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The Residence by Cenizaro to open its second hotel in the Maldives in Summer 2016



The Residence by Cenizaro – The Residence by Cenizaro will strengthen its portfolio of hotels with the opening of The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah in summer 2016.  The announcement follows the opening of The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi in 2012 and a new brand positioning for Cenizaro Hotels & Resorts – the leading international hospitality company.

The opening will bring The Residence by Cenizaro to five hotels and resorts.  Its current portfolio comprises four luxurious hotels in Mauritius, Tunis, Zanzibar and the Maldives.  Further expansion is planned over the next three years with; two hotels in Tunisia – Douz and The Medina of Tunis and one in Bintan, Indonesia.

Both Maldivian properties lie in the south of the archipelago, in Gaafu Alifu atoll.  Although on different islands they will be exclusively linked by a bridge and together the two resorts will form one of the largest resort offerings in the Maldives.

Like all Residence hotels, The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah will draw on the philosophy for which The Residence is renowned – heartfelt hospitality, a sense of place, acute attention to detail and an individual personality.  However, close to three times larger than the more intimate offering of The Residence at Falhumaafushi, Dhigurah is being created specifically with families in mind.  A playground for younger guests, there will be plenty of space to explore and learn.  There will be 173 expansive beach and water villas which will enjoy plenty of natural light and the use of warming rich and natural tones of stone and wood will create a luxurious but welcoming atmosphere.

There will be a Spa by Clarins with individual thatched roofed spa pavilions and the pièce de résistance Li Bai, a stunning Cantonese restaurant and sister to the renowned Li Bai at Sheraton Towers in Singapore.

The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah’s location will also attract snorkellers and divers.  The atoll escaped the effects of the 1988 El Nino when the warming of the seas damaged much of the coral elsewhere in the archipelago so the hotel is surrounded by dramatic reefs, more than 250 species of coral and 1,200 species of marine life.  Spinner and bottlenose dolphins, green turtles, manta and eagle rays as well as the more unusual ribbon eels, leaf, frog and ghost pipe fish have all been spotted in the area.

The service as always, will be exemplary and the generous proportions and space of the reception areas and rooms greet guests with an overwhelming sense of grandeur and a feeling of warmth.

Gary Xie, Director for Cenizaro Hotels & Resorts said:   “With The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah we are creating a new offering for our guests.  The hotel will – as always – be an authentic expression of The Residence philosophy; with its own story to tell and a combination of both Maldivian and global influences that will give it a unique sense of place.  But, with The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah, we want to create a hotel that is both the perfect place to relax but is also the ideal spot for families to let loose and have fun.   He adds, “It is a really exciting time for The Residence by Cenizaro as we look to expand the portfolio and we are truly excited with this new opening.”


SO/ Maldives nominated for Condé Nast Traveler’s 2024 Readers’ Choice Awards



SO/ Maldives, the luxurious island retreat nestled within the Emboodhoo Lagoon, has been nominated for the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler’s 2024 Readers’ Choice Awards in the ‘Resorts’ category. This recognition reflects the resort’s dedication to exceptional hospitality and creating unforgettable guest experiences.

Since opening its doors in November 2023, SO/ Maldives has captivated travelers with its cutting-edge design, world-class cuisine, and immersive cultural experiences. The resort recently celebrated its grand opening on March 23, 2024, with a spectacular party themed “An Invite to the Front Row,” marking a significant moment in Maldivian hospitality.

The grand opening was a feast for the senses, showcasing a blend of international collaborations, artistic expression, and Maldivian charm, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Emboodhoo Lagoon. Guests enjoyed an unforgettable evening featuring haute couture, culinary artistry, live entertainment, and exclusive wellness retreats.

Collaboration Highlights:

  • Fashion Extravaganza: SO/ Maldives hosted one of the first international fashion shows in the Maldives, partnering with renowned Thai fashion house Milin. The island’s couture transformed into an oceanfront runway, showcasing Milin’s swimwear collection amidst the paradise setting.
  • Celebrating Local Talent: In collaboration with Maldivian high fashion brand Riffath, SO/ Maldives unveiled its exclusive Flying Dress Edits, highlighting local talent and culture. Guests participated in a bespoke photo and drone shooting experience, capturing memories against the breathtaking Maldivian scenery.
  • Culinary Delights: Acclaimed Chef Dharshan Munidasa curated a groundbreaking menu, fusing global culinary experiences with exquisite flavors from his renowned restaurants. Award-winning bartender Jenna Hemsworth further elevated the experience with expertly crafted cocktails.
  • Musical Performances: The evening was amplified by live performances from world-class musicians and DJs, including Maldivian band Project Groove, Thai sensation Lydia Sarunrat Deane, and DJ Basil from Dubai, culminating in an electrifying after-party.
  • Wellness and Fitness Retreats: Guests embarked on transformative journeys with week-long detox sessions by Jumping® Fitness and rejuvenating spa experiences by London-based partner Salon C. Stellar.
  • Earth Hour Celebration: Embracing eco-conscious revelry, SO/ Maldives invited guests to connect with nature during a beach bonfire with traditional Maldivian Boduberu performances under the starlit sky.
  • Culinary Finale: The evening concluded with a lavish beach buffet, celebrating luxury and culinary delight under the serene Maldivian night.

SO/ Maldives expresses its sincere gratitude to Condé Nast Traveler and its readers for the prestigious nomination. The resort remains committed to redefining luxury hospitality in the Maldives.

Voting for the Readers’ Choice Awards closes on June 30th at 11:59 PM EDT. Cast your vote now and help SO/ Maldives win!

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Guinness world record holder Nathaniel Alapide creates sand art drawing at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi



Dubai-based and renowned sand artist Nathaniel Alapide, Guinness World Record holder of the largest sand image, astounded guests with his latest masterpiece created at the breathtaking Sun Siyam Iru Fushi. Alapide, known for his intricate and mesmerizing sand art creations, chose the pristine shores of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi as his canvas for his latest collaboration last 12th of April in celebration of Eid Al Fitr.

Prior to his visit to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Alapide has brought to life an awe-inspiring piece of art, showcasing his exceptional talent and creativity to various Sun Siyam Resort in celebration of Easter as well, with the expansive beach of the resort serving as his canvas. Drawing inspiration from the natural beauty surrounding him, Alapide embarked on a journey to encapsulate the essence of the Maldives in his artwork.

Under the radiant Maldivian sun and against the backdrop of turquoise waters, Alapide meticulously crafted his sand art, incorporating elements of local culture, marine life, and the serene ambiance of the island. Utilizing only his hands and simple tools, Alapide’s deft touch transformed the grains of sand into a breathtaking visual spectacle.

Speaking about his experience, Nathaniel Alapide expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to create art in such a picturesque setting. “Working at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi has been an incredible experience. The natural beauty of the Maldives served as the perfect inspiration for my artwork. I am honored to have had the opportunity to share my passion with guests from around the world.”

Witnessed by awe-inspired guests and visitors, Alapide’s creation at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi transcended the boundaries of traditional art forms, embodying the ephemeral beauty and harmony of nature. The intricate details and sheer scale of the sand art left onlookers in awe, capturing the essence of the Maldives’ enchanting allure.

Resort Manager, Abdulla Atham also expressed his delight at hosting Nathaniel Alapide and witnessing his extraordinary talent firsthand. “We are thrilled to have had Nathaniel Alapide create one of his magnificent sand art pieces at our resort. His ability to capture the essence of the Maldives in his artwork is truly remarkable and aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing unforgettable experiences for our guests.”

Nathaniel Alapide’s sand art creation at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi serves as a testament to the power of art to transcend boundaries and evoke emotions. As the sun sets over the horizon, casting its golden light upon the masterpiece, it stands as a symbol of the harmonious blend of nature and creativity.

To book your stay at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi this summer, visit

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Soneva Secret whispers: Bespoke luxury unveiled in Haa Dhaalu Atoll



Soneva, the hospitality group synonymous with sustainable luxury, has unveiled its newest masterpiece: Soneva Secret. Nestled in the Maldives’ pristine Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Soneva Secret promises an unparalleled level of bespoke experiences.

Three decades in the making, the resort elevates personalized service to new heights. Accessible by seaplane or speedboat, Soneva Secret boasts 14 stunning beach and overwater villas. These havens seamlessly blend with the breathtaking natural beauty, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

Unparalleled Service and Bespoke Culinary Experiences

Guests are treated to unparalleled attention with dedicated teams assigned to each villa. A “barefoot guardian” and “barefoot assistant” cater to every need, while a private chef curates bespoke menus for in-villa dining or unforgettable al fresco experiences at scenic island locations.

Six unique villa types are available, including the Crusoe and Castaway Villas, meticulously designed to harmonize with the untouched environment. Encounters with manta rays, dolphins, and even whale sharks promise unforgettable memories.

Soneve Secret 1

Luxury Beyond Accommodation

Soneva Secret goes beyond luxurious accommodations. Guests can embark on curated experiences, from indulging in gourmet delights at the unique “Out of This World” dining tower to enjoying toes-in-the-sand dining at the “So Primitive” firepit.

The resort’s central hub, The Living Room, offers casual dining, a well-stocked library, a boutique, and Soneva’s renowned ice cream, chocolate, cheese, and charcuterie rooms.

Tailored Adventures and Sustainability Efforts

Guests can choose from a variety of tailored tours and experiences, from sunset dolphin cruises to guided snorkeling with marine biologists. The resort’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its construction and operations. Fresh herbs and vegetables are grown on-site, promoting a paddock-to-plate dining experience. Additionally, Soneva Secret utilizes water production facilities and solar energy to minimize its environmental footprint.

Partnering with the Soneva Foundation Coral Restoration project, the resort houses a coral nursery, actively contributing to the rejuvenation of the marine ecosystem. Environmentally conscious mosquito traps ensure a comfortable stay while protecting the local environment.

Soneva Secret offers a haven of bespoke luxury, exceptional service, and unforgettable experiences, all while prioritizing the preservation of its idyllic island setting.

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