Soneva Fushi’s Chef Sobah Wins ‘Best Chef in the Maldives’ Award

He competes against 450 chefs from across the Maldives to scoop top accolades in multiple categories

Chef Sobah, Soneva Fushi’s Chef de Cuisine at Mihiree Mithaa restaurant, has taken top honours at an International Culinary Event by winning the ‘Best Chef in the Maldives’ Award.

The talented Chef also scooped numerous other awards at the event, including the Best Chef in the Maldives (Maldivian category); Best Chef (International category); Hot cooking Lamb Gold Medal; Hot Cooking Beef Gold Medal; and Hot Cooking Seafood Bronze Medal; among others. The annual Food & Hospitality Asia Maldives (FHAM) – International Culinary Challenge & Exhibition was held in August 2015 and attracted more than 450 Chefs from across the Maldives.

Chef Sobah, who has worked at Soneva Fushi since 2011, currently cooks at Mihiree Mithaa, Soneva Fushi’s open air beachfront restaurant that offers guests a wide selection of buffet dining options. Soon, Chef Sobah will head the new dining outlet at Soneva Fushi, aptly named ‘Sobah’s’; a fine-dining Maldivian restaurant set to open in the next few months.

Chef Sobah with Laurie Burr, Soneva Fushi's GM
Chef Sobah with Laurie Burr, Soneva Fushi’s GM

Built on the uninhabited island of Mendhoo, just 15 minutes by boat from Soneva Fushi, Sobah’s will serve traditional Maldivian cuisine with modern twists using traditional cooking methods. Sobah’s beach restaurant will seat 18 for dinner and will be open six days per week, subject to a minimum number of eight diners and weather conditions.

Chef Sobah learnt to cook at the Faculty of Hospitality in the Maldives. He specializes in preparing Maldivian, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese and Thai food using skills he learnt while living and working in those countries. He is famed for his Maldivian cuisine, which uses healthy, natural and fresh ingredients to produce clean flavours.

Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 57 spacious, multi-bedroom luxury beachfront villas that are hidden among dense foliage for ultimate privacy. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday personal butlers who know what you want before you want it. For more information about Soneva visit www.soneva.com

Yoga Master Kat Harding launches SUP yoga at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

The yogis at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa will be enjoying a few lessons themselves this summer. Kat Harding – Australia’s first qualified Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor – is coming island-side to train Kuda Huraa’s mat masters in the art of paddleboard-based poses. Kat will also be available for exclusive guest sessions from August 3 to 9, 2015, the week of the annual Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy: a WSL specialty event between six world champion surfers. Doyenne of SUP yoga and all-round yoga guru, Kat Harding is set to unite – and elevate – Kuda Huraa’s surf and Spa offering, expanding the opportunity for guests to strengthen their connection, both within their core and with the ocean.

“SUP Yoga is an amazing experience where you are able to synchronise the movements of your body with the ocean,” explains Kat. “Its appeal is in its natural rawness, floating gracefully and using your own strength to balance as you move and flow with the water underneath you.”

Kat Harding, SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

While yoga’s origins date back thousands of years – and is practised to unite mind, body and spirit through breath – SUP Yoga is a relatively new hybrid, uniting yoga traditions with surfing and wellbeing through the paddleboard. It’s a discipline that engages the whole body, building strength, flexibility and focus while imparting an incredible sense of joy and freedom.

Kat hails from Noosa, Australia – home of Kuda Huraa’s surf partners, Tropicsurf – continuing the surf pedigree and easy laid-back vibe that the Resort has become synonymous with. Kat’s own yoga journey began as a teen with a Christmas gift of a yoga DVD. Her love of movement flourished, inspiring her to travel and experiment with various yoga disciplines; train as a yoga teacher with Laxmi Yoga (Sally Parkes) in London and Spain; and go on to qualify as Australia’s first SUP yoga instructor. Trained in vinyasa, hatha, dynamic, yin and prana flow yoga, she combines her passions for yoga, surfing, healthy living and nature on the paddleboard. She’s also an ebook co-author, blogger, Fire and Shine luminary, Wanderlust Festival presenter and hosts Australia’s only luxury SUP yoga retreats.

Kat Harding, SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
SUP Yoga, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

“It’s a real honour to have Kat on board to help us launch SUP Yoga,” concludes Sanju Upadhyay, Manager of The Island Spa. “As a discipline it incorporates the best of Kuda Huraa – ocean-inspired activities, yoga and healthy outdoor living – while our warm, shallow lagoon makes the ideal practice ground. Our yogis and guests are in for a real treat.”

To be one of the first to experience SUP Yoga at Kuda Huraa, contact Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa on tel: (960) 66 44 888, fax: (960) 66 44 800 or email [email protected], or book online.http://www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort Now Open

The spectacularly spacious Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort opened its doors and welcomed its first guests on August 1st.

The first guests, a family from Dubai, arrived after a 30-minute luxury speedboat transfer from Kaadedhdhoo Airport in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll in the south of the Maldives.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort's first guests
First guests arrive and cut the ribbon to the sound of Maldivian drums, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

The guests were welcomed ashore at the resort’s jetty by Darren Edmonstone the Outrigger Managing Director for Asia Pacific and the resort’s General Manager, Pascal Billon.

After a traditional Maldivian welcome ceremony with drums and dancing, the father of the family cut the ribbon to open a new chapter in Outrigger Resorts’ expansion, which has seen the company open premier-class beachfront properties in Mauritius, Phuket and Fiji, as well as the Maldives, in the last three years.

Aerial, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Aerial, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

“Outrigger hosts and supporting contractors in the Maldives have done a terrific job in the run up to our opening today,” said Mr Edmonstone. “I’m confident our large and wonderfully well appointed Beach and Ocean Pool Villas will become a major talking point in the Maldivian tourism scene.”

The 53 key all-villa property comprises 24 Beach Pool Villas (211 sqm), seven Two-Bedroom Pool Villas (282 sqm), 21 Ocean Pool Villas (225 sqm), and the Presidential Villa (600 sqm).

The turquoise waters off the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort feature a well-formed reef with abundant coral diversity and a great variety of marine life including turtles and eagle rays and regular sightings of dolphins.

On day two of opening, the Outrigger welcomed guests from China, Korea and the USA.

Double Beach Pool Villa Exterior, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort
Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villas, Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort

“We have very special dining, water sports and excursion options ready for all our guests, no matter where they come from,” said Mr Billon. “The Outrigger on Konotta Island is shaping up to be a perfect holiday destination for a wide variety of international guests who are seeking an iconic Maldives holiday.”

Special limited period opening rates for the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort are available on outriggermaldives.com for stays up to October 31, 2015. Or Email: [email protected] Tel: +960 684 7771

Canopus Retreat Thulusdhoo

Conveniently located, Canopus Retreat Thulusdhoo is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city. The city center is merely 28.2 km away and the airport can be reached within 30 minutes. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city’s must-see destinations.

Offering hotel guests superior services and a broad range of amenities, Canopus Retreat Thulusdhoo is committed to ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible. To name a few of the hotel’s facilities, there are 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, convenience store, daily housekeeping, fax machine.

The hotel features 5 beautifully appointed guest rooms, many of which include television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, wake-up service. The hotel offers wonderful recreational facilities such as canoe, watersports equipment rentals, snorkeling, surfing lessons, private beach to make your stay truly unforgettable. Whatever your reason for visiting the Maldives, the Canopus Retreat Thulusdhoo is the perfect venue for an exhilarating and exciting break away.

Veli Spa At Kurumba Maldives Introduces New Outdoor Spa Treatments

Veli Spa at Kurumba Maldives is delighted to announce the introduction of the new ‘Raalhu Outdoor Treatments’ (raalhu meaning wave in the local language Dhivehi).

Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives

An Oasis of calm, the new invigorating spa treatments will take place in an open air dedicated gazebo, located in the quiet western side of the paradise island, perfect for enchanting sunsets.

Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
Veli Spa products, Kurumba Maldives

The treatments available at Raalhu include full Body Massages, Scrubs and Massages, Foot Treatments and our destination spa journey Spa under the Stars.

Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives

The scrubs are particularly unique as guests can take a refreshing dip in the beautiful turquoise sea at Kurumba after a gentle sand and coconut scrub treatment.

Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives

The coconut oil used at Veli Spa is 100% organic and pure. It is produced within the island, as part of our Corporate Social responsibility – CSR – program for sustainable tourism.

Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
Raalhu Outdoor Treatments, Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives

Aishath Zulfishan “Xubba”, Veli Spa Manager commented: “our team is always seeking to offer its guests inspiring and diverse activities, with a choice of enriching experiences that allow a renewed appreciation of life. Our guests are unique and special. This is their Maldivian journey and it is complete by having a magical treatment surrounded by clear blue skies, the sound of the ocean and white sand beneath their feet.”

Enjoy new adventures at Kurumba’s Veli Spa with the new Raalhu Outdoor Treatments and escape the everyday life.

Veli Spa Entrance, Kurumba Maldives
Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Brings The Iconic St. Regis Brand To The Maldives

Slated to open on 1 November 2016, The St. Regis Vommuli Resort Will Introduce a New Level of Bespoke Luxury in the Heart of the Maldives Archipelago

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced the signing of an agreement with Residency Resorts Malé Private Limited, part of the Chennai-based leading property developer, Appaswamy Group, to debut the renowned St. Regis brand in the Maldives. Set to open in 2016, The St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Maldives will bring the brand’s hallmark luxury services to one of the world’s most magnificent destinations, ideally situated on the private Vommuli Island in the Dhaalu Atoll.

Garden Villa with Pool, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
Garden Villa with Pool, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

“We are pleased to partner with Starwood to bring this hotel to life: marrying the bespoke service of the St. Regis brand with the ‘barefoot luxury’ mentality of the Maldives,” said Ravi Appasamy Managing Director of Residency Resorts Male Private Limited. “The brand’s allure, coupled with Starwood’s powerful loyalty program, is sure to entice affluent travelers to visit this enchanting destination.”

“Celebrated as one of the world’s best addresses, the Maldives is a befitting destination to introduce the St. Regis brand to a discerning set of global guests,” said Jim Petrus, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. “This incredible addition to the St. Regis portfolio has been conceived in perfect harmony with the island’s lush vegetation and pristine lagoon.”

Overwater Villa with Pool Bedroom, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
Overwater Villa with Pool Bedroom, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

A 40-minute seaplane ride southwest from the Republic’s capital city Malé, The St. Regis Vommuli Resort will be located on a private atoll spanning more than 20 acres, surrounded by unspoiled beaches and a secluded lagoon with sparkling turquoise waters. The resort will feature 77 luxuriously appointed private villas, all with a distinct contemporary design scheme inspired by the island’s natural materials and color palette. Guests will have access to a tranquil spa with six private treatment rooms; an infinity swimming pool; state of the art fitness center and yoga space; as well as a dive and activity center. With an all-day dining restaurant, three specialty restaurants and a signature bar, The St. Regis Vommuli Resort will also offer guests rich culinary experiences including the legendary Bloody Mary cocktail, which was first created at the flagship St. Regis New York hotel in the 1930s and is served at each of the brand’s 34 hotels and resorts around the world.

Deck of Overwater Villa with Pool, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
Overwater Villa with Pool deck, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

“This signing further fuels Starwood’s strong growth momentum in South Asia, where we continue to see strong demand for high-end hotel accommodations,” added Sudeep Jain, Vice President Acquisitions and Development, South Asia, Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  “The upcoming arrival of the St. Regis brand in the Maldives underpins our commitment to Starwood’s luxury portfolio in this dynamic market.”

This announcement follows on the heels of the recent signing of The St. Regis Mumbai, which is scheduled to open before the end of the year. The St. Regis Vommuli Resort will further strengthen Starwood’s fast-growing portfolio in South Asia, where the company currently operates 48 hotels with an additional 48 hotels in the pipeline, including W Goa Retreat & Spa and Le Méridien Nagpur in India; Le Méridien Paro, in Bhutan; Le Méridien and Sheraton in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Sheraton in Colombo, Sri Lanka, all due to open in the region within the next two years.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The St. Regis Vommuli Resort joins Starwood’s dynamic local portfolio that includes W Retreat & Spa – Maldives and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.

Aisha Safari

Aisha Safari  is a liveaboard offering the guests an unforgettable  opportunity to experience the Maldives. A regular dive safari aboard the Aisha takes you to the real gems of the Maldives, the magnificent underwater world. The friendly and experienced crew take you directly to the best diving locations in the atolls.

Non-divers can enjoy snorkelling or even take a dive course.

Ari Explorer

The 25 Meter twin mast motorsailer, Ari Explorer, is a private yacht offered exclusively to resident guests of Kandolhu island resort. Broad beamed, she offers wide teak decks for relaxing sundowners and inspiring sunrises. The spacious upper sundeck is ideal for warming the body and soul and for catching the breeze while one surveys the horizon for hidden islands appearing out of a sparkling ocean. She is the perfect vessel for unique private diving adventures with a special companion, small group of friends or two couples as well as the ideal base for our atoll diving safaris. A day out diving from the Ari Explorer is an unforgettable dive experience that will remain with you long after your vacation.

Private diving charters on the Ari Explorer (for two to four divers)

Charter the Ari Explorer for a half day or a full day of diving adventure and discovery in Ari atoll or Rasdhoo atoll and explore the Indian Ocean with your private dive guide. On private diving charter dive is from the Ari Explorers 6 meter rigid inflatable boat “Stingray”.

Atoll dive safaris on the Ari Explorer (for five to ten divers)

A full day group dive safari in Ari atoll making three dives on some of Ari atolls famous dive sites; dive from “Hammerhead” dhoni (boat) and relax onboard the comfortable Ari Explorer for your surface intervals, lunch and cruising. 

Scubaspa Ying

One of the best luxury vessel’s around – Scubaspa Ying, offers you a wide range of services to give your perfect venturesome retreat in the Maldives. As you enjoy breathtaking extensive views of the lagoon, sensory pleasures of fine dining combined with finest wines awaits for you on the safari vessel. Created for the discerning traveler, Scubaspa Ying elevates your vacation experience with determination to exceed your expectations. You may find yourself swimming, surfing or diving to the colourful depths of the Indian Ocean.

Batuta Maldives Surf View

Built in 2011, Batuta Maldives Surf View guesthouse is a distinct addition to the Maldives and a smart choice for travelers. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. For those of you who want to venture out, Cokes, Chickens and Lohi Surf are just some of the attractions available to visitors.

Batuta Maldives Surf View guesthouse also offers many facilities to enrich your stay in the Maldives. Guests of the hotel can enjoy on-site features like safety deposit boxes, laundry service, Wi-Fi in public areas, concierge, airport transfer. 

Batuta Maldives Surf View Guesthouse is home to 5 bedrooms, all tastefully furnished to provide comforts such as non-smoking rooms, fan, air conditioning, shower, refrigerator. Besides, the hotel’s host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. Batuta Maldives Surf View guesthouse is an ideal place of stay for travelers seeking charm, comfort and convenience in the Maldives.