Sun Island wins awards for Leading Family Resort in South Asia, Maldives

Sun Island Resort and Spa has won the award for Leading Family Hotel/Resort in South Asia and Leading Family Hotel/Resort in Maldives.

At the South Asian Travel Awards (SATA) Gala and Awards ceremony held at the Equator Village in the southernmost Maldives atoll of Addu on October 28, the awards were accepted by Sun Island’s General Manager Dr Abdulla Mausoom.

Located at the southern tip of South Ari Atoll, Sun Island is accessible by a 17-minute domestic flight from the main Velana International Airport to the Villa International Airport in the island of Maamigili followed by a short speedboat ride.

A flowering jewel amongst Maldives family hotels, Sun Island offers accommodation in 106 Standard Beach Bungalows, 218 Superior Beach Bungalows, 36 Sun Villas, 30 Sunset Villas, 64 Water Bungalows and four Presidential Suites, making it the largest resort in the Maldives.

The luxurious resort, owned and managed by leading local hotel operator Villa Hotels and Resorts, features nine dining options. Local and international buffet spreads are available at Maaniyaa Restaurant. Barbecued seafood is served at Guraamuli Grill Terrace and Italian cuisine is available at Ristorante Il Pontile. Alternatively, Thai dishes can be found at Sun Star, and refreshing beverages at Mekunu Bar.

Sun Island houses an Araamu Spa retreat, which offers a wide range of relaxation options and invigorating treatments, including aromatherapy, reflexology, Indian Ayurvedic therapy, and body scrubs and facials.

The resort also offers a variety of recreational facilities, including a PADI-accredited dive centre, table tennis, football, tennis and basketball as well as water sports facilities.

The SATA 2017 Gala Retreat was held at Equator Village in Addu. The retreat was stretched to three days starting Friday, with SATA Opportunity networking event, SATA Gala and Awards ceremony, and a tour of Addu for the participants.

More than 414 nominations from the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal were received for the 39 categories included in this year’s edition of SATA. Online voting and judging by a panel of experts concluded in September.

Top hospitality brands operating in all the participating countries competed for the awards, with India represented by The Leela, Thaj Whitefield, Forest Canopy, Intersight, Mulberry Holidays, Holiday Kerala, Courtyard Marriot, Fragrant Nature, Sheraton Grande and Spice Jet.

Sri Lankan brands that vied to be recognised at a regional level include Cinnamon Hotels, Movenpick and SriLankan Airlines.

Shangri-La, Barahi, Mulberry, Himalaya Airline, Annafurna and Tashi Namgay Resort competed from Bhutan and Nepal.

Brands that were nominated from the host Maldives include Soneva, Amilla Fushi, Jumeira, Villa Hotels, LUX*, Adaaran Resorts, Voyages Maldives, Inner Maldives Maldives, Cocoon Maldives, John Keells Maldives Resorts, Summer Island Maldives, Embudu Village and Maldivian Airlines.

Launched last year by Maldives-based event management company Highrise, SATA has been endorsed by regional tourism authorities and organisations, including the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Colombo Chamber of Commerce (CCC), Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Confederation of Associated Tour Operators (India), Association of Travel Agents (ATA) Maldives, Association of Travel and Tour Operators India (ATTOI), Association of Professionals in Tourism (APT, India), Kerala Hotel General Managers Club (KHGMC), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Liveaboard Association of Maldives (LAM).

SATA is the first ever regional travel awards endorsed by multi national associations, providing the tourism sector of the South Asian region with recognition towards their facilities and service excellence. It aims to encourage and raise service standards in the region’s tourism industry.

The awards’ first edition, which wrapped up with a gala ceremony at the iconic Mount Lavinia Hotel in Sri Lanka, saw an overwhelming support with more than 260 nominations. Major travel media organisations, including Maldives Insider, Asian Traveller, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver and Floating Asia were appointed as media partners of SATA 2016.

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