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Soneva announces festive programme featuring guest favourites

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Soneva’s two resorts in the Maldives are set to offer an exciting set of activities during the upcoming festive season.

The festivities will extend to the world-leading luxury resort operator’s property in Thailand as well, with activities that allow guests to pair fine-dining lunches with whiskey, wine, champagne or sake, learn how to make Christmas chocolate truffles and New Year detox masks, receive a private coaching tennis lesson from the nine-times Grand Slam winner Jonas Björkman, and discover Soneva’s famous food journeys.

“Let your children explore island nature with the Soneva Den hosts taking charge, while you learn how to make Vietnamese, Maldivian, Japanese and Thai food, and come together at the end of the day for a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in a truly spectacular location,” the group said, in an announcement.

“There is no shortage of experiences to do, eat or see at Soneva.”

Soneva Fushi

Soneva’s flagship resort, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, offers tried and true guest favourites. Cast yourself away to a Sonu’s picnic on a desert island with just your family, or join a group picnic and meet new snorkel companions or teammates for the next water volleyball game. Discover your new favourite spot to dine at a sunset sushi bar, or a Spanish barbecue under the banyan tree. Learn from our talented chefs from our many cooking classes specialising in different cuisines. Explore the world’s best cuisine and entertainment in one night during Soneva’s famous food journey.

In between dining on delicious food, take some time to meet Santa, hunt for treasure, and snorkel with our marine biologist. Discover Soneva’s waste-to-wealth techniques on an Ecotour, learn about the ocean life with a presentation from our marine biologist, or try your hand at glass blowing in our glass studio.

Jonas Bjorkman, former tennis champion, will be offering complimentary private coaching sessions during the holiday season exclusively for a limited number of Soneva guests. Jonas formerly coached Andy Murray in 2015, No. 1 in singles (July 2017), and currently coaches world No. 6 Marin Cilic.

Plus, learn more about the secrets of the universe with Soneva’s Astronomy Week, being held between December 25-31.  Soneva’s resident astronomer, plus guest astronomers, will be able to give dinner talks, presentations and classes to anyone interested in learning more about the night sky.

The Observatory at Soneva Fushi. PHOTO/ SONEVA

Soneva Jani

Discover Soneva’s newest addition Soneva Jani, with a programme full of culinary delights and activities for the whole family. Treat your palate to a lunch or dinner paired with whiskies, sake, wine or champagne, or travel the world through your plate and dine on Vietnamese, Maldivian, Japanese cuisine and more. End the year with a New Years Eve food journey that will lead you through the resort, from 2017 into 2018.

In between delicious feasts, treat yourself to a variety of experiences, fun for the whole family. Loosen your body and mind with a special Christmas yoga, before welcoming Santa to Soneva Jani. Stay up late to dance the night away to a DJ, relax with some live music, or immerse yourself in a movie at Cinema Paradiso.

Dining in Water at Soneva Jani. PHOTO/ SONEVA

Soneva runs two resorts in the Maldives: Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from and nine dining options.  If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of 24 overwater villas and one island villa set in a 5.6 kilometre private lagoon located in the northern Noonu atoll. The resort spans five islands surrounded by pure white beaches, covered in rich tropical vegetation, offering the ultimate in privacy and luxury.

Each of the resort’s multilevel water villas has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars. Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below. Other hotel highlights include a spa, an observatory — home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean — and an outdoor cinema.

Since its opening, Soneva Jani has created a lot of buzz amongst luxury travellers with its exciting features such as the retractable roofs and the water slides. It has also been named the Best Over-the-Top Luxury hotel of the year by Jetsetter.com.

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NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort invites filmmakers to capture magic in paradise

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NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort has extended a warm invitation to filmmakers, production teams, and content creators worldwide with our exciting new offering – the exclusive Filming Package. Tucked away in the serene Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, the resort is more than just a luxurious retreat; it’s a breathtaking backdrop for your next cinematic masterpiece.

Picture yourself filming amidst stunning coral reefs teeming with marine life or capturing golden sunsets over pristine beaches. NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort provides an extraordinary setting where every frame tells a story of natural beauty and luxury.

What’s Included in the Filming Package?

  • Tailored Location Rental Fees: Choose from a variety of picturesque settings within our resort to bring your creative vision to life.
  • Discounted Accommodation: Enjoy special rates for your cast and crew, ensuring comfort and relaxation during your filming adventure.
  • Additional Services: From gourmet catering to top-notch equipment rental and seamless transportation, we’ve got your production logistics covered.
  • Permits and Permissions: Our team handles all the paperwork, making sure you have the necessary approvals to film in this exclusive location.
  • Personalised On-Site Support: Count on our dedicated staff to assist with everything from logistics to ensuring your filming experience runs smoothly.
  • Customisation Options: We understand every project is unique; that’s why we offer flexibility to tailor our package to suit your specific needs and creative goals.

Beyond its cinematic vistas, our resort offers state-of-the-art facilities, impeccable service, and a commitment to making your filming experience exceptional. Whether you’re shooting a documentary, commercial, or feature film, the resort provides the perfect blend of luxury and practicality.

Ready to bring your cinematic vision to life? Contact the resort team today to explore our filming opportunities, discuss customisation options, and secure your preferred filming dates. Let NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort be your partner in creating unforgettable moments amidst the natural splendour of the Maldives. For more information and to book your filming package, visit Filming Package (nh-hotels.com) or reach out to; T: +960 684 4888 | E: havodda@nhcollection.com.

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives sold out for Music in Paradise 10th anniversary celebration with Jimmy Barnes and friends

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives’ long-term partner, Music in Paradise will present their 10th anniversary celebration event, ‘Stranded in the Maldives’ 1-11 September 2024. Seven intimate shows featuring Australian icons, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Kate Ceberano, Troy Cassar-Daley and Mahalia Barnes will entertain a sell-out crowd of 250 guests at the private island paradise.

There is no better place to be ‘Stranded in the Maldives than Kandooma on a 10-night holiday in paradise. Combine that with the big names who will perform, and guests are in for a great celebration. Party goers will enjoy seven exclusive and intimate sunset/evening shows over the ten nights with a few nights off for guests and performers to mix it up and enjoy all the great activities at the award-winning resort.

‘Stranded in the Maldives’ at Kandooma is unlike any other experience, with guests meeting these Aussie music legends and having the opportunity for an autograph and a professional photo.

“Kandooma has a long-standing relationship with the team at Music in Paradise and we congratulate them on their tenth anniversary of successful music events on the island. We can’t wait to see Jimmy, Ian, Kate, Troy and Mahalia all return to the island in September to perform to a sell-out crowd,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and secret Jimmy Barnes groupie.

“For those lucky enough to have confirmed their bookings, they are in for a 10-night stay like no other. The Music in Paradise team is very deliberate in their decision to cap numbers to ensure the intimate atmosphere, accessibility to the performers and a beach party vibe where guests can let their hair down with their music icons.”

“Nothing compares to chatting with someone over a sunset cocktail you’ve idolised as a performer for decades. I grew up listening to the music of Cold Chisel, and I’m just quietly, very excited to be welcoming these guys back to Kandooma. Their last visit was incredible fun and we can’t wait to see them again,” he added.

The ‘Stranded in the Maldives’ 10th Anniversary lineup includes performances from:

JIMMY BARNES, a Scottish-Australian rock singer-songwriter. His career as the lead vocalist for the rock band Cold Chisel (which he joined at 16 years of age in 1973) and as a solo performer (from 1984) has made him one of the most popular and best-selling, Australian music artists of all time. In 1984 his debut solo album, Bodyswerve, topped the charts, as did his album two years later, Working Class Man. His number-one hits continued through the late eighties and into the nineties with Freight Train Heart, the live set Barne storming, Two Fires, Flesh and Wood and Soul Deep. Throughout his career, Jimmy Barnes has won five Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards including his induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2017 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts and through support for not-for-profits and children with disabilities.

IAN MOSS enjoys the status of Australia’s best guitarist. Primarily recognised as an axe man of unusual tenacity and sweet melodic sensibility, Ian has distinctive soulful, bluesy vocals. In 1973 he answered a shop window ad and joined the band that would go on to achieve legendary status in Australia, as Cold Chisel. Following the band’s Last Stand tour in December 1983, Ian Moss evolved into a solo artist. In 1989 he released Tucker’s Daughter, a song he wrote in collaboration with Don Walker, which sat in the Top 10 for 11 weeks and hit number one for two weeks. His second solo single, Telephone Booth, was released in June 1989 which also hit the Top 10.

KATE CEBERANO is the first Australian woman to be inducted into the Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) Hall of Fame. She has had 28 albums: 13 Platinum, and eight Gold. There is no shortage of awards and accolades with three ARIA awards and three Countdown awards. Kate has fronted the seminal band I’m Talking on their epic Australian Made tour alongside INXS, Barnesy & the Divinyls, starred in JC Superstar with Farnham, hosted her own hit TV show Kate & Friends, and won Dancing With The Stars. Kate is an electrifying performer, who joins the pantheon of acts who have had Top 10 albums across five decades.

TROY CASSAR-DALEY a proud Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man, comes from a long line of storytellers and has been making music for 30+ years and has released 11 studio albums. Imbuing a passion to pen stories about Australia and what lies at its heart has been a driving force in his career. He has been awarded a record-breaking 40 Golden Guitars, five ARIAs including 2021 Country Album of the Year with The World Today, three APRA Song of the Year awards, nine Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), four CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards and two National Indigenous Music Awards. Troy has achieved a staggering 34 number-one chart singles with his songs being recognised as being the soundtrack to the everyday triumphs, struggles and good times for Australians from small towns to big cities.

MAHALIA BARNES has been around music her entire life. She credits her exposure to music from Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke to Ike and Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, for helping to shape her into the powerhouse soul and blues vocalist she is today. Mahalia and her band, The Soul Mates, have released three full length albums as well as several EPs and they consistently play to capacity crowds around Australia. They have toured supporting artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Roots, Mavis Staples, Joe Bonamassa, Bryan Adams, Tom Jones and more. Mahalia has also recorded and toured with the likes of Joe Bonamassa, Liam Gallagher, George Benson, Robert Jon + The Wreck, Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barnes and Lachy Doley, to name a few.

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 minutes from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful, natural island paradise. White sand beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for leisure pursuits and some of the best scuba diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas and the Kandoo Kids’ Club with its fun activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. Guests seeking time out and relaxation will enjoy sun-loungers and hammocks dotted around the island. Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers a tranquil escape for body and mind.

More information about “Stranded in the Maldives” in September 2024 is available at: https://www.musicinparadise.com.au/event/stranded-in-the-maldives-with-jimmy-barnes/

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma to host musical event in May 2025

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and event organisers Music in Paradise have confirmed that Australian band, ‘The Church’ will perform at the private island resort 3-10 May 2025 to the delight of fans. The event name is inspired by the band’s international hit ‘Under the Milky Way’, heralded as one of Australia’s most recognisable rock anthems. The week- long holiday combines a tropical island escape with three intimate performances on the beach and at the resort’s rooftop Sunset Bar with exclusive meet and greet opportunities.

An ‘Early Bird’ Gold Experience package has been released for A$2,890 per person, twin share (normally A$3,950) for 7 nights staying in a Beach Villa at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. The Gold Experience includes:

  • Entry to 3 Nightly Exclusive Events
  • 3 Intimate Performances
  • Meet & Greet with the Band
  • Professional Photo with the Band
  • Music in Paradise Gift Bag
  • Music in Paradise Event Poster
  • Event commemorative t-shirt
  • Return shared Speedboat airport transfers
  • Welcome drink and cold towel on arrival
  • Delicious buffet breakfast daily at Kandooma Café
  • Tea, coffee & bottled water in-villa, and replenished daily
  • Complimentary snorkel trip & use of snorkelling gear
  • Music in Paradise Traveller Care Guarantee

Now in their fifth decade of making music, The Church perform a highly cinematic and atmospheric blend of indie rock, shimmering post-punk, icy dream-pop and psychedelic post-rock leaving audiences mesmerised.

With the same creative energy as the band’s early years, the five-piece line-up for ‘Under the Milky Way in the Maldives’ includes band founder Steve Kilbey (Bassist and Vocalist), Tim Powles (Drummer and Producer across 17 albums since 1994), Ian Haug (Guitarist joined in 2013, formerly of Powderfinger), Jeffrey Cain (Multi-instrumentalist joined in 2020), and Ashley Naylor (Guitarist and longtime member of Paul Kelly’s touring band).

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with the team at Music in Paradise who organise these fantastic events and to say we are thrilled to have The Church on the line-up for 2025 is an understatement,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

The week-long music events which have become synonymous with Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, combine all the wonderful attributes of an island getaway in the Maldives with some incredible performances says Mark.

“When you attend a concert, you are usually some distance from the performers relying on big screens to see them close-up, but that isn’t the case here on the island. I think this is what makes the Music in Paradise events at Kandooma so special. Our staff, the guests and organisers are truly within touching distance of their idols. The vibe is informal and relaxed. There’s nothing like bumping into one of these performers at the buffet or sharing a story over a beer barefoot on the sand. It’s a very special experience.” added Mark.\

While the band’s early albums Of Skins and Heart, The Blurred Crusade and Heyday were popular, it wasn’t until the 1988 album Starfish that The Church broke into the mainstream, with ‘Under the Milky Way’. More recently, their 26th album The Hypnogogue launched in 2022 and their world tour, has been attributed to a band renaissance where original and new material was met with praise and acclaim.

Rolling Stone noted Kilbey’s powerful bass playing, Vive Le Rock, rating it 9 out of 10, while American Songwriter highlighted the band’s fluid moods and shadowy style. Classic Rock acclaimed Kilbey’s performance as one of his best.

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 minutes from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful, natural island paradise. White sand beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for leisure pursuits and some of the best scuba diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas and the Kandoo Kids’ Club with its fun activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. Guests seeking time out and relaxation will enjoy sun-loungers and hammocks dotted around the island. Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers a tranquil escape for body and mind.

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