Earth Hour celebrated at Jumeirah Vittaveli

The special occasion was marked at the resort with an atmospheric performance.

Jumeirah Vittaveli joined in the global celebrations of Earth Hour with an atmospheric singing bowl concert performed by Winnie Rode.

Guest resident Winnie Rode is a recognised sound therapist who is currently staying at Jumeirah Vittaveli for the resort’s annual Talise Wellness Month. Until March 24, 2016, guests at the resort can join Winnie in daily group meditation sessions or experience his unique singing bowl sound massage in a private treatment.

During Earth Hour, all lights at the resort’s restaurants and public areas were switched off and candles illuminated the night. Winnie Rode began his atmospheric singing bowl concert, mesmerising colleagues and guests.

With the soft and echoing sounds of his bronze singing bowls and the low chants interspersing the vibrations coming from the bowls, Winnie delivered a relaxing and tranquil performance.

Earth Hour is a global movement by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that focusses on climate change awareness and protecting the environment. The first Earth Hour was celebrated in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and it has since spanned the globe each year.

About Jumeirah Vittaveli:

A 20-minute boat ride from Malé International Airport brings you to Jumeirah Vittaveli. Whether for an intimate escape or an indulgent family retreat, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalised exploration. Impeccable choice and seamless service shape the character of this resort paradise, where every detail has been meticulously crafted to inspire journeys of discovery and enjoyment. Whether beach-side or over-water, all villas feature stunning interiors with private pools and access to the sandy shores or glistening waters. An inspirational Spa, a well-equipped overwater gymnasium, a children’s club and 5 star PADI dive centre mean guests are always able to try something new.

About Jumeirah Group:

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Baku, Bodrum, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London and Mallorca (Spain) in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia. Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah LivingTM with properties in London and Dubai; the new contemporary lifestyle hotel brand VenuTM; the wellness brand TaliseTM; Jumeirah Restaurant Group DubaiTM; Wild Wadi WaterparkTM; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementTM; and Jumeirah SiriusTM, its global loyalty programme. Future openings include luxury and lifestyle hotels in China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Russia and the UAE. www.jumeirah.com

Sheraton Maldives to Host Blindfold Dining to Mark Earth Hour

Joining millions around the world to mark the Earth Hour 2016, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has announced a number of special events to mark the day including the introduction of blindfold dining experience.

Guests will enjoy an exclusive 6 course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Roman Gernoth and his team while blindfolded at the signature restaurant Sea Salt while listening to live music by a solo performer. Dark dining or blindfold dining experience concept is based on removal of vision enhancing the other senses to increase gastronomic pleasure.

“We are very excited to introduce and host the blindfold dining experience in the Maldives on this occasion. This not only allows the team to show its creativity; but most importantly creates a memorable and unique experience for our guests who are joining us to mark this day” said Mr. Rashvan Ibrahim, F&B Manager.

Other activities that have been planned include a special Earth Hour Maldivian buffet with live Bodu Beru performances, cultural shows and several other activities to generate awareness about #ChangeClimateChange in thinking about our actions today which will decide what tomorrow will look like for generations to come.

New Incentives and Special Events Venue Inaugurates at Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives

Holiday Inn @Kandooma Maldives Special events venueMALE – Hosting an event in a marvelous place like the Maldives irrespective of size, type, and occasion will never be the same as Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives inaugurates its new incentives and special events facility, the Kandooma Marquee.

This Maldives resort, which is only a 40-minute speedboat drive from the nation’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport has launched the brand new incentives and events venue with its maiden affair organized by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Maldives.

The event which tackles about safety awareness topic was attended by the resort’s Chinese holidaymakers, embassy staff, and H.E Mr. Liu Qiang, Charge D’affaires, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

Holiday Inn @Kandooma Maldives Special events venueFeaturing 200 square meter of movable events space, the Kandooma Marquee can host up to 180 guests comfortably. Local and international business companies looking to hold intimate incentives and special events or brainstorm sessions in a unique and isolated spot can take advantage of the resort’s state-of-the-art facilities, a large area for group or team building activities, multilingual speaking staff, resident doctor and nurse, and a specialized team professionally handling incentives and special events and group requests from planning to event execution.

Incentives and special events planners, and organizers will have the opportunity to enjoy tastefully appointed decor, high-speed wireless Internet access, and advanced audiovisual equipment.

When it comes to stimulating productivity, the Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives features a variety of inspiring event menus to help ensure gatherings are extraordinary and delightful. Whether planning a sit-down lunch and dinner, or a simple coffee break, the resort’s professional culinary team is dedicated to bringing visions to life based on the client’s budget.

After an active day of events, professionals can wind down in the resort’s ideal accommodations available in five categories – Garden or Beach View Villa, Beach House, Family Beach House, Overwater Villa, and the oversized Overwater Pavilion. Featuring well-appointed bedding, flat-screen television with premium cable channels, room service, mini-bar, spacious work desks and high-speed Internet access, guest villas allow visitors to stay be as relaxed or productive as they desire.

Also present during the inauguration was Mr. Joseph Della Gatta, General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives. “The Kandooma Marquee, a new addition to the resort, is our response to the increasing demand of incentives and special events and group requests we are receiving across different parts of the world”, said Joseph.

“With the brand’s commitment to provide memorable events through our seamless assistance from planning to event implementation, we are here to ensure that we help incentives and special events planners make their event a success”, Joseph added.

About Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives

Ladled with cool, contemporary Island design, Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives brings a modern vibe to the Maldives. Slip into island life from the moment you arrive at Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives, with world-class South Male Atoll diving and surfing on your doorstep. Learn to sail on a catamaran trip around the region’s sandbanks or take it easy with alcohol-free cocktails on a sunset cruise. Top off a perfect day with breathtaking sunsets on the deck at The Kitchen restaurant.

About InterContinental Hotels Group

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with nearly 79 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 688,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, with more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Meet W Maldives Marine Insider Who Protects The House Reef By Killing The Starfish

W-Maldives house reefWith its central location in the Maldives’ North Ari atoll, W Retreat & Spa – Maldives is surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world. All the big fish such as mantas, whale and hammerhead sharks are to be found in the immediate vicinity plus those smaller marine animals such as frogfish or ghost pipefish.

Morgan Dobson Marine BiologistIn the retreat’s commitment to craft unique and authentic experiences, W Retreat & Spa – Maldives offers a myriad of specially designed water activities through DOWN UNDER & WAVE, its diving and watersports centre. These activities immerse guests in the vibrancy of experiences of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Maldives. One of the key people playing a vital role in this is Morgan Dobson, the retreat’s W MARINE INSIDER who has been based on the Fesdu island for 18 months. Growing up in Cyprus and with a diploma in Marine Biology and a degree in Environmental Studies, Morgan leads all conservation initiatives such as coral rehabilitation and educational outreach programs to preserve a healthy ecological environment at W Retreat & Spa – Maldives. He is also a certified diving instructor and takes care of the diving and snorkelling trips to local reefs and around the Ari Atoll, where the best dive sites are located. Maaya Thila, Fishhead, Malhos Thila, Himendhoo Thila – to name just a few. A tilla is a smaller sand formation that rises up like a small hill in the water and never reaches its surface. Tillas are often as deep as 8 meters to the top of the reef.

W Maldives reefW Retreat & Spa – Maldives is renowned for its underwater offerings – dive sites enhanced by tillas and farus – coral walls in large circles, which rise up from anywhere between 40-20 meters to just below the surface of the ocean. A unique diving spot in Fesdu is Hoholla Faru. This faru has a number of shallow caves big enough to swim into. The ceiling and walls are very honeycombed, allowing fish to swim in and out at their leisure. The ceiling, a living mural, is covered by coral encrusted clam shells. Just a stone’s throw from Fesdu is Gaathafushi desert island. It is totally intact and wild – a tropical fantasy in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfishFollowing a recent invasion of crown-of-thorns starfish on the retreat’s house reef, which started in September 2015, W MARINE INSIDER and his team have been dedicated to stopping it ever since. The starfish consume the corals by climbing onto them, thrusting out their stomachs, and bathing the coral in digestive enzymes, which liquefy it for ingestion. Adult crown-of-thorns starfish, ranging in size from 9 to 18 inches (3-6 cm) in diameter and with up to 21 arms, can eat nearly a square foot of coral each in a day.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfish 2“We currently have teams entering the water and injecting the starfish with vinegar to kill them. We have also extended this procedure to other nearby reefs as this seems to be the area where they arrive from. So far more than 25,000 starfish have been killed. Also, the starfish behavior has changed as they are now hiding on the house reef during the day and come out to feed at night, which is why we have to dive in the dark to kill them.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfish 4If the current trends continue, the Fesdu’s spectacular reef may be severely damaged within a few years from now. Stopping the starfish infestation is a priority for us at the moment as this can save the stunning reef flora and fauna”, Morgan concluded.

W Maldives whalesharkFor bookings and more information on W Retreat & Spa – Maldives, please explore http://www.wretreatmaldives.com/

Chef Akira Back Goes to New Extremes in the Maldives

Culinary Force Goes Head to Head with the Forces of Nature for PER AQUUM

He’s tackled the slopes as a professional snowboarder. He’s trained with master chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto. He’s championed his own cutting-edge cuisine, exploring a Korean twist on Japanese fine dining. And he’s won the hearts, and palates, of top celebrities. His fans including the likes of Eva Longoria, Taylor Swift, Pink, The Olsen Twins, Wilmer Valderamma, Kelly Osbourne, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Jonas and David Arquette.

When he arrives in the Maldives this April, Chef Akira Back will take on his newest thrilling challenge. PER AQUUM’s Maldivian resorts welcome Chef Akira to hit the waves, source the freshest catch and wow four groups of lucky diners as they join him for a private dinner in jungle treetops or deep underground beneath the heart of an iconic island.

On the evenings of 20 and 21 April at PER AQUUM Niyama and on 25 and 26 April at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, Chef Akira will create a 12-course tasting menu highlighting some of his favourite exotic ingredients and techniques along with never-before-seen preparations of fresh Maldivian seafood. Sheared baby zucchini recreate vibrant emerald scales atop Maldivian white fish. Umami drenches cold water lobsters. Tiny root vegetables grow in a Seoul Garden. Micro shiso and fresh truffles add herbaceous and earthy tones to his signature tuna ‘pizza’.

BLU Pool and Beach, PER AQUUM Niyama
BLU Pool and Beach, PER AQUUM Niyama

While visiting the islands, Chef Akira will indulge his adventurous streak as a veteran extreme sportsman by riding the waves and joining in the surprisingly dramatic spectacle of Maldivian pole-and-line fishing. As the ship crests on the waves, fishermen using traditional sustainable methods send tuna soaring through the air. Baited into a feeding frenzy with expert techniques, the surface-dwelling tuna latch onto special barbless hooks and are propelled arcing overhead before sliding off onto the deck in a haul that can bring in several tonnes in a single outing.

No stranger to adrenaline and sportsmanship – nor globetrotting – Akira’s backstory is as fascinating as his innovative plates. Born in Korea, he moved to Aspen as a 15-year-old. Plunged into a strange country where he couldn’t speak the language, he learned English by watching James Bond movies and made friends by skateboarding and snowboarding. He decided that if he couldn’t speak English yet, the best way to make friends was by boarding. Akira found himself a quick learner at snowboarding and was soon excelling at big jumps and challenging stunts. After gathering fame – and a series of injuries – he threw himself into a new passion, studying with top Asian chefs and then opening a collection of restaurants: Yellowtail at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Kumi at nearby Mandalay Bay, and self-titled Akira Back restaurants in Jakarta, Delhi, and Seoul.

Possessing a mountain of awards and honours, he has also graced a number of television shows, including the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where he battled Iron Chef Bobby Flay, NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, Food Network’s ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’, Cooking Channel’s ‘United Tastes of America’ and KBS’s ‘Success Mentor’ airing in Korea.

Chef Akira’s private dinners at PER AQUUM Niyama will be held in its treetop Asian avant-garde restaurant, Nest. At PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, he’ll host his first night at over-water Salt, descending on the second night to the underground wine cave, Vinum. Dinner prices start at USD 220++ per person, depending on the venue.

Infinity Pool Lonu Veyo, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi
Infinity Pool Lonu Veyo, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

This ‘Forces of Nature’ special appearance unfolds as part of PULSE, PER AQUUM’s stream of immersive experiences from A-list affairs to intimate celebrations. To reserve the experience or see more of this year’s PULSE line-up, visit peraquum.com/pulse.

Maldives Travel Talk 2016 in Malaysia

The Maldives Travel Talk was organised by the MMPRC in collaboration with the High Commission of Maldives in Malaysia to promote Maldives travel and tourism amongst the local community in Malaysia. The Talk was also aimed at introducing tourists to Maldivian culture and history. The event presented by Horizon Holidays and hosted by MindSpace Events was held Tuesday 15th March at the MBS Community Center in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

The night’s proceedings included an informal talk conducted by the Ambassador His Excellency Mohamed Fahmy Hassan, followed by a short video presentation on Maldives travel, tourism and culture. The floor was opened up for a short Q&A session whereby interested travellers could ask and have their questions answered on planning a trip to the Maldives.

Attendees also enjoyed two beautifully and uniquely choreographed cultural dance performances by the Nottingham Maldivian Society and the students of KDU University. The night’s entertainment also included a variety of Dhivehi songs. Maldivian delicacies were served to the invited guests at the end of the Travel Talk as an added exposure to our culture.

The event was attended by Malaysian nationals, foreign nationals residing in Malaysia and Maldivian students.

Kaani Village and Spa

Kaani Village and Spa, with Swimming Pool, offers 20 deluxe air-conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms which bring together contemporary and modern style to the travelers looking for an easy going budget alternative to the Maldives resort experience.

Rejuvenate your body and mind while enjoying a perfect holiday in Kaani Village, through a splendid spa treatment at Kaani Spa.

All the rooms feature tropical decor, a Queen size bed and also equipped with individually controlled air-conditions with overhead ceiling fans and modern furniture. LCD Tv with 37 channels, Mini bar, Digital Safe with complimentary tea and coffee making facilities. Each room has attached bath room with quality amenities such as water heater, Hair Dryer and rain shower.

For guests of Kaani Village, rejuvenation is never far away. The Kaani Spa is a serene sanctuary featuring a luxurious spa treatment room where you can pamper yourself with a relaxing full-body massage, clarifying or detoxing facial, warm herbal wrap or body glow scrub. The sauna room further help you relax and ease the tension of the day.

Month of Wellness at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Nutrition Chef and Meditation Guru will teach guests healthier lifestyles

Jumeirah Vittaveli has announced the resort’s annual Talise Wellness Month, featuring guest resident Talise Nutrition Executive Chef Gabi Kurz.

Following the successful Wellness Month in 2015, this year’s event will take place from 15 March to 15 April 2016 and continues the tradition by offering guests exclusive programmes including meditation, yoga, fitness classes, special spa treatments and healthy nutrition cooking classes. To complement these wellness activities, the daily breakfast and dinner buffet at Samsara will include a Talise Nutrition corner.

The resort is delighted to welcome back Chef Gabriele Kurz to spearhead the Talise Nutrition Menu. Chef Gabi is the Talise Wellness Executive Chef for the Jumeirah Group Portfolio of hotels and resorts and curated the popular Nutrition Menu last year. During her residency she will launch a new Talise set menu at the resort’s fine dining restaurant Fenesse. Chef Gabi will be at Jumeirah Vittaveli from 23-30 March. During her stay, she will also host cooking classes and demonstrations. Guests can learn how to create healthy dishes out of local and international ingredients to improve their diet not only on vacation but also when at home. For more information follow chef Gabi on Instagram to see her recipe ideas or read Chef Gabi’s blog.

Jumeirah Vittaveli’s Talise Spa and Fitness will conduct daily wellness activities throughout the month. Guest Practitioner Winnie Rode, an internationally renowned meditation and philosophy teacher and sound and music therapist, will visit the resort from March 14-24. He will hold both private and group meditation classes and perform his unique singing bowl sound massages.

Winnie has been teaching philosophy and meditation for more than 20 years. He began his education as a monk in a Tibetan monastery and today, his teachings are mainly based on the Dzogchen tradition.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers luxury romantic escapes and indulgent family retreats, as well as a host of land- and water-based activities, 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 cultural connection and organic experiences, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers guests a true Maldivian island experience.

Sail Away on your Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu

There can be no better way to enjoy the turquoise lagoon and deep-blue ocean waters of the Maldives than cruising on a private yacht. And now Six Senses Laamu makes this a reality with the latest addition to its experiences offerings –  a day on the Sense of Freedom.

Guests can enjoy this beautiful yacht all to themselves for a cruise around the atoll, a picnic on a deserted island, snorkeling at Blue Lagoon, a visit to the sandbank for sunset cocktails or just enjoy the yacht with all its luxury amenities. This is truly an out of the ordinary experience equally suitable for those wanting a romantic escape or a family getaway.

A day on the Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu
A day on the Sense of Freedom at Six Senses Laamu

Sense of Freedom is a 37-foot (12.80 meter) Riviera 37 Flybridge; a luxury yacht with a large cockpit and two cabins able to accommodate six guests plus crew. The cabins include a master bedroom, an adjacent cabin with bunk beds and bathroom facilities inclusive of a shower. It also features a living room area and a small galley. The big fly bridge is designed to offer a view from the top, for those who wish to feel the ocean breeze while cruising.

The resort’s experienced captain and his crew invite guests to embark on an extraordinary adventure that starts in the late morning and finishes well past sunset with a dinner on the beach. As for dinner, the menu is subject to guests’ catch. The crew will provide poles and line and will show the traditional Maldivian way of fishing.

Approaching the deserted island, guests can jump off the yacht and snorkel around the colorful reef or simply enjoy its sandy beach. A picnic will be prepared on the island with their menu of choice, along with a bottle of Champagne and fresh coconuts. For those who wish to sit back and relax under the shade of the coconut trees, sun-loungers are provided.

Snorkeling around the deserted island
Snorkeling around the deserted island

In the late afternoon the Sense of Freedom will make its way back to the resort, making one last stop on the private sandbank just before the sun sets. Bartenders wait with special signature sunset cocktails. The evening ends with a private barbecue on the beach, where chefs will cook the catch of the day! In the unlikely event that guests were unable to catch a fish, they can count on the chefs to ensure that a freshly caught reef fish is available.

The package includes:

– A day trip on the Sense of Freedom
– Snorkeling and fishing equipment
– Picnic on a deserted island, with Champagne, fresh coconuts and a fresh fruit basket
– Sunset cocktails on the private sandbank
– Private beach barbecue dinner

The price for two guests on the Sense of Freedom for a day is USD 2,800 and is subject to 10 percent service charge and 12 percent GST. This experience can be customized. For more information please contact reservati[email protected]

Gahaa

Gahaa is designed to suit for larger groups who wish for a short getaway. Families and large group of friends who have come aboard Gahaa are among our repeat clients who have become accustomed to Gahaa’s services.

Find yourself unwinding with a stroll on countless sands and endless green or visit an island to experience the unique lifestyle of the Maldivians. At night, revel to the beat of Boduberu and experience Maldivian culture in style. Gahaa promises to take you to such extents to make sure that its the perfect way to make the infinite ocean your home for a few days.