World Luxury Hotel Award 2014 goes to Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit Thani Maldives has won the Luxury Water Villa Resort category at the eighth annual World Luxury Hotel Awards 2014, held at The Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.

Established in 2006, the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards celebrates excellence in the luxury hotel sector and rewards establishments who deliver and uphold the standards of international luxury. Over 1,000 hotels from 145 countries were nominated to participate in the awards this year.

The results are based upon online voting by international tour operators, travel agents and hotel guests on a country and global basis. Entrants are judged on service delivery and effective management, and each nominated property was provided with a dedicated voting page on the awards’ website.

According to Thanos Lionsatos, Director of Sales and Marketing “It is a matter of immense pride to have received this honour from the World Luxury Hotel Awards. This is a testimony to the fact that we strive for excellence in catering to the needs of the discerning luxury market. This latest accolade encourages us to bring even more innovation to the guest experience here at the resort.”

Water Villa with Pool, Dusit Thani Maldives
Water Villa with Pool, Dusit Thani Maldives

With a unique combination of beach and lagoon access, all Water Villas at Dusit Thani Maldives provide an unmatched luxurious escape. The villas hang on stilts, allowing for breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.

Located on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll – the Maldives’ first ever UNESCO biosphere reserve — Dusit Thani Maldives blends gracious Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury setting of the Maldives. The luxury island resort comprises 94 villas encircled by white sandy beaches, a stunning 360 degree house reef and a turquoise lagoon.

Guests can dive and snorkel, swim in the Maldives’ largest infinity swimming pool or indulge in a serene treatment at one of Devarana Spa’s treetop treatment pods. The sensory pleasures of dining are well-catered for, including at the signature Benjarong restaurant, where fine over-water dining is paired with authentic Thai cuisine.

Coco Collection Unveils The Lucky Winner Of 5 nights At Coco Bodu Hithi

With the festive season approaching fast, even in the warm tropics of Maldives, Coco Collection announces the lucky winner of the online contest, “Win a luxury stay for 5 nights at Coco Bodu Hithi”. Launched on 01st October 2014 to celebrate the re-vamp of the corporate websites, this contest asked eager entrants to familiarize themselves with the Coco Collection brand and individual properties and then submit their responses to related questions.

Congratulations to Gillian Lowes who won the lucky draw for the luxurious prize! Gillian Lowes, along with a companion, will receive 5 night’s complimentary accommodation in a secluded Escape Water Residence to explore the romantic and timeless charm of Coco Bodu Hithi.

Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi
Escape Water Villa, Coco Bodu Hithi

“As an exciting contest attracting strong participation from our online community, this was an incredible opportunity for our audience to get some insight on Coco Collection as a luxury boutique hotel brand. I am delighted to congratulate Gillian on the opportunity to experience the raw beauty and warm hospitality of our chic resort, Coco Bodu Hithi. Gillian will be experiencing the seclusion of one of our Escape Water Residences, which in 2015 will see the introduction of privileged benefits such as private butler services to enhance the experience for discerning travelers.” comments Shafa Shabeer, Coco Collection’s Director of Marketing. “I thank each and every one of our participants for entering the contest and look forward to the New Year as our team prepares to roll out more surprises for guests to Rediscover Life’s Beauty.”

Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi
Beach Cinema, Coco Bodu Hithi

With the joyous announcement of this Coco Gift, Coco Collection is delighted to start the festive season off with a bang. To rekindle the merry spirits this Christmas, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are channeling the state of ‘Ufaa’, a Dhivehi word that translates to ‘Happiness’. Some of the festive program highlights at the Coco Collection resorts will be the Christmas tradition of opening the Gingerbread Village at Air Restaurant at Coco Bodu Hithi, while Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu invites guests to join the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. With a signature tropical ornament designed around the elements of ‘Ufaa’ that guests can expect to encounter around the resorts and Coco Collection’s online platforms, the moments spent with Coco Collection will be a celebration of a joyous Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Starting off the festivities with good vibes, Coco Collection is excited to offer guests unforgettable moments, and 2015 will be the beginning of new experiences to recognize the evolving needs of the discerning traveler.

MALDIVES – ITB Berlin 2016 Official Partner Country

ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) 2016, will be Maldives focussed as the show’s partner country in the Indian Ocean. David Rutz Head of ITB Berlin announced at the DRV (Deutscher ReiseVerband) conference in Abu Dhabi that an agreement will be signed between the Worlds leading Travel Trade Show and the Maldives at a ceremony in the next ITB Berlin, March 2015.

ITB Berlin
ITB Berlin

Speaking on the occasion, Hon. Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, Minister of Tourism of Maldives said “As a year-round holiday destination the Maldives has become firmly established among tourists the world over.“ “ITB Berlin offers an ideal platform for presenting the tourism products for the Maldives that are available on the German and international market to trade visitors and the general public and for the country to become even more attractive in the long term.“

“The Maldives has exhibited at ITB Berlin since 1984. We are delighted that it wants to expand its presence at the show and that as the Official Partner Country it will be the focus of the international travel industry. As the partner country of ITB Berlin 2016 this island nation in the Indian Ocean sends out an important message as an emergent tourist destination,” commented David Ruetz, Head of ITB Berlin from Messe Berlin.

 

“Nature is our most important resource and tourism our biggest industry.“ “The tourism market will continue to grow and we will make sure this is achieved in harmony with nature” added the Minister.

Maldives will be organising the opening ceremony of ITB Berlin 2016 to be held at the City Cube Berlin, Messe Berlin’s new trade fair and conference venue on 8th March 2016. The maldives will fascinate the visitors with colorful programme of events from the 9th to 13 of March 2016.

“Tourism plays a crucial role in the development of Maldives. We are honoured to have the opportunity of becoming the Official Partner Country of the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in the important year of ITB Berlin’s 50th anniversary. I would like to thank ITB Berlin for this important opportunity that will immensely help raise the profile of the destination Maldives on a global level. This partnership will in particular be instrumental in reviving the core markets of Europe at large including Germany.” The Minister further added that “the introduction of the newly launched Thumburi integrated resort project in Maldives will diversify the product segment and open up over 2000 beds for the mid-market segment. We hope this will be an added opportunity to increase arrivals from the European market.” The minister said highlighting the importance of being the host country of ITB Berlin.

Since the introduction of tourism in 1972 Maldives has become one of the worlds most successful holiday destinations. It now welcomes over a million tourists a year and is fast becoming an eco-tourism nation. It is most famous for its natural beauty and for its rich underwater attractions. It has become a dream destination for divers and surfers and a must go honeymoon destination with a year round tropical climate due to being located on the equator.

More Water Pool Villas for Baros Maldives

With five new Water Pool Villas added, guests at Baros Maldives can now enjoy the privacy of their own private pool, overlooking the lagoon with an infinity view of the warm blue Indian Ocean.

The 5-star boutique resort Baros Maldives, located in North Malé atoll launched its first Water Pool Villas in 2012. The instant popularity of the first five villas propelled the management to add this type of Villas over the years. Now there are a total of 15 Water Pool Villas on the island. The Water Pool Villas are set to give the guests complete privacy, guests from neighbouring villas cannot observe the pool as well as the sundeck. These 126 square meter Villas are designed spaciously allowing adequate daylight with elegant décor.

Water Pool Villa, Baros Maldives
Water Pool Villa, Baros Maldives

Out of the total 30 over water villas on the resort, 15 villas are the popular Water Pool Villas and the other 15 are without a private pool. 10 out of the 45 beachside villas are also fitted with individual plunge pools.

Three gourmet-class restaurants, cocktail and palm grove bars a spa and a gym set amidst tropical gardens and the beautiful house reef teeming with colorful fishes and beautiful corals, are to be enjoyed by the guests staying in the 75 private beach and overwater villas of the resort.

Sandbank, Baros Maldives
Sandbank picnic lunch, Baros Maldives

Baros Maldives has recently won the World Travel Award as the Most Romantic Resort in the Indian Ocean 2014 for the second year running. This proves that in its 40 years of service, Baros Maldives has successfully continued to deliver and meet the expectations of the guests.

This Maldivian owned resort was established in 1973 and is only 25 minutes away by speedboat from Ibrahim Nasir International airport.

Festive Season Varied Event Collection Of Six Senses Laamu

Festive Jubilations at Six Senses Laamu

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.

Longitude, Six Senses Laamu
Longitude, Six Senses Laamu

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.

Deck-a-Dense, Six Senses Laamu
Deck-a-Dense, Six Senses Laamu

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.

Sandbank Private Beach Dining, Six Senses Laamu
Sandbank Private Beach Dining, Six Senses Laamu

Bamboo Bike Rides Into The Maldives

“Obee” from Singapore’s Bamboobee has crossed the Bay of Bengal and landed in Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. Gili Lankanfushi is one of the most exclusive resorts in the Maldives. The eco-friendly bike made from sustainable sources of Bamboo has found a niche amongst the environmentally conscious hotel industry. Ibis Hotel and Jen Hotel (former Traders Hotel) are some of the hotels in Singapore where you can experience a ride on the Bamboo bike.

<strong>Cycling in the Maldives</strong>

The use of bicycles is not a new idea to the island nation. It is widely known that the Sultans rode them, and so did the cabinet ministers and the elite. Bicycles were the only mode of transportation until the introduction of cars in the late 60s and early 70s.

The police force had previously purchased 500 bicycles to be used for patrol. A number of island resorts offer bicycles and bike tours such as Hideaway Beach Resort &amp; Spa, Soneva Fushi and Sun Island Resort &amp; Spa.

In the 70s key events such as Independence Day or Republic Day are marked with bike rides around the capital. In 2010 when climate change awareness events in collaboration with 350.org was held in Malé, along with the world famous underwater cabinet meeting, the entire cabinet members marked the day with a bike ride in the capital Malé. More recently in September 2014, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Maldives and the Ministry of Tourism of the Maldives, held a bicycle ride in Hulhumalé, with the purpose of raising awareness and engaging the community on the issue of climate change through promoting the use of bicycles or non-motorised vehicles as a means of transportation in the Maldives.

<strong>Bamboobee</strong>

The Singapore company – Bamboobee, designs and produces its own bamboo bicycle products and accessories, since it began its operations online on April 2013, has sold more than 200 bicycles, with a premium price of each costing USD$1200 to USD$3300.

Obee, Bamboo bike
Obee, Bamboo bike

<strong>What are Bamboobee Bikes?</strong>

Bamboo is strong and durable, having higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel. Bamboo also regenerates fast and can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years­ this means the supply of bamboo can be more constant and regular and sustainable.

As a raw material for bicycles, and given the right engineering, bamboo bicycles can perhaps be a more natural looking and long lasting mode of transportation for a country like Maldives where the islands are so tiny that everything is affected by the salt carried by the sea breeze. For Bamboobee, its advantage is that it uses the lost Chinese practice of using honey wax to strengthen its bamboo.

<strong>The story of Bamboo Bikes</strong>

Bamboo bicycles have been around for a long time, with the first recorded bamboo bicycle showcased in London in the year 1894.

In the last 20 years however, there seems to be a surge of bike builders offering these bamboo transportation to the wider masses; From Craig Calfee of Calfee Design headquartered in California, USA, to Flavio Deslandes, a Brazilian industrial designer based in Denmark, and here in Asia a Singaporean by the name of Sunny Chuah, the founder of Bamboobee.

Asia’s bamboo bike builders also include Kawayan Tech Bamboo Bikes based in Quezon City, Philippines, Bambike based in Manila, Philippines, Bamboo Bicycles Beijing based in Beijing, China, and Burma Bike Partnership based in Burma, or what is also known as Myanmar.

Each of the abovementioned bamboo bike builders have a different history, business structure and purpose, and of course their designs vary as well. In a way, this gives consumers a wider range of options to choose a bamboo bicycle that suits ones preference, taste and budget.

<em>With additional contribution by Nor Lastrina Hamid, Bumble Bee at Bamboobee.</em>

Lastrina is also a volunteer-coordinator with 350 Singapore. 350 Singapore was founded by Young NTUC in March 2010. It is the Singapore chapter to the global 350.org movement. 350 is widely believed by many scientists to be the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million.

Rastovich to be crowned 2014 Champion in Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy

After defeating Taylor Know of USA renowned Professional free-surfer Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich in the Grand Final of the Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy on Kuda Huraa Maldives is set to be crowned the 2014 champion.

Rastovich is Champion
Rastovich is Champion

Rastovich is believed to have said ‘If I knew contests could be this much fun, I probably would have been a contest guy, but I don’t think there is any other event that is like this one.’

Rasta is known to travel around the world searching for ultimate surf and dedicating his time to environmental causes surrounding the issues of marine mammal conservation and preservation.

Rasta said ‘Just to compete against these amazing surfers all week and for all of us to be hooting each other in the lineup has been an incredible experience.’

He also added ‘But at the same time everyone is wanting to surf at their highest level; it’s a really cool experience, because normally it’s one or the other but this event is not like that – it’s a great format in a perfect location.’

Knox said ‘We were both just starting to warm up and I was thinking another couple of sets were going to come and that we both get two more waves, but it didn’t happen.’

Adding ‘Rasta has been in such good wave rhythm all week; it seems like every time he jumps off the boat he gets a nine. We were just both chatting out there and saying how lucky we are to be here, so it’s all good.’

Knox won both the Thruster and the Twin-Fin rounds, as well as finished fifth in the Single-Fin division, which were enough for him to accrue the points to qualify for the Grand Final.

Hussein ‘Iboo’ Areef won the highly contested Domestic Champions Trophy for the third consecutive year.

Showcasing the nations depth of talent he defeated Ismail ‘Kuda Issay’ Miglal, Amid ‘Ammaday’ Agil and Mohamed ‘Billu’ Irushad.

All six former world champions after watching the local final and expressed their admiration Contest Director Ross Phillips, stating ‘The standard of surfing today in the Domestic Champions Trophy was world class. It was a tough final and Iboo was a deserving winner.’

He said ‘The Maldivian Surfing Association is forging ahead in leaps and bounds. It’s fantastic to watch surfing progress at both a performance and organisational level in the Maldives.’

The Grand Final was honored by the Tourism Minister of Maldives, Mr Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, who also attended the finals onboard the Four Seasons Explorer and gave away the surfers with their awards.

After the success of the fourth consecutive annual event Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy will return again in 2015.

RESULTS: Surfing Champions Grand Final

Surfing Champions Trophy

1st Dave Rastovich (AUS) (8.60 + 9.10) 17.70pts
2nd Taylor Knox (USA) (8.17 + 4.00) 12.17pts

Domestic Champions Trophy

1st Hussain Areef ‘Iboo’ 16.00pts
2nd Ismail Miglal ‘Kuda Issay’ 15.83pts
3rd Amid Agil ‘Ammaday’ 13.84pts
4th Mohamed Irushad ‘Billu’ 11.93pts

Nacho Sotomayor Weaves Musical Magic In The Maldives

Nacho Sotomayor will perform in the Chill Bar at Six Senses Laamu, in the Maldives from May 5 to July 31, Six senses have revealed.

As Nacho celebrates 20 years as a musician and producer of ambient, chill out and electronic music, Nacho said, “I’m very happy to create this music adventure in Maldives and especially to be doing so at Six Senses Laamu. I hope that my music will make many people dream and feel happier.”

Nacho’s music is influenced by the sounds of his ancestral flamenco, Arab vibrations and incorporates a twist from every locality that inspires him. He has successfully directed his label, Absolut Ambient, since 2006 and has worked closely with well-known artists and performers such as Claude Challe and Bebe. His music is essential to many popular compilations including Café del Mar and Buddha Bar.

Nacho Sotomayor, Maldives
Nacho Sotomayor

Nacho’s most important and signature sound project remains “La Roca” which was inspired by the ever-changing colors from sunrise to sunset over Es Vedra, a rocky island on the coastline of Ibiza. He has also developed projects for National Geographic, Giorgio Armani, HBO and many more.

Six Senses Laamu is a resort with a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials. From the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, guests will have to take another 35 minute plane ride to Kadhdhoo Airport in Laamu atoll and then take a 20 minute speed boat ride to the resort.The resort is listed by Tripadvisor’s Travellers choice 2013, in its list of the top 25 luxury hotels in the Maldives.

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll. Laamu Atoll forms the southern limit of Central Maldives. Beyond the Huvadhu Kandu, the broadest channel between atolls in the Maldives, lie the southern atolls.

Looking for a leading budget hotel in the Maldives?

Ranked no. 13 among 20 hotels in South Malé Atoll by TripAdvisor, we give you Adaaran Club Rannalhi. The Club Rannalhi Island owned and operated by Aitken Spence Hotels, can be reached by speedboat from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in approximately 45 minutes.

The approximately 450 m long and 140 m wide Club Rannalhi, adapted to the natural beauty of tropical island known locally simply as Rannalhi, offers lively, relaxed atmosphere for everyone. The large and quite shallow, crystal clear lagoon is in the southern part of the island and is ideal for swimming and all water sports. The house and the outer reef ranges from 10 to 40 meters deep and is a lively coral garden abundant with various colorful flora and fauna, offering excellent snorkeling conditions.

One of the most sought out rooms on the island are the water villas. These villas are built on stilts and is over the beautiful lagoon and can go directly for a swim from the room.

The large main restaurant, serves international cuisine and regular theme nights. All Inclusive dining option comes with buffet for all meals.

In addition to the coffee shop and bar lounge service, the island has a boutique, a jewellery shop, laundry service and a spa where you can pamper yourself.

Some other services the island resort offers include excursions and picnics to uninhabited islands or deep sea fishing, sailing, and the special sunset fishing. Trips to Male to see the capital and the museum and enjoy souvenir shopping are also arranged upon request. Scuba diving, amongst the reefs in the vicinity of the island, snorkeling and other water sports including water skiing is available for the thrill seeker.

With a minimum of US$ 200 with the all inclusive option you can ensure you participate in any activity or excursion you feel like.