Elza Artiaga has been appointed resort manager at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. Artiaga started Jan. 1 and will report to the property’s general manager, Mr. Pascal Billon.
Artiaga brings 17 years of leading hotel management experience in the Maldives, Miami, the Caribbean and Chicago to her new role.
Before joining Outrigger, Artiaga was general manager of the Coco Palm, a 4.5 star resort in the Maldives. Prior to that she was the executive assistant manager (EAM) at the 82-suite Carlisle Bay Resort in Antigua in the Caribbean.
A U.S. national, educated in Florida, Artiaga also had a 12-year period with Ritz Carlton in Miami and Chicago performing as front officer manager, director of rooms division, rising to become EAM of the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Resort Palm Beach, a 5-star hotel with 310 guest rooms.
“Elza has proven herself with leading hospitality brands at top end resort destinations,” said Darren Edmonstone, Outrigger managing director, Asia Pacific. “Her expertise will help us consolidate the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort as one of the most desired holiday experiences in the Indian Ocean.”
Artiaga speaks reads and writes English, Spanish and Portuguese and has a working knowledge of Italian.
Both of Artiaga’s parents worked in the hotel sector in Miami. She says: “That is how I developed my passion for team development and delivering world class customer service wowing my guests.”
Her motto is: if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
The 53-villa Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort opened in August 2015. In November 2015 it won the “Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year” prize, awarded by Luxury Travel Guide. The property in the southern atoll of Gaafu Dhaalu offers guests the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives.
Just Surf Villa is a unique guesthouse in Maldives with private pool – on the local island Himmafushi home of the famous surf spot “Jailbreaks”. The Villa has 4 spacious rooms with ensuite bathroom and balcony. The 2 huge living rooms with all entertainment gadgets like TV, DVD, Music System and Fussball table offer enough space for a big group. Relax in the pool while the BBQ is sizzling of the fresh fish.
Our professional surf guide and photographer will make sure you catch the best waves and have professional pictures to brag back at home with. All famous breaks in the North Malé Atoll are within close reach with our Dhoni boat and Jails is even just a short walk and quick paddle away.
The first visitor to the Maldives in 2016 has won a fully-inclusive one-week holiday at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort. Ms Kate Holmes, a UK national, entered the Maldives at Malé airport customs and immigration point at 6.50am on 1 January on an Oman Air flight from Muscat.
Ms Holmes was taking a trip to Hulhumale with a friend to visit various islands. When she returns in September she will stay at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, which won “Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year” in the Luxury Travel Guide Awards in November 2015.
Ms Holmes was greeted by officials of the Ministry of Tourism and a boduberu drum welcome accompanied by Maldivian dancers. Ms Silvia Collepardi, the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, was also there to welcome Ms Holmes.
The prize was created in a joint effort by Maldivian tourism authorities and Outrigger to honour Visit Maldives Year 2016, which is now underway.
By coincidence, 2016 is also the 50th anniversary of independence for the Maldives and the 50th overseas trip taken by Ms Holmes, who said she was very surprised and delighted by the prize.
The award-winning 53-villa Outrigger opened in August 2015 and has the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives.
For queries about the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, email: [email protected] Visit Outrigger Maldives. Tel: +960 684 7771.
‘By promising a luxury holiday with a difference, LUX* South Ari Atoll has heightened the festive spirits of its guests with the newly launched Tree of Wishes on the island. Inspired by an ancient Japanese festival, the weekly appointment at the LUX* Tree of Wishes offers not only a moment to gather feelings and emotions and turn them into wishes written on auspicious red ribbons, but also opens an opportunity to learn about the local communities and support them through various social initiatives.
LUX* South Ari Atoll CSR programs in the Maldives currently engage with several NGOs and among them, the Maldivian Blood Services (formerly National Thalassaemia Center). With the aim of improving the services provided to patients suffering from this hematological disorder, the resort and the Maldivian Blood Service team have signed an agreement allowing both parties to interact on a greater scale generating ways to foster cooperation among medical institutions. The charity support offered by the resort enables the Maldivian Blood Service to cater for more patients with dedicated initiatives to promote blood donation throughout the country.
Guests staying at LUX* South Ari Atoll have the opportunity to contribute by placing a voluntary donation at the Tree of Wishes. All the offerings cumulatively raised by the resort are used to support local charities but by tying a ribbon to the branches of the banyan tree, each guest becomes part of the annual Tree of Wishes Lucky Draw. During the event, one ribbon is picked at random and the lucky owner wins a free holiday at any property within the LUX* Resorts and Hotels portfolio.
‘We are thrilled to have our guests participating in this important cause with us’ says General Manager Glenn Daniels ‘as we believe that holidays are not only a moment to relax and unwind, but also a celebration of life and that embodies our commitment to support local communities’. Keeping not only its guests’ wishes at heart but also the environment we operate in, LUX* South Ari Atoll aims to translate corporate responsibility into social development and continues to deliver an inspiring lighter holiday experience.
For further information or queries, please contact Cluster Director of PR & Communications, Maldives. Dolores Semeraro – [email protected]
Browns Hotels and Resorts will be extending their footprint to the Maldives. The group is planning to build two resort hotels in the island nation.
In addition the company has also signed up with one of the leading travel agencies in Italy, Alpitours to market the newly opened Dickwella Resort and Spa opened on December 22.
Browns Hotels and Resorts General Manager Eksath Wijeratne said that they have signed up with the Italian company who in turn will send tourists for the hotel. “The company also invested over Rs. 250 million to upgrade the 56 roomed hotel.
“We were closed for six months for this refurbishment,” Wijeratne said. All rooms have been done up while several other features too were added under the refurbishment program.
Wijeratne said that the company has also repositioned the hotel as an all inclusive club concept hotel on the request of Alpitours.
The Italian counterpart will also be operating chartered flights from next month and they will use the Mattala Airport for this purpose. Wijeratne said Dickwella Resort and Spa’s forward bookings are very positive and they already have over 80% Italian booking for the January February season channeled through Alpitours. The average stay would be around one week. He said that Alpitours has also stationed a 10 member animation team to work in the hotel to entertain the guests.
LOLC Group’s Leisure sector was grouped under their subsidiary Browns Hotels and Resorts in 2014.
The Group now has nine properties in its portfolio both locally and internationally with 1,200 keys upon completion.
With over 3.1 million customers, Alpitour World is the leading Italian travel group and high-ranking in the European travel industry.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.