Maldives wins ‘Best Island’ Condé Nast Readers’ Travel Awards 2016

Maldives wins three awards at the 2016 Condé Nast Traveller, Readers’ Travel Awards in London reaffirming its position as one the world’s preferred destinations.

Maldives was selected as the winner of the ‘Best Island’ category at the Condé Nast Traveller, Readers’ Travel Awards, seeing off stiff competition from the Greek Islands, the Balearic Islands, and the Seychelles.

The ceremony was held at the Ham Yard Hotel in central London on August 30, 2016. The prestigious award was accepted by the Maldives High Commissioner to the UK, H.E. Mr. Ahmed Shiaan. After accepting the award, Mr. Shiaan said, “We are honored that the readers of the Condé Nast have chosen the Maldives as their favorite Island Destination. As a small Island Nation with only 350,000 inhabitants, these awards prove that the Maldives continues to provide the world with the best beaches, best hotels and the clearest waters in the Indian Ocean. We feel extremely proud of this recognition.”

The One & Only Hotel in Reethi Rah in the Maldives also won the “Best Hotel SPA and the Runner Up in the preferred overseas holiday hotel in the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Ocean.

The Condé Nast Traveller is one of the UK’s leading luxury travel magazines and its Reader’s Travel Awards, which are voted for by Condé Nast Traveller readers who are some of the most widely respected in the travel industry. The UK travel market remains buoyant for the Maldives. So far nearly 60,000 British people travelled to Maldives in 2016 which represents an increase of 10% compared to the same period of last year.

Upon hearing about the awards, the Maldives Minister for Tourism Hon. Moosa Zameer remarked: “The United Kingdom remains one of our most important markets and it is gratifying for the Maldives to receive such a prestigious prize in the UK. The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, with the full support of the Maldives High Commission in London, have done lots of work to promote Maldives in the UK, and this award is a fitting recognition of this hard work. We are elated to retain our position as one the world’s safest and preferred destination.”

Outrigger Appoints John Allanson as General Manager in Maldives

PHUKET, THAILAND – Outrigger Enterprises Group has appointed John Allanson as the General Manager of the award-winning Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, an exclusive sanctuary of over-water bungalows and exquisite villas located within the crystal waters of Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. He will commence his position immediately and will report to Paul Richardson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in Outrigger’s corporate office in Hawaii.

John AllansonAllanson, a UK national, brings to Outrigger 30 years’ experience in hotel and resort management in the Maldives, Vietnam and the UK. Before joining Outrigger, he was the General Manager of the Six Senses Con Dao Resort and Spa, a five-star property on Con Dao Island, Vietnam.

Allanson also spent two years as Resort Manager in the Maldives at the Six Senses Laamu Resort and Spa, a property with 97 villas. For much of his career, Allanson has been a general manager, or in senior management positions, including food and beverage, and in various high-end UK country hotels, many of them with a spa facility.

The new Outrigger general manager has a Diploma in Management Studies and earned a scholarship to the General Managers’ Program at Cornell University. He is also a graduate of the International Management Association and a member of the Hotel and Catering International Management Association.

“John’s leadership in hotel and resort operations in Asia and UK will help Outrigger take our acclaimed hotel operations in the Maldives from good to great,” said Mr Richardson.

The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort opened in August 2015 and offers guests a complete sense of privacy and intimate luxury. Boasting the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives, the resort features 53 spacious villas, each with a private swimming pool. The inspirational three-bedroom Grand Konotta Villa offers an enchanting oasis with floor-to-ceiling windows, an expansive sun deck and breath-taking infinity pool overlooking the pristine turquoise ocean.

The property is renowned for its innovative Maldivian cuisine, the rejuvenating Navasana Spa, ocean adventures and uncompromising Outrigger hospitality – including Outrigger Signature Experiences throughout.

In between hoteling and family duties – Allanson has two daughters and a son – Outrigger’s new general manager tries to find time for golf, diving and photography and watching his favorite soccer club, Liverpool FC on TV. He is also a cricket fan and one day hopes one day to watch England on an entire tour of Australia.

Kandima Maldives appoints Executive Chef & Executive Pastry Chef

Kandima Maldives will be the first lifestyle resort in the country and will offer guests the opportunity to experience the Maldives in a new way. Offering one of the largest selection of F&B outlets in the country, with an incredible choice of ten delicious restaurants and bars, all featuring unique and individual menus offering flavours of the world from Chinese and Japanese to authentic Maldivian and Mediterranean. So whether it be tropical or traditional, Kandima has something to suit everyone’s tastes.

Beach Club, Kandima Maldives
Beach Club, Kandima Maldives

Chef Ken Gundu – Executive Chef:

Kandima Maldives has announced the appointment of their new executive chef, Ken Gundu. Originally from Botswana, he is the first executive chef from mainland Africa in the Maldives.

Chef Ken has been in the industry for twenty-one years and comes to Kandima Maldives after nearly five years as Executive Sous Chef at the highly regarded Tribal restaurant at Per Aquum Niyama. During his career he has worked in some of the world’s leading hotels, including the One & Only South Africa, The Royal Livingstone Zimbabwe, the Relais & Chateau Belcampo Belize, and he also ran the Abercrombie & Kent bush lodges in Botswana.

Chef Brahim Sayah – Executive Pastry Chef:

Kandima Maldives is delighted to announce the appointment of their new executive pastry chef, Brahim Sayah. Originally from Paris, where he trained and developed his passion for pastry. For the last sixteen years Chef Brahim Sayah has been working around the world in some of the finest hotels and restaurants, including The Jumeirah Messilah Kuwait, The Qatar Luxury Group, Maldives Constance, Banyan Tree Bahrain, Diamond Hotel Manila and also at Harrods and Sketch in London.

Coco Bodu Hithi Maldives Achieves Travelife Gold Certification

Coco Bodu Hithi is delighted to announce the achievement of the prestigious Travelife Gold certification. In line with one of the core values of Coco Collection, Coco Bodu Hithi shares a sustainable outlook by supporting the fragile environment and the local community. Travelife is an international certification system, promoting sustainability within the tourism industry by monitoring social and environmental impacts.

During the process that led up to this achievement, the operations of the island were carefully assessed by the Travelife team, taking into account 150 sustainability criteria. These included environmental policies to minimize waste, energy and water consumption. To become more energy efficient, Coco Bodu Hithi has replaced incandescent bulbs with LED lights and controlled public area and pathway lights with photocell and timers. The amount of waste produced has been controlled by creating natural compost for the lush gardens around the island. Additionally, the resort utilizes various water-saving methods; including collecting rainwater to underground tanks and re-using treated non-toxic sewerage water for gardening purposes.

Coco Bodu Hithi came up strong with further measures to protect the marine environment through the initiatives of a dedicated marine biology team. Contribution to several key projects such as the sea turtle and manta ray identification project has put the island at the top of the list of research submitters identifying the behavioral patterns of these fragile species. Furthermore, Coco Bodu Hithi is very keen on communicating the environmental policies and the conservation initiatives. Citizen science projects have become a norm on the island with the contribution of guests, either by submitting identification pictures of marine life, planting coral nurseries, or taking part in the reef cleaning activities.

One of the most important partnerships that Coco Collection is a part of is the Olive Ridley Project, where both parties have teamed up to reduce the effects of ghost nets on marine life. Phase 1 includes a turtle rescue centre at Coco Palm, the portfolio’s property in Baa atoll, with phase 2 seeing the construction of another centre at Coco Bodu Hithi. Through generous contributions from the purchase of plush turtle toys and by direct donations, guests have played a tremendous role in supporting this initiative.

“This achievement is celebrated by each and every associate on our team! Coco Bodu Hithi is the ideal retreat for the romantics looking to get away from the hassle of it all.” comments General Manager, Georgios Papazoglou. “At the same time, it is a haven for the conscious travellers seeking to make their holiday matter. This certification puts us on the map with islands that are committed to making holidays greener.”

Among other recent developments in the green arena, both Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu have been hand-picked by Green Pearls, a portfolio of sustainable and unique places worldwide. The members of the portfolio show a large diversity of different approaches to sustainability. But they all have one thing in common: they guarantee a dedication to the social balance of their respective vacation area, and both Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu are proud to be associated with this.

Store Helper (Maldivians only)

Inviting you to be a ROBIN.  ROBINSON Club located on the island of Funamauddua in the Gaaf-Alif Atoll in the southern Maldives, invites you to be a ROBIN, that’s what we all call ourselves here at ROBINSON club.

With more than 24 Clubs worldwide and as a part of the World of TUI, ROBINSON Club offers opportunities for enthusiastic individuals with a dedicated passion for hospitality.
For more info, visit www.robinson.com

Interested candidates are requested to send their updated CV with recent photograph by mentioning ST0816 as job reference code on the subject line before 16th August 2016.

Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted

Taj Burrow takes Four Seasons Champions Trophy

The sun beat down on the waves, the waves beat over the reef, and Taj Burrow beat all comers to claim the Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy yesterday.

The Australian narrowly edged out last year’s champion – and one of his childhood heroes – Shane Dorian, claiming the $10,000 prize and an automatic invite to defend his title in 2017.

“It was relaxing on land, but intense in the water,” explained Burrow, having finished ahead of the field, which featured top international competition.

Returning to the Four Season’s Explorer yacht after the final – and taking time to dance to the traditional bodu beru drums being played in his honour – he described the event as “one of the best week’s of my life”.

Photograph: Naj
Hero’s Welcome (Photograph: Naj)

“I’ve never been to the Maldives before, but it’s my dad’s favourite wave…I don’t wanna tell anyone about it…It’s the best event not on the World Tour.”

Having recently retired from the WSL Championship Tour, Burrow faced fellow tour veterans Dorian, Travis Logie and Rob Machado as well as the Maldives’ own surf champion Hussein ‘Iboo’ Areef, who became the first Maldivian to compete this year.

Australian Jamie O’Brien and US surfer Bethany Hamilton made up the line-up, both of whom have brought the sport to the screen. O’Brien is well know as the star of the reality television series ‘Who is JOB’, while Hamilton’s inspirational journey to professional surfing after losing her arm in a shark attack was depicted in the 2011 film ‘Soul Surfer’.

Photograph: Naj
Finalists (Photograph: Naj)

In this week’s unique event – using heat times based on age, across three different disciplines – Burrow emerged as the victor in both the single fin and thruster categories, with Dorian winning in the twin fin event.

All participants, their families and competition judges spent the week in the nearby Four Seasons Kuda Huraa resort, before travelling with guests each day to the luxury surf vessel Explorer, which regularly offers surf cruises throughout the atolls.

“Everyone at this contest rips so hard, once you’re off tour it’s rare to be around people who surf at this level, it’s so cool to see, especially making everyone surf single and twin fin boards,” said Australian-born American surfer Rob Machado.

“Kuda Huraa is so close to all these waves it’s been so incredible.”

Four Seasons Explorer (Photography: Naj)
Photography: Naj

Anchored just off the island of Thamburudhoo, with its unique left and right-handed breaks, the professionals put on a show throughout the week in the Maldives’ primary surfing neighbourhood.

Locals and visitors alike gathered over the reef to see the action, queuing up to get back on the popular waves within moments of the horn sounding the end of the grand finale.

“Seeing the world’s best surfing my home break has been amazing but talking to them and hanging out has been the best part,” said Maldivian surfer Iboo. “I feel like my surfing has improved just from watching how they surf. I will remember this experience forever.”

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.”

Surf2

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.