, Emirates will introduce 6

to 402,000 customers during the same

have enabled Emirates to facilitate the

Emirates has seen an upward trend in

additional self-service check-in and

period in 2020, highlighting the safe

resumption of travel, while enhancing

customers opting to use its biometric

bag drop kiosks in its First and Business

and smooth resumption of international

customer experience.

channels since the pandemic, and it

Class terminal area this month.

plans to expand the number of boarding

In

gates equipped with biometric scanners.

introduced new technology to make

check-in

The airline has also worked closely with

it easier for customers to report

Dubai airport stakeholders including

delayed or damaged bags on emirates.

the immigration team (GDRFA) to re-

com, reducing paperwork and stress,

travel to and through Dubai. In fact, in 2020, Emirates was the largest

Accelerated

digital

international

airline

Biometrics,

self-service

15.8

passengers,

million

carrying

over

according

innovations

kiosks

to IATA’s latest World Air Transport

the

past

year,

Emirates

also

Statistics 2021.

In 2019, Emirates began testing and

activate Smart Gates that enable eligible

improving transparency, and enabling

Since Dubai re-opened to international

implementing biometric technology at

travellers to cruise through passport

Emirates to serve customers better in

visitors, Emirates has gradually restored

various customer journey touchpoints at

control on arrival and departure in a

terms of checking, tracing and resolving

its network and flight schedules from

the airport. In the past year, the airline

matter of seconds, using new contactless

baggage related queries.

just a handful of cities in July 2020

fast-tracked its biometric technology

technology.

to over 120 destinations today, with

roll-out and today, Emirates has over 30

Enabling customers to check-in, receive

more flights to be layered onto over 20

biometric cameras in active operation

their boarding pass, choose seats on

Emirates routes by October.

at its Dubai airport hub, including at

board, and drop off their bags, Emirates’

Always aiming to provide the best

check-in counters, at the entrances of

new self-service check-in and bag drop

possible travel experience, particularly

its First and Business Class lounges, and

kiosks have seen increasing usage since

during a turbulent time for international

select boarding gates.

its introduction in September 2020. In

travel, Emirates has continued to deliver

Since implementation, over 58,000

July and August alone, over 568,000

innovative

customers have used this convenient,

customers used this convenient service

contactless

which enabled them to skip queuing at

new

customer

services,

ensure the health and safety of its

and

secure

verification


AVIATION

35

Latest travel requirements – COVID-19

digital checks for COVID-19 travel

and its aviation partners to ensure the

technology to eliminate most viruses

travel information hub, IATA Travel

documentation. These projects deliver

health and safety of all travellers and

and ensure a healthier environment.

Pass, integration with UAE Health

multiple benefits from better customer

employees at the airport, even as health

In addition to being one of the first

Authorities

experiences to the reduced use of paper,

protocols continually evolved across the

airlines to roll-out PPEs (personal

and improved efficiency and reliability

world.

protection equipment) for its frontline

travel

in travel document checks. Emirates

Even

requirements change daily at country,

was one of the first airlines to sign up

Organisation

region or airport level, Emirates has

In

an

environment

where

before

the

World

Health

employees back in February 2020, when

declared

COVID-19 vaccines became available

for IATA’s Travel Pass in April and today

COVID-19 a pandemic, Emirates had

Emirates implemented a company-wide

pulled out all stops to provide the latest

offers this convenience to customers

already implemented enhanced cleaning

campaign to encourage employees to

information to its customers.

fly between Dubai and 10 cities, with

and disinfection protocols at all its

protect themselves and others in an

Tapping on its global network and

plans to expand the service across its

customer touchpoints at the airport and

effort that resulted in over 95% of all

teams on the ground to collect and

network as IATA continues to expand

onboard. At the airport, Emirates also

employees being fully vaccinated.

verify the latest entry requirements for

and secure service providers in more

installed protective shields at all check-

each destination, Emirates’ COVID-19

markets. By October, the airline would

in counters and implemented physical

information hub, updated at least

have extended the implementation of

distancing in all areas.

once daily, has become one of the top

IATA Travel Pass for customers at all of

All its bio-safety protocols are continually

authoritative sources of information for

its destinations.

reviewed and updated in line with the

officially

travellers.

latest medical guidance. Emirates has

Emirates has also been a forerunner in

also tapped on its partnership with

adopting digital verification solutions

Health and safety

for travel, from adopting the IATA

the UAE’s Aviation X-lab innovation incubator programme to pilot robot

Travel Pass to partnering with the UAE

Throughout the past year, Emirates

cleaning trials in its signature lounges at

health authorities to enable seamless

had worked closely with the authorities

Dubai airport. These robots use special


36

EMERGING RESORTS

THE WAIT IS OVER – HIGHLYANTICIPATED SIYAM WORLD MALDIVES IS NOW OPEN! Siyam World Maldives has made its

fun Over-Water Villas with slides and a

grand debut in Noonu Atoll with an

stunning Grand Water Pavilion.

eclectic collection of 21 accommodation

The exclusive Beach House Collection

categories.

A

carefree

playground

at Siyam World embodies a secluded,

exciting,

diverse,

memorably

pristine, and idyllic island holiday

modern, and an infinite collection of

experience, a true Maldivian familiarity

experiences, Siyam World is a striking

with luxurious but modern comforts, a

new interpretation of the country’s rich

heaven for those who appreciate beauty

natural wonders.

and life. Set on an island playground,

Located by a mere 40-minutes direct

accompanied by an infinite collection

seaplane ride from Velana International

of experiences across land, ocean, and

Airport or a 30-minute domestic flight

sky, the 24 Residences, Pavilions &

to Maafaru Airport followed by a

The Palace are offering an all-inclusive

15-minute speedboat ride, Siyam World

island getaway that crosses cultures and

is the Maldives re-imagined. A world of

borders. Interiors boast a neutral colour

possibilities, infinite choices and endless

palette, mixed with bold splashes of

opportunities await at this resort.

Maldivian hues.

The resort is designed for fun-loving,

Confidently conceived and brilliantly

open-minded couples, romance seekers,

brought to life, Siyam World offers a 24-

families, or larger groups of friends,

hour premium all-inclusive resort unlike

with the freedom to roam, socialize and

any other. With its uncompromisingly

engage in an island community. The

quirky “I can have it all” perception

island resort boasts an enticing variety

comes a deep-rooted soul and a unique

of rooms and residences and is classified

approach

as a five-star resort. Ranging from lush

dining experiences and experiential

Pool Beach Villa, expansive Beach

adventures are included in the premium

Suites and breathtaking Residences to

all-inclusive benefits.

with

to

everything.

Unlimited

This is one of the largest natural islands in the Maldives to boast a resort with 54 hectares island blessed with more than four kilometers of white sandy beaches and six kilometers of the house reef. From the country’s biggest floating water park to a peerless WOW! premium all-inclusive concept across more than a dozen restaurants and bars, Siyam World is on a mission to offer their guests unique experiences and pioneering concepts ever seen in the Maldives. With a world-class spa,

wellness and sports facilities, kids’ club along some of the region’s best dive sites just meters away, Siyam World will be a game-changing resort in the Maldives.


TTM suzuki redone.pdf 1 10/6/2021 10:06:15 AM


38

EMERGING RESORTS

LE MÉRIDIEN HOTELS & RESORTS LANDS IN THE MALDIVES WITH SIGNATURE GLAMOUROUS EUROPEAN SPIRIT

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part

life, including pods of Manta Rays and

of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30

turtles. Guests can easily access the

extraordinary

brands,

along

with

resort by a 35-minute seaplane journey

Singaporean

developer

Chiu

Teng

north of Velana (MLE) International

Enterprises has announced the opening

Airport, Malé.

of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa,

“We are thrilled to introduce the iconic

marking the Paris-born brand’s debut

Le Méridien brand to the Maldives,

in one of the world’s most captivating

strengthening our presence in this

destinations. Located on Thilamaafushi,

captivating destination,” Rajeev Menon,

the

Lhaviyani

President, Asia Pacific (excluding China),

Atoll, the 141-villa resort celebrates

Marriott International. “The opening

the fabric of the Maldives, its people,

of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa

nature, and art, channeling its energy

marks the second Marriott International

to uncover the charm of the destination

property that opened in the Maldives this

through

summer and the seventh brand entry in

southern

Le

pocket

of

Méridien’s

distinctive

century modern and Bauhaus aesthetics

where Le Méridien’s signature brand

to present a resort that sits in harmony

programme “Au Soleil” will be hosted

with the natural environment.

as part of the resort’s weekly culinary

The resort presents 141 villas that are

events. “Au Soleil” at Le Méridien

tucked amongst the tropical landscape

Maldives Resort & Spa encourages a

and dotted over the Indian Ocean,

summer state of mind with an activation

featuring unparalleled views across the

at “Golden Hour”, the magical hour at

pristine beaches, the Indian Ocean or

the end of a day under the sun where

turquoise lagoon. A selection of one,

guests will enjoy European-inspired

two and three-bedroom villas unites

petit plates, specially designed rosé

the concept of art and industrial design

cocktails and Le Scoop by Le Méridien

with clean lines, a muted color palette

handcrafted gelato or sorbet, set against

and a contrast of renewable materials

a soundtrack of live music and waves

that fosters simplicity, openness and

lapping at the shore. Located amongst

functionality. Guests can also relax and

the banyan trees and swaying palms,

rejuvenate at the Explore Spa by Le

Waves Café is a mindful eating space

Méridien and the two infinity pools at

that fosters a healthy and nourishing

the resort.

approach with a focus on organic farmto-table ingredients. Velaa Bar + Grill,

Global Flavours with Local Flair

indulge in six restaurants and bars,

meats and wood-fired delicacies to

showcasing global tastes and locally

indulge in once the last ray’s fade. The

harvested produce. Inspired by Japanese

Le Méridien Hub, a social gathering

fishing villages and water lanterns, the

place for the creative-minded traveller,

signature restaurant Tabemasu features

serves custom-brewed, barista-crafted

a lively teppanyaki counter and a private

coffee beverages as part of the brand’s

open-air pavilion where guests will

collaboration with illy coffee. Rounding

enjoy an expertly prepared Omakase

out the culinary mix is Turquoise, a

tasting menu. The resort’s adults only

beachside marketplace where guests

bar, Riviera, is a beachside playground

can choose from an array of global

framed by an oceanfront infinity pool

tastes and local dishes from breakfast to

and private beach where lazy lunches

dinner.

expanding our portfolio further in the

of the French Riviera in the 1960s, Le

Maldives in order to offer distinctive and

Méridien inspires travellers to explore the

personalized experiences for travelers.”

flow into sunset spritzes as vivid hues are

Timeless Chic Design

that frame Riviera will be the locale

Nuell, Senior Vice President, Premium

The distinct timeless chic design at

Brands, Marriott International. “We are

Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is

delighted to bring Le Méridien to this

inspired by the brand’s roots in the

internationally desired destination, the

glamorous halcyon days of travel,

perfect place for guests to step out of

something that permeates throughout

their daily routine and into a glamorous

the Le Méridien experience. In a nod

getaway where wandering sans agenda

to its environs, the design also takes

and lingering longer are encouraged.”

inspiration from the formation of the

Spanning nine hectares, Thilamaafushi

Maldives Archipelago, emulating the

is defined as “island surrounded by vast

Atoll’s unique topography, its bordering

lagoon” in Dhivehi, the local parlance

reefs,

of the Maldives. The natural island is

and underwater pinnacles known as

an eco-conscious haven abundant with

“Thilas”. Interior and exterior design

indigenous flora and fauna, enveloped

celebrates the Maldives’ distinct life

by a shimmering lagoon and coral

and culture and vibrant landscape,

reefs bursting with vibrant marine

fused with Le Méridien’s signature mid-

coral

gardens,

marine

life

crafted

the summer sun, and grilled seafood,

“With a nostalgic nod to the glamour

more than meets the eye,” said Jason

features

Guests will have the opportunity to

the destination. We look forward to

enjoy experiences that offer something

poolside,

cocktails and light dishes to savour in

European-chic lens.

world in style, savour the good life and

situated

splashed across the ocean. The shores

New Discoveries Around Every Corner


EMERGING RESORTS

Conceiving

spaces

spark

opportunity for guests to name a turtle

conversation and inspire fascination was

for themselves. Curious guests can

pivotal throughout the resort’s design

discover an aquatic playground at the

process. At the center of this is Waves

resort’s house reef that features four

Lifestyle Hub, a wellbeing collective

dive sites and a thila (sea mountain),

set against the pristine landscape with

all brimming with green and hawksbills

unparalleled views of the ocean. This

turtles, various stingrays, shoals of

boutique lifestyle space features an

colourful fish and many more unique

ocean-facing fitness studio and yoga

reef dwellers waiting to be discovered.

pavilion positioned high in the jungle,

Guests can also embark on farther

as well as Waves Café, an interactive

afield marine expeditions to some of

creative arts studio that focuses on

the Atoll’s 50 dive and thila sites that

local contemporary art. The space also

the atoll is renowned for. Waiting to

features a retail emporium showcasing

be explored is the resort’s private island

hand-crafted

Bodu Finolhu, complete with tropical

and

that

contemporary

lifestyle pieces.

greenery and 360-degree beach.

An energetic mix of cultural and lifestyle

Families can take advantage of the

programming at the hotel is designed to

Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub,

celebrate the art of travel and unlock

with programming that ranges from

the heart of the destination. The Marine

day and night nature trails, folklore

Hub at the resort offers a range of

storytelling and sustainable art classes.

conservation

including

The Greenhouse also offers immersive

mangrove and seagrass protection and

family experiences including micro-

turtle identification and snorkelling

green planting and family foraging and

with the marine biologist, with the

cooking classes.

programmes

39 33

Unique to Le Meridien Maldives Resort

been purposely designed to promote

& Spa is Thilamaafushi Marine Master’s,

hydroponic farming and consumption.

a specially designed programme that

Guests can learn first-hand hydroponic

inspires young adventurers to connect

practices and their links to traditions

with the environment around them

of foraging and preserving – garden-to-

in the hope of future preservation.

plate philosophies and their impact in an

The

archipelago formed nation.

immersive

programme

is

available in bite-size modules or a full

“We look forward to welcoming guests

curriculum that is scalable from young

to unlock the sights, sounds and aromas

children to teens. Led by the resort’s

of the destination, showcasing matchless

marine biologist, topics include atoll

hospitality and enriching experiences

topography, coral identification and

that bring to life the Maldives through

health monitoring, turtle identification

Le Méridien’s distinct European-lens,”

and for young adult’s ray and shark

said Nilesh Singh, General Manager, Le

protection.

Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. “Along

Ensuring minimal environmental impact

with Le Méridien’s focus on timeless

was and continues to be paramount

midcentury design and signature brand

throughout

resort

programmes, guests are invited to

operations. The hotel safeguards a

savour the moment and delight in the

low carbon footprint through leading-

discovery of everything the resort has to

edge practices that focus on renewable

offer.”

the

build

and

energy, waste reduction and usage of

renewable

initiatives

resources.

include

the

Standout widespread

use of solar panels and lighting and one of the Maldives’ largest state-ofthe-art hydroponic farms that have


40

EMERGING RESORTS

NEW CONTEMPORARY RESORT CORA CORA MALDIVES OPENS ITS SHORES Cora Cora Maldives is a five-star

including

contemporary resort located on the

complete with traditional Teppanyaki

pristine

table, an Asian Restaurant and an

this

Raa

stunning

premium

Atoll.

Utterly

idyllic,

new

resort

offers

all-inclusive

one-of-a-

Italian

a

Beach

Japanese

Club

restaurant

Restaurant

as

well as a Bazaar serving an array of

kind immersive experience of the

international cuisine.

Indian Ocean!

Catering

Cora Cora Maldives will be the very first

requirements, Cora Cora Maldives will

resort in the Maldives to showcase a

also serve an array of healthy options

licensed art gallery and museum! With

and

over 400 incredible local artefacts in the

home-made vegan ice cream created

collection, guests can explore the rich

using fresh fruits and organic ingredient.

history of the Maldives in its breath-

These are all part of the Gourmet Meal

taking natural surroundings.

Plan.

The resort’s accommodation echoes

Guests can further dive into the spirit

contemporary

of the Maldives at the PADI certified

Maldivian

experience

and features 100 beautiful villas that overlook the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. Four new restaurants,

for

a

plant-based

diving school.

wealth

dishes,

of

dietary

including


SUSTAINABILITY

INNAHURA MALDIVES RESORT’S SUSTAINABLE VEGETABLE & HERB GARDEN

Taking advantage of its natural, lush

outlets’ menus and create wholesome

green setting, Innahura Maldives has

dishes for guests and staff members.

created its own sustainable produce

New varieties of seeds are planted

garden onsite, where a huge variety of

regularly in the garden. During the first

vegetables, fruit, herbs, and spices are

harvest, the kitchen team gathered

grown.

110kg

Many of the kitchen’s ingredients such as

cucumbers, 5kg of cherry tomatoes,

cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants,

12kg of eggplants, 2kg of green peppers,

green

and 1kg of radishes.

peppers,

radishes,

alongside

of

watermelons,

48kg

of

tropical fruit such as watermelons and

The resort is also planning to introduce

bananas, travel less than 100 metres

a new experience for its guests, whereby

from the resort’s garden.

they can visit the garden and learn how

Grown using natural fertilizers, the

fruit and vegetables are cultivated on

organic produce harvested from the 12m

the island, as well as how this initiative

wide and 30m long sustainable garden

helps respect the natural environment.

is used by the talented chefs who use it to incorporate into the resort’s F&B

41


50 WIN OVER

HOLIDAYS 1st - 14th May 2022

EXP

maldivesvir tualtour.com


SUSTAINABILITY

43

AMILLA MALDIVES DOUBLES DOWN ON WELLNESS ETHOS, COMMITS TO ETHICAL MEAT SUPPLIES Maldives Resort and Residences has

majority of its imported meat and fish is

similar to Angus or Wagyu beef. Cape

Hazeldene’s also has state of the art

revolutionised the way it does business

as sustainable and ethical as possible.

Grim is also certified non-GMO and is

facility for breeding and rearing chicks

with suppliers.

This underlines the resort’s commitment

Global Animal Partnership Audited.

before moving them to the pastures.

has

to sustainability and healthy eating.

Amilla’s salmon, from Regal Marlborough

Their processing plant is fully enclosed,

wherever

Amilla’s comprehensive ‘Wellness Your

King Salmon in New Zealand, have

with temperature, humidity and air

possible, its’ meat and fish from the

Way’ wellness cuisine programme has

plenty of room to grow during their

pressure all controlled for bird comfort.

most ethical sources. As such, most of

already repositioned it as a leading

lives, with only two percent of the sea

Amilla Maldives Resort’s Sustainability

the meat and fish at Amilla will now be

Maldives resort for wellness.

farm being occupied by salmon and the

and Wellness Manager, Victoria Kruse,

free range, hormone-free and antibiotic

The changes include a new partnership

remaining ninety-eight percent by water.

said: “We have just completed a review

free. The animals and fish are reared

with Dingley Dell pork suppliers in the

Regal Marlborough King Salmon abides

of our meat suppliers to ensure that we

to give them the highest quality of life

UK. Their pork is free-range and is

by sustainable farming commitments

are sourcing the best products for our

possible. This means the contemporary,

humanely raised using no hormones

and is annually audited and certified

guests and for the world at large. Our

innovative menus contain the healthiest

or antibiotics. The farm is also active

by the independent Best Aquaculture

culinary team fully supports our shift

and highest quality ingredients available.

in creating a habitat for bumblebees,

Practices programme from The Global

to humanely raised, sustainably farmed

The majority of meat in the Maldives

which helps the whole ecosystem to

Aquaculture Alliance. They have also

meat suppliers. Also worth noting is that

has to be sourced from overseas due to

maintain balance.

set a goal of 100% reusable, recyclable

the change to these high quality, ethical

lack of agricultural land and the general

Cape Grim, a Tasmania-based farm, is

or compostable packaging across its

meats does not bring a big increase in

unsuitability of the small coral islands

now Amilla’s beef supplier. The Cape

business by 2025.

cost of goods, it’s a small change that

for raising livestock. And while Amilla

has the world’s cleanest air, according

Hazeldene’s Chicken in Australia has

can make a big difference.”

works hand in hand with local fishermen

to the world Meteorological Pollution

been farming free range chickens since

to supply fresh tuna, wahoo, sailfish,

Monitoring

air

1960. The family-owned company’s

lobster and more, there are still certain

becomes clean grass, and clean grass

free-range birds have the ability to

items such as cold-water fish like salmon

becomes clean meat. And this area sees

forage

that cannot be sourced locally. That’s

very high rainfall, meaning the grass

amongst grasses, weeds, bushes, and

why every resort in the island nation

grows very well. So, the cows do not have

trees in a secure environment. Their diet

works with international suppliers.

to walk very far to eat a lot, and as such,

is supported by locally supplied spice

But now, Amilla Maldives Resort has

they maintain their intra-muscular fat,

extracts and essential oils, creating

overhauled its supply chain to ensure the

meaning that they have marble scores

happy, healthy and tasty chicken.

The

five-star

committed

to

Maldives sourcing,

resort

programme.

Clean

naturally

and

instinctively



SUSTAINABILITY

45

4 WAYS IN WHICH HIDEAWAY BEACH RESORT & SPA EMPOWERS ECO-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES in refillable glass bottles. The plant is scrupulously maintained, with the bottles themselves sterilized in a special machine between each use. With an average of 600 bottles a day refilled for consumption, this is an environmentally sustainable solution to stay hydrated at Hideaway. As part of the fight against single-use plastics, the resort now only uses paper trays and straws.

Upcycled Planting

Crafts

And

Tree

In the cultivated areas around the resort, many woody and non-woody plants grow wild. Some of these plants are cut down, Sustainable practices and environment-

Every week local fishermen from nearby

friendly

islands come to Hideaway to deliver

alternatives

increasingly

are

commonplace

becoming in

the

and sell their catch to the resort. This

Maldivian hospitality industry. One of

includes live lobsters, reef fish, red

the most secluded island sanctuaries in

snappers, and tuna. Caught following

the country, Hideaway Beach Resort &

sustainable fishing practices, the fish is

Spa has been implementing a number of policies in the spirit of driving forward At Hideaway Beach, the resort’s green

supports Maldivians’ livelihood.

policies and practices aim to minimize

vegetables every day. Over 20 different

fish from the local fishermen, offering

varieties are grown on-site, from sweet

drinkable water from its water bottling

potatoes to watermelons to chillies

plant and in-house grown products from

and zucchini. This ensures that all the

its vegetable garden, planting new trees,

restaurants offer healthy, nutritious and

and using recycled plants to create

fresh produce, without having to import

beautiful crafts.

such ingredients and helping to minimise the impact on the environment.

Sustainable Fishing Practices

Guests can join the resort’s Nature &

The Maldives has always relied on the

several species of fish, such as sea turtles and sharks.

encloses developed cultivated areas

abundant supply of fresh fruits and

now implemented buying freshly caught

conservation, Maldivian law protects

The vegetable garden at Hideaway

garden provides the kitchens with an

ecosystem. Among these, Hideaway has

To ensure marine biodiversity and

centerpieces, crafts for guests – such

being planted and grown. The vegetable

help preserve the beautiful and delicate

pole and line method to catch fish.

to-day operations: indigenous decors,

where both fruits and vegetables are

the impact on its surroundings and

still use the traditional and sustainable

for the crafts Hideaway uses in the day-

Sustainable fishing not only protects and preserves marine biodiversity, but it also

the Maldivian identity. Local fishermen

provide a variety of resource materials

In-House Grown Fruits And served in all the restaurants of the resort. Vegetables

environment conservation.

ocean, making fishing an intrinsic part of

to assist with the cultivated areas. These

Vegetation

Exploration

tour

to

understand how they manage to grow

Water Bottling Plant To Limit fruits and vegetables on a remote island in the Indian Ocean and how this Plastic vegetation helps preserve and respect To help fight against single-use plastic water bottles, a reverse osmosis water bottling plant supplies all the island’s needs. The water processing plant delivers pure still or sparkling water

the environment.

as painted dried coconuts, providing excellent souvenirs to bring home for family and friends. Furthermore, the resort’s tree planting activity, available for both adults and children at Hideaway, helps maintain the luscious vegetation of the island. Tree planting has also landscaping and romantic purposes – i.e. leaving a lasting memory of your stay in paradise!


46

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

LILY BEACH DEFENDS TITLE OF BEST LUXURY ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT IN THE MALDIVES BY LUXURY LIFESTYLE AWARDS 2021 Lily Beach Resort & Spa has been

testament to the resort’s continued

crowned yet again by Luxury Lifestyle

commitment

Awards in 2021 in the category of ‘The

5-star service to guests. Likewise, this

Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the

is an encouragement for the Lily Beach

Maldives’. The award recognises Lily

team to keep delivering an outstanding

Beach’s excellent all-inclusive Platinum

experience.

Plan, its unrivalled friendly service

“On behalf of the whole team at Lily

culture, and the property’s overall

Beach Resort & Spa, we would like to

experience

for

wholeheartedly thank our guests for

everyone, whether it be for families or

choosing us for their stay in the Maldives

for couples.

and for being fans of our Platinum Plan,”

Luxury Lifestyle Awards is designed

says the resort’s Group Director of Sales

to reward the travel industry elite for

& Marketing, Mr. Desislav Gospodinov.

excellence in a number of categories.

Located

The annual awards programme aims to

Huvahendhoo in South Ari Atoll, Lily

connect people with the best of luxury.

Beach Resort & Spa is recognised as a

They evaluate more than 10,000 goods

leading 5-star All-Inclusive resort in the

and services in 400 categories from 60

Maldives and in the world. The resort

countries to give travellers a list of the

features its own unique and elevated

best of the best in the world.

concept of unpretentious luxury with

Lily Beach Resort & Spa is a winner

its generous all-inclusive plan. The plan

of multiple international awards and

includes far more than the traditional

recognitions. These accolades are a

package

offering

something

on

of

to

a

providing

private

cocktails,

excellent

island

of

premium

brands, champagne, and international

pavilions at Tamara Spa and a bevy of

culinary delights. It adds value with its

recreation activities are available at the

complimentary activities such as one

resort to be active after all that dining.

group yoga session with a Yoga Expert,

These

and up to three excursions, which can

training and cardio at the gym or having

be selected from fun options such as

a leisurely game of football or tennis.

sunset cruise, fishing trip, and coral

Additionally, the resort also provides

garden snorkelling.

snorkelling

Good Food and Enjoyable Activities are

beautiful house reef and nearby access

the main pillars of the resort. In terms of

to more than 50 awesome dive sites just

dining, Lily Beach continues to reinvent

a stone’s throw away from the resort’s

culinary offerings to stay abreast of

vicinity. All these experiences and more

trends in dining experiences, beverages,

awaits at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, only a

and presentations – especially with its

short 25-minute seaplane journey from

renowned buffet restaurant: Lily Maa.

Velana International Airport.

experiences

include

equipment

and

weight

has

a

Rejuvenating therapies are offered at the resort’s picturesque over-water spa

CHECK OUT TRIPADVISOR’S 2021 TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARD WINNING MALDIVES RESORTS TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel

discover, book, and give feedback on

guidance platform, has announced its

places to stay, both near and far. Despite

annual Travelers’ Choice® Best of the

significant disruption to the hospitality

Best Awards for Hotels, whereby several

industry in 2020, hotels around the

Maldivian resorts has made the list,

world found new ways to dazzle guests

enticing travelers to book their next trip

and deliver top-of-the-line service.

to the sunny side of life.

“Congratulations to all the winners of

Every year, TripAdvisor combs through

the 2021 Travelers’ Choice Awards,”

the millions of reviews from its global

said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial

community of travelers to surface the

Officer at TripAdvisor. “I know the past

hotels that people raved about most,

year has been extremely challenging for

and this year is no different. Even during

tourism businesses. What has impressed

the pandemic, travelers continued to

me is how businesses adapted to

these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing

guidelines,

and

utilizing

technology to prioritize guest safety. The Travelers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent – delivering quality experiences time and time again even while navigating changing customer expectations and

new ways of working. Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic.” See below the Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Hotel winners from Maldives for 2021:


AWARDS & ACCOLADES SAii Lagoon Maldives Wins 2021 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for Top Hotels in the World

List” hotels in the world. Baros is a

The boutique luxury resort features

adventurers.

boutique, private island of 75 overwater

50

location

and beachside garden villas and white

pool villas, custom- made and made

wide stretches of beach and a natural

sand beaches set in a turquoise lagoon,

for comfort designed by a renowned

Saltwater lake. The resort boasts two

just 25 minutes by speedboat from the

Maldivian architect. Every guest is

villa categories with vibrant minimalistic

“We would like to take this opportunity

Maldives International Airport. Guests

assigned an Island Host to help create

modern design infused with the local

to thank all the InSAiiders who have

can relax in a tranquil, tropical setting,

meaningful experiences and cater to

Maldivian architecture, the Lake View

expressed their joy staying with us at

embark on an amazing culinary journey

their every need. Activities include

Villas and the Ocean View Villas.

SAii Lagoon Maldives,” said Patrick

in Baros’ three restaurants and bars,

over-water spa treatments, sunrise yoga

de Staercke, General Manager of SAii

dine on a secluded sandbank or the

classes and snorkelling excursions to

Lagoon Maldives – Curio Collection by

unique Piano Deck in the middle of the

view the incredible house reef.

Hilton. “It is with great gratitude that

lagoon as well as take part in memorable

our dedication to hospitality ‘we care’,

snorkelling experiences around the

‘we share’ and ‘we’re there’ has been

flourishing house-reef.

contemporary

Maldivian

style

with

A

naturally

47

original

beautiful vegetation,

recognized by this very prestigious award”. Located just 15 mins from Velana international airport by boat, this unique new resort and venue offers 198 spacious guestrooms, beach villas and overwater villas presenting unique experiences interest

that

and

spark

promise

individual heart-made

Kandolhu Maldives Wins #4 Top Hotel in the World

memories. Ideal for couples, families or friends looking for an inspiring escape, the resort’s generous interiors and al

Rahaa Resort Wins 2021 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award

fresco spaces, personalized comforts and genuine service culture create an inspired playful destination getaway.

Milaidhoo Island Maldives Ranks ‘Best of the Best’ in TripAdvisor’s Rahaa Resort has been recognized as a Traveler Choice Awards winner of 2021 Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice

North Ari atoll property emerges a number one winner in all of Asia, and better yet ranks No. 4 among the Top 25 Hotels in the World awarded by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel

Milaidhoo has been acclaimed among

celebrates businesses that consistently

platform. This earns Kandolhu its

the top holiday properties in the world,

deliver fantastic experiences to travelers

second consecutive ‘Best of the Best’

being allowed to carry the ‘Best of the

around the globe, having earned great

accolade. The Traveller’s Choice Best

Best’ badge yet for another year as

traveler reviews on Tripadvisor over the

of the Best distinction is pooled from

voted by the Tripadvisor Community.

last 12 months. As challenging as the

online guest reviews and ratings of guest

Milaidhoo has also been recognised as

past year was, Rahaa Resort stood out

satisfaction along with editorial input

the third most romantic resort in Asia

by continuously delighting travelers.

and awarded to only the top one per

and 16th worldwide as well overall ninth

This award places Rahaa Resort among

cent of hotels worldwide.

in the Top Resorts in Asia.

the top 10 per cent of hotels in the world.

Small and intimate, Kandolhu is a

General Manager Shuhan says: “It’s

“It’s truly an incredible honor to receive

tranquil hideaway of only 30 villas

Baros Maldives Voted Top with great happiness and pride to learn this award,” Mohamed Nihaj, General Destination in the TripAdvisor that even during this difficult year, our Manager, Rahaa Resort. “We thank our Milaidhoo family continues to impress guests for sharing their experiences with Travelers’ Choice Awards 2021

promising raw luxury and serenity for

guests with impeccable service, passion

the Trip Advisor community. This award

charm renowned for its lively house reef,

Baros has again been voted by guests

and love.”

would not have been possible without

stellar food and beverage offering, and

writing

on

Due to the pandemic the resort was

the hard work from each member of our

genuine, friendly service. Adding to the

TripAdvisor as being among the world’s

closed for several months only re-

Team. Past year has been a challenging

resort’s growing list of merits, Kandolhu

top hotels. The luxury island resort was

opening its shores in October 2020.

year and to have won this award gives

takes the top most spot in Asia and

placed among the Top 25 Hotels for

Milaidhoo

us great pride to continue in our efforts

places in the eighth spot worldwide in

Romance in Asia (ranked 11th) for the

hygiene

and

in delivering amazing experiences to all

the Romance category.

tenth year having established itself as

managed to adhere to the new reality

our guests and to make Rahaa one of

These highly coveted awards celebrate

one of the best choices for couples and

while delivering caring and personalized

the top 4-star resorts in the Maldives.”

the idyllic resort’s consistently excellent

romance seekers.

service to guests, giving them a much

Rahaa is a 4-star resort located in the

performance having been awarded 30

The resort has also been voted in the

needed break from the restrictions of

untouched and low-traffic Laamu Atoll,

category awards in the past seven years.

Top 25 Most Saved Hotels on Trip

the pandemic.

an esteemed destination for a wide

Back in 2016, Kandolhu was placed as

Advisor (No.10). This puts Baros among

Milaidhoo is a pristine island paradise

range of travelers, from honeymooners

#11 Top Hotel in the World also.

the most sought-after holiday “Bucket

proudly rooted in local island traditions.

and families to groups of friends and

“For a humble, tiny island such as ours,

their

holidays

implemented and

safety

a

rigorous

protocol

This

as a crown gem of the Maldives as the

achievement

about

award.

Kandolhu Maldives lives up to its name

couples seeking some time away in paradise. The tiny resort exudes natural


48

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

You & Me Maldives Wins 2021 we attribute this success to our guests TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice for their unwavering support and to our Best of The Best Award

for their dedication.”

a quiet, relaxing retreat, far away from

An idyllic and naturally chic resort,

other hotels.

dedicated team who goes above and

private romantic getaway destination.

It’s an honour achieving this feat and

You & Me Maldives is your ultimate

beyond in making this possible,” Resort

You & Me Maldives has won 2021 Trip

Adults-only island, targeting couples,

Manager Marc LeBlanc said. “For what

Advisor Traveler’s Choice Best of the

honeymooners and friends, the resort is

has been an incredibly challenging

Best Awards with ranking in the top 1%

year for all in our wonderful industry,

of hotels worldwide.

this goes to great length in providing

Throughout a challenging year, You &

a boost of optimism for our incredible

Me Maldives stood out to travelers and

colleagues.”

provided an amazing experience despite

Kandolhu presents the brilliance of

unprecedented circumstances. Based

authentic hospitality paired with raw

on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews,

luxury and intuitive service. Fringed by a

award

house reef offering endless underwater

ultimate favorites around the globe.

adventures and a plethora of dining

“Providing an impeccable service to our

options, this tiny island makes for that

guests is our number one priority and it

perfect haven.

is indeed an honor to be on the list of

winners

represent

travelers’

2021 Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best Award Winners, which is the highest honor recognized by TripAdvisor. This award represents our consistent hard work, and we must continue on our path for excellence and professionalism. With almost 2 years of successful operation into the luxury resort segment in the Maldives, it is indeed a huge accomplishment for us to be presented such an award. We would like to thank all our guests and our hardworking team

KURUMBA MALDIVES WINS TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY AWARDS 2021 Kurumba Maldives has been awarded as

the standard of entries was incredibly

the winner of The Travel & Hospitality

high. The judging panel had great

Awards 2021.

difficulty in narrowing down the entries

Travel & Hospitality awards is a global

but the winners reflect the very best in

recognition programme for the travel

travel and hospitality standards. The

industry recognising the very best hotels,

team at Travel & Hospitality Awards,

tour operators, experience providers,

said: “We were overwhelmed by the

spa & wellness facilities, restaurants, and

quality of entries this year. We hope this

technology and innovation companies.

guide will be a useful tool for discerning

Travel awards are given based on the

travelers planning their next luxury

review of customer feedback alongside

getaway. Congratulations once again to

our own collected entry data. Nominees

all our winners.”

are then categorized and compared on

Kurumba Maldives is a cosmopolitan

a regional basis by an expert panel of

Maldives island with a wide variety

judges.

of

According to the Travel & Hospitality

of restaurants and bars, vibrant live

Awards, over 4,000 nominations were

entertainment, hosted social events and

received for this year’s programme, and

lots of activities to choose from.

accommodation,

diverse

choice


AWARDS & ACCOLADES

49

MALDIVES RECEIVES “BEST LUXURY DESTINATION OF THE YEAR” AWARD BY CONNOISSEUR CIRCLE The Maldives is awarded the “Best Luxury

award from the Connoisseur Circle

Destination of the Year” by Connoisseur

Hospitality Awards. We are grateful for

Circle, a popular, luxury publication for

the recognition we have received for

the German speaking markets. It is the

the work undertaken by each and every

only German-language magazine that

stakeholder in the Maldives tourism

exclusively addresses luxury travelers

industry”, stated Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed,

featuring high-end hotels and exclusive

the Managing Director of Visit Maldives.

destinations worldwide.

In addition, Mr. Thoyyib Mohamed

The Connoisseur Circle Hospitality

remarked upon the successful revival of

Awards is an initiative by the publication

the Maldivian tourism industry and the

and are among the most prestigious

ongoing vaccination campaign in the

prizes in the international luxury hotel

destination.

industry, presented for the 9th time

Furthermore, Visit Maldives is currently

this year. Consisting of renowned travel

conducting a year-long campaign with

journalists and tourism insiders, a

Connoisseur Circle utilizing a multitude

16-member expert jury applied strict

of platforms in both the online and

criteria to thoroughly evaluate a total of

offline channels of the publication

27 candidates in 9 categories in which

in order to promote Maldives as a

Maldives won under the ‘Best Luxury

safe haven and uplift the destination

Destination of the Year’ category.

presence in the German luxury market.

“We are extremely honored to receive

Over 30,000 consumers are reached

the ‘Best luxury destination of the year’

through the online channels with 43,500

users on their social media platforms.

ongoing travel restrictions, their market

Additionally, 47,000 copies in Germany,

contributions

9,000 copies in Switzerland and 25,000

Germany holding a market ranking of 3

copies in Austria are circulated reaching

whereas Switzerland and Austria rank at

many high-income readers.

11 and 17 respectively.

are

significant,

with

25,129 visitors from Germany, 9,330 from Switzerland and 5,487 from Austria arrived in Maldives till May 2021. Though these figures are low compared to the figures of 2020 due to

REETHI BEACH RESORT ACHIEVES AGODA’S 2021 CUSTOMER REVIEW AWARD Reethi Beach Resort, Baa Atoll Maldives

Schmidt Resort Manager, Reethi Beach

achieves Agoda’s 2021 customer review

Resort, Baa Atoll Maldives.

award for its consistent and excellent

With the challenges faced by the travel

service record.

industry over the past years, winning

By this award Agoda recognizes their

this award not only speaks about our

partners

distinguished

exceptional service but it is also a

themselves with outstanding hospitality

testament to our hard work, dedication,

and superior guest reviews.

and passion for providing your guests

“We are pleased to receive this accolade

with an experience they truly value.

for our commitment and excellence of

The iconic 4* Reethi Beach Resort

service provided to all our guests. We

is located in the known Baa Atoll, a

are open for all and ready to welcome

UNESCO

which

Boasting 129 beautiful villas with a

flight followed by a short 15 minutes

our guest now more than ever. With

hosts the world-famous Hanifaru Bay,

path through tropical vegetation leads

speedboat ride.

sanitization protocols in place, it’s our

home of the majestic Manta rays during

from each Villa to pristine sands and

prime precedence that every visiting

the months of June till October. Indulge

a crystal-clear lagoon. All come with

guest feels safe and satisfied while

in a rustic Robinson Crusoe feeling

daybeds offering breath-taking ocean

having fun and creating unforgettable

combined with a relaxed atmosphere

views. Accessible by short 35 minutes

moments at Reethi Beach” said Denise

– a true Maldivian island experience.

seaplane ride or 20 minutes domestic

that

have

Biosphere

Reserve


*Image courtesy Patina Maldives

Lights

Temperature

Shades

iPad App

Monitoring

Lutron helps enhance guest comfort, improve staff efficiency, and save energy throughout the property. Choose the ideal combination of light, shade and temperature control solutions, and specify with confidence.

KEIRETSU PVT LTD www.keiretsu.mv | info@keiretsu.mv 1st Floor, H. Fennaage, Buruzu Magu, Malé, 20054, Maldives