Kurumba Maldives Makes A Splash With Newly Renovated Dive Centre

The team at Kurumba Maldives is delighted to announce the reopening of the Euro-Divers dive centre on 12th May. This was completed as part of the resort’s continual improvement philosophy; to provide the best value in any 5-star resort within the Maldives. As the Maldives is listed as one of the top locations for diving in the world, Kurumba Maldives wishes to encourage more guests to experience this wonderful activity, in this very unique environment.

The aesthetic of the Dive Centre has been designed to provide a welcoming and open entrance which will be much easier for guests to find. Flowing spaces make up the tank room, storage and drying rooms as well as allowing for an inspiring dive school classroom; while in addition, the showers and bathrooms have been updated. The centre is also fully equipped with state-of-the-art gear and nitrox free of charge for license holders, and offers vast storage for in-house guest equipment.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

The remodelling is complete with high ceilings under a traditional thatched roof, constructed from distinctive materials such as lava stone, ceramic and pebble-textured tile, with natural woods under silver, white, and turquoise furnishings. The Dive Centre now faces the sunset and ocean, and the open-plan style, brings an airy and relaxed atmosphere to the space.

Although conveniently located within 10 minutes of Malé airport, Kurumba also offers the chance for guests to explore over 30 different dive sites, the most famous sites being Banana Reef, HP, Nassimo, Okobe and top manta spot, Sunlight Thila. Most of these amazing dive sites are found within a 5-30 minute boat trip from the resort, including 2 manta points, and some of the most exciting drift dives in the Maldives.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

Euro-Divers offers a selection of internationally recognized PADI dive courses ranging from the Bubblemaker for children, through to Assistant Instructor qualifications with many specialties in between.

Kurumba Maldives Dive School, operated by Euro-Divers is open 7 days a week, with 3 scheduled dives per day on offer, as well as night dives and fluo night dives on request. There are customized schedules for all ages from 8 to 80, and free trial dives 3 days per week for those keen to explore the underwater world.

Blessed with a year round water temperature between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius, with water visibility up to 40 meters, the Maldives is the perfect destination for recreational divers. Kurumba hopes that the newly upgraded dive centre will encourage more guests to start their dive journey or continue to explore the beautiful underwater world.

Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives
Euro-Divers dive centre, Kurumba Maldives

As the famous Jacques Cousteau once said: “When man sinks beneath the surface, he is free.” Kurumba Maldives invites their guests to discover the beautiful freedom of the marine world and experience life in full colour.

For more information and a special celebratory offer, please check:

www.kurumba.com/maldives-scuba-diving
www.euro-divers.com/scuba-diving-maldives/kurumba-maldives
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UZoVBuwn1Q
http://www.kurumba.com/maldives-diving-offer

Anantara Opens First Padi-Certified Free Diving Centre In The Maldives

The Maldives attracts travellers from around the world with a visual spectacle unlike anywhere else on the globe. Above the waterline and beneath the waves, unbelievable worlds await exploration. Anantara opens the door to new encounters with a pioneering aquatic experience in a nation where the total area is 99.99% water. Available to guests at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives, Aquafanatics is the first PADI-certified free diving centre in the island nation.

A multitude of watersports from scuba diving to surfing and deep-sea fishing to sailing connect guests from all three resorts to the glistening lure of the Indian Ocean. Launching a country first, the free diving centre offers another dimension to ocean-based adventures on the islands.

The less explored activity of free diving strips many restraints attached with traditional scuba diving. A truly liberating activity, it relies on the diver to hold their breath, leaving them free to move unhindered through the translucent Maldivian waters.

Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort
Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

With no oxygen tank bubbles to distort vision, the vivid colouration of coral life glows brighter than ever. Devoid of heavy equipment, guests move at will alongside inquisitive fish, developing a sense of belonging. With every dive guests acquire the ability to stay below a little longer, discovering more on each descent.

Free diving is entwined with the cultural heritage of the islands in the Indian Ocean. Since ancient times locals have harvested sponges and clasped gleaming pearls from beneath the waves. Anantara’s professional freediving instructor, Mari Kagaya, reveals a peaceful, intrinsic underwater encounter. “The Maldives provide the pinnacle in free diving adventure,” she explains. “Escaping the trappings of scuba gear, our encounters with sea life are graceful, natural and deeply personal. Guests discover their own hidden depths, not only of their body, but also the mind.”

Naladhu Maldives
Naladhu Maldives

Every diver is made to feel at ease in the water with Mari, who is originally from Japan. Her warm and welcoming approach to teaching freediving has been mastered since 2002 when qualifying as a diving instructor in Honduras. Amidst the gentle lapping sounds of the ocean, the resorts’ guests are guided through the theory of free diving. With a new focus on breathing and reserving energy, all that’s left is to turn in the water and embark on a new journey of self-discovery in the Indian Ocean.

To reserve a stay and experience the pleasures of freediving first hand, travellers are invited to contact +960 664 4111 or [email protected]. For more information on Anantara’s Maldives resorts, visit anantara.com.

Blood Donation Campaign at Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

In conjunction with World Thalassemia Day Hotel Jen Malé Maldives and ADK Hospital Championed a blood donation campaign which was open to the Public.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

The campaign was held in Hotel Jen Malé Maldives Ballroom which was equipped with all technical requirements to render the process with a success by both ADK and Hotel Jen Malé Maldives under the guidance of professional Doctors and medical team.

Both the Hotel Jen Malé Maldives and ADK management and staffs fully supported the cause by participating and donating blood which was open from 9.00 am till 4.30pm.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

This is Hotel Jen’s second Blood donation campaign, the strong response of staffs from last year campaign resulted in the establishment of the blood donation campaign as a new corporate social responsibility initiative and the management has decided to conduct annual blood donation campaigns.

Despite the rain the turnout from the staffs and public was huge making it a success. The blood donated will be kept in ADK blood bank and this will be served to Thalassemia Majors and dozens of surgeries and serious incidents which require immediate blood transfer to treat those in need.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

The Hotel Jen Malé Maldives General Manager Ms. Vathsala Subramaniam commented: “This initiative translates the humanitarian, social role and duty of the hotel and the public its contribution to local community by extending a helping hand to those in need and hospitals that need the support of the community to donate blood units.”

Blood donation has been become a meaningful activity all over the World. As a community focused Hotel, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives always looks for ways to contribute to the community, and there’s no better way than being able to make a difference to something as vital as blood donation said Ms. Vathsala Subramaniam, General Manager of Hotel Jen Malé Maldives.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

Shangri-la and its properties are one of them who raise awareness and contribute in conducting initiative awareness programs every year in conjunction with such days marked Worldwide and Locally.

About Hotel Jen

Hotel Jen is a diverse collection of hotels in the best locations across Asia Pacific, with a unique brand of style and service delivery designed to appeal to a ‘New Jeneration’ of travellers.

The brand is the brainchild of virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier and all-time lover of life, travel and discovery.

To guests, Hotel Jen delivers quality, comfort, convenience and value with a twist. Jen cares about what really matters to guests – the important things done well; comfortable rooms and honest authentic service; respect, privacy and efficiency served without fuss or intrusion; cultural insights; interesting experiences; and fast, free WiFi everywhere, always.

For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the Hotel Jen website at www.hoteljen.com

New Boutique Resort Milaidhoo Island Brings ‘50 Chapters of Laidback Island Living’ to the Maldives’ Luxury Hotel Scene

The opening of the boutique five star Milaidhoo Island Maldives this November is one of most anticipated luxury resort openings of the year. Milaidhoo, due to open its doors in November 2016, promises its guests a new chapter of barefoot island living on its tiny 300m by 180m island set in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll region of the Maldives.

Shunning the current trend for high-gloss name-dropping look-at-me hotel glitz; at Milaidhoo barefoot informality is at the very heart of the island’s ethos where selfie-sticks and drones are not encouraged.  Perfectly located to offer the absolute best of the Maldives to its discerning guests, Milaidhoo offers a return to a classic, relaxed Maldivian holiday style on a tiny island with deep soft white sand beaches and a vibrant coral reef where dolphins, whale sharks and manta rays are visitors – a benefit of being in a protected marine area.

Water Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives
Water Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives

This private, luxury island is reached by a scenic 30-minute seaplane flight from the international airport. Standing on stilts over the lagoon are 30 spacious over-water villas (245 square metres) and hidden amongst the tropical greenery are 20 serene villas on the beach (290 square metres). All villas have large private freshwater swimming pools and an island host to attend to the guests’ every whim.  Designed by local architect Mohamed Shafeeq, the resort’s 50 villas have been made using materials and fittings custom-made for Milaidhoo in a way that epitomises the true contemporary Maldives style.  Spacious outdoor living is the key phrase: the villas open up 180-degrees to allow the natural beauty of the Maldives to become part of the room.

Beach Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives
Beach Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives

Milaidhoo is the only resort in the atoll that has been created specifically with couples in mind, although children aged nine and above are welcomed.  It further differentiates itself from the herd with its ‘Milaidhoo Moments’; a collection of exclusive activities for the luxury traveler seeking meaningful and memorable experiences.  Milaidhoo will offer its guests access to Hanifaru Bay, a marine protected area, which attracts the largest seasonal groupings of manta rays in the world.

Milaidhoo is serious about its food.  Gourmets will feel at home in the three restaurants and two bars; the resort’s signature restaurant is overwater and shaped like three traditional Maldivian sailing boats.  It – uniquely in the Maldives – will offer a modern interpretation of ‘island influenced’ cuisine.  Cocktails will be fresh, creative and on point while the wine list has been designed to pique the interest of wine lovers with a choice of much loved classics alongside a selection of wines from lesser-known boutique winemakers.  All villas have their own wine fridge where guests can keep their personal favourites.

Beach Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives
Beach Pool Villa, Milaidhoo Maldives

The island’s spa consists of four treatment suites set on stilts over the lagoon where guests will also enjoy daily complimentary yoga and meditation classes on the custom-built pavilion.  And of course perfect beaches, snorkelling on coral reefs, diving, water sports, fishing and cultural excursions to nearby islands and sandbanks will create stories that guests will want to tell forever.

Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel

Located in the lovely area of North Malé Atoll, Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel enjoys a commanding position in the romance, sports, beaches hub of Maldives Islands. The hotel is not too far from the city center: just 37 km away, and it normally takes about 180 minutes to reach the airport. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations.

At Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. This hotel offers numerous on-site facilities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide additional toilet, children’s high chair, cleaning products, complimentary instant coffee, complimentary tea to please the most discerning guest. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities such as boats, canoe, snorkeling, watersports equipment rentals, wind surfing to make your stay truly unforgettable. Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel is a smart choice for travelers to Maldives Islands, offering a relaxed and hassle-free stay every time.

Germany’s Youngest Michelin Star Chef at Coco Bodu Hithi

This August, Coco Bodu Hithi will welcome Philipp Stein, the youngest Michelin-starred chef in Germany. He received his first ever Michelin star at only 24 years in 2014 and a year later, Gault & Millau awarded him with 16 points and 2 toques. Young and exceptionally talented, Philipp is the Chef de Cuisine at Favorite Restaurant in Mainz.

The delightful opportunity to indulge in Philipp’s creations awaits the guests of Coco Bodu Hithi. Bringing a fresh approach to fine dining, his cooking style is simple and straight to the basics without fuss or frills. His family has owned a popular restaurant for five generations and coming from such a gastronomic family, Philipp is dedicated to his roots. The result is the fusion of classical bases laced with aromatic sauces. The influence of world renowned chefs that he has worked with, including Dieter Müller and Helmut Thieltges, is reflected in his dishes. His approach to cooking, however, is very much his own individual style.

Aqua at Coco Bodu Hithi, the fine dining seafood specialty restaurant set over the lagoon, will be the backdrop for Philipp’s original creations. During his stay, guests can join in a master class where Philipp lends some of his tips and techniques and shares how to create a course or two from the dinner menu. A teaser to an exceptional dinner, this is a rare opportunity to interact with a personality that is leading a new generation of young and ambitious cooks in Germany. Afterward, guests can dive into a five-course menu designed to tantalize even the most curious of gourmets, in two dedicated dinners by Philipp Stein at Aqua.

“Coco Bodu Hithi is truly a gourmet’s paradise! Once again, we are pleased to offer an exceptional experience for our guests as we prepare to welcome Chef Philipp Stein. The team is looking forward to the energetic approach that Philipp will bring to our kitchen and most importantly, the original creations he has planned for our guests. August will be a very special period for us here on the island!” comments Georgios Papazoglou, General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi.

With four eclectic restaurants, two welcoming bars, an intimate wine loft and a variety of private dining experiences, Coco Bodu Hithi is a culinary hotspot in Maldives. Adding to the on-island venues are the many world class chefs such as Philipp Stein that make guests appearances every year.

Meliá Hotels International announces Gran Meliá Maldives

Gran Meliá Maldives will be a resort located in Kalhudhiyafushi in Thaa, an atoll located 40 minutes from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, as well as a short ride by speedboat or seaplane from the domestic airport at Kaadedhdhoo. Scheduled to launch October 2017, Gran Meliá Maldives will be amongst the very best of the luxurious international resorts, operated by brands such as Shangri-La, Park Hyatt and Jumeirah, as guests can experience one of the best fishing destinations in the Maldives.

Set amongst virgin coral reef, the Gran Meliá hotel will offer 95 private villas, including 100 rooms, as well as three restaurants, a bar and café, spa, leisure centre and several retail shops. The hotel will also be able to arrange and host exclusive private events and romantic dinners on a smaller nearby island. 66 per cent of Maldivian visitors are honeymooners or guests who wish to enjoy an idyllic beach holiday with exceptional diving.

During the contract signing, Maria Zarraluqui, Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, commented, “Opening a Gran Meliá hotel in the Maldives has been a dream for us for a long time, but we were always waiting for the right project to come along. This hotel meets all our expectations. We are confident that our unique Gran Meliá brand will enhance the magic of these privileged islands, giving a new meaning to the concept of luxury.”

The Maldives consists of more than 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, formed of two rows of 26 atolls running from north to south. Both chains of atolls (the largest with an area of only 8 km2) are located approximately 700 km from Sri Lanka and 400 km south-west of India. Due to its unique features and exceptional beauty, the Maldives has become one of the most exclusive havens for tourism, mainly from Europe and Asia, which now generates over 25 per cent of the country’s GDP, followed by fishing which generates 60 per cent of foreign exchange receipts.

Meliá Hotels International

The Director of Expansion for Meliá Hotels International, Maria Zarraluqui, together with the Company’s Hotel Development team in the Middle East, once again attended the most important Hotel Investment Conference in the region, taking the opportunity to meet with the owners of the new hotels: Huravee International from the Maldives, ASICO from Kazakhstan, and Albwardi Investments, with whom Meliá has already successfully partnered in Dubai, before announcing all of the new agreements.

Meliá Hotels International currently operates two hotels in Dubai and Qatar, and has 10 additional hotels in the pipeline in the region, all due to open between 2017 and 2020. The properties will be managed under the Meliá Hotels & Resorts, ME by Meliá, INNSIDE by Meliá and Gran Meliá brands. The United Arab Emirates and Gulf Cooperation Council countries are becoming an increasingly strategic hub for eastern and western countries to do business, with Dubai International Airport ranked as the busiest airport in the world last year, underlining MHI’s efforts to link its strategy in Europe and Americas with the Asia-Pacific countries.

Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa by Atoll Seven

For travelers who want to take in the sights and sounds of Maldives Islands, Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa by Atoll Seven is the perfect choice. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. Visitors to the hotel can take pleasure in touring the city’s top attractions: Cocoa Thila Dive Site, Guraidhoo Kandu South, Gulhi Kandu.

The facilities and services provided by Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa by Atoll Seven ensure a pleasant stay for guests. To name a few of the hotel’s facilities, there are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desk, 24-hour room service.

Hotel accommodations have been carefully appointed to the highest degree of comfort and convenience. In some of the rooms, guests can find television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning. The hotel offers fantastic facilities, including private beach, skiing, diving, fishing, spa, to help you unwind after an action-packed day in the city. Discover an engaging blend of professional service and a wide array of features at Whiteshell Island Hotel & Spa by Atoll Seven.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island launches exclusive “Money-Can’t-Buy” stay package with Hilton HHonors Access

With the launch of Hilton HHonors Access in Asia Pacific, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is proud to unveil “A Maldives Island Adventure”, an exciting new experience that is available for redemption using Hilton HHonors Points at HHonors.com/auctions from May 3, 2016.

Hilton HHonors Access is a global campaign set to inspire travellers to get out, see the world, and take part in exclusive experiences by joining its award-winning loyalty programme, Hilton HHonors. It features unique money-can’t-buy hotel packages and experiences spanning sports, music and culture, ranging from attending a Sumo tournament in Tokyo, to attending a Yamakasa event in Fukuoka, to taking part in a beer tour in Sydney via the HHonors Auction Platform. Hilton HHonors members who live in or are traveling to Asia Pacific can redeem Hilton HHonors Points for the following experience packages between May 3 and 20, 2016.

Hilton HHonors unites the Hilton portfolio of brands to drive value for members, Team Members, owners, operators and partners alike. Free to join by visiting HHonors.com and easy to use, it is the world’s premier guest loyalty programme.

As an additional incentive to join, all Hilton HHonors members who book directly with Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will save time and money and gain instant access to the benefits they care about most including free nights, complimentary Wi-Fi and Digital Concierge, Conrad’s forward thinking Concierge app.

Hilton Hhonors members can redeem points at the Hilton Hhonors Access site for the ultimate Conrad Maldives Rangali Island experience which includes:

  • A four night stay in the resort’s luxurious Sunset Water Villa
  • A traditional Maldivian fishing experience with the executive chef who will cook the days catch and serve it at a private dinner on the beach
  • A private afternoon of wine and cheese matching and tasting with the resorts sommelier and Cheese Master
  • A noodle and Dim Sum making class with Chinese celebrity chef Jereme Leung’s trained chefs at Ufaa followed by lunch
  • A luxury sunset cruise across the Indian Ocean

Hilton HHonors starting bids will start from 150,000*.

*Prizes are valid now until 20 December 2016 and are subject to the resort’s availability. Blackout dates also apply from 1 May to 30 June and 29 September to 10 October 2016.

Michael McCalman, New Executive Chef at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives

With 22 years of professional experience in the industry, including positions at independent restaurants and five star hotels, McCalman’s arrival is highly anticipated. He has held four positions within the Shangri-La brand previously, notably as Executive Chef for the opening of Shangri-La Futian in Shenzhen, China, and was instrumental in its culinary success.

Having worked as a professional Chef in Australia, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Thailand, The Maldives and the UK, McCalman’s global experience indicates his passion for discovering and working with new cuisines, and using local produce in his culinary creations. His new role at Villingili will allow him to engage this passion and bring his own mark.

Tree House Villa, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa
Tree House Villa, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa

Chef McCalman will be responsible for the hotel’s overall culinary direction and production. He will handle food costs, manage guest advocacy and maintain employee commitment. Chef McCalman will also oversee the menus and execution for the private jet terminal at Gan Airport, situated on the neighbouring island. His remit covers the restaurants Javvu, offering world cuisine in scenic settings, Dr Ali, for a memorable culinary journey through the East, and Fashala, featuring fresh seafood and local produce with a Mediterranean influence. He will also be managing the operations for in-villa dining and Dine by Design, offering bespoke gastronomic experience at unique locations around the island.

Commenting on Chef Michael’s appointment, General Manager, Allwyn Drego said: “We are delighted to welcome Chef Michael to Villingili to continue his journey with Shangri-La. His wealth of experience along with his intricate understanding of the culinary operations at five-star luxury hotels will benefit the resort and enhance its gastronomic offerings. We look forward to new culinary creations, making island dining even more memorable for our guests.”

Shangri la villingili resort and spa
Aerial View of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and/or manages over 95 hotels under the Shangri-La brand with a room inventory of over 39,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The group has a substantial development pipeline with upcoming projects in Mainland China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Myanmar, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the website at www.shangri-la.com.