PER AQUUM Dares You To Experiment Above and Below The Ocean Waves This Festive Season

Always daring to be different, PER AQUUM Hotels & Resorts offers dreamers, adventurers and families alike a myriad of luxury aquatic experiences over, on and under the Maldives’ Laccadive Sea this festive season.  From the avant-garde to the surreal, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and its sister resort PER AQUUM Niyama are set to thrill holidaymakers with an array of experiences and offerings ranging from radiant glow parties six metres under the sea to dreamlike sleep-overs at sea, and the Maldives’ first live underwater coral Christmas tree.

PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

Meaning ‘Dream Island’ in the local Dhivehi language, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi invites revellers to swing into 2017 with carnival vibes and tropical feasts, or retreat into cocoons of bliss to reflect on the dawn of a new year.  The resort continues to pioneer indulgence with all-time favourite experiences including underwater spa rituals at LIME Spa; underground dinners with wine pairing at Vinum; sleeping under a blanket of stars on a Dream Dhoni; or lazing the day away on a deserted sandbank.

This festive season’s highlights include all-day Splash Pool Parties to the cool island sounds of live DJs; lobster and Champagne buffets around the infinity edge pool; and exotic Tiki bar pop-ups on the beach.

Festive Season, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

Christmas Eve will see a TropiCarnivale-themed celebration at the water’s edge at Fogliani’s, while romantics at heart can opt for an intimate five-course dinner as they perch atop the Maldives’ crystal waters in an overwater pavilion at Salt.

On New Year’s Eve, spectacular fireworks over the Laccadive Sea will radiate upon ocean swells to the rhythm of live smooth island beats. The TropiCarnivale-themed extravaganza starts with a gala dinner on the beach at Fogliani’s or an exquisite set menu dinner with wine pairings over the water at Salt, and culminates in a countdown party accompanied by designer cocktails at Umbar to see in the new year in chic island style.

Fashionistas will also be treated to a designer collection this festive season by Indian leather artisans Nappa Dori, the latest offering in a stream of artistic collaborations for PULSE by PER AQUUM.

PER AQUUM Niyama

Aptly known as Nature’s Playground, PER AQUUM Niyama offers adjoining twin islands, Chill and Play, where couples and families alike can be as active or laidback as their festive fantasies desire.  Here holidaymakers are invited to revel in their own version of luxury by enjoying adrenaline-charged activities, frosty fairytale vibes and spellbinding feasts, or retreat into surreal bliss, giving thanks for the dawn of a new year.

On Christmas Eve, island carollers will spread traditional festive cheer on the beach, followed by a White Christmas Eve gala dinner on the oceanfront at Epicure and an intimate fine dining feast over the water at Edge, 500 metres out to sea.  With Santa Claus expected to make a tropical grand entrance on a surfboard from the fantastic swells just off Play Island’s edge, kids of all ages can join him on a treasure hunt around the islands on Christmas Day and an afternoon Christmas Party in the resort’s sprawling Explorers Children’s Club.

Festive Season, PER AQUUM Niyama

On New Year’s Eve, the festivities will come to a crescendo on the beach with a Countdown Glow Party, after a cocktail party at Tribal Beach accompanied by a live performance of arias from the musical Les Misérables and a gala dinner celebration at Epicure and Dune Beach.

Radiance is all the island rage this festive season, from nonsurgical facelifts by Beverly Hills-based Dr. David Alessi from the Alessi Institute for Facial Plastic Surgery to Intraceuticals oxygen-based facials at Lime Spa, and from total health transformation consultations by acclaimed New York-based health coach and longevity expert, Paulo Fernandes, to Glow Parties six metres below the waterline at Subsix, the world’s first underwater playground and lounge, to show it all off.

In a Maldives first, PER AQUUM Niyama’s Marine Biologist is growing a live underwater coral Christmas tree to be unveiled to holidaymakers during a lighting ceremony on 22 December 2016.  Positioned six metres under the waterline, the live Christmas tree will be visible just outside the windows of Subsix underwater lounge during the day and illuminated at night during the regular Glow Parties.  Using a technology called Biorock, a low current voltage runs through the Christmas tree’s support structure which helps coral grow faster.

For a taste of the PER AQUUM Life this festive season, visit www.peraquum.com or contact [email protected]

Jumeirah Vittaveli Appoints New Executive Committee Members

Benedict Hopkins, Lijo John and Mike Audrain join the resort’s senior leadership team

Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives, an award-winning luxury island resort with one of the best house reefs in the Malé atoll, has made a number of senior leadership appointments.

Benedict Hopkins is now the Director of Finance, Lijo John is the new Director of Revenue Management and Mike Audrain has been appointed Director of Human Resources.

Amit Majumder, the General Manager of Jumeirah Vittaveli, said: “A strong team is made of dedicated and experienced professionals and therefore I am very pleased to have Lijo, Mike and Benny as part of the Executive Committee. The collective knowledge and experience they bring to the team in their leadership roles is vital in taking the resort to greater heights through enriched guest and colleague experiences.”

A native of the UK, Benedict’s career has spanned many industries and continents. He previously worked with Jumeirah as Director of Finance at Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel, Azerbaijan and has worked across various industries including banking, auditing, risk management, bio-tech, mining and educational services across Russia, UK, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia. He entered the hospitality world as Finance Director at Soneva Fushi, Maldives.

An Indian national, Lijo began his career in Revenue Management in the Middle East where he worked with the Hilton Group of Hotels. During his time with Hilton, Lijo set up a Cluster Revenue Management Centre and developed his expertise in pricing strategy and rate structure. Lijo has worked in the Maldives before and held the position of Revenue Manager at One & Only Reethi Rah. He is familiar to the destination and unique market conditions that apply to his new role.

Hailing from the UK where he started his career, Mike’s career has given him a great insight into people management and training. He first worked with Eldridge and then with Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants. In the Middle East, Mike worked with Grand Millennium Abu Dhabi and Dusit Thani Dubai, before he moved on to his most recent role, as Director of Human Resources of the Morgan’s Hotel Group, at the Mondrian in Doha, Qatar. He has previously worked with Jumeirah, as HR and Development Manager, which was crucial in developing and implementing the expansion plan for the growth of the Jumeirah Living luxury serviced apartments.

Summer Island Appoints Mariya Shareef as Resort Manager

Mariya Shareef has become one of the few Maldivian women ever to hold position of Resort Manager at a Maldivian resort.

On 1 September, Mariya was appointed Resort Manager of Summer Island Maldives, located in Kaafu atoll.

In her new role, Mariya takes on the responsibility for the day-to-
day management of the resort, advising the Board of Directors on strategy, and helping develop and grow the Summer Island Maldives brand.

Mariya is a veteran of the Maldivian tourism industry with a career spanning fourteen years. She was previously Business Development and Marketing Manager for the Kaimoo THS group of companies, a post she held since 2013.

In this role, Mariya helped with the re-development of Summer Island Maldives and was responsible for branding and marketing the resort in the months leading up to its re-opening last year.

Commenting on the appointment, Mohamed Manih Ahmed, Managing Director of Kaimoo THS Group said:

“Mari is young, energetic and full of exciting ideas and has an excellent gauge of the innovations and developments in global tourism.

“Mari’s experience, her academic achievements, and her natural business acumen will enable Summer Island Maldives to grow and consolidate its reputation as one of the most exciting holiday hotspots in the Maldives.”

Commenting on her new appointment, Mariya Shareef said:

“Summer Island Maldives has always been close to my heart. It’s not only the beautiful island that makes it special, but also the amazing team and their hard work. I am proud to be a part of this team, and I thank the directors for trusting me in this role. It’s a pleasure, everyday, to see smiling faces and I’m confident that as a team we can continue to be one of the best resorts in the Maldives.”

Summer Island Maldives Resort prides itself on offering tourists an authentically Maldivian, barefoot slice of paradise at an affordable price.

One of the Maldives’ first resorts, and wholly Maldivian owned, Summer Island Maldives recently underwent a complete re-development. The resort now boasts fresh and zesty rooms, a spa, international restaurants, a rustic beach bar, a dive center and water sports center. Summer Island Maldives retains, though, the family-friendly, natural atmosphere that has made it such a popular destination.

Summer Island Maldives offers an all-inclusive holiday, with a variety of rooms including water villas, at 4 star prices.

Arena Lodge Maldives

For travelers who want to take in the sights and sounds of the Maldives, Arena Lodge Maldives is the perfect choice. The excitement of the city center is only 17 km away. Visitors to the hotel can take pleasure in touring the city’s top attractions: Cocoa Thila Dive Site, Guraidhoo Kandu South, Last Stops.

At Arena Lodge Maldives, every effort is made to make guests feel comfortable. To do so, the hotel provides the best in services and amenities. A selection of top-class facilities such as free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour room service, room service, airport transfer, babysitting can be enjoyed at the hotel.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide internet access – wireless, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, wake-up service to please the most discerning guest. Throughout the day you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the water sports (motorized), water sports (non-motorized). Whatever your purpose of visit, Arena Lodge Maldives is an excellent choice for your stay in the Maldives.

Himmafushi Breaks at Kanbili

Just outside Himmafushi’s Kanbili Guest House live an odd couple – one with a name befitting royalty, the other…not.

They can be found just yards from the from the netted joali chairs outside the reception area, past a white beach-ful of tall palm trees, which all lean forward to get a better look at their popular neighbours.

Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

One is called Sultans, the other Honky’s, the sibling surf breaks that make Himmafushi one of the best places to ride the waves on the Maldives’ prolific whitewater reefs.

Following the advent of surf tourism in the archipelago a quarter of a century ago, both waves and foreign visitors travel thousands of miles to meet at the tip of Thamburudhoo island, before going their separate ways with the famous swells.

Surfer near Thamburudhoo. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Surfer near Thamburudhoo island. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

Himmafushi – sitting less than a kilometre across the channel – was home to another of the Maldives’ most famous imports, Tony Hussein Hinde, the shipwrecked Australian who brought modern surfing to the country in the 1970s.

Describing the local breaks – which include the nearby ‘Pasta Point’ and Himmafushi’s own ‘Jails’ – as “like every surfing fantasy I’d ever imagined”, Hinde realised that his “sacred mission” to find the perfect paradise wave had ended.

But the island of Himmafushi, lying just an hour north of the capital by ferry (20 minutes by speed boat), is perfect for those looking for a sample of all the Maldives has to offer.  With a local community of around 1,800 people, the island has its own fish processing plant, with the impressive haul brought in each day a reminder of the strong economic currents that move beyond the surf.

Far from the harsh realities of island life initially encountered by Himmafushi’s surf pioneer, however, today’s visitors can enjoy the beauty of life on the sand and in the ocean, with all the modern comforts.

Residents at Kanbili – one of the first establishments on the island to ride the recent wave of guest house tourism – can enjoy the fabled breaks of North Malé atoll in the days, while relaxing in cool and spacious rooms (big enough to swing a surfboard in) during the evenings.

Traditional staples of island life are available to guests, with mantas, turtles and sharks every bit as common a neighbourhood sight as the surfers. Fishing trips – day or night –  are readily available, while the ingredients for beach barbecues can be plucked on demand from the ocean garden in front.

Additional extras, such as the a sun terrace – complete with jacuzzi – are welcome accompaniments after a day exploring the busy atoll.

Kanbili GH guest house. Photo Credit Aishath Naj
Kanbili GH. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

For those who feel greater affinity with Sultans than its partner, discounted day-trips to local resorts are available, where they will meet fellow travellers paying a premium to visit the waves outside Kanbili’s windows. The nearby Four Seasons resort will host its sixth international surf championship on the Sultans break this August.

While Kanbili – with its own launch – can offer some of the cheapest airport transfers available, inexpensive local ferries leave for the capital once a day, offering the chance to add an urban adventure to the island experience.

Special for the surf, but excellent for everything, Himmafushi is ideally placed to allow visitors to enjoy all the atoll has to offer, while the Kanbili Guest House is well-positioned for the perfect break.

Kanbili GH

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.

Marble

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.

Blood Donation Campaign at Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

In conjunction with World Thalassemia Day Hotel Jen Malé Maldives and ADK Hospital Championed a blood donation campaign which was open to the Public.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

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.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

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.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives

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.

World Thalassemia Day 2016, Hotel Jen Malé Maldives
World Thalassemia Day 2016, 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

Coral Reef’s Vivanta Rays

You left your watch in your room three days ago, but you know what time it is. The dappled glare gently withdrawing into a glow on the sandy approach to your villa gave a hint. But the activity on the beach leaves you in no doubt.

Guests and residents alike gather at the edge of your 9 acre home – a heart-shaped island deep in the bosom of the Maldives – to offer daily tribute to the giant stingrays who reside offshore.

It’s 5pm on Vivanta Coral Reef.

Villa, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Villa, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

With the oldest of the rays having taken part in the sandy soiree for as long as the Vivanta resort has been in residence, the name – derived from the french word for those fond of social eating – could easily have been inspired by these gliding gluttons.

Guests ready themselves with fish as the rays glide in from below while uninvited herons glide in from above. Reserved reef sharks and jackfish hang back as the previously-majestic rays slurp along the beach before flapping their way back out into the surf.

Stingray, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj
Stingray, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Aishath Naj

Sitting on the western rim of Kaafu Atoll, Coral Reef resort is just a stone’s throw away from the international airport – ten minutes by sea-plane. Alternatively, visitors can be skimmed across the lagoon with a 45-minute speedboat ride.

Having traversed the atoll, the resort stretches out its hand with a reception area perched over the reef. From here, you are escorted to your villa – one of 62 dotted along the island’s sandy streets and sunny shoreline.

Helpful maps – literally set in stone – will guide you to around the treasure island. Coral by name and nature, the resort exudes confidence and experience. The stone facades give the sense of well-established island settlement; exotic markings on the exterior walls could be mistaken for an ancient script, while sun motifs atop the villas leave no doubt as to the object of worship.

Map, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef
Map, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef

This outer image is belied only by the 5-star luxury found within – with international cuisine and gym facilities (and twelve types of pillow) something no previous inhabitants of the island have experienced.

Past visitors to the island are not forgotten, with former guests having planted trees for one another. Elsewhere, you can see subtle tributes to the toddy-tappers who once sailed across the lagoon to cultivate the coconut trees on what was then called Hembadhu island.

News from distant continents can be sent to your room, a reminder of what you’re (not) missing. But the resort’s own paper, ‘The Coral Daily’, is essential reading: ‘BREAKING NEWS – Another 33 degree Day’, ‘Spa Treatments Available at the Jiva Spa’….glorious boilerplate.

Outside the beach villas, hammocks mingle casually with the trees while the envious ocean leans in to see if it is being talked about. Sleepy bats in the branches remain in their twilight trance while the herons only want to discuss fish.

In the evening, bon vivants will be spoilt for choice with cuisine from South America, Europe and across Asia all having acclimatised well to island life. On the beach, by the pool, or in the relaxing surrounds of the Latitude restaurant – the choice is yours.   

Heading out to the reef in the morning, dressed in your finest snorkel gear, the party has already started. Here you can meet a multicultural medley of marine life feasting on the coral. Trigger-, parrot-, butterfly-, squirrel-, and surgeon-fish regularly make the scene.

Parrotfish, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Will Erazo Fernandez
Parrotfish, Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef. Photo Credit: Will Erazo Fernandez

Meanwhile, the clouds stalk the islands in search of substantial land on which to gatecrash. Clouds and snorkellers overhead cause timid guests and fish to seek shelter. But after a brief shower the dark sky move on from the small school of islands, taking a little of the tropical heat with it.

Inclusive of the island’s nature, Vivanta Coral Reef is a resort completely at ease with itself and its tropical surroundings – the epitome of island luxury.

Returning you your villa, you still can’t find your watch…but the vivanta rays are back on the beach.

Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel

Located in the lovely area of North Malé Atoll, Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel enjoys a commanding position in the romance, sports, beaches hub of Maldives Islands. The hotel is not too far from the city center: just 37 km away, and it normally takes about 180 minutes to reach the airport. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations.

At Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. This hotel offers numerous on-site facilities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide additional toilet, children’s high chair, cleaning products, complimentary instant coffee, complimentary tea to please the most discerning guest. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities such as boats, canoe, snorkeling, watersports equipment rentals, wind surfing to make your stay truly unforgettable. Dhiffushi White Sand Beach Hotel is a smart choice for travelers to Maldives Islands, offering a relaxed and hassle-free stay every time.