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Restaurant hopping, treasure hunt at ‘Secret Water Island’ in Maldives



A 55-minute scenic seaplane ride later my colleagues from the Maldivian travel community and I were welcomed like celebrities to the “Secret Water Island”, officially known as the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi!

One of the latest additions to AccorHotel Group’s increasing portfolio of resorts in Maldives and the first under the French multinational hotel group’s Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand, this luxury resort is located in Shaviyani atoll – one of the least explored atolls in Maldives. Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the only resort in the northern atoll, and most of the atoll’s wonders and underwater beauty are yet to be explored.

On arrival, I checked into my private villa. I stayed at a Beach Front Villa, which is nestled amongst lush tropical vegetation and coconut palms. The large courtyard around the villa provides complete privacy with no disturbance from other guests. The villa comes with its own swimming pool. The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the pool was if I should be spending more time in the pool, on the beach or in the lagoon. The 495sqm villa (plus 25sqm pool area) offers all the comforts you need, including a Nespresso machine, wine fridge and home theatre system. Villa Hosts are available round the clock.

Our programme was organised in an adventurous way, and soon enough I was whisked away to a cocktail party organised at the island’s main pool side. Starting from one side of the island to the other, this is the longest pool in the Maldives – meaning guests can enjoy sunrise as well sunset in one pool!

I met the General Manager Ian McCormack and had a good conversation about life on an island far away from the rest and taking the challenges that he faced in a positive manner.

Our next stop was Kata, a Japanese restaurant built over the lagoon overlooking the water villas. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the sunset whilst enjoying Japanese-inspired tapas, cocktails and sakes.

After the sunset cocktail, we moved to a Tented Jungle Villa – a first and the only villas of the sort in the Maldives – for our next round of cocktails and canapes. These villas are well positioned inside the lush tropical jungle. Villas include a master bedroom and an extra bedroom for family or friends. The 525sqm villa — and its separate 95sqm pool deck — offers all the comfort and facilities you will find in any other villa on the island including a jungle swimming pool. This is the perfect place for nature lovers!

After enjoying cocktails, tapas and canapés at three different locations, it was time for dinner at Azure restaurant. Azure is an elegant yet casual seafood restaurant built over the lagoon. It serves freshly caught seafood and meat paired with exquisite wines from around the world – all the while enjoying breath-taking vistas of the ocean.

Later, we moved to Onu Onu Bar to enjoy dessert. Onu means bamboo in Maldivian language, and this bar is themed true to its name with bamboo by Balinese artisans. The exotic location coupled with refreshing cocktails and drinks make it the perfect spot for after dinner social hours. Live music combined with theatrical fire displays create a fascinating ambience and perfect memories. Twinkling candles, a laidback soundtrack and comfortable sandy beach seating make it the ideal place to wind down after a busy day of exploring.

The following day, at breakfast, we were informed of a treasure hunt. Everyone who participated was divided into four groups. Our first clue was to go to the Yoga Pavilion and on arrival the resident yogi gave us a brief yoga session before giving the next clue to the tennis court.

At the tennis court, the resort’s resident tennis pro gave us some tennis lessons before pointing out to the art studio as the next clue. At the art studio, we created an art piece on canvas by painting with our hands. As the next clue, we were told to explore the Willow Stream Spa. It offers a wellness experience that rivals others, offering carefully curated treatments that embody the island life – a serene retreat for the mind, body and soul.

As the final destination, we visited the Villa 710, a three-bedroom overwater villa on the sunset side of the island. Sporting rustic chic décor and the latest technology, this villa has a spacious terrace and a large private pool. Meanwhile, the 525sqm Three-Bedroom Pool Villas feature a master bedroom with a separate pool area, which measures 73sqm, and separate entrance.

Our team won the treasure hunt as the others were disqualified on the grounds that they took the buggy ride against the instructions.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is your personal hideaway. It is that magical place where time stops and worries are brushed aside. From a secluded romantic getaway to an unforgettable family holiday, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi provides the perfect setting for a magical experience.


Award-winning Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives launches indulgence winter offer



Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently announced scooping up the title of “Best Boutique Resort in Maldives” for the second consecutive year, awarded by the Travel Trade Maldives which comes as no surprise as it is one of the best destinations to experience the unreal sunsets you will ever see while projecting extravagant character and easy-going exotica.

What’s really shaking things up this holiday season at this cozy luxury boutique island resort is that you will be spoiled for choice with one beach for every day. That is right – home to four beautiful beaches, Wai, Veli, Dhigu, and Divehi, all with their unique character – letting you sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, and cycle overwater around the island to your heart’s content. Touching down at Kodhipparu, adventure seekers can revel in countless opportunities for wild coral reef dives, parasailing up the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, or even simply zen out to sunrise and sunset with the resident yogi.

To celebrate the win, and to rev up the appetite with seaside excursions, the resort announced the launch of the exclusive “Kodhipparu Indulgence” offer with an unparalleled dining experience and a consequential gourmet coma that is fully worth every penny you’ve spent on your extravagant holiday.

Set your seaside expedition dreams to a reality, with attractive offerings from the resort-owned marine sports centre as well as the luxury overwater spa, that will have you wanting to extend your holiday. What’s more, you get to enjoy complimentary roundtrip speedboat transfers saving you quite a few pennies on your vacation.

The little explorers with big dreams are welcome to stay and dine free of charge sharing the room with the parents, whether it is by spending their time decorating some yummy cupcakes or catching a kiddies movie under the stars with popcorn.

If you are looking for a romantic touch, with an ample amount of floating rose petals in your pool, or a swoon-worthy proposal set up at a secret corner of the island out of bounds to others or even a candle-lit dinner on the secluded beaches with you and your beau, all you have to do is message your lifestyle host to work the magic and make it happen for you. With the Kodhipparu dedicated lifestyle host service, everything is just a message away.

As is all good things, this offer is only for a limited time period, so make use of this exclusive indulgence package at Grand Park Kodhipparu comes with an amazing 35% discount on all villa categories.

Simply head over to to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!

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An Insider

Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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Fan Club

A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives



The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.

For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.

Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.

The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.

Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.

As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.

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