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Soneva to host exclusive wine events with world-renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson

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Casual wine lovers and fanatics will not want to miss their chance to further broaden their knowledge of grapes and vintages with Jancis Robinson, the highly-acclaimed and influential wine writer, critic and expert.

Soneva has announced that Robinson will be hosting a number of events at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in Maldives from March 28 to April 3. These events will include wine tastings, wine pairing dinners and organic wine discussions.

On September 4, she will also be hosting an exclusive wine tasting event in London for Soneva enthusiasts.

At Soneva Fushi, guests can take part in a biodynamic wine tasting at Out of the Blue on March 29, and on March 30, she will host a wine dinner and Talker’s Table at Down to Earth.

While at Soneva Jani, on April 2, she will host a wine dinner and Talker’s Table at So Imaginative.

Later in the year, on September 4, Soneva will be inviting Soneva repeaters who are small wine makers to an event where they can present their wines to her and a small group of other Soneva enthusiasts. The event will be a casual evening of gourmet canapés and fine wine, to be held in London.

In 2018, Robinson was voted the world’s most influential wine critic in polls in the United States, France and internationally, even though she prefers the term wine writer.

Robinson began her storied career in December 1975 as the assistant editor of the British magazine Wine & Spirit. Today, she writes daily for JancisRobinson.com, voted the first ever Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards 2010. Wine aficionados can read her stories and reviews each week in the Financial Times.

She is founder editor of The Oxford Wine Companion, co-author of The World Atlas of Wine with Hugh Johnson (8th edition just out), and the co-author of Wine Grapes – A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours. The 24-Hour Wine Expert, published in 2017, is a practical and accessible guide to the essentials of wine that anyone with an interest in wine should read.

Now, she travels the world conducting wine events and as a wine judge.

In 1984, Jancis was the first person outside of the wine industry to pass the Master of Wine exams. In 2003, she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she currently advises.

In just one week in April 2016, she was presented with three international awards: France’s Officier du Mérite Agricole, the German VDP’s highest honour and her fourth James Beard Award in the US.

She recently launched, with young British designer Richard Brendon, one ideal wine glass designed to make the most of all wines and champagnes.

Soneva’s cellars are the ideal backdrop for these wine events, boasting some of the most interesting collections for island resorts, including artisanal vintages as well as biodynamic and organic wines. Soneva Fushi alone has more than 200 premium magnums of wine, all of which are available by the glass.

Soneva’s newest Tastemakers video series has an episode dedicated to the resorts’ Sommeliers and their mission to pair wines with moments, occasions and locations.

Soneva currently runs two resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, and luxury yacht, Soneva in Aqua. The world-leading luxury resort operator also operates Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand.

In 1995, the award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi pairs Robinson Crusoe fantasy with intelligent luxury.

Sixty-two private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden amongst dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef. Eight new one- and two-bedroom Water Retreats, perched above the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean, are scheduled to open to guests by May. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from, six different restaurants and countless destination dining options.

In November 2015, Soneva launched a floating villa concept, Soneva in Aqua, a treasure trove children’s Den and a multi-purpose facility encompasses a glass gallery, boutique and studio where guests can learn the art of glass blowing.

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.

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Atmosphere Core Redefines Wine Experiences with Global Events and Unique Partnerships

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Leading Maldives hospitality group announces 7-country educational wine program tour

Since its launch in 2021, Atmosphere Core’s innovative Wine Program has revolutionized the way travelers experience wine and champagne in the Maldives. This program transcends simply offering premium brands, fostering genuine connections between guests and carefully selected wineries through partnerships and dedicated events.

Global Wine Events Showcase Unique Wine Culture:

Atmosphere Core proudly unveils its 2024 calendar, featuring 16 exclusive wine events across seven countries, kicking off in March and continuing through mid-September. These events span major cities like Madrid, Prague, Frankfurt, Milan, Tokyo, London, and Vienna, offering a taste of the Maldives to travel partners and top-tier media.

Highlighting the Essence of Luxury:

The calendar features a distinct highlight: THE OZEN COLLECTION Champagne Experience at the Westphalia Stadium in Dortmund, Germany, scheduled for September 2024. This unique event showcases the company’s three distinct brands – THE OZEN COLLECTION, COLOURS OF OBLU, and Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.

Authentic Wine & Dine Experiences:

These immersive “Wine and Dine” experiences recreate the distinctive ambiance of Atmosphere Core’s resorts, transporting guests to the heart of the Maldives. Attendees will have the opportunity to savor exquisite vintages from four carefully chosen terroir wineries:

  • Champagne Guy Charbaut (Mareuil-sur-Ay)
  • Bodegas Viñátigo (Canary Islands)
  • Glenelly Estate (Stellenbosch)
  • Martín Códax (Rías Baixas)

These wineries hold exclusive pouring rights within the Maldives with Atmosphere Core, ensuring a truly unique experience.

Engaging Storytelling and Expertise:

Hosted by Nicolas Laguette, Atmosphere Core’s Director of Wine, these events feature senior sales and communication executives alongside representatives from the esteemed wine partners. The intimate setting fosters engaging conversations and storytelling, allowing participants to delve into the philosophy behind the program’s unique approach.

Family-Owned Wineries and Curated Partnerships:

Atmosphere Core has partnered with three generational family-owned wineries – Champagne Guy Charbaut, Bodegas Viñátigo, and Glenelly Estate – along with Martín Códax, a renowned cooperative representing over 600 families in Cambados, Spain. Each partner was meticulously chosen based on their long-standing heritage, commitment to family values, and unique terroir wines unavailable elsewhere in the Maldives.

Building Lasting Connections:

The partner winemakers reciprocate the hospitality by hosting Atmosphere Core’s resort teams at their vineyards, fostering deeper connections and fostering knowledge exchange. Each bottle served carries a captivating story, passionately shared by the sommeliers who have personally explored the origins of these exceptional wines.

A Year of Enriching Wine Adventures:

Wine enthusiasts, partners, and global travelers can look forward to an exciting year filled with enriching wine-related experiences curated by Atmosphere Core. This innovative program continues to redefine the standard for wine experiences in the Maldives, offering a deeper connection to the world of wine through its unique partnerships and global events.

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W Maldives and Perrier® Present a Three-Day Affair with Seoul’s Bar Cham in Maldives

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Nestled on the heart-shaped Fesdu Island and surrounded by one of the best  house reefs in the country, W Maldives invites you to imbibe in a captivating rendezvous. In partnership  with Perrier®, the resort is set to have you embark on a three-day affair with the crème de la crème of  Seoul’s cocktail culture—Bar Cham. From March 7 to 9, 2024, the luxury playground becomes a canvas  for this collaboration, painting the paradise escape with strokes of sophistication and fizz. 

Perrier®, synonymous with excellence in sparkling water, has been a steadfast supporter of the vibrant  creative world aiming to put spotlight on emerging artists from painters to beverage creators. The  brand’s support in the cocktail culture is particularly evident in its active involvement as the title sponsor  and Official Water Partner of World’s 50 Best Bars and Asia’s 50 Best Bars. Recognized for its  commitment to sophistication and it unique qualities, Perrier® has become the beverage of choice for  mixologists seeking to elevate their creations. Now, in a groundbreaking collaboration, Perrier® extends  its influence to the W Maldives, bringing the renowned Bar Cham from Seoul to the luxury resort’s  pristine shores. 

Kicking off the collaboration is a special Ocean To The Table dinner on March 7, 2024, at W Maldives’  overwater restaurant, FISH. Dive into a symphony of flavors, where Chef Baka’s signature culinary  creations are paired with Bar Cham’s award-winning cocktails. Savor the unique union of rich Maldivian  taste and the contemporary twists on Korea’s traditional spirits. The evening will not just be a dinner; it’s  a celestial affair under the stars and a soirée for the senses.

On March 8, a unique cocktail master class experience awaits at W Maldives’ private island,  Gaathafushi. The class will be led by Bar Cham’s Bar Manager and Senior Bartender, Yeonghwi Yun and  Myeongmin Kim, respectively, where they will reveal the secrets behind their award-winning concoctions  against a canvas of the tropical paradise. This exclusive experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to  get a sneak peek into the artisanship of Bar Cham’s creations. The master class concludes with an  intimate sunset session on the island where the natural beauty beckons you to simply enjoy the moment. 

The curtain falls on March 9, 2024, where Bar Cham is set to stage a coup at the resort’s overwater bar,  SIP. The bar takeover will unleash a spectacle of mixology mastery featuring a specially curated menu  just for the evening. Expect to sip, savor, and be surprised as Myeongmin Kim commandeers the scene  with a flair found nowhere else. The evening will also be amplified by the groovy tunes churned by W  Maldives’ music curator, Richard Ulh. 

“We are very thrilled to collaborate with Perrier® to bring the great talent behind the award-winning Bar  Cham to our shores. Perrier®’s commitment to providing top-of-the-line products and Bar Cham’s  dedication to providing a distinctive experience while highlighting the importance of staying true to local  wisdom truly match W Maldives’ stance in creating inspiring and meaningful activations for our guests,”  said Alexander Lopez, Resort Manager of W Maldives. He also adds, “Here at our luxury playground, we  are always trying to find ways to keep elevating our Beverage & Food offerings through distinctive  experiences. This collaboration with Perrier® and Bar Cham presents an opportunity for us to amplify W  Hotels’ passion points—TASTE—while showcasing the amazing talents behind the notable bars from all  over the world.” 

Bar Cham, an illustrious presence in Seoul’s cocktail landscape since 2018, offers a sensory voyage  through local spirits and meticulously sourced Korean produce. In a testament to their artistry, Bar Cham  secured the 13th position in Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2023 and an impressive 75th in the World’s Best Bar  rankings. Leading this symphony of taste are Yeonghwi Yun and Myeongmin Kim, Bar Cham’s Bar  Manager and Senior Bartender, the creative geniuses who have redefined mixology. This duo seamlessly  blends traditional Korean liquors with the finest seasonal produce, resulting in a unique imbibing  experience that transcends the ordinary. 

Hosting Bar Cham at W Maldives along with Perrier®, represents a harmonious blend of innovative  mixology and breathtaking surroundings. This collaboration creates an exclusive and luxurious setting for  guests to savor the finesse of Korea’s cocktail craftsmanship in a tropical paradise that offers an  unparalleled experience that embodies refined indulgence that transcends the ordinary. Book your spot  in all the events throughout this three-day affair via our website or connect directly with our team at  reservations.wmaldives@whotels.com. 

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives goes gourmet with a new look overwater bar, menu, F&B Manager

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, the pioneer of sustainable, barefoot luxury in the Maldives, is serving up a series of gourmet additions in time for the New Year. From a delicious new menu for the recently refurbished Overwater Bar to the appointment of F&B Manager Shawwaf Ismail, epicurean adventurers are in for a treat at Gili this season.

Gili Lankanfushi enjoys an unspoilt island location in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé airport. Perfectly suited for couples, families, solo travellers and groups alike, the resort combines rustic eco-design, unparalleled service and stunning natural scenery with a laid-back-luxury, ‘no news, no shoes’ philosophy.

The new gourmet offerings have been spearheaded by Gili Lankanfushi’s esteemed Executive Chef Hari Govinderaj.

The Overwater Bar Enjoys a New Look

Occupying an enviable position perched atop the calm turquoise waters of Gili Lankanfushi, the Overwater Bar is one of the island’s signature dining destinations. New for 2024, the bucket-list-worthy restaurant has enjoyed a full refurbishment, featuring the rustic eco chic interiors for which Gili is renowned and an extended outdoor decking area which provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand.

Beloved by guests for the opportunity to spot reef sharks and rays drift through the lagoon below as they dine, the all-day-dining spot offers panoramic views across the Indian Ocean. As sunset turns the sky afire, the Overwater Bar becomes the perfect setting for sundowners: delicious cocktails freshly crafted using local flavours and served with light and flavoursome canapés.

A New Menu for the Overwater Bar

The 2024 season sees a brand-new menu for Gili Lankanfushi’s beloved Overwater Bar restaurant, created by Executive Chef Hari and his talented brigade. A fusion of international cuisine, traditional Maldivian dishes and beachside classics, the menu provides the ultimate relaxed yet refined all-day-dining option.

The new offering includes the introduction of a new ‘Gili Grandma’ curry menu, which draws inspiration from cherished family recipes that have been passed down through the generations across different regions in Asia.

“Everyone knows that grandma’s cooking is best, and we wanted to provide our guests with a refined take on the authentic South and East Asian home-style curries that grace the tables of our own chefs, and their families”, commented Chef Hari. “For the Gili Grandma menu, each chef presents their favourite family recipe from back home, which range from Chef Samiu’s Maldivian reef fish curry to a spicy Sri Lankan pumpkin curry by Sri Lanka native, Chef Isuru. Delicious!”

Elsewhere on the menu, a selection of inventive salads and healthy soups provide the perfect lunchtime pick for breezy beach days, featuring home grown ingredients from Gili’s very own organic garden. Meanwhile, lovers of international cuisine can travel the globe from their dining table with Indonesian nasi goreng, locally caught reef fish sashimi, teriyaki chicken and more. For those in search of a laid-back bite, a delicious pizza and ‘Gili Breads’ sandwich menu is sure to delight, while a delectable dessert offering including homemade ice cream and indulgent treats such as Gili’s famous hot chocolate lava cake is the ideal way to finish up the meal.

Alongside the all-day-dining offering, guests can also book an unforgettable ‘Seafood Under the Stars’ dining experience at the Overwater Bar. The perfect pick for honeymooners, a special anniversary or a birthday dinner, diners will enjoy a four-course tasting menu crafted with freshly caught local seafood, as they sip on some sparkling and spot the constellations above.

The Seafood Under the Stars dining experience at the Overwater Bar is available to book for $220 per person.

Shawwaf Ismail Appointed New F&B Manager

Gili Lankanfushi has announced the appointment of Shawwaf Ismail as the resort’s F&B manager.

Leading the F&B management and managing a team of over 30 staff alongside Executive Chef Hari who oversees the culinary vision at Gili, Shawwaf will oversee day-to-day operations across the island’s numerous restaurants and bars.

Returning ‘home’ to Gili after four years spent in various managerial positions at several of the Maldives’ finest luxury resorts including Milaidhoo, LUX* and Fushifaru, Shawwaf brings a wealth of experience back to the island.

Commenting on his appointment, Shawwaf said: “Gili Lankanfushi has played a crucial role in my professional journey, guiding me from a line-level position to a managerial post during my previous seven-year employment here. Returning to Gili as part of the senior management team is particularly rewarding, underscoring the company’s unwavering commitment to talent development. My dedication goes beyond professional growth; I am committed to nurturing our staff by providing motivation, fostering development, and ensuring their overall happiness. Looking ahead, my objective is to play a pivotal role in the continuous success of Gili Lankanfushi and provide guests with unparalleled experiences on island, while naturally giving the utmost attention to the needs of our resort team.”

Gastronomy at Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi’s gastronomic vision harnesses the bounty of the surrounding waters alongside carefully-sourced seasonal ingredients and produce from the resort’s very own organic garden. Three restaurants provide unique culinary experiences while an overwater bar and underground wine cellar offer ample opportunity for refreshments.

Located directly on the beach, Kashiveli serves breakfast and dinner, playing host to a series of themed ‘market experiences’ (the Asian Street Market, Mediterranean Spice Souk, Passage to India and Churrascaria BBQ) on four nights of the week. The rest of the week sees the restaurant serve up the ‘Gili Culinary Journey’, a tantalizing rotating menu of signature dishes taking guests on a gastronomic adventure through nine regions inspired by the heritage and talent of Gili Lankanfushi’s culinary team.

Open five days a week, By the Sea offers delicious Japanese fusion dishes created with local seafood paired with an extensive sake collection and signature cocktails such as the Wasabi Martini. Imagine the new bento box lunch offering paired with freshly caught sushi and sashimi overlooking a sensational view of the Indian ocean. For a more casual affair, the Overwater Bar’s open kitchen delights guests with an inventive take on international cuisine and laid-back light bites. For special celebrations, a variety of destination dining experiences await, ranging from secluded, lantern-lit feasts to private sunset cruises with Champagne on ice.

Nightly rates at Gili Lankanfushi start from £1,070/$1,440, based on two adults sharing a Villa with breakfast included. For more information or to book please visit www.gili-lankanfushi.com.

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