Three resorts in Maldives have been named amongst the best new luxury hotels of this decade by Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI).
With 12 highly experienced and passionate researchers across the world, no one is better placed than LTI to determine the best 10 new luxury hotels of the past decade.
This has been an extraordinary 10 years for the global luxury hotel sector, with constant development and huge ‘money is no object’ investment taking place, bringing the luxury traveller a vast choice of superb new properties and admittedly, some disastrous ones.
It’s been a challenging project for the team at LTI, but after thorough consideration, they have determined ‘the perfect 10’. The three Maldivian properties on the list include Cheval Blanc Randheli, Velaa Private Island and Soneva Jani.
Cheval Blanc Randheli
Accessible by a scenic 40-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport, Cheval Blanc Randheli is one-of-a-kind exclusive property from the luxury fashion group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the creative mind behind some of the world’s most stunning resorts including the Chedi Muscat and many Aman resorts, Randheli marries contemporary aesthetic with the traditional Maldivian craftsmanship.
The multi-award-winning resort offers 46 villas in three different categories to choose from; Island, Water or Garden. They have a variety of contemporary design elements, high doors and ceilings, outdoor areas for relaxation, pool terraces, a 12.5m long private swimming pool and lagoon-side pontoons.
The award-winning Owner’s Villa at Cheval Blanc Randheli sprawls across its one-hectare dedicated island, and is accessible from a private berth and jetty. This four-bedroom villa is the epitome of exclusive privacy with unique facilities including its own spa, oversized 25-metre long outdoor pool, pristine beaches and exotic gardens.
Cheval Blanc Randheli consists of five sumptuous restaurants, and stylish bars, set amidst a backdrop of ivory beaches and crystalline waters. The award-winning Le 1947 fine dining restaurant offers an exceptional nine-course culinary experience, which pays tribute to French cuisine, interpreted with delicacy and creativity in a Maldivian setting.
The property’s Cheval Blanc Spa is located on its own private island, and offers Guerlain treatments.
The family-friendly destination is also home to the Le Carrousel and Le Paddock kids’ and teens’ clubs, providing unfettered access to unforgettable experiences.
Velaa Private Island
Tucked away within the collection of islands that form the northern Noonu atoll, Velaa Private Island is elegantly positioned to overlook enchanting vistas of a cerulean ocean. Its name derived from generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch; it is comprised of 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences. The resort also includes a Romantic Pool Residence which can only be reached by boat.
At Velaa Private Island, all details have been considered: each villa comes with a personal butler, all services offered can be tailored to personal specifications. Attention to detail everywhere is also impeccable: stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesian flowerpots, luxury wood panelling from Borneo, and glimmering Italian marble.
Velaa Private Island offers endless exclusive opportunities. These unique offerings include the Maldives’ first and only snow room, the largest and most extensive wine collection in the region, one of the few Maldivian resorts with a private submarine, an extraordinary kids’ club conceptualised as the world’s ideal kids’ club by the owner’s seven-year-old daughter, and the only resort in Asia with a My Blend by Clarins spa.
Personalising and tailoring the entirety of the island depending on specific requirements, there is no limit to ensure the ultimate experience. Guests can sit back in the knowledge that the island’s highly trained and dedicated butlers will cater to each and every whim. Whether it is watching a spectacular fireworks display within the Maldivian night sky, dancing into the early hours with an Al fresco live music event, stepping aboard the island’s private yacht for a glamorous sunset cruise or enjoying a private, open air cinema night, anything is possible. Other interactive activities perfect for private groups include gourmet cooking classes with one of the resort’s chefs or wine tasting within the Maldives’ largest wine cellar.
For those looking to get involved in some Indian Ocean adventure, Velaa’s high-tech water toys, including the hover board, jetpack and fly board serve as the definitive adrenaline rush. While discovering the wonders beneath the island’s welcoming waters, guests can learn to dive or simply snorkel the coral rainbow.
Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.
Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.
Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.
Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.
Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.
In addition to the three hotels in Maldives, LTI’s list features Aman Tokyo in Japan, Corinthia London in the UK, Kokomo Private Island in Fiji, La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa in France, Six Senses Zil Pasyon in Seychelles, Song Saa in Cambodia, and The Silo Hotel in South African capital Cape Town.
“The team at LTI is totally submerged in every aspect of luxury travel every day, yet even we are continually surprised and occasionally speechless at the level of excellence we find at particular properties. Of course this makes an exercise such as this even more difficult to call, but having visited all of these exceptional properties, some several times, we are confident that of all the great new hotels and resorts we have seen over the past ten years, this is without doubt, the perfect 10,” Michael Crompton, Founder of LTI, was quoted in a statement, as saying.
LTI is a global, members-only organisation, providing digital reporting for affluent travellers who wish to make informed travel decisions, based on honest and highly detailed intelligence. It covers luxury hotels, restaurants, spas and nightlife in granular detail.
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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