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Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort to celebrate Chinese New Year in style



As we celebrate the Year of the Rat in 2020, a time to turn over a new leaf and take a fresh look at life, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives offers guests abundant opportunities to ring in the Lunar New Year.

From sumptuous feasts at a unique Shang Palace pop-up, activities and entertainment for the whole family to memorable moments with loved ones, these are just a few of the unrivalled experiences to enjoy on a luxury hideaway framed by white-sand beaches, lush forests and spectacular coral reef.

Gastronomic delights, culinary journeys

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa will be debuting the first-ever Shang Palace pop-up, from January 24 to February 8. Guests will be able to experience fine dining Cantonese cuisine during its culinary tour of the Shangri-La resorts in the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, before its return to the Maldives for Golden Week, in October 2020.

Gourmands can indulge in Shang Palace’s signature Cantonese and Chinese cuisine, as well as a Michelin-starred eight-course menu with iconic dishes from Shangri-La’s multiple award-winning restaurants around the world, including Paris, Singapore, Beijing, Kowloon, and Guangzhou.

The pop-up brings to life the Shangri-La cuisine experience, combining Asian dining values, gastronomic innovation, and award-winning talent. The dishes will be crafted by Dr. Ali’s restaurant’s Chinese supremo, Chef Liu Shengquan, who boasts over 20 years of experience, including 10 years with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. Specialising in Sechuan, Cantonese, Hunan, and North-eastern Chinese cuisine, Chef Liu continuously creates exciting new dishes as well as traditional favourites, with his signature flair and passion.

Guests will be able to feast on Braised Abalone with Chinese Yam in a casserole, Shang Palace Fried Rice, and a special creation of Deep-fried Stuff¬ed Crab Meat in its shell, elaborated by Shangri-La’s Executive Chinese Chef, Gordon Leung, who has earned Michelin stars for his Cantonese cuisine.

On January 24, the resort will host Chinese New Year’s Eve reunion dinners at Javvu restaurant, offering a sumptuous buffet with Asian specialties and live cooking stations. Meanwhile, Dr. Ali’s restaurant will feature a Shang Palace set menu, showcasing the finest Cantonese cuisine.

On Chinese New Year day, guests will be treated to a superb seafood buffet at Javvu, using fresh and seasonal ingredients from the Indian Ocean and beyond.

During the Spring Festival, Fashala restaurant will present a special “Mediterrasian” menu featuring Mediterranean-Asian fusion in the magical setting where the ocean meets the lagoon.

Guests can also enjoy tailor-made gourmet moments, such as a Floating Breakfast from the comfort of the private pool at their villa, or a Dine by Design experience at a location of their choice, whether it’s on the beach, in the jungle, at the highest peak in the Maldives, or even at the equator, aboard a luxury yacht.

Entertainment, memorable moments

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, guests can sit back and enjoy the vibrant Chinese festival ceremony broadcast live from China, before indulging in activities and traditional customs such as dumpling making, Chinese couplet-writing, and Mah-jong games. The evening will also feature a lively karaoke session, a performance by talented local artists Black Pearl and a Maldivian Bodu Beru folklore show.

To welcome in the New Year, guests will be invited to take part in a thrilling Golden Treasure Hunt around the resort, searching through the lush jungle, along pristine beaches, climbing Mount Villingili and even exploring the underwater for the chance to win coveted prizes.

Shangri-La’sVillingili Resort & Spa is the ultimate destination for celebration and creating memorable moments with loved ones, especially during this auspicious time. From a tropical safari to discover the flora and fauna, Chinese lanterns making, crab hunting or an up-cycled art workshop, the resort provides an action-packed programme.

Sports fanatics can also take part in a tennis clinic with the pro player, Aymeric Petit, to improve their game or compete against other guests in social tennis matches, whilst those hoping to improve their swing can head to the golf clinic, for private sessions and beat the pro challenges with the resident instructor, at the only nine-hole golf course in the Maldives.

The retreat also offers bespoke excursions and activities such as dolphin cruises, coral planting, eco-adventures and the opportunity to explore the neighbouring islands for a fascinating insight into the local culture and customs.

Wellness, holistic harmony

Celebrating the Year of the Rat and its dexterity and vitality, CHI, The Spa has a wellness programme offering re-energising and rejuvenating treatments. From Asian massages to restore physical and spiritual harmony, Ayurveda treatments to release toxins, and local therapies to boost the natural immune system, wellness fans can start the first cycle of the zodiac year feeling relaxed, refreshed and revitalised.

Surrender to spa bliss, as specials during this season include complimentary group yoga sessions with an expert naturopath, and for every 90-minute full body massage booked, guests will receive a complimentary spa enhancement to choose from, such as Hot Oil Hair and Scalp Treatment, Caviar Firming, Collagen Mask, Healing Hot Stones, or Probiotic Massage Booster.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa offers incredible packages for Chinese New Year.

The half-board offer starts from USD 980 per night, for two persons in a Pool Villa, and the All-Inclusive Package starts from USD 1,165 per night for two persons, including full-board, house selection of beverages, unlimited access to non-motorised water sports, 20 per cent off motorised water sports, 25 per cent off spa treatments at CHI, The Spa, daily fitness and recreational group activities, and daily Eco-Centre group activities.

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.


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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