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.
Tips from Centara Maldives Experts and Enthusiasts
There is no denying it, the pristine turquoise waters of the Maldives captures everyone’s attention. But for many, it is all about what is found in the waters in the Maldives that have them swimming. With healthy coral and a serious abundance of marine life such as manta rays, eagle rays and a variety of sharks that includes whale sharks, scuba divers are flocking to feast their eyes on the underwater playground that some are very lucky to call home. Centara Hotels & Resorts is very familiar with what is happening underwater in the Maldives with two properties from shipwrecks to underwater weddings. Our enthusiastic team from Centara Maldives – Centara Grand Island Resort & Spaand Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa– have shared some wonderful tips and experiences to further entice you to come and dive with us.
“The sun plays a huge role in how vibrant the colours of the coral and the fish are. The sun rays illuminate the waters highlighting all the action, creating a perfect environment for photographers and divers” shares Nicha Duanglaithong, Centara Maldives Sales Coordinator, who has spent a great deal of time in the water.
Our Dive Centre (Best Dive) Operation Manager, Mark Stevens, from Centara Grand Island has some great tips to share. We asked Mark a few questions.
Q: What is the best advice you have for beginners to get them started? A: “If you are a beginner, just try it! It is normal to be a little scared at first but once you have mastered a few basic skills you will love it.”
Q: What is the best part about diving in the Maldives? A: “The coral and fish. There is a lot of diversity with a lot of different and equally amazing dive sites. There is a dive for everyone – from easy dives to current dives for all skill levels.”
Mark Stevens also encourages divers to “become very familiar with your dive equipment. This familiarity is vital to assist in your confidence and safety while underwater.”
“We understand how important and precious this underwater ecosystem is and we want to ensure that it continues to thrive,” comments Mark Stevens. In order to best facilitate the diving experience for you while protecting marine life and the ecosystem, our instructors, through Best Dives Maldives, provide a clear briefing on responsible diving practices that reminds snorkelers and divers to respect their underwater surroundings.
Our friend, Mohamed Saajid nickname – Saitte’, Reservations Agent at Centara Grand Island and expert diver, share with us one of the best diving experiences he has had recently…”one of the perks of working in the Maldives – diving!” comments Saitte’. “A few days back I went on a night dive to MV Kudhima wreck, located near the house reef of Centara Grand Island. I saw a huge Moray Eel getting ready for his dinner. He located a huge parrot fish, stayed patiently waiting for his chance to grab his meal. Once the right moment came, he grabbed his meal and ate the whole fish within minutes. It was truly incredible and stunning to see these amazing predators actively seeking for their prey.”
Many will never experience the quiet moments underwater, interacting with some of the world’s most majestic creatures and Mr. Damantha Sanjeewa, Front Desk Agent at Centara Grand Island always reminds guests that “Diving is fun. It is exhilarating. Remember to relax while you dive. And maybe most important enjoy the moment…and take pictures!”
While mantas, whale sharks, turtles, reef and hammerhead sharks can be found in the Maldives all year round, there are no guarantees about what will be seen on any given dive. Diver encounters are dependent on a variety of environmental factors, however, our team of experts have creating experiences to heighten your chances of the dive of a lifetime.
Enjoying the invigorating diving that the Maldives has to offer has never been more accessible with the new additions to our ALL-INCLUSIVE packages at both properties. Diving is now an everyday option with these amazing packages and allows you to explore all the depths of the waters.
There are a variety of courses available for you and your family while staying with us. “We always advise beginner divers to start off with our Discover Scuba Diving programme which provides the basic knowledge and training that they need,” added our dive expert from Best Dives at Centara Ras Fushi, Ibrahim Shaan. “This is followed by gently introducing beginners into shallow water. After this programme, divers are confident and comfortable to start exploring.” Before you leave, you may have developed a new skill and a new love for the ocean. Sounds pretty great to us! See you soon in the Maldives.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The opening of the boutique five star Milaidhoo IslandMaldives this November is one of most anticipated luxury resort openings of the year. Milaidhoo, due to open its doors in November 2016, promises its guests a new chapter of barefoot island living on its tiny 300m by 180m island set in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll region of the Maldives.
Shunning the current trend for high-gloss name-dropping look-at-me hotel glitz; at Milaidhoo barefoot informality is at the very heart of the island’s ethos where selfie-sticks and drones are not encouraged. Perfectly located to offer the absolute best of the Maldives to its discerning guests, Milaidhoo offers a return to a classic, relaxed Maldivian holiday style on a tiny island with deep soft white sand beaches and a vibrant coral reef where dolphins, whale sharks and manta rays are visitors – a benefit of being in a protected marine area.
This private, luxury island is reached by a scenic 30-minute seaplane flight from the international airport. Standing on stilts over the lagoon are 30 spacious over-water villas (245 square metres) and hidden amongst the tropical greenery are 20 serene villas on the beach (290 square metres). All villas have large private freshwater swimming pools and an island host to attend to the guests’ every whim. Designed by local architect Mohamed Shafeeq, the resort’s 50 villas have been made using materials and fittings custom-made for Milaidhoo in a way that epitomises the true contemporary Maldives style. Spacious outdoor living is the key phrase: the villas open up 180-degrees to allow the natural beauty of the Maldives to become part of the room.
Milaidhoo is the only resort in the atoll that has been created specifically with couples in mind, although children aged nine and above are welcomed. It further differentiates itself from the herd with its ‘Milaidhoo Moments’; a collection of exclusive activities for the luxury traveler seeking meaningful and memorable experiences. Milaidhoo will offer its guests access to Hanifaru Bay, a marine protected area, which attracts the largest seasonal groupings of manta rays in the world.
Milaidhoo is serious about its food. Gourmets will feel at home in the three restaurants and two bars; the resort’s signature restaurant is overwater and shaped like three traditional Maldivian sailing boats. It – uniquely in the Maldives – will offer a modern interpretation of ‘island influenced’ cuisine. Cocktails will be fresh, creative and on point while the wine list has been designed to pique the interest of wine lovers with a choice of much loved classics alongside a selection of wines from lesser-known boutique winemakers. All villas have their own wine fridge where guests can keep their personal favourites.
The island’s spa consists of four treatment suites set on stilts over the lagoon where guests will also enjoy daily complimentary yoga and meditation classes on the custom-built pavilion. And of course perfect beaches, snorkelling on coral reefs, diving, water sports, fishing and cultural excursions to nearby islands and sandbanks will create stories that guests will want to tell forever.
Italian hotel chain Baglioni Hotels to launch its first Maldives resort early 2017, on the island of Maagau in Dhaalu atoll, after the company announced record profits for 2015.
“Our positive progress confirms the validity of our business model and the management that typifies our collection of luxury five-star hotels positioned in highly popular cities for tourists,” explained company executive Guido Polito.
The 99 villa resort will become the first luxury Italian five-star resort in the Maldives, more than four decades after Italian entrepreneurs first spotted the potential of tourism in the pristine atolls.
Baglioni will also include three restaurants, a swimming pool and bar, spa and diving centre; aiming to provide unique Italian hospitality in the heart of the Indian Ocean.
Also known as South Nilandhe Atoll, Dhaalu atoll has 56 islands and is currently home to four of the Maldives’ 114 registered island resorts.
Baglioni – currently based in Italy and London – has announced its intention to double its international presence after revealing that annual turnover had grown by 18 percent in 2015.