Jumeirah Vittaveli kicks off festive celebrations, lights Maldives’ tallest Xmas tree

Jumeirah Vittaveli kicked off its festive celebrations Sunday by lighting its floating Christmas tree, the tallest in the Maldives.

At a ceremony held at 6.30pm, the tree was lit by General Manager Abhijit Ghosh. He was joined by young guests of the resort.

The Christmas tree stands 45 feet tall, and has been built by a 10-member strong team from Jumeirah Vittaveli’s engineering department. It took 20 days — from December 1-20 — to complete the tree, made from recycled materials such as discarded pipes, rods and LED lights.

After the festive season, a ceremony will be held on January 7 where guests can adopt a coral and attach it to the tree before it is ceremonially sunk in the lagoon to enrich the resort’s reef. The tree will be regularly monitored by the resort’s marine team to ensure corals are growing and guests can visit it on a housereef snorkel excursion.

Situated in the South Male Atoll, the exclusive Maldivian isle with its 90 suites and villas will continue the festivities with its in-house choir taking to the stage on December 24 and 25 for the resort’s annual carol singing tradition.

In the past, Santa has made surprise appearances on a jet-ski and by catamaran, and it is hoped he will delight kids staying in the resort on December 25 once again.

Live performances and music will also get the resort into the swing of the festive season with everything from ballet to acrobatics and even a touch of magic. A resident five-piece band, saxophone soloist and DJ will entertain guests from December 24 to January 7 at venues across the island paradise. The party will continue from New Year’s Eve through to New Year’s Day at Samsara restaurant where a decadent limited-edition menu will be served to celebrate on both days.

The culinary team will be offering up fresh oysters, lobster, tiger prawns as well as suckling pig and a range of other delicacies.

At the stroke of midnight, the island’s lagoon will be lit up by a mesmerising firework show to ring in the New Year, whilst guests are invited to party beachside, with molecular cocktails and champagne. The theme of the NYE celebrations will be the Great Gatsby with guests invited to dress in roaring 20’s style or take advantage of the in-house tailor to create a Charleston style dress or dapper suit.

Indeed, a special culinary flair is a must for the festive season, and Jumeirah Vittaveli will showcase a progressive journey from exclusive vintage drinks to festive nibbles and a lavish dinner buffet for the festive galas, planned for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 6. On other nights, a Louis Roederer crystal champagne dinner at Cuvée and an oyster and caviar night at Fenesse await guests who are eager to excite their palate.

For travellers looking to disconnect over the holiday season, visiting holistic practitioner Isaac Vidjrakou will be at Talise Spa at Jumeirah Vittaveli with a range of practical techniques to help encourage mindfulness and wellbeing in everyday life including masterclasses in breathing, meditation and yoga, as well as his signature Saki Massage.

For children, the Kuda Koli Kids Club will host a range of fun-filled festive activities to make it their most memorable holiday season yet. From Christmas t-shirt painting and a festive scavenger hunt to gingerbread house-making, there’s something on every day to keep young minds entertained.

Located a short 20-minute ride on board a luxurious motorised catamaran from the main Velana International Airport, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalised exploration, whether you are seeking a romantic getaway or an exotic destination for your family.

The 3,500 square metre Royal Residence can accommodate 14 people, with prices from USD 35,000 per night. This lavish private retreat comprises private beach, dedicated restaurant, spa, two swimming pools, an overwater sundeck, jetty, chef, butler and golf buggy chauffeur. Guests can enjoy a private yacht transfer to the residence and spacious accommodation, which comprises the main Sanctuary, two Guest Villas and a double-storey guest house. An abundance of lounge and seating spaces provide the opportunity to spend quality time together. Each stay at the Royal Residence comes with a host of benefits such as daily evening canapes and champagne, personal fitness trainer as well as wellness consultant and 24-hour resident butler service. Wellness treatments can be enjoyed in the private Talise spa room inside the Sanctuary complex.

In addition to the Royal Residence, Jumeirah Vittaveli comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon. The private and spacious villas are available with one or two bedrooms making them the ideal accommodation for both families and couples.

Guests can enhance their romantic escape and stay at the picturesque Private Ocean Retreats, an indulgent hideaway with a loft-style bedroom upstairs, overwater hammocks, private infinity pool and full outdoor daybed. The villas are freestanding in the lagoon ensuring maximum privacy while only a two-minute ride on board the complimentary boat service from the main island. The Private Ocean Retreats are designed to offer all the resort services, from in-villa dining and yoga on a open air deck to an indulgent couple’s massage.

For the evenings, guests have the choice of a culinary journey through India in the resort’s signature restaurant Swarna, or an overwater fine dining experience featuring French cuisine at Fenesse.

The Talise spa at Jumeirah Vittaveli has been named Best Luxury Wellness Spa in Maldives by the World Travel Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Treatments at the spa are inspired by concepts of light and space connecting with the purity and vibration of ingredients. The team produces their own island made 100 percent pure coconut oil, which is used in treatments and available as a take-home souvenir. The garden and overwater treatment rooms provide romantic spaces for couples who wish to enjoy blissful relaxation, while the spa menu also includes dedicated Mother-Daughter and Father-Son pampering sessions.

Jumeirah Vittaveli offers romantic escapes as well as a variety of land and water-based activities, including the destination’s first ice rink, a PADI Dive base, water sports centre, six restaurants and bars, and two lounges. An underground tasting room and a wine library complete the offering.

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