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Festive nature wonderland at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort

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Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is set to welcome an array of festivities inspired by its natural surroundings to create a unique celebratory backdrop beyond paradise.

From ‘Rooted in Nature’ menus to illuminated banyan trees, private jungle dinners and an exhibition by National Geographic’s ‘Nature Photographer of the Year’, the resort will showcase nature at its best, complemented by a programme of active experiences led by internationally acclaimed Masters in Residence.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is uniquely located beyond the equator and boasts a unique jungle setting with over 17,000 coconut trees and majestic banyan trees. In celebration of the island’s unique ecosystem and biodiversity, this festive season, the resort will highlight its natural resources with an illuminated décor and sculptures made of handwoven palm leaves, creating a magical enchanting tropical feel.

The festive programme at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives will delight and inspire guests with culinary, recreation and wellness experts from around the world showcasing their unique mastership in harmony with the surrounding nature.

Gastronomic delights

Javvu restaurant will feature specialities from Japan, China and India, with expert chefs preparing à la minute culinary delights, such as sushi, fresh noodles and Indian delights, at their dedicated live cooking stations.

Sumptuous Christmas and New Year buffets will complement the gastronomic feast with international favourites, such as foie gras, Persian caviar, wagyu beef, whole crusted salmon and a dedicated cheese and desserts room to delight the most discerning gourmets.

The restaurant will also have a dedicated ‘Rooted in Nature’ corner featuring the finest locally and ethically sourced ingredients from Addu fishermen and local farmers.

Shangri-La’s ‘Rooted in Nature’ programme aims to respect the natural order of things and reduce the damage on the environment by supporting local agricultural and fishing communities, buying chemical pesticide-free local produce, acquiring sustainably sourced seafood caught through ethical means and serving organic and fair-trade products as indicated by national and local food safety standards.

Dr Ali’s restaurant will also feature ‘Rooted in Nature’ dishes from each of its three Oriental culinary masters: Chef Latif from India, Chef Liu from China and Chef Ahmed from the Middle East. Each chef will craft his own specialties using locally sourced ingredients, in addition to a six-course Asian set menu.

For an intimate and romantic festive celebration, Fashala restaurant, located at the edge of the island where the Indian Ocean meets the lagoon, puts premium products and bounties from the Indian Ocean at the centre of its culinary offerings. The six-course Mediterranean-inspired menu features wagyu tenderloin, Brittany blue lobster, and fresh white truffle.

Entertainment

Each restaurant will offer an entertainment line-up to delight its guests with live bands and DJ performing throughout the evening.

On New Year’s Eve, the countdown party at M Lounge, the resort’s trendy beachfront venue, will enthral guests with fabulous cocktails, a firework display and a live band and DJ performing international favourites. Guests will enjoy a unique show, specially curated for the resort, with acrobats, men on stilts and dancers performing around the theme of nature.

Exhibition by National Geographic ‘Nature Photographer of the Year’

An exhibition by Greg Lecoeur, an award-winning underwater and wildlife photographer, will showcase the natural wonders of Villingili and the seascape beyond. Specially curated for the resort following Greg’s visit earlier this year, the exhibition depicts the uniqueness of the flora and fauna around Villingili, which has the healthiest coral reef in all the Maldives, due to its location close to the Equator.

The exhibition also aims at creating awareness about natural resources and the danger the environment faces. It also promotes environmental protection as part of the resort’s Sanctuary project consisting of coral reef protection and rehabilitation. Two thousand corals have been successfully planted and growing healthily since the initiation of the project in 2015.

The Festive All-Inclusive Package at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives starts from USD 2,000 per night for two persons and is available for stays from December 20, 2019 to January 10, 2020. This offer includes accommodation for two in a luxury villa, a New Year’s Eve gala dinner, full board, an unlimited selection of beverages and unlimited access to non-motorised water sports.

A private hideaway, in a world of its own, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa is the perfect setting for couples, with its secluded location as part of the Maldives southernmost atoll.

For the ultimate luxury experience, Villa Muthee, is the epitome of tropical refinement. The presidential villa nestles in its own luxurious environment with its private walkway entrance, a spacious deck with a private infinity pool and direct access to the ocean, a separate living room, yoga pavilion and even its own spa treatment room to let guests relax without leaving the villa.

Beyond Villa Muthee, the resort offers an extensive choice of accommodation, such as the unique Tree House Villas, Perched on stilts among the emerald green treetops, the villas offer intimate settings with marvellous views of the ocean and a large deck with its own private infinity pool. For true ocean lovers, the Water Villas, positioned over the lagoon, offer the perfect seascape for those who cannot resist slipping into the aquamarine waters teeming with tropical marine life. These open and airy villas come with overwater hammocks for languorous lounging.

The resort offers many options for water adventurers, such as turtle-quest snorkelling, diving to a unique shipwreck site, surfing with half a dozen great wave setups or parasailing for a bird’s eye view of the island. Tropical ‘havenists’ will also find their own piece of paradise in the unique flora and fauna that can be explored while cycling around Villingili’s jungle and coastal pathways or while playing on the only golf course in the Maldives. Couples can also enjoy a range of cultural experiences like no other in the Maldives, with guided tours of the neighbouring islands of Addu atoll, visits to the local farms and samplings of Maldivian cuisine.

The brightest gem in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, Villingili island is a haven for those seeking true romance. As if it was meant to be, the resort is located in the heart-shaped Addu atoll, just a five-minute boat ride away from Gan International Airport.

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The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort presents exclusive wine dinner featuring Vollereaux Winery

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The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort invites guests to experience an exceptional dining event on May 28, 2023. This exclusive dinner will showcase a six-course menu thoughtfully paired with an exceptional selection of wines from the renowned Vollereaux winery, recognized for over 200 years of winemaking heritage among six generations. The event will be held at the resort’s picturesque beach, providing a stunning backdrop for an unforgettable evening.

Julien Breuzon, the Export Director of Vollereaux, will host the evening for guests at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Breuzon will expertly guide guests through each wine selection, providing insights into the vineyard’s history, production methods, and unique flavor profiles. To mark the beginning of this exciting partnership, the resort will showcase a personalized Vollereaux Champagne bottle at Sunset Bar, followed by a tasting, open to all guests, to celebrate the resort’s commitment to providing the ultimate indulgent experience.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Jorge Colazo, the menu will offer six courses that blend local flavors with a fine dining twist, expertly paired with a variety of Vollereaux wines. From Fines de Claires oyster with Vollereaux Champagne, Maldivian tuna tartar matched with La petit Balthazar Vioginer-Sauvignon Blanc 2021, to Smoked Angus beef paired with Quintessence Ventoux Chateau pesquie Rouge 2020, each dish will offer a unique culinary experience. The elevated menu is crafted with Westin’s Eat Well pillar in mind, prioritizing nutritious and wholesome ingredients that nourish both the body and mind.

“We are excited to bring this unique dining experience to our guests,” said Deepak Kumar, Director of Food & Beverage of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. “This exclusive event is the perfect opportunity for guests to connect and savor world-class cuisine and wines in an unforgettable setting.”

The intimate atmosphere of the dinner will accommodate a limited number of guests, in line with the winery’s philosophy that wine is a gathering point. The event will commence at 7:30 pm and is priced at USD 245++ per person. Don’t miss out on this remarkable opportunity to relish an exquisite dining experience in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.

To know more about the resort visit westin-maldives.com

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Vakkaru Maldives to host ‘Sip and Savour Tuscany’

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Vakkaru Maldives is excited to bring a slice of Tuscany to the island paradise this January with an ultra -exclusive wine dinner on 22 January 2023, in collaboration with the famed Banfi winery, one Michelin star Chef Domenico Francone, and Di-vine Cellars Maldives.

The one-night-only dinner at Isoletta beach, will see Chef Domenico create a five-course dinner showcasing the best of Italian flavours paired with a curated selection of wines from the Banfi portfolio.

Banfi was founded in 1978 by Italian-American brothers John and Harry Mariani. Over the past 40 years, Banfi has built a successful and notable history through four key pillars – pioneering, research, innovation, and sustainability – that have helped shape the company’s story and contributed to its success. The Banfi is arguably the most famous of the brand’s Italian wineries. Located just outside the hilltop village of Montalcino, in one of the world’s most famous wine-producing regions, Tuscany, it produces world- class Brunello’s, Rosso’s and Super Tuscans. Banfi also operates other estates throughout Tuscany and Piedmont, producing various red, white, and rose wines.

The centrepiece of their extensive vineyards in Tuscany is the stunning, walled and turreted 13th-century castle, Castello Poggio Alle Mura. It houses a hotel, a glass museum, the Enoteca, and two restaurants, including the one Michelin star, La Sala dei Grappoli — Chef Domenico Francone’s domain.

Originally from Puglia, Chef Domenico Francone grew up in a family with a strong culinary tradition. After graduating from the IPSAR Antonio Turi in Matera, he gained experience in several prestigious Italian and international restaurants, including at German super chef Heinz Beck’s starred restaurant in London, Apsleys. On his return to Italy, he was offered the executive chef post of La Taverna, Castello Banfi’s other restaurant. He then headed the opening of La Sala dei Grappoli, serving a seasonal menu of traditional Tuscan dishes with a modern twist that won the restaurant its first Michelin Star in 2020.

Chef Domenico will bring his culinary expertise and authentic Tuscan flavours to Vakkaru and create an unforgettable dining experience for guests.

“I am amazed by the natural beauty of Vakkaru island and all the wonderful experiences it offers. I look forward to enjoying them when I am on the island. I am thrilled to bring the authentic flavours of Tuscany to Vakkaru and to share my passion for Italian cuisine with the guests,” he says.

“The combination of my signature dishes such as the ‘Tortelli like Eggplant Parmigiana’ and the ‘Tenderloin, artichoke, vegetables caponata and Brunello di Montalcino Jus’, and the exceptional wines from Banfi will create a truly unforgettable dining experience.”

Speaking about the upcoming dinner, Iain McCormack, General Manager, Vakkaru Maldives, says: “We are always looking for ways to enhance the guest experience at Vakkaru and give them elevated culinary offerings. Thanks to Di-vine Cellars, this collaboration with Chef Domenico and Banfi allows us to do just that. We can’t wait for our guests to experience the authentic Italian taste and exceptional wines at Isoletta.”

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THE OZEN COLLECTION hosts partners retreat in Champagne region of France

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THE OZEN COLLECTION and Mr and Mrs Charbaut of the Guy Charbaut Champagne House hosted a one-of-a-kind retreat from 16 to 17 December for three senior partners in the Champagne region of France.

Quintessential Champagne lifestyle came alive through a stay at the family home of Mr and Mrs Charbaut. Cellar visits, masterclasses, tastings, gastronomy, and charming nights in the heart of a world heritage site added to the memorable experience.

Salil Panigrahi, the Managing Director of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, and Stephane Laguette, the Chief Commercial Officer, personally invited the partners. On the invitee list were Tom Chamber, the Managing Director of Hummingbird Travel, and James Robertson, the Regional Destination Manager of Scott Dunn. THE OZEN COLLECTION was also represented by the Director of Wine, Nicolas Laguette.

THE OZEN COLLECTION creates timeless sanctuaries that exude tranquillity and inspiration. An abundance of sophisticated experiences seamlessly blended with a grand sense of space and design, tailored wellness journeys and an enriching culture set apart the brand’s two resorts in the Maldives.

OZEN LIFE MAADHOO, the first resort under this brand, opened in July 2016. THE OZEN COLLECTION’s success story continues in the Maldives with the addition of OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, launched in December 2020.

THE OZEN COLLECTION recently announced plans to expand its portfolio with two new properties, OZEN MANSION KOLKATA in India and OZEN PRIVÉ ATHIRI GILI in Maldives. The new additions will bring distinctive, unique concepts to the portfolio – be it an elegantly lavish interlude amidst the old-world charms of Kolkata or a sustainable, secluded sojourn in the Maldives.

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