On the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, the award judges said, “The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort creates once in a lifetime adventure and exploration opportunities, sprawling villas of unrivalled comfort, style and amenities, world-class cuisine and indulgent, exotic spa treatments. This modern no-holds-barred focus on creating an all-encompassing resort to please every potential guest, made it the obvious winner for Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year.”
Outrigger opened the newly acquired resort on 1 August after an extensive refurbishment. Surrounded by turquoise waters and a pristine coral reef and beach, the property features 53 garden and overwater pool villas comprising the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives.
“Feedback from couples and families since opening tell us they are impressed with our amazing Outrigger villa experience,” says Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort general manager, Pascal Billion. “We’ve worked hard so that our guest service standards, dining and excursions also match the excellence of our award winning contemporary design.”
Luxury Travel Guide said of the awards: “All winners of the Luxury Travel Guide Awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our in-house professionals and celebrity guest judges. This ensures only the most deserving firms and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.”
Kerry Payne, Account Manager, at Luxury Travel Guide added: “The Luxury Travel Guide Awards represent the pinnacle of hospitality achievement, championing the best in their respective fields. Therefore, to come out on top is truly an achievement you should be proud of.”
The private island of Konotta is located 211 miles (340 kilometers) to the south of Malé and conveniently accessible via a 55-minute flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private speedboat.
Second annual festive market opens at luxurious resort in the Maldives
Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives invites guests to celebrate the festive season at the resort and take advantage of a special room offer, live entertainment, gala dinners and the resort’s second annual festive market.
The Winter Wonderland offer includes one free night when seven nights or more are booked, daily complimentary breakfast at Samsara, dinner at Samsara, MU Beach Bar and Grill, or Fenesse. These benefits are in addition to a private pool, complimentary bicycle use and 20% discount on pre-booked Talise spa treatments.
“Jumeirah Vittaveli is the perfect place to celebrate this festive season – guests can relish the serene atmosphere of our elegant resort, or join in on the fun with the host of activities on offer. Our gala dinners will be a treat for any foodie, comprising exotic and traditional delicacies such as stollen, mincemeat tart, oysters, and a chocolate yule log, all prepared by our creative chefs and kitchen teams,” said Graham Kiy, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli.
To mark the festive season, guests can also help create the resort’s first underwater ‘festive tree forest,’ which will contribute to the abundance of marine life that exists around the resort. The festive trees will comprise cone-shaped coral propagation structures and each festive season, a new ‘tree’ will be planted with the help of guests.
The second annual festive market will feature colourful lacquerware and handicrafts from ‘Maldives Originals,’ a not-for-profit initiative that supports local communities.
It will also showcase traditional Maldivian crafts such as Kadjan or palm leaves used for roof-making. A resident astronomer will enlighten guests on the secrets of the sky above in a series of educational sessions including: sky mythology, touring the constellations and the life and death of stars.
Children will be awed by the resort’s fire dancers showcasing the Art of Poi, creations sculpted by a sand artist and Santa who will stop by the resort to deliver goodies. Children can also take part in daily activities at the resort’s Kuda Koli Kids Club, decorate gingerbread houses, or join in Santa’s treasure hunts.
Talise Spa will offer mini massages for children and a dedicated detox package for adults. Pedal boat and stand up paddling races will see guests display their competitive spirit, and guests can avail a special festive discount of up to 25% on motorised water sports activities.
On 24 December, entertainment is set to include a night-time astronomy session, a live band, a belly dancing show by the international artist Viktoria and fire dancers. At Samsara, a magician and a DJ will perform and there will be a traditional festive gala dinner. At the newly opened Indian signature restaurant Swarna, guests can indulge in a special thali night. A multi-course degustation menu will be available at the overwater fine dining venue Fenesse.
On 25 December, Samsara will serve a breakfast buffet and traditional delicacies. The restaurant will offer extended hours for late risers. In the evening, guests may enjoy a special oysters and bubbly night at Fenesse. The live band will perform at Bar-EE and the resident astronomer will hold another insightful night-time session.
On 31 December, Russian Santa Claus Ded Moroz and his helper Snegurochka will arrive with special treats for all children. Guests can attend a special pre-dinner cocktail reception, followed by live performances, including fire dancers, live band, magician, belly dancer, and the classical pianist Sophia Lisovskaya who has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After a lavish New Year’s Eve gala dinner at Samsara, a seven course degustation menu at Fenesse, or the signature Swarna thalis, guests can join the DJ in his countdown to midnight and dance the night away.
On 6 January, an important date in the Russian festive calendar, Sophia Lisovskaya will hold a classical piano performance at Samsara, followed by a showcase of the in-house fire dancers and performances from belly dancer Viktoria. Guests can then party the night away with the live band and DJ or learn about the sky above with the resident astronomer.
Ibrahim Hussein (Ibbadey), owner of Liquid Watersports is the face of flyboarding in Maldives and is inspiring young locals to get into watersports and extreme sports.
Ibaddey-a true sports enthusiast-began his career as a professional footballer and went on to become a divemaster. After working as a divemaster for 7 years, he set up his own water sports center in K. Villingili and began flyboarding. Lack of facilities for extreme sports has not stopped him from chasing his dreams.
Over the last two years he has showcased his impressive flyboarding skills and become a local icon. He is now set to become the first Maldivian to compete in the X Dubai Flyboard World Cup. The superhero talks to Maldives.com about the thrills of flyboarding and his love for the sport.
How did you get into flyboarding?
I came across a video on YouTube and got hooked immediately. I started looking for a way to get a board when a Japanese group brought it to Maldives. I never saw them after that. Then I stumbled upon a board which was for sale, bought it and started flying.
How did you learn?
When I first bought a flyboard, there was no one to teach me. So I learned to fly on my own. Things like backflips came to me quite naturally because I have always been into sports and did gymnastics as a kid. I may not be able to do backflips on the floor, but on water it is very different; it is easy.
Is it challenging to learn and can flyboarding be considered as a safe sport?
It is very easy. Even in the first try, you will be able to fly. We have been doing this for 2 years. Every single person who has come to us managed to fly in the first try. It is all about knowing how to balance. The equipment feels light under your feet because the pressure is upwards. You will not go above 6 feet until you get the hang of it and after that you can control the height according to your comfort level.
As for safety, I would say this is a safe sport. Trying anything for the first time is hard, but once you get the hang of it, you will be OK. It depends on the way you move. I have never been injured. If you’re unfit, sure, you will be prone to injuries. At Liquid Watersports, we give top priority to safety. 2 people will always be on standby. And normally there will be an additional Jet Ski also on standby.
What was your first flyboarding experience like?
For some reason, my first attempt wasn’t successful. I couldn’t lift up and 20 minute later the Jet Ski was flooded with water. But the first time I lifted my feet off the water and flew, it felt as though I had wings. It was an amazing feeling.
You introduced flyboarding to Maldives and subsequently became the face of this extreme sport in the country. How has the sport gained popularity over the past 2 years?
flyboarding has become very popular. We have not been able to spread the word as much as we want to, but even then, it has become very popular. We have taught over 200 people.
You have tried flyboarding in the US and Malaysia. How different were those experiences from your experience in Maldives?
I can’t even compare. I would say Maldives is the best place for flyboarding. The weather is almost always perfect and the water is so beautiful.
Maldives had a chance to witness your impressive flyboarding skills during the 50th Independence Day celebrations. Those performances must have been very special. What was the most memorable flyboarding experience?
I really enjoyed the Independence Day performances. But as far as my best experience goes, North American Flyboard Championship was the most memorable one. That was a fantastic experience, through which I learned a lot. It was great meeting some of the best in the world and seeing them perform.
How does it feel to be selected to compete in the X Dubai Flyboard World Cup?
It is a dream come true. I have always wanted to be the first Maldivian to compete at an international level in some sport. I have worked hard for this and I’m really happy that the hard work paid off. I will do my best at the World Cup and my aim is to reach top 10.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Franky Zapata. He is the inventor of this great sport and is the best at it.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I love extreme sports, so my next target is to learn to fly a jet powered wing, to become a jetman. Hopefully I will achieve that target within the next five years.
With few days remaining for the X Dubai Flyboard World Cup, we wish him all the very best.
With a passion for bold luxury and one-of-a-kind experiences that defy expectation, PER AQUUM jump-starts 2016 with the launch of PULSE – a stream of immersive avant-garde experiences from A-list affairs to intimate celebrations brought to life by creative icons, emerging artistes and the passion of the PER AQUUM team.
Kicking off PULSE’s debut line-up is Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, UK. Justine has two loves – fashion and the written word. As bestselling author of four books, Justine is the literary genius behind the widely acclaimed biography ‘Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life’. This January guests have the opportunity to meet the author at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi where she will reveal secrets unearthed during her research on Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. As part of its ‘Popcorn Under the Stars’ series, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will air the movie ‘Coco Before Chanel’ starring the beguiling Audrey Tautou. PER AQUUM’s first ever PULSE experience will offer a captivating insight from one of the industry’s leading influencers into the links between fashion and art – and the emotional resonance of fashion in all our lives.
Hot on Justine’s heels in early January will be Chef Nelly Robinson from nel. restaurant in Sydney. Celebrated for his contemporary interpretations of modern Australian dishes, Chef Nelly and his team pride themselves on working with only the freshest seasonal produce with a weekly changing degustation menu. nel. restaurant currently claims the top spot on Australia’s largest restaurant booking network, Dimmi, and was awarded the 2015 Time Out Sydney’s People’s Choice Award. Chef Nelly Robinson from down under will dive eight metres underground at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi’s unique cellar cave, Vinum, for an exclusive one-night-only dinner.
In February, free spirit and GRAMMY Award-winner Joss Stone lands in the Maldives for an exclusive one-night only performance at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi for her Total World Tour, an ambitious personal quest to play in every country on the planet. In each country, Joss is aiming to collaborate with local home-grown musicians, playing indigenous music as well as her own songs including hits from her new album ‘Water For Your Soul’. This experience will be a first for the Maldives as PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi brings a ‘World Tour’ event to its shores.
In April, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and PER AQUUM Niyama join forces to host Chef Akira Back and his celeb-enticing brand of Japanese cuisine with a Korean twist. Known for his appearances on Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America’ battling Chef Bobby Flay, Chef Akira can also be seen on NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, Food Network’s ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate’, The Cooking Channel’s ‘United States of America’ as well as KBS’ ‘Success Mentor’ which airs in Korea. Once a professional snowboarder, Chef Akira has worked under acclaimed maestros Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto, and is the success story behind the famed Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar and Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, both in Las Vegas, as well as the talent behind Akira Back New Delhi and Jakarta.
Also conjuring up culinary creations at PER AQUUM Niyama is Chin Chin Labs. Straight out of Camden Market in the UK, Chin Chin Labs has achieved a cult status amongst chefs and ice cream aficionados the world over. Shunning traditional techniques and convention, Chin Chin Labs has been creating artisanal ice creams to order, frozen with liquid nitrogen and billowing with clouds of ‘ice’ since 2010. Having pioneered liquid nitrogen ice-cream as a retail concept, Chin Chin Labs is known for nods to haute cuisine with flavours such as Guinness caramel with smoked salt, pink guava and pepper crack and blueberry marshmallow and apricot rose. Hailed by The Times as ‘The best ice cream parlour in England’ and ‘a place where chefs come for inspiration’ by TimeOut London, these ice cream magicians will be making Maldives-exclusive flavours at PER AQUUM Niyama’s island ‘Play’ over Easter featuring ingredients from the resort Chef’s own herb garden.
Injecting a little vintage elegance to PER AQUUM’s ‘Dream Island’ in mid-2016 will be Indian artisans of leather, Nappa Dori, in a celebration of the glamour of travel and the discovery of new frontiers. A tribute to quintessential Indian sensibilities, blended perfectly with contemporary interpretations in design, material and craftsmanship as well as a dose of nostalgia, mysticism and romance, guests at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will have the chance to take part in bespoke workshops, learning the art of leather making from the masters of their craft.
With all this and more on the horizon – from parties until dawn to one-on-one masterclasses – Nick Downing, Vice President of PER AQUUM Hotels & Resorts, has appointed a new Creative Director, Angeline Leo, one of the trendsetting brand’s original dream team. With, quite literally, her finger on the ‘PULSE’, Angeline has spent the last ten years curating and actualising a number of exclusive events, including PULSE’s previous incarnation as the brand’s iconic ‘Dream Calendar’ which was shortlisted for several awards including Most Original Campaign and Greatest Guest Experience at LE Miami.
For a taste of the PER AQUUM Life, reserve your place at one of the upcoming PULSE Experiences by calling +960 664 4111, go to peraquum.com/PULSE, search by hashtag #PULSEbyPAQ or email [email protected]
On International Diabetics Day, a team from Hotel Jen played a supportive role in the International Diabetes Day Celebration that was organized by the Diabetes Society in cooperation with Aquathon Trainers of Maldives.
The occasion aimed to raise heightened awareness and knowledge particularly among the general population and the media on diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need as well as to give support to diabetics in their ceaseless efforts to control the disease.
Different age group of participants from the public in all walks of life, government agencies, Diabetes Society registered members and Hotel Jen colleagues, participated in the event organized by Diabetes Society of the Maldives to inculcate the importance of exercise for everyone including the diabetic patients in living towards a healthier lifestyle.
About 200 participants of ages 15-70 were involved in the three hour Aquathon fun program which was held on 14th of November 2015 at Hulhumale’ swim area from 9am – 12am. The participants were treated to healthy meal which includes 100 kg of fresh bananas hosted by Hotel Jen.
Hotel Jen team had some serious fun participating in the exercise at the swim area in Hulhumalé by having the chance to experience Aqua Aerobics and found the awareness information session shared in the program very beneficial as it encourage introspection of one’s own self lifestyle as seen from perspective of the wellness lens and made everyone realize the importance of exercising regularly.
All in all, it was a great leisure activity that provided a good cardiovascular workout and an enormous sense of wellbeing to all participants and as one participant aptly put it “I love it- it gives me a high and did a world of good to my body.”
Review — Veli means sand in Dhivehi and indicates Kurumba’s commitment to incorporating essential local ingredients such as coconut oil and indigenous herbs into its spa treatments at Veli Spa. “We are the first spa in the Maldives to use traditional medicine in its most authentic form as a base for our treatments,” says Spa Manager Aishath Zulfishan, or Xubba, as she prefers to be called.
Kurumba is the Maldives’ first resort and it’s refreshing to see that it continues to be a pioneer in the industry. Using ancient Maldivian medicine in its treatments, is an important step in preserving a unique element of local culture that has been passed on from generation to generation.
It took Xubba eight months to learn Dhivehi Beys, traditional herbal remedies, from one of the most respected local herbal healers. Her proudest moment was to invite her teacher to Kurumba and offer him a treatment at Veli Spa. “He was speechless. He had no idea that this is what we are doing. His words mean more to me than anything,” she says.
Maldivian traditional medicine dates back to a time before doctors. It is based on local herbs and medical knowledge and secrets travellers from faraway shores have shared with the local people over centuries. “Unlike medicines one buys at the pharmacy, herbal medicine is not a quick fix but a life long solution,” Xubba says.
Using traditional remedies and local ingredients is part of the holistic approach to wellness at Veli Spa. “We all lead busy lives, and muscle tension is often the result of mental tension and stress,” Xubba says. “A spa treatment is a journey, we assist guests to foster a positive outlook and embrace self care.”
For my aching writer’s back she prescribes Akarakaraa Theyo Dhemun (Spirit of the Maldives), a signature full body massage, that was especially created for Veli Spa and can be tailored according to needs.
I ask my masseuse Made, who hails from Bali, to apply strong pressure. Her nimble hands spread signature oil – healing local herbs and coconut oil – in relaxing strokes and apply pressure point work in all the right spots, loosening my tight muscles. I soon drift off, lulled by the rhythm of her hands and the soothing scent of the herb-infused oil. My massage is finished with the application of heated sand poultices, which feel so much more comfortable against my body than hot stones, which are commonly used in other forms of massage to warm up tight muscles.
Supple, relaxed and feeling nourished, I float over stone steps and across landscaped water features to another treatment room where Sri, also from Bali, indulges my feet in an hour-long treatment.
She soaks my callused feet in warm water enriched with purifying sea salts. Whilst I sip a glass of complimentary champagne, Sri gently works away on my feet – scrubbing, buffing, shaping, exfoliating and massaging. A shea butter and mango wrap leaves my feet and calves feeling deeply nourished; skillfully applied metallic red nail polish makes my feet look great for weeks to come.
Resting in the spacious and tranquil relaxation room post-pampering, I reflect on how lucky I am to have been given a taste of Dhivehi Beys at Kurumba’s Veli Spa. Saying farewell to the enthusiastic Xubba, the country’s first Maldivian Spa Therapist, I feel hopeful that these traditional remedies will continue to be passed on from generation to generation. Kurumba Maldives is once again leading the way of innovation and preservation.
We are proud to announce that Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives has won the 2016 Condé Nast Johansens Spa Awards for Excellence in the Best Newcomer category – Africa, Indian Ocean and Middle East.
“The Eden of the Indian Ocean, Gili Lankanfushi is a favourite with spa aficionados and stressed-out professionals seeking pampered solace. With sunrise yoga, on-site Chocolatiers, world-class diving and a “Mr/Ms Friday” (butler) service, experiences at this extraordinary resort range from the exceptional to out-of-this-world with a firm focus on indulgent relaxation” – Conde Nast Johansens.
Created to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across the featured spas in their Luxury Spas Guide, the annual Conde Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence are a trusted mark of quality, recognised by luxury consumers and travel professionals alike.
Gili Lankanfushi™, Maldives is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations. Gili Lankanfushi™ is set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Malé Atoll. This luxury resort is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the International Airport at Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. This 5-star resort is set on the private tropical island of Lankanfushi in the Malé Atoll, one of the 19 atolls that stretch over 800 kilometres through the Indian Ocean. It is one of the 1190 islands that make up the Maldives.
Anantara Kihavah Villas welcomes Chef Tim Butler in a guest appearance at Sea Underwater restaurant for two nights. In association with Fine Dining Lovers, the event marks the launch of an exclusive series at Anantara resorts across the Maldives, which will feature culinary collaborations with San Pellegrino’s annual list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
To mark this exciting alliance, bringing #25 from this year’s 50 Best list, Tim Butler from EAT ME restaurant in Bangkok will appear for two nights at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas. Likeminded food lovers will gather in the sublime ambiance of Sea underwater restaurant for an evening of exotic flavours and shared conversation on November 28 and 29. With seating limited to just 18 places each evening, it promises to be a rare and intimate opportunity, paving the way for future events in 2016.
“I have always wanted to go to the Maldives and I am delighted to share Anantara’s exemplary vision of guest experiences with our discerning diners and travel enthusiasts,” says Chef Tim Butler. “When I heard that my dishes will be served in Anantara’s own award-winning underwater restaurant, I could feel shivers of excitement at just the very thought of such a magical combination. I can’t wait to get there and work with everyone for two very special evenings.”
At the world’s only underwater wine cellar and restaurant Sea, Chef Tim will indulge guests with the wonders of his dishes that bring a mix of global ingredients, while his creativity brings a fresh, progressive feel to the menu. “The team at Anantara Kihavah is excited to welcome Tim to the Maldives and to mark the first of many exclusive Guest Chef events and collaborative guest experiences with San Pellegrino and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants,” says Kihavah General Manager Jean-Marc Ma-Poon.
Among the signature dishes showcasing just why Chef Tim is ranked #25 in Asia, the seven-course menu will include KUMAMOTO OYSTER (sea urchin & yuzu), SHIMA AJI TARTAR (osetra caviar & blood orange), SEARED SCALLOP (white truffle & charred cauliflower) BLACKMORE WAGYU TATAKI (miso & wasabi), FOIE GRAS “TORCHON” (rabbit rillettes & black truffle), WOOD PIGEON (morel mushroom & egg) and CHOCOLATE & CHILLI (praline & whiskey). Additionally, a menu of the finest spirits and wines will be selected by Kihavah’s Master Wine Guru, Nilesh Bootun and Executive Chef Gaspare Greco to complement the exclusive fine-dining event.
“As part of our strong partnership with Anantara, we are truly excited about this opportunity for one of our top Bangkok-based chefs from the prestigious list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, to cook this amazing Fine Dining Lovers event in the Maldives”, says Filippo Cassabgi, Area Manager for San Pellegrino.
Available to guests at Anantara Kihavah Villas as well as those staying at other resorts in Baa Atoll, this month’s one-of-a-kind offering can be booked by calling Anantara Kihavah Villas directly at +960 660 1020.
Six Senses Laamu is ready to welcome the 2015 Festive Season with special events and out of the ordinary experiences for everyone to enjoy. Special celebrations for guests of all ages will be taking place between December 23, 2015 and January 3, 2016 and these include the following holiday highlights:
Six Senses Spa experts suggest to start the day with a laughing yoga session or a Six Senses Mindfulness Meditation. A variety of classes and workshops have been added to the extensive range of signature treatments. For those seeking to discover yoga, aerial yoga, asanas, yoga nidra, pranayama and many more sessions will be available to choose from. The spa is also delighted to have Dr. Gopal, a naturopathic doctor and yoga expert from India, back. Dr. Gopal specializes in Ayurveda, wellness, and nutrition and will be offering, among others, Ayurveda workshops, royal Indian head massage and Chinese acupuncture.
Chef Martin and his team offer various culinary suggestions for this season; from a wine journey around the most famous vineyards of the world to an evening of authentic curries and spicy dishes from India and Sri Lanka or a Thai street market experience setup on the beach. And for more culinary adventures, the chef will be hosting another sought after pop-up dinner. While the details of the pop-up will remain a surprise until the actual start of the dinner, be assured that the pop-up will be Festive!
Making marshmallow snowmen, sandcastles and decorating festive ornaments is not an easy job for younger guests. A variety of creative, educational and sports activities will be organized by the resort’s hosts for children of all ages, along with a pirate snorkeling adventure.
Des Mitchell will be adding a soul twist to our sunsets on the decks of Chill Bar and Sip Sip and he will be jazzing it up with his good friend and fellow performer Sara France.
Everyone will be wishing Maruhaba aa’aharu, (Happy New Year) in the local language, in a locally-inspired New Year’s Eve setting. Des Mitchell will be hosting the New Year’s Eve party on the beach, inviting all to dance the old year away and to welcome a prosperous new year.
For those setting out for an adventure, there are plenty of excursion options available. Whether it be hopping on a boat to experience life in Maldives by visiting a nearby local island or having a deserted island to yourself for a day, boat captains are ready to take guests there. It is a great time for families to get together and spend some quality time.
But not everything happens on land. Discover the colorful underwater world of the Laamu Atoll with diving and snorkeling excursions or try the skills in your favorite watersports. The hosts are ready to be challenged in volleyball, football, water polo and other sports activities and games. Clear and starry skies away from the city lights are truly beautiful, so if you are fascinated by the universe with its stars, planets, comets and moon, join astronomer Dr. Parag for stargazing sessions on the beach at night. He will also be offering sun gazing sessions in the mornings.