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Sunny Garcia and Taylor Jensen join the world class line up for Surfing Champions Trophy 2014



Surfing – It just keeps getting better and better! The line up for the 2014 Surfing Champions Trophy is almost complete.  Sunny Garcia (USA) and Taylor Jensen (USA) have just been confirmed to battle the Maldives’ breaks alongside David “Rasta” Rastovich (Australia), Fabio Gouveia (Brazil) and defending champion Taylor “TK” Knox (USA) in the world’s most luxurious surf contest.  And, anticipation is growing on who will claim the sixth and final spot.

Hawaii born, fiercely competitive, and coined “the world’s most elegant tube rider,” Sunny Garcia was the second pro surfer to rack up more than USD 1 million in prize money.  His top surfing moments include ASP WCT World Champion 2000, the record for the most WQS wins (22) and winning six Triple Crown of Surfing titles (more than any other surfer in history).

Dubbed “Sunny” as a child for his happy disposition, his competitive public image is balanced by his private fun-loving playfulness. Having overcome more than his fair share of challenges throughout his career, Sunny today uses the spotlight to champion various causes that are important to him.  En route to the Maldives, he’ll be travelling from Hawaii via California to support the Mauli Ola Foundation Surf Experience Days, which help children with cystic fibrosis.

Sunny comments, “I’m honoured to be competing against such esteemed world champions, but competition aside, my wife and I can’t wait to enjoy some Four Seasons luxury in the beautiful Maldives – I’ve been to the Maldives before and simply can’t wait to get back to paradise!”

One of the most pioneering longboarders of all time, California native Taylor Jensen has won every major pro-longboarding tournament around the world at least once.  The long list includes two ASP World titles, four ASP North America titles and three Australasian regional titles.  While famous for pushing the limits of a longboard, Taylor can ride just about anything, ever on the quest for creative ways to cherish the ocean.  His passion for different wave crafts – traditional, single fin longboards, modern shortboards and alaias – sets him up to be the dark horse of the competition.  Not to mention the fact that his future father-in-law, Nat Young, and two best friends – Josh Constable and Phil Rajzman – have had firsthand experience taking part in previous years.

“I’m really stoked to be able to take part in such a cool and unique event,” says Taylor, who will be travelling to the Maldives with his equally stylish surfer fiancé, Nava. “The opportunity to share the waves with some of my heroes, surfing head-to-head against them, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Maldives is an incredible surf destination and the accommodations look amazing so I’m sure it will be one of the best trips of my life!”

The Surfing Champions Trophy

Now in its fourth year, the boutique invitation-only competition needs little introduction as it continues to gain momentum as one of the coolest pro surfer – and spectator – tickets around. Hosted in conjunction with luxury surf pioneers Tropicsurf aboard the Maldives ultimate surf vessel, Four Seasons Explorer, the unique event sees six ex-world champions ride it out on single-fin, twin-fin and triple-fin thrusters to win teammate kudos and USD 25,000 prize money.

The event runs alongside Four Seasons Maldives Domestic Champions Trophy, where the best local talent attempt to upstage the pros with their “home wave” knowledge and next generation maverick skills – plus the chance to scoop MVR 25,000.

Surf fans can book the all-inclusive Group Surf & Stay (available from August 4 to 11 for a minimum booking of four rooms for five or seven nights). In addition to competition day passes, full board and transfers, Group Surf & Stay includes five or seven days of intense surfing with Tropicsurf’s expert guides, plus the chance to rub shoulders with all the Surfing Champions contestants in Kuda Huraa’s award-winning surrounds.


Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives



When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and  luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure,  cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an  ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa  Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences. 

Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited  Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in  transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an  insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and  more. 

The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of  its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a  beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring  treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their  hearts long after their journey ends. 

Discover the roots at the Kendhoo 

Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences  weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes,  Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab,  and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets, 

indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar. 

Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo 

On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art  of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through  hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats,  and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging. 

Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo 

Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for  its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this  ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the  Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations. 

Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir  of their tropical getaway. 

Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu 

At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine  life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter  graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe. 

Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo 

Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian  poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing  emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired  by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world  where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.  

To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit

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InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024



After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.

The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.

The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”

This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.

The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.

For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.

The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.

To book the Manta Retreat or for more information, visit InterContinental Maldives Sustainability or contact the reservations team at or on WhatsApp at +960 730 9300.

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Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth



In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.

More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.

As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.

Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.

Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.

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