Maldives participates at FESPO 2016

Maldives is currently being represented in FESPO held in Zurich, Switzerland from 28 – 31 January 2015. Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation together (MMPRC) together with Reethi Beach Resort, Crown & Champa Resorts, Loama Resort Maldives and JA Maldives Pvt. Ltd., will be promoting the destination in the 4 day event. Moreover, Visit Maldives Year (VMY) 2016 will also be promoted at the Maldives stand.

The theme of the FESPO is “Ship Ahoy” dedicated to boat trips. FESPO is the largest holiday and travel fair in Switzerland and is increasingly becoming a key indicator for the tourism sector; it is an excellent platform and offers its visitors information for holidays and travel. The event is known to attract huge number of visitors from Switzerland and German speaking countries. FESPO 2015 attracted over 62,000 visitors including trade, media and consumers.

Switzerland is an important market to the Maldives; it is among the top 10 countries in terms of arrival to the Maldives. In 2015, 31,923 tourist arrivals were recorded from Switzerland. 2015 noted an increase of 1.4% in arrivals compared to 2014. Switzerland accounts for 2.6% of the total market share in 2015.

Maldives takes part at EMITT 2016

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation together with the Tourism Industry is currently taking part in the East Mediterranean Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT). 5 industry partners are taking part in the exhibition with the Deputy Managing Director, Mohamed Adam and Chief Operating Officer, Mohamed Hamzeel of MMPRC. The fair will go on from the 28th till the 31st of January 2016.

Organized and run by ITE Turkey, EMITT has the gained profound experience and expertise in the tourism and travel sector in the past 20 years. Combining the powerful global network and experience, EMITT will continue to create a more powerful synergy for the tourism industry.

A total of 4.500 companies, organizations and resorts from around 70 countries will take part in EMITT Tourism Exhibition, which is recognized as one of the leading tourism exhibitions in the world. The exhibition which will take place in 11 halls equaling to a total exhibition space of 70 thousand meter squares at Tuyap Exhibition and Convention Center. The fair will feature national pavilions, Turkey’s vacation destinations, winter and outdoor tourism destinations, hotels and tourism centers, tour operators, agencies and hotels as participants and a wide range of vibrant vacation destinations will be introduced to visitors.

Maldives will be showcased in a stand area of 60sqm, conceptually designed to expose the uniqueness with photos of Maldivian tranquil sceneries. More advertising spaces such as floor tiles, staircase footsteps and outdoor flags, demonstrated in different locations of the fairground will be displaying and promoting the Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign.

Turkey is the leading market of East Mediterranean Europe, holding a total of 0.8% market share. The Turkish market has been growing and showed positive growth in the past few years, and is marked as a market with good potential. In the year 2015, a total of 10,200 tourists visited Maldives from Turkey, which is an increase of 17.7% when compared to the year 2014.

Michael Wieser named CEO at Lily Hotels and Resorts

Michael Wieser has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Lily Hotels and Resorts Pvt Ltd, owner and operator of Lily Beach Resort & Spa and Dhonakulhi Investments Pvt Ltd, owner and operator of Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. Formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Lily Hotels Pvt Ltd and Dhonakulhi Investment Pvt Ltd, the promotion will see Wieser take the helm to develop and grow the company whilst overseeing the implementation of all strategic and operational elements.

Wieser will work with his dedicated teams across luxury resorts Lily Hotels and Resorts and the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, on products and services, e-commerce, construction, operations, quality assurance, as well as the sales and marketing. His three decades of experience spans the successful management of large-scale luxury hospitality groups, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

He was the Middle East Managing Director of the Domina Hotel Group, overseeing nine hotels in the region. During this time he was instrumental in the group’s rebranding and pioneering innovation, whilst managing a team of over 1,600 employees. Most recently, Wieser has played a key role in the $50 million renovation project of the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, a luxury five-star property on Dhonakulhi Island, the second largest island in the Maldives.

In the lead-up to his promotion, Wieser demonstrated a track record of driving sales and profit to the newly unveiled resort, set to become one of the Indian Ocean’s most sought after addresses. Wieser brings a true passion for the industry to his new role and the belief that hotels, spas and residences should provide a sanctuary for guests to experience the true art of hospitality and luxury.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Unveils Its Annual Underwater Coral Christmas Tree

Celebrating the festive season with family and friends on sunkissed powdery white beaches by day and a starlit sky by night, guests were invited to join the team at Anantara Kihavah Villas for traditional carols as the resort’s festive lights were switched on for a fifth year, including the renowned and much-awaited underwater coral Christmas tree.

Photo Dan Kullberg, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Photo Dan Kullberg, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Christmas Corals 4 Metres Below

This year’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony illuminated the unique coral tree that has become a seasonal showcase element to the natural beauty of Anantara Kihavah Villas. Taking prime place of joy just beyond the viewing windows in the award-winning underwater restaurant Sea, the coral tree rests 4 meters below the water level, stands 2,5 metres tall by 2 meters wide, and is decorated with broken pieces of coral harvested from the ocean bed surrounding the resort.

The Indian Ocean’s abundance of marine life can be admired by descending into a connoisseur journey, indulging in an exquisite festive degustation menu paired by a vast array of new and old world wine selections from the world’s only underwater wine cellar. In addition to the neon fusiliers, parrotfish and surgeonfish all around, diners can feast their eyes day and night on the underwater coral tree displayed until 7 January 2016.

Photo Dan Kullberg, Anantara Kihavah Villas
Photo Dan Kullberg, Anantara Kihavah Villas

A Magical Wonderland of Sights, Sounds and Tastes

Crowning the resort’s festive theme, A Magical Wonderland of Sights, Sounds and Tastes, the countdown to New Year’s Eve 2016 begins with a sumptuous gala gourmet buffet on the beach. Entertainment throughout the evening will see the old year out in style and ring the new one in with suave.

Set on one of the most pristine Maldivian islands, Anantara Kihavah Villas offers unique guest experiences in unsurpassed luxury with 79 private pool villas surrounded by untouched natural beauty, poised over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach. This luxury resort and private island is reached by a mesmerizing 30-minute seaplane journey from Male international airport. For more information on Anantara Kihavah Villas special offers visit http://kihavah-maldives.anantara.com/special-packages.aspx

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas Acknowledged as Best Luxury Diving Resort Worldwide 2015

Surrounded 99.9% by crystal clear water, The Maldives is considered to be one of the leading dive destinations in the world. Baa Atoll is a jewel in the island nation’s crown and for any novice or serious diver planning on going there, Anantara Kihavah Villas has become known as the ‘must-go-to’ dive destination.

Aerial View, Anantara Kihavah Villas

Award-Winning Luxury Diving

Renowned for the incredible density of marine life on the Anantara Kihavah Villas house reef, any dive here is sure to result in encounters with a broad variety of marine life. Recipient of Hotel of the Year Awards “Best Luxury Diving Resort Worldwide 2015”, Anantara Kihavah Villas offers an experience of diving that is second to none. Combine the Maldives Travel Award for the best beach resort in the Maldives with a thriving house reef, a professional team of divers with a resident marine biologist year round with a private Villa Hosts for every guest, and the holiday experience takes on new levels above and below the water surface.

Spectacular dives are just metres away from any of the 79 private pool villas when staying at Anantara Kihavah Villas. Javier Lazarus, manager of resort’s water sports centre, believes there are many reasons why the resort has been recognized as the best luxury diving resort worldwide in 2015.

“Our location is definitely unbeatable. Being a thila close to the Baa Atoll channel means that there is always a degree of current clearing the water, which helps corals to grow and thereby attracting bigger fish too. All of our dive groups are very small, we are often the only group diving on the reefs and we have multi-lingual teams who make sure every nationality staying with us feels at ease and comfortable in the water. But that alone isn’t enough, our diving equipment is of the highest quality from Scubapro, and we service all equipment regularly to pass quality inspections every month. We also offer personalized rental diving equipment, which means that once a guest rents it, they spend all their holiday at the resort with the same equipment.”

Anantara Kihavah Villas
Lei Zhang receiving his complimentary Discovery Dive certificate

Diving with Top Class Service

Anantara Kihavah Villas provides a comprehensive range of luxury services and serves as a gateway to the myriad of experiences in the Baa Atoll region of The Maldives – from the magical underwater world to pristine beaches and the exploration of deserted islands and secluded lagoons. Jean-Marc Ma-Poon, General Manager at Anantara Kihavah Villas, says, “We are delighted to receive such this acknowledgement for our diving and watersports. The luxury element on the water is enhanced with our comfortable boats equipped with a shower, washroom, and also Lavazza coffee and fridge for chilled drinks. Straight after an amazing dive, our guests can reminisce in style over their marine life encounters; the boat ride to and from the resort becomes just as much a part of the whole dive experience as the diving itself.

For anyone looking to really personalize their underwater adventure, we offer dives from our luxury sailing yacht – The Ocean Whisperer – and combine this with different excursions. It’s a truly unique way to experience these waters”

The Paradise of Anantara Kihavah Villas is fascinating above and underwater. When staying on the luxury resort island, listening to the ocean lapping the shore or beneath your over water villa, it’s a gentle calling to explore the waters. Suddenly, new worlds open up to you filled with colourful coral, and schools of tropical fish. So take your sense of adventure to new levels and enjoy diving in the Best Luxury Diving Resort Worldwide at Anantara Kihavah Villas.

For more information on Anantara Kihavah Villas special offers visit http://kihavah-maldives.anantara.com/special-packages.aspx

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort reveals its Grand Konotta Villa

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort this week revealed its 600 square meter (6,400 sqft) Grand Konotta Villa, a stunning and inspirational three-bedroom over-water retreat suitable for travelers seeking the ultimate in memorable holiday locations for special occasions or sheer relaxation.

The Grand Konotta Villa is part of the award-winning Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, which opened in August. The Villa is almost a resort within a resort. Guests can arrive by luxury speed boat at the Villa’s own private launch. Jet skis, speed boats, motorized and non-motorized water sport vessels can all be accessed straight from the villa’s private access steps.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Sleeping arrangements comprise a 65 sqm (700 sq ft) master bedroom with en suite five-fixture bathroom and a 24 sqm (258 sq ft) balcony with 180-degree ocean views. There are also two 56 sqm (602 sq ft) guest bedrooms and panoramic sunset views. All rooms feature natural stone finishes and walk-in cupboards.

The Villa has been designed for private dining and entertainment parties. It has a large kitchen and pantry, 24-hr butler service, and Outrigger chefs available to cook on demand. A huge 125 sqm (1,345 sq ft) sun deck features a 30 sqm (322 sq ft) pool.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Indoors, the two-story Villa reflects ocean colors with nautically themed art and decorative pieces, natural stone finishes, polished timber floors, clean white walls and a two-story void entry space with vertical circulation.

“Our beautiful Grand Konotta Villa with its inspirational seascapes helps our guests live their Maldivian holiday dream to the full,” says General Manager, Pascal Billon. “The Villa is the ultimate relaxing experience with a uniquely Maldivian sense of place.”

Although only officially available since 14 December, the Outrigger Konotta Villa has already been fully booked for 21 days from 19 December to 9 January 2016.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Early in the New Year Outrigger Resorts will announce a range of signature villa and suites across all its iconic beachfront properties from the Indian Ocean through Asia to the Pacific.

For queries about the Grand Konotta Villa email: [email protected] Tel: +960 684 7771

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin visits Gili Lankanfushi’s Private Reserve

Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to walk on the moon in 1969, was the first guest to stay at Gili Lankanfushi’s newly upgraded Private Reserve, the largest overwater villa in the world, when he visited with his family last month. A big fan of space, the sprawling 1,700 square meter villa was the perfect choice for the Aldrin clan, offering a vast all-natural, luxury hideaway, surrounded by the Indian Ocean.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin at Gili Lankanfushi
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin at Gili Lankanfushi

“Everyone needs space! Having ample space is important to me. And I value my privacy too! The Private Reserve is so big you can probably even see it from space!” said Buzz.

Standing alone in the middle of the sparkling lagoon, 500 metres from the resort and accessible only by boat, the Private Reserve offers total privacy for those seeking respite from the limelight. The nearest villas are 300 metres away, guaranteeing total seclusion, while the incredible master suite offers guests further privacy within the villa itself. Built of wood and glass and sleeping up to 12 people, the three-bedroom Private Reserve is cleverly designed to give families and groups of friends ample indoor and outdoor living space to relax and share quality time together in idyllic surrounds. A new 63-metre freshwater swimming pool overlooks the lagoon, with jacuzzi and sun-decks, while a water slide from the top deck into the lagoon adds to the fun.

“This resort is the perfect family setting. You’re far away from distractions and you get to enjoy this beautiful place. I especially like to bring my family here as it’s a unique place to build long lasting memories. Within the Private Reserve, we still don’t crowd each other out, but we dine together a lot, it’s perfect.”

 

To ensure guests’ every need is met, the Private Reserve has two personal Mr Friday butlers on hand 24/7 (who can live-in if required). Meals are created to specific tastes by a personal chef using the very freshest ingredients and produce from the resort’s organic vegetable and herb gardens and fish caught daily by pole and line in the lagoon and all washed down with the vast selection of organic wines. A private spa with sauna and steam room, gym and state-of-the-art cinema save guests from needing to venture out if desired. For those wanting to explore beyond the villa, some of the best diving in the world is literally lapping at your toes and the resort’s Ocean Paradise Dive Centre offers unforgettable underwater experiences with expert instructors. According to Buzz, scuba diving is the closest thing to being in space.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin at Gili Lankanfushi“Scuba diving in the ocean has a similar freedom to being in space,” said Buzz. “Particularly when you’re upside down! I tend to spend most of my time underwater upside down. There are many, many more large schools of fish here than I’ve seen in many places. You get to see mantas and sharks and don’t have to go down deep.”

While the facilities of the resort – named the Best Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor in the Traveller’s Choice Awards 2015 – are just a short boat-ride away, the Private Reserve offers the ultimate in privacy and luxury. A truly special place that no guest wants to leave. Buzz was photographed by French photographer Cyril Mason, renowned for taking iconic photos of the world’s greatest sports people and adventurers.

Privacy. Exclusively. Yours.

Private Reserve Rates / night range from $11,000-$23,630. Plus local government taxes. Room-only basis. The Reserve sleeps up to twelve people.

Rochelle Kilgariff Appointed Resort Manager at Finolhu

The Small Maldives Island Co. has announced the appointment of Rochelle Kilgariff as Resort Manager at Finolhu, situated in the Baa Atoll, the Maldives, which is scheduled to open mid-2016.

Finolhu
Finolhu

Originally from Perth, Rochelle brings 15 years’ experience as a Resort General Manager. Most recently she worked in Bali, and previously in Oman, Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives, including Soneva Fushi. Rochelle initially worked in the travel industry in Australia. She was named on the Power List of influential hotel and tourism professionals in the Middle East by Middle East Hotelier during her time there.

The Small Maldives Island Co. Chairman Michael Flynn said, “We are delighted to have someone with Rochelle’s depth of experience join us for something as important as Finolhu.”

Finolhu is the sister island to Amilla Fushi, also managed by The Small Maldives Island Co.

Finolhu
Finolhu

Rochelle Kilgariff is another Australian in the management of Amilla and Finolhu, joining Chairman Michael Flynn, Curator and CEO Mark Hehir and Island Restaurateur Luke Mangan.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort Wins ‘Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year’

The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort has won “Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year,” announced by The Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards 2015.

On the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, the award judges said, “The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort creates once in a lifetime adventure and exploration opportunities, sprawling villas of unrivalled comfort, style and amenities, world-class cuisine and indulgent, exotic spa treatments. This modern no-holds-barred focus on creating an all-encompassing resort to please every potential guest, made it the obvious winner for Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year.”

Overwater Pool Villas, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Overwater Pool Villas, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Outrigger opened the newly acquired resort on 1 August after an extensive refurbishment. Surrounded by turquoise waters and a pristine coral reef and beach, the property features 53 garden and overwater pool villas comprising the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives.

“Feedback from couples and families since opening tell us they are impressed with our amazing Outrigger villa experience,” says Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort general manager, Pascal Billion. “We’ve worked hard so that our guest service standards, dining and excursions also match the excellence of our award winning contemporary design.”

Aerial View, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Luxury Travel Guide said of the awards: “All winners of the Luxury Travel Guide Awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our in-house professionals and celebrity guest judges. This ensures only the most deserving firms and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.”

Ocean Pool Villa Lounge, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Luxury Travel Guide judges: The Outrigger has villas of “unrivalled comfort, style and amenities…”

Kerry Payne, Account Manager, at Luxury Travel Guide added: “The Luxury Travel Guide Awards represent the pinnacle of hospitality achievement, championing the best in their respective fields. Therefore, to come out on top is truly an achievement you should be proud of.”

The private island of Konotta is located 211 miles (340 kilometers) to the south of Malé and conveniently accessible via a 55-minute flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private speedboat.

Celebrate the festive season at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Second annual festive market opens at luxurious resort in the Maldives

Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives invites guests to celebrate the festive season at the resort and take advantage of a special room offer, live entertainment, gala dinners and the resort’s second annual festive market.

The Winter Wonderland offer includes one free night when seven nights or more are booked, daily complimentary breakfast at Samsara, dinner at Samsara, MU Beach Bar and Grill, or Fenesse. These benefits are in addition to a private pool, complimentary bicycle use and 20% discount on pre-booked Talise spa treatments.

MU Beach Bar & Grill, Jumeirah Vittaveli
MU Beach Bar & Grill, Jumeirah Vittaveli

“Jumeirah Vittaveli is the perfect place to celebrate this festive season – guests can relish the serene atmosphere of our elegant resort, or join in on the fun with the host of activities on offer. Our gala dinners will be a treat for any foodie, comprising exotic and traditional delicacies such as stollen, mincemeat tart, oysters, and a chocolate yule log, all prepared by our creative chefs and kitchen teams,” said Graham Kiy, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli.

To mark the festive season, guests can also help create the resort’s first underwater ‘festive tree forest,’ which will contribute to the abundance of marine life that exists around the resort. The festive trees will comprise cone-shaped coral propagation structures and each festive season, a new ‘tree’ will be planted with the help of guests.

Fenesse, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Fenesse, Jumeirah Vittaveli

The second annual festive market will feature colourful lacquerware and handicrafts from ‘Maldives Originals,’ a not-for-profit initiative that supports local communities.

Lacquerware, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Lacquerware, Jumeirah Vittaveli

It will also showcase traditional Maldivian crafts such as Kadjan or palm leaves used for roof-making. A resident astronomer will enlighten guests on the secrets of the sky above in a series of educational sessions including: sky mythology, touring the constellations and the life and death of stars.

Children will be awed by the resort’s fire dancers showcasing the Art of Poi, creations sculpted by a sand artist and Santa who will stop by the resort to deliver goodies. Children can also take part in daily activities at the resort’s Kuda Koli Kids Club, decorate gingerbread houses, or join in Santa’s treasure hunts.

Kuda-Koli Kids Klub, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Kuda-Koli Kids Klub, Jumeirah Vittaveli

Talise Spa will offer mini massages for children and a dedicated detox package for adults. Pedal boat and stand up paddling races will see guests display their competitive spirit, and guests can avail a special festive discount of up to 25% on motorised water sports activities.

Swarna, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Swarna, Jumeirah Vittaveli

On 24 December, entertainment is set to include a night-time astronomy session, a live band, a belly dancing show by the international artist Viktoria and fire dancers. At Samsara, a magician and a DJ will perform and there will be a traditional festive gala dinner. At the newly opened Indian signature restaurant Swarna, guests can indulge in a special thali night. A multi-course degustation menu will be available at the overwater fine dining venue Fenesse.

On 25 December, Samsara will serve a breakfast buffet and traditional delicacies. The restaurant will offer extended hours for late risers. In the evening, guests may enjoy a special oysters and bubbly night at Fenesse. The live band will perform at Bar-EE and the resident astronomer will hold another insightful night-time session.

On 31 December, Russian Santa Claus Ded Moroz and his helper Snegurochka will arrive with special treats for all children. Guests can attend a special pre-dinner cocktail reception, followed by live performances, including fire dancers, live band, magician, belly dancer, and the classical pianist Sophia Lisovskaya who has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After a lavish New Year’s Eve gala dinner at Samsara, a seven course degustation menu at Fenesse, or the signature Swarna thalis, guests can join the DJ in his countdown to midnight and dance the night away.

Jumeirah Vittaveli
Jumeirah Vittaveli

On 6 January, an important date in the Russian festive calendar, Sophia Lisovskaya will hold a classical piano performance at Samsara, followed by a showcase of the in-house fire dancers and performances from belly dancer Viktoria. Guests can then party the night away with the live band and DJ or learn about the sky above with the resident astronomer.