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Conrad Maldives unveils luxury experiences exclusive to ‘THE MURAKA’ undersea residence guests

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts has revealed four exclusive and customisable experiences at THE MURAKA at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

The first-of-its-kind undersea residence set to debut this November, THE MURAKA offers a transformative journey in one of the world’s most breathtaking natural environments as guests are fully immersed in the wonders of the abundant marine eco-system above and below the Indian Ocean. While pushing the boundaries of engineering, THE MURAKA is not only defined by its physical structure, but even more so by the wholly unique offerings globally connected guests can enjoy while staying in the innovative residence.

“As the first-of-its-kind residence with dynamic accommodations both above and below the surface of the water, THE MURAKA is an extraordinary vehicle for a truly immersive journey into nature which cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“Through a variety of curated and captivating offerings, we will maximise the potential of this incredible residence to bring unique travel experiences to our valued guests.|

Supporting the resort’s philosophy of innovation and its dedication to creating extraordinary moments in the heart of the Maldives, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will offer a collection of four experience menus available exclusively to those staying at THE MURAKA. Tailored to the unique desires of different travellers with experiences ranging from adventure, food and entertainment to wellness, culture and sustainability, the menus are titled The Wanderers, The Flavours, The Soul and The Thrill.

Guests who book THE MURAKA will work with a dedicated reservations team to curate their own journey, borrowing inspiration from the four menus to ultimately create a meaningful and personalised journey in the Maldives and immerse themselves in a variety of transcendent experiences above and below the surface of the ocean.

The Wanderers

“The Wanderers” experiences are those that provide an authentic and fresh perspective for intrepid individuals wishing to explore unchartered Maldivian territory and engage with local culture without sacrificing comfort or luxury. Culture-seekers thrive in the parts unknown and relish the opportunity to expand their horizons through authentic exploration.

The Wanderers” captures the desires of the traveller who wants to immerse themselves in a destination to gain a fresh perspective. One possible outlet for this ambitious discoverer is to act out their best Discovery Channel narration as they achieve their dream of exploring the depths on an ocean dive or snorkel complete with a film crew to capture the experience. Documenting the vibrant reef ecosystem beyond the glass walls of their MURAKA bedroom, guests will have the opportunity to direct and star in their own undersea film.

The Flavours

“The Flavours” experiences reveal an exciting world of culinary possibilities with a personal chef available 24 hours a day who can satisfy any craving with tailor-made menus. For those who truly want to savour their journey, “The Flavours”experiences include a variety of opportunities to forage, learn, and most importantly taste.

Celebrity Chef Jereme Leung is counted amongst the best Chinese chefs and while his world-renowned Xiao long bao dumplings, handmade pulled noodles and perfectly balanced shumai are available daily at the resort’s Ufaa restaurant, the chance to learn the techniques behind these delicacies are not. In this one of a kind cooking class, guests can enter Ufaa’s open sided kitchen and receive instruction from one of Leung’s expertly trained chefs. These culinary masters will guide guests in the timeless art of folding dim sum wrappers, blending ingredients and of course, slurping noodles.

The Soul

“The Soul” consists of transformative wellness experiences that encourage spiritual discovery and focus on enriching guests; connections to their natural surroundings. Visitors flock to the Maldives not only for its spectacular natural beauty, but also for its restorative energy and peaceful solitude.

“The Soul” allows travellers to connect with this spirit through a variety of experiences, including meditation, yoga and more. There may be no better place to get in touch with oneself than THE MURAKA, lending itself to a deeper practice with two decks – one facing sunrise and the other facing sunset – to soak up the healing powers of sunlight or bask in the peace of dusk.

The Thrill

“The Thrill” experiences are a collection of adventures with opportunities for fascinating exploration on land and at sea. Adrenaline-seeking explorers will be spoilt for choice when including items from “The Thrill” into their MURAKA adventure.

While the Maldivian environment around the MURAKA is magnificent at any angle, it may be most magical from below. For an experience under the sea, guests can spark their senses and discover the reefs by night alongside highly-trained professionals that guide explorers through the enigmatic dark blue waters. On this journey, guests will discover the peculiar glows of planktons lurking the ocean, corals blooming out into stunning colours and witness the rare phenomenon of shy underwater residents of the South Ari Atoll coming out to play.

Young travellers who stay at THE MURAKA will find that most experiences from across all four core menus are easily customisable to suit their interests as well as the opportunity to create entirely new experiences through the MURAKA kids Edu-tainment menu designed to captivate their imaginations.

Envisioned by Crown Company Director Ahmed Saleem, and realised by Mike Murphy, leading engineer at M J Murphy Ltd., a New Zealand-based company that specialises in aquarium technology, THE MURAKA is a two-level structure comprised of space above the sea level and an undersea suite designed for sleeping under the ocean’s surface.

The undersea suite features a king size bedroom, living area, bathroom and spiral staircase that leads to the upper level living room. The undersea bedroom floor level sits five metres (16.4 feet) below sea level, providing uninterrupted views of the surrounding marine environment.

With the adoption of state-of-the-art technology, THE MURAKA’s distinct design is akin to that of Rangali Island’s Ithaa Undersea Restaurant with the curved acrylic dome, which boasts 180-degree panoramic views of the wonders of the Indian Ocean’s intricate marine life.

THE MURAKA’s upper level features a twin-size bedroom, bathroom, powder room, gym, butler’s quarters, private security quarters, integrated living room, kitchen, bar and dining, which features a deck that purposely faces the direction of the sunset for optimal viewing pleasure. On the opposite side of the villa sits the relaxation deck that faces the direction of sunrise and is complete with an infinity swimming pool. The upper level also contains an additional king size bedroom and bathroom, which boasts a masterfully appointed ocean-facing bathtub, ideal for soaking in views of the endless horizon.

In total, THE MURAKA can accommodate up to nine guests.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located in South Ari Atoll and is accessible by a 30-minute seaplane flight from the Maldives main airport.

As one of the Maldives’ leading resorts and one of Hilton Worldwide’s flagship properties, the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers 150 villas and suites, 12 restaurants and bars, two spas — all stretched over two remote islands. It features the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, world’s first undersea restaurant made from only glass.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to two unique spa experiences; The Spa Retreat on Rangalifinolhu Island and the Over Water Spa on Rangali Island. Combining expertise from around the world with carefully selected products and therapies influenced by the environment, the two spas offer unique and effective experiences to suit the needs of every individual.

The luxury resort also offers the popular Conrad Concierge mobile app, which gives global luxury travellers the ability to customise details of their hotel stay before, during, and after each visit via a smartphone or tablet. Whether it is pre-selecting bath amenities or checking in while in-transit from the airport, guests can access a variety of features by using the app.

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Earth, space camp adventures at COMO Maalifushi, COMO Cocoa Island this Summer

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This summer, COMO Hotels and Resorts’ two Maldives properties are offering a unique and exciting line-up of activities designed to inspire and educate all ages. From an exhilarating Space Camp with astronaut-led adventures, to an immersive Earth Camp exploring the natural wonders at COMO Maalifushi, and the exploring the captivating universe under the ocean at COMO Cocoa Island.

Island Astronauts Return To Maldives: Space Camp at COMO Maalifushi

Join us for an unforgettable galactic quest from August 5th to 14th, 2024, at COMO Maalifushi, led by American astronaut Nicole Stott and space advisor Christina Korp. Inspiring for both children and adults, this Space Camp offers a unique blend of adventure and education through art, food, and movement.

Our immersive Space Camp features a fun-filled itinerary of complimentary space-themed island activities for ages up to, ensuring every moment is packed with excitement and learning. All camp activities are complimentary for children aged four to 16.

  • Postcards to Space: Participate in Nicole Stott’s “Postcards to Space” project by creating postcards with artwork and messages about your hopes and dreams. These postcards will be sent to space and returned to you with a “flown in space” stamp.
  • Spacesuit Art: Contribute to “Quilted,” a collaborative art project with children from around the world by adding your unique touch to a spacesuit.
  • Blast Off: Build your own rocket from recycled materials and launch it high into the sky for a thrilling blast off!
  • Protect Our Planet: Discover the impact of human activity on our planet from a space perspective, followed by a beach clean-up on a neighbouring island.
  • Galactic Gastronomy: Enjoy a stellar dinner under the stars, hosted by Nicole Stott. Hear about her adventures aboard the International Space Station while savouring a specially crafted menu.

Island Warriors: Earth Camp at COMO Maalifushi

From July to August 2024, younger guests can join us for a journey through the wonders of the natural world, on land and under the sea. Enjoy educational activities exploring everything from marine biology to traditional crafts, fun-filled fitness workshops, treasure hunts on our castaway island, and more.

Take advantage of our exclusive Family Getaway Offer when you book a stay of five nights or more for Space and Earth Camp. Adults will receive daily half board and complimentary full-board and seaplane transfers for two children (under the age of 12).

Universe Under The Ocean: COMO Cocoa Island

From August 16th to 17th, 2024, dive into the depths of the ocean with NASA astronaut and aquanaut Nicole Stott at COMO Cocoa Island. Experience the ocean through a guided reef dive, learn about the rigorous training astronauts undergo, and enjoy a specially curated menu shared beneath the stars.

Join us for these extraordinary experiences and let your imagination soar beyond the stars!

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Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on journey of artistry with Clay Studio partnership

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Patina Maldives, renowned for its seamless blend of luxury, nature and artistic expression, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Clay Studio, the premier ceramics hub in the Maldives. The unique partnership brings a series of engaging and creative pottery experiences to guests of all ages, offering an enriching addition to their island stay.

Starting on 1 June, Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on a creative with Clay Studio, where they can explore the therapeutic and artistic world of ceramics. This collaboration offers a variety of immersive pottery classes that cater to both novice and experienced artisans.

Wheel Throwing Experience Taster Class

Guests can discover the soothing rhythm of shaping and molding clay in this engaging session. Perfect for unwinding and tapping into their artistic side, this class offers a hands-on introduction to the art of wheel throwing.

Hand Building Experience Taster Class

Participants will enjoy the intimate and expressive art of hand-building pottery. This class provides greater creative freedom, allowing them to craft intricate, personal designs that reflect their unique artistic vision.

Paint A Pot

Guests can unleash their creativity by transforming pre-made clay items into unique masterpieces. This session invites participants to paint their imagination onto cups, trinket dishes, and more.

Kids Clay Studio

Designed for young artists, this class nurtures creativity and imagination through fun, hands-on activities. Children develop fine motor skills and sensory awareness as they create their own unique pieces.

Couple Wheel Throwing Date

Couples can experience a romantic and unique activity in a private setting. This special session offers personalised instruction, making it memorable and intimate experience.

Guests can also enjoy personalised attention and exclusive guidance through private sessions. Ideal for families or couples seeking a bespoke experience, private classes are tailored to meet individual interest and skill levels.

Patina Maldives honours itself on offering extraordinary experiences that blend art, nature, community and connection. This collaboration with Clay Studio is a testament to the resort’s commitment to providing guests with sophisticated and fresh experiences that reveal new layers of possibility and inspiration.

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Utheemu Ganduvaru: Portal to Maldives’ national freedom

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The Maldives, often celebrated for its sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, also offers a rich tapestry of history and culture waiting to be explored. Among the islands of Haa Alif Atoll lies Utheemu Island, home to Utheemu Ganduvaru, a historical treasure that invites travellers to delve into the storied past of the archipelago.

Utheemu Ganduvaru, the ancestral home of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, stands as a poignant reminder of the Maldives’ fight for independence. Thakurufaanu, revered as a national hero, led a successful campaign against Portuguese occupation in the 16th century. His childhood home, Utheemu Ganduvaru, offers a rare glimpse into the life and times of this legendary figure.

In 1558, the Portuguese invaded the Maldives, killing the Sultan in battle and establishing their rule. Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his brothers, Ali and Hassan, left for Minicoy to prepare a campaign to liberate their country. The boat they built, Kalhuohfummi, was crucial to their efforts. Thakurufaanu and his brothers fought the Portuguese for eight years, landing on different islands under cover of night to evade capture, and departing before daybreak. Eventually, they landed in Malé and defeated the Portuguese leadership in the capital. Freed from Portuguese rule, the people chose Muhammad Thakurufaanu as their Sultan.

Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu ruled the Maldives for 12 years until his death in 1585. He is remembered as a considerate and just ruler, concerned for the well-being of even the poorest citizens. He is also credited with establishing the country’s first formal military unit.

Back at Utheemu Island, visitors are immediately struck by the island’s tranquil beauty and its lush, green landscape. The journey to Utheemu Ganduvaru is a step back in time, where the echoes of history are palpable. The residence itself, a traditional wooden palace, is meticulously preserved, showcasing the architectural ingenuity and cultural richness of the period.

As you enter Utheemu Ganduvaru, the simplicity and elegance of the structure are apparent. Built from timber, the palace is a fine example of traditional Maldivian craftsmanship. The intricate woodwork, with its detailed carvings and polished surfaces, speaks volumes about the artisanship that flourished during Thakurufaanu’s time.

The main hall, with its open layout and cool, shaded interiors, offers a sense of serenity and reflection. It was within these walls that Thakurufaanu spent his formative years, and each room tells a story of his early life and the influences that shaped his destiny. The residence includes living quarters and storage spaces, all arranged in a manner that reflects the daily life of a prominent Maldivian family in the 16th century.

One of the most compelling aspects of Utheemu Ganduvaru is its connection to the larger narrative of Maldivian resistance against foreign rule. Guides at the site often recount tales of Thakurufaanu’s daring exploits and strategic brilliance. His knowledge of the archipelago’s intricate waterways and his leadership in naval battles are celebrated as key factors in the successful expulsion of the Portuguese in 1573.

Beyond its historical significance, Utheemu Ganduvaru offers visitors a deeper understanding of Maldivian culture and heritage. The site is a testament to the resilience and unity of the Maldivian people, embodying values that continue to inspire. For travellers, a visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru is an opportunity to connect with the soul of the Maldives, experiencing the essence of its history and the spirit of its people.

While on Utheemu Island, visitors can explore other points of interest, such as the island’s beaches and vibrant local community. Engaging with the locals offers additional insights into Maldivian traditions and hospitality, enriching the overall experience.

For those seeking a journey through time, Utheemu Ganduvaru in Haa Alif Atoll is a destination that should not be missed. It is a place where the past comes alive, where the legacy of a hero continues to resonate, and where the true essence of the Maldives can be discovered. As you walk through the halls of Utheemu Ganduvaru, you are not just a visitor; you are a part of a historical journey that defines the Maldivian identity.

So, when planning your next visit to the Maldives, venture beyond the beaches and dive into the rich history of these islands. Let Utheemu Ganduvaru be the highlight of your cultural exploration, offering a meaningful and memorable connection to the heart of Maldivian heritage.

Cover photo: Andreas Faessler

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