The world’s first undersea restaurant invites the world to celebrate the occasion on April 15, 2015 One decade ago, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was spectacularly ‘sunk’ five metres into the waters of the Indian ocean and ever since it’s been the mecca for lovers of food, culture and architecture the world over. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Conrad Maldives will be hosting a Twitter Chat on Wednesday April 15, 2015 which will take place at 3pm GMT (10am EST). Conrad Maldives Rangali Island invites the world to join the conversation and celebrate the birthday of this world famous dining location by sharing their memories of Ithaa on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Throughout the week of Ithaa’s birthday, users are invited to share their photos and memories using the hashtag #IthaaTurns10 users.
Sitting like a pearl beneath the waves (Ithaa translates as ‘pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi) the curved acrylic walls which give 180-degree panoramic views sets the trend for unique dining. It became the world’s first aquarium-style undersea restaurant – indulging diners with stunning views of the surrounding lagoon, reefs and tropical fish. Consistently recognised as the most beautiful restaurant in the world, Ithaa is fast becoming a 21st Century travel icon, so it is no surprise it is regarded as one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive places to eat. “We are all excited to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of such an iconic restaurant” said Lyle Lewis, general manager, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. “I can think of no better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than by sharing it with the whole world.” Envisioned by Mr. Ahmed Saleem of Crown Company PVT, owning company of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Mr. Saleem was inspired whilst travelling in Bali in 2001 and five years later Ithaa was brought to life by Mike Murphy of M J Murphy Limited in New Zealand who specialises in aquarium technology and at a cost of US $5 million, Ithaa took 85 tonnes of sand ballast (in sandbags) in order to be sunken onto the ocean bed. It wasn’t long before it became a cultural phenomenon and world-leader in beauty and cuisine that continues to intrigue and impress to this day. Program of Events
Memories of Ithaa – April 13-17, 2015
During the week of Ithaa’s 10th birthday, the resort will be posting content across its social media channels, inviting the world to share their memories of Ithaa and post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Ithaa’s 10th Birthday Twitter Chat at 3pm GMT (11am EST) on Wed April 15, 2015
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (@ConradMaldives) invites the world to celebrate Ithaa’s 10th anniversary through a live Twitter Chat. This global discussion will encourage fans of Ithaa to share their memories, photos and stories of this world famous and iconic restaurant. Follow @ConradMaldives on Twitter and join the chat using #IthaaTurns10 on Wednesday April 15, 2015 at 3pm GMT/10am EST
Exclusive Winemaker Dinner presented by Château Margaux – April 15, 2015
To coincide with the date the restaurant first opened its doors – April 15 – Ithaa will host a Château Margaux sommelier dinner. The unrivalled wine estate of Château Margaux dates back to the 17th Century and is renowned for its grapes as its prices. A bottle of 1787 Château Margaux was sold for $225,000 making it one of the world’s most expensive wines. This is the first time Château Margaux has been invited to host at Conrad Maldives. For more information about Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, visit www.conradhotels.com/maldives
For food fanatics from around the world enjoying their luxurious stay at Coco Bodu Hithi in Maldives, Savour 2015 was a very literal taste of the good life. The event hosted by Coco Collection from 21st March to 3rd April saw Michelin Starred Chefs Frédéric Doucet, Nigel Haworth, Aktar Islam, Andrew Pern as well as Food & Beverage Specialist, Rogers Benham, who took turns to demonstrate master classes showcasing some of their signature dishes.
This was the first time such a sophisticated culinary event was held in the Maldives at such a grand scale and according to Coco Collection this event, which received overwhelming support, is going to become an annual event.
For the world renowned chefs and mixologist, most of whom are first timers in Maldives, it was love at first sight. The little paradise on earth is on the bucket lists of most people who dream of spending at least a few days enjoying the dreamy islands surrounded by white sandy beaches and vast turquoise lagoons. When asked about his experience in the Maldives, Chef Akhtar Islam remarked, “Since I landed here, I am in love and lost in Maldives!”-a view shared by the other chefs and mixologist as well. Thus the stunning island of Coco Bodu Hithi, which has a romantic and timeless charm, was the perfect setting for this amazing culinary experience. The master classes, dinners and cocktail parties were held at the 7 scenic indoor and outdoor restaurants and bars of the resort.
Prior to the event the General Manager at Coco Bodu Hithi, Georgiou Papazoglou said, “Coco Bodu Hithi has always been a haven for food aficionados and Savour 2015 offers an impressive lineup for our guests to indulge in world-class dining experiences throughout their stay. Holding true to our promise to offer an inspirational stay, this culinary journey will create moments to treasure for a lifetime.”
Savour 2015 was indeed a unique and rare experience for guests who not only got to taste delectable cuisines but interact with the world renowned chefs and learn some of their signature creations. Guests at Coco Bodu Hithi who were lucky enough to experience the culinary event were doubly sated. They enjoyed world-class food at one of the most luxurious and picturesque resorts in the beautiful Maldives.
Kurumba Maldives will be celebrating Earth Hour, this Saturday 28th March from 20:30 pm to 21:30 pm, local time and contributing to the Earth Hour movement which unites people to take action for the planet and aims to raise awareness of climate change.
During this hour, Kurumba will partake in this movement by turning off air conditioning units and lighting in staff areas, as well as exterior signage lighting and use candlelight in public areas, restaurants and bars. In-house guests have been invited to participate and do the same in their rooms and villas.
The inaugural Earth Hour movement started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then the event has become a worldwide movement. In 2014, a record 162 countries took part in Earth Hour 2014, showing a huge amount of support from the Maldives, to the UK and beyond. The switch offs start in Samoa and continue finishing eventually in Tahiti.
Jason Kruse, General Manager of Kurumba Maldives commented: “climate change is the one of the biggest environmental challenges our planet faces today, and is especially important in the fragile Maldives. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility program, we will continue to make efforts to reduce energy consumption, use sustainable energy and protect our environment. Every small action can make a difference”.
The Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives is organising a free concert in the capital city Malé for the 8th January with the acclaimed Senegalese-born and current US-based R&B and hip hop artist Akon.
The event was announced through a video message from Akon which was shown during the Tourist Arrival Countdown show held on New Year’s Eve where two Indian Bollywood musicians Salim – Sulaiman performed.
This is the second attempt by the four time grammy nominated artist to perform in the Maldives. The first attempt was in 2010 which was cancelled after the tickets were sold saying the technical assistance and security measures were not up to par.
The 2010 performance attempt was hugely opposed by the then Islamic Ministry and several religious groups. Speaking in response to public discord over two Indian musicians playing in the Maldives on New Year’s Eve and Akon’s performance scheduled for Thursday to the local daily newspaper Haveeru, Tourism Minister Adeeb said that foreign artists and musicians are invited to perform in the Maldives as a means to promote tourism and has nothing to do with religion and that they are simply a means to promote Maldives as a brand.
He also said “These shows are for promoting Maldives’ tourism. While the entire world has started to see Malé City as a lair that harbours members of the Islamic State or extremist militants, foreign artists performing here will show the world what the situation here is truly like. Maldives does not belong to the Islamic State.”
Akon’s announcement to perform in Maldives comes after Jamaican Grammy Award winning International star Sean Paul – who was supposed to perform during Tourism Arrival Countdown Show 2014 – cancelled at the last minute after a YouTube video was released threatening the artist with death if he performed in the Maldives.
NEW LUXURY MALDIVES RESORTS HAVE A DISTINCTLY AUSTRALIAN FLAVOUR
“Our guests expect the unexpected. And that is exactly what we are aiming to deliver them” Michael Flynn, Chairman of The Small Maldives Island Co.
The Small Maldives Island Co. will open two resorts in the Maldives over the next twelve months, both described by Chairman Michael Flynn as “Nu-luxury at its finest”. Located in the UNESCO protected Baa Atoll, Amilla Fushi will launch in December this year, followed by a luxury beach club concept resort called Finolhu late 2015.
Partner with The Small Maldives Island Co. in the venture is Coastline Maldives*, one of the Maldives’ largest private companies and developer of the new Baa Atoll airport.
While Amilla and Finolhu will capture the heart and spirit of the Maldives, there is an enormous Australian influence. Both Flynn and his partner Tom McLoughlin are Australian. However, they have a combined twenty five years experience in International hospitality and tourism; Flynn as senior hotel marketing executive for international hotel companies in Asia Pacific and Tom as the visionary behind the award winning Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives.
The highest profile Australian recruit is leading chef and long term Maldives visitor, Luke Mangan, who is eagerly looking forward to taking responsibility for food and beverage at both resorts as “island restaurateur”. “We will be a foam, gel and smear free zone, thank goodness” proclaimed Mangan. “We will have caviar and foie gras and truffles if people want them, but my goal is to deliver the opposite of overcomplicated and stuffy food”.
“It’s all about fabulous fresh produce. We’re blessed with local seafood. Fishermen will deliver straight from their boats to us and the lobster tank will actually be in the ocean under the signature restaurant Lonu. And we are planning to have the world’s best fish and chips at The Fish and Chip Shop in Baazaar”, he added.
“The Maldives has evolved into one of the most sought after luxury resort destinations where resorts have their own island and house reefs abound. It is evolving, however, from being a honeymoon destination to a haven for celebrities and high end families who want anonymity and true luxury for their holiday experiences” said Flynn.
“We are bespoke operators, exclusively in the Maldives. We understand the culture and want to give our guests a genuine Maldivian experience, but with an effortless, understated sense of luxury” said Director Tom McLoughlin.
“Think homes, not rooms or suites” added Flynn. “We are very excited about the uniqueness of the accommodation at Amilla. You can buy a home here with a fifty year lease, or, for a slightly shorter stay there are beach, lagoon, ocean lagoon and ocean reef houses, plus twelve metre high tree houses, all with private pools”. The words Amilla Fushi which are Maldivian for ‘my island home’ are the central theme of the resort. All room categories from one to six bedrooms are designated ‘homes’ as even the smallest accommodation is 200sq metres of space, while the largest is a remarkable 3000 sq metres.
Rates start at $2,000 per night at Amilla. Over a dozen airlines fly to Male from Australia and the breathtaking sea plane flight to Baa Atoll Airport takes just twenty minutes.
*Coastline Maldives – supplying and building Maldives history for over twenty years. Developing and investing in Maldives future – airports, resorts and energy.
Press Release: Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) and The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Maldives) is collaborating with Maldivian artists to celebrate the whale shark in The Second Annual Maldives Whale Shark Festival. Hosted in Dhangethi, this year’s festival will be the culmination of months of community engagement workshops in which school students and community members have come together to create artwork representing their island and celebrating the marine diversity of South Ari Atoll and its Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).
This unique festival, which places island communities at the centre of creative decision making, will transform the host island on Saturday December 6th, festooning the streets with colour, filling the air with ‘Boduberu’ and providing an unmissable learning experience for over 250 people who have participated in its development. The carnival procession at 1pm will see 3 whale sharks swim above the heads of the crowd, a giant green turtle, butterfly fish and manta ray dance through the streets and a feast of brightly coloured costumes created by each island.
Each participating island has chosen a mascot to make and has been working with professional artists to realise their designs for large scale, kinetic sculptures and mobile recycled artwork and costumes. Inspired by the stories of their community they have been working with creative practitioner Fazail Lutfe to create high impact, theatrical presentations to share with festival goers. Weaving together the traditional forms of ‘Raivaru’ and ‘Boduberu’ with contemporary storytelling, each island will tell part of the Atoll’s story, giving voice to the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Local artists Nadee Rachey and Kareen Adam from Malé city have been leading on the artistic vision for the festival, collaborating with Festival Director Chloe Osborne from the UK, to provide a series of multi-disciplinary art workshops with 4 main islands – Dhigurah, Dhangethi, Dhiddhoo and Mandhoo, with support from neighbouring islands and resorts.
“This is just the beginning – we plan on putting the festival on the cultural calendar for the Maldives, bringing people from across the country and the world together to celebrate the rich marine and cultural diversity of the archipelago. Nowhere else is uniquely placed to support the collaboration between Marine Biologists and Artists, community members and international researchers. We look forward to building on this year’s success and, with thanks to our generous sponsors, to offering the opportunity to participate to more islands everywhere.”
Chloe Osborne – Festival Director, Maldives Shark Research Programme.
We hope to attract festival-goers from across the Atoll, Malé and beyond with this yearly opportunity to celebrate the craftsmanship and creativity of the island communities and to celebrate the area’s unique role in the International Whale Shark ecology.
The 2014 festival has been created with support from our technical partner IUCN Maldives with sponsorship from Voyages Maldives, FlyMe, Allied Insurance with Mirihi, Lux* Maldives, Lily Beach, Vilamendhoo, Holiday Island and Sun Island resorts, online partner Maldives.com, and our official hydration partner 100PLUS.
MWSRP programme coordinator Ibrahim Shameel added “For the past 5 months MWSRP have been working with the local islands to bring this festival to life. Along the way we have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people without whom this festival would not be possible. The idea of a festival is still a very new concept to the communities but have been delighted at how the openly the idea has been received. Its been an inspiration and an honour to witness this festival bring people of all ages come together in a shared endeavour.”
Festival Background: Developed by MWSRP and IUCN Maldives in 2013, the festival is designed to provide the island communities of South Ari Atoll with the opportunity to celebrate the Whale Shark and the Marine Diversity of their Atoll whilst promoting environmental sustainability and conservation at a grassroots level.. Seeding the idea of an international collaboration between marine biologists and artists and promoting the use of community art as a tool for social and environmental engagement, the project seeks to boost local and national awareness and tourism to support future generations.
Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme
The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) is a charity that carries out whale shark research and fosters community focused conservation initiative in the Maldives.
What initially began as a scientific expedition in 2006, the MWSRP has grown to become the only long term organisation dedicated to study the iconic, yet vulnerable whale shark species in the Maldives.
Our goal is simple: we seek to advance the field of whale shark knowledge and to advocate for sound conservation policy in the Maldives. By encouraging and valuing community and industry stakeholder participation, we are able to leverage the scientific research to safeguard the rich biodiversity and fragile marine ecosystems that are the basis for not only whale sharks, but also life, livelihood and culture in the Maldives.
Community mobilisation is one of our core values. Participation from the local residents of South Ari Atoll and throughout Maldives is very important to the work of MWSRP.
contact for more information: Richard Rees, Managing Director MWSRP [email protected]
IUCN Maldives Marine Projects
The objectives of the IUCN Maldives Marine Projects were developed to address the environmental priorities and challenges that the Maldives faces. They include enhancing coral reef resilience (both social and ecological), supporting climate change adaptation, advancing marine species management and increasing environmental awareness across different sectors. These are ambitious but urgent priorities that require vision, dedication, perseverance and commitment by many individuals, groups and stakeholders of society in order to address them.
The Annual Whale Shark Festival is a collaborative community event facilitated by the The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) with the support of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Maldives. This event is an opportunity for the community of South Ari to come together and celebrate the significance of the whale shark to the South Ari area whilst also providing a positive platform from which to raise awareness of conservation issues.
The aim of this event is to create a truly unique and spectacular event that, in time, will achieve national status attracting more visitors to the Maldives and drawing attention to the importance of the whale sharks of South Ari Marine Protected Area.
Six Senses Laamu is eager to welcome the Festive Season with a new swimming pool and restaurant along with the addition of private plunge pools to 21 of the resort’s villas. The Christmas and New Year celebrations, from December 23, 2014 to January 3, 2015, include tailor-made experiences and events for all ages. Six Senses is excited to welcome returning guests and first time visitors to the resort as the entire team pulls out all the stops to extend a rich celebration of festive activities.
Some of the holiday highlights include:
A lobster barbecue on a private sandbank for an unreal seafood experience in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The delicious menu includes local seafood, freshly caught reef fish and salads made with organic ingredients grown in in the resort’s own gardens.
DJ Vifak will be behind the turntables of the specially installed beach decks! He will be the host DJ at the Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve party, inviting all guests to dance to the hottest island sounds. Then on December 31, the New Year countdown will bid farewell to the old year and welcome a promising 2015.
Over this period Des Mitchell will be on the decks of Chill Bar and Sip Sip providing a soulful highlight to the evenings accompanied by the lyrical voice of his fellow performer Sara France.
Six Senses Spa experts have made a selection of wellness and fitness activities and added them to the extensive and comprehensive range of award-winning signature treatments. An array of classes from asanas and yin yoga, to power walking and beach body training, will be held daily at the yoga pavilion. The spa will also offer the latest aerial experiences trend. Reach new heights with Six Senses aerial yoga, aerial fitness, aerial pilates and aerial meditation sessions.
Visiting Practitioner Benson Spiers will be available at Six Senses Spa throughout the festive period. Benson specializes in a variety of physical, emotional and spiritual therapies, such as tai chi, energy flow, fu shen massage and more. His sunset tai chi sessions are a must for fitness enthusiasts.
For younger guests, resort hosts have put together a series of fun activities and adventures. Pirates will be invading the shores of the island and they will take young guests aboard their boat for a snorkeling adventure. Fitness and spa activities will be available during this time, while a treasure hunt and a children’s disco party are not to be missed.
This is the season to share with family and friends and special excursions will be offered daily to ensure guests get the most out of their activity time with loved ones. Experience the Maldivian way of life on a nearby island or enjoy a true Robinson Crusoe escape on a secluded private island for a castaway picnic, Six Senses is ready to make all the arrangements. Sports activities and games will be organized, a few of which will include resort hosts.
Astronomer Parag Mahajani will also visit Six Senses Laamu during the Festive Season. He will set his telescope on the beach each evening and provide an introduction to the universe.
About Parag Mahajani
Astronomer Dr Parag Mahajani, an independent consultant and trainer in the fields of Science and Technology and Fellow of Royal Astronomical Society, London (FRAS) will be returning to Six Senses Con Dao from 12 to 23 August 2013
Following a very successful and popular visit in November 2012, Dr Parag has been invited back to Six Senses Con Dao to fascinate guests and hosts about the skies above.
Dr Parag is an expert in the field of astronomy with twenty-five years experience. He frequently visits Six Senses resorts to delight guests with his slide shows, talks and sky observation programs.
During his career he has received prestigious awards such as State Level Best Literature Award Winner (C. D. Deshmukh Puraskar) for Science and Technology for the book “Tarakanchya Vishwat” from the Maharashtra Government in 2005-06. He has written around five hundred articles in various Indian and international publications on science and technology, and he has given close to one thousand lectures on astronomy and related subjects.
Daily programs will include:
Evening Slide Shows at By The Market from 19:00 to 19:30.
Astronomical Observations and talks will take place every clear night during his visit, from 21:00 to 23:00.
Solar Observations, where guests can look at the Sun, witnessing first hand flares and magnetic storms, from 10:00 to 11:00 in the morning.
Exclusive Zodiac Dinners hosted by Dr Parag will take place twice during his stay where a Zodiac-themed 4-course meal prepared by our chefs to coincide with the Zodiac’s four base categories. A brief talk introducing each Zodiac grouping will be given by Dr Parag before each serving.
Private and exclusive astronomy sessions packed with dazzling slides of telescopic sky-observation experiences can be organized by request in guests’ own villas.