5 reasons why celebs still love the Maldives

5 Reasons Why Celebs Still Love To Visit Maldives

Luxury holiday destination the Maldives is a firm favourite for celebrities. We found out why.

According to the 2018 Worldwide Travel Trends report from Kuoni, the Maldives has topped the luxury holiday booking list for the 15th year in a row and the islands are as popular as ever, especially with the celebs. 

Recently spotted celebrities include former Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh, This Morning’s Philip Schofield, Mummy Diaries star Billie Faiers and former Strictly Come Dancing pro Ola Jordan.

But just what makes the Maldives so popular year after year as a luxury holiday destination? From treetop cocktail bars to a new floating island spa, here are a just a few of the things that attract the rich and famous to the islands.

1. The Wellness Revolution – Gili Lankanfushi

World-leading international wellness practitioners are visiting the luxury eco-resort, Gili Lankanfushi this year, offering revolutionary treatments and workshops throughout 2018.

Inspirational speaker, writer and mentor Jody Shield who will be taking over the island from 22-29 August and from the 10-17 November Chloe Brotheridge, hypnotherapist and anxiety expert will be leading workshops that help with issues including anxiety, confidence and sleep problems.

Best of all group sessions are free to guests staying on the island.

2. Watch the sun set with cocktails high up in the trees – Dhigali

An Instagrammers paradise, the two storey Haali bar on Dhigali is shaped like a giant birds nest and sits at the western tip of the island overlooking the island’s sandbank.

Head there around 6 p.m and enjoy a delicious cocktail on the top level viewing spot, or relax in a comfy beanbag out on the beach - the perfect place to capture the breath-taking views of the sky while it changes colour.

3. A foodie’s paradise - Kuramathi

One of the most popular resort in the Maldives, Kuramathi offers a choice of nine a la carte restaurants, three buffet restaurants and seven bars on this large island.

From Thai, Indian, fresh seafood, Mediterranean and teppanyaki dining to a choice of over 100 cocktails, it would be a shame not to sample as much as possible.

4. Stay in a floating spa resort - ScubaSpa

Five per cent of the world’s reef area can be found in the Maldives and with it comes a great diversity of marine life, a reason many choose to holiday here.

The floating Resort By Scubaspa, a 50-metre purpose-built ‘safari yacht’ with PADI 5 Star Dive Resort Status visits many different dive sites but does it in style and comfort combining premium spa treatments, four spa therapists, a yoga master and four chefs.

Whether a dive enthusiast looking for a bit of self-indulgence or a couple with different interests – this floating island has appeal and can offer inclusive spa treatments, dives, or a combination of the two.

5. Let your children become little VIPS – Niyama Private Islands

Resorts in the Maldives might be known for luxury but they’re evolving to include children and help them have the little VIP exeperience.
Kids at Niyama are able to embark on safaris, explore wildlife, go gourmet with Master Chef classes, scout for dolphins with luxuries re-invented to thrill guests 12 months to 12 years old.

The Maldives Islands

About The Maldives Island

Maldives Island

Specks of emerald green enveloped by dazzling turquoise waters like scattered beads in the ocean; white powdery beaches, tall palms lean on towards the sea, crystalline white sands giving way to crystal clear waters, shades of turquoise blend flawlessly with deeper hues of blue; pristine coral reefs and some of the most incredible underwater life on our planet.

Rising from the deep blue of the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean are more than a thousand islands and thousands more reefs that form the Maldives.

What better place to relax and enjoy yourself than the romantic dunes that adorn these islands. Imagine a place that is nothing but surf and sun; where paradise meets reality. You can choose any of the ninety resorts islands across the Maldives for your honeymoon or holiday stay; allowing yourself the freedom to explore everything is amazing tropical wonderland has to offer. Everything has been designed with the luxury and comfort of travellers in mind, which is why per capita it is the busiest tourist area in the world. Half a million people every year rediscover this paradise.

Sunny, unique and unspoiled, the Maldives is an archipelago comprising 1,190 low-lying coral islands scattered across the equator, in groups of 26 naturally occurring atolls which are divided into 20 for administrative purposes. Maldives islands are characterized by a unique coral nature and thus they posses unique tourism resources though in a one-sided way, namely in the submarine and littoral environment of the islands, lagoons and reefs, associated with the year-round tropical climate.

These small, picturesque islands with dense tropical vegetation including shrubs, flowering plants and tall coconut palms surrounded by blindingly white beaches, crystalline lagoons that exhibit all shades of blue is the combination that has acclaimed Maldives as paradise on Earth.

Tourism in Maldives

Tourism which was introduced in 1972 has successfully developed in the past years. The tourism in Maldives has been rapidly growing the number of tourist arrivals and resorts islands over the last ten year period.

On the European market, Maldives today rank among the most attractive travel destinations in the tropics. Maldives offers large natural resources for tourism and encourages eco-tourism to protect the sensitive environment and underwater life.
It is not only divers and snorkelers who enjoy the profuse underwater resources, but also beach tourists are attracted by the nature of the beaches and the climatic conditions as well. This environment really guarantees relaxation and recreation.

The Maldives Honeymoon

Celebrate your special honeymoon in Maldives at the most beautiful and romantic islands of Maldives.

You could enjoy the privacy and intimacy of a secluded, natural setting and a warm inviting atmosphere, where the sunsets are spectacular!

The resorts offer you not only the crystal clear waters and azure blue lagoons, food is tasty and services are excellent.

As a welcome token, almost all resorts offers honeymooners fruit plates and flower decorated rooms on the arrival night – a romantic promise of what lays ahead. On request, resorts also arrange romantic candle-lit dinners on the beach and also champagne breakfast served in the privacy of your own room, to make your romantic holiday memories that will last a lifetime!

This Luxury Hotel Is Working To Bring Sustainable Tourism To The Maldives

This Luxury Hotel Is Working To Bring Sustainable Tourism To The Maldives

The Maldives are composed of beautiful islands set in pristine blue waters; many of those islands are undeveloped and uninhabited. However, a recent government initiative means a burst of development to support tourism, which is one of the nation's main sources of income. The Independent reports that this decision has been hotly contested, with Tourism Minister Mahmoud Shaugee resigning after it was announced that 31 more islands would soon have hotels built on their shores.

"There is only so much that an economy can absorb," he said. "I think it is important that we protect the future of the tourism industry for the people of the Maldives ... I have not specifically detailed the reasons for my resignation but I shared with journalists here that I have a difference of opinion with the government's policy. There are certain issues I have a difference of opinion over and I do not want to move forward with those policies."

This is a serious issue: What attracts tourists to the Maldives is its unspoiled beauty, and the preservation of its unique ecosystems should be paramount. But the archipelago also needs the business brought by visitors to sustain its economy. With that in mind, the builders of Soneva Fushi have created a luxury hotel designed to protect the island wonders around it, and are working towards making their establishment zero-waste through their innovative recycling program.

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Fast Company interviewed Soneva Fushi's CEO Sonu Shivdasani, who founded their hotel in 1995. Even then, before sustainable tourism became an important topic of discussion, Shivdasani and his wife Eva considered their impact on the area as they built up their hotel. But they've still come a long way.

“We didn’t cut any trees down, we moved buildings, changed the architecture slightly to fit in among the trees,” says Shivdasani. “What we were doing back in 1995 would be like 20 out of 100 now in terms of all the different things we’re doing now.”

In 2008, the hotel built the first solar array in all of the Maldives, and plans to achieve its goal of getting 75 percent of its energy from renewables within the next year. They're also on the path to becoming carbon-neutral, and have a recycling program that processes 90 percent of the hotel's solid waste. They even process glass, food waste, jungle trimmings, and polystyrene with their own own pyrolysis system. They are working on the final 10 percent, which includes items like plastic, paper, and cloth.

Interestingly, they've turned some aspects of recycling into an activity for guests, inviting glass artists to come and turn the broken down wine and water bottles into art. They have moved on to workshops where guests turn leftover plastic into souvenirs of their time at Sovena Fushi.

The hotel also aims to have an eco-friendly menu, and charges guests an additional fee to pay for eco-friendly measures, such as planting trees in Thailand. The fee has raised about 5 or 6 million dollars over the years, according to Shivdasani.

Soneva Fushi may not be the cheapest ticket to the Maldives, but it's an example of how there is a market for both tourism and island stewardship, as well as a map. 

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru dispatches submarine experience

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru dispatches submarine experience

Deep-Flight produces the world’s highest performance personal submarines.

From today, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru will become the first place to launch submarine excursions in DeepFlight’s most advanced model yet: Super Falcon 3S.

In a world exclusive, DeepFlight Adventures take up to two guests on a once-in-a-lifetime sub-aquatic ‘dive’ exploration of the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Landaa Giraavaru’s Baa Atoll home.

With a professional pilot at the controls, passengers can skim over coral formations; fly through shoals of brightly coloured fish; encounter creatures like turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays; and explore the Maldivian waters down to a depth of 37 meters – all without getting wet.

Brought to the Maldives in collaboration with leading water sports operator, Ocean Group, the Super Falcon 3S represents the pinnacle of personal submarine technology: an environmentally friendly, battery-operated submersible that offers unparalleled underwater ‘flying’ from the safety, comfort and style of a personal pressurized and air-conditioned cockpit, with individual viewing domes.

The Super Falcon 3S has also been designed with the environment in mind: its electric and acoustic emissions have been minimized so as not to disturb marine life, and it never lands on the seabed or reefs.

The pilot narrates each dive with a real-time commentary, educating and inspiring guests about the wonders of the underwater ecosystem.

Commenting on the launch, Four Seasons regional vice president, Armando Kraenzlin, said: “At Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, we have long been aligned with DeepFlight’s mission to bring awareness to the oceans.

“These submarine excursions redefine marine exploration and bridge the gap between the world we see above the waves and the one that exists below.

“We couldn’t be prouder to be the first resort in the world to launch the Deep-Flight Super Falcon 3S.”

Maldives sees sharp increment in UK entries in mid 2018

Maldives sees sharp increment in UK entries in mid 2018

The Maldives has announced double-digit growth of 17.5 per cent in the number of UK travellers who visited in March 2018, when compared with the same month last year.

In total, 11,829 UK travellers visited the Maldives in March, compared with 10,063 in March 2017.

The destination has just been confirmed as the host of the World Spa Awards, with the event set to take place in October.

Overall, the Maldives welcomed a total of 32,633 UK tourists during the first quarter of 2018, representing a 12.2 per cent increase when compared with the same period of 2017, which saw 29,088 people from the UK arrive at the destination.

Globally, in March 2018 the Maldives recorded an 18.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of international visitor arrivals, welcoming a total of 133,466 arrivals.

This brings the total of global arrivals to 420,103 in the first three months of 2018, representing a positive growth of 17 per cent when compared with last year.

This year the Maldives will further confirm its status as one of the most attractive holiday destinations for UK tourists, with the opening of at least 23 new resorts and what is believed to be the world’s first undersea residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the news, the Maldives minister of tourism, Moosa Zameer, said: “We are very pleased to see such a significant rise in both the number of UK and international tourists to the Maldives which is largely thanks to the work carried out by the Embassy of Maldives, MMPRC and the tourism industry stakeholders at large.

“The UK continues to establish itself as one of the most valuable inbound markets for tourism to the Maldives and with a number of exciting new tourism developments launching this year, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors during the remaining months of 2018.”

Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part

Zitek takes up sous culinary specialist part at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has announced Olda Zitek has been appointed as executive sous chef.

Zitek will join the private island resort in early May 2018 from Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square where he worked as executive sous chef from November 2016.

Prior to this, Zitek held the position of head chef at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel London, after roles in other five-star London hotels such as Claridge’s and The May Fair Hotel.

Zitek will support the executive chef at The St. Regis Maldives in supervising operations at the resort’s six distinct dining venues, which offer sophisticated cuisine from around the world.

He will oversee the entire culinary team, which delivers exceptional food and drink experiences to guests.

Commenting on the appointment, Alexander Blair, general manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Olda join us at The St. Regis Maldives.

“We pride ourselves on delivering unrivalled experiences and exceptional service, so Olda’s background with some of London’s most luxury hotels means he is great fit for our team.

“We look forward to working with him and can’t wait to see to see his skillset being put to use for our guests.”

Zitek is originally from the Czech Republic and is fluent in Czech, English, and Slovak.

World Spa Awards

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort will host the World Spa Awards later this year.

Taking place on October 26th, the event will welcome leaders from the global wellness industry to the Maldives.

Find out more on the official Website:-  http://worldspaawards.com/

Sun Aqua divulges Sun Aqua Iru Veli, Maldives

ATM 2018: Sun Aqua divulges Sun Aqua Iru Veli, Maldives

Sun Aqua is launching the third property in their portfolio; Sun Aqua Iru Veli, an exclusive resort on the island of Aluvifushi, a private island for guests only in the heart of the South Nilandhe Atoll.                                                                     

The resort is scheduled to open in October 2018.

True to the Sun Aqua brand, the new resort is laid-back and stylish with a playful vibe.

Iru Veli is a five-star premium all-inclusive resort of 125 villas and suites, all with private pools. Across the lagoon and along the beach, a variety of over-water and beach front villas offers total seclusion in open spaces.

All villas, whether couples’ suites or extended family villas, feature vistas across the Indian Ocean in true Maldivian style.

Sun Aqua Iru Veli is a quick 40-minute seaplane ride from Malè and the international airport. Features include an infinity pool, a fully equipped recreation centre, a variety of activities and water sports such as jet ski, wind surfing, fun rides, catamaran sailing etc.

Sun Aqua Spa, with its six treatment pavilions and hydrotherapy area, is perched over the lagoon as an over-water spa offering a range of treatments combining western and eastern philosophies.

Dining options include an all-day dining restaurant with an international menu, a grill restaurant set on the beach with focus on fresh seafood and meat dishes, and an over-water restaurant with Italian specialities.

There is also the option of making dinner a private affair with the resort’s destination dining.

As an added flavour, Middle Eastern guests will be happy to learn that the Sun Aqua Signature, the premium all-inclusive plan, includes one daily shisha per couple at the Shisha Lounge free of charge.

Sun Aqua brand is a visionary creation from Sun Siyam, one of the most forward-thinking and dynamic hospitality companies in the Maldives.

With Maldivian entrepreneur Ahmed Siyam Mohamed at the helm, Sun Siyam aims to create a collection of hotel and resort brands across the Indian Ocean and Asia infused with his uniquely passionate and colourful spirit.

The vibe is unpretentious and laid-back yet is punctuated by bursts of vivid colour and quirky touches.

Sun Siyam Resorts will be attending the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai until April 25th at stand AS2350.

The Maldives' new star Villa is submerged

The Maldives' new star Villa is submerged

A sprawling villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

On a recent trip to the Maldives, my itinerary was planned around a single hotel amenity: a bungalow with a two-story waterslide. In the luxury-friendly Maldives, more than anywhere else on Earth, it's extravagant design features rather than location or good restaurants that make a hotel.

Enter Conrad Maldives Rangali Island with the region's first underwater bungalow. When it opens late this year the Muraka ("coral" in Dhivehi, the local language) will have cost US$15 million ($20.4 million) to build, and the experience of sleeping 16.4 feet (5m) below sea level can be yours beginning at US$50,000 ($68,262) per night before taxes.

"The Muraka promises a unique experience that is not available anywhere else in the world," architect Ahmed Saleem explains. While it's true that there aren't many hotel beds suspended below sea level, encased in glassy tunnels and surrounded by tropical fish, Saleem was more concerned with creating a full experience than designing a single, iconic room.

The Muraka's bedroom, below the sea.

So guests to the Maldives - an archipelago in the Indian Sea, southwest of India - will be flown to a private seaplane jetty and picked up in a speedboat for their ensuing use.

The suite itself is set apart from the Conrad's beach villas and bungalows so its residents don't have to see other humans-or set foot on dry land-if they don't want to. The price includes four dedicated butlers in a nearby structure for round-the-clock service, a chef, a set of jet skis and an on-call fitness trainer. Guests are upgraded to Diamond Honors Hilton status and given a 90-minute spa treatment per day.

The sunset-facing deck of the Muraka.

The structure itself is made of steel, concrete and acrylic, with one level above the water and another below. It's more castle than hotel suite, with enough nooks and crannies to sleep nine guests plus a gym, butler's quarters and space for a private security detail.

But not all the action happens under water. The top floor has two bedrooms, a bathroom with an ocean-view tub, a sunset-facing deck and an infinity-edge pool. Guests can descend below sea level down a spiral staircase or elevator. There, nothing but a curved acrylic dome separates the king-sized bedroom and living area from the reef just beyond. The bathroom, with its see-through walls and ceiling, feels like a bona-fide fishbowl. But privacy isn't an issue, unless fish make you feel shy; the villa is far from the rest of the resort. The deep underwater darkness-or simply feeling lost at sea-might be more unsettling.

Conrad isn't the first to take on underwater residences. In Dubai, the developer Klenienst has been developing a community of partially submerged homes called the Floating Seahorse within the cluster of islands known as the Heart of Europe. The project was announced in 2015 with a projected completion in 2016; only three such homes have been completed to date. According to a local news source, one sank near the Burj Al Arab hotel, another "toppled into the sea while being transported onsite", and the third is a prototype that's being stabilised with sandbags.

An underwater bathroom at the Muraka.

That's all to say: Creating a self-contained island residence with undersea sleeping quarters is challenging, at best. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has experience in that architectural arena thanks to Ithaa ("mother-of-pearl"), its underwater restaurant where diners enjoy eight-course feasts below a see-through, acrylic canopy.
Still, Saleem says, "Designing an undersea structure such as Ithaa and designing a sleeping and living experience is vastly different." Among his main concerns was safety. The restaurant, he says, is in shallow waters and always fully staffed; evacuating from the Muraka in the event of an emergency may have to happen unattended. A sophisticated air-quality monitoring and alarm system will help; so will safety instruction briefings like the ones on airplanes.

The project's scope presented logistical concerns. Saleem had to devise a lighting and design scheme that wouldn't reflect off the acrylic walls. "We couldn't use bright colours or variations of white, as that would reflect too much and impede the undersea experience," he says. He had to work with marine biologists to ensure the villa wouldn't affect the surrounding corals. Then the 600-ton structure had to be built on land in Singapore, hoisted onto a crane, and transported in a specialised ship that could moor near the reef and submerge the suite.

Ithaa, the underwater restaurant at the Conrad.

Even in the Maldives, whose resorts are known to command some of the highest prices globally, this type of building isn't sustainable as anything more than a one-off. "There are no immediate plans to create additional undersea residences at this point," Saleem says.

To Martin Rinck, who oversees Hilton's global luxury and lifestyle brands including Conrad, the debut of the underwater villa is a way to stay ahead of the industry. It's "a perfect example of the out-of-the-box thinking that meets guests demands before they even have them," Rinck says.

Nowhere is it more important to drive these types of trends than in the Maldives, where about a dozen ultra-luxe hotels will open this year. "The Maldives is indeed a competitive destination, but also a destination where guests expect the best," Rinck says. It's also a destination for which travellers are willing to shell out for the best. The starting price of US$50,000 may sound like a lot to pay per night, but the region claims a handful of private island villas at comparable prices that are popular, too.

One of the above-sea-level bedrooms at the Conrad's underwater villa.

"After 20 years in the Maldives, it's important that Hilton keeps pace with its newer, shinier competitors," Rinck says: "We need to continue meeting the expectations of travellers looking for that 'go big or go home' experience."

Private Islands to welcome first private planes

Niyama Private Islands to welcome first private planes

Niyama Private Island

Niyama Private Islands have become accessible via private jet for the first time.

The news follows the opening of Dhaalu Airport in November, which is a mere ten minutes by speedboat from the hotel.

Niyama is the only resort in the Dhaalu atoll region to offer this luxury service, which is set to further cement the resort’s reputation as one of the leading luxury hotels in the world.

Combining unrivalled privacy with exceptional hospitality, Niyama Private Islands is the luxury Maldivian choice for discerning travellers.

Guests are now able to soar over sparkling atolls in the comfort of their own private jet, breeze through the VIP lounge at Dhaalu Airport before speeding across the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean to a jetty reserved exclusively for traveler arriving via jet.

For those wanting to continue their quest for complete solitude, Niyama offers a quintet of overwater pool villas - known as The Crescent – which fan out over the ocean in stunning isolation.

The epitome of luxury and considered one of the most exclusive villas in the Maldives, The Crescent accommodates 22 people and comes complete with private infinity pools, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, direct access to the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean as well as private chefs and butlers guaranteed to provide heartfelt personalised service.

There are five two-bedroom over-water Studios which enjoy their own private stretch of beach away from the main resort.

The Studios are available for hire individually, or for large families and groups, they can be hired collectively.

Set across two spacious private islands, appropriately named Play and Chill, connected only by a single wooden bridge across the Indian Ocean, Niyama Private Islands is a truly special Maldivian resort in the south-western atoll of Dhaalu.

The twin islands take barefoot luxury to an exotic new level with their distinctive edgy feel and extraordinary range of activities which allow the stylish, aspirational traveler to expand on the traditional Maldivian itinerary.

Tibaldi to lead One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

Tibaldi to lead One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

One&Only has announced the appointment of established industry leader Jan Tibaldi as general manager of One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives.

In his new role, Tibaldi will be responsible for the overall operation and strategic development of the award-winning all-villa resort, as well as leading the One&Only Reethi Rah team to continue to create unrivalled guest experiences.

He brings almost 30 years of international experience in the luxury hospitality industry to One&Only Reethi Rah, having previously held senior positions at some of the most prestigious luxury hotels in the world, including prior roles with One&Only.

Prior to joining One&Only Reethi Rah, Tibaldi held the role of general manager at The PuLi Hotel and Spa, a five-star resort in Shanghai, China.

He has held notable senior leadership positions at global luxury hotel brands including Oberoi, Viceroy and Four Seasons.

Tibaldi holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell University in the USA.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jan Tibaldi back to One&Only. One&Only Reethi Rah is an extraordinary resort that sets the standard for ultra-luxury in the Indian Ocean, offering unrivalled style, unparalleled privacy and truly unique experiences for guests to discover,” said Philippe Zuber, president, One&Only Resorts.

“His global expertise and extensive background in the luxury hotel sector is a fantastic asset for One&Only.

“Led by Jan, the passionate team at One&Only Reethi Rah will go on to achieve even greater success.”