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Hulhule Island Hotel wins Best Culinary Establishment again at the Culinary Challenge 2016



Maldives Olympians along with Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – General Manager, HIH and the Winners of Best Culinary Establishment – 2016 Seated (L to R): Mr. Ravi - Executive Chef, HIH, Mr. Mare’ – General Secretary, Maldives Olympic Committee, Mr. Hassan Saaid – Olympian representing Maldives, Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – GM, HIH, Ms. Aminath Shajan – Olympian representing Maldives, Mr. Ismail Farhan – National Swimming Coach & Mr. K.K. Bajpai – F&B Manager, HIH

Maldives Olympians along with Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – General Manager, HIH and the Winners of Best Culinary Establishment – 2016 – Come August and we are in for Culinary Competitions at Maldives. However, the Culinary Team at HIH remains quality focussed round the year to be able to win laurels in these competitions. It keeps abreast with the ever changing trends in food and beverage industry, challenging their own previously set benchmarks and creative skills.

This year has been no different for HIH Culinary Team. At the recently concluded FHAM Culinary Challenge, Hulhule Island Hotel bagged the most prestigious award of the ‘Best Culinary Establishment – 2016’.

Team Hulhule Island Hotel’s tally of winning medals in various categories was extremely impressive with a total of 4 Top Honours’ Trophies, 5 Gold Medals, 9 Silver Medals, 18 Bronze Medals and a plethora of Return Tickets, Certificates, Cash Prizes and goodies.

This being the 7th time Hulhule Island Hotel, Maldives was adjudged the ‘Best Culinary Establishment’ in Maldives, is a testament to the exceptional quality of food and beverage offered.

To celebrate the success of these achievements at the Culinary Challenge, commemorating the 16th Anniversary of HIH and aligning it with the participation of Maldives in the recently concluded Rio Olympics, a special function was organized at the Ballroom of HIH on August 30, 2016. The dignitaries gracing the occasion were the national heroes who represented the Maldives at the Olympics – Mr. Hassan Saaid, excelled at 2015 Indian Ocean Island Games & 2016 South Asian Games and Ms. Aminath Shajan, excelled at the South Asian Games & is the current national record holder in swimming. Mr. Marzooq, General Secretary of Maldives Olympic Committee and Mr. Ismail Farhan, the National Swimming Coach were also in attendance.

It was indeed motivating for the enthusiastic team of HIH to hear from these national heroes on being successful in their career. Mr. Hassan Saaid, Maldives National Athlete at Rio Olympics said, ‘If you have a goal set in mind and if you work hard for that, there is no way you cannot reach that goal. Hard work and focus is important’. Ms. Aminath Shajan, Maldives National Swimmer at Rio Olympics said, ‘There is no shortcut to success! You have to put in a lot of effort with the focus of what you are to achieve’. Mr. Marzooq gave an emotional speech on how struggle and hard work leads to success while thanking HIH for inviting, recognizing and encouraging the Maldives Olympic Squad.

Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar, General Manager HIH congratulated the Culinary Challenge Winners and addressed the entire Team HIH to seek inspiration from the Olympians present, he thanked and congratulated the Maldives Olympic Squad as well. Apart from Mementos presented to the Maldives Olympic Squad, Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar offered Mr. Saaid and Ms. Shajan with complimentary dinner vouchers for Thursday weekend buffet at the signature restaurant Uduvilaa and membership of swimming pool and gymnasium at HIH.

The celebration ended on an equally enjoyable note with Maldivian short-eats, Sharubath on offer and loads of casual interaction and selfies between the celebrity Olympians of Maldives and the jubilant Team HIH.

Photo courtesy Hulhule Island Hotel. Seated (L to R): Mr. Ravi – Executive Chef, HIH, Mr. Mare’ – General Secretary, Maldives Olympic Committee, Mr. Hassan Saaid – Olympian representing Maldives, Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar – GM, HIH, Ms. Aminath Shajan – Olympian representing Maldives, Mr. Ismail Farhan – National Swimming Coach & Mr. K.K. Bajpai – F&B Manager, HIH


Love Takes Flight: Michelin-Starred Space Restaurant Offers Proposals Among the Stars



In a groundbreaking move that redefines the meaning of “romantic getaway,” ApoteoSurprise, a Parisian agency specializing in extravagant proposals, is launching a unique service: an intimate dinner for two in space, culminating in a breathtaking proposal at an altitude of 35 kilometers.

Starting in 2025, lovebirds can embark on this unforgettable experience aboard a specially designed space capsule lifted by a stratospheric balloon. This futuristic capsule boasts top-notch amenities and a central table elegantly set, reminiscent of the finest Parisian restaurants.

Upon arrival at the spaceport, the couple will be greeted by their pilot and ushered into the capsule. There, they’ll be introduced to StellarEmbrace, an AI-powered robot designed to enhance their experience. Equipped with advanced technology, StellarEmbrace will personalize their journey, addressing the woman by name and presenting her with a bouquet of roses before announcing their gourmet space dinner.

As the helium-filled balloon gently lifts the capsule, the couple will be treated to breathtaking 360° views of our planet through the panoramic windows. Reaching an altitude above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere, they’ll witness the curvature of the Earth, the mesmerizing blue halo, and the vast expanse of space, experiencing the profound “overview effect” that astronauts often describe.

Throughout their three-hour journey, StellarEmbrace will serve a delectable five-course meal prepared by a renowned French Michelin-starred chef, accompanied by specially chosen wines and champagne. A curated playlist featuring iconic space-themed songs will further elevate the experience.

Adding a touch of playful anticipation, StellarEmbrace will “interrupt” the meal before dessert, reminding the man of a forgotten item. A luminous box requiring a secret code for access will appear, prompting the man to unlock it. Inside, nestled in a luxurious case, lies an engagement ring. With the breathtaking backdrop of space as his witness, the man can then pop the question, sealing their love story under the starry expanse.

As the capsule gently descends back to Earth, the newly engaged couple will be presented with a recording of their entire adventure, capturing every special moment from their arrival to their emotional farewell.

This extraordinary service, priced at 750,000 euros, offers an unparalleled opportunity for couples to celebrate their love in a truly out-of-this-world setting. ApoteoSurprise is poised to redefine the landscape of romantic experiences, allowing love stories to take flight among the stars.

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Atmosphere Core Redefines Wine Experiences with Global Events and Unique Partnerships



Leading Maldives hospitality group announces 7-country educational wine program tour

Since its launch in 2021, Atmosphere Core’s innovative Wine Program has revolutionized the way travelers experience wine and champagne in the Maldives. This program transcends simply offering premium brands, fostering genuine connections between guests and carefully selected wineries through partnerships and dedicated events.

Global Wine Events Showcase Unique Wine Culture:

Atmosphere Core proudly unveils its 2024 calendar, featuring 16 exclusive wine events across seven countries, kicking off in March and continuing through mid-September. These events span major cities like Madrid, Prague, Frankfurt, Milan, Tokyo, London, and Vienna, offering a taste of the Maldives to travel partners and top-tier media.

Highlighting the Essence of Luxury:

The calendar features a distinct highlight: THE OZEN COLLECTION Champagne Experience at the Westphalia Stadium in Dortmund, Germany, scheduled for September 2024. This unique event showcases the company’s three distinct brands – THE OZEN COLLECTION, COLOURS OF OBLU, and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.

Authentic Wine & Dine Experiences:

These immersive “Wine and Dine” experiences recreate the distinctive ambiance of Atmosphere Core’s resorts, transporting guests to the heart of the Maldives. Attendees will have the opportunity to savor exquisite vintages from four carefully chosen terroir wineries:

  • Champagne Guy Charbaut (Mareuil-sur-Ay)
  • Bodegas Viñátigo (Canary Islands)
  • Glenelly Estate (Stellenbosch)
  • Martín Códax (Rías Baixas)

These wineries hold exclusive pouring rights within the Maldives with Atmosphere Core, ensuring a truly unique experience.

Engaging Storytelling and Expertise:

Hosted by Nicolas Laguette, Atmosphere Core’s Director of Wine, these events feature senior sales and communication executives alongside representatives from the esteemed wine partners. The intimate setting fosters engaging conversations and storytelling, allowing participants to delve into the philosophy behind the program’s unique approach.

Family-Owned Wineries and Curated Partnerships:

Atmosphere Core has partnered with three generational family-owned wineries – Champagne Guy Charbaut, Bodegas Viñátigo, and Glenelly Estate – along with Martín Códax, a renowned cooperative representing over 600 families in Cambados, Spain. Each partner was meticulously chosen based on their long-standing heritage, commitment to family values, and unique terroir wines unavailable elsewhere in the Maldives.

Building Lasting Connections:

The partner winemakers reciprocate the hospitality by hosting Atmosphere Core’s resort teams at their vineyards, fostering deeper connections and fostering knowledge exchange. Each bottle served carries a captivating story, passionately shared by the sommeliers who have personally explored the origins of these exceptional wines.

A Year of Enriching Wine Adventures:

Wine enthusiasts, partners, and global travelers can look forward to an exciting year filled with enriching wine-related experiences curated by Atmosphere Core. This innovative program continues to redefine the standard for wine experiences in the Maldives, offering a deeper connection to the world of wine through its unique partnerships and global events.

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives Unveils Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella: A Culinary Oasis Redefining Luxury Dining



Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives is poised to elevate the culinary scene with the inauguration of Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella on February 18th, 2024.

Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives exudes sophistication, authenticity, and timelessness. With meticulous attention to detail, from the culinary offerings to the ambiance, the restaurant promises a dining experience tailored for aficionados of life’s finest pleasures. Embracing the beauty of nature, Mediterraneo infuses its space and cuisine with a raw essence that transcends mere ingredients.

Chef Jeffrey Vella shared his enthusiasm, stating, “We are passionate about food. Mediterraneo will tantalize your senses, combining the beauty of our surroundings with exquisite artisanal creations.”

The restaurant merges ancient traditions with modern flair, creating an enduring experience that goes beyond gourmet dining. Rooted in earthy tones and warm textures, the ambiance fosters a deep connection to nature, enhancing the sensory journey of each culinary creation. Infused with The Taj’s renowned hospitality, Mediterraneo promises warmth, comfort, and exceptional experiences for guests.

The launch event on February 18th, 2024, promises an evening of gastronomic delight amidst the picturesque setting of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives. Guests will indulge in Chef Vella’s signature dishes, meticulously crafted to reflect the essence of Mediterranean culinary artistry.

Chef Jeffrey Vella’s extraordinary menu features standout dishes such as seared scallops with smoked lemon gel, classic risotto with pecorino pesto, and pan-seared tuna with smoked cucumber velouté. These offerings, alongside a carefully curated selection, ensure an unforgettable dining experience that redefines luxury in the Maldives.

Mediterraneo by Jeffrey Vella invites guests to embark on an unforgettable journey of taste and indulgence, where the azure waters of the Indian Ocean meet the flavors of the Mediterranean. This culinary venture promises to be a beacon of gastronomic brilliance, setting a new standard for luxury dining in the Maldives.

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