The Maldives’ tourism industry has inevitably evolved. A plethora of new properties has come into play with the backing of a combination of local and international entrepreneurs and seasoned hoteliers. Dozens have forayed into new and untapped segments of the market, greatly expanding the scope of an industry that was previously exclusive to luxury tourism. Tourist arrivals have crossed the one million milestone and is on course to reach an ambitious target of 1.5 million.
This rapid expansion is set to continue with the opening of at least a dozen new resorts this year as well. We look at five of the hottest upcoming properties in the Maldives:
Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort
When Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, managed by French multinational hotel group AccorHotels, opens mid 2017, it will be one of a kind resort in the Maldives; the only resort in the country with an airport, making it directly accessible via domestic plane from the main Velana International Airport with no need for an additional speedboat transfer.
The four-star resort, developed on the island of Kooddoo in Gaafu Alif atoll, will have 68 villas including 43 overwater villas and 25 beach villas. The luxury beachfront resort is built using local materials and the decor features bright colours and stylish furnishings that reflect the Maldivian culture.
Facilities at the resort include a swimming pool and pool bar, a tranquil spa, modern gym, a dive centre with additional water sports, and an all-day gourmet restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
Baglioni Resort Maldives
Located on the private island of Maagau in Dhaalu atoll, this exclusive five-star resort of 99 villas surrounded by turquoise water, velvet white sand and the tropical nature of one of the most spectacular Maldivian islands will allow guests to experience a bespoke stay in the heart of the Indian Ocean with the unique Italian hospitality of Baglioni Hotels.
Designed to minimise the environmental impact with sustainable materials and measures for the maximum sustainability and efficiency, Baglioni Resort Maldives will be the perfect destination for an unforgettable stay between sport and relax, all enriched by a prestigious gastronomic offer for the most exclusive International clientele. It includes three restaurants, a swimming pool and bar, spa and diving centre.
Gran Meliá Maldives
Located on the island of Kalhudiyafushi in Thaa atoll, Gran Meliá Maldives will be the first resort in the Maldives by Spanish hotel chain Meliá Hotels International when it opens in October.
Set amongst virgin coral reef, the Gran Meliá Maldives will offer 95 private villas as well as three restaurants, a bar and café, spa, leisure centre and several retail shops. The resort will also be able to arrange and host exclusive private events and romantic dinners on a smaller nearby island.
LUX* North Male Atoll
Located on the six hectare picnic island of Olhahali in the unexplored North Male Atoll, the new LUX* property in the Maldives will offer contemporary one, two and three bedroom residences spread across the island, set on the beach, steps from the sea or perched on stilts above the lagoon. There are rooftop lounges, outdoor decks, private gardens and 13m private pools.
For the Overwater Residences, the reef itself provides a playground – just pick up a snorkel and go explore the crystalline sea on the doorstep. With the three-floor penthouses, families and groups have ample space to spread themselves, as well as their own spa, steam room, fitness suite and oversized outdoor pool.
Grand Park Kodhipparu
Located in North Male Atoll and and accessible by a 15-minutes speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport, Grand Park Kodhipparu is designed by world-renowned hospitality design firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates. The luxury resort features 120 idyllic villas comprising a range of beach-front pool villas, overwater villas with direct access to crystal clear turquoise waters and overwater pool villas that come with private infinity pool.
The resort will offer two restaurants, a harbour beach club and pool bar, and recreational facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium, sunrise yoga deck, wellness centre with spa and salon treatments, water sports and dive centre, children’s activity centre and specialty shops.
Atmosphere Core expands in South Asia with Atmosphere Living ultra-luxury residences
Atmosphere Core, a globally renowned name in hospitality, has announced the launch of Atmosphere Living as part of its continued expansion in South Asia. Headquartered in India, this new company will offer branded ultra-luxury residences with customised end-to-end amenities and indulgences, including coffee lounges, wine cellars, private transport, and bespoke concierge services.
The global branded residences market has experienced a remarkable 150 percent growth over the past decade, and projections indicate a surge in demand. With the real estate veteran Sandeep Ahuja at the helm as Managing Director, Atmosphere Living is strategically positioned to capitaliSe on this demand.
Atmosphere Living will focus on a conscious design philosophy. All properties will be built in harmony with the environment and will incorporate features such as smart recycling, efficient waste and water management, and green energy solutions.
Sharing his insights on the launch, Salil Panigrahi, Managing Director, Atmosphere Core, said, “Atmosphere Living will bring a distinctive offering to India, and is a brand to watch out for. It will combine Ahuja’s decades of experience, knowledge, and industry network in real estate with Atmosphere’s hospitality expertise, introducing unparalleled serviced residences in India.”
Positioned in major metropolitan areas, established second-home destinations, and undiscovered scenic locales nationwide, these projects will also present lucrative investment opportunities. Elite homeowners will have the option to lease their residences back to Atmosphere Living, allowing them to be rented out for income generation.
Sandeep Ahuja, Managing Director, Atmosphere Living, said, “There is currently a gap in the Indian realty landscape for ultra-indulgent serviced homes catering to affluent consumers. We aim to bridge this gap by curating serviced homes that offer indulgences such as entering homes using smart key cards, 24/7 butler services, fine dining, and co-working spaces, among others. Our ultimate desire is to enable our customers to experience a life of true luxury and exclusivity.”
A night of celestial wonders, luxury, and cosmic inspiration at Anantara Kihavah SKY Observatory by British astronaut Tim Peake
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas celebrated a historic milestone with the exclusive visit of the renowned British astronaut, Tim Peake. On the evening of November 2, Astronaut Peake hosted an exclusive space talk at SKY Observatory, the finest overwater observatory in the Indian Ocean, housing the most powerful telescope in the Maldives.
Perched gracefully over the pristine Maldivian waters, SKY Observatory provided an idyllic setting for this extraordinary event, complemented by a stunning sunset. The exclusive gathering attracted a full house of eager guests to a delightful evening that seamlessly blended science, luxury, and natural beauty.
The evening commenced with a lovely cocktail reception, where guests were serenaded by the soulful tunes of a live saxophone band. Attendees savoured exquisite cocktails and canapés as they eagerly awaited Tim Peake’s presentation.
Tim Peake’s talk unveiled his personal journey, where he shared his path to becoming an astronaut and narrated the rigorous training that astronauts undergo. He provided insights into life in space, the daily challenges faced by astronauts, and the awe-inspiring experiences he encountered during his
historic mission. He also offered a glimpse into his exciting future projects, leaving the audience both inspired and spellbound.
Following Tim’s presentation, an interactive Q&A session allowed guests to engage directly with the British astronaut. The audience posed thoughtful questions, deepening their understanding of astronauts’ unique experiences and the intricacies of space exploration.
The event was further enriched by the presence of the resort’s three SKY gurus, Hammadh Rasheed, Zunnoon Ahmed, and Ali Arushal, who conducted a stargazing session for the guests afterward.
The success of the event was evident in the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, who left with a deeper appreciation for space exploration and a memorable evening to cherish.
The evening marked a significant moment in Anantara Kihavah’s history, showcasing the resort’s commitment to offering unique and memorable experiences for its guests. The presence of Tim Peake, a celebrated astronaut and highly accomplished author, added an extraordinary dimension to the resort’s already spectacular offerings.
Tim Peake is a renowned British astronaut who made history as the first official British astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS) and conduct a spacewalk during his six-month mission. He also achieved the remarkable feat of running the London Marathon from space. Beyond his extraordinary space endeavours, Tim is also a bestselling author with his most recent book Space: A thrilling human history published earlier this month.
An astronomer’s paradise, Baa Atoll in the Maldives, is one of the best places on earth to enjoy stargazing due to its proximity to the equator. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas promises a voyage of discovery on a private Indian Ocean Island, with Sky—an overwater observatory and luxury cocktail bar—providing guests a chance to sip champagne under the stars and explore the Universe.
Visit Maldives website adds atolls segment to showcase diverse regions
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation’s (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) has added a new segment to the official Visit Maldives Website specified for atolls showcasing the diversity of the Maldives.
The segment, now live at atolls.visitmaldives.com provides in depth information regarding the different regions of the Maldives, divided by atolls, to refine the traveller’s experience, commencing with an in-depth exploration of Addu Atoll and Fuvahmulah Atoll.
With 26 atolls, the Maldives offers a wide array of unique accommodations and awe-inspiring travel experiences, and this informative section of our website will serve as a gateway to discover the hidden treasures unique to each area. This falls under MMPRC’s initiatives to encourage tourism growth in all regions of the Maldives, broadening exposure to the diverse tourism products available in the Maldives.
The goal is to elevate Visit Maldives’ digital marketing landscape by showcasing the Maldives as more than just a honeymoon destination with various accommodation options. This initiative is driven by a desire to increase awareness about the distinctive offerings within each of the Maldives’ atolls. It aims to positively shape their perception of the Sunny Side of Life brand by curating engaging content that highlights the unique features of the atolls and diverse experiences available in the islands.
Additionally, the initiative will target the affordable luxury market to promote the Maldives as the most appealing option for short holidays and weekend getaways under a unified Maldives brand umbrella.
MMPRC aims to continue exploring other atolls in the Maldives as well, encouraging growth and tourism development in all regions of the Maldives, building on the foundation we have created to promote the destination beyond the traditional paradigms of sun, sand, and sea.
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