No surprises, no shocks, no hidden extras – all included in one price! You may have come across this tagline from tourism-related advertisements, and if you have, you shouldn’t be surprised or shocked. After all, that’s very true, but only if you have chosen a resort run by Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts.
Since opening its first resort in 2013, Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts have been making waves within the local and Indian Ocean hospitality industry. Especially OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, the flagship of the Indian Ocean Hotel Group, has established itself as one of the top luxury resorts with a very special holiday plan according to the brand’s core philosophy: ‘The Joy of Giving’.
Amongst Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts’ five properties already in operation, its flagship luxury all-inclusive resort, OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, stands out in particular.
Having opened its shores to the world in 2016, on the tranquil island of Maadhoo in South Male Atoll, OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo offers the discerning traveller a uniquely exclusive holiday plan — the Atmosphere Indulgence, where guests will experience the ultimate hassle-free beach holiday in the Maldives. The contemporary design style of the resort’s 90 standalone luxury villas and overall ambience of OZEN complements the naturally-blessed surroundings of Maadhoo island,
We speak to Nishant Agarwal, the General Manager at OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, about what makes OZEN and its sister resorts a favourite amongst holidaymakers from the world over.
Maldives Insider: Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts is known for its guiding core philosophy, the ‘Joy of Giving’. Could you please explain how this philosophy shapes the guest experience?
Nishant Agarwal: Atmosphere prefers to go beyond the typical all-inclusive philosophy and is more extensive than what it is typically known as. Instead we refer to it as an all-encompassing Holiday Plan – custom tailored to each island’s unique experiences and for the type of guests that would come to the resort and to include elements of what they would like to experience on their holiday. We continue to strive to offer best in class experience for each uniquely positioned sub-brand of the Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts brand. In OZEN by Atmosphere we even top this, by having even included services, where people don’t think about. It’s called the Atmosphere Indulgence plan. It includes dine-around at four restaurants when you stay for minimum four nights. The only restaurant restricted to only one meal per stay is the M6m Underwater Restaurant. That’s because of the demand and we want to give all our guests the chance to have this experience. We have more than 80 labels of wine included in the package. There is no end when it comes to food and beverage. You can visit our a la carte restaurants or buffets and order whatever you want, with unlimited alcoholic beverages such as worldwide known exclusive wines, branded champagnes, high level whiskeys, gins, etc. Additionally, minibars are replenished twice a day with Champagne, wines and snacks. Sixty minutes’ spa treatment is included. You can even go for a dive – for every four nights stay.
With this plan, we are transparent in all our marketing collaterals. Whatever mentioned will be delivered and there will be no hidden costs. It’s about delivering more than what you promise. That gets incorporated in the entire service culture of the hotel where everyone serves you from their heart in order to make sure that our guests have the best experience.
MI: Maldivian resorts have traditionally focused on revenue from extras such as excursions, and food and beverage. As the ‘Joy of Giving’ philosophy stands to change that approach, what are the advantages offered by this new philosophy compare to traditional package holidays?
NA: Our Managing Director Salil Panigrahi and team wanted to create a truly luxurious lifestyle experience with no surprises, no shocks, no hidden extras – all included in one price. Where guests might usually spend up to an extra 50 per cent on top of the normal room rates to experience everything else, OZEN’s Indulgence Plan stands out as remarkably different. And so do our other four resorts – all in its own categories.
MI: What are the culinary highlights of OZEN?
NA: Variety of culinary options and restaurants — all included in the Indulgence plan — is a highlight of our resort. M6m Underwater Restaurant is without doubt the jewel in the crown of the fining dining experiences available at OZEN. This is the only underwater restaurant in the world that is included in an all-inclusive package. With a mesmeric view of the lagoon and ocean, M6m strives to deliver some of the finest modern seafood cuisine in the world. The creation, vibrant design and amazing presentation of dishes showcase the exemplary use of fine dining cooking techniques with quality ingredients, whereby drawing a fine line between gastronomy and art!
Besides that, our main restaurant, The Palms, offers international cuisine, with changing themes every day. IndoCeylon restaurant goes to traditional culinary roots of South Asia with Indian, Sri Lankan and Maldivian flavours. Peking overwater restaurant takes guests to a culinary journey to the origins of Far-East cuisine, showcasing authentic Chinese dishes. Apart from that, our ‘Joie De Vivre’ pool bar and pizzeria serves a vast selection of signature cocktails, drinks and snacks throughout the day. And every Friday – when all outlets are closed – we celebrate the Indian Ocean Nights – with live cooking stations open-air, live music, BBQ and much more.
MI: What is being done to maintain and further advance OZEN’s current standing amongst Maldivian resorts?
NA: We are well-positioned in the market. So, the challenge is to sustain the position. One thing we don’t compromise is our service philosophy and culture, which comes from our people. As food and beverage is one of our biggest strengths, we keep on enhancing what we offer. We regularly change the menus at the restaurants. And in addition to providing some of the world’s finest Champagne, guests at OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo can enjoy a variety of exclusive foods from Italy, Spain, Germany and France; all of which come from regions that are well-known for producing the highest-quality products. So we have very special bread, meat, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in OZEN by Atmosphere. Last year, we introduced a gin bar with more than 40 varieties of gin — also included in the Indulgence package. We are also working on introducing more services, including a new restaurant and a visiting celebrity chefs programme. The latest addition to OZEN’s extensive beverage menu is a selection of Guy Charbaut Champagne from one of France’s finest wine-making regions, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. This region is known worldwide for producing superior quality Terroir Champagne. So again, this will be also part of our Indulgence Plan. We are constantly improving and thinking about how to make our offer better. There is always room for improvement; and this exactly is our challenge.
MI: What do you focus the most in leading the team at OZEN?
NA: The essence of our service and guest experience is based on our team. To have a great team, you need to motivate and keep them engaged. Since we are away from other islands, we have to ensure that they feel like being part of one big family. At OZEN, we have a separate island for team members. In fact, we are the first resort in Maldives with a separate island for the team. We have a recreation centre with a fully-equipped gym and other facilities. Our HR team is trying to keep them involved with recreational activities such football, cricket, etc. We also organise regular fishing trips, island trips and picnics to nearby islands. We have a diverse team, comprising of 26 nationalities and more than 30 languages. We provide equal opportunities to both genders and try to maintain a good gender balance at all times. For instance, at M6m, we have an international all-female team So you will be served from maybe someone from Azerbaijan, Brazil or Uzbekistan. I believe in empowering the team by giving the authority to make decisions.
MI: Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts is arguably one of the most successful hospitality brands from the Maldives. What’s next for the brand?
NA: We have ambitious expansion plans for the Maldives and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka we will open another OZEN by Atmosphere – which will take our brand to the next level of hospitality with our first international venture. Our newest addition VARU by Atmosphere just opened on October 17, 2019, it is already a success. Further to come – stay tuned.
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 https://www.parkhotelgroup.com/north-male-atoll/grand-park-kodhipparu-maldives/offers/winter-getaway/ to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!
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.
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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