Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa hosts Surfing Champions Trophy from August 8 to 14, 2016

As surf season gets underway in the Maldives, so too does the build up to the country’s hottest invitational: Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy. And kicking off 2016’s illustrious line-up, big wave legend Shane Dorian has confirmed his return to defend last year’s title.

Unique in many ways, the Champions Trophy determines a surfer’s heat time based on their age and tests skill across three different divisions: single-fin, twin-fin, and triple-fin thruster.  Places are granted by invitation-only to just six world champions in a battle for inner-circle kudos and the USD 25,000 prize winnings.

Hawaiian big-wave slayer Dorian secured the 2015 title in a nail-biting Grand Final against defending champion Dave Rastovich (AUS). En route to the final, he achieved the Champions Trophy’s highest single wave score – a 10, the first in the competition’s history – and the highest heat total: 19.60 (out of a possible 20).

A recent finalist at the Quicksilver Eddie Invitational and The Jaws Big Wave World Event, Dorian is already turning his attention to the August event, commenting, “Lisa and I can’t wait to return to the Maldives to enjoy the chilled out vibe of the Champions Trophy. It’s such a unique concept with fun waves and great company and definitely one of the highlights of our year.”

The Surfing Champions Trophy is hosted onboard Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives’ ultimate surf vessel. Fans can get up close to the action with onboard VIP passes, while the surf tour experience continues with shoulder-rubbing events back at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, which plays host to the contest’s competitors, judges and Tropicsurf partners (the pros behind the Resort’s surf operation).

Event Coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf comments, “It’s crazy to think how prominent the Surfing Champions Trophy has become in just six years. It’s a one-of-a-kind event where the camaraderie off the waves makes for an even more magical competition on them.”

It won’t be long before the remaining five world champions are announced, and if previous years are anything to go by, fans can expect powerhouse names and some interesting twists.

For a piece of the action, book the Group Surf & Stay package, available for a minimum booking of five rooms at Kuda Huraa between August 8 and 14, 2016, including:

  • All-inclusive 5 or 7 nights accommodation (full board)
  • Competition day passes aboard Four Seasons Explorer
  • 5 or 7 days of intense surfing with Tropicsurf’s expert guides
  • Return transfers

Limited day passes will be available (at a fee) for non-package guests and members of the public wishing to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.  Call + 960 66 00 888 for enquiries and rates.

Kurumba Maldives receives two World Travel Awards in 2016

Kurumba Maldives is proud to announce that they have been awarded two accolades in the 2016 World Travel Awards as follows:

Maldives’ Leading Resort 2016
Indian Ocean’s Leading MICE Hotel 2016

The first award highlights Kurumba as Maldives’ Leading Resort, which is presented to the best 4.5 to high end 5-star resorts. Kurumba Maldives has been revitalising itself with a large investment to enhance the guest experience progressively over the past six years. Combined with these actions, the resort was rebranded under the principle of “Maldives in Full Colour”, which has brought a highly differentiated guest experience with the goal to offer more for its guests than resorts further afield.

The second award, as Indian Ocean’s leading MICE hotel is presented due to the resort being able to successfully host corporate retreats, groups, incentives, meetings and events on its grounds.

The prestigious World Travel Awards have been recognising organisations delivering outstanding customer experiences in travel and tourism for more than 20 years. They have become a key global institution of the industry, stimulating competition and innovation among operators, as well as providing a helpful testimonial for quality to travellers worldwide. The Wall Street Journal is among the many media that have heralded WTA as “the Oscar’s of the travel industry”.

Judit Rosa, Sales & Marketing Manager of Kurumba Maldives commented: “We are thrilled to receive these prestigious symbols of recognition. A key part of these awards is a voting poll and we would like to thank all our loyal guests and key partners for their continuous support. Secondly, as a resort we are always looking to raise our standards and create a unique and thoughtful journey for our guests on a beautiful island setting. We are truly grateful for the positive recognition from our guests.”

For a list of all the awards, please check:

www.worldtravelawards.com/winners/2016/indian-ocean
http://www.kurumba.com/maldives-awards

Lifestyle Luxury Comes To Malé Atoll

Amidst the stunning turquoise hues of the Maldives archipelago, lies the tranquil island of Maadhoo; home to the brand NEW LIFESTYLE LUXURY Resort – OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo! Opening its doors on 15th July 2016OZEN at Maadhoo will be the Flagship Luxury resort within the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts portfolio, the up & coming Indian Ocean hospitality brand.

Just 35 minutes away by speedboat from the Malé International Airport, the contemporary design style & overall ambience of OZEN at Maadhoo, complements the naturally blessed surroundings of the romantic Maadhoo Island.

The resort offers the discerning traveler a uniquely exclusive holiday plan – The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™- an ultra-luxury All-Inclusive plan, offering exotic Champagnes, Cocktails & Wines along with dine-around Fine Dining experiences which also includes a unique Underwater Dining experience at the FIRST underwater restaurant in Male’ Atoll. The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™ also includes Luxurious Spa therapies from Atmosphere’s very own Elena Spa; an extensive spa complex with exquisite overwater treatment rooms and a wide range of relaxing and rejuvenating rituals and therapies.  The Indulgence continues with superior world-class Diving adventures at Atmosphere Aqua Club; OZEN’s PADI Certified Dive School with a team of multilingual experienced professionals, along with watersports and snorkeling trips. The OZEN experience encompasses all elements of a Luxury holiday experience in the Maldives! NO Surprises, NO Shocks, NO Hidden Extras – ALL INCLUDED in ONE Price!

OZEN features 41 Beach-front villas and 49 over-water villas, each overlooking the expansive lagoon and the horizon. All living spaces are created with utmost Luxury & Comfort in mind, whilst incorporating a seamless fusion of modern design, nature and vibrancy!  Many of these villas come with their very own 8 meter lap pools, featuring fiber-optic Mood lighting, also boasts a Mesmeric Maldivian Sunset View, directly from their villas!

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, after having successfully opened Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives in December 2013, with its unique Premium All-Inclusive Holiday Plan and fantastic value for money, went on to create the very popular & best in class 4-star superior resort – OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli, before venturing into the Luxury segment with OZEN.

OZEN by Atmosphere is certainly expected to be the next BIG thing in the Maldives!

Jumeirah Vittaveli Voted ‘Maldives’ Leading Spa Resort’

Jumeirah Vittaveli has won the World Travel Award 2016 for ‘Maldives’ Leading Spa Resort,’ at the Africa and Indian Ocean gala evening in Zanzibar.

Graham Kiy, General Manager at Jumeirah Vittaveli, said: “We are proud to have been awarded this outstanding recognition for Jumeirah Vittaveli and our Talise Spa, which is an integral part of the resort. Every day, our team strives to deliver superior service and an indulgent experience, ensuring our guests enjoy the paradise of the Maldives to the fullest. Part of this is providing culturally connected treatments, such as the use of pure Maldivian coconut oil within some of our treatments – produced on site and harvested from coconuts from the island, this is a favourite with our guests.”

Guests at Jumeirah Vittaveli can indulge in signature couple’s treatments such as the Vittaveli Romance which includes a full body massage followed by an intimate rich coconut milk bath. Guests can also request the spa team to prepare a romantic bath in their villa, complete with flower petals, strawberries and bubbly.

More information about the resort can be discovered on the official Jumeirah blog: ‘5 Reasons the Maldives is perfect for families’.

The World Travel Awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide. Established in 1993, the awards are recognised as a world-class hallmark of quality. Each year a series of gala ceremonies are staged to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence in the tourism industry.

Graham Cooke, President of the World Travel Awards, said: “My congratulations to everybody who was nominated at the World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean gala ceremony this and especially those who picked up a trophy. As the first stop on our annual grand tour, the bar has certainly been set high for the rest of the year and I look forward to greeting all of our winners from this evening at the grand final in the Maldives in December.”

Kurumba Maldives Welcomes Yoga Guru Vijeth For Yoga Week

Kurumba Maldives is pleased to announce the arrival of Yogi Vijeth, experienced Yoga therapist, teacher and Yogic counselor, for a week of Yoga related sessions.

Vijeth started practising Yoga when he was 12 years old. He graduated in Gurkula School, then completed a postgraduate degree in Yogic science in Mangalore University, India. He then conducted a Chandrayana Vratta program, which is an ancient yoga detoxification technique (weight reduction programme) for several groups, as well as research on the effect of yogic practices during pregnancy. Vijeth is an experienced teacher and has conducted a series of seminars and workshops during his career.

From 16th to 23rd May 2016, daily special sessions will be on offer for up to 20 guests per group. These include Yoga and Meditation in the mornings and evenings plus Yogic Counselling and Therapy. The Yoga and Meditation sessions will include a group discussion about creating healthy habits and setting goals.

The Yogic Counselling and Therapy sessions will revolve around the Yoga philosophies, which act as a therapist in removing self-created problems in our minds. Yoga philosophy is both science and art. Its reason and technique will help individuals appreciate life. Private sessions with Yogi Vijeth can also be arranged upon request.

This unique visit is in addition to the existing complimentary group Yoga sessions which are part of the expansive weekly activities program; along with many other varied activities ranging from the active, like guided snorkelling, to the more indulgent wine tasting or live cooking demonstrations. Kurumba consistently strives to offer all its guests more, so they can experience the very best of the island lifestyle and the Maldives In Full Colour.

Advance booking is recommended through [email protected]. More information can be found at: www.kurumba.com/maldives-yoga-week-02

Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat

Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat is a small island paradise in the Maldives’ Southern Ari Atoll, where guests can enjoy a journey of self-discovery in one of the most beautiful locations on earth. Seclusion, tranquillity and escape come together for an authentic Maldivian experience that blends rustic appeal with understated comfort and charm.

With just 10 Beach Villas and 20 Water Villas set over one hectare, the intimate resort conjures up an illusion of being cast away on a desert island where guests relax in total serenity, safe in the knowledge that if they need anything there is a team of friendly, experienced staff there to look after them.

The pressures of daily life melt away in simple yet comfortable surroundings, where modern technology is paired to a minimum, encouraging you to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate body and mind.

Natural spa treatments and invigorating water sports are available to pass away the days, as well as an incredible dive team who can guide and assist you to encounter the most dazzling marine life.

Locally inspired menus, natural products, traditional design elements and signature Maldivian hospitality evoke a true sense of rustic charm for an unforgettable stay you will want to repeat year after year.

Drift enjoys a secluded location on the idyllic Maldivian island of Thelu Veliga in Southern Ari Atoll.

Spanning just over a hectare in size, this intimate retreat can be reached by a direct 35 minute seaplane journey from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (Malé) or via a 35 minute domestic flight from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (Malé) to Maamigili Local Airport followed by a 30 minute speedboat ride.

 

Maldives Wins Two National Awards at Marine Dive Fair 2016

Maldives won the first prize for the Reader’s Choice Dreaming Area award and the second prize for Reader’s Choice Best Diving Area, Overseas award at the Dive and Travel Awards 2016 which took place at the Marine Dive Fair 2016. The Maldives Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, joined this opening ceremony representing Maldives at the Marine Dive Fair 2016.

Marine Dive fair is an annual scuba diving and beach resorts fair that takes place in Tokyo Japan, targeted towards the consumers and trade in Japan and Asia. This year marks the 24th edition of this annual event and went off successfully.

The Japanese market was once among the top 5 markets in terms of arrivals to Maldives. While the market has dropped over the year, they still remain among the top 10 markets and show potential for growth. The Japanese enjoy their travel to tropical destination and is a huge market for the dive segment of the destination. This gives Maldives an advantage over other destination as Maldives offers free visa on entry and easy connections between Japan and Maldives.

Maldives embassy in Japan represented Maldives at Marine Dive Fair this year, Maldives presence was well covered at the event. Through right promotion and exposure at this event, expect a positive growth with increasing arrivals from the Japanese market once again.

Heinrich Morio Joins Soneva As Managing Director – Maldives

Soneva Resorts and Residences, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has announced that Heinrich Morio has joined the company as the new Managing Director – Maldives, responsible for overseeing its flagship resort Soneva Fushi as well as its latest luxury offerings Soneva in Aqua and Soneva Jani.

A dual US and German National, Heinrich’s hospitality career spans more than 35 years, most of which have been spent in the management team of some of the world’s most renowned luxury hotels and resorts.

Prior to joining Soneva, Heinrich was the General Manager (opening) of the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, and formerly the General Manager of the Burj al Arab, as well as the General Manager of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, both also located in Dubai, UAE.  Before moving to the Middle East, Heinrich was the General Manager of several One & Only properties in Mauritius and Bahamas, as well as luxury resorts in the United States. He will join Soneva in July 2016.

We are very excited to have Heinrich on board with us. He has impressive hospitality experience in iconic properties around the world and we look forward to leveraging his expertise to further enhance Soneva’s service offering. He will work closely with Olivia as we ramp up to open Soneva Jani by October 2016,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva Resorts.

In October 2015, Soneva welcomed Olivia Richli as the new General Manager (opening) of Soneva Jani, Soneva’s newest property in the Maldives, which is currently under construction.  The resort is being built on a large island surrounded by four smaller islands in the middle of a large, five-kilometre turquoise lagoon in the Noonu Atoll, Maldives. Four of the five islands will remain untouched so it will be, by far, the lowest density development in the Maldives. Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani comprises 24 over water villas and 32 island villas.

The resort is surrounded by crystal clear waters, with pure white beaches, islands covered in rich tropical vegetation and set in a vast sparkling lagoon.Soneva owns and operates Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Soneva in Aqua, an ultra luxurious yacht offering an experiential travel experience, was launched in the Maldives in 2015 and sails out of Soneva Fushi. For more information about Soneva visit www.soneva.com

W Maldives Appoints new GM Anton Birnbaum

W Retreat & Spa – Maldives is thrilled to announce the appointment of its new General Manager, Anton Birnbaum. A native of Austria is responsible for the overall operation, providing strategic and inspirational leadership to his new team and delivering distinguished W experience to the hotel guests and clients. Among other responsibilities, Anton will oversee implementation of the annual business plan annual operational and capital budgets, marketing and guest satisfaction.

Anton was promoted to the top position after previously serving eight years as Executive Assistant Manager at Le Méridien Vienna, where he started his hospitality career as a Director of Human Resources. Prior to joining the Starwood team, Anton worked for such big brands as T-Mobile, DO & CO or SPAR in Austria.

During his time with Le Méridien Vienna, Anton supervised the development of the Food & Beverage department and functioned as a key hotel contact for such major events as the Life Ball, Fashion Check-in, Vienna Fashion Week, Afterhours, Vienna Art Fair or Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. He also focused on the networking events in the B2B sector as well as building the relationship with hotel’s key suppliers and partners. In 2014 Anton took charge of the Luxury Collection Hotel Imperial’s launch event for more than 1,000 guests including international stars like supermodel Helena Christensen.

For bookings and more information on W Retreat & Spa – Maldives, please explore http://www.wretreatmaldives.com/.

Sheraton Maldives wins 2016 Starwood Cares for the Community Awards

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has won the 2016 Starwood Cares for the Community Awards in Asia Pacific division. Sheraton Maldives received the award for its remarkable efforts initiated last year to support and improve the conditions at the Home for People with Special Needs in Guraidhoo.

The Management and associates of Sheraton Maldives organised several fundraising events which included a charity run in which the national record holder Hassan Saaid himself participated to show his support, a jumble sale where all the profits went to the home and also the donation of furniture and bathroom fixtures amongst many others.

Established in 1976, Home for People with Special Needs is a rehabilitation home on the island of Guraidhoo that provides special care and services to over 150 residents between 15 to 95 years of age from homeless, old, young, mentally and physically disabled.

Starwood Cares for the Community Awards acknowledges and celebrates the efforts of Starwood properties and associates who ‘set the bar’ for community involvement. Over 3,150 associates globally voted for the winners out of the top three finalists from each division.