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From swimming with whale sharks to writing workshops: English author Imogen Edwards-Jones shares her love for Maldives



For a scuba diving enthusiast, Maldives is undoubtedly an underwater paradise!

Known internationally as one of the world’s best scuba diving destinations, the Maldives has an abundance of dive sites with one thrilling dive opportunity after another. The islands of the Maldives have consistently warm waters with outstanding visibility throughout the year, and consist of exhilarating dive sites such as vibrant thilas, exciting channels, coral-filled overhangs and fascinating wrecks.

And like many others, renowned English author Imogen Edwards-Jones first arrived in the Maldives some 25 years ago, hoping to catch a glimpse of those breath-taking underwater sceneries.

“I was quite adventurous. I had been to Madagascar, Bali and Sri Lanka. And someone suggested the Maldives. I was very keen on scuba diving and this is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving,” Imogen recalls her first visit to the Maldives during which she stayed at Fesdu Fun Island (now Fun Island Resort and Spa).

Since then, Imogen and her family has returned to the Maldives on several occasions, staying at different resorts across the archipelago, including Taj Exotica Resort and Spa Maldives, One&Only Reethi Rah, and the latest being the LUX* South Ari Atoll.

LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

It was at LUX* South Ari Atoll in 2013 that she came across whale sharks for the first time. It was, as Imogen described it, almost a religious experience.

“Everyone had already left the boat with their snorkels and I was late because my son was crying. By the time we hit the water, everyone else had gone miles away. So it was just me and this beautiful creature. And I swam with it for about five minutes. I looked in the eye, which was sort of like the ‘soul of the world’,” she says.

And for her nine-year-old daughter, the holiday at LUX* South Ari Atoll proved to be a learning experience too. She was introduced to the resort’s marine biology programme, and learned all about marine conservation and sustainability from its resident marine biologist. Now, she is an eco-warrior!

“[LUX* South Ari Atoll is] very blessed with its natural environment. Some islands in the Maldives are small and you might get an anxious feeling. But here, it feels like you’ve the freedom. There’s a lot to do, especially for children,” Imogen describes the island of Dhidhoofinolhu in South Ari Atoll.

Imogen with her kids during their first visit to LUX* South Ari Atoll in 2013. PHOTO/ IMOGEN

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Imogen’s love for the Maldives is how one of her bestselling books, Beach Babylon was inspired by her many trips to the island nation. The book explores the lengths to which employees at island resorts like those in the Maldives go to in order to make others’ holiday possible.

“The Maldives is the epicentre of the can-do service philosophy. The idea that you could’ve caviar sent from somewhere or belly dancers and fire dancers all flown in here, to the middle of nowhere. That I find fascinating,” Imogen says.

“Having done Hotel and Air Babylon before, what’s perfect about this is that it was a great opportunity to look at a small community from a different perspective. Island life is fascinating because somebody’s paradise can also be someone else’s hell. These island resorts are a microcosm of the rest of the world because they’ve characters and nationalities from all over the world: Filipinos in the spa, Dutchmen teaching tennis, French chefs, Italian pizza makers and English doing the admin work. It was like putting the rest of the world under a microscope.”

Imogen, who authored the Sunday Times best sellers Hotel Babylon, Air Babylon, Fashion Babylon, Beach Babylon and Pop Babylon, is back at LUX* South Ari Atoll this week.

This time, she hosted a writing workshop and a meet and greet series of events for the guests. In her workshop on bestseller writing, she shared her secrets on how she got into the business, how she stayed there, how she has written everything from columns in Arena Magazine to the worldwide hit Hotel Babylon, and working on Belgravia with Julian Fellowes. She also advised on how to get started on your story, how to pace it properly, how to structure it, how to develop character and, hopefully, how to end up selling over a million books.

“This is my first writing workshop in an island resort. I’m very excited,” Imogen says.

Imogen autographs a copy of her book, Beach Babylon during her last visit to LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

For the British author, one week in the Maldives is just not enough! As she leaves the island paradise after another week of fun, diving and whale sharks, she has just one message for everyone who has had plans to come to the Maldives: “Get your arse on the plane and hurry up!”

And LUX* South Ari Atoll may just be the ideal choice for your Maldives holiday, be it your honeymoon, a romantic getaway or even just a family vacation.

Beach at LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

Cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resorts in the Maldives.

With 187 private villas dotted at the water’s edge along four kilometres of powder fine beach or perched on stilts above a crystal clear lagoon, these spacious pavilions and villas bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives.

A Lagoon Pavillion at LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX*, and at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.

While the resort has a PADI-certified dive centre, two infinity pools, a floodlit tennis court, a fitness centre and a renowned spa which hosts a wellness concierge and a menu of indulgent treatments, what sets the property apart from its neighbours are surprises, or better known as #ReasonstogoLUX. Designed to create lasting memories for guests, these ‘reasons’ can range from island-roasted coffee in Café LUX* to impromptu movie screenings at cinema paradise and the chance to hang your wishes on the Tree of Wishes.


Discover ultimate privacy at Nika Maldives



Imagine a place where the world fades away, leaving you with nothing but the gentle sound of waves and the soft touch of sand beneath your feet. A place where privacy is not just a promise, but a guarantee. Welcome to Nika island Resort & Spa, Maldives, the only resort that offers private beaches for an unparalleled experience of seclusion and tranquility.

At Nika, your very own private beach awaits. Picture yourself enjoying a personalised BBQ under the stars or designing your own destination dining experience, tailored to your every desire. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a family feast, the possibilities are endless.

John Miller, a recent guest at Nika, shares his unforgettable experience: “Staying at Nika’s private beach villa was the ultimate privacy I’ve ever experienced. Born in London, I’ve never known such seclusion in my entire life. The resort is lush with vegetation, and the fauna and flora are simply amazing. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The local stories and the museum displays are fascinating.”

But the allure of Nika doesn’t end there. The resort’s dive centre offers exceptional dive courses, taking you to spectacular dive sites that reveal the breathtaking underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, the wonders beneath the surface will leave you in awe.

After a day of exploration, indulge in the Lotus Spa at Nika. Offering a range of excellent massages, from traditional local techniques to various modern varieties, the spa promises to rejuvenate your body and soul.

Nika is a small resort, yet it is brimming with entertainment and activities. From water sports to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. It’s a sanctuary where you can ground yourself, reconnect with nature, and discover a level of privacy that is truly extraordinary.

Escape to Nika and hide away at your secret beach. Here, the ultimate privacy and relaxation await.

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Unwind and Explore: Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Invites Families to a Rejuvenating Summer Escape



Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, an all-pool villa haven nestled amidst the breathtaking natural seascapes of the Indian Ocean, invites families to embrace the joy of relaxation and the spirit of adventure this summer with a slew of experiences designed to inspire playful discoveries and foster tranquil reconnections with the mind and body.

Fun for All Ages

Budding adventurers and creative little spirits alike can discover new adventures at Krakengiri Kids’ Club, one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives. Led by a multilingual team of certified childcare professionals, young guests can engage in an exciting array of daily activities that combine learning and play.

Upstairs, Re:Fuel, a rooftop lounge for teens, hosts engaging milkshake-making workshops and fun family movie nights under the starry Maldivian sky.

In June, the resort offers a Holiday Camp for teens, who can personalize their wellness experiences as follows:

  • Pick up new sports such as tennis, pickleball, and badminton on the multi-purpose court with the hotel’s resident Sports Animator
  • Work out with a personal trainer at the fitness center
  • Try aerial yoga for beginners, yoga for better sleep, breathwork, and meditation with the resident yoga practitioner
  • Enjoy a restorative massage in the overwater treatment villas of Amingiri Spa.

The experience is available at USD 150++ per person for a combination of any two 30-minute sessions.

Restful Retreats

Amingiri Spa introduces Water Connect, a private in-villa pool experience guided by a certified water shiatsu specialist. The gentle movements and targeted massage techniques melt away tension and create a deeply relaxing sensation akin to being cocooned in the womb. The serene escape is available between 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at USD 150++ for 30 minutes.

Starting in June, guests can indulge in a brand-new Sleep Wellness menu designed to ease the mind and body into a state of deep and rejuvenating slumber. Guests can choose to unwind with a calming signature massage on the spa’s Skye Deck, bask in the timeless glow of an evening hammam ritual in the modern hammam room, or embrace tranquility with an in-villa session incorporating guided meditation, yoga, and breathwork.

Exclusive Offer

Guests who stay a minimum of four nights enjoy the added value of a half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers with Maldivian Bliss. This offer is available for stays through to December 20, 2024.

From May through to September 30, 2024, children stay and dine free: parents staying with two young children ages 11 years and below in an Overwater Suite with Pool and any of the Two-Bedroom Beach and Overwater Villas will also enjoy the half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers when booking Maldivian Bliss. Hilton Honors members enjoy full points for their stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.

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Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation



Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit or contact For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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