Chef Akira Back Goes to New Extremes in the Maldives

Culinary Force Goes Head to Head with the Forces of Nature for PER AQUUM

He’s tackled the slopes as a professional snowboarder. He’s trained with master chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto. He’s championed his own cutting-edge cuisine, exploring a Korean twist on Japanese fine dining. And he’s won the hearts, and palates, of top celebrities. His fans including the likes of Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift, Pink, The Olsen Twins, Wilmer Valderamma, Kelly Osbourne, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Jonas and David Arquette.

When he arrives in the Maldives this April, Chef Akira Back will take on his newest thrilling challenge. PER AQUUM’s Maldivian resorts welcome Chef Akira to hit the waves, source the freshest catch and wow four groups of lucky diners as they join him for a private dinner in jungle treetops or deep underground beneath the heart of an iconic island.

On the evenings of 20 and 21 April at PER AQUUM Niyama and on 25 and 26 April at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, Chef Akira will create a 12-course tasting menu highlighting some of his favourite exotic ingredients and techniques along with never-before-seen preparations of fresh Maldivian seafood. Sheared baby zucchini recreate vibrant emerald scales atop Maldivian white fish. Umami drenches cold water lobsters. Tiny root vegetables grow in a Seoul Garden. Micro shiso and fresh truffles add herbaceous and earthy tones to his signature tuna ‘pizza’.

BLU Pool and Beach, PER AQUUM Niyama
BLU Pool and Beach, PER AQUUM Niyama

While visiting the islands, Chef Akira will indulge his adventurous streak as a veteran extreme sportsman by riding the waves and joining in the surprisingly dramatic spectacle of Maldivian pole-and-line fishing. As the ship crests on the waves, fishermen using traditional sustainable methods send tuna soaring through the air. Baited into a feeding frenzy with expert techniques, the surface-dwelling tuna latch onto special barbless hooks and are propelled arcing overhead before sliding off onto the deck in a haul that can bring in several tonnes in a single outing.

No stranger to adrenaline and sportsmanship – nor globetrotting – Akira’s backstory is as fascinating as his innovative plates. Born in Korea, he moved to Aspen as a 15-year-old. Plunged into a strange country where he couldn’t speak the language, he learned English by watching James Bond movies and made friends by skateboarding and snowboarding. He decided that if he couldn’t speak English yet, the best way to make friends was by boarding. Akira found himself a quick learner at snowboarding and was soon excelling at big jumps and challenging stunts. After gathering fame – and a series of injuries – he threw himself into a new passion, studying with top Asian chefs and then opening a collection of restaurants: Yellowtail at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Kumi at nearby Mandalay Bay, and self-titled Akira Back restaurants in Jakarta, Delhi, and Seoul.

Possessing a mountain of awards and honours, he has also graced a number of television shows, including the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where he battled Iron Chef Bobby Flay, NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, Food Network’s ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’, Cooking Channel’s ‘United Tastes of America’ and KBS’s ‘Success Mentor’ airing in Korea.

Chef Akira’s private dinners at PER AQUUM Niyama will be held in its treetop Asian avant-garde restaurant, Nest. At PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, he’ll host his first night at over-water Salt, descending on the second night to the underground wine cave, Vinum. Dinner prices start at USD 220++ per person, depending on the venue.

Infinity Pool Lonu Veyo, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi
Infinity Pool Lonu Veyo, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

This ‘Forces of Nature’ special appearance unfolds as part of PULSE, PER AQUUM’s stream of immersive experiences from A-list affairs to intimate celebrations. To reserve the experience or see more of this year’s PULSE line-up, visit peraquum.com/pulse.

Maldives Travel Talk 2016 in Malaysia

The Maldives Travel Talk was organised by the MMPRC in collaboration with the High Commission of Maldives in Malaysia to promote Maldives travel and tourism amongst the local community in Malaysia. The Talk was also aimed at introducing tourists to Maldivian culture and history. The event presented by Horizon Holidays and hosted by MindSpace Events was held Tuesday 15th March at the MBS Community Center in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

The night’s proceedings included an informal talk conducted by the Ambassador His Excellency Mohamed Fahmy Hassan, followed by a short video presentation on Maldives travel, tourism and culture. The floor was opened up for a short Q&A session whereby interested travellers could ask and have their questions answered on planning a trip to the Maldives.

Attendees also enjoyed two beautifully and uniquely choreographed cultural dance performances by the Nottingham Maldivian Society and the students of KDU University. The night’s entertainment also included a variety of Dhivehi songs. Maldivian delicacies were served to the invited guests at the end of the Travel Talk as an added exposure to our culture.

The event was attended by Malaysian nationals, foreign nationals residing in Malaysia and Maldivian students.

Kaani Village and Spa

Kaani Village and Spa, with Swimming Pool, offers 20 deluxe air-conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms which bring together contemporary and modern style to the travelers looking for an easy going budget alternative to the Maldives resort experience.

Rejuvenate your body and mind while enjoying a perfect holiday in Kaani Village, through a splendid spa treatment at Kaani Spa.

All the rooms feature tropical decor, a Queen size bed and also equipped with individually controlled air-conditions with overhead ceiling fans and modern furniture. LCD Tv with 37 channels, Mini bar, Digital Safe with complimentary tea and coffee making facilities. Each room has attached bath room with quality amenities such as water heater, Hair Dryer and rain shower.

For guests of Kaani Village, rejuvenation is never far away. The Kaani Spa is a serene sanctuary featuring a luxurious spa treatment room where you can pamper yourself with a relaxing full-body massage, clarifying or detoxing facial, warm herbal wrap or body glow scrub. The sauna room further help you relax and ease the tension of the day.

Month of Wellness at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Nutrition Chef and Meditation Guru will teach guests healthier lifestyles

Jumeirah Vittaveli has announced the resort’s annual Talise Wellness Month, featuring guest resident Talise Nutrition Executive Chef Gabi Kurz.

Following the successful Wellness Month in 2015, this year’s event will take place from 15 March to 15 April 2016 and continues the tradition by offering guests exclusive programmes including meditation, yoga, fitness classes, special spa treatments and healthy nutrition cooking classes. To complement these wellness activities, the daily breakfast and dinner buffet at Samsara will include a Talise Nutrition corner.

The resort is delighted to welcome back Chef Gabriele Kurz to spearhead the Talise Nutrition Menu. Chef Gabi is the Talise Wellness Executive Chef for the Jumeirah Group Portfolio of hotels and resorts and curated the popular Nutrition Menu last year. During her residency she will launch a new Talise set menu at the resort’s fine dining restaurant Fenesse. Chef Gabi will be at Jumeirah Vittaveli from 23-30 March. During her stay, she will also host cooking classes and demonstrations. Guests can learn how to create healthy dishes out of local and international ingredients to improve their diet not only on vacation but also when at home. For more information follow chef Gabi on Instagram to see her recipe ideas or read Chef Gabi’s blog.

Jumeirah Vittaveli’s Talise Spa and Fitness will conduct daily wellness activities throughout the month. Guest Practitioner Winnie Rode, an internationally renowned meditation and philosophy teacher and sound and music therapist, will visit the resort from March 14-24. He will hold both private and group meditation classes and perform his unique singing bowl sound massages.

Winnie has been teaching philosophy and meditation for more than 20 years. He began his education as a monk in a Tibetan monastery and today, his teachings are mainly based on the Dzogchen tradition.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers luxury romantic escapes and indulgent family retreats, as well as a host of land- and water-based activities, including a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, four restaurants and two bars, Kuda Koli Kids’ Club with family pool, and a Talise Spa with overwater and garden treatment rooms. With its focus on cultural connection and organic experiences, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers guests a true Maldivian island experience.

Sail Away on your Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu

There can be no better way to enjoy the turquoise lagoon and deep-blue ocean waters of the Maldives than cruising on a private yacht. And now Six Senses Laamu makes this a reality with the latest addition to its experiences offerings –  a day on the Sense of Freedom.

Guests can enjoy this beautiful yacht all to themselves for a cruise around the atoll, a picnic on a deserted island, snorkeling at Blue Lagoon, a visit to the sandbank for sunset cocktails or just enjoy the yacht with all its luxury amenities. This is truly an out of the ordinary experience equally suitable for those wanting a romantic escape or a family getaway.

A day on the Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu
A day on the Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu

Sense of Freedom is a 37-foot (12.80 meter) Riviera 37 Flybridge; a luxury yacht with a large cockpit and two cabins able to accommodate six guests plus crew. The cabins include a master bedroom, an adjacent cabin with bunk beds and bathroom facilities inclusive of a shower. It also features a living room area and a small galley. The big fly bridge is designed to offer a view from the top, for those who wish to feel the ocean breeze while cruising.

The resort’s experienced captain and his crew invite guests to embark on an extraordinary adventure that starts in the late morning and finishes well past sunset with a dinner on the beach. As for dinner, the menu is subject to guests’ catch. The crew will provide poles and line and will show the traditional Maldivian way of fishing.

Approaching the deserted island, guests can jump off the yacht and snorkel around the colorful reef or simply enjoy its sandy beach. A picnic will be prepared on the island with their menu of choice, along with a bottle of Champagne and fresh coconuts. For those who wish to sit back and relax under the shade of the coconut trees, sun-loungers are provided.

Snorkeling around the deserted island
Snorkeling around the deserted island

In the late afternoon the Sense of Freedom will make its way back to the resort, making one last stop on the private sandbank just before the sun sets. Bartenders wait with special signature sunset cocktails. The evening ends with a private barbecue on the beach, where chefs will cook the catch of the day! In the unlikely event that guests were unable to catch a fish, they can count on the chefs to ensure that a freshly caught reef fish is available.

The package includes:

– A day trip on the Sense of Freedom
– Snorkeling and fishing equipment
– Picnic on a deserted island, with Champagne, fresh coconuts and a fresh fruit basket
– Sunset cocktails on the private sandbank
– Private beach barbecue dinner

The price for two guests on the Sense of Freedom for a day is USD 2,800 and is subject to 10 percent service charge and 12 percent GST. This experience can be customized. For more information please contact [email protected]s.com

Gahaa

Gahaa is designed to suit for larger groups who wish for a short getaway. Families and large group of friends who have come aboard Gahaa are among our repeat clients who have become accustomed to Gahaa’s services.

Find yourself unwinding with a stroll on countless sands and endless green or visit an island to experience the unique lifestyle of the Maldivians. At night, revel to the beat of Boduberu and experience Maldivian culture in style. Gahaa promises to take you to such extents to make sure that its the perfect way to make the infinite ocean your home for a few days.

ITB 2016 officially inaugurated at Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The biggest travel trade fair of the world, ITB 2016 has been officially inaugurated today, 9th March 2016 at the Maldivian stand. The honors of the ribbon cutting at the Maldives’ stand were performed by the Minister of Tourism Honorable Mr.Moosa Zameer and Secretary General of UNWTO Mr.Taleb Rifai. This year, the exhibition celebrates its 50th anniversary and Maldives is the official partner country of the fair. At the inaugural ceremony, the ribbon cutting at Maldives stand was the first activity in the running order, which was followed by ITB Convention at the Berlin City Cube.

ITB 2016 OpeningTo rejoice and appreciate the Maldivian tourism industry and its prominence to the country, Maldives will be hosting a special evening dedicated to the industry stakeholders, trade partners and exhibiting companies at Berlin tonight. This special event “Maldivian Night” is one of the most favorite activities of the tourism industry and will be attended by more than 600 individuals. Hosted at the Wasserwerk, Hohenzollerndamm, a historic dining lounging hall in Bundesallee, Berlin. A number of industry invitees, trade partners, media representatives and government representatives from Maldives will be attending this special Maldivian Evening.

To start off the evening with, the invitees will be welcomed with special drinks after the registration at the entrance, which will be accompanied by live and calm band music. After seating the guests, the Minister of Tourism HE Moosa Zameer will address a welcome note and a promotional video of the destination will be released. Maldivian performances will then take place, for the guests to enjoy before the buffet dinner. Cultural performances and ‘Boduberu’ will accompany the guests during dinner. After a raffle draw amongst the guests and awarding special prizes to the winners, the Maldivian Evening will then be concluded with live DJ.

Kurumba Maldives Launches New Website

Kurumba Maldives is proud to announce the launch of its new website.

Developed by QUO, the new website has been designed to be more user-friendly, particularly for mobile and tablet users.

Video content has been added, to assist with exploring experiences, facilities and services within the island. The second stage of development will be launched in the coming weeks and will include an upgraded booking engine, a live chat functionality, an interactive Blog site and an updated guest reviews page.

Kurumba Maldives

The distinctive character of Kurumba emerges through this new concept and design, particularly in reference to the choices the island has to offer and its unique and enriching guest experiences, continuing with our commitment to provide more for our guests than resorts further afield.

Jason Kruse, General Manager at Kurumba Maldives stated: “It is Kurumba Maldives’ wish to offer an accurate and complete overview of Kurumba Maldives, the Maldives in Full Colour brand, and the guest experience whilst managing guest expectations and queries. It has become more user-friendly, with simple navigation and clear features. We strive to give our guests as much information as possible, which will be very useful for those who wish to prepare their holiday in advance, as well as those who can’t wait to arrive, with menus, excursions, night entertainment and facilities, etc.”

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Malé 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 is 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 eight different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of 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).

Official Press Conference & Opening Gala Ceremony of ITB 2016 takes place in Berlin, Germany

The official press conference of ITB 2016 was held this afternoon, by ITB Berlin at Funkturm Lounge in Messe Berlin, the fair venue. The Minister of Tourism Honorable Moosa Zameer was present in the official panel along with the ITB officials and organizers to riposte any queries by the press about ITB and Maldives being this year’s partner country. Seniors of MMPRC and MOT also participated in this official press conference as Maldivian government officials.

ITB Berlin 2016Maldives will officially start off the biggest event of the Visit Maldives Year 2016 on 8th March night at the Opening Gala Ceremony of the world’s largest travel trade fair, ITB Berlin 2016. With a total of more than 2,500 invitees attending this special ceremony which marks the 50th anniversary of ITB Berlin, Maldives celebrates being the partner host country of the exhibition. The Maldivian Tourism Minister, Honorable Moosa Zameer will be leading the Maldivian delegation, including ministers, senior government representatives, and industry stakeholders together with MMPRC and Ministry of Tourism.

The Gala will feature a special play by 57 talented performers, artists and musicians from Maldives that will be the main event of this special ceremony. The musical dance will focus on the traditions of Maldives, and how development aroused in the small islands of Maldives.

A musician will blow a conch shell, thus resembling the start of the performance. The play will be distributed into different traditional and folk Maldivian dances, of which each will have a narration; the general facts about Maldives and the portrayed tradition, activity or custom will be covered likewise in the narration. These dances and performance arts will focus on showing the pride that the nation withholds to have such a diverse existence.

ITB Berlin 2016The central point of this whole musical of the opening ceremony is on a ‘Dhoni’ (a Maldivian built traditional boat) and its transformation through the years of how it has evolved into the present. An image of a ‘Dhoni’ is also used in the main logo of the ITB Berlin 50th edition, to resemble Maldives being the partner host country, and to add a traditional Maldivian touch to the branding.

An exquisite dinner hosted by Maldives, after the opening ceremony will feature different varieties of Maldivian mouthwatering dishes to serve the taste buds of all the opening gala invitees. ITB has been the most prominent fair for the tourism industry for decades, and expects exceptional success this year as well.

World champion freediver Christian Redl returns to LUX* South Ari Atoll – Maldives for the 5th edition of the island’s Underwater Festival

To live a life where gravity and time are relative is every freediver’s dream. This year’s LUX* South Ari Atoll Underwater Festival gets up-close and personal with world record holder Christian Redl set to host apnea courses from the 3rd to 9th of April 2016 and reveal how this life-changing sport has irreversibly shaped his life. When the Austrian-born athlete is not engaged in action-packed underwater filming projects to raise awareness on the endangered population of sharks, he holds his breath during the low temperatures of lakes in the Austrian Alps partaking in ever-challenging extreme sports events. ‘Freediving changed completely my life’ says Christian, ‘and the Underwater Festival in the Maldives is where I am able to share what I love the most while being in my element’.

Christian Redl, Marc Hillsheim, LUX* South Ari Atoll

The resort’s diving center operated by Euro-divers enhances the weeklong event with the expertise of German photographer Marc Hillesheim. Underwater photography workshops, freediving photo sessions and guided photography dives are just few of the exciting additions to the Festival. But in today’s world no photo goes unnoticed! That’s why the Underwater Festival hosts an Instagram contest for guests wanting to share their underwater discoveries on the social network and invites in-house participants to tag their images with the hashtags #LUXUNDERWATER #LUXONEBREATH and #NOGRAVITYMALDIVES to win a great deal of prizes.

Besides being able to refer to the Marine Biology Center as source of information on the resident population of whale sharks, guests will also be involved in the exciting findings of Olive Ridley Project’s team and Senior Project Scientist Doc. Jillian Hudgins. Often appointed as marine consultant by the Maldivian Government, Doc. Hudgins co-founded O.R.P. in 2013 with the intent to promote marine ecosystem health and resiliency in the Indian Ocean and its sea turtles. ‘Sustainable tourism is a community effort that starts with small steps and goes a great length’ says General Manager Glenn Daniels, ‘this is why we endeavor to combine healthy water sports with light learning and offer a week of underwater adventures that is as exhilarating as it is enlightening’.

Christian Redl, Marc Hillsheim, LUX* South Ari Atoll

During the day, freediving classes, underwater photography courses and guided expeditions to responsible snorkeling with whale sharks and sea turtles enrich the fifth edition of the Underwater Festival. At night, our passionate experts conduct presentations and underwater-themed movies screened under the stars. Having recently unveiled the resort Signature Pool Water Villas, guests booking those adults-only overwater cocoons with infinity pools during the Festival period, are entitled to one complimentary freediving course per person.

Christian Redl, Marc Hillsheim, LUX* South Ari Atoll

For further information or queries, please contact Dolores Semeraro, Cluster Director of PR & Communications, Maldives [email protected]