Big Bash in Baa Atoll – Finolhu Launches

The Maldives newest resort is open for business after the grand opening of Finolhu in Baa Atoll took place this weekend.

Three days of festivities included fireworks, stilt walkers, and fifty shades of blue set against the backdrop of the marine biosphere.

Entertainment at the launch of the Maldives new ‘beach club haven’ was provided by artists including British singer and dancer Katherine Ellis, star DJs Burt Bevan, DJ Jaffa and Kissy Sell Out and synthpop masters the Cuban Brothers.

Finolhu Launch 1
Big Baa Blowout

Guests were invited to a retro beach party on Friday, followed by a bonfire and cocktails into the small hours. Day two saw cabaret themed performances while those still standing on day three were treated to a 60 and 70s themed blowout.

Just 30 minutes from the capital Male by seaplane, the island harks back to classic era of beach holidays with its retro design.

125 villas spread across the lagoon, the ocean, and the beach are accompanied by dining options across 6 restaurants, with specialisms including Cantonese and North African cuisine. Rustic seafood offerings are also available for those who stroll out on the island’s 1.8km sandbar.

Fish & Crab shack
Finolhu Feasting

The resort offers watersports activities and excursions around the scenic reefs of Baa atoll, while Cove Club embraces ‘massage, movement and chill’ – invites guests to work out, enjoy a spa treatment or just relax in the island’s wellness centre.

This weekend’s event is set to be continued with quarterly Finolhu BLHU events promising more atoll extravaganzas in the Maldives UNESCO reserve.

Finolhu is the second property to be opened by the Small Maldives Island Company, which introduced the luxury Amilla Fushi resort to Baa atoll in 2014.

Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives donates carpets to Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives current remodelling of the rooms and ballroom will benefit the Ministry of Islamic affairs with twenty-four rolls of usable carpet, that has been donated to Ministry of Islamic Affair today. With the help of Ministry of Islamic Affairs, these carpets will be used in the numerous mosques located in Male’ city and the islands thus helping to make the mosque facilities warmer and more inviting for Muslim worshipper in this auspicious month of Ramadan where during this time, mosques get the most number of people visiting to use it for their daily prayer hence these carpets will provide an added comfort.

Hotel Jen Carpet donation 1Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives receives so much support from the community that we are delighted to give back in such an impactful way said Mr. Salim Abdoolcader ,Director of Operation at Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives.” “We believe good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others, therefore Hotel Jen, striving to be a model corporate citizen is proud to contribute to the local community in ways that give purpose and meaning”.

Hotel Jen carpet donation 3Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives has always been committed to giving back to the community through material, time and monetary donations to make innovative social contributions, leveraging on its expertise and management resources as well as the broad range of knowledge and experience possessed by its colleagues to make a broader and more profound contribution. Organisations like Kuda Kudinge Hiyaa, Cancer Society, beautiful eyes Down syndrome association and Disability center in Guraidoo have benefitted from Hotel Jen within the past years.

“We are so thankful for Hotel Jen Male’ Maldives generosity” said the Islamic Ministries Executive Mohamed Rasheed Ibrahim “the carpets we received will augment the mosque aesthetic tremendously and are able to make a more comfortable praying space for the people of the Maldives”.

The management and the Staffs of Hotel Jen are passionate about societal concerns and giving back to the community. Hotel Jen assures that we will continue to support by helping the community.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi Launches ‘Underwater Snorkeling Adventure’

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, situated in an idyllic and secluded location at the southernmost tip of the Maldives, invites guests to explore the resort’s incredible house reef with the newly unveiled ‘Underwater Snorkeling Adventure’ experience.

The package offers guests the chance to discover some of the world’s rarest, largest and most beautiful coral reefs under the guidance of Jumeirah’s Dhevanafushi’s expert marine biologist. The heart-shaped Meradhoo island is located on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, 400 km from the capital Malé and is one of the most remote islands in the Maldives – perfect for anyone who really wants to ‘get away from it all.’

Guests will begin the morning with an exclusive opportunity to meet with the hotel’s marine biologist, who will talk about the importance of ecology and preserving the reef through an animated presentation. From there, guests will follow one of the resort’s experienced guides and plunge into the warm crystal clear waters, discovering a kaleidoscopic world teeming with marine life. The underwater snorkeling adventure offers the opportunity to listen to the parrotfish feeding off the coral, watch schools of vibrantly coloured reef fish swim by and search for sleeping octopuses by the rocks. Other finds may include trumpet fish, groupers, butterfly fish and wrasse and, if lucky, the guide may be able to find some turtles; further afield dolphins have been known to visit. Competent swimmers can even snorkel along the 850 metre stretch to the water bungalows, swimming along the house reef and diving past the drop-off into the deep blue ocean to discover some of the most incredible coral reefs the world has to offer.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
Jumeirah Dhevanafushi

The package also offers the opportunity to help with cleaning the house reef, and for anyone looking to go scuba diving during their stay, the resort’s PADI certified Meradhoo dive centre can accommodate beginners right the way through to experts.

The resort comprises 37 suites, including 21 villas on land and 16 over water Ocean Revives and Sanctuaries that are only accessible by boat. The over water villas are even equipped with a small ladder from the decking which leads directly into the azure waters of the ocean, perfect for more snorkelling.  All accommodation options offer a private pool and personal butler. Three restaurants and one cocktail bar offer mouth-watering delicacies and those looking for adventure may enjoy motorised or non-motorised water sports. Special excursions for couples can also be arranged including a romantic dinner cooked by a chef on the nearby private island Minimenza.

Hurawalhi — Maldives without limits

With more than 1200 resorts to choose from in an area already world-renowned for its beauty – a new opening ought to be nothing short of spectacular to be worthy of interest. Hurawalhi in the Maldives is unparalleled, extraordinary and utterly original.  Environmentally innovative, a breath-taking underwater restaurant, a tropical Champagne Pavilion, stylish villas and an over 18s-only policy and with no other resorts as far as the eye can see – Hurawalhi offers its own take on Paradise.

This is the Maldives redefined; a truly unique five-star resort experience, nestled amongst the spectacular coral reefs of Lhaviyani Atoll, opening in October 2016.

Just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Malé, here are a distinctive collection of superbly designed, exclusive and supremely spacious villas strung across the glittering lagoon – perfectly positioned, so that all guests can enjoy either sunrise or sunset panoramas. And with dining options that include on the beach, over the water, and even under the water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible.

Offering 90 Villas including 60 Ocean Villas and 30 Beach Villas, Hurawalhi is a sanctuary of serenity for grown-ups who are seeking luxury and innovation. The residences are stylishly and beautifully conceived featuring soothing décor, sumptuous linens on king size beds, bleached wooden floors, and private terraces with panoramic views.

With a strong environmental focus, Hurawalhi gives back to the Maldives as much as it gets. Using solar panels, its own water bottling plant, energy saving solutions, hot water recovery and an in-house marine biologist, Hurawalhi’s eco credentials are the finest in the Maldives.

In addition, Hurawalhi is collaborating with WiseOceans, the marine conservation and education specialists. WiseOceans are teaming up with the resort’s own in-house 5* PADI instructors in order to provide educational guided dives and snorkelling through the spectacular nearby reefs and shipwrecks. The island is a nesting site for green turtles and WiseOceans are tasked with preserving this natural habitat as well as educating visitors on these beautiful and endangered creatures.

The scene-stealer is the underwater restaurant, named 5.8 and will send senses soaring in this unparalleled setting, located 5.8 meters beneath the sea.  Each dish blends the best ingredients with innovation and style, resulting in a showcase of imaginative modern cuisine, combined with an incredible location, wine and service. Surrounded by out of this world marine views, the minimalist-designed restaurant keeps the focus outside; and rates high on romance – every table is set for just two. The menu concept is a multi-course tasting extravaganza also available with wine pairing options narrated by the sommelier.

Coming up for air, above the water, the Aquarium restaurant offers staggering sea views by day and a romantic flicker of candlelight by night.  Serving a contemporary menu with thoughtfully sourced ingredients, organic and artisanal, a Teppanyaki grill, there is an emphasis on the freshest of local seafood and the finest quality of prime beef with delectable sushi, sashimi and tempura all prepared by a personal, highly skilled chef.

Canneli is a third option for dining, serving international cuisine prepared to the highest standards whilst overlooking the tranquil Indian Ocean. Private beach dining al fresco under the stars is also encouraged, allowing guests to create once-in-a-lifetime memories in a romantic setting second to none, enjoying signature lobster and wagyu beef created by a personal chef. The seductively lit bar is directly on the beach with al fresco decking overlooking a glimmering pool and lagoon, and includes a comprehensive shisha selection.

For activity seekers there is tennis, badminton and beach volleyball, with a sports fishing boat for deep-sea fishing.   There is incredible diving on offer including guided diving and snorkelling boat trips and a complete PADI 5* training centre. There are jet skis available as well as paragliding, water skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaks and catamarans.

Hurawalhi’s blissful Duniye Spa brings visitors closer to nature overlooking the vibrant turquoise water. Duniye means “universe” and the name represents its philosophy: a universal approach to wellness, with treatments inspired by ancient and modern expertise from around the globe. A strong influence from the healing traditions of Asia and Africa can be seen in the spa’s repertoire, including the use of local ingredients and treatments inspired from traditional cultures. Channeling wholeness, simplicity, purity and quality, the spa uses only the highest quality chemical free, organic compound products from ‘Healing Earth™ – they are all free from petrochemicals, synthetics, colourants, DEA, preservatives and parabens.

Indeed, there are countless reasons to visit the Maldives: dazzling white sands, cyan-blue seas, spectacular underwater life, and incredible sunsets. The opening of the extraordinary Hurawalhi ensures that this destination will remain unmissable in the years to come.

What’s exceptional:

  • 60% of the resort runs on sustainable solar energy with the majority of the villas being powered by solar panels. No Plastic Bottles – the resort has its own water bottling plant and sustainable energy throughout
  •   Best Diving in the Maldives with nearby Manta Rays, Nurse Sharks and world-class dive sites
  •   Largest and deepest underwater restaurant – 5.8 metres under the sea
  •   Adults-Only sanctuary on pure white sand on a crystal blue sea
  •   Duniye Spa uses only organic, preservative and chemical free products

1.3 Metres Underwater With A Semi-Submarine

News Flash! Exciting times ahead for those keen on exploring the mysterious aquatic realm of the Maldives without even dipping a toe in the water! Sporting a wide toothy grin, this new red semi-submarine seats 12 people and offers the chance to sight the beauty of the famed prime dive/snorkelling spot of Madivaru. It measures 10min length and 2.45m in width. Aqua Sports & Fun runs this incredible sea voyage twice a week (on Fridays and Sundays) be sure to save a seat with your beloved on our semi-submarine!

Kuramathi is one of the first resorts to open among the resorts Maldives and is part of Universal Resorts of Universal Enterprises Private Ltd, a 100% Maldivian owned company, and the pioneers of tourism in the Maldives. An emerald jewel in the turquoise Maldivian waters, Kuramathi is a stunning island retreat with acres of luxuriant vegetation surrounded by spectacular beaches tapering into an endless sandbank. Villas blend contemporary design and nature, and are set on the beach, amongst lush gardens or over water.

Four poster beds, open-air bathrooms, rainfall showers or Jacuzzi, large outdoor decks with inviting daybeds or sun loungers, are just some of the creature-comforts enjoyed by our guests. Dining options are diverse with many restaurants, bars and great value all inclusive packages, topped off with Maldivian service – welcoming, genuine and friendly.

Glass Bathrooms, Resident Turtles and a Toast to a Fine Day on the Ari Explorer

Open since February 2014 Kandolhu Island has captivated the hearts of many and is now currently ranked as the 2nd top getaway in the famed island nation of the Maldives. This year marks the second anniversary of the tiny heart-shaped island but what really contributed to this spectacular glory?

With just 30 intimate villas, 4 gourmet restaurants and a house reef with resident turtles swimming around, how can you not be convinced? A member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels chain, Kandolhu Island provides a luxe but laid-back experience.

Ocean Pool Villa's Glass Bathroom, Kandolhu Island
Ocean Pool Villa’s Glass Bathroom, Kandolhu Island

This Maldives hotel offers bespoke services, tailor-made with an added flavour of warm hospitality. Out of the 30 villas presented in 5 unique categories, the Ocean Pool Villa stands out as the iconic face of the resort with its signature glass bathroom. The villas are all fitted handsomely with designer brands from Switzerland, Germany and Italy. A spaciously sized sundeck views out to the array of corals splayed in the ocean with fiery sunsets visible during the evening.

Ari Explorer cruising near island
Ari Explorer

Come evening board the magnificent Ari Explorer, a luxurious 50-metre vessel, and enjoy canapés served with champagne. The skipper drives into the infinite ocean as wisps of scarlet and orange colour the translucent clouds in the sky like canvas.

VIP Guests at the Turtle Fest

The Lhaviyani Turtle Fest took place this weekend on the island of Naifaru, bringing together groups from across the atoll to raise awareness about sea turtle conservation and waste management.

Visitors and NGOs from the capital Malé joined local people for entertainment and educational activities, though the guests of honour had been on the island for some time when the bodu beru drums signalled the start of proceedings.

Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016.
Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016. Photo Credit: Naj

As songs were sung, faces painted, seminars given and games played, the VIPs kept out of sight. The dozens of eggs, laid by green turtles on the beach weeks earlier stayed out of the limelight, fenced in for protection from poachers by marine biologists based on the island.

The appearance of nests was as unusual as it was well-timed, providing the perfect backdrop as the rest of the community gathered to learn how to protect their endangered neighbours.

Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016.
Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016. Photo Credit: Naj

“It was a great opportunity to further raise awareness about the issues of egg poaching,” said Fanny Vessaz of Naifaru’s Atoll Marine Centre.

Five of the world’s seven turtle species are found within the archipelago, all of which have been placed on the IUCN’s red list for endangered species. Sighting the sleepy strokes of a hawksbill or an olive ridley is the highlight of many a visitors’ trip, and the benefits of keeping the local population healthy is now a question of economics as well as ecology.

Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016.
Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016. Photo Credit: Naj

The eating of turtle eggs has been a part of Maldivian culture for centuries, though the consumption of turtle meat became widespread only after the removal on religious prohibitions in the late 1940s. Growing local consumption coupled with the rise in demand for tourist souvenirs in the 1970s put greater pressure on the turtle population.

But the waves of global tourism soon brought the conservation movement to the Maldives, with restrictions on the killing of turtles beginning in 1978. A 1995 moratorium on the catching and killing of turtle products was made permanent this year, while a ban on egg collection in specific islands has just been expanded to the whole country.

Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016.
Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016. Photo Credit: Naj

Rather than relying on legislation, however, the events organisers hope to spread the message that awareness-raising alongside waste management is key to protecting the species.

“In addition to the hunting of these sea turtles, marine debris are very dangerous,” explained the marine centre’s Ben Harris. “Therefore, preserving sea turtles has two faces – raising awareness about these animals to prevent poaching and about waste management to mitigate the marine debris issue.”

Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016
Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016. Photo Credit: Naj

Atoll Awareness

Presentations given during the event highlighted the damage caused to local turtle populations by marine litter, with plastic bags often mistaken for jellyfish and eaten. The frequent discovery of young turtles stranded in ‘ghost nets’ was also discussed. Not used by Maldivian fishermen, the nets can drift thousands of miles before injuring and killing turtles in Maldivian waters, and should be collected whenever found.

The festival – the first of its kind in the atoll – saw participation from organisations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the UNDP, the IUCN, conservation groups, and local schools and colleges. Nearby resorts – which have become some of the main players in local turtle conservation – were also present, with staff from Amilla Fushi, Four Seasons and Kuredu all helping to spread the message.

Just opposite the colourful stalls lay a 20 foot turtle diagram, its frame filled in with locally collected waste to demonstrate the importance of better refuse management. The fishing nets in the head will take 40 years to break down, explained a handout being distributed nearby. 450 years will be needed to break down the plastic bottles in the flipper, and 20 years for the plastic bags in the stomach.

The beneficiaries of the enhanced awareness sloshed around in the tanks of the marine centre behind the festival. Unwanted pets nursed to full strength, these young turtles are being hand-reared until they are a year old, after which they will spend a few weeks in an open water cage preparing for their eventual release.

The natural survival rate of these juvenile turtles is 1 in 100, and that of those still protected in the nest 1 in 1000.

Everyone from the Lhaviyani Turtle Fest 2016 will try to ensure that human activities don’t further narrow these odds. Everyone inside the eggs will appreciate the support.

Sale Coordinator

Located upon a tropical island in the North Huvadhoo Atoll, this beachfront resort is truly a tropical paradise featuring palm coconuts, banyan trees, tropical flowers, and is surrounded by marvelous beaches. Offering the ultimate Maldivian experience, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is the first eco-friendly resort that is awarded the Green Globe certification in the construction and resort operations.

The property boast 50 villas that are beautifully designed to cater to the needs of all their guests. Offering an excellent variety of villas including Park Villas, Park Villas with Pool, and Park Water Villas, each unit has a private deck, living area, private garden, outdoor shower and bath, entertainment system, and TV.

The resort offers two excellent dining venues, The Dining Room and The Island Grill, offering excellent cuisine with imported beverages. A magnificent place of stay, the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa will give you a memorable one.

Apply before June 07, 2016

CV’s sent with an application for another suitable position within the resort will not be considered.

Villingili – Malé’s Hidden Treasure

On the quiet side of the Maldives’ capital, Male, lies a well-kept secret. Hidden from the million plus visitors who land on Hulhule island each year, Villingili is the hidden gem of North Male atoll.

BuggyArriving on the island from the bursting capital city 7 minutes away, as the ferry’s engines idle and you glide past shaded restaurants into the harbour, your hearing takes time to adjust to the contrasting calm.

Where raised voices and revved engines dominated your senses across the water, in the leafy suburb island the only raised voices are those of the cuckooing Koels up above, and the battery-powered buggies humming down the lanes.

Historically an area of private recreation for sultans before a period as a prison island in the 1970s, Villingili became one of the Maldives’ first resorts before being incorporated (as Villimale) into the insatiable greater Male area in the 1990s.

view of MaleAs the overflow from the teeming Male focuses largely on the artificial Hulhumale island to the north, savvy travellers and residents alike head west to enjoy the perfect hybrid of island and urban life in the Maldives.

The embodiment of this character comes in the form of a fleet of electric buggies, recently introduced as the local transport network on an island that maintains its long-standing restriction on motorised vehicles. For five rufiyaa ($0.3), the buggies can take take you to any one of the three guest houses on the 0.26 square km island.

Villingili Guest HousesBut even during the heat of a Maldivian midday, Seahouse Topdeck hotel and the recently opened Villingili Inn are just a sandalled stroll from the ferry terminal. Further on, past towering palm trees and streets lined with netted joali chairs, the City King guest house sits on the western side of the island.

Guests at all three sites can enjoy spacious air-conditioned rooms, wifi, television and private bathrooms. The largest of  the three, Seahouse, also provides massage treatments. Seahouse and City King have cafe’s on site while visitors to the Villingili Inn can enjoy exclusive access to the nearby McRooster restaurant.

Numerous canteen cafes scattered across the island offer local basics such as fish curry, devilled chicken, and afternoon savoury snacks known as short-eats. For striking views of the chaotic capital, however, Xie Xie restaurant and Marimba cafe are recommended, with the latter situated on the beach itself.

On foot or by bicycle, the small island can be circumnavigated in the 15 minutes it takes to travel to the city and back. Villingili’s visitors can dive into Male’s maelstrom to see the heart of the modern Maldives before heading back to enjoy its spirit, reclining on swings let down from the sheltering trees and swimming in the clear blue waters.

Alternatively, those looking for a little more action can take a trip to the opposite side of the island, where the team at Liquid Watersports will be happy to show you their backyard, providing a range of activities, including jetskis, windsurfing, and their signature speciality – flyboarding!!

The underwater delights of the atoll are easily accessible from Villingili, with the experienced team at the Diver’s Lodge offering the aquatic experiences to divers of all levels. The country’s first whale submarine company also operates from the channel between Male and its sleepy neighbour, providing a unique trip around the reefs and channels in air-conditioned comfort.

In addition to this, the island’s guest houses are happy to arrange snorkelling, fishing and local island visits, while day trips to one of the many nearby single-island resorts can easily be arranged.

Visitors to Villingili will feel that they have stumbled upon an unexplored treasure island, and in many ways they have. Maintaining island calm in the shadow of the world’s most densely populated island is some achievement, and those choosing to stay in Villingili will feel the rewards.

Kurumba Maldives Celebrates International Children’s Day 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, Kurumba Maldives celebrated International Children’s Day 2016 by welcoming 30 Maldivian children from the orphanage “Kudakudhinge Hiyaa” residing in Villingili island. Aged 9 to 16 years old, the children enjoyed an exciting afternoon at the Resort.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016After a fun speedboat ride from Villingili island to Kurumba, the children were welcomed at the Conference Hall by Kurumba Maldives’ Bodu Beru team, who performed a few songs for them. Then the children enjoyed a delicious buffet and sweet treats prepared by Kurumba’s team of chefs, whilst some of our team members sang and danced for them. This encouraged the children to do the same in return. This was then followed by a Magician Show and fun team games, accompanied by Kurumba’s mascots.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016Ali Farooq, Assistant Food & Beverage Manager of Kurumba Maldives stated: “Kurumba Maldives endeavors to support our local community through events and projects like this. This year, we combined Maahefun – celebration marking the beginning of the Ramadan – and International Children’s Day for the kids to enjoy.”

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016The Kudakudhinge Hiyaa orphanage, located on Villingili and Hulhumalé islands, hosts children between the ages of 6 months and 21 years old. This is a self-supporting service that requires help from the community and industry in order to continue providing a caring, safe and educational environment for these children.

IMG_8128Kurumba Maldives has an ongoing commitment to Kudakudhinge Hiyaa and over the past 2 years has provided numerous improvements to the orphanage’s residential areas. These include upgrades to the kitchen, laundry, play areas, CCTV and installing new computers, along with providing ongoing consumables such as linen, cleaning equipment, toys and complimentary repairs and maintenance.

Kurumba Maldives - International Children's Day 2016For more information on Kurumba Maldives’ CSR program, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-csr-activities

For more information about upcoming events in Kurumba Maldives, please check www.kurumba.com/maldives-event-calendar

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ 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, including Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former US Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. 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).