Hurawalhi hosts Martin Stelfox’s Olive Ridley Project

Hurawalhi Maldives hosted Martin Stelfox, founder and CEO of the Olive Ridley Project, for a 4-day visit, during which the resort’s guests and team members received a lot of interesting information about sea turtles and about threats these magnificent animals are exposed to.

Martin joined our guests on two Turtle Tour snorkelling excursions; combined, we visited three different snorkel sites that are known to have resident populations of sea turtles – Kuredu Caves (a.k.a. Turtle Airport), Kuredu Lagoon and Komandoo House Reef – which allowed our guests to not only see these sleepyheads up close and personal, but also to get plenty of fascinating insights from Martin and Lisa, the resort’s resident marine biologist.

Founder of Olive Ridley Project Martin Stelfox, Hurawalhi Island Resort
Founder of Olive Ridley Project Martin Stelfox, Hurawalhi Island Resort

The Turtle Tours were charity events and it was with great pleasure to be able to make a generous donation to the Olive Ridley Project that will surely be beneficial to the organisation’s conservations and protection projects across the Indian Ocean.

To show our guest what lurks deeper down beneath the ocean surface, Martin happily accepted Prodivers’ invitation to dive at two of Lhaviyani Atoll’s famous dive sites, Kuredu Express and Kuredu Caves; in total, the divers spotted a whopping 16 green sea turtles! At Caves, the group even met two familiar turtles, Clio and Sapphire.

Founder of Olive Ridley Project Martin Stelfox, Hurawalhi Island Resort
Founder of Olive Ridley Project Martin Stelfox, Hurawalhi Island Resort

On Tuesday evening, at the weekly Prodivers’ Divers Night in Coco Bar, Martin gave a talk on sea turtle biology and the mission of the Olive Ridley Project.

To wrap up the visit, Martin joined the excursion to the Turtle Sanctuary at Naifaru to visit the 4 Olive ridley sea turtles that had to be transferred to Naifaru for rehabilitation after being rescued by Hurawalhi and Prodivers. Zoe Cox, the marine biologist of the sea turtle rehabilitation centre, was a great host.

On behalf of everyone at Hurawalhi, including guests who clearly appreciated the knowledge and passion he shared with us, we would like to thank Martin Stelfox for visiting the resort – we look forward to many more common turtle-related projects in the future!

Last but certainly not least, a big ‘well done’ to Paige, Lisa and Martin for having removed a ghost net from the nearby Latheef dive site and thereby prevented the reef from being further damaged and marine life being entrapped. 

Turtle, Hurawalhi hosts Martin Stelfox’s Olive Ridley Project
Turtle, House reef, Hurawalhi Island Resort

 

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Kuredu welcomes new General Manager Patrick de Staercke

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, the Maldives’ second largest resort, has named Patrick de Staercke as its new General Manager.

To those who have had the pleasure to work with Patrick, the appointment does not come as a surprise. His professional background and excellent people skills have been a winning mix for bringing all resorts under his management to new heights; the popularity of one of the Maldives’ most romantic resorts, Komandoo, and the outstanding guest feedback that Hurawalhi is receiving, are examples of Patrick’s determination to exceed bottom line expectations and his drive to attain the best possible performance.

Patrick’s management skills, passion and customer orientation are on par with his bright personality, wit and accommodating nature, which inevitably results in good spirits running high throughout the team. This nourishing of positivity and keeping a strong focus on guest satisfaction and constant improvement of facilities and services are a prerequisite for any property to flourish; by having Patrick at the helm of the resort, we are certain that Kuredu will continue to be among the best-value resorts in the Maldives.

On behalf of everyone at Kuredu, we congratulate Patrick de Staercke on the appointment and wish him great success.

General Manager, Patrick de Staercke, Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, the Maldives

Hurawalhi celebrated earth hour under the stars

Hurawalhi Maldives joined the global environmental Earth Hour movement for the first time on Saturday, 25th March 2017, and invited guests to dine underneath the stars as the majority of lighting at the resort was switched off for an hour.

The clear night sky offered unrivalled stargazing opportunities, so guests could watch the stars dance during dinner or from the Stargazing Lounge that was set up in front of the reception. The atmosphere was made even more pleasant thanks to Boduberu drummers, who performed against a backdrop of sparkling flames of a bonfire on the beach.

While Earth Hour is not about how much energy is saved during the hour, but mainly about putting the spotlight on the issues facing the planet and inspiring people to live more sustainably, we nevertheless observed with great pleasure that the resort’s power consumption decreased by over a half compared to the hourly average of the past week; with the turning off of the non-essential lights at the resort we saved 46.58 liters of diesel.

Hurawalhi views sustainability as the essence of its operation and goes well beyond Earth Hour in its commitment to the protection of our blue planet. From harnessing solar energy and using glass water bottles to energy-wise hot showers and ocean conservation, the resort seeks to keep its ecological footprint small.

We trust the evening inspired everyone involved to take further action themselves and contribute their part in the pursuit of preserving this beautiful planet of ours for many generations to come.

The Reef Outside The World’s Largest All-Glass Undersea Restaurant 5.8 Is In Bloom

Leaving her diving equipment behind on the jetty, Paige Bennett tingles with excitement as she briskly walks to the front window of the undersea restaurant to show the miniature reef ecosystem that she has created. ‘It was always a hope of mine that I would come to 5.8 one afternoon to check on the coral growth and see a giant moray eel making a home in the reef – and look, this is already the second one!’

Paige Bennett, Hurawalhi Island Resort
Paige Bennett, Hurawalhi Island Resort

Paige, an enthusiastic diving instructor with broad marine conservation experience, started an initiative of great ecological value back in May 2016: coral gardening outside 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. ‘Prodivers and I wanted to create an extension of the existing reef that would represent, on a small scale, the beauty of the Maldives’ underwater while at the same time reviving marine life that had, at the time, been weakened by the El Niño. With a carefully devised plan of action, a team of divers dislodged some blocks of coral that showed few signs of life and placed them onto the shelves surrounding the restaurant. Just one day after the first coral planting was complete, the area was covered with damsel fish, wrasse were feeding in the sand, and pairs of butterflyfish were hovering over the reef. ‘Fish life around the restaurant is nothing short of amazing’, adds Mie Shaahh, a local who was instrumental in the project. ‘Dreams don’t work unless you do ‘- and what a dreamy hustle-bustle of marine life it is!

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

Hurawalhi Island Resort is located inside a reef channel through which nutrient-rich water gets funnelled into the atoll. 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, in particular, lies in a bay that experiences a constant backwash current, creating a potential for the reefs to thrive. Diners at the world’s largest and deepest undersea restaurant will not only be in for a variety of treats served on their plates, but will also get to admire amazing views of the new coral reef that Paige and the team brought to life. At the moment, you can see more than 100 different species of fish living on the reef, including everyone’s favourite clownfish. ‘Coral bleaching had devastating consequences on anemones. Water temperature of 32 degrees Celsius induced stress on anemones, causing them to release photosynthetic algae they use to create energy into the water.’ Anemones became white and shriveled, but within a couple of days the team noticed that the 20 bleached anemones were turning brown again and within 2 weeks they had become healthy and full with clownfish laying eggs around them. The new location with favourable currents and temperature helped them to regain the algae quickly enough to prevent them from dying.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

An additional piece in Hurawalhi’s ‘sustaining the reef’ jigsaw puzzle is a sunken shipwreck, an artificial reef that already sees some vibrant marine life activity. Paige observes that the life around the wreck is different from other parts of the reef: ‘Trumpetfish, moray eels, giant pufferfish and small groups of snappers have already made it their home. Hopefully we will have sponges and soft corals covering it in a few years.’

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

‘No matter what time of the day you dine at the restaurant, you can see the most beautiful array of marine life in all colours of the rainbow. There are oriental sweetlips hovering under a table coral, giant trevallies hunting, jellyfish bioluminescence-ing as they drift by in the current – I could list all of the species that one can expect to see during a meal, but I don’t want to spoil the magic that’s waiting here.’

2 tasting menus and coral garden view, please!

New Hurawalhi island resort’s Duniye Spa

There are few things in the world more luxurious than being pampered in paradise. This December, the opening of the new Maldivian island, Hurawalhi, takes this one step further with its Duniye Spa. A perfect fusion of the natural and the decadent, the Duniye Spa exclusively uses chemical-free, organic, high-quality ingredients and locally-produced coconut oil whilst providing a service only capable of a luxury private island.

‘Duniye’, which means ‘universe’ represents the spa’s philosophy: a universal approach to wellness, with treatments inspired by ancient and modern cultures from around the globe. The spa villa sits over the ocean, offering a feeling of total immersion into serenity and nature. The spa is strongly influenced by the many healing traditions of Asia and Africa, complemented by The HealingEarth™ and PURE™ product lines which elevate the senses in both solo and couple treatments.

HealingEarth™ is an African brand with each product lovingly created to harness the restorative powers of Africa’s rich natural resources. Developed by leading cosmetic scientists, all HealingEarth™ ingredients are carefully selected and meticulously researched, ensuring a pure product which connects users to the healing powers of Mother Earth. All HealingEarth™ products are free from synthetic fragrances, colourants, petro-chemicals, DEA, preservatives and parabens.

For the ultimate in indulgence, the Maldivian Island Paradise Ritual is the one to try. This 120-minute treatment pampers from top to toe, leaving skin hydrated and hair nourished, thanks to the local 100% virgin coconut oil. It begins with a freshly ground Coconut-Vanilla Body Polish which sloughs off dry skin, revealing healthy skin beneath. A coconut hair mask is then applied, whilst the skilful therapist provides an Indian head massage using rosemary-infused coconut oil. The oil is then left to penetrate the hair, deeply conditioning it in the process, while you lie back and enjoy either a Balinese or Muscle Ease massage with coconut oil.

All treatments are available for both solo or couple sessions and, along with the large selection of body wraps and beauty treatments, makes Hurawalhi’s Duniye Spa perfect for a luxury getaway and most of all, a much-needed rest.

Meet Hurawalhi Bars Manager — Lalith Payu

The opening of a new property is the pinnacle of any hospitality manager’s career. The excitement of new concepts and the bond that forms among team members with the coming together of a new resort is a magical experience. Hurawalhi Maldives is no exception: its 5-star character combined with the beauty of the island is a major draw not only for guests but also for the people who will soon call it ‘home’.

The recruitment is underway and in addition to a number of new faces, we are thrilled that Hurawalhi guests will be taken care of by quite a few team members who developed their expertise at the sister resorts Kuredu and Komandoo. One such individual is Lalith Payu who has been entrusted the Bars Manager role. His dedication to delighting patrons ensured he was one of the first talents to be selected for the opening of Hurawalhi Maldives. Lalith’s eye for detail and his charming social graces, paired with the luxury surroundings of Hurawalhi, is a winning cocktail in itself.

Lalith’s experience has seen him work at the 5-star Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, the Wateredge Inn in the UK and several other properties; yet although Lalith’s heart is scattered around various places of the world, it is the Lhaviyani Atoll where he is happiest. Having said that, it is our pleasure that we can help him climb the career ladder and introduce his talents and joyful character to Hurawalhi guests.

Lalith will showcase his talents as a master mixologist in Coco Bar, Aquarium Bar and the Champagne Pavilion – three very different venues with equally stunning oceanfront vistas, charm and intimate ambience. He will also oversee the beverage service in Canneli and 5.8 Undersea Restaurants.

On behalf of the whole Hurawalhi team, we say welcome Lalith and a heartfelt congratulation!

Hurawalhi — Maldives without limits

With more than 1200 resorts to choose from in an area already world-renowned for its beauty – a new opening ought to be nothing short of spectacular to be worthy of interest. Hurawalhi in the Maldives is unparalleled, extraordinary and utterly original.  Environmentally innovative, a breath-taking underwater restaurant, a tropical Champagne Pavilion, stylish villas and an over 18s-only policy and with no other resorts as far as the eye can see – Hurawalhi offers its own take on Paradise.

This is the Maldives redefined; a truly unique five-star resort experience, nestled amongst the spectacular coral reefs of Lhaviyani Atoll, opening in October 2016.

Just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Malé, here are a distinctive collection of superbly designed, exclusive and supremely spacious villas strung across the glittering lagoon – perfectly positioned, so that all guests can enjoy either sunrise or sunset panoramas. And with dining options that include on the beach, over the water, and even under the water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible.

Offering 90 Villas including 60 Ocean Villas and 30 Beach Villas, Hurawalhi is a sanctuary of serenity for grown-ups who are seeking luxury and innovation. The residences are stylishly and beautifully conceived featuring soothing décor, sumptuous linens on king size beds, bleached wooden floors, and private terraces with panoramic views.

With a strong environmental focus, Hurawalhi gives back to the Maldives as much as it gets. Using solar panels, its own water bottling plant, energy saving solutions, hot water recovery and an in-house marine biologist, Hurawalhi’s eco credentials are the finest in the Maldives.

In addition, Hurawalhi is collaborating with WiseOceans, the marine conservation and education specialists. WiseOceans are teaming up with the resort’s own in-house 5* PADI instructors in order to provide educational guided dives and snorkelling through the spectacular nearby reefs and shipwrecks. The island is a nesting site for green turtles and WiseOceans are tasked with preserving this natural habitat as well as educating visitors on these beautiful and endangered creatures.

The scene-stealer is the underwater restaurant, named 5.8 and will send senses soaring in this unparalleled setting, located 5.8 meters beneath the sea.  Each dish blends the best ingredients with innovation and style, resulting in a showcase of imaginative modern cuisine, combined with an incredible location, wine and service. Surrounded by out of this world marine views, the minimalist-designed restaurant keeps the focus outside; and rates high on romance – every table is set for just two. The menu concept is a multi-course tasting extravaganza also available with wine pairing options narrated by the sommelier.

Coming up for air, above the water, the Aquarium restaurant offers staggering sea views by day and a romantic flicker of candlelight by night.  Serving a contemporary menu with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, organic and artisanal, a Teppanyaki grill, there is an emphasis on the freshest of local seafood and the finest quality of prime beef with delectable sushi, sashimi and tempura all prepared by a personal, highly skilled chef.

Canneli is a third option for dining, serving international cuisine prepared to the highest standards whilst overlooking the tranquil Indian Ocean. Private beach dining al fresco under the stars is also encouraged, allowing guests to create once-in-a-lifetime memories in a romantic setting second to none, enjoying signature lobster and wagyu beef created by a personal chef. The seductively lit bar is directly on the beach with al fresco decking overlooking a glimmering pool and lagoon, and includes a comprehensive shisha selection.

For activity seekers there is tennis, badminton and beach volleyball, with a sports fishing boat for deep-sea fishing.   There is incredible diving on offer including guided diving and snorkelling boat trips and a complete PADI 5* training centre. There are jet skis available as well as paragliding, water skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaks and catamarans.

Hurawalhi’s blissful Duniye Spa brings visitors closer to nature overlooking the vibrant turquoise water. Duniye means “universe” and the name represents its philosophy: a universal approach to wellness, with treatments inspired by ancient and modern expertise from around the globe. A strong influence from the healing traditions of Asia and Africa can be seen in the spa’s repertoire, including the use of local ingredients and treatments inspired from traditional cultures. Channeling wholeness, simplicity, purity and quality, the spa uses only the highest quality chemical free, organic compound products from ‘Healing Earth™ – they are all free from petrochemicals, synthetics, colourants, DEA, preservatives and parabens.

Indeed, there are countless reasons to visit the Maldives: dazzling white sands, cyan-blue seas, spectacular underwater life, and incredible sunsets. The opening of the extraordinary Hurawalhi ensures that this destination will remain unmissable in the years to come.

What’s exceptional:

  • 60% of the resort runs on sustainable solar energy with the majority of the villas being powered by solar panels. No Plastic Bottles – the resort has its own water bottling plant and sustainable energy throughout
  •   Best Diving in the Maldives with nearby Manta Rays, Nurse Sharks and world-class dive sites
  •   Largest and deepest underwater restaurant – 5.8 metres under the sea
  •   Adults-Only sanctuary on pure white sand on a crystal blue sea
  •   Duniye Spa uses only organic, preservative and chemical free products