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Ex-tennis pros with 32 Grand Slam wins to offer lessons at Soneva’s Maldives resorts

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Soneva is set to welcome two former Swedish tennis pros and one former Australian tennis pro to Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani during the festive season to offer guests one-on-one coaching sessions and friendly matches.

The first, Thomas Johansson, was at Soneva Fushi from October 24 to November 3, with Jonas Björkman following from December 18-27. Later in the month, Soneva Jani welcomes Todd Woodbridge from December 18-24.

Thomas Johansson’s career reached its pinnacle with an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world No. 7 singles ranking in 2002. He also won the singles Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2002 where he beat Marat Safin, and an ATP Masters Series at the 1999 Canadian Masters, and to this day he is the last man from Sweden to win a Grand Slam in singles. Thomas also won a silver medal in the men’s doubles at the 2008 Summer Olympics, with his doubles partner Simon Aspelin. After a 16-year career he retired in June of 2009 and since then he has coached the Danish former World No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, the young Croatian Borna Ćorić and Belgium’s No. 1 player, David Goffin. He is currently coaching Greece’s up and coming women’s singles player, Maria Sakkari.

Jonas Björkman was the former No. 4 ranked singles tennis in the world, winning six ATP Singles titles during his career. Jonas was also a former No. 1 ranked doubles player, winning a total of nine Grand Slams and 54 ATP doubles titles. After retiring as a professional tennis player in 2008, Jonas now coaches other skilled players. In 2015, he was the coach of the World. No. 1 player Andy Murray (July 2017), since 2016 he has been coaching World No. 5, Marin Cilic. Jonas offered tennis coaching lessons at Soneva Fushi once before in December 2017.

Todd Woodbridge is best known for his successful doubles partnerships with Mark Woodforde and later Jonas Björkman. Todd has won 16 men’s doubles Grand Slams (9 Wimbledons, 3 US Opens, 3 Australian Opens and 1 French Open) and 6 mixed doubles Grand Slams (3 US Opens, 1 French Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 Australian Open) throughout his decorated career. He also won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics with Woodford to complete his career Golden Grand Slam. In total Todd has won 83 ATP doubles titles, reaching the World No. 1 doubles ranking in July 1992.

Their visits to Soneva’s resorts in the Maldives are part of the world-leading luxury resort operator’s Festival of Colour, a year-long campaign that celebrates Soneva’s diverse array of visiting chefs, artists, athletes, wellness practitioners and more across all of its resorts.

In February, Soneva launched its first ever year-long campaign known as the ‘Festival of Colour’ to celebrate the diverse array of guest activities and experiences on offer this year. Soneva has confirmed a huge line-up of visiting experts, including Michelin starred chefs, authors, wine producers, world champion free divers, astronomers, artists, wellness practitioners, tennis coaches and much more across all of its resorts. Soneva’s Festival of Colour runs from February 2018 to February 2019.

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.

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 and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and its second resort in the Maldives.

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 been named the Best Over-the-Top Luxury hotel of the year by Jetsetter.com, the best new resort in the world by CNN, and the Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in South Asia and Leading Luxury Hotel/Resort in Maldives.

Main photo (from right to left): Todd Woodbridge, Thomas Johansson and Jonas Björkman. 

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Kandima Maldives remains top choice for sports celebrities; hosts futsal camp with Ricardinho

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Growing in popularity as a holiday hotspot among sports personalities, active lifestyle resort Kandima Maldives with Ricardinho, holding the title of being named the best Futsal player in the World 6 times by the Futsal planet.

The legendary Ricardinho spent a week at the island resort from 30th June to 6th July, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both local youths and Kandima guests.

During his stay, Ricardinho conducted an engaging three-day futsal camp, coaching aspiring players from the local Kudahuvadhoo Island. The camp was open to Kandima’s guests too and provided an amazing opportunity for participants to learn from one of the greatest futsal players of all time.

Throughout the event, Ricardinho actively engaged with visitors, playing matches with fans and futsal enthusiasts, and showcasing his expertise in a community setting. Guests had the rare chance to watch, learn, and interact directly with the futsal legend, making the experience truly anything but ordinary.

“We are honoured to welcome Ricardinho, the world’s top Futsal player, to Kandima,” said Tom van Tuijl, General Manager, Kandima Maldives “This collaboration aligned perfectly with Kandima’s focus on an active lifestyle. Our commitment to promote a fitness-oriented way of life in a tropical island setting and Ricardinho’s visit undoubtedly inspired our guests, especially families with young futsal enthusiasts, to embrace a more sporty lifestyle.”

Kandima is no stranger to hosting renowned athletes from around the world and the UK. In recent years, the island resort has already hosted premium league footballers Liverpool FC’s Joe Gomez, Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, and freestyle football champion Lia Lewis for a holiday. Innovative in their approach to creating distinct and memorable sports experiences for guests, Kandima continues exploring fun and educational partnerships with esteemed athletes to impress fitness-oriented travellers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Kandima Maldives for this exciting football camp,” said Ricardinho.” It was a great opportunity to share my passion for the sport and engaging with the Kandima’s guests, local youths and staff. Together, we created unforgettable memories and inspired a love for football and an active lifestyle.”

For more information about Kandima Maldives and upcoming Uber Kool events, please visit www.kandima.com.

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Tennis pro Dominik Hrbaty to conduct training sessions at Sirru Fen Fushi Maldives

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Sirru Fen Fushi – Private Lagoon Resort has announced the arrival of tennis legend Dominik Hrbaty for an exclusive series of training sessions at their luxurious island retreat in collaboration with LUX Tennis Private Coaching Academy. From 6th August to 14th August 2024, guests at this breathtaking Maldivian resort will have the unique opportunity to train personally with Hrbaty, benefiting from his exceptional skills and expertise in the sport.

Born on April 1, 1978, in Slovakia, Dominik Hrbaty is celebrated worldwide for his illustrious career as a professional tennis player. Throughout his tenure on the ATP tour, Hrbaty achieved a highest singles ranking of 12 and doubles ranking of 14, capturing the hearts of tennis enthusiasts with 6 career singles titles and 2 doubles titles. His remarkable achievements include victories at prestigious tournaments such as San Marino, Prague, Auckland, Adelaide, and Marseille, among others.

“We are honoured to host Dominik Hrbaty at Sirru Fen Fushi,” said Wellness & Recreation Manager, Wilfred Suarez. “His presence underscores our commitment to offering unparalleled experiences that combine wellness, fitness, and the pursuit of excellence. Guests will have the extraordinary opportunity to learn directly from one of tennis’s most esteemed figures in our idyllic island setting.”

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi offers a haven of luxury and tranquility. The resort’s tennis facilities boast a stunning court set beneath swaying palm trees, complete with floodlights for evening games, ensuring an unforgettable tennis experience day or night.

In addition to personalised training sessions with Hrbaty, guests can indulge in a range of wellness activities, including yoga on the beach, rejuvenating spa treatments, and exquisite culinary offerings featuring fresh, local ingredients.

Hrbaty’s visit aligns seamlessly with the resort’s philosophy of promoting overall well-being and personal improvement. His exceptional career achievements and dedication to the sport make him an ideal mentor for guests looking to enhance their tennis skills while enjoying a world-class vacation.

For more information on Sirru Fen Fushi – Private Lagoon Resort and to reserve your exclusive training session with Dominik Hrbaty, please visit www.sirrufenfushi.com or contact our reservations team at reservations@sirrufenfushi.com.

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Coco Bodu Hithi partners with Anastasia Medvedeva for resin art

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Coco Bodu Hithi has announced a partnership with renowned artist Anastasia Medvedeva, who will host a three-month residency starting in August 2024. Anastasia, celebrated for her expertise in resin art, will be the first resin artist to take up residence at Coco Bodu Hithi.

Anastasia’s unique artistic expression using epoxy resin as the preliminary medium will offer guests a unique opportunity to engage in an unforgettable journey of creativity and learning. From 02nd August to 30th October 2024, guests can explore their artistic potential under her expert guidance.

Anastasia brings a wealth of experience to Coco Bodu Hithi. She is a professional artist with a passion for teaching and creating engaging art experiences. With a proven track record in managing art classrooms and collaborating with luxury resorts, Anastasia has successfully conducted art masterclasses worldwide. Her achievements include selling 70 art pieces to clients in 35 countries, including Canada, the UK, and the USA. Notably, she has also taught a resin art masterclass to a world-famous Olympic champion.

During her residency at Coco Bodu Hithi, Anastasia will share invaluable insights and techniques to enhance art skills, helping participants create stunning artwork. Her masterclass offerings include individual or group sessions covering Resin Art, Fluid Art, Candle Making and more. Additionally, there will be display of her resin art and craft souvenirs on the island.

Coco Bodu Hithi invites all guests to discover their artistic abilities and express themselves through these engaging and enjoyable art sessions.

For more information and to book your stay, please visit Coco Bodu Hithi’s website at www.cococollection.com/bodu-hithi or email us at reservations@cococollection.com.

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