Maldives Travel Awards by the Maldives Association of Travel Agents & Tour Operators (MATATO) will be organized and hosted by Think Advertising, on 22 May 2016 at Hotel Jen Malé Maldives.
The (MATATO) Maldives Travel Awards is a recognized label initiated with the idea of MATATO providing the tourism sector of Maldives with recognition for their facilities and service excellence provided to guests.
Awards are presented to nominees in different categories on various sector and standard basis. The Maldives Travel Awards aim to encourage & raise service standards within the Maldivian Tourism industry.
LEADING LOCAL HOTEL/RESORT BRAND
LEADING FAMILY RESORT
LEADING LUXURY RESORT
LEADING ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT
MOST ROMANTIC RESORT
LEADING F&B RESORT
LEADING SURF RESORT
LEADING DESIGNER RESORT
LEADING DIVE RESORT
LEADING BEACH RESORT
LEADING ACTIVITY / WATER SPORTS CENTRE
Travel / Technology
LEADING MARKETING PROGRAMME
LEADING CSR PROGRAMME
LEADING TOURIST GUESTHOUSE ISLAND
LEADING BUSINESS HOTEL
Wellness / Spa
LEADING WELLNESS & SPA RESORT
LEADING WELLNESS & SPA BRAND / CHAIN
LEADING LIVEABOARD BRAND
Aviation / Transport
LEADING DOMESTIC TRANSPORT PROVIDER
LEADING DOMESTIC AIRLINE
The new and exclusive two-week itinerary of Costa neoClassica to discover the colors of India and the beaches of the Maldives, for a unique and intense experience of culture and relaxation.
Departures from December 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017 with flights to Malé and Mumbai, and the possibility of dividing the cruise into two distinct 7-day segments.
Costa Cruises sets its sights on the Indian Ocean, announcing the arrival, in the 2016-2017 winter season, of a totally new itinerary in the array of cruises and package tours involving this destination. From December 15, 2016 to March 10, 2017, Costa neoClassica will depart from Malé or Mumbai—easily reached via flights —on an exclusive two-week journey in the Indian Ocean, around the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India.
Created for all those travelers who prefer exotic and fascinating destinations and who seek new worlds and cultures, the “Colors of India, between Yin and Yang” itinerary will provide a unique and intense experience to those who wish to rediscover a closeness with nature and with the spirituality of ancient and different cultures, in the comfort and security of a cruise. Not just an escape from winter towards warm and sunny beaches, but an authentic cultural experience.
The cruise offered on board Costa neoClassica includes leisurely stops and overnight stays in order to allow our guests to enjoy a complete and intense experience, with the possibility of more than one excursion in the same location. It is the perfect cruise for discovering the fascinating contrasts of faraway destinations, beautiful beaches, and unchecked nature in a land that is a crossroads of religions and spirituality.
The itinerary starts out in the Maldives, where the ship will remain for two days at Malé, among the white atolls, shimmering beaches and blue waters of the coral reef. From Malé, thanks to Costa excursions, guests will be able to sail to Paradise Island Resort, an island wholly dedicated to well-being, beauty and relaxation.
The next stop will be Sri Lanka, the island nation also known as Ceylon. Guests will go ashore at Colombo, where they will visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, one of the best-known attractions of the island: a 25-hectare park that the government of Sri Lanka has set aside for the care of elephants abandoned in the forest, of which there are more than 60 today.
From Colombo we head to India, with its thousand-year-old culture and its intense colors. The first stop in India will be Goa, known worldwide for its spectacular beaches and for its Portuguese colonial architecture. This territory, which is visited every year by hundreds of thousands of Indian and foreign tourists, is considered one of the 21 hotspots of biodiversity in the world. Guests will be able to choose a number of excursions, including a tour of the old city and of the capital, Panjim, and a visit to the Basilica de Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Costa neoClassica will then head for Mumbai, where it will stop for two whole days in order that its guests might fully savor the distinctive contrasts of the city. This fascinating and chaotic metropolis, capital of the state of Maharashtra, has the highest population of all of India’s cities: here Costa guests will be able to admire the main attractions, including the Banganga Tank, an immense basin fed by the underwater river Bhogwati, where the faithful go to pray.
Heading back down the Indian coast, the journey will continue to New Mangalore before arriving at Cochin, in the federal state of Kerala, one of the main maritime ports in the country, where the ship will stop for two whole days. Among the possible excursions to choose from are a visit by tuk-tuk to the village of Kumbalangi and a houseboat ride in the Kerala Backwaters, in amongst the tropical canals of the Cochin hinterland, an incredibly vast system of lagoons rich in mangrove swamps and rainforests. Costa neoClassica will then return to Malé, ending the itinerary back at the Maldives, where our guests will be able to catch their flights back to Italy.
Once again, Costa Cruises confirms its ability to create exclusive itineraries in order to satisfy the needs of its guests, who will also have the choice of dividing the cruise in two separate weeklong segments. The complete itinerary offers the additional option of embarking at Mumbai, with all the same calls.
Kanbili GH is located on the island of Himmafushi in North Malé Atoll, 15km away from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The property provides transfers from the airport by boat, which takes approximately 20 minutes. Free WiFi is available in public areas. Complimentary transport to the bikini beach is provided. Each room here will provide you with air conditioning, a balcony and a terrace. Private bathroom comes with a shower. You can enjoy sea view from the room. Extras include a minibar and cable channels. At Kanbili you will find a shared lounge and spa bath. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including diving, windsurfing and snorkelling. The Male City is a 45 minute ferry ride away.
24 water villas and 1 island villa to open in October 2016 in the Maldives All villas feature a retractable roof for stargazing The resort is set in a 5.6km private lagoon
Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has revealed details of its newest resort, Soneva Jani, opening in October 2016 in the Maldives. The brand’s newest luxury resort offering will comprise 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage.
Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 kilometer lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. The main island is fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery.
Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.
“When we opened Soneva Gili more than 15 years ago, it stood out as a unique and new concept in luxury travel. It is my belief that Soneva Jani is even more revolutionary. There are many small details and improvements, for example at Soneva Gili, guests would often sleep on the top deck so that they could sleep under the stars. In each Soneva Jani Water Retreat or Reserve the master bedroom roof slides back at the press of a button. It closes automatically if it rains,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva.
“We live in an ever more crowded and developed world. Soneva Jani is one of the lowest density resorts in the world. Just 25 Villas are built in an area that stretches nearly five kilometers. It is not an island resort. It is a lagoon with five private islands where only one of these will have development. When designing and building Soneva Jani, I was very mindful that when we open, the area should seem as natural and beautiful as the first day I laid eyes on it,” he added. “Soneva Jani is one of the most anticipated hotel openings in the Indian Ocean this year. We have already witnessed a huge amount of interest, with the first few weeks fully booked within a few days of opening the booking system to the global travel trade.”
Soneva Jani will include all of Soneva’s popular features including a Spa, a dive centre, an observatory, a children’s den, an Eco Centro, organic gardens and an outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The cinema will be the first ‘silent cinema’ in the Maldives, as guests will be given Bluetooth earphones to watch movies so as not to disturb the nesting wildlife in the area.
The resort will serve global cuisine at five dining outlets, and will feature Soneva’s ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms that are complimentary for all guests. Various destination and specialty dining experiences will also be available.
“Soneva Jani is a place of incredible natural beauty. The waters in the lagoon have the most vibrant shades of blue that I have not seen anywhere else in the Maldives. We have an extensive array of marine life, including turtles, rays and occasionally dolphins, and the lagoon is an excellent place for kayaking, sailing and swimming as it is calm, shallow and extends for miles and miles. The villas are stunning and include all the attention to detail that Soneva is renowned for. Construction is progressing quickly and we are on track for an opening in October 2016,” said Olivia Richli, the Pre-Opening and General Manager of Soneva Jani.
Soneva Jani includes 18 units of one-bedroom Water Retreats, four units of two-bedroom Water Retreats, one three-bedroom Water Retreat, 1 three-bedroom Water Reserve, and one four-bedroom Island Reserve.
In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef. Furthermore, solar PV will be a significant source of power generation at the resort, all waste-water will be collected and treated on-site, and water will also be produced on-site, including drinking water. Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre will ensure that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden will give local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.
The resort’s soft opening is planned for October 01, 2016, while the official opening date is fixed at November 05, 2016. Bookings are now available from October 01, 2016 onwards.
In addition to Soneva Jani, Soneva owns and operates Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Soneva in Aqua, an ultra luxurious yacht offering an experiential travel experience, was launched in the Maldives in 2015 and sails out of Soneva Fushi. For more information about Soneva visit www.soneva.com
In the late afternoon sun, fifty baby turtles, barely the size of a seashell, scurried across Dusit Thani Maldives’ white sandy beach and made their way to the turquoise Indian Ocean.
Guests lined the beach, watching the tiny creatures scramble to the water. Leading the crowd in and cheering them on was Rebecca Bull, resident Marine Biodiversity Educator who closely monitored the Green Sea Turtle eggs since their nest discovery was made. While turtles tend to return to the very same beach that they themselves were hatched, it is hoped that the emerging hatchlings will imprint on Mudhdhoo Island and return in their in their maturity to lay their own eggs.
This year, these vulnerable sea turtles set a nesting record with only four weeks into nesting season. With a total of five nests on the island, this would set a record number of nests recorded on the resort. Two of the nests have already produced the first hatchlings of the year; over 100 juvenile Green Sea Turtles, whilst the resort is expecting approximately 200 hatchlings from the other three nests. Green Sea Turtles are listed as an endangered species globally, and listed in the Mediterranean as critically endangered. Therefore this rare and special sighting will make any guest’s vacation a memorable one.
This all came about when Sea Turtle tracks were discovered one bright morning making their way up the beach. The resort appointed employees to create “Turtle Camps” and guarded over the nest during incubation. Guests of all ages who were staying at the luxury resort during this time were invited to participate in the amazing phenomenon by witnessing the release of the newly-born turtles into the ocean.
Dusit Thani Maldives is fully committed to the care and protection of Sea Turtles in Maldives. The resort raises awareness, shares information to hotel guests and takes part in Turtle Conservation by helping to protect endangered sea turtle eggs and rehabilitating injured turtles back to full health for release.
Marble is located in Male’ City, the capital Island of the Maldives, the sunny side of life. We are just 10 minutes ferry ride from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, perfect for business or transit travelers.
At convenient peaceful location, our Facilities and services include Rani Maalam Conference hall, Dining functions, Ladies Gym, Marble Café Restaurant & Sunset lounge Club house. In-house guest laundry service regularly takes one day and ironing boards are available on request. Hotel cab service up to the airport ferry jetty is available on request and WIFI internet is available hotel wide. Reception is open round the clock with concierge, call operator, cashiering and business services.
Marble Café caters for local weddings & party functions. We serve Ala carte menu, offering international cuisine, a wide variety of beverages and occasional live music.
Sunset Lounge is an exclusive clubhouse on the terrace floor ideal for sun bathing, viewing sunset & photography. The clubhouse facilitates an outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and fun games like billiards, darts, board games, reading corner, TV lounge.
Our exciting outings include diving safari trips, snorkeling, fishing, sea sports, Male’ city tour, local island visits, tourist resort visits and visit to a Bar.
Roxy Pacific Managing Director Mr. Chris Teo confirmed that the resort will undergo extensive renovation of guest villas, public spaces and food & beverage (F&B) outlets before opening in the first quarter of 2017. Upon completion it will be the second property to be marketed under Roxy’s premium Noku brand. The first opened in Kyoto, Japan in November 2015.
“We are extremely excited to have completed the acquisition of this stunning property, our first in the Maldives. We look forward to turning it into an exceptional resort that will appeal to upmarket travelers looking for unique experiences in one of the most desirable destinations in the world,” says Mr. Teo. “This acquisition fits with our broader strategy of acquiring boutique properties in Asia Pacific’s up-and-coming locations.”
“As a Maldivian owned and independently managed resort, we are delighted to have found a buyer who would be committed to continuing to deliver the high standards of service and hospitality our team has strived for.” says Mr. Ahmed Hamza, Deputy Managing Director of AAA Group. “We welcome them to the Maldives and congratulate them on acquiring Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru.”
“This is a great outcome for both Roxy Pacific and the seller, AAA Group,” says Mr. Nihat Ercan, Executive Vice President, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, Asia. “The Maldives is a global gateway resort destination. Coupled with its robust trading environment and investor-friendly policies, the country is a highly attractive destination for investors from Asia Pacific, Middle East and beyond. The sale of Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru is the eighth resort transaction exclusively marketed and sold by JLL and underpins the depth of investment activity in the market.
“On the back of this momentum, we are continuing to market resorts in the Maldives and Indian Ocean exclusively on behalf of owners,” adds Mr. Ercan.
Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort and Spa currently comprises 50 villas (30 over-water villas and 20 beach villas), four F&B outlets, a full-service spa, an ocean-front fresh water infinity pool, a state-of-the-art diving centre, a fitness centre with full-sized tennis court, and a luxury boutique.
There were a record 1.23 million tourist arrivals in the Maldives in 2015 and in the first quarter of 2016, there has been a 4.3 percent increase in visitors compared to the same period last year.
Visitors from China make up 29 percent of arrivals, making it the top tourism source market for the Maldives. The Indian Ocean archipelago continues to welcome a large number of visitors from Europe and between 2010 and 2015 the number of visitors from the Middle East more than tripled.
JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group
JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has completed more transactions than any other hotels and hospitality real estate advisor over the last five years, totalling more than $68 billion worldwide.
Between negotiating the world’s most extraordinary, enticing, and profitable property deals, the group’s 350-strong global team also closed more than 4,400 advisory, valuation and asset management assignments.
Investors worldwide turn to JLL to shape their strategies, tailor their portfolios and maximize the value of their assets. We are recognized as the global leader in real estate services across hospitality properties of all shapes and sizes. Our expert advice is backed by industry-leading research.
We apply our broad spectrum of hotel valuation, brokerage, asset management and consultancy services through every phase of the hotel lifecycle. We have helped more hotel investors, owners and operators achieve high returns on their assets than any other real estate advisor in the world.
Whether you are looking for a hotel or you’re ready to sell, we’ll use our capital markets expertise, hospitality industry knowledge and global relationships to put the right parties together and execute a bespoke deal that exceeds your objectives.
The team at Kurumba Maldives is delighted to announce the reopening of the Euro-Divers dive centre on 12th May. This was completed as part of the resort’s continual improvement philosophy; to provide the best value in any 5-star resort within the Maldives. As the Maldives is listed as one of the top locations for diving in the world, Kurumba Maldives wishes to encourage more guests to experience this wonderful activity, in this very unique environment.
The aesthetic of the Dive Centre has been designed to provide a welcoming and open entrance which will be much easier for guests to find. Flowing spaces make up the tank room, storage and drying rooms as well as allowing for an inspiring dive school classroom; while in addition, the showers and bathrooms have been updated. The centre is also fully equipped with state-of-the-art gear and nitrox free of charge for license holders, and offers vast storage for in-house guest equipment.
The remodelling is complete with high ceilings under a traditional thatched roof, constructed from distinctive materials such as lava stone, ceramic and pebble-textured tile, with natural woods under silver, white, and turquoise furnishings. The Dive Centre now faces the sunset and ocean, and the open-plan style, brings an airy and relaxed atmosphere to the space.
Although conveniently located within 10 minutes of Malé airport, Kurumba also offers the chance for guests to explore over 30 different dive sites, the most famous sites being Banana Reef, HP, Nassimo, Okobe and top manta spot, Sunlight Thila. Most of these amazing dive sites are found within a 5-30 minute boat trip from the resort, including 2 manta points, and some of the most exciting drift dives in the Maldives.
Euro-Divers offers a selection of internationally recognized PADI dive courses ranging from the Bubblemaker for children, through to Assistant Instructor qualifications with many specialties in between.
Kurumba Maldives Dive School, operated by Euro-Divers is open 7 days a week, with 3 scheduled dives per day on offer, as well as night dives and fluo night dives on request. There are customized schedules for all ages from 8 to 80, and free trial dives 3 days per week for those keen to explore the underwater world.
Blessed with a year round water temperature between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius, with water visibility up to 40 meters, the Maldives is the perfect destination for recreational divers. Kurumba hopes that the newly upgraded dive centre will encourage more guests to start their dive journey or continue to explore the beautiful underwater world.
As the famous Jacques Cousteau once said: “When man sinks beneath the surface, he is free.” Kurumba Maldives invites their guests to discover the beautiful freedom of the marine world and experience life in full colour.
For more information and a special celebratory offer, please check:
The Maldives attracts travellers from around the world with a visual spectacle unlike anywhere else on the globe. Above the waterline and beneath the waves, unbelievable worlds await exploration. Anantara opens the door to new encounters with a pioneering aquatic experience in a nation where the total area is 99.99% water. Available to guests at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives, Aquafanatics is the first PADI-certified free diving centre in the island nation.
A multitude of watersports from scuba diving to surfing and deep-sea fishing to sailing connect guests from all three resorts to the glistening lure of the Indian Ocean. Launching a country first, the free diving centre offers another dimension to ocean-based adventures on the islands.
The less explored activity of free diving strips many restraints attached with traditional scuba diving. A truly liberating activity, it relies on the diver to hold their breath, leaving them free to move unhindered through the translucent Maldivian waters.
With no oxygen tank bubbles to distort vision, the vivid colouration of coral life glows brighter than ever. Devoid of heavy equipment, guests move at will alongside inquisitive fish, developing a sense of belonging. With every dive guests acquire the ability to stay below a little longer, discovering more on each descent.
Free diving is entwined with the cultural heritage of the islands in the Indian Ocean. Since ancient times locals have harvested sponges and clasped gleaming pearls from beneath the waves. Anantara’s professional freediving instructor, Mari Kagaya, reveals a peaceful, intrinsic underwater encounter. “The Maldives provide the pinnacle in free diving adventure,” she explains. “Escaping the trappings of scuba gear, our encounters with sea life are graceful, natural and deeply personal. Guests discover their own hidden depths, not only of their body, but also the mind.”
Every diver is made to feel at ease in the water with Mari, who is originally from Japan. Her warm and welcoming approach to teaching freediving has been mastered since 2002 when qualifying as a diving instructor in Honduras. Amidst the gentle lapping sounds of the ocean, the resorts’ guests are guided through the theory of free diving. With a new focus on breathing and reserving energy, all that’s left is to turn in the water and embark on a new journey of self-discovery in the Indian Ocean.
To reserve a stay and experience the pleasures of freediving first hand, travellers are invited to contact +960 664 4111 or [email protected]. For more information on Anantara’s Maldives resorts, visit anantara.com.
In conjunction with World Thalassemia Day Hotel Jen Malé Maldives and ADK Hospital Championed a blood donation campaign which was open to the Public.
The campaign was held in Hotel Jen Malé Maldives Ballroom which was equipped with all technical requirements to render the process with a success by both ADK and Hotel Jen Malé Maldives under the guidance of professional Doctors and medical team.
Both the Hotel Jen Malé Maldives and ADK management and staffs fully supported the cause by participating and donating blood which was open from 9.00 am till 4.30pm.
This is Hotel Jen’s second Blood donation campaign, the strong response of staffs from last year campaign resulted in the establishment of the blood donation campaign as a new corporate social responsibility initiative and the management has decided to conduct annual blood donation campaigns.
Despite the rain the turnout from the staffs and public was huge making it a success. The blood donated will be kept in ADK blood bank and this will be served to Thalassemia Majors and dozens of surgeries and serious incidents which require immediate blood transfer to treat those in need.
The Hotel Jen Malé Maldives General Manager Ms. Vathsala Subramaniam commented: “This initiative translates the humanitarian, social role and duty of the hotel and the public its contribution to local community by extending a helping hand to those in need and hospitals that need the support of the community to donate blood units.”
Blood donation has been become a meaningful activity all over the World. As a community focused Hotel, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives always looks for ways to contribute to the community, and there’s no better way than being able to make a difference to something as vital as blood donation said Ms. Vathsala Subramaniam, General Manager of Hotel Jen Malé Maldives.
Shangri-la and its properties are one of them who raise awareness and contribute in conducting initiative awareness programs every year in conjunction with such days marked Worldwide and Locally.
About Hotel Jen
Hotel Jen is a diverse collection of hotels in the best locations across Asia Pacific, with a unique brand of style and service delivery designed to appeal to a ‘New Jeneration’ of travellers.
The brand is the brainchild of virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier and all-time lover of life, travel and discovery.
To guests, Hotel Jen delivers quality, comfort, convenience and value with a twist. Jen cares about what really matters to guests – the important things done well; comfortable rooms and honest authentic service; respect, privacy and efficiency served without fuss or intrusion; cultural insights; interesting experiences; and fast, free WiFi everywhere, always.
For more information and reservations, please contact a travel professional or access the Hotel Jen website at www.hoteljen.com