Jumeirah Vittaveli Unveils 5-Bedroom Royal Residence

The lavish Royal Residence will be the perfect playground for the extraordinary traveller – opens on January 2017

Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives has announced the resort’s much anticipated Royal Residence will open in January 2017. The 5-bedroom / 6 bathroom retreat will cover 3,500 square metres and include a private beach, two pools, and a private arrival jetty.

Amit Majumder, General Manager, Jumeirah Vittaveli, said: “The Royal Residence adds another dimension of luxury to Jumeirah Vittaveli. This completely self-sufficient hideaway includes its own arrival jetty with overwater bar, an open air kitchen, restaurant, private beach, two pools, spa and gym, separate living and dining pavilion as well as separate service quarters. Guests can enjoy unrivalled privacy while still having all the activities and facilities of an award-winning resort at their fingertips. We have put much thought into planning out each little detail of the Royal Residence and I am confident that guests will be amazed by the level of service as well as privacy that they will experience when staying at this new ultimate tropical retreat.”

Entrance, Royal Residence, Jumeirah Vittaveli
Entrance, Jumeirah Vittaveli

The Royal Residence experience will begin as soon as guests arrive in the Maldives. They will receive priority customs service and a personal welcome at the airport, followed by a 20-minute luxury yacht transfer to the island. A traditional Maldivian Bodu Beru reception awaits, comprising a group of drummers and dancers who greet guests at the private jetty. The Royal Residence Manager will take everyone on a brief tour of the luxurious residence.

The journey will lead guests past a sunken lounge surrounded by a fragrant lily pond, to a full sized swimming pool looking out across the private beach. A dining room seating 10 with adjacent living room including Bang & Olufsen™ home theatre system is connected to the pool deck, with an open air Teppanyaki style live kitchen on the far end overlooking the infinite ocean. An indoor fully stocked kitchen and wine cellar by nolte™ is the domain of the personal chef, while separate service quarters house up to four additional personnel.

The Suite Master Bedroom, Jumeirah Vittaveli
The Suite Master Bedroom, Jumeirah Vittaveli

‘The Sanctuary’ (530sqm) includes the Master Bedroom, as well as a separate indoor living area, private spa treatment room and private gym outfitted with state-of-the-art Life Fitness™ equipment. An indoor bathroom with his and hers vanities and oversized stone bathtub by Kelly Hoppen™ is complemented by an outdoor bathing area featuring a Jacuzzi with inbuilt TV. ‘The Villas’ (240 sqm & 195 sqm), one with king-size bed and one with twin bed, flank The Sanctuary and pool to the North and South – both including their own private open air deck as well as walk-in wardrobe and stone bathtub. ‘The Suite’ connects through a portico to the Royal Residence and includes one king-sized and one twin bedded room, as well as separate living room and a 49 square metre private pool.

The Suite Exterior, Jumeirah Vittaveli
The Suite, Jumeirah Vittaveli

Guests of the Royal Residence will enjoy access to all facilities of Jumeirah Vittaveli via dedicated buggy and chauffeur, including a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, four restaurants and two bars, Kuda Koli Kids’ Club with family pool, and a Talise Spa with overwater and garden treatment rooms. With its focus on understated luxury and cultural connection, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers guests a true Maldivian island experience.

Free(dom)-Diving at Anantara Maldives

Ten metres above, the glassy ceiling of the Indian Ocean glints and and shimmers while below the warm turquoise of the Maldives fades into an infinite blue.

Nearby, canoes and snorkellers paddle on the glittering ceiling while scuba-explorers plumb the depths of the archipelago’s coral kingdom. Here, you wait between one world and the other at Anantara in South Male’ atoll.

Having free-dived down, your lungs are squeezed to half of their normal capacity as the weight of paradise brings two bars of pressure (the exact opposite effect of the ones serving cocktails on the resort) – but you feel calm.

Anantara Free Diving

After spending an hour with Mari – your PADI-trained free-diving instructor – by the pool, you understand the physics crucial to this quickly growing sport. She’s been taking guests through their paces since Anantara became one of the first resorts in the Maldives to give free-diving lessons earlier this year.

As your lungs shrink, so your buoyancy reduces the further you get toward the end of the rope attached to the buoy above. Here, at ten metres’ depth, you have neutral buoyancy. A few kicks up and your lungs begin to expand, sending you back up to the surface. A few down and gravity will return, taking you deeper and deeper with minimal effort.

As much a mental as a physical sport, free-diving requires relaxation and control to practice. Tense muscles and a busy brain use a lot of oxygen – but luckily you’ve been relaxing hard since your arrival, and pranayama tuition is available at Anantara’s wellness centre.

Anantara Free Diving

The mammalian dive response kicks in as soon as your face hits the water, reducing your heart rate to 25 percent of its normal level and slowing your metabolism to conserve oxygen. But concentration is needed to ensure you equalise the pressure in your ears and mask during the descent.

Getting down here was the hardest part, and for a few precious moments you’re floating; a tropical spaceman. Up or down is your call, but only for as long as you can hold your breath, and your body is sending strong signals it would like to breath some time soon.

Recalling your induction in the warm and plentiful air of the morning, you know that the oxygen levels in your blood have dipped only a couple of points and remain above 90 percent. But it’s the CO2 levels that are urging you back to the surface.

Anantara Free Diving

The difference between a novice and a pro is their ability to withstand higher levels of CO2, allowing them to hold their their breath for long enough to dive to 25 metres or lower. The world record unassisted free dive is 95 metres, and the longest time anyone has held their breath underwater is 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

While the discomfort is natural at first, being able to dive down to the reef has been a way of life for Maldivians for millenia, foraging for those hard-to-reach crustaceans, octopus and sea cucumbers on their doorstep. You may feel out of your depth, but didn’t that first session back at the gym leave you feeling like a fish out of water?

Mari floats alongside you, checking you make the right decision and head back up. You do – flicking your fins and expanding your lungs as you race back up the rope leading into the sky.

Full courses are available at the resort’s ‘Aquafanatics’ Water Sports Centre, allowing you to take your skills to new depths. These include training on technique and safety procedures to ensure you can free-dive with freedom. 

Anantara Free Diving

MMPRC signs as Associate Partner for first Travel Trade Show of Maldives

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has signed an MOU with Maldives Getaways Pvt Ltd to become an Associate Partner for first Travel Trade Show of Maldives (TTM).

Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) is the platform that connects the travel trade community of the Maldives to the global network of travel agents easily and instantly. Staged annually in Maldives, TTM will be the leading global event for the luxury travel trade industry of Maldives. It will be a vibrant must attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of hoteliers to local & International travel professionals.

TTM aims to facilitate the tourism industry of Maldives to reach the ultimate target of 2 million tourists with over $3.5 billion in receipts by the end of 2020.

More than 300 hoteliers, suppliers, related industries and travel professionals from Maldives and abroad are expected to visit TTM to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends in Maldives.

SPEED NETWORKING

Speed networking sessions bring together exhibitors and selected buyers in one-to-one meeting sessions. TTM will arrange meetings for up to 20 minutes to facilitate constructive meetings which will produce results! You can use this time to not only exchange cards and introduce but to brief products and services, discuss prices and even explore ways to work in the future.

The Venue & Dates

TTM 2017 will be held in Dharubaaruge, Male’ Maldives. TTM 2017 will be held in July 2017 from morning till evening, promising two full days of serious business.

Events & Facilities

Travel Talks – These are interactive talk sessions presented by the leading industry stakeholders of Maldives and the international travel market. These stakeholders are renowned professionals, industry experts, specialists and achievers, and research authors of the markets. The sessions will be scheduled in a flow that will not disrupt the meetings, ensuring not only business but a learning experience.

Predesigned state-of-the-art booths – Booths at TTM will be spaced and designed to meet the sole objective of hosting productive meetings. The booths will be equipped with all the necessary equipment and comfortable furniture to ensure the perfect environment. Business Centre – TTM2017 will feature a comprehensive Business Centre with the perfect environment for buyers and exhibitors to network and hold additional meetings with prospected partners. The centre will include amenities and facilities such as concierge service, printing and photocopying, free Internet and Wi-Fi, luggage storage, phone charging stations, etc.

Meal and Refreshment Zone – The show will feature a trendy full scale meal and refreshment zone serving a rich variety of foods and drinks for the participants. Photo and Art Gallery – TTM will feature a photo and art gallery that will exhibit the finest works of leading professional photographers and artists related to the travel and tourism world. The gallery will communicate breathtaking tales about Maldives, the history and the future of the tourism industry.

Closing Gala Event – TTM will host a VIP Closing Gala Event to mark the closing celebrations of the event. The Gala Event will feature keynote speakers who are international hospitality veterans; gift exchanging; a classy dinner with rich and exotic Maldivian tastes; live music by leading artists; and of course the opportunity to network with the highest executives, decision makers, and market shapers of the industry.

EXHIBITOR PROFILES

Resort and Hotels Chains and individual Resorts and Hotels, National and State Government Agencies, Industry Service Providers, Financial Institutions, Business/ Luxury Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Destination Marketing and PR Companies, Insurance Companies, Marine and Land Transport Companies, Airlines; and News and Media Corporations.

VISITOR PROFILES

International Business/Luxury Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Destination Marketing and PR Companies, Travel Bloggers, Airlines; and News and Media Corporations.

TOTAL PARTCIPANTS

150 International Travel Agents & local travel agents

100 Resorts/Hotels

50 Partners/Journalists/Bloggers/PR Specialists/Media

Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening Project Inauguration Ceremony

On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2016, Bandos Maldives has launched a Coral Gardening Project for visitors. The Bandos house reef is one of the best in the North Malé Atoll and a point of pride for the resort. This initiative is in line with the company’s Environmental Stewardship core value.

“We have studied the Bandos house reef growth and studies indicate that coral gardening helps protect the reef and encourages growth sustainably,” states Hussein Shifau, Assistant Base Leader at Dive Bandos.

Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives
Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives

The Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening Program allows guests to give back while on holiday by collecting broken, but still living coral fragments from the seabed and attaching them to island-made coral tables. The “coral propagation” method is applied, where fragments of coral are transplanted to frames to create small but essential coral nursery areas.

“We are deeply committed to sustainable methods that help our marine environment,” says Resident Manager, Ismail Rasheed. “All fines for damages to coral will be donated to the coral gardening program.”

Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives
Coral Gardening Project, Bandos Maldives

Bandos Maldives has also signed the Biosphere Reserve Pledge and has allocated an area of around 800sqm of the house reef as a core biosphere reserve. This reserve will be instrumental in conservation and the promotion of biosphere sustainability solutions.

Aquaculture is showing promise as an effective tool for restoring coral reefs, which are in worldwide decline. With the Bandos Maldives Coral Gardening program, a long-term plan is implemented to share learning experiences with guests, accelerate coral growth regeneration in the atoll reef, and ultimately ensure the future of this unique destination.

Cocoon Maldives introduces a new concept of hospitality

Located in Ookolhufinolhu Island in Lhaviyani Atoll, Cocoon Maldives is scheduled to open on 26th December 2016. Cocoon blends the best of Italian design with the Maldives’ stunning natural beauty, all set against the backdrop of the azure Indian Ocean. Cocoon’s interiors are exclusively designed by Lago, one of Italy’s finest design companies.

This 5-star, family-friendly, stylish resort, based on the principle of ‘affordable luxury’, is the perfect destination from which to discover the Maldives, whether you are honeymooning, scuba diving, or just looking for a place to unwind and relax.

Aerial, Cocoon Maldives
Cocoon Maldives

Inspired by the concept of lightness, Cocoon aims to regenerate the spirit and soothe the mind. Everything has been carefully planned to create a perfect atmosphere of harmony and tranquility.

The resort offers guests both privacy and a place to socialize if they wish, in the island’s clubs, restaurants and bars. Cocoon’s ‘community table’ is a place where people from all over the world sit together to break bread and cultural barriers.

Guest accommodation includes Beach Villas, Beach Suites, Family Beach Villas, Beach Suites with Pools, Lagoon Villas, Lagoon Suites, Lagoon Suites with Pools and a Presidential Suite.

Meet Hurawalhi Bars Manager — Lalith Payu

The opening of a new property is the pinnacle of any hospitality manager’s career. The excitement of new concepts and the bond that forms among team members with the coming together of a new resort is a magical experience. Hurawalhi Maldives is no exception: its 5-star character combined with the beauty of the island is a major draw not only for guests but also for the people who will soon call it ‘home’.

The recruitment is underway and in addition to a number of new faces, we are thrilled that Hurawalhi guests will be taken care of by quite a few team members who developed their expertise at the sister resorts Kuredu and Komandoo. One such individual is Lalith Payu who has been entrusted the Bars Manager role. His dedication to delighting patrons ensured he was one of the first talents to be selected for the opening of Hurawalhi Maldives. Lalith’s eye for detail and his charming social graces, paired with the luxury surroundings of Hurawalhi, is a winning cocktail in itself.

Lalith’s experience has seen him work at the 5-star Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, the Wateredge Inn in the UK and several other properties; yet although Lalith’s heart is scattered around various places of the world, it is the Lhaviyani Atoll where he is happiest. Having said that, it is our pleasure that we can help him climb the career ladder and introduce his talents and joyful character to Hurawalhi guests.

Lalith will showcase his talents as a master mixologist in Coco Bar, Aquarium Bar and the Champagne Pavilion – three very different venues with equally stunning oceanfront vistas, charm and intimate ambience. He will also oversee the beverage service in Canneli and 5.8 Undersea Restaurants.

On behalf of the whole Hurawalhi team, we say welcome Lalith and a heartfelt congratulation!

Dusit Thani Maldives wins Gold Travel Weekly Magellan Award

Dusit Thani Maldives, a Thai-inspired 5-star luxury resort, recently won, for the second year running, the coveted Gold medal in the luxury hotel/resort category of the prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

Arranged by US-based publication Travel Weekly, an influential B2B news resource for the travel industry, The Magellan Awards are judged and overseen by a unique panel of top travel professionals representing the best names and most accomplished leaders from the industry. Entries do not compete with one another, instead, they are judged against a standard of excellence based on the extensive experience of Travel Weekly.

Located on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll – Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – Dusit Thani Maldives comprises 94 luxury villas set on stilts overlooking pristine white sands and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Ocean Villa Terrace, Dusit Thani Maldives
Ocean Villa Terrace, Dusit Thani Maldives

Guests can dive and snorkel, swim in the oversized infinity swimming pool or indulge in a serene treatment at one of Devarana Spa’s treetop treatment pods. Gastronomes, meanwhile, are well catered for at the resort’s five award-winning restaurants and bars, including the signature Thai-inspired restaurant, Benjarong, which serves modern interpretations of classic Thai dishes in a stunning setting right over the water.

Joachim Schuette, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award for the second year running, as it truly highlights our continuous commitment to enhancing our resort and creating even more memorable experiences for our guests.”

9 Little Things From the Maldives

When people travel to the Maldives, more often than not it is for the big things; expanses of aquamarine, sublime sunsets and captivating coral reefs.

However, with more than 100 resorts to choose from across the 26 atolls, the race is on to give guests the ultimate experience. With the world’s hospitality experts working night and day to outdo one another, it’s the fine details – from service and design to architectural quirks – that set the resorts apart.

So, here are a few of the ‘little’ things that we’ve noticed on our recent trips.

Stingrays at Coral Reef

The relaxed atmosphere of Taj Vivanta’s Coral Reef resort is accentuated by the daily feeding of the stingrays, who have become firm favourites in the island community. 5pm every day means it’s time to head to the beach and watch these normally-graceful creatures slurp up the surf, with  guests encouraged to help!!

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Champagne Phone at Finolhu

In a resort with such keen attention to detail, classy quirks can be found all over Baa Atoll’s Finolhu beach club haven. But this 1960s vintage model phone, provided exclusively to order champagne, is perhaps the best example of the retro luxury on offer.

Bicycles at Six Senses

With most islands averaging between 1 and 2 km squared, getting around your resort is never a problem. But, for those who find themselves racing to catch that sunset, or a little late for their spa appointment – bicycles are often provided, which is nice. Even nicer is YOUR own bicycle, personalised and waiting for you upon arrival at Six Senses Laamu.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Club Med Kani

Better known as a hive of activity, with an endless array of activities and entertainment, life on Club Med Kani is overseen by a towering Banyan tree around which the resort seems to revolve. The presence of nature in the midst of luxury.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Solar Power at Finolhu Villas

Designed as the first fully solar-powered resort, Club Med Finolhu Villas proudly shows off its renewable raison d’être with a corridor of panels greeting guests on their arrival. The solar streets continue up to your water villa.

Photogrpahy: Naj
Photogrpahy: Naj

Wedding Pavilion at Taj Exotica

With its wealth of dining options, even regular guests at Taj Exotica will struggle to make their way through the menu. For the more romantically-inclined however, they can spice up their meals by reserving the wedding pavilion. Its unusual stone construction puts one in mind of a sacrificial altar – though candles and fine wine is probably sufficient to demonstrate your feelings.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Pillow Menu at Naladhu

The gated island community of Naladhu is designed as the ultimate home from home – if you happen to live in a tropical paradise. With 24 room service and the personal touch spreading to the contents of the bookshelf, guests can even choose from a sample of pillows, bringing new levels of ergonomic excellence.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Wooden Hearts at Anantara Veli

Dedicated to couples, those celebrating special occasions while on Anantara Veli may well find themselves invited for cocktails in the island’s garden, after which they can leave their mark amidst the orchids.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Bathing at Dhigu

Clearly a favourite of architects, bathrooms in the Maldives never fail to impress – from liberating outdoor rain showers to cinematic views from the tub. Anantara Dhigu’s water villas are a perfect example, with the artistic simplicity of your tub almost as thought-provoking as the view beyond.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Maldives participates at the Sichuan International Travel EXPO 2016

The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) along with top industry professionals worldwide are taking part at the Sichuan International Travel EXPO (SCITE) in the Emeishan City of Leshan in Sichuan Province from 23rd September to 28th September 2016. This year buyers and sellers from 45 different countries are scheduled to appear at the Expo.

The expo which kicked off today targets on featuring the highest level, larger scale and variety of travel products of different ranges from various countries or regions.

During the SCITE expo, this year the EMEI Global Summit and the Asian Pacific Tour Operator Seminar will take place on the first day. From the 23rd to 24th September will be B2B where Buyers and Sellers will be conducting business meetings whereas starting from the 25th to 28th September the fair will be opened to general public.

To diversify and raise number of participating countries as exhibitors in SCITE, Maldives was invited to take part in this 3 rd Edition of SCITE. Eminently, Maldives is already a popular beach destination among Chinese travellers. By exhibiting in SCITE the destination can reach new potential travellers and raise awareness about the destination and in this specific, vivid and interactive approach to the market will provide Maldives with a major platform to boost visitors to the destination. Hence this expo is a great platform to showcase the products and services offered in Maldives and to conduct one on one meeting with top buyers from both domestic and international sectors.

As the Chinese Market remains the number one source market for the Maldivian tourism industry. By July 2016 a total of 194,220 Chinese tourists has spent their holidays in the Maldives. To ensure a steadier flow of tourist from the market more marketing and promotional efforts need to be carried out. Hence this expo is a great platform to showcase the products and services offered in Maldives and to conduct one on one meeting with top buyers from both domestic and international sectors.

Participation in the 3rd SCITE will ensure destination awareness to a new potential region in China. After a successful event, more Chinese travellers could be attracted to the destination.

Greater at Anantara

In a nation famed for its reclusive reefs, the Maldives’ single-island resort concept has produced more than 100 little pieces of paradise for the ultimate tropical getaway.

In this sense, Anantara’s slice of South Male’ atoll is no different, offering the romance, the tranquility and the adventure of a Maldivian holiday in equal measure. However, at Anantara’s resorts just south of the capital, these qualities are spread across three different resorts, creating a unique neighbourhood of luxury; Greater Anantara.

Upon arrival at the airport, would-be Anantareans are taken to the resort’s airport lounge, before migrating south, past Male’ on the 35 minute trip to the cluster of islands they will make their home.

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Six islands, spread over 2.7km of coral on the eastern side of the atoll, provide options for families, couples and everyone inbetween. Dhigu – the largest of the three – features 110 family-sized beach villas and overwater suites; Veli, a few moments away caters to couples, with a range of rooms made for two; and Naladhu – the smallest of the three – offers around 20 ‘houses’ for those who really want to get comfortable.

Two ‘picnic islands’ – one with it’s own cafe for hungry snorkellers – as well as a staff island, complete the complex.

Dhigu is without doubt the heart of this coral community, housing four restaurants, the Aquafanatics water sports centre and the largest of the complex’s three spas.  It’s recently renovated water villas are particularly spacious, assisted by cavernous ceilings designed to resemble an upturned dhoni.

Dhigu - Sunset Overwater Suite

Sprouting northwards from the tip of the island, the water villas’ wall to wall windows frame spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Similarly, the island’s dining options serve up early morning sun at the Fushi Cafe, or residents can drink in the sunset at the poolside Aqua Bar on the opposite side of the island.

The Sea, Fire, Salt restaurant goes a little further west, bringing spectacular surf and turf over the reef, with ‘Salt Gurus’ on hand to change the way you feel about seasoning. Upstairs, those wishing to journey still further west can take in Italian cuisine at Terrazzo.

Dhigu dwellers looking for a new place to eat can use Greater Anantara’s transport service to Veli, taking a bicycle to the south of the island before hopping onto the cushioned ferry between the islands. Lazy hammocks and love hearts emerge from behind the tiny Moyo Island sandwiched in between, as do more of the island’s intimate water villas. Veli is Greater Anantara’s adults-only area, bringing ocean calm up the beach and into the island.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

Breakfast and dinner buffets at the pavilion-style 73 degrees restaurant can be interspersed with poolside snacks at the Dhoni Bar, while Origami brings Japanese cuisine into the fold. As with Dhigu, the Veli suburb offers a range of activities, including cooking classes, watersports, and morning meditation and Yoga to kick-start a hard day’s relaxation.

Invitation only cocktails at the Orchid garden add further to the refined air of Veli, with countless Mr and Mrs’ having left their mark via wooden hearts decorating the area. Lying on a long jetty between Veli and Naladhu is the Baan Huraa restaurant – claimed to be arguably the finest Thai restaurant in the Maldives.

Naladhu itself is the smallest and the most-exclusive district in the Greater Anantara constellation. A large wooden door at the end of the long bridge from Veli is more Dungeons and Dragons than Sun and Surf, bringing an air of mystery to what is essentially a private, gated community.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

This island is accessible only to residents, and no amount of riddles solved or duels won will gain you entry to this tranquil realm (residents have a key, while other Anantareans can book ahead for dinner on the island).

Twenty ‘houses’ – all named after local flora – are nestled along a weaving maze of sandy paths. Inside, a mixture of world styles furnish the apartments, making even the farthest flung traveller feel at home. Bookshelves are customised to the guests before their arrival and room service is available – 24/7 – at the touch of a button, leaving no impediment to the suburb’s glorious privacy. Enormous outdoor decking areas provide cinematic views from the outdoor bathroom, which leads into the generous pool.

Photography: Naj
Photography: Naj

The theme continues in the aptly named Living Room, where guests can live another Indian Ocean sunset as they enjoy a bottle from the restaurant’s impressive cellar – one of three in the community’s $500,000 wine treasury.

Whichever resort you choose to stay in, this tropical trio – Dhigu, Veli, and Naladhu – together provide a wide range of options to make your trip to Greater Anantara greater.