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Soneva launches ‘eco-campaign’ inviting guests to ‘stay for good’



  • Participate in sustainable initiatives and enjoy three or five additional complimentary nights 
  • Activities include coral rehabilitation, gardening, community engagement projects, rainforest ecology, beekeeping, mangrove clean-up projects, and more…

Soneva, has launched an ‘eco-campaign’ inviting guests to ‘stay for good’ and support the brand’s efforts to preserve the environment and enrich the community in the Maldives and Thailand in return for complimentary bonus nights at its luxury resorts.

Guests are invited to work alongside Soneva’s marine biologists, horticulturalists, mycologists, tropical ecologists, and community engagement managers to support local sustainability initiatives. In return, they will be rewarded with an additional five nights at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, or an additional three nights at Soneva Kiri in Thailand. A minimum stay of five and three nights, respectively, is required to avail the offer and at least one paying guest per villa needs to participate.

A tailored programme will be prepared for all guests and will incorporate the following elements, among others:

Soneva Fushi:

  • Snorkel with Soneva’s marine biologists to help with turtle identification and coral rehabilitation
  • Help to register fish caught by local fishermen
  • Assist the horticulturalists mycologists and gardeners to maintain the vegetable gardens and learn how to grow vegetables and mushrooms
  • Participate in beach and reef clean-ups to reduce marine debris and prevent injuries to marine life
  • Learn how to create a seed bank to ensure future sustainability of important crops
  • Make sustainable bricks in Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste to Wealth facility
  • Participate in Soneva’s ‘Learn to Swim Programme’ for the local communities
  • Contribute to education initiatives in the Baa Atoll

Soneva Kiri:

  • Assist the resident tropical ecologist to identify and log rare species of flora and fauna thriving in the tropical rainforest in Koh Kood
  • Learn about cultivating tropical fruits and the secrets of beekeeping and honey production
  • Learn how to turn waste into wealth particularly in the areas of biodiesel, composting, water filtration and charcoal production
  • Participate in reef and mangrove clean-up projects
  • Contribute to education initiatives on the island of Koh Kood


JOALI festive donation continues to support vital projects in Maldives



Over the past year and a half, multiple institutions and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) working in Raa Atoll, Maldives, have received vital funding from JOALI, the renowned luxury lifestyle and hospitality brand with two award-winning properties in the region.

JOALI Maldives, the brand’s art-immersive luxury resort in Raa Atoll, carries out an annual festive fundraiser with guests and hosts donating funds for worthy causes. Over the 2021-22 festive period, funds were raised as part of a collaborative art project, with guests joining the resort’s resident artist to glaze ceramic fish, each with a unique personal flair. The final artwork was a striking composition of all the individual fishes, swimming joyfully in unison – a powerful symbol of collaboration.

“This initiative is part of JOALI’s broader efforts around the ‘joy of caring’. Each aspect of our culture and strategy is designed to reflect responsible luxury,” says Enver Arslan, General Manager of JOALI Maldives. “We cherish the positive impact we have been able to create during our time in the Maldives.”

Supporting Impactful Local Projects

The funds raised over the 2021-22 festive period by JOALI were donated to three NGOs working in the Maldives, with the aim of supporting several crucial initiatives:

  • Olive Ridley Project: focused on protecting sea turtles and their habitats in Raa Atoll through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, education and outreach.
  • Women in Tech Maldives: aimed at promoting, empowering and celebrating women in science and technology.
  • Zero Waste Maldives: working to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact across the archipelago.

The above projects are being managed collectively by JOALI Maldives and its sister property JOALI BEING, the brand’s wellbeing island, also situated in Raa Atoll.

Creating Real Change

Utilising the JOALI Festive Donation, Women in Tech Maldives conducted the #CodeforClimateMV project at the Raa Atoll School in Raa Dhuvaafaru. This programme trained 18 girls in coding skills, including Python and Machine Learning. The project concluded in September 2022.

In October 2022, Zero Waste Maldives used the funds to launch the ongoing #FehiFathi project in Raa Ungoofaaru. The organisation is working with the Ungoofaaru Women’s Development Committee to reduce the amount of fabric waste that ends up in landfills by rescuing clothes that can be used second-hand or upcycled. This initiative also empowers local seamstresses by providing them with an entrepreneurial opportunity. Over 15 local seamstresses are involved in the project.

Another Milestone in the Making

May 24, 2023 marked the start of an exciting new phase enabled by the JOALI Festive Donation. The Olive Ridley Project is set to begin a two-week community tour around Raa Atoll, focused on raising awareness around sea turtle conservation. A team of marine biologists from JOALI and the Olive Ridley Project, as well as educational officers from the Olive Ridley Project, will conduct multi-stakeholder awareness sessions at six islands in Raa Atoll, namely Madduvari, Meedhoo, Kinolhas, Fainu, Inguraidhoo and Vandhoo.

The expert team will visit local schools, councils, women’s development committees, fishermen, and other community groups with the aim of increasing environmental literacy and providing residents with the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in the protection and improvement of their local habitats.

The Olive Ridley Project believes that education is a powerful tool to build awareness and engage people – especially young people – and thereby stimulate action at the local, international and policy levels.

This belief is strongly shared by JOALI. “Our team views knowledge-sharing and local empowerment as critical avenues to preserving the incomparable natural legacy of the Maldives,” says Özgür Cengiz, General Manager of JOALI BEING.

Funds from JOALI will continue to support the community outreach programme, with multiple tours scheduled across the rest of the islands in Raa Atoll later this year.

In addition, JOALI BEING is set to open the doors of its new Olive Ridley Turtle Rehabilitation Centre soon. At this purpose-built venue, rescued sea turtles will be nursed back to health by the island’s resident sea turtle biologist. The centre will also function as a hub for turtle-focused research efforts in the area.

A Brand Rooted in Local Community

Sustainability in Raa Atoll is a key focus area for JOALI, with a focus on safeguarding the planet, fostering wellbeing, creating platforms for women, and nurturing ethical consumption. In 2023, the brand launched the JOALI Sustainability Fund to provide funding for 10 local projects that align with its focus areas. The grant will award funds to the first five projects in June 2023.

Since its arrival in the Maldives, JOALI has demonstrated its commitment to the local community in a variety of meaningful ways. The team has partnered with Maldivian organisations to aid the training of girls in local schools; provide hospitality internships for aspiring candidates; and conduct virtual educational sessions for local university students.

Both JOALI BEING and JOALI Maldives also host regular school visits, enabling local students to see luxury hospitality in action and learn first-hand about job opportunities in the industry. The goal is to ensure that every school in Raa Atoll receives this opportunity at least once a year.

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Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Maldives sweep major awards at Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023



Travel + Leisure South East Asia Hong Kong & Macao recently unveiled its prestigious Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023 winners in Bangkok on 5 June 2023 to celebrate the brands and people shaping the travel industry.

Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of luxury hotels in the Maldives collected 8 awards in total.  The awards are based on the votes of Travel + Leisure South East Asia readers and they celebrate excellence in the luxury travel industry and highlight the exceptional experiences offered by the resorts.

  1. Top 10 Best Resorts – The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands: The Ritz-Carlton Maldives has secured a position among the top ten best resorts in the Maldives, showcasing its commitment to providing unparalleled luxury and exceptional guest experiences.
  1. Top 5 Best Resort Spas – The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands: Recognised for its exceptional The Ritz-Carlton Spa, offering guests a sanctuary of rejuvenation and wellness amidst breathtaking surroundings.
  1. Top 5 Most Outrageous Villas – The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort:  The John Jacob Astor Estate at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has been recognised as one of the most outrageous in the Maldives, setting a new standard for luxury accommodations.
  1. Top 5 Best GMs – Idu Ribeiro, W Maldives: Idu Ribeiro, General Manager of W Maldives, has been honoured as the best general manager in the Maldives for the second consecutive year.  His exceptional leadership and management skills play a vital role in creating unforgettable guest experiences.
  1. Top 5 Best GMs – Marc Gussing, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa: Travel + Leisure also paid tribute to Marc Gussing for leading a winning team and for putting the Maldives on the forefront as an ideal destination.
  1. Top 5 Best House Reefs – W Maldives: W Maldives has been acknowledged for its breathtaking house reef, offering guests unparalleled opportunities to explore the vibrant marine life of the Maldives on their doorstep.
  1. Top 5 Best Family Hotels – JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa: Praised as one of the top ten best family hotels, the resort provides a range of amenities including the FAMiLY by JW Little Griffins Kids Club and fun-filled activities for families to create cherished memories.
  1. Top 5 Best Resort Pools – JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa: The stunning swimming pool at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa has been commended for its beauty and elegance, providing guests with the ultimate relaxation and leisure experience.

Managing Director, Marriott International Luxury Asia Pacific (excluding China), Oriol Montal, expressed his delight at the outstanding performance of the four luxury resorts in the Maldives. 

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023.  These awards are a testament to the unparalleled dedication of our associates in providing extraordinary experiences for our guests and will motivate us to continue delivering exceptional experiences,” he said.

Marriott Bonvoy’s luxury portfolio of resorts in the Maldives comprises of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa and W Maldives, each located on their own private island and offering the ultimate dream getaway. 

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Bollywood actress Sunny Leone enjoys holiday in Maldives at Brennia Kottefaru



Bollywood sensation Sunny Leone has been making the most of her well-deserved break by soaking up the sun and enjoying the pristine beaches of the Maldives. The actress, known for her love of travel and self-care, recently shared a montage video on her Instagram from her vacation in the island country.

In the video, Sunny Leone can be seen donning a stylish black and white swimsuit, complemented by a beautiful flower crown. The scenic backdrop of the Maldives serves as the perfect setting for the actress to unwind and bask in the natural beauty surrounding her. Captioning the video, she expressed her delight, saying, “It’s SOOO good,” and tagged her team members.

Sunny Leone’s trip to the Maldives comes as a well-deserved respite after her appearance at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The talented actress attended the festival alongside the cast and crew of her film “Kennedy,” directed by renowned filmmaker Anurag Kashyap. The movie, which features Rahul Bhat alongside Sunny Leone, was selected to be screened at the Midnight Screening Section of the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, gaining recognition for its unique storytelling and captivating performances.

Known for her glamorous and versatile roles in Bollywood, Sunny Leone has been a prominent figure in the Indian film industry for years. Her journey from being a former adult film star to a successful actress has inspired many, and her talent and dedication have garnered her a loyal fan base.

Sunny Leone’s choice to spend her vacation in the Maldives is no surprise, as the tropical paradise has become a favored destination among celebrities and travel enthusiasts alike. With its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and luxurious resorts, the Maldives offers the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.

As Sunny Leone continues to explore the stunning landscapes of the Maldives, her fans eagerly await her next venture on the big screen. With her impeccable style, charisma, and acting prowess, the actress has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of Bollywood and continues to captivate audiences with her talent and beauty.

Whether it’s gracing the red carpet at Cannes or enjoying a blissful holiday in the Maldives, Sunny Leone proves time and again that she knows how to live life to the fullest. Her dedication to her craft and her ability to find balance between work and leisure serve as an inspiration to many aspiring artists and fans around the world.

Sunny Leone’s love affair with the Maldives is no secret. The actress has been drawn to the idyllic archipelago time and again, finding solace in its turquoise waters and serene atmosphere. With each visit, Sunny Leone discovers new corners of this paradise, indulging in the luxurious resorts, engaging in thrilling water sports, and immersing herself in the rich marine life through scuba diving and snorkeling. Her admiration for the Maldives is evident in the way she captures its beauty in her photographs and videos, sharing glimpses of her unforgettable experiences with her fans. It’s clear that the Maldives holds a special place in Sunny Leone’s heart, and she continues to be captivated by its unparalleled charm, making it her go-to destination for moments of tranquility and sheer bliss.

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