Kurumba Maldives Celebrates 46th anniversary

On this day 46 years ago, Kurumba Maldives opened its door to the first tourists who got to visit the Maldives. This marked the beginning of a romance where the whole world fell in love with the beautiful sun, sea and sands of the Maldives. Since then Maldives have become one of the most sought after dream destination in the world, attracting over 1.3 million tourists annually.

To commemorate this wonderful day, we began with a BBQ Master cooking competition face-off between guests and management team at Kandu Bar. Yes, the flames where hot and grills fiery! Later in the afternoon a mini-Olympics took place, where we found our very own Micheal Phelps (tanned and brown version) at the Water Sports Centre with snorkel equipment relay, ping-pong games and bathrobe challenges. After the fun and games, everyone joined the Management Cocktail at Athiri 1 for drinks and relaxed by the beach to the sounds of slow breaking waves and a setting sun.

The day was finally concluded with lively cultural dance at the Conference Hall after dinner. It paid off not to stuff too much at dinner because every ounce of energy was needed to swing those hips to the rhythm and beats of music from around the world

For more information about upcoming events in Kurumba Maldives, please check the events calendar

For more information on Kurumba Maldives’ CSR program, which includes environment initiatives, please check CSR activities

ABOUT KURUMBA MALDIVES

Kurumba was the very first private island resort in the Maldives when it opened its doors in 1972 in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives, celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year.

Opened by four young Maldivians on an uninhabited coconut plantation island in October 1972, Kurumba marked the beginning of the tourist industry in the country. At that time, the Maldives was isolated with no contact with the outside world except by ham radio, no telephones, mains electricity or water, few vehicles and no paved roads, and only a small airstrip built by volunteers.

Kurumba began with 30 huts built of coral and thatched with coconut leaves; the first guests were barefoot backpackers in search of sand, sea and sun. The Maldivian hosts prepared meals informally.

Today the resort is still Maldivian owned and managed. About 1,000 tourists visited the island in 1972; in 2016 1.4 million tourists stayed in over 117 resorts through the Maldives.

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10-minute speedboat ride from the airport.

Kurumba draws on its proud history, charismatic personality and heartfelt service, to offer compelling and diverse experiences amidst a stunning island setting.

Our Maldives resort offers an array of eight styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread among the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants and four bars to choose from.

Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparallel choice of dining experience and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and family alike.

Kurumba Maldives … Maldives in Full Colours.

Meet the New Marine Biologist at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort has appointed Joan Li as the new resident marine biologist to take forward the OZONE (Outrigger’s ZONE) conservation initiative. A Chinese national from near the North Korean border, Joan says her new job is a dream posting. Here she shares a little of her backstory and tells us what resort guests can expect when they visit Konotta

What is your background? 
I was born in a small city in northeast China called Dandong. It’s across the river from North Korea. But we moved to Shenzhen in southeast China near Hong Kong when I was six.

Being born and raised in China, what made you want to become a marine biologist?
I’ve always stayed in cities near the sea. The mystery of underwater life has always intrigued me, especially after I started diving. With a mask on, the beauty of the underwater world is revealed. Nothing can compare to the feeling of seeing marine life alive in its natural habitat.

Where did you study in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I studied general biology, including cell biology, molecular biology – and marine biology.

What made you decide to take up scuba diving and take your career in a whole new direction?
My first diving experience was a birthday retreat with my friend. After seeing how marine life exists in the 70% of the planet that we usually don’t have access to, I just wanted to dive as much as possible. When I started diving in 2016, the underwater world completely changed me. It made me realise the possibility of having another life – rather than one in a laboratory or office.

Tell us about your experience in Malaysia and Philippines
I passed my first three levels of scuba diving at courses in Sipadan in Malaysia, one of the top dive spots in the world. After seeing countless jackfish, barracuda, turtles and sharks swimming freely around me, I felt spoiled. I wanted to find a place that I could stay longer to explore below the sea. In 2017, I got the opportunity to become an intern at a marine conservation group in the Philippines. I was diving twice a day, learning about coral reef monitoring, seagrass and mangrove ecosystems. I conducted my own research. I carried out more than 200 underwater surveys, which taught me a lot – more than any textbook.

What attracted you to working at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort?
The internship I had in the Philippines was voluntary. In order to further pursue a career in marine biology and the diving industry, I found opportunities online. Outrigger had a position for a resident marine biologist. Working in the paradise of the Maldives was a very attractive proposition.

How is the Outrigger OZONE coral conservation program going at Konotta?
The total number of restored coral is now around 400 branches. Outrigger had already established its coral restoration project for three years through previous marine biologist Caterina. We’re now looking to involve more guests to join our coral restoration activities as well as showing them the wonderful underwater world. Right now, we have 19 coral frames restored underwater as well as stone piles with new coral growing on them.

How can guests join in the conservation program?
Guest can join the Outrigger’s monthly coral restoration workshop and marine talk to find out more about the mysterious underwater environment. Every Wednesday and Saturday I give free marine educational talks. In fact, these can be arranged anytime.

What educational activities do you have for kids at Outrigger Konotta?
Kids can join a marine biology semi-submarine so that even for youngsters that don’t know how to swim, they have a chance to see the marine creatures around Konotta.

For guests who can scuba dive, what experiences do you like to show them at Outrigger Konotta?
In particular, I’d like to take them for a night dive and have a look at the fluorescence corals under UV light.

If they can only snorkel, what can you show them?
If they can only snorkel, we have a group of stingrays always hanging out near the jetty. Sometimes when there’s a group of sardines and mackerels around, baby reef sharks will be there too. I’d love to take the chance and show them how friendly and curious these beautiful reef sharks are. They really are portrayed in a wrong way in movies and TV shows.

What advice do you have for guests who love nature who are coming to stay at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort?
Just grab your mask, snorkel and fins and enjoy the blue!

ABOUT THE OUTRIGGER KONOTTA MALDIVES RESORT
A truly unspoiled paradise, the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is your own private world surrounded by pristine natural beauty and unmatched luxury. Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort offers a sense of complete privacy and remote luxury, surrounded by natural beauty. Set on a private island in the azure Indian Ocean, the resort features spacious stunning villas, all with private pools. Guests can enjoy a range of activities including, innovative dining experiences, rejuvenating spa treatments, and world-class water sports and scuba diving at our reef centre. The private island of Konotta is located 211 miles (340 kilometers) to the south of Malé and is conveniently accessible via a 55-minute flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private yacht. Visit the property on Outrigger.com.

ABOUT OUTRIGGER HOTELS AND RESORTS
For more than 70 years, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has charted a journey of discovery – expanding from Hawaii to premier resort destinations in Fiji, Thailand, Guam, Mauritius and the Maldives. The privately held hospitality company currently operates and/or has in development 37 properties with approximately 6,500 rooms – inviting guests to ‘Escape Ordinary’ with authentic Signature Experiences and the Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program. Outrigger’s multi-branded portfolio includes Outrigger® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger® and Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger® while also managing select properties from top international hotel brands including Embassy Suites®, Best Western®, Wyndham Vacation Ownership® and Hilton Grand VacationsTM. Find out more atOutrigger.com or visit @OutriggerResorts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Kurumba Maldives Celebrates Maldives Independence Day

Every year on the 26th of July, Maldives celebrates its Independence Day with a series of festivities to be held throughout the country. If you were to visit the Maldives in July, you would be promised a show on this day either on the main island- Male’ or in any other resort islands like Kurumba Maldives.

At Kurumba Maldives, we celebrated this special event in our unique way with many activities carrying out during the day. The colours of Maldivian flags and traditional costumes together with the beats of “boduberu” drums created an appealing picture of colours and sounds, giving guests a rare glimpse of the real Maldives.

Maldivian art & craft activities were one of the highlights of the event, attracting many guests to participate in. Guests at all ages were given a wonderful opportunity to learn more about some local arts & crafts through activities such as Roses Making Class with coconut leaves, Maldivian Flag Face Painting, Write Name in Dhivehi language on coconut shell. At night, Maldivian-inspired theme buffet at Vihamanaa restaurant offered a great choice for food lovers to experience Maldivian cuisine.

The day full of excitements ended enthusiastically with a Maldivian fashion show, Boduberu performance, a mix of Bandiyaa Jehun with Dhandi Jehun dance and DJ performance at Kandu Bar, remarked a successful event on the occasion of the 53rd celebration of Maldives Independence day.

For more information about upcoming events in Kurumba Maldives, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-event- calendar

For more information on Kurumba Maldives’ CSR program, which includes environment initiatives, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-csr-activities

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10-minute speedboat ride from the airport. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Beautiful gardens, palm-fringed white sandy beaches and a vibrant house reef are the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort. The resort offers an array of nine styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach.

With nine different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of the dining experience and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic refuges and quiet spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and family alike.

Over the years, Kurumba has played host to a variety of foreign dignitaries and Heads of State, including Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former US Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. It has also been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including Maldives Leading Hotel (World Travel Awards) in 2010 and 2011, and Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for Best Service and Luxury (2013) as well as the number one All-Inclusive resort in Asia (2014 and 2015), and number one best All-Inclusive resort in the world (2015).

The Nautilus Maldives creates ‘A Place Beyond Time’ for its guests

In our busy, hectic world, who doesn’t yearn to escape from the pressures of life, of meeting expectations, of just not having enough time to do the things that really matter? Who doesn’t sometimes dream of escaping the stresses of the everyday world for a remote tropical island where it seems time finally stands still? With the launch of its new video, The Nautilus, a privately-owned island in the Maldives, answers those questions. Opening in January 2019, the video showcases the island’s philosophy of giving absolute freedom to its guests in a place where time has no meaning and convention is set aside. As a result, a stay at The Nautilus is noticeably different from other luxury resorts: here service is truly bespoke and activities follow the lead of the natural rhythms of nature; sunrise, sunset, the tides, the phases of the moon.

How is this island so different? In keeping with its new bohemian style, The Nautilus doesn’t judge, doesn’t impose and doesn’t inhibit its guests. Restaurants have a flexible approach to opening hours and food. Menus are considered only a starting point for discussions about what the guest would like to eat and the chef can cook favourite recipes or create specialities as desired. Guests can enjoy gourmet treats from the poolside deli all day long without charge, and each guest’s house is stocked with complimentary teas, coffee, water and a selection of soft drinks. Breakfast is whenever the guest feels like eating and doesn’t have to be in the restaurant. Blissful spa treatments can take place without an appointment.

Pleasingly for a leading luxury resort, there are no dress codes and going barefoot is encouraged – even in the restaurants. Most of all, the island can conjure up tailored activities that are meaningful to each guest, leaving them feeling as though they’ve had more than just a beach holiday. The Nautilus will craft excursions and adventures, taking guests where they want to be when they want to be there, from midnight swims in glowing phosphorescent waters alongside a marine biologist, to exploring deserted islands on its custom-built yacht or floating in a ‘star-filled’ pool under the milky way while the House Captain whisks up another perfect cocktail.

Guests looking for a mindful holiday are invited to join daily complimentary yoga, meditation and fitness classes. Watersports activities such as snorkelling on the island’s excellent house reef, kayaking in a transparent canoe, or stand-up-paddle boarding are free: guests simply decide when they want to go – no need for timetabled activities or organized excursions.

For those who sometimes feel at war with the clock, The Nautilus Maldives is a place where – on its island at least – time becomes an irrelevance.

About The Nautilus

With only 26 beach and ocean houses on a tiny coral reef-encircled island, The Nautilus Maldives is a bohemian hideaway located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Here, a kaleidoscopic wonderland of incredible marine life awaits discovery: trips to world-renowned Hanifaru Bay to swim amongst whale sharks and manta rays; diving on iridescent coral reefs; exploring remote sandbanks and deserted islands or just cruising the ocean on a custom-built yacht are among the many adventures guests can look forward to. Built by a Maldivian entrepreneur, this is his ultimate project in the country, created to express his personal vision of the best that luxury can be – not just in the Maldives, but worldwide. A celebration of the individual spirit, The Nautilus offers liberation and freedom unconditional. Space to share, to meet, where guests are encouraged to be themselves and shape their own personal journey. And, most of all, to celebrate the people they’re with, in any way they choose. Because in the end, it’s these simple, elemental pleasures – that ability to simply be – that form the greatest luxury of all.

Room rates at The Nautilus Maldives start at US$1,967 for two in a Beach House with pool on bed and breakfast basis.

Be part of the Nautilus’ story:

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives partnered up with UNDP for Promoting Disability Inclusive Forum.

Malé, Maldives, 23 June 2017: Hotel Jen Malé Maldives partnered with United Nations Development Program UNDP Maldives in their “Promoting disability inclusive forum” which was a part of the Housing Development Corporation project on smart cities.

For more information on the ‘Smart cities’ project please click

//hdc.com.mv/news/hulhumale-smart-cities-project-ooredoo-undp-maldives/

The disability inclusive forum commenced on 23 June 2018 to discuss this in depth.

The forum was chaired by Her Excellency Ms.Zenysha Shaeed Zaki, Minister of Gender and Family and senior officials of the ministry, Ooredoo Maldives, Housing development corporations and participants from different NGO of Maldives including (Maldives Association of Physical Disables, Blind and Visually Impaired Society of Maldives, Maldives Deaf Association, Care Society, Maldives Autism Association, Beautiful Eyes Down Syndrome Association and Advocating the Rights of Children).

The aim of the PDID forum was to review and improve the infrastructure development, especially in highlight challenges being experienced by persons with disabilities in exercising their rights as equal citizens and raise awareness on enabling mechanism and opportunity that reduce these challenges and enable persons with disabilities to participate as an equal citizen in mainstream society.

Hotel Jen Male Maldives as the host partner for this event highlighted on their People with Disability program which is a brand CSR initiative under the “Embrace” program. Ms Nina Mohamed Marketing & Communications Manager talked about the job opportunities available at the hotel for PWDs and that hotel Jen has been actively participating in giving back to the community through its CSR “Embrace” project throughout the years.

It is the global commitment of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts to employ PWDs at each property. Hotel Jen Male Maldives aims to continue providing employment opportunities to locals with PWDs.

About Hotel Jen

Catering to urban adventurers, the Hotel Jen brand delivers quality, comfort and value with a playful twist and friendly service. Hotel Jen embraces the love for life and travel, helping curious travellers to leave boring behind through spontaneous experiences, unpublished insights and unconventional perspectives. Launched in 2014, Hotel Jen offers nine vibrant hotels in some of the best locations across the Asia Pacific, including Singapore; Hong Kong; Shenyang, China; Manila; Penang and Johor in Malaysia; and Malé, Maldives. A number of Hotel Jen properties are in the pipeline including in Beijing and Malaysia. For more information, visit www.hoteljen.com or join the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Chef Gyoten – The 3 Michelin-starred young sushi master returns to Soneva Fushi this August

Japan’s youngest three-starred chef to host lunches and dinners at So Hands On at Out of the Blue

Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, is set to welcome back Chef Kenji Gyoten to Soneva Fushi from August 18 to 29 2018 as part of Soneva’s Festival of Colour. Guests at Soneva Fushi will get the chance to skip the young sushi master’s six-month-long waiting list at his restaurant, Sushi Gyoten, in Fukuoka and dine with him for lunch or dinner during his two-week residency at the luxury Maldives resort.

While at Soneva Fushi Chef Kenji will be heading up So Hands OnOut of the Blue’s sushi counter that seats a mere five diners at a time and will be serving lunches and dinners to guests

Chef Kenji was born in 1982 in the Yamaguchi Prefecture and was influenced by his grandfather, a sushi chef, into becoming a sushi chef himself. After working underneath his mentors in Tokyo, the chef opened Sushi Gyoten in Fukuoka at the age of 26 and has received three Michelin stars in three consecutive years since 2014.

Chef Kenji is known for using the hontegaeshi (hand flip) technique of Endomae nigiri to prepare his bite-sized sushi – a technique that is rarely seen these days. At Sushi Gyoten the chef uses rice that has been sourced from a region in Kyushu, where there are extreme temperature differences between night and day for its unique flavour. He sources his seafood both locally and from the renowned Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo to ensure he only serves the very best.

Soneva Fushi welcomes two more Michelin-starred chefs in August as part of the Festival of Colour. The three-starred Chef Christian Le Squer from France defines himself as a creator of flavours and composer of tastes, shaping and assembling ingredients in order to enhance them and obtain the most exacting flavours with perfect coherence. Chef Kiko Moya, from Spain, has two Michelin stars. He offers gourmet travellers dishes full of delicacy, skill and traditional flavours. His dishes comprise of aromas and textures of game, handmade sausages, mushrooms, and fish such as sea bass, cod or tuna. Both chefs will be cooking at Out of the Blue’s Once Upon a Table. Christian will be at Soneva Fushi from August 11-25 and Kiko from August 25 – September 1.

In February, Soneva launched its first ever year-long campaign known as a Festival of Colour to celebrate the diverse array of guest activities and experiences on offer this year. Soneva has confirmed a huge line-up of visiting experts, including chefs, authors, wine producers, world-champion free-divers, astronomers, artists, wellness practitioners, tennis coaches and more at all resorts. Soneva’s Festival of Colour runs from February 2018 – February 2019.

Kurumba Maldives recognises Global Wellness Day

9th June has been accepted worldwide as Global Wellness Day with celebrations taking place in 100 countries around the world. “One day can change the whole life” has become the motto of this day. A day of dedication to fitness activities and wellness experience focused on living well and healthy.

At Kurumba Maldives, guests and team members had the opportunity to take part in a range of wellness activities to celebrate this special day.

yogaThe day kicked off with an idyllic Sunrise Yoga session by the beach, followed by Cross Fit Exercise, Kayak Race around the Island and finally ended on an energetic note of a forty-five minutes Zumba class. Take-the-walk challenge was the highlight of the day, with an aim to remind everyone that a simple practice can make a huge difference to our body.

The event saw the participation of not only guests but also team members on “No Selling of Cigarettes” challenge which encouraged smokers to reduce cigarette consumption for a better and healthy lifestyle.

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba was the very first private island resort in the Maldives when it opened its doors in 1972 in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives, celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year.

Opened by four young Maldivians on an uninhabited coconut plantation island in October 1972, Kurumba marked the beginning of the tourist industry in the country. At that time, the Maldives was isolated with no contact with the outside world except by ham radio, no telephones, mains electricity or water, few vehicles and no paved roads, and only a small airstrip built by volunteers.

Kurumba began with 30 huts built of coral and thatched with coconut leaves; the first guests were barefoot backpackers in search of sand, sea and sun. The Maldivian hosts prepared meals informally. Today the resort is still Maldivian owned and managed.

About 1,000 tourists visited the island in 1972; in 2016 1.4 million tourists stayed in over 117 resorts through the Maldives.

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10-minute speedboat ride from the airport.

Kurumba draws on its proud history, charismatic personality and heartfelt service, to offer compelling and diverse experiences amidst a stunning island setting.

Our Maldives resort offers an array of eight styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread among the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants and four bars to choose from.

Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparallel choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and family alike.

Kurumba Maldives … Maldives in Full Colours.

Kurumba Maldives Celebrates World Oceans Day

The annually celebrated World Oceans Day comes along every 8th June with numerous events and activities to be held around the world, bringing people together to celebrate and honour the ocean.

To support this global environmental initiative, Kurumba Maldives hosted a number of activities for guests and team members to participate. Complimentary Snorkeling Safari and Lagoon Cleaning in conjunction with Clean-up dive activities were taken place with the participation of those who wished to take part in the lagoon and house reef clean-up activities. Inspired by the theme of this year’s event ‘preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean’, the clean-up activity aimed to raise awareness about the danger of plastics to marine life.

World Oceans DayChildren were also encouraged to engage in this event and show their appreciation to the ocean in a fun Art Competition organized at the Kids Club.

World Oceans DayThe celebration day marked by a Marine Life Presentation which helps ocean lovers to learn more about the inhabitants of the ocean- home to a diverse range of marine life.

For more information about upcoming events in Kurumba Maldives, please check //www.kurumba.com/maldives-event-calendar

For more information on Kurumba Maldives’ CSR program, which includes environment initiatives, please check //www.kurumba.com/maldives-csr-activities

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba was the very first private island resort in the Maldives when it opened its doors in 1972 in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives, celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year.

Opened by four young Maldivians on an uninhabited coconut plantation island in October 1972, Kurumba marked the beginning of the tourist industry in the country. At that time, the Maldives was isolated with no contact with the outside world except by ham radio, no telephones, mains electricity or water, few vehicles and no paved roads, and only a small airstrip built by volunteers.

Kurumba began with 30 huts built of coral and thatched with coconut leaves; the first guests were barefoot backpackers in search of sand, sea and sun. The Maldivian hosts prepared meals informally. Today the resort is still Maldivian owned and managed. About 1,000 tourists visited the island in 1972; in 2016 1.4 million

tourists stayed in over 117 resorts through the Maldives.

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10-minute speedboat ride from the airport.

Kurumba draws on its proud history, charismatic personality and heartfelt service, to offer compelling and diverse experiences amidst a stunning island setting.

Our Maldives resort offers an array of eight styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread among the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants and four bars to choose from.

Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparallel choice of dining experience and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and family alike.

Kurumba Maldives … Maldives in Full Colours.

Olivier Larcher Appointed General Manager At Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo has appointed Olivier Larcher as the resort’s General Manager, ahead of its opening.

A native of France, Larcher brings with him over two decades of experience in luxury hospitality, having worked with renowned international hospitality brands such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and Dalian Wanda Group. His career has taken him to countries such as South Africa, Morocco, China and Bora Bora.

Prior to taking up the General Manager’s post at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo in April, Larcher served as the General Manager of Sofitel Foshan in China for two years — his first posting with AccorHotels. “We are excited to be launching AccorHotels’ first flagship Raffles property in the Maldives and welcome Larcher aboard,” Gilles Cretallaz, Vice President of Operations, Luxury Brands for Upper Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and the Maldives at AccorHotels, was quoted in a statement, as saying. “He demonstrates an immense passion for refined resorts in unique and cultural destinations and is a strategic new member of our executive team in the Maldives.”

The French multinational hotel group took over the management of the existing resort on the island of Meradhoo from Dubai-based hospitality group Jumeirah in September, with plans to reposition the luxury resort under the iconic Raffles Hotels and Resorts brand.

Set to open in late 2018 after major enhancements to the existing Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury Resort Managed by AccorHotels, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort boasts 21 island villas and 16 ocean villas with private pools, three restaurants, a scenic cocktail bar and an array of facilities and activities to relax, rejuvenate and reinvigorate the body, mind and spirit.

These facilities include an award-winning luxury spa, overwater fitness centre, yoga programmes, water sports, private dining options, 24-hour butler and private chef service, along with snorkelling and diving at its finest. The resort’s PADI-certified dive centre offers adventures through the wonders of some of most breath-taking coral reefs in the world.

A 55-minute flight from the main Velana International Airport and a 15-minute speedboat transfer can access the resort, located on Meradhoo island in Gaafu Alifu atoll.

A newcomer to the Maldives booming tourism industry, AccorHotels is on a major expansion drive, with three existing properties and two under development in the island nation.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives announces Candice Barwell as new Director of Sales & Marketing

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is delighted to announce that Candice Barwell has been appointed as the resort’s new Director of Sales & Marketing. Set to join the team this month, Barwell will be responsible for planning and implementing the sales and marketing strategy, optimising the hotel’s revenue and market share, and will continue to establish Shangri-La’s Villingili as one of the leading luxury resorts in the Maldives.

Barwell has over 20 years of experience in the luxury hotel and hospitality industry having worked with some of the world’s leading hotel brands across Europe and the U.A.E. She is excited to join Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts for the first time following her most recent post as Director of Sales & Marketing at Rosewood, Abu Dhabi where she achieved the highest revenue since the hotel opened in 2012. Prior to this, Barwell held the position as Complex Director of Sales overseeing Starwood Hotels and Resorts opening of three hotels in Dubai, including the Emirate’s first St Regis and W branded properties.

Barwell’s leadership skills, attention to detail, hands-on approach and wealth of experience ensure that she will be a valuable addition to the Shangri-La’s Villingili team. Commenting on her appointment, Candice Barwell enthuses: “I am delighted to be joining the dynamic team here at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa. It is certainly exciting to be part of the prestigious Shangri-La group and I look forward to working with this talented team and promoting this flagship property offering a unique experience in the Maldives.”

The brightest gem in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, Villingili Island is a haven for those seeking their own Shangri-La. Nestled in the sheltered waters of the southernmost atoll in the archipelago of the Republic of Maldives is Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives. The heart-shaped atoll is about 18 kilometres wide and 15 kilometres long, with a stunning coral reef formation that is the largest in the country. The luxury of space makes the perfect haven for couples and families alike, ensuring each experience at the resort is personal. The resort has three restaurants, each with a distinct vibe, serving cuisine to suit all tastes.

The resort offers an extensive range of activities both on land and at sea. Most notable include CHI, The Spa, exploring the luscious tropical forest, a 9-hole golf course, the only one in the Maldives, or diving into an aquatic playground of water sport activities. The clocks are set one hour ahead on the island so that guests can enjoy an additional hour of daylight – just enough time to relax with a sun-downer at M Lounge to the sound of chilled beats.