Kandolhu Maldives tops even further their highest restaurant-to- room-ratio with new outlet ‘Ata-Roa’

Renowned as a stylish small resort with only 30 villas, Kandolhu Maldives strives to continually innovate with fresh ideas, ideal for their ever-growing repeat guest following and new visitors alike.

This month Kandolhu Maldives are very proud to announce the opening of its 5th outlet “Ata-Roa”, serving up Mexico and Peru’s best street food. The menu is straightforward, simple and light, with classic and unique takes on ceviche and tacos on offer. Due credit goes to Executive Chef, Mickaël Farina whose recent trek across South America last year helped develop the concept of mouth-watering dishes being served.

Open daily (except Wednesdays) from 12 pm to 4 pm, Ata-Roa has a strong emphasis on intimate service and authentic execution using the finest ingredients with focus on local. It is located on the Noovilu Sports jetty; guests are invited to sit down grill-side to watch their food being prepared by the skilled team whilst enjoying a gentle sea breeze and beautiful ocean views, or grab their selections take-out style and head back to their villa to enjoy. All is perfectly paired with Mexican beer and craft mescal and pisco cocktails.

Kandolhu TacoShack
Ata-Roa draws inspiration from the “Day of the Dead” Mexican traditions, and Peruvian Nazca lines

The design and branding of Ata-Roa draws inspiration from the “Day of the Dead” Mexican traditions, and Peruvian Nazca lines, which add an additional level of authenticity and is already receiving wide acclaim from guests. The space will also be used as a pop-up location for various food-related events, including Spanish wine and Basque pintxo nights, and exclusive degustations with Chef Mickaël.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort reveals scintillating new dining options

New menus and a full range of dining experiences at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort has unveiled three scintillating new Asian dining initiatives full of flavour, variety and fun. The sizzling new sensations include an Asian Street Food Market, the Konotta Hot Pot Experience, and the Indian Ocean Thali Taster Meal.

“Variety, informality and authentic flavours are at the heart of our new creations at the Outrigger in Konotta,” says Executive Chef, Chris Long. “Guests can now enjoy a full Asian culinary journey from our island paradise in the Maldives.”

Chris Long, Executive Chef, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Chris Long, Executive Chef, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Outrigger’s Asian Street Food Market has a mostly outdoor set up with Chinese lanterns and live music. The best of Asian street food is present, including Japanese favourites such as Sushi, Nigiri Sushi, Makimono and Maguro Tataki (seared Maldivian tuna with ponzu sauce). There is Teppanyaki (including tenderloin beef) Laksa spicy noodle soup and Pho noodles. And look out for other classics from around Asia such as Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts (Thailand), Spring Rolls (Vietnam), Nasi Goreng Kambing from Malaysia, and tasty Batagor from Indonesia. The Asian Street Food Market will take place every week from August and throughout the high season. See full menu here.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives ResortThe Konotta Hot Pot Experience takes inspiration from over 1000 years of culinary history and was probably created by the Mongolians. Embraced across Asia and known variously as Huoguo, Shabu-Shabu or Steamboat, the concept is basically a communal hot plate for cooking the meat surrounded by a pot of simmering soup.

“At Konotta, we have taken the best of hot pot culture and designed a hot pot that, we think, suits the palettes of all our guests,” says chef Long.

The Hot Pot Experience is available each day (with 24 hours notice for preparation) and served in the Rotunda.

The Indian Ocean Thali Taster Meal is based on the concept of presenting the six flavours of sweet, salty, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy in a single Thali (tray) of Indian dishes. The flavours come from all corners of the Indian sub-continent and are available each evening in the Blue Salt restaurant.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives ResortThe three culinary innovations at the Outrigger are augmented by a new lunch and dinner menu with the emphasis on organic ingredients and health, a Teppanyaki Dinner Experience prepared by Teppan Chef Endar, and a variety of unique island dining options such as romantic beach tables, sand bank lunches, wedding and vow renewal celebrations.

The chef is particularly proud of the weekly Maldivian Lobster and Angus Beef Sunset Beach BBQ, which is ideal for couples that want a private dining table set up on the beach.

Lobster, Seafood, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Beach dining, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Beach dining, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

Further information on dining at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is available here.

Michelin starred Italian chef Carmelo Greco at Coco Bodu Hithi

Renowned for the resorts’ sophisticated and relaxed dining atmosphere, Coco Bodu Hithi is pleased to announce the arrival of visiting Michelin starred chef, Carmelo Greco.

Arriving to Maldives on 18th March 2017, Greco will be spending 2 weeks at Coco Bodu Hithi, during which he will be creating exclusive dinners and interactive master classes for the resident guests. Greco’s reinterpretation of Italian cuisine has been surprising taste buds for over three decades.

Born in Sicily, Greco grew up in Piedmont and discovered his love for culinary pleasures in his uncle’s hotel and restaurant. After attending hotel management school, Greco worked in the legendary restaurant Da Guido under the experienced head chef Lidia Vanzino Alciati. Greco admires his recently deceased mentor who was one of the first people to have an impact on his cooking style: “Lidia was the grande dame of Piedmontese gastronomy. With her respectful behaviour towards traditional Italian cuisine, which she cultivated and reinterpreted, she contributed to the history of Italian cooking”.

After years of improving his skills in Italy, Greco came to Germany at the age of 20 and proved to have plenty more to offer than typical Italian pizza and spaghetti. After three years, Greco and his partner opened restaurant Osteria Enoteca. Word got around quickly that being a guest of Carmelo Greco meant experiencing first-class Italian cuisine that could not be found in Germany before, earning the restaurant a Michelin star in 1996.

In November 2010, Greco opened his own restaurant in Frankfurt, Ristorante Carmelo Greco. The menu shares classic Italian recipes dear and near to Greco’s heart. He explains. “We only work with the best and freshest ingredients, which is also why our menu constantly changes according to the general state of the market.”

Greco constantly gathers inspiration from regular visits to star chefs’ restaurants. For Greco, cooking is an ever evolving process and a never ending search for new flavour combinations. He states, “I want to keep cooking, experimenting with ingredients and making my friends and family happy with delicious food until I am over the age of eighty, if possible.”

Greco’s signature creations include his Filetto Rossini with Fassona beef, a creamy Tortelli Carbonara and Amatriciana, and a rich Vitello Tonnato, some of which will be offered in his menu at Coco Bodu Hithi.

It is with a passion to deliver fresh and flavourful creations that he arrives at Coco Bodu Hithi next year, bringing with him the classic tastes of Italy to the sunny beaches of Maldives.

Summer Island Maldives’ Chef Receives Global Outstanding Chef Award

Summer Island Maldives resort’s Advisory Executive Chef, ‘Jack’ Tiang Toh Huat, has been declared one of the world’s Top 50 ‘Outstanding Chefs’, in a prestigious awards ceremony held last week in Shanghai, China.

Summer Island Maldives also received an award for ‘Outstanding Dining Venue’ at the 2016 Global Gourmet Chef par Excellence World Culinaire Competition awards ceremony.

The double award places Summer Island Maldives, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar refurbishment, among the Maldives very best resorts for food and beverage.

The prize ceremony, organised by the Global Gourmet culinary magazine, followed a competition in which chefs from around the world were invited to cook a four-course meal, which was then judged by an expert panel that included the Michelin 3-star celebrity chefs Da Dong and Umberto Bombana.

Chef Jack submitted a menu based on fresh ingredients found on Summer Island Maldives, such as coconuts and passion fruits, and from the surrounding sea.

Commenting on his award, Chef Jack said:

“I wanted to submit a menu that would highlight the elements of the Maldives – the sand, the sea and the natural vegetation. To represent sand, for example, we made a dessert that used fresh, grated coconut and brown sugar, to look like the beach. We also used fresh tuna in the menu because the Maldives is famous for its tuna.”

Summer Island Maldives’ Resort Manager Mariya Shareef said:

“We are delighted that Chef Jack and Summer Island Maldives won these awards, which demonstrate the dedication, professionalism and excellence of Chef Jack and his team. Summer Island Maldives is now recognized as one of the Maldives’ top culinary destinations.”

Summer Island Maldives prides itself on offering guests an authentically Maldivian, barefoot slice of paradise at an affordable price.

One of the Maldives’ first resorts, and wholly Maldivian owned, Summer Island Maldives recently underwent a complete re-development. The resort now boasts fresh and zesty rooms, a spa, international restaurants, a rustic beach bar, a dive center and water sports center.

Summer Island Maldives retains the family-friendly, natural atmosphere that has made it such a popular destination. Summer Island Maldives offers an all-inclusive holiday, with a variety of rooms, at 4 star prices.

Apple Woo new Director of Sales & Marketing of Outrigger Konotta

A Singaporean national, Ms Apple Woo has be appointed as the Director of Sales and Marketing of Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. Woo joined Outrigger on the first of February and will be based in the Outrigger Asia Pacific office in Phuket, Thailand. She will directly report to Pascal Billon, the General Manager and on key marketing and sales initiatives to Mark Simmons Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Outrigger Asia Pacific.

Woo was Director of Global Sales for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong for five years with the Jumeirah Group. Previously she held senior positions in sales and business development with Madinat Jumeirah Resort Dubai. She also worked with Mandarin Oriental Singapore in operations and sales positions for 10 years.

Speaking on the appointment of the Mandarin fluent Woo, the Vice President of sales and marketing Mark Simmons said: “Apple brings a great depth and range of sales experience in premier resorts and hotels,” “She is well versed in the needs and expectations of high-end leisure markets from Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. This will be a great asset as Outrigger Resorts pursues its aspiration of becoming the premier global beach resort brand.”

The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is designed and developed to offer a complete sense of privacy and intimate luxury with 27 beachfront one and two-bedroom pool villas and 21 overwater pool villas. Four additional beachfront pool villas and an overwater presidential villa are also planned.

The resort will be supported by a full range of facilities and services, including new and innovative dining concepts, a marine education center, a Navasana Spa, and retail outlets.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015.

Dusit Thani Maldives Launches Maldives’ First Official Free-Diving Centre

Dusit Thani Maldives takes pride in launching the first official and internationally approved free-diving centre in the Maldives, an incredible addition to the selection of water sports available at the resort.

Free-diving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold his or her breath until resurfacing without the use of scuba gear. Besides experiencing the tranquility of underwater kingdom, there are various health and fitness benefits attributed to this unique diving activity.

Dusit Thani Maldives’ free-dive centre has joined

Aerial view, Dusit Thani Maldives
Aerial view, Dusit Thani Maldives

forces with Apnea Total, a globally renowned free-diving organisation. The Apnea Total Free-diving Education System and Standards are followed at the centre and guests will be provided Apnea Total certifications that are recognized worldwide.

Resort guests will train under the supervision of highly experienced free-dive instructors who have themselves worked and trained under record-holding free-divers. Additionally, the centre boasts world-class CRESSI equipment and the rental cost of these is included in the course price.

Free-Diving Centre, Dusit Thani Maldives
Free-Diving Centre, Dusit Thani Maldives

The center offers all levels of Apnea Total courses: Free-Diver Basic, Advanced Free-Diver, and Free-Diving Master, each lasting 2 days, 3 days and up to 5 weeks respectively. The Basic course will equip guests to dive safely and comfortably down to 20 meters on a single breath and the Advanced course equips guests to dive down to 40 metres below sea level.

According to Thanos Lionsatos, Director of Sales and Marketing, “Free-diving is a phenomenal watersport to offer guests at the resort, especially when we are blessed with such stunning marine biodiversity due to being located within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This new initiative is a reflection of our continued pursuit of expanding our portfolio of guest services at Dusit Thani Maldives.”

Coco Collection Partners With Olive Ridley Project

Coco Collection is pleased to announce the official partnership with the Olive Ridley Project to setup turtle rescue centers and jointly reduce the effect of ghost nets on marine life. During a ceremony held at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu on 18th January, guests and associates joined Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project and Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins, the Project Scientist of the Olive Ridley Project as well as Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s Resident Marine Biologist, to officially kick off this partnership.

This partnership will see the construction of the first Olive Ridley Project Turtle Rescue Center at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu with a dedicated team member of the Project at the Center to oversee the operations. Guests of Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu will be able to support the project and donate funds for the construction of this Center by purchasing a signature Olive Ridley Turtle toy available for USD 28, or by direct donations either at time of booking or on the resort. Proceeds will go towards the construction phase of the project, and once the center is established, educational presentations, tailored snorkeling sessions and ghost net research excursions will be available as guest experiences. Similar initiatives will take place at Coco Bodu Hithi in a later stage of this collaboration.

“Since its establishment in 2013, the Olive Ridley Project has been working actively with dedicated individuals who are keen to support the project by removing ghost nets that have been abandoned or lost in the ocean, continuing to entangle vulnerable marine animals. Coco Collection has been on board with us from the beginning and today, we are extremely happy to sign this partnership, declaring Coco Collection as the official Olive Ridley Project Partner for Turtle Rescue Centers in Maldives. This is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and I would like to thank all the guests and associates of Coco Collection for their continuous support and passion.” comments Martin Stelfox, Founder and Chief Executive of the Olive Ridley Project.

Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist
Chiara Fumagalli, Resident Marine Biologist

From 16th – 21st January, Martin was accompanied by Dr. Jillian Amy Hudgins at Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu where they joined Chiara Fumagalli for interactive guest presentations and excursions. With the overwhelming support of the associates, Martin & Jillian also conducted trainings on how to safely remove ghost nets from entangled marine life.

“I am beyond excited that Coco Collection is now an official partner of the Olive Ridley Project! With the continuous support of our eager guests and hardworking associates, this is a great opportunity for us to get more exposure for the detrimental effects of ghost nets on marine life and continue raising awareness to actively fight against it. We have received tremendous support from both guests and associates who have donated to the cause by purchasing the turtle toys and I am positively looking forward for the next step in this journey.” comments Chiara Fumagalli, Coco Collection’s resident Marine Biologist.

Keeping in line with its brand promise to care for the environment and recognize the need for sustainability, Coco Collection is proud to enrich their support for the Olive Ridley Project with this partnership.

About Olive Ridley Project 

The Olive Ridley Project was set up by a group of Marine biologists situated within the Maldives working towards preventing entanglement of Olive Ridley’s and other marine organisms. Apart from actively removing nets and helping any entangled marine life, the Olive Ridley Project compiles data identifying types of nets, fishing methods being used, and entanglements in order to figure out why so many nets are drifting in the Indian Ocean. With an aim to educate school children, local communities and all those whose depend on the Indian Ocean about the detrimental effects of ghost nets, the Olive Ridley Project hopes to work together with dedicated individuals to protect this ecologically important area. www.oliveridleyproject.org

The Patina Thanburudhoo Maldives To Open In 2017

Singapore based Telos Investment, a private holding company involved in real estate, resort, and infrastructure development and Patina Hotels and Resorts have signed an agreement to operate The Patina Thanburudhoo Maldives.

Thanburudhoo Island
Thanburudhoo Island

This will be the first resort under the new brand Patina. Patina’s flagship and the first hotel which is scheduled to open in the second quarter of this year is the The Patina, Capitol Singapore, the property housed in the iconic Capitol Building and Stamford House, which is being masterfully restored by Pritzker Prize Architecture Laureate Richard Meier.

The Patina Thanburudhoo Maldives is scheduled to be open in 2017. The resort will have 40 luxury overwater villas and 30 villas on land. The property is designed by Kerry Hill a world renowned architect especially for the contemporary luxury resort designs in tropical Asia.

Leisure facilities including a surf centre, dive school, spa, swimming pool, yoga and pilates fitness studio, cooking school, children’s club, library club lounge and a screening room are planned for the resort.

The south of the island is home to two of the country’s best breaks, Sultans and Honkies. The original proposal, put forth by the Telos president and founder, Dr. Gunnar Lee-Miller, was to construct a boutique surf resort on the island that would inhibit access to both Sultans and Honkies, only allowing local surfers access to the lineups twice a month.

This proposal on exclusivity on the surf breaks of the Maldives created a battle-ground in recent years, with local surfers, ministries and resorts engaged in heated debate since 2011 over access to the waves.

After years of pressure from local campaigning against privatisation, the Maldives government appears to have retracted its original stance, announcing that all popular surf and dive spots have been freed from any access restrictions.

Thanburudhoo is located in North Malé atoll only 20 minutes from the Ibrahim Nasir international airport by speedboat. The island was formerly used by the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) as a training island. The island was originally leased to a welfare company of the MNDF a SPV formed with SEK (Sifainge Ekuveri Kunfuni – a corporate of the MNDF) holding 90% of the shares and Ministry of Finance 10%. Telos Investment bought the rights to develop the resort from this welfare company.

The Patina Thanburudhoo Maldives hopes to attract surfers with its “rides of a lifetime”.

Allwyn Drego — The New GM Of Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives

Allwyn Drego has been appointed as the General Manager of Shangri- La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives. Prior to joining Shangri-La Maldives, Drego served as the Hotel Manager for Shangri-La Hotel, Mumbai, India from 2012- 2013 and from 2013-2014 at the iconic Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Villa Muthee deck and infinity pool, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa

Drego an Indian national happens to be a Maldives expert. Before his career with Shangri-La, he oversaw the the pre-opening and launching from the ground up of the five-star resort, Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef in the Maldives for Taj Group of Hotels. He was personally involved from hiring and training top talent and quality control checks. He has also gained experience as the General Manager of the award-winning Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in Goa, India and as the General Manager of The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India.

Allwyn Drego holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Commerce from the University of Bombay and diploma in Hospitality Sales and Marketing from The American Hotel and Motel Association. He is also a post-graduate of the esteemed Oberoi School of Hotel Management in Delhi, India. He has attended the Mastercard – ESSEC Luxury Brand Management Executive Programme in Singapore and also Taj-Cornell Winter University for Senior Management.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns or manages nearly 90 hotels under the Shangri-La brand. Shangri-La hotels are located in Australia, Canada, mainland China, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives where Allwyn Drego will serve is located in south of the equator on Villingili Island on the southernmost tip of Addu Atoll in the Maldives, right across from the former British air base and current international airport of Gan island. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives offers guests a stylish and luxurious experience in a spacious and boutique-style environment. As one of the best equipped luxury resorts in the Maldives, guests can enjoy a range of spa and leisure activities and an array of exciting dining and entertainment facilities. There are over six kilometres of picturesque coastline to enjoy, with nearly two kilometres of beautiful white sandy beach. There are lagoon beaches on the western shore of the island and a surf beach on the eastern side.

Bvlgari to make its mark in the Maldives

Panchshil Realty, a Pune based real estate company from India, has revealed that they have tied up with Marriott International Inc., for the luxury brand Bvlgari for an eighty-two room luxury resort property in the Maldives.

Atul Chordia, the Chairman and Ceo of Panchshil Realty said that they aim for the resort to be in operation within two years. He said, “We have taken the land on lease from the government and are building a luxury resort. The work has already started and our target for launching the same is 2017.” According to Chordia the company would be venturing into more resort developments rather than city hotel developments as the returns are better. He explained that the reason for foraying into overseas destinations is, the “ease of doing” business is much better in other destinations. Construction-related approvals and operating licences are a nightmare in India. He also said that every government agency feels they have a stake in the development.

Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Bali

Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts was introduced in 2001. It is a joint venture between Bvlgari S.p.A., the celebrated jeweler and luxury goods retailer, and the Luxury Group – a division of Marriott International that also manages the award-winning Ritz-Carlton hotels, JW Marriott, and Edition.

Bvlgari opened its first hotel in Milan in 2004, a resort in Bali in 2006, followed by a hotel in London in 2012, with a further hotel scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2015 and this newly announced project in the Maldives.

Maldives is well known for luxury brands such as LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton S.A., the holder of 50% shares in Bvlgari S.p.A., who launched Cheval Blanc Randheli resort in Noonu atoll in 2013, the second only in the world.

Cheval Blanc Randheli
Cheval Blanc Randheli