Surf’s Up at the Four Seasons Champions Trophy

It’s all-action on the waves this week at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, with the sixth edition of the Surfing Champions Trophy beginning today.

Seven top surfers from around the world will take part in the unique event, with Australian, US and South African riders joined by a Maldivian for the first time in the competition’s history.

The previous champion of the Four Season’s domestic champions event, Hussein ‘Iboo’ Areef will join Jamie O’Brien, Travis Logie, Taj Burrow, Bethany Hamilton, and Rob Machado in the event designed to test skill across three disciplines.

“I feel privileged, happy, and I can’t wait to surf against these guys,” Iboo told gathered guests and media at the official opening event yesterday evening.

“These guys are my heroes and my inspiration. I’ve been watching these guys in surf movies and reading about these guys in surf magazines, and finally meeting them personally is just….I’m really happy.”

Hussein 'Iboo' Areef

The event is set to run until Sunday, as the legendary surfers test themselves against each other and the clock in the invitational event for a prize of $25,000.

Adding local talent to the competition is set to become a regular feature, with the announcement that the Maldives’ Open championship will be used to select the future Champions Trophy contestants.

“Local surfers are really excited to see one of our own go head to head with the world’s best,” said Fuku Areef, president of the Maldives Bodyboarding Association.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for Iboo on the world stage and we’re confident that he will do really well. Furthermore, to have the Maldives Open as the qualification event for future Champions Trophy is a great opportunity for any Maldivian surfer to put themselves up against the likes of Shane Dorian or Taj Burrow.”

Also speaking at yesterday’s event, last year’s champion Shane Dorian urged everyone to enjoy the tournament’s unique format.

“The Maldives is an incredible region, some of the best waves in the world.”

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Yesterday’s opening was also attended by environment minister Thoriq Ibrahim and youth and sports minister Iruthisham Adam, who expressed hope that surfing would continue to develop within the country for tourism and youth development.

Surf tourism in the Maldives has grown rapidly in recent years, though locals have been using modern boards since the 1970s when Australian Tony ‘Hussein’ Hinde discovered the surf breaks or North Male atoll, on which the Champions Trophy is contested.

Iboo himself worked with Hinde – often referred to as the ‘father of modern surfing’ in the Maldives – at the nearby Dhonveli surf resort for 11 years, paying tribute to the man he describes as “like a brother”.

Iboo and his opponents will be hosted on the luxury yacht ‘Four Seasons Explorer’ during the surfing, along with guests who are invited to spend time with the surfers and get up close to the action.

Exotic Underwater Dining in Malé Atoll – at M6m, OZEN

OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo opened its shores to the world on 15th July 2016 – as per promise! Located in South Male’ atoll, OZEN is the 3rd inclusion within the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

A stunning Lifestyle Luxury resort, OZEN has also introduced a uniquely exclusive Luxury All‐Inclusive holiday plan – the Atmosphere INDULGENCE™, which offers the discerning traveler a blissful hassle‐free holiday experience, encompassing ALL aspects of a Luxury Holiday in the Maldives!

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, now renowned worldwide for creating unique experiences, has now launched an Exotic Underwater Dining Experience at OZEN. Aptly named M6m (acronym for Minus Six Meters), the underwater restaurant in addition to offering some mesmeric views of the underwater world around, also offers gourmet, fine dining modern Seafood cuisine.

Deep Sea Dining

Led by the creative, passionate and young Executive Chef – Mr. Arun Katoch together with M6m’s very own Master Chef Mr. Chaitanya Sharma & his extraordinary culinary team, M6m strives to deliver some of the finest Modern Seafood cuisine in an absolutely mesmeric underwater space! The cuisine creation, vibrant design & amazing presentations showcase the exemplary use of fine‐dining cooking techniques with quality ingredients, whereby drawing a fine line between Gastronomy and Art!

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts launched its first resort in December 2013 as Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives – a 5‐star Premium All‐Inclusive resort, following which, opened a trendy & cool 4 Star Superior resort – OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli in November 2015. Both the resorts have been a roaring success since the start of operations and have established & positioned themselves as market leaders within their specific market segments.

M6m at OZEN - Table Set Up Detail 02

Kurumba Maldives Unveils Refurbished Main Pool Area

Kurumba Maldives is delighted to announce the unveiled enhancement of the resort’s newly refurbished main pool and children’s pool, delivering the ultimate guest experience.

Kurumba Kids Pool and PagodaWith views of the Indian Ocean and set amongst beautiful palms and tropical gardens, the newly redesigned pool boasts a spacious, vibrant design, incorporating light granite, striking turquoise glass mosaics and a brand new children’s infinity pool also with a fresh and modern design. The new colour scheme for both pools echoes the tone and feel of the recently upgraded Thila and Vihamanaa restaurants.

Kurumba Kids Pool and PagodaA highlight of the new features of the pool offers guests luxurious in-water sun loungers, perfect for relaxing and cooling off, while the stunning new feature jets offer beautiful water displays throughout the day and night.

Kurumba PoolIn addition to this exciting new facility upgrade, Kurumba Maldives also presents a new outdoor lounge area for parents and children to relax in the shade, near to the children’s infinity pool. With added benefits for other guests, as the children’s pool and shaded lounge area have been moved away from the main pool and dining areas.

Kurumba PoolJudit Rosa, Sales and Marketing Manager of Kurumba Maldives stated: “Kurumba is always striving to continually improve our guest experience and resort product. The remodelling and refurbishment of the main pool space has made a remarkable impact for the entire resort, which we hope our guests will enjoy!”.

Kurumba PoolKurumba Maldives believes in continual improvement and is looking into new plans for further improvement in the near future. For more enhancements to the resort and the guest experience, please check:

www.kurumba.com

www.kurumba.com/maldives-experiences

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Malé Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10 minute speedboat ride from the airport. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Beautiful gardens, palm fringed white sandy beaches and a vibrant house reef is the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort.

The resort offers an array of nine styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic refuges and quiet spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and families alike.

Over the years, Kurumba has played host to a variety of foreign dignitaries and Heads of State. It has also been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including Maldives Leading Hotel (World Travel Awards) in 2010 and 2011, and Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for Best Service and Luxury (2013) as well as the number one All-Inclusive resort in Asia (2014 and 2015), and number one best All-Inclusive resort in the world (2015).

Motions of the Ocean: Ballet at PER AQUUM resorts

Until now the only type of ballet to be found in the Maldives has been the graceful antics of manta rays. PER AQUUM is changing the tempo this August with one-of-a-kind performances at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and PER AQUUM Niyama by Xander Parish and dancers from Russia’s renowned Mariinsky Ballet Company.

In another premiere for the island nation, the ensemble of ballet dancers, including first soloist, Xander Parish, will swap St Petersburg’s Theatre Square for a tropical beach backdrop as part of PULSE, PER AQUUM’s stream of avant-garde experiences. Overwater stages will spring up at each of PER AQUUM’s luxury island resorts in the Maldives as performances of Swan Lake, Scheherazade, Giselle, Carmen and Don Quixote come to life over two magical nights.

 

Photo courtesy of PER AQUUM

Guests at PER AQUUM Niyama will enjoy an exclusive performance on 21 August with an encore at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi on 23 August. Xander Parish, originally from Yorkshire in the UK, was the first British dancer to be accepted into the Mariinsky company and will be joined by his hand-picked ensemble including Oksana Bondareva and Renata Shakirova.

Courtesy of PER AQUUM, budding ballerinas and ballerinos will also have a once in a lifetime chance to take centre stage themselves. True to form for PULSE which features immersive experiences, guests can get up close and personal with Xander and his dancers who will also be offering masterclasses at each resort during their visit.

PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi - Dream Island
PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi – Dream Island

A honeymooner’s delight, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi is an exclusive luxury resort, located just a 35 minute speedboat ride away from the international airport near the capital, Male. Encircled by one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, this private island paradise is home to the world’s first and only underwater spa. In contrast, the twin islands of Chill and Play at PER AQUUM Niyama, located 45 minutes south of Male by seaplane, offer immersive dining experiences as well as the world’s first underwater nightclub, recently restyled as a restaurant and lounge.

Guests who book directly via peraquum.com will receive exclusive benefits including an upgrade to half board at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and a 60-minute massage for two at PER AQUUM Niyama, as well as an invitation to the pre-event cocktail party and a host of surprises including a signed copy of Xander’s book – from PER AQUUM with love.

Glow in the Dark Yoga at W Resort

After bringing you the surreal artwork of Tom Bacher to thr Maldives earlier this year, before introducing the fitness approach of ‘yoga rebel’ Tara Stiles to its guests, W Maldives has now combined the two with glow in the dark yoga.

For the guest who has done it all – from fireside barbecues to overwater dining – they can now enjoy luminous lunges and day-glo downward dogs in W’s unique underground bar and nightclub, Fifteen Below.

The resort’s in-house yoga experts will take glowing guests of all skill levels through their paces every Thursday in this eye-catching approach to fitness and well-being.

Photo courtesy of www.wmaldives.com
Photo courtesy of www.wmaldives.com

Using the luminous paint to direct focus onto the body’s shape during the session, guests will relish this unique approach to yoga, building a core strength and flexibility that will bring a healthy glow to their days long after they have ascended the 15 steps back up to the sunshine of North Ari atoll.

W Maldives has 78 beachside and water villas as well as four overwater treatment villas where guests can enjoy a range of treatments in the private outdoor areas.

This new activity continues the resort’s reputation for innovation, which has included an exclusive swimwear collection and a resident DJ, whose tracks can be accessed via W’s own mobile app.

Living the Journey on Leo

That life should be about the journey and not the destination is a philosophy we all agree upon, and yet few of us practice.

But to travel to the Maldives is to truly live a journey. From the moment you spot the rings of sapphire from your window seat to the first wide-eyed boat ride across the warm lagoon. This is a journey that makes you feel alive.

So why not make it last the whole trip?

The Maldives is best known for its tiny – but perfectly proportioned – resorts, situated on islands that make up less than one percent of the county. But for those who wish to experience the true expanse of the atolls, scores of safari boat vessels are happy to take you on a journey around the other 99 percent.

Photography: Naj

The yacht ‘Leo’ and her crew can ensure that your journey to the Maldives is one unencumbered by destination, allowing you to soak up all that the Indian Ocean has to offer, in the lap of luxury.

From the airport, guests take a medium-sized journey in Leo’s dhoni, the ‘Leo Dive’, to the harbour in Hulhumale’ to their vessel – 40ft ‘of-no-fixed-abode’ which will comfortably accommodate 22 travellers.

After welcome drinks and a tour of Leo’s decks, the big journey can begin, with the captain happy to tailor the voyage to suit whatever it is you want to see. Dive sites, manta rays, sharks, uninhabited islands in far flung atolls – all can be worked into an itinerary as broad as the flawless horizon.

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The journey from Male’ can include cocktails at the bar on the upper levels, a ride in the jacuzzi on the top deck, or reclining on the bow’s outdoor lounge – where you can survey your surroundings as the sea breeze stays the tropical heat.

Once away from the boat traffic and buzzing seaplanes of the capital, the stillness of the lagoon makes itself known as the engines die down and the anchor brings the big journey to a momentary pause.

More medium-sized trips can now be made to the reef for diving and fishing on the faithful ‘Leo Dive’, which travels alongside. PADI trained dive instructors on board can prepare you for vertical expeditions to the Maldives’ lower reaches.

Even smaller trips can be made for snorkelling or to lonely sandbanks on Leo’s small speedboat (unnamed, but let’s call him ‘Leo Jnr’), which is towed behind.

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Photography: Naj
Red Snapper
Photography: Naj

After a day spent viewing the fish on the reef, it would be rude not to invite a few on-board for one of the three sumptuous meals served daily. With the abundance of marine life, even the least skilled fisherman will eventually feel the pull of a new guest at the end of the line.

Red snapper, barracuda, and jackfish are the main prizes, and can often be caught from the back of boat (though you’ll need to put down the drink for the bigger ones). The more pliant mushimas fish are always willing to provide consolation for those who don’t catch bigger game, but an evening spent gazing out over the lagoon under the stars is its own reward.

Returning to the yacht, the crew will be busy laying out the evening meal, most often consisting of fish that (you don’t need telling) is as fresh as it gets.  

HD Cinema 2

In the evening, the Leo is transformed into a floating cinema, and guests are encouraged to bring their own film collection to enjoy in HD comfort. Perhaps Finding Nemo or the Little Mermaid, but maybe not Jaws. (You’ll have a good chance of finding Nemo on tomorrow’s trip; the other two, not so much).

Heading to your cabin, you can plan tomorrow’s journey. Up early for a morning swim, picnics on a deserted islands, or visiting a small island community – anything is possible. As your head hits the pillow, the mild currents rock you off to sleep, and the journey continues.

OZEN is Born!

Lifestyle Luxury arrives in Malé Atoll!

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE - EARTH VILLA - EXTERIOR VIEW - LANDSCAPE 01OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo opens its doors today – 15th July 2016, as per promise!

The resort has captured the imagination of one & all worldwide and within just a matter of 3 days into operations, the resort would be hitting an overall Occupancy of 90%! Truly an incredible achievement!

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE - WIND VILLA WITH POOL - BEDROOM INTERIOROZEN at Maadhoo offers a unique & exclusive Luxury Holiday plan – The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™. The Exotic 90 villa resort presents its guests with an all-encompassing Luxury Beach holiday experience with all elements of the perfect luxury holiday in the Maldives, fully taken care of, upfront. As the key Tagline of the resort states “No Shocks. No Surprises. No Hidden Costs…JUST BLISS!”

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE - WIND VILLA WITH POOL - BATHROOM VIEW OF SUNSETLocated just 35-minutes by a Luxury speedboat from Malé International Airport, on the idyllic island of Maadhoo in South Malé Atoll, OZEN brings a complete hassle-free lifestyle holiday offering, to those seeking a tranquil escape from the daily grind. The Atmosphere INDULGENCE™ plan even includes an exquisite fine-dining experience within the first Underwater restaurant in Malé Atoll – M6m (Acronym for Minus Six Meters!), at NO extra charge. This is certainly a FIRST in the Maldives.

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE - EARTH VILLA - EXTERIOR WITH BEACH HUT - LANDSCAPEMr. Venkata Giri, General Manager of OZEN states, “Today is a very special day as we welcome our first guests to OZEN by Atmosphere. It is gratifying to see all our hard work come to fruition and our vision coming to life. My team & I are fully excited & prepared to take care of our discerning guests during the coming weeks. We look forward to welcoming many more to our home away from home during the coming months and create lasting memories!”

OZEN BY ATMOSPHERE - EARTH VILLA BEDROOM INTERIOR - WITH CANOPYOZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo is the third resort within the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts portfolio. After the successful launch of Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives in December 2013, the brand opened a wonderful & extremely popular four-star superior resort – OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli in November 2015.

Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts intends to expand their portfolio with another two resorts during the coming year!

Champa Central Hotel

Champa Central Hotel is a new 3 Star hotel conveniently located in the center of Malé. Good quality and affordable rates make it a popular choice for leisure and business travelers. It is a short walk from the main shopping area and popular tourist attractions such as the National Museum, Parliament Building and Old Friday Mosque.

Executive, Deluxe or Superior Room with comfortable amenities and Free WiFi are available.

Buffet breakfast or a’ la carte menu for lunch and dinner in the “Farivalhu” Restaurant, Room Service and Take Away services are provided.

Coffee Shop features a’ la carte menu of international and Asian dishes, sports events on large screen TV, board games, located on the 9th floor.

The Roof Top Restaurant, the highest restaurant in town, features an a’ la carte menu with a variety of international selections, specializing in Indian cuisine, located on the 10th floor

The hotel arranges sightseeing tour, water sports excursion and a weekly entertainment program including Maldives culture & history presentation, marine preservation slide show, board games such as chess, checkers and scrabble and a lending library where you can take or donate a book

A Business Center, and a Fitness Center is available

Meetings & Banquets – 2 large, modern venues with facilities and services to fulfill business or social event needs with setups for a maximum of 300 guests; and 2 smaller venues, coffee shop, and rooftop restaurant

Champa Central Hotel is the preferred venue for meeting space and banquets and is 
Managed by Crown & Champa Resorts

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island wins seven awards at the first annual World Luxury Restaurant Awards

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, is delighted to be the recipient of seven prestigious accolades at the Annual World Luxury Restaurant Awards, held at The Grand Kronenhof Hotel in Pontresina on June 18, 2016.  In recognition of the resort’s outstanding food and beverage offerings, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was awarded the following accolades at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards:

  • Mandhoo Spa Restaurant – Country Winner for ‘Luxury Scenic Setting’
  • Ufaa by Jereme Leung – Country Winner for Chinese Cuisine, Continent Winner for Best Head Chef
  • Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – Country Winner for ‘Fine Dining Cuisine’, Global Winner for ‘Luxury Scenic Setting’
  • Vilu Restaurant – Country Winner for ‘Best Wine Selection’, Finalist for ‘Fine Dining Cuisine’
  • Koko Grill – Country Winner for ‘Ambience/Romantic Atmosphere’  

Recognised globally for its excellent food and beverage offerings at its 12 restaurants and bars, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a true gourmand’s delight, providing an array of international cuisines in a truly inspired setting. Conrad Maldives is world renowned for setting benchmarks in resort dining in the Maldives, being the first to create an undersea restaurant, Ithaa, the first to build an underground wine cellar, the first to establish a cheese bar, and the first to invite world-class chefs and winemakers to its islands.  

With 78 categories, the World Luxury Restaurant Awards recognises restaurants across the globe for their culinary excellence and memorable experiences, as well as assessing the quality of the atmosphere and service. The awards aim to provide luxury restaurants with increased recognition, as well as introduce them to potential new guests, both local and international. Votes come from both guests and industry experts, thus providing a balanced and unbiased outcome based on the food experience as a whole.  

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is delighted to add these awards to its growing list of accolades received in 2016, with the resort’s commitment to excellence also demonstrated through its success at the World Travel Awards earlier this year, where it was recognised in two highly coveted categories: ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel’ and ‘Maldives’ Leading Water Villa Resort’. These awards were voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide and recognise hotel leaders across the globe.  

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travellers the ability to customise details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s pre-selecting bath amenities or checking in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.  

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island also participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only guest loyalty program where guests who book directly through www.conradhotels.com have access to benefits including the digital Conrad Concierge app and complimentary Wi-Fi at 26  Conrad hotels.

Milaidhoo Maldives Sees Stars (and so do its guests!)

Did you know that Milaidhoo is the first resort in the Maldives to have a star named after itself (in the constellation of Gemini at RA 6.462 and declination +18.50)? We liked the idea so much that we offer this service to our honeymooning guests too.

Gemini Constellation

In a country long-noted for luxury and romance, the boutique resort Milaidhoo Island Maldives sets a new standard for romantic gestures: it will name a star after its honeymooning guests as part of the ‘Perfect Honeymoon’ package.

The honeymooning couple will have a star in the night skies named after them and take home a naming certificate of registration and star chart so they can always find it. Guests can choose the name of their star and which constellation it’s in.

Gemini zodiac

The Perfect Honeymoon Package can be booked by couples who have a valid wedding certificate not more than six months old and are staying at least four nights in Milaidhoo. Room rates start at US$1,350 per night for two in a luxurious Pool Water Villa in November and the package includes:

  • Naming a star after the couple, with certificate and star chart
  • One utterly relaxing 60-minute spa treatment for two in a spa pavilion set on stilts over the ocean
  • A romantic three-course candlelit dinner on the deck of the guests’ villa
  • The resort’s signature honeymoon cake which awaits the guests in their villa on arrival along with a bottle of champagne and tropical fruit basket.

Not just another five star resort in the Maldives, Milaidhoo likes to do things differently: the resort calls it reinvented luxury. Naming stars after its honeymooning guests is just one of the many singular guest experiences offered by Milaidhoo, which prides itself on its ‘custom made and made for comfort’ service philosophy of only offering the very best in a way that’s individually tailored to each guest.

About Milaidhoo: We tell the story of a small island. Milaidhoo Island Maldives offers reinvented luxury and spacious outdoor living epitomizing the true contemporary Maldives.

This understated yet undeniably sophisticated 5 star boutique resort spans 13 acres with its design and concept proudly rooted in Maldivian culture. Set in Baa Atoll’s beautiful UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this spectacular, secluded 50-villa island retreat is just a 35-minute seaplane flight from Maldives International Airport.

Stylish, intimate and natural; here our guests find a place where they truly belong. Milaidhoo Maldives is a member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World.