The Holiday Inn Resort®Kandooma Maldives has unveiled its brand-new official resort video that highlights nothing but the overall experience travelers can get when staying at this Maldives resort.
Known for its facilities which cater to various types of travelers, be it families, friends, couples, surfers, divers, or nature lovers, the cutting-edge video simply showcases everything to be enjoyed by everyone who’s searching for a city escape. “The concept behind the project is to show our guests different experiences they can enjoy and for them to realize that they can make a simple getaway extra special while on the island of Kandooma.”, says Joseph Della Gatta, General Manager of the resort.
This innovative video is the second one since the opening of this InterContinental Hotel Groups’ property in the Maldives last 2009. “We really planned to create a new video to showcase the latest facilities and services of the resort”. “We have many repeat guests, pleasantly surprised to see and experience something new to be loved about the place.”, Joseph said. Indeed, the launch of the new resort video by Holiday Inn Resort®Kandooma Maldives is a great idea not just to show what the brand has to offer but to keep its valued guests and future visitors updated through a unique and refreshing flick. The video can be seen across different social channels of the resort including YouTube and on its official website.
Celebrating the festive season with family and friends on sunkissed powdery white beaches by day and a starlit sky by night, guests were invited to join the team at Anantara Kihavah Villas for traditional carols as the resort’s festive lights were switched on for a fifth year, including the renowned and much-awaited underwater coral Christmas tree.
Christmas Corals 4 Metres Below
This year’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony illuminated the unique coral tree that has become a seasonal showcase element to the natural beauty of Anantara Kihavah Villas. Taking prime place of joy just beyond the viewing windows in the award-winning underwater restaurant Sea, the coral tree rests 4 meters below the water level, stands 2,5 metres tall by 2 meters wide, and is decorated with broken pieces of coral harvested from the ocean bed surrounding the resort.
The Indian Ocean’s abundance of marine life can be admired by descending into a connoisseur journey, indulging in an exquisite festive degustation menu paired by a vast array of new and old world wine selections from the world’s only underwater wine cellar. In addition to the neon fusiliers, parrotfish and surgeonfish all around, diners can feast their eyes day and night on the underwater coral tree displayed until 7 January 2016.
A Magical Wonderland of Sights, Sounds and Tastes Crowning the resort’s festive theme, A Magical Wonderland of Sights, Sounds and Tastes, the countdown to New Year’s Eve 2016 begins with a sumptuous gala gourmet buffet on the beach. Entertainment throughout the evening will see the old year out in style and ring the new one in with suave.
Set on one of the most pristine Maldivian islands, Anantara Kihavah Villas offers unique guest experiences in unsurpassed luxury with 79 private pool villas surrounded by untouched natural beauty, poised over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach. This luxury resort and private island is reached by a mesmerizing 30-minute seaplane journey from Male international airport. For more information on Anantara Kihavah Villas special offers visit http://kihavah-maldives.anantara.com/special-packages.aspx
Surrounded 99.9% by crystal clear water, The Maldives is considered to be one of the leading dive destinations in the world. Baa Atoll is a jewel in the island nation’s crown and for any novice or serious diver planning on going there, Anantara Kihavah Villas has become known as the ‘must-go-to’ dive destination.
Award-Winning Luxury Diving Renowned for the incredible density of marine life on the Anantara Kihavah Villas house reef, any dive here is sure to result in encounters with a broad variety of marine life. Recipient of Hotel of the Year Awards “Best Luxury Diving Resort Worldwide 2015”, Anantara Kihavah Villas offers an experience of diving that is second to none. Combine the Maldives Travel Award for the best beach resort in the Maldives with a thriving house reef, a professional team of divers with a resident marine biologist year round with a private Villa Hosts for every guest, and the holiday experience takes on new levels above and below the water surface.
Spectacular dives are just metres away from any of the 79 private pool villas when staying at Anantara Kihavah Villas. Javier Lazarus, manager of resort’s water sports centre, believes there are many reasons why the resort has been recognized as the best luxury diving resort worldwide in 2015.
“Our location is definitely unbeatable. Being a thila close to the Baa Atoll channel means that there is always a degree of current clearing the water, which helps corals to grow and thereby attracting bigger fish too. All of our dive groups are very small, we are often the only group diving on the reefs and we have multi-lingual teams who make sure every nationality staying with us feels at ease and comfortable in the water. But that alone isn’t enough, our diving equipment is of the highest quality from Scubapro, and we service all equipment regularly to pass quality inspections every month. We also offer personalized rental diving equipment, which means that once a guest rents it, they spend all their holiday at the resort with the same equipment.”
Diving with Top Class Service Anantara Kihavah Villas provides a comprehensive range of luxury services and serves as a gateway to the myriad of experiences in the Baa Atoll region of The Maldives – from the magical underwater world to pristine beaches and the exploration of deserted islands and secluded lagoons.Jean-Marc Ma-Poon, General Manager at Anantara Kihavah Villas, says, “We are delighted to receive such this acknowledgement for our diving and watersports. The luxury element on the water is enhanced with our comfortable boats equipped with a shower, washroom, and also Lavazza coffee and fridge for chilled drinks. Straight after an amazing dive, our guests can reminisce in style over their marine life encounters; the boat ride to and from the resort becomes just as much a part of the whole dive experience as the diving itself.
For anyone looking to really personalize their underwater adventure, we offer dives from our luxury sailing yacht – The Ocean Whisperer – and combine this with different excursions. It’s a truly unique way to experience these waters”
The Paradise of Anantara Kihavah Villas is fascinating above and underwater. When staying on the luxury resort island, listening to the ocean lapping the shore or beneath your over water villa, it’s a gentle calling to explore the waters. Suddenly, new worlds open up to you filled with colourful coral, and schools of tropical fish. So take your sense of adventure to new levels and enjoy diving in the Best Luxury Diving Resort Worldwide at Anantara Kihavah Villas.
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort this week revealed its 600 square meter (6,400 sqft) Grand Konotta Villa, a stunning and inspirational three-bedroom over-water retreat suitable for travelers seeking the ultimate in memorable holiday locations for special occasions or sheer relaxation.
The Grand Konotta Villa is part of the award-winning Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, which opened in August. The Villa is almost a resort within a resort. Guests can arrive by luxury speed boat at the Villa’s own private launch. Jet skis, speed boats, motorized and non-motorized water sport vessels can all be accessed straight from the villa’s private access steps.
Sleeping arrangements comprise a 65 sqm (700 sq ft) master bedroom with en suite five-fixture bathroom and a 24 sqm (258 sq ft) balcony with 180-degree ocean views. There are also two 56 sqm (602 sq ft) guest bedrooms and panoramic sunset views. All rooms feature natural stone finishes and walk-in cupboards.
The Villa has been designed for private dining and entertainment parties. It has a large kitchen and pantry, 24-hr butler service, and Outrigger chefs available to cook on demand. A huge 125 sqm (1,345 sq ft) sun deck features a 30 sqm (322 sq ft) pool.
Indoors, the two-story Villa reflects ocean colors with nautically themed art and decorative pieces, natural stone finishes, polished timber floors, clean white walls and a two-story void entry space with vertical circulation.
“Our beautiful Grand Konotta Villa with its inspirational seascapes helps our guests live their Maldivian holiday dream to the full,” says General Manager, Pascal Billon. “The Villa is the ultimate relaxing experience with a uniquely Maldivian sense of place.”
Although only officially available since 14 December, the Outrigger Konotta Villa has already been fully booked for 21 days from 19 December to 9 January 2016.
Early in the New Year Outrigger Resorts will announce a range of signature villa and suites across all its iconic beachfront properties from the Indian Ocean through Asia to the Pacific.
For queries about the Grand Konotta Villa email: [email protected] Tel: +960 684 7771
Buzz Aldrin, one of the first two men to walk on the moon in 1969, was the first guest to stay at Gili Lankanfushi’s newly upgraded Private Reserve, the largest overwater villa in the world, when he visited with his family last month. A big fan of space, the sprawling 1,700 square meter villa was the perfect choice for the Aldrin clan, offering a vast all-natural, luxury hideaway, surrounded by the Indian Ocean.
“Everyone needs space! Having ample space is important to me. And I value my privacy too! The Private Reserve is so big you can probably even see it from space!” said Buzz.
Standing alone in the middle of the sparkling lagoon, 500 metres from the resort and accessible only by boat, the Private Reserve offers total privacy for those seeking respite from the limelight. The nearest villas are 300 metres away, guaranteeing total seclusion, while the incredible master suite offers guests further privacy within the villa itself. Built of wood and glass and sleeping up to 12 people, the three-bedroom Private Reserve is cleverly designed to give families and groups of friends ample indoor and outdoor living space to relax and share quality time together in idyllic surrounds. A new 63-metre freshwater swimming pool overlooks the lagoon, with jacuzzi and sun-decks, while a water slide from the top deck into the lagoon adds to the fun.
“This resort is the perfect family setting. You’re far away from distractions and you get to enjoy this beautiful place. I especially like to bring my family here as it’s a unique place to build long lasting memories. Within the Private Reserve, we still don’t crowd each other out, but we dine together a lot, it’s perfect.”
To ensure guests’ every need is met, the Private Reserve has two personal Mr Friday butlers on hand 24/7 (who can live-in if required). Meals are created to specific tastes by a personal chef using the very freshest ingredients and produce from the resort’s organic vegetable and herb gardens and fish caught daily by pole and line in the lagoon and all washed down with the vast selection of organic wines. A private spa with sauna and steam room, gym and state-of-the-art cinema save guests from needing to venture out if desired. For those wanting to explore beyond the villa, some of the best diving in the world is literally lapping at your toes and the resort’s Ocean Paradise Dive Centre offers unforgettable underwater experiences with expert instructors. According to Buzz, scuba diving is the closest thing to being in space.
“Scuba diving in the ocean has a similar freedom to being in space,” said Buzz. “Particularly when you’re upside down! I tend to spend most of my time underwater upside down. There are many, many more large schools of fish here than I’ve seen in many places. You get to see mantas and sharks and don’t have to go down deep.”
While the facilities of the resort – named the Best Hotel in the World by TripAdvisor in the Traveller’s Choice Awards 2015 – are just a short boat-ride away, the Private Reserve offers the ultimate in privacy and luxury. A truly special place that no guest wants to leave. Buzz was photographed by French photographer Cyril Mason, renowned for taking iconic photos of the world’s greatest sports people and adventurers.
Privacy. Exclusively. Yours.
Private Reserve Rates / night range from $11,000-$23,630. Plus local government taxes. Room-only basis. The Reserve sleeps up to twelve people.
The Small Maldives Island Co. has announced the appointment of Rochelle Kilgariff as Resort Manager at Finolhu, situated in the Baa Atoll, the Maldives, which is scheduled to open mid-2016.
Originally from Perth, Rochelle brings 15 years’ experience as a Resort General Manager. Most recently she worked in Bali, and previously in Oman, Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives, including Soneva Fushi. Rochelle initially worked in the travel industry in Australia. She was named on the Power List of influential hotel and tourism professionals in the Middle East by Middle East Hotelier during her time there.
The Small Maldives Island Co. Chairman Michael Flynn said, “We are delighted to have someone with Rochelle’s depth of experience join us for something as important as Finolhu.”
Finolhu is the sister island to Amilla Fushi, also managed by The Small Maldives Island Co.
Rochelle Kilgariff is another Australian in the management of Amilla and Finolhu, joining Chairman Michael Flynn, Curator and CEO Mark Hehir and Island Restaurateur Luke Mangan.
On the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, the award judges said, “The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort creates once in a lifetime adventure and exploration opportunities, sprawling villas of unrivalled comfort, style and amenities, world-class cuisine and indulgent, exotic spa treatments. This modern no-holds-barred focus on creating an all-encompassing resort to please every potential guest, made it the obvious winner for Luxury Contemporary Resort of the Year.”
Outrigger opened the newly acquired resort on 1 August after an extensive refurbishment. Surrounded by turquoise waters and a pristine coral reef and beach, the property features 53 garden and overwater pool villas comprising the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives.
“Feedback from couples and families since opening tell us they are impressed with our amazing Outrigger villa experience,” says Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort general manager, Pascal Billion. “We’ve worked hard so that our guest service standards, dining and excursions also match the excellence of our award winning contemporary design.”
Luxury Travel Guide said of the awards: “All winners of the Luxury Travel Guide Awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our in-house professionals and celebrity guest judges. This ensures only the most deserving firms and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.”
Kerry Payne, Account Manager, at Luxury Travel Guide added: “The Luxury Travel Guide Awards represent the pinnacle of hospitality achievement, championing the best in their respective fields. Therefore, to come out on top is truly an achievement you should be proud of.”
The private island of Konotta is located 211 miles (340 kilometers) to the south of Malé and conveniently accessible via a 55-minute flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private speedboat.
Second annual festive market opens at luxurious resort in the Maldives
Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives invites guests to celebrate the festive season at the resort and take advantage of a special room offer, live entertainment, gala dinners and the resort’s second annual festive market.
The Winter Wonderland offer includes one free night when seven nights or more are booked, daily complimentary breakfast at Samsara, dinner at Samsara, MU Beach Bar and Grill, or Fenesse. These benefits are in addition to a private pool, complimentary bicycle use and 20% discount on pre-booked Talise spa treatments.
“Jumeirah Vittaveli is the perfect place to celebrate this festive season – guests can relish the serene atmosphere of our elegant resort, or join in on the fun with the host of activities on offer. Our gala dinners will be a treat for any foodie, comprising exotic and traditional delicacies such as stollen, mincemeat tart, oysters, and a chocolate yule log, all prepared by our creative chefs and kitchen teams,” said Graham Kiy, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli.
To mark the festive season, guests can also help create the resort’s first underwater ‘festive tree forest,’ which will contribute to the abundance of marine life that exists around the resort. The festive trees will comprise cone-shaped coral propagation structures and each festive season, a new ‘tree’ will be planted with the help of guests.
The second annual festive market will feature colourful lacquerware and handicrafts from ‘Maldives Originals,’ a not-for-profit initiative that supports local communities.
It will also showcase traditional Maldivian crafts such as Kadjan or palm leaves used for roof-making. A resident astronomer will enlighten guests on the secrets of the sky above in a series of educational sessions including: sky mythology, touring the constellations and the life and death of stars.
Children will be awed by the resort’s fire dancers showcasing the Art of Poi, creations sculpted by a sand artist and Santa who will stop by the resort to deliver goodies. Children can also take part in daily activities at the resort’s Kuda Koli Kids Club, decorate gingerbread houses, or join in Santa’s treasure hunts.
Talise Spa will offer mini massages for children and a dedicated detox package for adults. Pedal boat and stand up paddling races will see guests display their competitive spirit, and guests can avail a special festive discount of up to 25% on motorised water sports activities.
On 24 December, entertainment is set to include a night-time astronomy session, a live band, a belly dancing show by the international artist Viktoria and fire dancers. At Samsara, a magician and a DJ will perform and there will be a traditional festive gala dinner. At the newly opened Indian signature restaurant Swarna, guests can indulge in a special thali night. A multi-course degustation menu will be available at the overwater fine dining venue Fenesse.
On 25 December, Samsara will serve a breakfast buffet and traditional delicacies. The restaurant will offer extended hours for late risers. In the evening, guests may enjoy a special oysters and bubbly night at Fenesse. The live band will perform at Bar-EE and the resident astronomer will hold another insightful night-time session.
On 31 December, Russian Santa Claus Ded Moroz and his helper Snegurochka will arrive with special treats for all children. Guests can attend a special pre-dinner cocktail reception, followed by live performances, including fire dancers, live band, magician, belly dancer, and the classical pianist Sophia Lisovskaya who has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After a lavish New Year’s Eve gala dinner at Samsara, a seven course degustation menu at Fenesse, or the signature Swarna thalis, guests can join the DJ in his countdown to midnight and dance the night away.
On 6 January, an important date in the Russian festive calendar, Sophia Lisovskaya will hold a classical piano performance at Samsara, followed by a showcase of the in-house fire dancers and performances from belly dancer Viktoria. Guests can then party the night away with the live band and DJ or learn about the sky above with the resident astronomer.
With a passion for bold luxury and one-of-a-kind experiences that defy expectation, PER AQUUM jump-starts 2016 with the launch of PULSE – a stream of immersive avant-garde experiences from A-list affairs to intimate celebrations brought to life by creative icons, emerging artistes and the passion of the PER AQUUM team.
Kicking off PULSE’s debut line-up is Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, UK. Justine has two loves – fashion and the written word. As bestselling author of four books, Justine is the literary genius behind the widely acclaimed biography ‘Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life’. This January guests have the opportunity to meet the author at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi where she will reveal secrets unearthed during her research on Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. As part of its ‘Popcorn Under the Stars’ series, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will air the movie ‘Coco Before Chanel’ starring the beguiling Audrey Tautou. PER AQUUM’s first ever PULSE experience will offer a captivating insight from one of the industry’s leading influencers into the links between fashion and art – and the emotional resonance of fashion in all our lives.
Hot on Justine’s heels in early January will be Chef Nelly Robinson from nel. restaurant in Sydney. Celebrated for his contemporary interpretations of modern Australian dishes, Chef Nelly and his team pride themselves on working with only the freshest seasonal produce with a weekly changing degustation menu. nel. restaurant currently claims the top spot on Australia’s largest restaurant booking network, Dimmi, and was awarded the 2015 Time Out Sydney’s People’s Choice Award. Chef Nelly Robinson from down under will dive eight metres underground at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi’s unique cellar cave, Vinum, for an exclusive one-night-only dinner.
In February, free spirit and GRAMMY Award-winner Joss Stone lands in the Maldives for an exclusive one-night only performance at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi for her Total World Tour, an ambitious personal quest to play in every country on the planet. In each country, Joss is aiming to collaborate with local home-grown musicians, playing indigenous music as well as her own songs including hits from her new album ‘Water For Your Soul’. This experience will be a first for the Maldives as PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi brings a ‘World Tour’ event to its shores.
In April, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and PER AQUUM Niyama join forces to host Chef Akira Back and his celeb-enticing brand of Japanese cuisine with a Korean twist. Known for his appearances on Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America’ battling Chef Bobby Flay, Chef Akira can also be seen on NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, Food Network’s ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate’, The Cooking Channel’s ‘United States of America’ as well as KBS’ ‘Success Mentor’ which airs in Korea. Once a professional snowboarder, Chef Akira has worked under acclaimed maestros Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto, and is the success story behind the famed Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar and Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, both in Las Vegas, as well as the talent behind Akira Back New Delhi and Jakarta.
Also conjuring up culinary creations at PER AQUUM Niyama is Chin Chin Labs. Straight out of Camden Market in the UK, Chin Chin Labs has achieved a cult status amongst chefs and ice cream aficionados the world over. Shunning traditional techniques and convention, Chin Chin Labs has been creating artisanal ice creams to order, frozen with liquid nitrogen and billowing with clouds of ‘ice’ since 2010. Having pioneered liquid nitrogen ice-cream as a retail concept, Chin Chin Labs is known for nods to haute cuisine with flavours such as Guinness caramel with smoked salt, pink guava and pepper crack and blueberry marshmallow and apricot rose. Hailed by The Times as ‘The best ice cream parlour in England’ and ‘a place where chefs come for inspiration’ by TimeOut London, these ice cream magicians will be making Maldives-exclusive flavours at PER AQUUM Niyama’s island ‘Play’ over Easter featuring ingredients from the resort Chef’s own herb garden.
Injecting a little vintage elegance to PER AQUUM’s ‘Dream Island’ in mid-2016 will be Indian artisans of leather, Nappa Dori, in a celebration of the glamour of travel and the discovery of new frontiers. A tribute to quintessential Indian sensibilities, blended perfectly with contemporary interpretations in design, material and craftsmanship as well as a dose of nostalgia, mysticism and romance, guests at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will have the chance to take part in bespoke workshops, learning the art of leather making from the masters of their craft.
With all this and more on the horizon – from parties until dawn to one-on-one masterclasses – Nick Downing, Vice President of PER AQUUM Hotels & Resorts, has appointed a new Creative Director, Angeline Leo, one of the trendsetting brand’s original dream team. With, quite literally, her finger on the ‘PULSE’, Angeline has spent the last ten years curating and actualising a number of exclusive events, including PULSE’s previous incarnation as the brand’s iconic ‘Dream Calendar’ which was shortlisted for several awards including Most Original Campaign and Greatest Guest Experience at LE Miami.
For a taste of the PER AQUUM Life, reserve your place at one of the upcoming PULSE Experiences by calling +960 664 4111, go to peraquum.com/PULSE, search by hashtag #PULSEbyPAQ or email [email protected]
On International Diabetics Day, a team from Hotel Jen played a supportive role in the International Diabetes Day Celebration that was organized by the Diabetes Society in cooperation with Aquathon Trainers of Maldives.
The occasion aimed to raise heightened awareness and knowledge particularly among the general population and the media on diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need as well as to give support to diabetics in their ceaseless efforts to control the disease.
Different age group of participants from the public in all walks of life, government agencies, Diabetes Society registered members and Hotel Jen colleagues, participated in the event organized by Diabetes Society of the Maldives to inculcate the importance of exercise for everyone including the diabetic patients in living towards a healthier lifestyle.
About 200 participants of ages 15-70 were involved in the three hour Aquathon fun program which was held on 14th of November 2015 at Hulhumale’ swim area from 9am – 12am. The participants were treated to healthy meal which includes 100 kg of fresh bananas hosted by Hotel Jen.
Hotel Jen team had some serious fun participating in the exercise at the swim area in Hulhumalé by having the chance to experience Aqua Aerobics and found the awareness information session shared in the program very beneficial as it encourage introspection of one’s own self lifestyle as seen from perspective of the wellness lens and made everyone realize the importance of exercising regularly.
All in all, it was a great leisure activity that provided a good cardiovascular workout and an enormous sense of wellbeing to all participants and as one participant aptly put it “I love it- it gives me a high and did a world of good to my body.”