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Opening November 2018, The Nautilus Maldives set to make waves in luxury travel

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The Nautilus Maldives, a privately-owned island in the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, has announced its opening in November.

The inspiration behind this new boutique 26-room island is Dr I U Maniku, a Maldivian entrepreneur with over 30-years’ experience in business and resort ownership. Originally thinking about building his dream retreat on the tiny island, The Nautilus has grown to become his personal vision of what the last word in island luxury – in both the Maldives and worldwide – should be.

Uniquely in the Maldives, The Nautilus experience begins on the runway at Velana International Airport, where every guest will be taken straight from the plane to a VIP terminal in the airport for a relaxed customs and immigration clearance. From there it is a short hop to The Nautilus’ own private lounge to await the 35-minute seaplane flight to Baa atoll.

“The Nautilus Maldives has been designed for the new generation of luxury travellers; travellers who are looking for transformative experiences and activities that they can share with those who matter the most to them,” says Dr Maniku.

“Before beginning this project we did a great deal of research about luxury resorts around the world to ensure that we can surpass their standards and also launch a concept that’s different. The Nautilus philosophy therefore is one of absolute freedom for its guests, offering a laid-back ‘modern bohemian’ lifestyle where guests can escape from their everyday lives, truly be themselves, and reconnect with their inner being, with nature and with their families – all in a beautiful Maldivian setting. A stay here isn’t like a stay anywhere else.”

This philosophy has meant rethinking how a luxury resort is run in order to base services around the guest and not follow standard operating procedures. With this in mind, service is driven by the House Captains (butlers), who take care of every detail instead of handing over to receptionists, concierges, excursion guides etc.

Restaurants have flexible opening hours; for example breakfast can be taken at any time of day – and not even in the restaurant if the guest prefers breakfast in bed or by their private pool. While there will be menus in each of the three restaurants, these are seen as starting points for a discussion with chef about what the guest would like to eat rather than as set guidelines for what can be ordered.

Spa treatments can happen without appointment; and if the urge to borrow the resort’s yacht and head out into the blue yonder for a picnic should suddenly strike, the House Captain – one to every residence – will simply arrange everything as needed.

To build on this relaxed feel, guests are invited to casual sunset cocktails every evening and can help themselves to deli-style canapes from the poolside bar throughout the day – or ask their House Captain to pick up something for them.

Houses and Residences

Accommodation at The Nautilus is called ‘Houses’ and ‘Residences’ because guests should feel the same levels of comfort and ease as when at home, along with the most spectacular features the Maldives has to offer. Those features include private pools, ocean views from every house, soft sandy beaches encircling dense tropical greenery, and a rich coral reef just metres from the island’s shores.

Each of the 26 houses is a suite, with separate living room and bedroom. Just 15 one- and two-bedroom houses line the island’s beaches, hidden away among coconut trees, palms, and tropical greenery. Eleven one- and two-bedroom houses stand on stilts over the lagoon.

Natural daylight fills the rooms and interior design is tropical with a touch of boho chic whimsy.  The island style is relaxed, with the guideline given to the interior designers to “make it look like it could be someone’s home, and better”. Most of the furnishings have been custom-built for The Nautilus.

Unscripted dining

At the three restaurants and poolside bar, guests can explore ‘unscripted dining’, meaning the freedom to order off menu if that’s how they feel. The Nautilus is a world where a menu is just a place to gather inspiration and meals are designed for the guest, whenever they want to eat. Dining, for those wishing to follow chef’s suggestions, include intriguing infusions of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine at the over-water signature restaurant; elegant simplicity with Japanese and Latin-American creations at the grill; and global delicacies at the all-day dining restaurant.

No opening or closing times, no breakfast hours, no shoes, no dress codes. Guests come as they are, enjoy great company and indulge in a shared passion for extraordinary cuisine.

Spirit of discovery

The Nautilus doesn’t judge, doesn’t impose and doesn’t inhibit its guests. Instead, it removes barriers and creates incredible excursions and adventures, taking guests where they want to be when they want to be there, from midnight swims in glowing phosphorescent waters alongside a marine biologist, to exploring deserted islands on a yacht or floating in a ‘star filled’ pool under the milky way while the House Captain whisks up another perfect cocktail.

Guests looking for a mindful holiday are invited to join daily complimentary yoga, meditation and fitness classes. Watersports activities such as snorkelling, kayaking in a transparent canoe, or stand-up-paddle boarding are free: guests simply decide when they want to go.

Located in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, a kaleidoscopic wonderland of incredible marine life awaits discovery. Trips to world-renowned Hanifaru Bay to swim amongst whale sharks and manta rays; diving on iridescent coral reefs; exploring remote sandbanks and deserted islands picnic in hand or just cruising the ocean in a custom yacht are among the many adventures guests can look forward to.

Wellness experience

The Nautilus sets guests on their own path to wellness, drawing on ancient wisdoms and modern innovations for a transformative journey in its four treatment rooms in the heart of the island. The spa specialises in the bespoke, designing wellness programmes and daily rituals that refresh and relax, pamper and protect. Guests can salute the sun at dawn, discover alternative healing, join complimentary wellness classes or craft their own path to restoration. On the quiet, unrushed shores of The Nautilus, life moves at a different pace and guests are given all the time in the world to reflect and recalibrate.

Room rates at The Nautilus Maldives start at USD 1,967 for two in a Beach House with pool on bed and breakfast basis. Bookings begin in April for the November opening and can be made via the official website.

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts unveils new residential project: The Coral Residences, Kandima

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Pulse Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading innovators in Maldives tourism, has introduced The Coral Residences, Kandima. Nestled on the northern end of the lush and green three-kilometre-long Kandima Integrated Island Resort in Dhaalu Atoll, this residential development is a first of its kind and promises to redefine luxury living in the Maldives.

Designed and crafted with meticulous attention to detail, The Coral Residences, Kandima, is a unique, integrated beachfront residential community with exceptional 5-star service, situated in the shimmering blue heart of the Maldives.

The Coral Residences comprises of 40 exquisitely designed two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. All apartments feature contemporary design and chic interiors, high-end finishes, state-of-the-art appliances, and unobstructed panoramic sea views across the Indian Ocean. Residence owners will enjoy exclusive access to a host of premium facilities, including a private beachfront pool, a gourmet restaurant and bar, dedicated fitness and recreation facilities and a 24-hour concierge service.

Buyers of The Coral Residences will be able to own their apartments under the new strata title ownership program. Owners’ apartments will be part a rental program, managed by Pulse Hotels & Resorts. Residents will have the access to the full range Kandima’s 5-star resort services, including its restaurants and bars, spa, recreation, and other amenities to complement their lifestyle. With its emphasis on comfort, convenience, and community, this development offers a truly elevated living experience.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Coral Residences, Kandima, to discerning local and international buyers,” said Sanjay Maniku, Managing Director of Pulse Hotels & Resorts. “With its unparalleled design and amenities, homeowners can take advantage of a limitless world of activities and experiences on offer at Kandima. We believe this development will set a new standard for luxury living in the Maldives, as well as bringing a new definition to the Maldives family vacation.”

The Coral Residences is realised by Pulse Hotels & Resorts, the creators behind The Nautilus Maldives, Kandima Maldives, and Nova Maldives. Known for their innovative hospitality concepts, Pulse Hotels & Resorts ensures that each property offers exceptional experiences and world-class service. The development has commenced and is expected to complete within Q3, 2025.

For more information, high-resolution images, and to schedule a private viewing, please contact Aishath Ihuma, Director of Business Development at +960 7788986 or aishath.ihuma@coralresidencesmaldives.com.

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Weixin Pay supported to boost Chinese tourists to Maldives

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On May 27, Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC/Visit Maldives), and Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay’s Country Manager, Singapore and Regional Director, Southeast Asia, WeChat Pay, signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during ITB China 2024, pledging to support more Maldivian merchants to accept WeixinPay to provide Chinese tourists with a convenient payment experience. Visit Maldives is the Official Destination Partner for this year’s edition of ITB China.

“China is a key source of tourists for the Maldives, and we greatly value the experience of Chinese visitors,” said DMD Zihuny Rasheed. “We plan on promoting the acceptance of Weixin Pay throughout the country, offering Chinese tourists the payment option they are familiar with and prefer. I have used Weixin Pay during my visit to China via linking an international card, and I can attest to the convenience of the mobile payment option.”

Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, expressed his support, “Excited that we’re introducing Weixin Pay for Chinese visitors, which is another step in establishing Maldives as their top destination. Now, it’s easier than ever for Chinese travellers to enjoy their stay, hassle-free. We look forward to further enhancing their experience,” he wrote.

According to Etienne Ng, Weixin Pay is currently being piloted at the country’s airport duty-free store, as well as in popular restaurants like Sala Thai and City Garden. Additionally, a range of hotels and resorts are participating including, JEN Maldives Malé by Shangri-La, Adaaran Select HudhuranFushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Velaa Private Island, Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island, Dhawa Ihuru Maldives, Ayada Maldives, Marriott Bonvoy, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Angsana Velavaru in Maldives with strong support from the Bank of Maldives and local merchants. Making smooth progress, the initiative is expected to have 8,000 merchants nationwide that integrate the payment option.

“Weixin Pay is committed to providing users with safe and convenient payment services. Since the visa exemption policy was implemented, more and more Weixin Pay users have chosen to travel to the island country. Through our cooperation with Visit Maldives, we aim to provide Chinese users with the same convenient experience in the travel as they experience at home,” he said.

In February 2023, an Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements signed between the Maldives and China took effect as China expands its visa-free policy to benefit more countries. Consequently, the Maldives has consistently ranked among the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists during popular travel periods such as the May Day and National Day holidays.

According to data from Visit Maldives, the country welcomed over 1.8 million tourists in 2023, a new national record. The Chinese market has been a key source market for the Maldives. As of 11th May 2024, it is the number one source market with 91,073 tourist arrivals.

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Indian influencer Niki Mehra in Maldives

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) hosted a familiarisation trip with Amilla Maldives for high-end influencer, Niki Mehra, from India to experience the luxury and romantic offerings of the Maldives from 3rd – 6th May 2024.

The familiarisation trip was a great opportunity to Niki Mehra, a renowned Indian model, fashion, beauty and travel content creator and social media influencer with over half a million followers who has carved a niche in the Indian fashion industry with her unique sense of style. During her time in the Sunny Side of Life, Niki Mehra showcased luxury to romantic experiences of the destination.

The trip promoted Maldives through social media platforms of Niki Mehra while highlighting experiential itinerary offerings of the Maldives. Additionally, the influencer trip assisted MMPRC in propelling growth in the luxury travel segment and honeymoon market by showcasing the Maldives as a premier honeymoon destination for the Indian travellers.

The Indian market has been a strong market for the Maldives over the years, currently ranked number 6 with 46,970 tourists as of 13th May 2024. Additionally, MMPRC showcased the Maldives in OTM and SATTE held earlier this year. MMPRC is committed to boosting the arrivals from the market and has exciting marketing activities planned for future, including joint campaigns, familiarisation trips, participation in major events and other campaigns which provides numerous opportunities to showcase the breathtaking Maldives to the market, attracting more Indian travellers.

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