Problem solving spa treatments at Maldives Luxury Resorts

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Hidden in the northernmost atoll of the Maldives The Beach House Iruveli is nestled amidst crystal clear water and 35 acres of lush greenery and white sand beaches. For the majority of guests a trip to the Spa is an integral part of their visit and the team work hard to ensure this exquisite Maldivian retreat lives up to its promise of complete tranquillity. 

The Spa is located along winding paths, where sunlight is filtered through the Banyan trees giving an instant feeling of seclusion and privacy. With delicate music humming in the background, smoke and scent embracing the ambience, the experience reaches out to all the senses. All treatments available at the Spa use authentic Maldivian traditions, combining detoxification, exfoliation and bodywork.

For 2013, The Beach House Iruveli is taking their ultimate spa experience one step further by offering guests a selection of problem solving spa treatments. Aimed at easing various kinds of discomfort, the Spa has three different treatments all designed to target different ailments. With conditions such as insomnia, back pain and arthritis being eased in the Maldivian utopia guests can expect to return home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

The Kativasthi Massage (50 mins; $155) focuses on decreasing chronic lower back pain. The massage is an Ayurvedic treatment where concentrated herbal oil is held inside moulded flour dough on the lower back area. It is the oil that works on the problem area, stimulating and nourishing the nerves. Whilst the active ingredients in the oil go to work, a relaxing shoulder and foot massage ensures all tension is soothed away. The massage ends with a variety of different massage techniques, all of which are focused on improving movement and strengthening the lower back region. Kativasthi massages have been known to help in the treatment of osteoporosis and sciatica. Three sessions are recommended for maximum benefits.

The Abhyanga Massage and Shirodhara Therapy (80 mins; $232) are aimed to help with insomnia and decreasing stress in the body. Shirodhara is considered by many one of the most powerful Ayurvedic treatments available with the aim of intensely relaxing the nervous system. The massage commences with an Abhyanga full body massage in which warm Ayurvedic herbal oils are used in a soothing flowing massage. Next is the Shirodhara Therapy where a stream of specially enriched oil is continuously flowed onto the forehead, inducing a blissful state of mind, and expanded awareness. This treatment is ideal for guests suffering from headaches, poor sleeping patterns and stress. The Spa suggests three sessions for the best results. Maldives Resorts

The Spa’s third problem solving treatment is the Marma Massage (50/80 mins; $155/$232) designed to help with arthritis. The Marma massage focuses on Marma points which are a junction of vessels, ligaments, muscles, bones and joints and has been known to promote good blood flow. In a similar style to acupuncture, Marma points correspond to different internal organs and systems of the body which then react to Marma stimulation. Using rope for support, the therapists use their hands and feet to apply oil enriched with Ayurvedic herbs and roots to stimulate the different Marma points on your body. Skilful massage techniques induce a total sense of inner wellbeing and the massage is a complete mind, body and spirit experience.

Luxury Honeymoon Hammock for Two at Jumeirah Maldives

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The Maldives is the ultimate destination for tropical weddings and honeymoons. Set in one of the most romantic destinations in the world, couples can get lost together as they survey miles of white sand, blue skies, and lush gardens.

Against this idyllic backdrop, Jumeirah Dhevanafushi and Jumeirah Vittaveli have unveiled a new ‘Hammock for Two’ honeymoon addition, designed to cultivate memories to last a lifetime.

In the southernmost part of the Maldives, 400 miles from the capital of Malé, Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is a true secret hideaway in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Offering complete seclusion in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, newly-weds can go the ‘extra mile’ to the resort for the ‘Hammock for Two’ honeymoon addition of their dreams. Offering an indulgent couple’s massage, as well as a Champagne breakfast and a four course dinner under the stars, the bespoke experience will make couples feel like there is no one else on the island when added to any stay.

Each of the 38 villas come complete with private butlers, so honeymooners can rest assured that their every wish will be catered to; from guided snorkeling tours of the reef in the crystal clear Indian Ocean, to private meals on secluded beaches. For those who want to make, or renew, their vows in paradise, dedicated wedding coordinators are also on hand to offer their support and expertise as part of the additional ‘Ultimate Wedding Day’ experience. The offer includes a Master of Ceremonies to lead the service and traditional Bodu Beru drummers for a traditional Maldivian flavor, as well as complimentary Champagne, a Wedding Cake and a candlelit dinner to ensure a day to remember.

Alternatively, honeymooners looking to enjoy personalised Maldives Luxury Resorts closer to Malé can opt for Jumeirah Vittaveli, just a 20-minute boat ride from Malé International Airport. Far from the clutches of stressful city life, Jumeirah Vittaveli is nestled in a spot of outstanding sophistication, with every detail of a stay meticulously crafted to excite and indulge.

The ‘Ultimate Wedding Day’ experience is also available at Jumeirah Vittaveli, allowing couples to exchange vows with the stunning backdrop of the Indian Ocean, as they feel the traditional beat of the Bodu Beru. Whether a simple ceremony for two or a gala affair with loved ones, couples will have a pre-wedding meeting with the wedding coordinator to ensure their day is as they dreamed of. There is also the unique option to choose the exact location of the wedding ceremony, ensuring each ceremony will be personalised. Following the vows, a decorated wedding-buggy will carry the newlyweds back to the villa to enjoy VIP amenities and a romantic bath and bed decoration.

All villas, complete with private swimming pools and private beach access, make for the perfect setting to enjoy the ‘Hammock for Two’ addition. Enjoy discrete luxury service against a backdrop of incredible ocean views and, for a taste of adventure, take time to wander along sea facing trails of unsurpassed beauty. The 5-star dive centre is a veritable hive of activity for canoeing, windsurfing and diving in one of the world’s most incredible coral reefs. A tandem bicycle – made for two – will allow newlyweds to explore the winding lanes of the island, which mirror the aesthetic of a traditional Maldivian village. At every turn, unbeatable hospitality and five-star amenities combine to capture the very essence of indulgence.

The ‘Hammock for Two’ addition is available to enhance any booked stay from June 2013. If you would like to book your reservation or add Hammock for Two please contact Alpha Maldives’ Jumeirah Dhevanafushi reservation team.

Phone: 00960 792 2533

Maldives Eon Resorts to build US$170mn hotel in Sri Lanka

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June 20, 2013 (LBO) - EoN Resorts (Pvt) Ltd, a Maldives-based resorts developer has applied to build a 170 million US dollar luxury hotel in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, the state information office said.

The cabinet of ministers had approved a joint proposal by investment promotion minister Lakshman Abeywardena and fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne to site the project on Colombo's D R Wijewardene Mawatha.
The project will be on land belonging to Cey-Nor Foundation, an enterprise coming under the fisheries ministry and state land on which an excise office is located at the moment.

The project involves a 45-storey building with a 300 room hotel catering to leisure and business travellers and 100 luxury apartments.

It will also have a 150,000 square feet shopping mall and a 2000 square feet food court.$170mn-hotel-in-sri-lanka/480032839

Jumeirah Maldives Launches 'Low Miles' Menu Featuring Local Food

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Azara and Samsara, luxurious restaurants at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi and Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives, have unveiled a new ‘Low Miles’ menu as part of an on-going commitment to reduce the hotels’ carbon-footprints.

Intent on providing a culinary experience with a conscience, the special ‘Low Miles’ menu has been created by the chefs at Jumeirah Maldives out of a genuine concern for the impact restaurants can have on the environment. 

Azara and Samsara are renowned for delighting diners with fresh flavors amidst stunning settings. Now, based on a concept of responsible luxury, the ‘Low Miles’ menu makes the most of local, fresh ingredients to preserve the idyllic surroundings as well as offer a delicious taste of traditional Maldivian cuisine. By utilizing ingredients sourced nearby, the chefs are able to ensure minimal air and sea miles are required to bring the food to the resort, minimizing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. 

The localized set menu offers a truly sustainable, and delicious, culinary experience, with dishes such as Reef Fish Pappillote with Vegetables, Coconut and Chili or Mild Yellow Fish Curry with Chapatti, Mango Chutney and Local Herb Salad. And, for dessert, guests can indulge in a Maldivian Fruit Cocktail served with Biscuit and a Local Custard Cream or Fried Local Banana Fritters served with Island made Coconut Ice Cream. Guests at Jumeirah Vittaveli can also enjoy the menu as destination dining, choosing a private stretch of white sandy beach for a romantic meal or a celebration among friends.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is an exclusive all suite resort situated in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, 400 km south of the capital city of Malé, located in an area of extraordinary beauty surrounded by unspoiled coral reefs. The intimate resort comprises just 22 island villas, as well as an exclusive water village including 16 ocean villas, called the Ocean Pearls, that is situated 800 meters away from the main island of the resort and is easily accessible by speedboat ride. Azara restaurant offers á la carte lunch and dinner menus while guests enjoy the tranquil beauty of the beach. The Indian Ocean lapping at the shore only adds to the restaurant's charm.

For personalized luxury closer to Malé guests opt for Jumeirah Vittaveli, just a 20-minute boat ride from Malé International Airport. Far from the clutches of stressful city life, Jumeirah Vittaveli is nestled in a spot of outstanding sophistication, with every detail of a stay meticulously crafted to excite and indulge. With views across the Indian Ocean, Samsara offers an enticing mix of Maldivian delicacies and traditional dishes, all served in a dining space that spills out into paradise.

• A ‘Low Miles’ Menu is available at the Azara and Samsara restaurants at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi and Jumeirah Vittaveli from June 2013. The menu is also available as destination dining at Jumeirah Vittaveli.

Starwood Preferred Guests selected their favorite resort list

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The Starwood Preferred Guest(SPG) program announced the winners of the 2013 Member Favorite Resorts list. Selected by members worldwide, SPG's third annual survey identifies their favorite Starwood worldwide resorts across nine categories. Seventy one unique destinations from the Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai to the W Singapore-Sentosa Cove made the list with 11 resorts appearing on the list for the first time ever.

The annual list recognizes the most loved luxury resorts chosen from more than 200 properties as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' portfolio of more than 1,100 destinations globally including The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, Westin, Le Meridien and Sheraton resorts. Members vote on the resorts they adore most from the Maldives, to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Phuket and beyond each year to curate a list of must-see destinations of - Best Beach Resorts, Most Romantic Retreats, Best Exotic Escapes, Best Family Experiences, Best Golf Getaways, Best Island Paradise, Best Spa Indulgences, Best Winter Adventures and Best Small Wonders.

For the first time, SPG has teamed up with kate spade new york to design four limited edition totes inspired by the 2013 Member Favorite Resort categories. The kate spade new york Exclusively for Starwood Preferred Guest collection combines travel and whimsical phrases to celebrate Starwood's most exotic destinations around the world.

"The list allows our well-traveled members to identify their most beloved resorts around the world," said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. "Being recognized by our members as a part of this distinguished list is a true honor for our resorts. Our collaboration with kate spade new york allows us to further celebrate this year's list and highlight our 2013 Member Favorites with a brand whose customers are as enthusiastic about travel as our members."

Among the highlights for the 2013 SPG Member Favorites list:

-- In its very first year, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach has enamored our members so much it found its place in two categories – Best Beach Resorts and Best Spa Indulgences.

-- The W Retreat & Spa – Maldives earned the most votes and an appearance in five categories, the most of any resort.

-- The W Retreat Koh Samui, Thailand and The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai followed with placement in four unique categories.

Travel in Style with Limited Edition Totes from kate spade new york & Starwood Preferred Guest

The kate spade New York Exclusively for Starwood Preferred Guest tote collection is the ideal bag for on-the-go essentials for a chic vacation to one of the many resorts deemed worthy of SPG members' praise. The collection features punchy phrases and bright colors inspired by four of the nine SPG Member Favorite Resort categories including; Spa Indulgence "Rest & Relaxation," Romantic Retreat "Love Is In The Air," Island Paradise "Paradise Island," and Golf Getaway "Par For The Course."

"Our collaboration with Starwood Preferred Guest is the perfect way to celebrate our Travel & Adventure month as a part of our 20th Anniversary celebration and "Things We Love" campaign," said Deborah Lloyd, President and Chief Creative Officer kate spade new york. "As frequent jetsetters ourselves, The Starwood Preferred Guest Member Favorites list gave us the perfect inspiration to create our fun totes for the frequent traveler."

The kate spade new york Exclusively for Starwood Preferred Guest collection launched in early May coinciding with kate spade new york's 20th Anniversary and "Things We Love" Travel and Adventure month. The totes are available in kate spade new york stores and online in the United States, Canada and Japan. The collection will also be available at kate spade new york stores in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. The totes will retail in the US for $199 and prices may vary by region.

Conrad Maldives revamps its spa offerings with five new wellness initiatives

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The six-star Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has refreshed its wellness offering with the introduction of five new wellness workshops. 

The five day programmes: ‘Sleep Therapy’, ‘De-stress in Paradise’, ‘Wake up to Energy’, ‘Holiday season countdown – beach perfect’ and ‘Falling in Love again’ are all designed for two and are aimed at offering solutions to modern-day illnesses.

Available year-round, each workshop lasts five days and features the skill of guest yoga practitioner Areeya, coupled with the wide range of health and wellness facilities available at the resorts two spa facilities.

The holistic programmes draw on elements from all areas of the resort, such as massage, yoga, sound therapy, personal training, meditation and even dining in the underwater restaurant or candlelit baths to provide overall wellness.

Highlights include the ‘Falling in Love Again’ workshop aimed at couples seeking to re-connect and re-discover their love for one another. Couples will take part in traditional romantic experiences such as candlelit dinners and a champagne bath with rose petals. An artfully designed yoga programme will bring couples physically back in sync again by creating greater awareness of each other and re-learning the art of working together.

Spa manager Missy Dowell said: “With two spas, we are a genuine health and well-being sanctuary and are perfectly positioned to help bring health, fitness and even love back into our guests’ lives.”

For those wanting to look and feel great on the beech the “Holiday Season Countdown: body perfect” is on offer. This package promotes general wellbeing, weight loss and addresses physical concerns. Upon arrival, couples will experience a full body composition analysis identifying problem areas before embarking on daily yoga classes and a two hour plant contour body ritual to target specific body concerns. This is combined with three personal training sessions to help couples feel body perfect for the beach.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers three different resort experiences on two islands: guests can enjoy the Maldivian hideaway on tiny Rangalifinolhu Island while also having access to the facilities of the larger and livelier Rangali Island which is linked to it by a 500m bridge. The third resort experience is at the Spa Retreat, an over-water destination spa that operates as a resort-within-a-resort.

Guests are the winners as GM and Chef battle it out at Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives

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It's not often that Centara General Managers and Executive Chefs do battle with each other. Not in public! But the Live Cooking Competition at Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives saw GM and Chef pitted against each other to create a menu for La Brezza Italian Restaurant.

Restaurant customers acted as the judges as GM Ulrich Hoffgen and Chef MacLean Fraser duelled over a set menu in the restaurant’s open kitchen.

Dishes being prepared were an appetiser of seared scallops and glazed pork belly, an entrée of grilled king prawn with roast capsicum gazpacho and green-shell mussel salad, a main course of confit of duck leg with roast duck and mushroom risotto, and a dessert of flambee peach with vanilla bean ice cream.
Guests enjoyed the dinner for a payment of USD85 plus service and tax, with USD40 being covered by the credit available under the resort’s All-Inclusive Meal Plan programme.
After the dinner was finished, guests were given slips of paper on which to cast their votes.
Who won?

GM collected the most votes. But Chef is still happily at work in his kitchen and GM has resisted the impulse to change his career, and so remains in charge of the adult-focused resort that, within six weeks of its mid-April opening this year, had risen to be No 1 place for honeymoon holidays on TripAdvisor’s listing of North Male resorts, of which there are 31 properties.
The real winners were the guests, who packed the restaurant out and thoroughly enjoyed this novel and convivial evening.

GM Ulrich, incidentally, was an executive chef in the hospitality industry before becoming a resident manager elsewhere in the Maldives and then being appointed General Manager at Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives.
The resort is located just 15 minutes by speedboat from Male International Airport and has 140 adult-oriented villas set on the beach or above the magnificent lagoon.

Space-age underwater hotel planned for Maldives

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Editor's note: MainSail is CNN's monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology.

(CNN) -- With its luminous body seemingly hovering above the water, and five spidery legs plunging deep into the sea, this futuristic building could be the mothership in a sci-fi film.
In fact, it's the design for one of the world's largest underwater hotels -- and it could be coming to a beach near you.






Introducing the Water Discus Hotel, a luxury multi-million dollar resort featuring 21 moveable rooms found in the heart of spectacular coral reefs.

Maldives to Dubai
The space-age hotel is now set to be built on the remote -- and postcard perfect -- tropical island of Kuredhivaru in the Maldive Islands, with the National Ministry of Tourism giving the go-ahead to the ambitious plan last week.

The United Arab Emirates may soon be the next home of the high-tech hotel, with a Dubai construction company also in negotiations to build the surreal structure.

The Water Discus Hotel, to be built in the Maldives.DEEP OCEAN TECHNOLOGY
"There are many people who will never have the courage to dive to these beautiful reefs," designer, Pawel Podwojewski, told CNN.

"But here you will have the chance to explore an underwater world from the comfort of your bedroom."

Space-age seascape
Described as "Star Trek meets the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau," the remarkable building -- valued at up to $50 million -- is the brainchild of Polish company Deep Ocean Technology, backed by Swiss investors.

The luminous hotel features two large disc-shaped lounges seven-meters above the water, housing a luxury restaurant and spa.

The lounges are connected to a glass tunnel plunging 30-meters below the water, leading to 21 opulent bedrooms.

"A lot of people have said it looks like something from a James Bond film," said Podwojewski. "I'm a big fan of the movies, so perhaps that was an inspiration."
"I wanted to keep it as sleek and simple as possible -- so the sphere shape is very efficient."

Deep end
The cutting-edge hotel may plunge deep beneath the ocean, but its luxury facilities are sky-high, including a helicopter landing pad and rooftop swimming pool.
Guests can sit back and enjoy views of vibrant reefs and tropical fish, all from the comfort of their bed.

Those wanting to explore the spectacular underwater world, can also dive straight in from the hotel's airlock compartment, including its own decompression chamber.
The more adventurous can even take a ride in a three-passenger deep-sea submarine.
Moving on up

Not only does the hotel look like a spaceship -- it actually moves like one, with the largest underwater saucer-shaped room able to slide to the surface in emergencies.
"If you need to replace a window for example, it's very difficult underwater," explained Podwojewski. "So we wanted to build a building that can surface any time for maintenance or safety."

"It's a bit like a balloon underwater -- when we let go of the water from the room's huge tanks, the balloon will surface automatically. It doesn't need to rely on electricity."
Environmental concerns

Developers hope to limit the impact on coral reefs by laying the foundation in as few points as possible.
There are also plans to rebuild coral reefs, by growing the vibrant eco-systems in a special plantation before relocating them around the hotel.

"To preserve the natural environment we have developed couple of kinds of foundations depending on the local conditions," said Podwojewski. "The key is to touch the sea ground in just few points."
"Most probably the hotel will land on a flat sand area to reflect the sun rays inside the rooms and the reef will be additionally planted around the hotel rooms to enrich the view."
The space-age design might seem like something from the future. But it seems this unique underwater hotel will be much closer than you think.

Maldives lures visitors, deals

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Leading Thai hospitality and security companies plan to continue expanding their investment in the Maldives as it has become a popular among travellers.

Supatra Chirathivat, senior vice president of Centara Hotels and Resorts, said the company would establish a third resort in Maldives in the next three years after the successful operation of two five-star resorts in the archipelago.

"Under the one island, one resort policy of the Maldivian government, Centara plans to operate a variety of resorts in Maldives with quality and luxury service by adopting Thai hospitality," she said.

The company has not finalised yet the capital investment budget, but expects it will be similar to the second resort, which cost about US$65 million (Bt2 billion). 

To set up resorts in the Maldives, the government allows a 30-year contract. Each investor must vow that the resort will be self-reliant and environmentally friendly.

Supatra said the firm was confident of strong business growth in Maldives as the islands have become increasingly popularity among travellers, in particular those in the upper market.

Also, more Thai travellers have come to the islands thanks to direct flights operated by Bangkok Airways. 

This year, about 1.2 million tourists are projected to visit the Maldives, an increase by 20 per cent from last year.

Centara's 2 resorts in the Maldives employ about 38 Thais working in the spas and Thai restaurants.

Meanwhile Loxley has joined with AGT International to set up a company to undertake a safe-city project in the Maldives.

Sompop Chareonkul, senior executive vice president of Loxley, said it was pursuing a contract from the Maldivian government to conduct a study on a project to set up a stringent security system.

"With experience in security systems and a good partner, the company is confident of winning the contract," he said.

Hasan Malik, vice president of sales and business development, Asia-Pacific, at AGT Group (Singapore), said the company had not yet estimated an investment budget for the safe-city project. AGT will spend about three months conducting a study on providing the system and hardware to improve security in the islands.

The project will emphasise predicting future crimes to prepare people and prevent such problems, as well as managing security.

AGT is an experienced company in security systems. It previously won a contract from the Abu Dhabi government to set up such a system.

Sompop said Loxley also planned to propose a safe-city project to the Thai government to raise security in places such as Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and the deep South.

HBA brings Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa to life with lavish new five-star design

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HONG KONG - Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), global leader in hospitality design, lent its design expertise to breathe new life into the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Hyatt’s only five-star luxury hotel in the Maldives. Nearly every facet of the resort was touched by the re-design that was completed in April 2013, from the 50 Maldivian guest villas to the magnificent ‘beached’ Dhoni.  

The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is situated on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll near one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world. Nestled within natural vegetation and only a few steps from the sparkling turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the resort embodies secluded luxury. Previously a privately owned resort, the two-year-old property was given a greater sense of place once designers from HBA’s Dubai office were enlisted to elevate it to Park Hyatt standards.

“We worked closely with the Hyatt team at Hadahaa and Hyatt in Dubai to really see where we could enhance such a beautiful resort”, says Lead Designer, Michelle Evans“Our journey started in paradise and took us across Bali, Bangkok, Europe, and back to Dubai as we custom-designed each item from bathroom accessories to the private pagodas for the beach".

The resort features 50 villas including 14 park water villas perched above the Indian Ocean, 16 park villas, and 20 park pool villas. HBA designers were tasked to work with all the villas’ existing furniture; all wood finishes was stripped and re-purposed. To create an elevated room experience, soft furnishings, artwork, and accessories were brought in featuring vibrant colours that add to the luxury in-room experience. The rooms’ minibar and desk units were re-designed with timber block tops and feature custom-designed minibar trays and an espresso amenities station. Designers worked with Compete, a manufacturer in Dubai, to design and develop a complete range for Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa branding coasters to compendiums, which each reflect the brand’s tan colours with a flash of orange.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa receives prestigious international hotel awards

Loading Maldives Offers.... Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, located in the pristine south of the Maldives, has been recognised in two categories at the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2013 – becoming the only resort in Maldives to be awarded for both sustainability and design. Hadahaa won ‘Best Sustainable Hotel Asia Pacific’, and was also Highly Commended in the coveted ‘Hotel Architecture Maldives’ category.

The Hyatt Group’s first property in the Indian Ocean, Hadahaa is located in the heart of one of the largest and deepest natural atolls in the world. The resort is therefore wholly committed to protecting this environment and reducing its impact on nature, though while still offering the highest levels of luxury and design. The first property in the Maldives to adhere to EarthCheck Planning and Design standards, Hadahaa’s responsibility to the environment has been considered at every stage, and demonstrates that luxury lifestyle can complement environmental responsibility.

The Asia Pacific Hotel Awards are part of the long established International Hotel Awards. These identify the highest levels of achievement in hotel construction and design, architecture, interior design and marketing in the global hospitality industry, focusing on services, sustainability, ergonomics, originality and creativity.

Later this year, the winners from the Asia Pacific region will compete against other winning properties from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Arabia to find the ultimate World’s Best in each category at The International Hotel Awards 2013. This gala event will be hosted in London in November, to coincide with the World Travel Market. The Asia Pacific region has an enviable record of achievement at international level, having scooped six World’s Best Awards in 2012: nearly half of the competition’s awards.

Stuart Shield, President of The International Hotel Awards, said: “The entries that we receive from the Asia Pacific region become more impressive year after year. The winning companies have proven exceptional levels of competence in their field and will be tough to beat in the International Hotel Awards final in London.”

Julian Moore, General Manager at Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, commented: ”We are extremely proud of this achievement. The Asia Pacific region is a highly competitive hospitality arena, and we are delighted to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to sustainability and for our outstanding architecture.”

In 2012, Hadahaa won the coveted Green GOOD DESIGN Award and achieved Silver EarthCheck Certification – becoming one of only three resorts in the Maldives to be certified to this level. In 2013, Hadahaa was accepted into the prestigious Virtuoso portfolio and was recognised by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence.

Conrad Maldives makes it possible to take a virtual holiday in the Maldives

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Picking the perfect paradise becomes easier with the launch of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s 360-degree virtual tour.  Guests planning to stay at the resort – and even those only dreaming of a trip to the Maldives – can enjoy a virtual holiday at Conrad Maldives by visiting the 360-degree site:

“The quality of these 360-degree photos is inspiring and will help guests decide which villa is perfect for them,” said general manager Peter Nilsson.  “Every little detail is visible: you can see a manta swimming over Ithaa undersea restaurant and you can stand on the beach and watch the sun setting into the ocean.  It really feels as though you’re here”.

The tour begins in the resort’s underwater restaurant and allows the online visitor to walk around the luxury resort’s two islands, peep inside villas, check out the two spas, wander into restaurants and even take in views of the beaches and swimming pools.  The tour starts in the famous underwater restaurant where viewers can spot both an eagle ray and a manta ray which were swimming past the restaurant as the picture was taken.

MATATO extends deadline to participate in Maldives Travel Awards

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Due to the request from many interested participants the organizer and executive board of Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) have extended the participation deadline. The new deadline for participation at Maldives Travel Awards this year is 30th June 2013.
Nomination Kit for participating at Maldives Travel Awards 2013 is available for download on

As per the event organizer they have already received participation from some local brands and international brands. However due to request from many and to provide the opportunity to take part, the event organizer have decided to extend the deadline with the consultation of MATATO’s award committee members.

The event is organized and managed by Highrise and scheduled to host the grand finale at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort of Sun Hotels in early December.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi launches ‘Welcome to Wellness’

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From June 2013 Jumeirah Dhevanafushi, situated in a privileged and secluded location at the southernmost tip of the Maldives, will give guests the opportunity to further distance themselves from the frenzy of modern life with a new ‘Welcome to Wellness’ package.

A true secret hideaway in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is the ultimate relaxation and wellbeing retreat. Upon booking, guests will be contacted by the hotel’s dedicated wellbeing team to highlight any particular concerns; whether suffering stress, concerned about vitamin balance or looking for an energy boost, guests will benefit from the holistic approach of the experts at Dhevanafushi to help them unwind and get back on top form.

Each day in this dream holiday destination will begin with a fresh smoothie, delivered to the guest’s villa door, specially tailored to provide a much-needed nudge towards good health. Then head to a choice of scenic island locations for a personalised tutorial with the resort’s specialist yoga master as the sun rises.

Talise Spa at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
The peaceful Talise Spa is the perfect place to continue the stress-free schedule. Suspended over the gently rippling waves, the 3 private over-water treatment rooms are generously equipped with water-views, space for couples’ treatments, and hammam, steam and sauna incorporated into the areas for complete privacy. Enjoy a complimentary foot massage followed by a consultation with the knowledgeable staff for a selection of tailor-made and signature rituals to assist in achieving a healthful physical, mental and spiritual balance.

House Reef at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
Every villa on the island, whether beach or water based, comes complete with its own private pool and day beds, so guests can soak up the sun or splash their stresses away in absolute privacy. And with snorkelling equipment provided free of charge, there’s every opportunity to explore the vibrant underwater coral gardens famed for their abundance of fish and turtles. Your personal butler will be happy to snorkel with you as an expert guide to identify underwater sights. Fishing, a PADI 5-star dive centre, sailing, kite-surfing, and water-skiing are available to keep guests active and revitalised. The main island also features a 70m² fully equipped over-water gym, with a complimentary personal training session to help shake off the travel tiredness.

Begin your evenings in paradise with a complimentary super juice to reflect as the sun sets. Then opt for international cuisine at Azara, seafood and grill specialties at Mumayaz, or fine dining at Johara, where every menu will incorporate the freshest locally sourced ingredients available. Guests can relax as they relish the rarity of treating themselves to healthful food they can enjoy throughout their stay.

The ‘Welcome to Wellness’ Package is available from June 2013, and is priced from 1200 USD per villa per night.

Kurumba Maldives completes second stage of refurbishment

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Kurumba, is an icon of Maldives being the very first tourist Resort and forty years young. Kurumba over this time has been a resort to produce many firsts for the Maldives. First resort, first resort pool, first pool villa, first therapeutic spa, first resort, first with multiple restaurants and first five star resort.  Kurumba is renowned for reinventing itself whilst not losing perspective of its heritage with her humble beginnings.

Over the past two years, Kurumba has had a philosophy of continual improvement and upgrades investing more that USD3 Million in upgrading the facilities to provide the best value star resort in the Maldives.

The aim of the investment was to make for a contemporary feel whilst being true to our Maldivian history. During this period of revitalization, most rooms and villas have been refurbished, public areas have been refreshed with a new vibrancy and the heart of house in a stage of continual improvement.

Key area’s that were refreshed with that the Garden Villas were transformed in Garden Pool Villas, Presidential Suites upgraded to stunning Presidential Pool Villas, Pool Villas enhanced to Deluxe Pool Villas and the Superior Rooms enriched with open bathroom and refreshing furnishings.

The guest journey is now one of the most unique experiences in the Maldives and  has been enhanced with a series of small touches with a Maldivian twist the highlight the new branding, being Maldives in Full Colour. Guest at Kurumba can experience the traditional Maldives experiences such as Maldivian Cooking demonstrations, learn to paint with a traditional Maldivian artist, enjoy Maldivian spa treatments and experience some of the history and Kurumba’s famous guest cocktails just to name a few.

Maldives Promotion House – At this stage of the revitalisation, Kurumba Maldives has launched a dramatic new corporate identity to introduce its refurbishment and align to its vibrant ambiance.

Incorporating a whimsical paintbrush effect and contemporary typography, The Maldives in Full Colour identity plays on Kurumba’s dynamic and vibrant personality, talking directly to its rich 40-year history, uniquely colourful character and multi-dimensional offering.

The new identity, created by specialist brand and communications agency QUO, will be brought to life through the resort’s new website, a brand movie and in all resort collateral.

Said Mr. MU Maniku, Chairman of Universal Enterprises: “Kurumba is an icon in the Maldives and our mission is to maintain its position as a shining light for our destination. We are immensely proud of our history, while at the same time are dedicated to a philosophy of continual improvement, ensuring we can continue to offer an innovative guest experience.

So far, reaction to the refurbishment has been exceptional, with guests responding extremely positively to the changes

Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy 2013 26 August to 2 September 2013

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This August, Four Seasons Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy is returning for its third successive year, pitching six ex-world champions in a USD 25,000 showdown that has fast gained a reputation as the world's most luxurious surfing event.

This year's competition will see the hotly anticipated return of Australian surfing legend and two-time world champion, Damien "Dooma" Hardman (Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia), to defend his title in the unique contest that pits world legends across three divisions of surfboard: retro single-fins, twin-fins and contemporary triple-fin thrusters.. 

"Goofy-footer" Hardman admitted he was "thrilled" to be returning to Kuda Huraa – and not just for the surfing. "It's great to be returning to Kuda Huraa's luxurious surrounds that I'll get to share with my wife Belinda, and she's as excited as me," he commented. "That being said, I'll be gunning for the Champions Trophy and the USD 25,000 prize money for sure!" 

Organised in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers Tropicsurf of Noosa, Australia, this year's event will once again simultaneously feature Four Seasons Maldives Domestic Champions Trophy – a thrilling showcase of local talent that last year saw Hussain Areef, the country's reigning national champion, scoop MVR 25,000. 

Both the Surfing Champions and Domestic Champions contests are hosted aboard the luxury Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives' ultimate surf vessel. And with all competitors, judges and spectators staying on the 96-bungalow private island resort of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, the camaraderie on the water spills onto the beach each night around cocktails and dinner. 

This year, groups of surfers wishing to travel to Kuda Huraa to experience the competition can book the Resort's new all-inclusive five or seven-night Group Surf and Stay package. Available for a minimum booking of four rooms for five or seven nights, the package includes competition day passes aboard the luxury surf vessel Four Seasons Explorer, full board and transfers, and five or seven days of intense surfing with Tropicsurf's expert guides. Back on land, groups will also get to rub shoulders with their surfing heroes while relaxing in one of the Maldives top resorts – voted number one in the Maldives in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2012. 

Commenting on this year's contest, Event Coordinator Mark Winson of Tropicsurf said: "Now in its third year, we are gearing up for the best competition yet. A stellar field of international competitors is being assembled from every corner of the globe as we speak. World champion surfers are lining up not just for a chance to scoop USD 25,000 in prize money, but also to revel in Kuda Huraa's relaxed vibe and enchanting island life. This is an event like no other in the world." 

Limited day passes will be available (at a fee) for non-package guests and members of the public wishing to view the event from Four Seasons Explorer.

Civil Court injunction prevents government takeover of Alidhoo, Kudarah resorts

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The Tourism Ministry has been prevented from taking control of resort properties operated by Yacht Tours Maldives under a Civil Court injunction issued yesterday (June 4), pending a final ruling on a long-running dispute over unpaid rent.

J Hotels and Resorts, a company owned by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Jabir, went to the Civil Court yesterday to contest the government’s right to reclaim the two resorts over allegations the company had failed to settle rent payments and fines totalling some US$7 million (MVR 107 million).

The company has claimed that the vast majority of the outstanding payment is the result of fines issued by the state during the ongoing payment dispute.

The government has sought to revoke the lease for Alidhoo Resort in Haa Alif Atoll and Kudarah Island Resort in South Alifu Atoll from J Hotels and Resorts’ parent company Yacht Tours Maldives since late last year.  The state had previously provided the operator a seven day period to hand over the properties.

However, Yacht Tours Maldives has continued to contest the government’s right to reclaim the land.

“Unlawful cancellation”
Yacht Tours Director Ibrahim Shiham said that the Civil Court injunction issued last night suspended what he alleged was the government’s “unlawful cancellation” of its lease for the two resorts until a ruling was made on the company’s dispute over rent payments.
Speaking to Minivan News, Shiham accused the government of trying to come on to the Kudarah resort property on Monday (June 3) without a court warrant to take back the property, alleging authorities had sought to create a “political drama” out of the case.
He claimed that authorities were refused entry by around “three or four people” on the island, despite local media reports citing a ministry source as claimingthat around 50 people had attempted to block their arrival at the resort’s jetty area.
The Tourism Ministry has alleged to Sun Online that Yacht Tours had continuously failed to pay back the rent and fines in installments as previously agreed following the first termination notice.
Yacht Tours meanwhile claimed that uncertainty as a result of the Tourism Ministry’s actions had seen occupancy rates at Alidhoo Resort fall from over 60 per cent in recent weeks to just 11 percent yesterday due to cancelled bookings.
Shiham has alleged that company was being unfairly punished as a result of an “internal argument” between the Ministry of Tourism and the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) over whether to accept an advance payment previously paid by Yacht Tours to cover rent owed to authorities.
He added that under amendments made to tourism regulations back in 2011, a long-term US$1.5 million dollars (MVR 23 million) rent advance for the island of Watavarreha was no longer required to be paid all at once, making the company eligible for a repayment.
Earlier this year, Yacht Tours released documents and transcripts of official letters to media showing it had requested then Minister of Tourism Dr Mariyam Zulfa to transfer a refundable payment from the Watavarreha advance to cover payments owed for Kudarah and Alidhoo.
A follow-up letter, dated August 21, 2011, stated that according to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), the government owed the company US$1,115,374 (MVR 17,176,760).  At the same time, the company was said to owe a total amount of US$1,300,418 (MVR19.9 million) in charges for the three resorts to the state.
Shiham said that the Tourism Ministry under the previous government of former President Mohamed Nasheed had requested MIRA process the payment accordingly.
“However, MIRA did not wish to do this. This has become an internal argument that is nothing to do with us,” he said. “We believe the Tourism Ministry has the authority on this matter.”
Shiham added that as the payments were not related to service taxes that were required to be paid directly to MIRA, the matter of rent should be decided by the Tourism Ministry itself.
With the controversial change of government overnight on February 7, 2012, Yacht Tours has claimed that its agreement was further complicated, leading to MIRA filing a court case against the company.
Speaking to Minivan News this week, former Tourism Minister Dr Zulfa confirmed that Yacht Tours had previously requested the Finance Ministry use the advance payment for Watawarreha Island to cover rent payments for its other properties that were in arrears.
“As a matter of law, I advised the then Finance Minister Mr [Ahmed] Inaz that there was nothing barring such as adjustment since all the resort properties were under the same company name,” she said.
Dr Zulfa added that the company separately requested a refund on the funds paid for Watawarreha, despite the land tax legislation at the time being collected correctly by the government.  She added that the advance payment was designed to have been deducted by the government from payable rent.
“I did advise Mr Jabir to submit the matter to court for a legal determination if he felt that the advance payment was rendered unfair and I think he duly did,” she said. “I hope it is clear that the government of President Nasheed did not agree to the refund, but merely advised that an adjustment in rent across all resort-properties leased to Yacht Tours regardless of what island such advance was paid for was possible, because of course they were leased to the same company.”
Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb was not responding to calls from the Minivan News at  time of press. Deputy Tourism Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal was out of the country.
Termination notice
Minister Adheeb earlier this year rejected allegations that the Tourism Ministry was singling out certain resort operators in terms of treatment, adding that each property was required to pay rent or face receiving a termination notice.
Adheeb claimed that when he first took up his position following February’s controversial transfer of power, there were 12 resorts found to be not paying rent at the time.
“We are not tolerating resorts who do not pay rent, any operating resort has to pay. Those who are not paying already have the termination notice. This culture has to go, by the end of this year all resorts will be paying and it will become a more stable industry,” he said at the time.
At a press conference held on December 31, 2012, Adheeb said that resort operator Yacht Tours had been sent termination notices for both Alidhoo and Kudarah resorts, with a seven day period for handover.
He added that while the ministry had come to a payment system agreement with a number of other companies, Yacht Tours had sent no official written communication in regard to the payment of outstanding rents.
The claims were later rejected by Yacht Tours, which in turn alleged that the ministry had failed to respond to its correspondence on the matter of rent payments, leading it to take legal action to resolve the dispute.

Top 5 Maldives Luxury Honeymoon Villas

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Going on a perfect honeymoon is every couple’s dream. But going on a perfect honeymoon is not as easy as it sounds. You have to consider a lot and decide on a lot of before you get enjoy the vacation of your life. Careful planning on where to go, what resort to stay in, what villa to choose, the amount privacy offered, how long you are going to stay, considering all of these may seem rather daunting a task. Well, we at Alpha Maldives have made it easier for you. If you are thinking of a romantic getaway in a Luxury Maldives Resort, we have done your homework for you. Luxury Villas in Maldives have won multiple awards for being the best honeymoon destinations on various occasions. So we have handpicked the best of the best that cater to the honeymooning couple’s specific needs.

A luxury villa in Maldives is definitely one of the most excellent places in the world you can choose to spend your special time in. In selecting these villas as the best honeymoon luxury villas in Maldives we considered valuable feedback from our customers and asked them what they thought of the villas. We listened to what our experienced travel consultants had to say about each and every one of these villas. Our travel consultants have visited all the villas and experienced what each of these luxury villas had to offer selected the best.

Here are the Top 5 Maldives Luxury Honeymoon Villas by Alpha Maldives.

1. Over-Water Pool Villa @ Anantara Kihavah Resort
Offering bright open room, private pool and sun deck this over water pool villa is definitely worth a consideration by all newlyweds dreaming of the perfect honeymoon. Watch the sun dip in the horizon as you lay cuddled up with your spouse. Nothing can be more romantic like watching the sunset together with ... Read More | Starting from $724 pppn

2. Crusoe Residences @ Gili Lankanfushi Resort

Enjoy your honeymoon in total privacy in this stand alone residence that can only be accessed by rowing boat or pontoon boat shuttle. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze from the Indian Ocean while you cozy up to your lover in the most isolated of locations. This beautifully detailed residence is crafted in an environmentally friendly...
Read More | Starting from $857 pppn

3. Water Villa @ Constance Halaveli

This beautiful wooden water villa is very secluded and offers a luxury environment that is perfect for a romantic getaway. The villa is designed using only natural materials that integrate modern design and nature in a way that makes them truly unique. Privacy, beautiful interior designs, excellent views and plenty of ...
Read More | Starting from $485 pppn

4. Ocean Oasis Lagoon View @ W Retreat Maldives

Ocean Oasis Lagoon View is a one bedroom retreat overlooking a beautiful turquoise lagoon offering one of the most unique beauty Maldives has to offer. The glass-bottom floor keep you close to the marine life while the sundeck offers complete privacy while you bask in the glorious sun. With a king-sized signature W bed...
Read More | Starting from $761 pppn

5. Ocean Revives @ Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
Ocean Revives offer vast interior that perfectly complements the private deck with steps leading into the ocean. Offering a total of 270sqm, and a deluxe king sized bed (2M X 2M), a honeymoon in this villa will certainly be memorable. Relax and enjoy in style with your spouse because the Sunset Ocean Revive will... Read More | Starting from $812 pppn