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Unforgettable taste of paradise: Waldorf Astoria Maldives’ 11 speciality dining venues offer feast for senses

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Hilton’s luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, takes guests on an unforgettable culinary journey at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, which opened its doors on July 1.

In line with the brand’s rich legacy of culinary innovation and excellence, the all-pool villa resort has been designed to appeal to luxury leisure seekers with a refined palate and an appreciation for international cuisine, featuring 11 speciality dining venues serving the freshest produce in extraordinary settings — the diversity of which is a first for the Maldives.

“Dining is undoubtedly one of the most integral parts of hospitality. The Waldorf Astoria brand has been redefining the standards of culinary excellence for generations, and our latest opening only elevates this further. Taste is personal to every individual, so our strategy was to create an unparalleled variety of dining concepts to suit all, ensuring every guest remembers their unique dining experience long after they depart the island,” Adam Crocini, Vice President, Food & Beverage, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton, said.

Terra

Located on the highest point on the island, Terra provides a picturesque dining-in-the-sky experience in private dining nests for two or four, crafted from natural bamboo. The finest ingredients are transformed into impeccably curated flavours for diners to enjoy as they take in the sublime views of the island.

The Ledge

Created by Chef Dave Pynt, culinary mastermind behind Singapore’s Michelin-starred Burnt Ends restaurant, The Ledge uses specialty barbecue techniques such as smoking and slow roasting using a custom-built, four-ton, dual-cavity oven and elevation grills fired by sustainable Jarrah wood, to serve up unique flavours against the stunning Maldivian backdrop. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch of poolside favourites — including the signature lobster roll — during the day, and it’s the place to go for the finest cut of succulent, wood-fired meats and wine in the evening.

Dave Pynt elaborates, “The food we serve and our approach fit perfectly with the stunning beaches of the Maldives. Guests dining at The Ledge can expect simple but perfectly executed barbecue food featuring amazing local seafood and a well-curated meat selection.”

The Rock

Nestled amongst boulders, The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space. Guests can indulge in exquisite food and wine pairings or opt for an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to the renowned wine regions around the world.

Yasmeen

Named after jasmine flowers, which represent the unity of an Arabic village, Yasmeen’s traditional aesthetic matches its culinary offering. Inviting guests to savour authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, hot pitas and puffed breads are baked in ovens that are based on centuries-old designs. Charcoal-roasted meats and hot and cold mezzes are served in al fresco settings filled with a carefully sourced selection of one-of-a-kind decorative artefacts and antiques, creating the perfect blend of sensorial experiences that will not be forgotten.

Li Long

Guests seeking an authentic contemporary Chinese fine-dining experience will find themselves immersed in the Shanghainese era once they pass through the moon gate at Li Long. After marvelling at the restaurant’s two-metre-high, bespoke feature bell with an intricate oriental design, guests can enjoy Peking duck that has been prepared in the Maldives’ first wood-fired oven and carved tableside by a Chinese master chef — all while taking in the breath-taking ocean views, as the restaurant perches overwater. A private dining room is also available for those seeking a more exclusive experience.

Glow

Set in a greenhouse-like structure shaded by greenery, Glow celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from the freshest ingredients harvested from the edible garden surrounding the restaurant’s main dining area. The garden, which features 20 types of herbs and fruit plants, including coriander, curry leaves and lemongrass, is the first thing guests see when they walk into the restaurant, providing an immersive prelude to the dining experience.

Amber

A champagne bar with an unrivalled view of the magnificent Maldivian sunset, Amber is the idyllic setting for perfectly chilled champagne, modern cocktails and gourmet canapés.

Nava

A beach club that spans the Mirror pool, Lagoon pool and sandy white beach, Nava also offers refreshing cocktails, light meals and pizza from a wood-fired oven for savouring by the poolside or the beach.

Tangled

The island’s favourite lunch spot, Tangled, offers unique tastes of Asian delights, including innovative, flavourful noodle creations and handcrafted dim sum, complemented with a selection of infused tea, beer and sake.

Peacock Alley

A serene lounge overlooking the water with live entertainment, Peacock Alley serves a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, wines, tapas and cigars, making it the ideal meeting place for a pre- or post-dinner rendezvous. In keeping with the Waldorf Astoria legacy, the speciality here is afternoon tea, enjoyed in comfort on the lounge’s dual-tone furnishings.

Tasting Table

At Tasting Table, guests can start their day with a gourmet breakfast while enjoying tranquil views of the sunrise over the horizon. When day turns into night, the sunset views transform the restaurant into a beachside dining venue offering international favourites.

Culinary Director at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Chef Vijayakant ‘Vijay’ Shanmugam, Director of Culinary, leads the gastronomic vision for the resort. With nearly 20 years of experience in prestigious restaurants and hotels, Chef Vijay is renowned for creating new dishes and flavours inspired by local ingredients, traditional culture and the native landscape.

Under Chef Vijay’s direction, the resort focuses on sustainable, locally sourced ingredients to create innovative, modern dishes that pay homage to the iconic destination. The resort grows its own fruit, vegetables and herbs in its on-island nurseries and partners with the community of local fisherman to ensure a consistent supply of the freshest catch of the day — so guests can delight in an unparalleled epicurean experience.

“I believe hospitality and in particular food and beverage operations have an important part to play in the sustainability of our environment and planet,” said chef Vijay.

“Here at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, we have plenty of opportunities to adopt sustainable alternatives and solutions, such as locally sourced, organic produce, Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified seafood and bottled still and sparkling water, which we produce at the resort — we are extremely fortunate to be able to extend these options to our guests.”

Spanning three interconnected islands in the South Male Atoll, and a short 30-minute yacht journey away from Velana International Airport, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is an iconic resort paradise surrounded by the natural beauty of the Maldivian landscape and the crystal-clear Indian Ocean.

Aside from the excellent restaurants and bars, the resort also boasts 122 spacious villas, the Waldorf Astoria Young Discovery Park and a world-class spa.

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Bandos Maldives Easter Eggstravaganza: A Celebration of Fun and Adventure

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Bandos Maldives is thrilled to announce the Easter Eggstravaganza, set to take place on March 30th, 2024. This  vibrant celebration promises an unforgettable Easter experience for guests of all ages. The event will feature an  array of exciting activities designed to bring joy and excitement to the holiday festivities. 

Guests are invited to step right up to the Kokko Club Playground and immerse themselves in a world of fun at our  Mini Carnival. Additionally, participants can test their luck and skill at the Blackout Bingo Bonanza, where dabbing  their way to victory awaits. 

For those with a creative spirit, our Easter Art painting session offers the perfect opportunity to unleash their artistic talents and paint their way into spring. Meanwhile, adventure seekers can embark on a thrilling Bunny Trail  Adventure, joining the epic Bunny Hunt Challenge to locate all the hidden bunnies lurking around the Kokko Club. 

At Bandos Maldives, we are committed to providing our guests with extraordinary experiences, and the Bandos  Easter Eggstravaganza is no exception. This Easter, make memories that last a lifetime at Bandos Maldives. Don’t  miss out on the excitement! 

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Baros Maldives: The Perfect Setting for a Joyful Easter in the Maldives

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Baros is a treasure nestled in the Indian Ocean, just waiting to be discovered. This Easter, uncover the myriad of delights on offer for guests celebrating the holiday on our pristine island shores. 

From sunrise dolphin cruises to underwater marvels, serene spa journeys and delicious culinary sensations, every moment on Baros is a magical surprise. From 29th March to 4th April 2024, the Baros team has curated a special program of Easter celebration. Choose from a wide range of specially crafted experiences and curate your very own Easter escape of a lifetime. 

Baros delights the senses. There is something for everyone to enjoy, from snorkelling, diving and exciting excursions to unparalleled destination dining experiences and sensational spa moments. 

Guests are invited to harvest fresh and exotic ingredients from Baros’s Chef’s Garden for a unique meal preparation under the expert guidance of our award-winning chefs. Alternatively, they can immerse themselves in the allure of a specially curated menu, set by the seashore under a tapestry of stars. Every dish is a culinary masterpiece, creating unforgettable moments. 

For adventure on the high seas, guests can spend the day exploring five traditional fishing methods across multiple stunning locations on a fishing extravaganza. Or set sail on Baros’s luxury yacht, Serenity for a sunrise frolic with playful dolphins. 

At Baros, guests are welcomed to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of Maldivian culture as local traditions come alive. Delve into the rich history and customs of our island sanctuary as you tantalise your senses with local delicacies, participate in interactive experiences and listen to captivating narratives from a local historian. 

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Announces 2024 Masters of Crafts Program With Stellar Line-Up of Guest Experiences

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is set to  welcome a shining season of global talent in its signature Masters of Crafts program for the second year  running. Working with some of the world’s most talented masters of food and drink, wellness, adventure  and environmental innovation, the resort’s curation of considered guest experiences has transformative  travel at its heart. From epicurean journeys with Michelin Star chefs and award-winning bartenders, retreats  guided by leading names in wellness, to adventure and learning with surf icons and environmental thought  leaders, 2024 guarantees extraordinary memories of a lifetime.  

The series, which last year included two Michelin Star British chef Tom Sellers with decorated bartenders  from Singapore’s Vijay Mudaliar of Native, to Malaysia’s Jungle Bird and celebrity crystal healer Emma  Knowles, will run throughout 2024 bringing a star-studded choice of dates to the luxury travel agenda. 

The resort’s signature Behind the Bar series is set to impress in 2024. Opening on the 8th March and running  through to the 6th December, this exclusive program promises an exquisite fusion of international mixology  talent, sustainability-focused concepts, and a celebration of local ingredients. Guests will have access to  some of the world’s most decorated drinksmiths with a line-up including; Stockholm’s Hampus Thunholm  from Röda Huset, 8th-13th March, Paul Aguilar & Maros Dzurus from HIMKOK, 5th-6th April, Republic from Singapore, 24th – 25th July, Bangkok’s Matteo Cadeddu from Opium, 9th-10th August, New York’s  Harrison Ginsberg from Overstory, 18th-19th September, Berlin’s Damien Guichard from Wax On, 22nd, 23rd November and Paris’ Hyacinthe Lescoet from The Cambridge Public House, 5th-6th December.

This Easter, from 27th March – 2nd April, New York based meditation practitioner and contemplative  guide Kirat Randhawa, will inspire guests to approach life through a different lens. Randhawa will share  practical tools for self-care on a journey of discovery where transformative sessions and empowering  wellness practices will include; cultivating stillness, igniting and welcoming reflection, inviting expansion,  practicing reinforcement and deepening integration.  

From 23rd-27th May an immersive wellness retreat brings together global gurus of practice with The  Essence of Balance – Elemental Harmony. A week-long program will follow a journey driven by the  spiritual power of the number five and the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and spirit. Guiding a cosmic  dance are five practitioners each custodians of an elemental force.  

California-based international yoga teacher Josh Kramer brings the grounding element of earth with his  celebrated practice blending Iyengar and vinyasa flow. Movement instructor and founder of the Jacy Method, Jacy Cunningham introduces his powerful method of physical movement representing the  adaptability of water, while sound healer and Reiki master Nicole Rutsch will harness the intellect of air  and the power of nature’s vibrations. New York’s Jackie Stewart will channel transcendence of spirit with guided meditation, while guests will be nourished by Nicole Berrie, founder of cult wellness guide,  Bonberi, with a plant-based menu of her most celebrated dishes representing the transformative element of  fire.  

In a Summer of Renewal, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is committed to ensuring that all guests  ‘Leave Better’. From 19th-23rd July, celebrity healer and founder of the sound healing school The Copper  Vessel, Susy Markoe Schieffelin, will take residency with a soothing practice guided by the moon. Under  Maldivian skies guests will bathe in Susy’s signature sound baths as enjoyed by millions worldwide, with her clients including Google, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and solo artist LeAnn Rimes. From 15th-20th August the Summer transformation continues with movement guidance from celebrated practitioner and  founder of Project Woman, Abi Adams. During two programs guests will embark on an emotional journey and exploration of hormonal balance with tools of meridian dance, rhythm meditation, music, yoga and  creative writing.  

A first for the resort, 2024 sees the introduction of two retreats partnering with championship surf heroes Nic von Rupp and Victor Bernardo. During the Maldives’ optimum surf season of June and July, the exhilarating escapes led by von Rupp and Bernardo will allow guests to ride and master the four most  popular waves in the North Malé Atoll comprising Chicken, Cokes Surf Break, Honkeys and Jailbreak.  

With his trademark touch of Portuguese flair and German strength, Nic Von Rupp is one of the top ‘big  wave’ surfers in the world. Two-time finalist of ‘World Surf League Big Wave Performance of the Year’,  von Rupp spends his time in pursuit of the world’s largest swells and will take the helm at The Ritz-Carlton  Maldives, Fari Islands from 4th-13th June. Brazilian big wave surfer Victor Bernardo was born on a board,  surfing from the age of four and with global accolades under his belt, he is one to watch on the free surfer  circuit. Bernardo will lead a guest retreat from 1st-7th July

Growing its stable of exceptional gastronomic experiences, 2024 will see pop-up residencies with an  impressive circle of culinary friends. From 27th July-3rdAugust, two Michelin Star and one Michelin Green  Star, Chef Bruno Verjus brings a taste of his Paris restaurant Table by Bruno Verjus to the Fari Islands.  For two nights only, an exquisite menu from the home of the famed ‘tarte au chocolat avec caviar’ will be  created and served under the stars at the resort’s Beach Shack. Guests will also have the opportunity to join  Verjus in an exclusive masterclass, and for the winning bidders of the Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ package, the chance to embark on a big game fishing excursion.  

From 10th-12th August Chef Pam Soontornyanakij, newly crowned Asia’s Best Female Chef 2024, will  bring her celebrated mastery from Bangkok’s Potong. The first and youngest female chef to receive both a  Michelin Star and ‘Opening of the Year’ award from the Michelin guide in the same year will present a  bespoke menu of her progressive Thai-Chinese cuisine in an exclusive two-night residency at Summer  Pavilion.

Chef Rolf Fliegaulkf, founder and executive chef of Switzerland’s Ecco will take over the resort’s Beach  Shack for two nights from 12th-14th November. The two Michelin Star and 18 Gault Millau points’  Fliegaulkf will unveil a creative menu bursting with exquisite flavour pairings demonstrating his signature  approach of ‘purist aroma cuisine’. 

The resort’s Visiting Heroes for 2024 bring inspired interactions with conservationists and environmental  thought leaders. From 8th-18th April legendary ocean explorer, film maker and conservationist Jean-Michel  Cousteau will be returning to the resort in continuation of the Ambassadors of the Environment program  and to provide a truly unique residency. Cousteau will host several presentations focused on marine biology,  lead a number of dives with guests including coral regeneration, and chair a thought-provoking panel  discussion alongside marine biologists and representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change,  Environment, and Energy. An exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ experience will be available to two  lucky guests via bid application, closing on the 23rd March. 

Joining the Visiting Heroes series, climate activist and Forbes 30 under 30 for social impact, Saad  Amer will play a pivotal role in the development of the resort’s sustainability agenda this year. A UN  consultant and named ‘most influential voice in ESG’ by WWD, Amer will be launching new sustainability  initiatives while undertaking educational programming with local islands and schools as part of the resort’s Community Footprints program. Dates for guest presentations and exclusive panel sessions will be announced soon. 

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