Six resorts, all located in the central Baa atoll, have come together ahead of summer holidays to host a joint promotional event to promote the atoll as a single destination.
Soneva Fushi, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Dusit Thani Maldives, Amilla Fushi, Finolhu Maldives and Vakkaru Maldives have joined hands to celebrate the Summer Festival with a bang in Baa atoll, calling it the “Baa Atoll Summer Festival 2018”.
This first ever and one-of-its-kind festival will be held from July 20 to August 3, bringing the best each resort has to offer in the dining scene. Guests from each resort will have the opportunity to experience the varied cuisines Baa atoll has to offer as a destination, on dedicated nights. This will give them a taste of the creativity and service of their resort of choice, with a chance to explore other islands during their stay.
On Wednesday, all participating resorts came together at Soneva Fushi sandbank to bring this festival to light with an official announcement during a gathering with chefs, marine biologists and the leaders.
The Baa Atoll Summer Festival will officially launch on July 20, with a cocktail event in each of the resorts where the teams will celebrate with their guests the opening night. From the following day, each resort will welcome the guests from other resorts with a special set menu for dinner in their featured dining restaurant, for two consecutive weeks on a designated night.
This gives the resort the opportunity to showcase its dining scene to the guests of the resort itself and those visiting from the other islands for dinner. Transportation will be organised by the respective resorts to the featured resort on a daily basis, for a minimum charge of USD 25++ per person.
If the guests would like to repeat their experience in a specific resort, then special arrangements will be made to accommodate the same. Each resort will present a set menu for USD 120++ per person on food, with a special menu for kids. The price of the menu in each featured restaurant will remain the same. This is compiled with an aim to create an experience for the guests as the talented chefs unveil their dishes.
Schedule for the festival:
- July 21 and 28: Amilla Fushi
- July 22 and 29: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
- July 23 and 30: Finolhu
- July 24 and 31: Dusit Thani
- July 25 and August 1: Soneva Fushi
- July 26 and August 2: Vakkaru
Out of the Blue (Soneva Fushi): Once Upon a Table, which opened in May 2018, is one of the five new outlets in Soneva Fushi’s ‘Out of the Blue’ dining complex; a two-storey overwater structure with beautiful views of the sunset. A culinary theatre showcasing some of the biggest names in fine dining, Once Upon a Table’s horseshoe shaped table seats just eight diners for an intimate dining experience. In 2018, more than 30 of the world’s top chefs, most with one or two Michelin stars, will cook at the outlet.
Blu (Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru): Overlooking a 1.2 mile lagoon, Blu embraces the essence of the Maldives as the place where the ocean meets the sky. This contemporary Italian restaurant serves light Mediterranean fare during the day and offers a fine dining experience in the evening, serving up vibrant dishes with a Southern Italian accent.
Benjarong (Duist Thani): Benjarong, the signature overwater Thai restaurant, takes diners to the Land of Smiles with authentic delicacies bringing Royal Thai cuisine to Baa atoll.
Feeling Koi (Amilla Fushi): Crystal waters lap below Amilla Fushi’s signature restaurant. Japanese minimalism on an open deck, chefs performing in a theatre kitchen – culinary magic with exquisite presentation. Izakaya-style dining comes to life with openhearted service and shared ‘tapas’ plates. Umami works of art in a spectacular setting. Downstairs, a lounge bar for post-dinner drinks. Smooth sounds from the DJ, moon reflecting off the seas.
Kanusan (Finolhu): Kanusan’s deck dips you into a dazzling dining experience. Whet your whistle on classic favourites such as Mandarin roasted duck and larb gai — with a refreshing Kanusan twist. Kanusan features a totally fresh overwater bar area and two dining areas. There is a chilled indoor dining space, and an open lower deck which provides the archetypal Maldivian experience of being surrounded by the sights and sounds of the sea.
ONU (Vakkaru): ONU means Bamboo in local Dhivehi language. An elegant bamboo fashioned culinary theatre within a tropical plantation offering a dining experience inside and out, seasoned with a tropical ambiance, idolising the finest from our organic farm. A designed space with showcase kitchen, counter dining, garden pavilions and lounge areas.
“This destination dining concept aims to tantalise the taste buds of our guests in all participating resorts and make Baa Atoll location in Maldives a ‘must visit’ Atoll during summer. Moreover, during this summer festival, each resort will offer a calendar of activities to keep the entire family entertained, from water sports to kids’ activities and more. It is fun time for all,” a joint statement read.
“The team have come together to show the strength in the form of a dedicated website and social media account that will be constantly updated with beach activities, events and water experiences. With this first ever event, Baa Atoll destination has created a benchmark for itself and aims to be more creative in the years to come with the support of Maldives Media.”
The Baa Atoll Summer Festival closing ceremony will once again bring the teams together in celebration, on a sandbank for a Catamaran Regatta competition on August 3.
Baa atoll, the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives, is currently home to a number of resorts, including those run by world-renowned brands.
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.
Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from the main Velana International Airport, Amilla Fushi offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestled amongst lush tree tops or hugging the shores of pristine white sand. Additionally, eight spectacular four to eight-bedroom Beach Residences ideally suited to large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy are also available.
Just 30 minutes by speedboat from sister resort Amilla, Finolhu is a stylish and eclectic retreat with a buzzy bon-vivant vibe and a refreshing, retro-inspired burst of fun for the region. Bringing toes-in-the-sand relaxation to fun-loving beach-erati alongside the best DJs, live acts and most fabulously chic parties in the Maldives. Finolhu’s 125 villas come on the ocean, the lagoon or by the beach, with or without pool in either one or two bedroom options being the ultimate island experience for chic couples, fun-loving families and gatherings of friends alike.
Combining innovation, wellness and conservation, Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is a 44-acre wonderland of pristine tropical beauty. Exotic jungle greenery is flanked by immaculate white beaches and one of the Maldives’ largest natural lagoons.
Located on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll — the Maldives’ first ever UNESCO biosphere reserve — Dusit Thani Maldives blends gracious Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury setting of the Maldives. This luxury island resort comprises 95 villas encircled by white sandy beaches, a stunning 360 degree house reef and a turquoise lagoon. With a unique combination of beach and lagoon accommodation, Dusit Thani Maldives provides an unmatched luxurious escape for all travellers.
A secluded tropical island resort blessed with timeless ocean views, white sandy beaches and nurtured by nature, Vakkaru offers guests a holistic approach to unassuming luxury and unforgettable experiences. Whether travelling on a romantic break or with family and friends, the resort offers a superlative choice of accommodation types, including family rooms. Each of the 125 beach and overwater villas and suites have a natural aesthetic and sense of privacy.
Atmosphere Core Redefines Wine Experiences with Global Events and Unique Partnerships
Leading Maldives hospitality group announces 7-country educational wine program tour
Since its launch in 2021, Atmosphere Core’s innovative Wine Program has revolutionized the way travelers experience wine and champagne in the Maldives. This program transcends simply offering premium brands, fostering genuine connections between guests and carefully selected wineries through partnerships and dedicated events.
Global Wine Events Showcase Unique Wine Culture:
Atmosphere Core proudly unveils its 2024 calendar, featuring 16 exclusive wine events across seven countries, kicking off in March and continuing through mid-September. These events span major cities like Madrid, Prague, Frankfurt, Milan, Tokyo, London, and Vienna, offering a taste of the Maldives to travel partners and top-tier media.
Highlighting the Essence of Luxury:
The calendar features a distinct highlight: THE OZEN COLLECTION Champagne Experience at the Westphalia Stadium in Dortmund, Germany, scheduled for September 2024. This unique event showcases the company’s three distinct brands – THE OZEN COLLECTION, COLOURS OF OBLU, and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.
Authentic Wine & Dine Experiences:
These immersive “Wine and Dine” experiences recreate the distinctive ambiance of Atmosphere Core’s resorts, transporting guests to the heart of the Maldives. Attendees will have the opportunity to savor exquisite vintages from four carefully chosen terroir wineries:
- Champagne Guy Charbaut (Mareuil-sur-Ay)
- Bodegas Viñátigo (Canary Islands)
- Glenelly Estate (Stellenbosch)
- Martín Códax (Rías Baixas)
These wineries hold exclusive pouring rights within the Maldives with Atmosphere Core, ensuring a truly unique experience.
Engaging Storytelling and Expertise:
Hosted by Nicolas Laguette, Atmosphere Core’s Director of Wine, these events feature senior sales and communication executives alongside representatives from the esteemed wine partners. The intimate setting fosters engaging conversations and storytelling, allowing participants to delve into the philosophy behind the program’s unique approach.
Family-Owned Wineries and Curated Partnerships:
Atmosphere Core has partnered with three generational family-owned wineries – Champagne Guy Charbaut, Bodegas Viñátigo, and Glenelly Estate – along with Martín Códax, a renowned cooperative representing over 600 families in Cambados, Spain. Each partner was meticulously chosen based on their long-standing heritage, commitment to family values, and unique terroir wines unavailable elsewhere in the Maldives.
Building Lasting Connections:
The partner winemakers reciprocate the hospitality by hosting Atmosphere Core’s resort teams at their vineyards, fostering deeper connections and fostering knowledge exchange. Each bottle served carries a captivating story, passionately shared by the sommeliers who have personally explored the origins of these exceptional wines.
A Year of Enriching Wine Adventures:
Wine enthusiasts, partners, and global travelers can look forward to an exciting year filled with enriching wine-related experiences curated by Atmosphere Core. This innovative program continues to redefine the standard for wine experiences in the Maldives, offering a deeper connection to the world of wine through its unique partnerships and global events.
W Maldives and Perrier® Present a Three-Day Affair with Seoul’s Bar Cham in Maldives
Nestled on the heart-shaped Fesdu Island and surrounded by one of the best house reefs in the country, W Maldives invites you to imbibe in a captivating rendezvous. In partnership with Perrier®, the resort is set to have you embark on a three-day affair with the crème de la crème of Seoul’s cocktail culture—Bar Cham. From March 7 to 9, 2024, the luxury playground becomes a canvas for this collaboration, painting the paradise escape with strokes of sophistication and fizz.
Perrier®, synonymous with excellence in sparkling water, has been a steadfast supporter of the vibrant creative world aiming to put spotlight on emerging artists from painters to beverage creators. The brand’s support in the cocktail culture is particularly evident in its active involvement as the title sponsor and Official Water Partner of World’s 50 Best Bars and Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Recognized for its commitment to sophistication and it unique qualities, Perrier® has become the beverage of choice for mixologists seeking to elevate their creations. Now, in a groundbreaking collaboration, Perrier® extends its influence to the W Maldives, bringing the renowned Bar Cham from Seoul to the luxury resort’s pristine shores.
Kicking off the collaboration is a special Ocean To The Table dinner on March 7, 2024, at W Maldives’ overwater restaurant, FISH. Dive into a symphony of flavors, where Chef Baka’s signature culinary creations are paired with Bar Cham’s award-winning cocktails. Savor the unique union of rich Maldivian taste and the contemporary twists on Korea’s traditional spirits. The evening will not just be a dinner; it’s a celestial affair under the stars and a soirée for the senses.
On March 8, a unique cocktail master class experience awaits at W Maldives’ private island, Gaathafushi. The class will be led by Bar Cham’s Bar Manager and Senior Bartender, Yeonghwi Yun and Myeongmin Kim, respectively, where they will reveal the secrets behind their award-winning concoctions against a canvas of the tropical paradise. This exclusive experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a sneak peek into the artisanship of Bar Cham’s creations. The master class concludes with an intimate sunset session on the island where the natural beauty beckons you to simply enjoy the moment.
The curtain falls on March 9, 2024, where Bar Cham is set to stage a coup at the resort’s overwater bar, SIP. The bar takeover will unleash a spectacle of mixology mastery featuring a specially curated menu just for the evening. Expect to sip, savor, and be surprised as Myeongmin Kim commandeers the scene with a flair found nowhere else. The evening will also be amplified by the groovy tunes churned by W Maldives’ music curator, Richard Ulh.
“We are very thrilled to collaborate with Perrier® to bring the great talent behind the award-winning Bar Cham to our shores. Perrier®’s commitment to providing top-of-the-line products and Bar Cham’s dedication to providing a distinctive experience while highlighting the importance of staying true to local wisdom truly match W Maldives’ stance in creating inspiring and meaningful activations for our guests,” said Alexander Lopez, Resort Manager of W Maldives. He also adds, “Here at our luxury playground, we are always trying to find ways to keep elevating our Beverage & Food offerings through distinctive experiences. This collaboration with Perrier® and Bar Cham presents an opportunity for us to amplify W Hotels’ passion points—TASTE—while showcasing the amazing talents behind the notable bars from all over the world.”
Bar Cham, an illustrious presence in Seoul’s cocktail landscape since 2018, offers a sensory voyage through local spirits and meticulously sourced Korean produce. In a testament to their artistry, Bar Cham secured the 13th position in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2023 and an impressive 75th in the World’s Best Bar rankings. Leading this symphony of taste are Yeonghwi Yun and Myeongmin Kim, Bar Cham’s Bar Manager and Senior Bartender, the creative geniuses who have redefined mixology. This duo seamlessly blends traditional Korean liquors with the finest seasonal produce, resulting in a unique imbibing experience that transcends the ordinary.
Hosting Bar Cham at W Maldives along with Perrier®, represents a harmonious blend of innovative mixology and breathtaking surroundings. This collaboration creates an exclusive and luxurious setting for guests to savor the finesse of Korea’s cocktail craftsmanship in a tropical paradise that offers an unparalleled experience that embodies refined indulgence that transcends the ordinary. Book your spot in all the events throughout this three-day affair via our website or connect directly with our team at email@example.com.
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives goes gourmet with a new look overwater bar, menu, F&B Manager
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, the pioneer of sustainable, barefoot luxury in the Maldives, is serving up a series of gourmet additions in time for the New Year. From a delicious new menu for the recently refurbished Overwater Bar to the appointment of F&B Manager Shawwaf Ismail, epicurean adventurers are in for a treat at Gili this season.
Gili Lankanfushi enjoys an unspoilt island location in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé airport. Perfectly suited for couples, families, solo travellers and groups alike, the resort combines rustic eco-design, unparalleled service and stunning natural scenery with a laid-back-luxury, ‘no news, no shoes’ philosophy.
The new gourmet offerings have been spearheaded by Gili Lankanfushi’s esteemed Executive Chef Hari Govinderaj.
The Overwater Bar Enjoys a New Look
Occupying an enviable position perched atop the calm turquoise waters of Gili Lankanfushi, the Overwater Bar is one of the island’s signature dining destinations. New for 2024, the bucket-list-worthy restaurant has enjoyed a full refurbishment, featuring the rustic eco chic interiors for which Gili is renowned and an extended outdoor decking area which provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand.
Beloved by guests for the opportunity to spot reef sharks and rays drift through the lagoon below as they dine, the all-day-dining spot offers panoramic views across the Indian Ocean. As sunset turns the sky afire, the Overwater Bar becomes the perfect setting for sundowners: delicious cocktails freshly crafted using local flavours and served with light and flavoursome canapés.
A New Menu for the Overwater Bar
The 2024 season sees a brand-new menu for Gili Lankanfushi’s beloved Overwater Bar restaurant, created by Executive Chef Hari and his talented brigade. A fusion of international cuisine, traditional Maldivian dishes and beachside classics, the menu provides the ultimate relaxed yet refined all-day-dining option.
The new offering includes the introduction of a new ‘Gili Grandma’ curry menu, which draws inspiration from cherished family recipes that have been passed down through the generations across different regions in Asia.
“Everyone knows that grandma’s cooking is best, and we wanted to provide our guests with a refined take on the authentic South and East Asian home-style curries that grace the tables of our own chefs, and their families”, commented Chef Hari. “For the Gili Grandma menu, each chef presents their favourite family recipe from back home, which range from Chef Samiu’s Maldivian reef fish curry to a spicy Sri Lankan pumpkin curry by Sri Lanka native, Chef Isuru. Delicious!”
Elsewhere on the menu, a selection of inventive salads and healthy soups provide the perfect lunchtime pick for breezy beach days, featuring home grown ingredients from Gili’s very own organic garden. Meanwhile, lovers of international cuisine can travel the globe from their dining table with Indonesian nasi goreng, locally caught reef fish sashimi, teriyaki chicken and more. For those in search of a laid-back bite, a delicious pizza and ‘Gili Breads’ sandwich menu is sure to delight, while a delectable dessert offering including homemade ice cream and indulgent treats such as Gili’s famous hot chocolate lava cake is the ideal way to finish up the meal.
Alongside the all-day-dining offering, guests can also book an unforgettable ‘Seafood Under the Stars’ dining experience at the Overwater Bar. The perfect pick for honeymooners, a special anniversary or a birthday dinner, diners will enjoy a four-course tasting menu crafted with freshly caught local seafood, as they sip on some sparkling and spot the constellations above.
The Seafood Under the Stars dining experience at the Overwater Bar is available to book for $220 per person.
Shawwaf Ismail Appointed New F&B Manager
Gili Lankanfushi has announced the appointment of Shawwaf Ismail as the resort’s F&B manager.
Leading the F&B management and managing a team of over 30 staff alongside Executive Chef Hari who oversees the culinary vision at Gili, Shawwaf will oversee day-to-day operations across the island’s numerous restaurants and bars.
Returning ‘home’ to Gili after four years spent in various managerial positions at several of the Maldives’ finest luxury resorts including Milaidhoo, LUX* and Fushifaru, Shawwaf brings a wealth of experience back to the island.
Commenting on his appointment, Shawwaf said: “Gili Lankanfushi has played a crucial role in my professional journey, guiding me from a line-level position to a managerial post during my previous seven-year employment here. Returning to Gili as part of the senior management team is particularly rewarding, underscoring the company’s unwavering commitment to talent development. My dedication goes beyond professional growth; I am committed to nurturing our staff by providing motivation, fostering development, and ensuring their overall happiness. Looking ahead, my objective is to play a pivotal role in the continuous success of Gili Lankanfushi and provide guests with unparalleled experiences on island, while naturally giving the utmost attention to the needs of our resort team.”
Gastronomy at Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi’s gastronomic vision harnesses the bounty of the surrounding waters alongside carefully-sourced seasonal ingredients and produce from the resort’s very own organic garden. Three restaurants provide unique culinary experiences while an overwater bar and underground wine cellar offer ample opportunity for refreshments.
Located directly on the beach, Kashiveli serves breakfast and dinner, playing host to a series of themed ‘market experiences’ (the Asian Street Market, Mediterranean Spice Souk, Passage to India and Churrascaria BBQ) on four nights of the week. The rest of the week sees the restaurant serve up the ‘Gili Culinary Journey’, a tantalizing rotating menu of signature dishes taking guests on a gastronomic adventure through nine regions inspired by the heritage and talent of Gili Lankanfushi’s culinary team.
Open five days a week, By the Sea offers delicious Japanese fusion dishes created with local seafood paired with an extensive sake collection and signature cocktails such as the Wasabi Martini. Imagine the new bento box lunch offering paired with freshly caught sushi and sashimi overlooking a sensational view of the Indian ocean. For a more casual affair, the Overwater Bar’s open kitchen delights guests with an inventive take on international cuisine and laid-back light bites. For special celebrations, a variety of destination dining experiences await, ranging from secluded, lantern-lit feasts to private sunset cruises with Champagne on ice.
Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,070/$1,440, based on two adults sharing a Villa with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit www.gili-lankanfushi.com.
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