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Seaside Finolhu rolls out new safety protocols ahead of Oct reopening

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As the countdown to Seaside Finolhu’s much anticipated reopening begins, it is not just the luxury Maldives resort’s design, facilities and services that are undergoing an extensive upgrade.

The entire Finolhu team has been hard at work implementing new protocols and measures to ensure the wellbeing of both guests and islanders is fully protected when the resort begins welcoming guests again from October 1.

With every region of the world affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and many countries currently in various stages of recovery, the focus has been shifting to ensuring customer safety as businesses reopen.

Affecting almost every industry and facet of daily life, a number of new procedures are being introduced to reduce the risk of infection by changing people’s habits and behaviours.

In the tourism industry, managing these measures requires a balance between ensuring people’s safety and minimising their impact on how people go about their activities.

In updating its cleaning regimes to incorporate even more rigorous standards, Seaside Finolhu has partnered with Ecolab, a world leader in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services.

The resort’s enhanced and expanded cleaning procedures include additional Covid-19 protocols and best practices that meet the recommendations set by the World Health Organisation, the American Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and public health authorities in the Maldives.

Working with Ecolab, Seaside Finolhu began by conducting a thorough assessment of every point of guest contact and then developed a health and safety plan that works by minimising contact, ensuring thorough sanitisation where contact is inevitable, promoting social distancing measures, and educating both the resort’s staff and the guests on maintaining advanced hygiene practices that start before guests arrive at the resort and continue until they are on their way home again.

Even before they arrive at the resort, guests coming to Finolhu will travel on regularly sanitised planes, be provided with masks to wear during their flight, and be met by airport representatives and staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Upon arriving at Seaside Finolhu, guests will be able to avoid going through the usual check-in process and head straight to their villas. Touchless transactions are the new normal throughout the resort and even check-out is now a paperless process.

Inside the villas, frequently touched items such as key cards, glassware, upholstery and remote controls are sanitised regularly.

For their added protection and peace of mind during their stay, every guest will receive a “Care-4-Me” kit that includes face masks, hand sanitiser, and sanitisation wipes, while some non-essential items like note pads and service directories have been removed from the villas.

Air conditioning filters and ducting also undergo advanced cleaning and sanitisation before each guest arrival, and the new housekeeping measures incorporate amended laundry protocols and the use of additional anti-Covid approved disinfectants applied by electrostatic aerosol sprayers which enable touchless disinfection.

While Finolhu has always applied rigorous standards to its food and beverage hygiene, these have been enhanced and supplemented with extra measures.

All of the resort’s F&B staff undergo thorough training in safe food preparation and service practices and adhere to a strict self-inspection protocol that applies food safety standards as their guidelines, with compliance validated by independent audits.

All training, audits and verification inspections are conducted under the auspices of Nsure, a recognised leader and partner in food safety, health and safety, and sustainability in the Maldives.

Additional measures include full PPE worn by F&B staff, digital menus and display boards in place of menus, reduced capacity operations to enable social distancing, and contactless delivery for in-villa dining.

Under its new health and safety plan, all of the Seaside Finolhu’s public areas are now cleaned more frequently and with EPA-approved hospital-grade products, while signage placed around the resort remind guests of the importance of maintaining social distancing protocols and using the hand sanitiser gel which is placed near all entrances, fitness areas, and public meeting areas.

The resort’s wellness areas and spa treatment rooms are closed for cleaning and sanitising multiple times each day, while a reduced number of guests are allowed in these areas at any one time. Before receiving a spa treatment, guests must change their clothes in a changing room designated for their individual treatment room, while the spa’s therapists wear the necessary PPE.

Personal training sessions are now held in the privacy of the gym, and wellness activities such as yoga and pilates are available for individuals, couples, or small groups only, with safe distancing strictly applied.

The extensive cleaning applied at Oceaneers, Seaside Finolhu’s kid’s club, includes electro-static mist treatments that apply a hospital-grade disinfectant in the bathrooms, play rooms and other shared spaces. To minimise the sharing of toys and other items, some games and activities have been replaced with new alternatives.

While extensive research and preparation has gone into designing Seaside Finolhu’s new health and safety plan, the resort stresses that the key to its success is understanding and compliance of all related stakeholders, including both staff and guests. To this end, Seaside Finolhu has gone to great lengths to train its staff, not only on the new protocol being implemented but also the reasoning behind each and every measure.

“Our in-house medical doctor is working closely with a team of medical experts at the Health Protection Agency to ensure the resort team receive the guidance and resources they need on returning to work and keeping guests safe in this new environment,” General Manager Marc Reader was quoted in a statement, as saying.

“The extensive training our islanders undergo is focused on educating and empowering them to deliver our enhanced health and safety program with complete understanding and confidence so that they are able to pass on this care to each and every guest. We place an especially strong focus on re-training programmes for our housekeeping teams to ensure they are kept up-to-date on all of the cleaning protocols which are being implemented across the resort.”

Aware that the immediate future at least requires everyone accepting the changes that will be introduced, Reader discussed how this would affect the resort’s operations.

“We also believe that our islanders should be grounded in their emotional intelligence. For this reason, they also receive behavioural training to ensure that empathetic and personalised care and connections remain despite the reduction of close contact and face-to-face interactions with which we have all become so accustomed,” he said.

With just weeks until it opens its doors once more, Seaside Finolhu is gearing up for its grand reopening driven by the resort’s health and safety promise that guests will receive peace of mind at Seaside Finolhu.

Famed for its long white sandy beaches and spread across four islands, Finolhu has 125 beachfront and overwater villas (more than half with private pool) and four restaurants.

While popular with honeymooners, the expansive resort is also very family-friendly, with a kids’ club and a wide choice of fun activities. Finolhu also includes world-class wellness facilities and is famous for its entertainment.

Owned and managed by Seaside Collection, a Europe-based hotel group with an exclusive portfolio of high-end resorts and city hotels, Finolhu embodies the Seaside Collection’s criteria of quality, style, and holistic hospitality concepts.

Finolhu, which is a direct translation of sandbank in the local Dhivehi language, is located in Baa atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives.

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Experience All the Magic of Easter Candyland at Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi

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As the spring sunshine sparkles on the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean, Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi invites couples seeking the ultimate escapism and families looking to spend moments of togetherness this Easter break. Nestled in the picturesque Shaviyani Atoll, the private island retreat will transform into an Easter Candyland filled with sweet delights and confectionary creations. Whimsical and full of vibrancy, the extraordinary lineup of experiences promises guests of every generation an unforgettable escape, from indulgent feasts under the stars and colorful egg hunts to chocolate-infused treatments at Fairmont Spa. 

From 24 March to 12 April, the resort presents an immersive calendar of events and activities where guests can celebrate special moments in elevated luxury, savor exquisite culinary journeys, embark on new adventures, and make memories that will last for a lifetime. 

“Easter is a time of renewal and joyful reconnection, and our team has curated a program of experiences that celebrates the joy of Easter and the spirit of togetherness,” says Steven Stefaniuk, General Manager at Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi.

Dining is a sensational experience in this idyllic island paradise. Guests can savor local and global flavors at the beachfront Raha Market, indulge in Asian favorites at Kata, enjoy a spectacular by-the-sea dining experience at Azure, and taste a range of creative cocktails at Onu Onu. On 31 March, the island will host an extravagant Easter-themed lunch and pool party featuring a range of global Easter favorites and mouth-watering desserts, complete with fun activities, live music, and entertainment.

2 Fairmont Maldives Kids Club


Parents can watch in delight as their little ones spark their curiosity and imagination at the Kids’ Club and discover various Candyland-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, cupcake and cookie decorating, and egg and face painting. Furthermore, budding eco-warriors can participate in repurposing plastic waste into bespoke souvenirs at the Sustainability Lab and join ocean life conservation activities with the Marine Biology team. 

Guests can restore their inner balance and achieve renewed energy with the offerings of award-winning Fairmont Spa, including nature-inspired wellbeing sessions and the ‘Chocolate Indulgence’ treatment that soothes the body in smooth and revitalizing sensations. Moreover, active travelers can participate in sunrise yoga, beach game challenges, water sports, and interactive coaching with LUX Tennis. 

In the mood for adventure? Dive into one of the flourishing dive sites in Shaviyani Atoll with the resort’s dive partner, Sub Oceanic, snorkel the 9-km-long house reef to discover over 250 species of marine life, or join a sunset cruise in search of dozens of playful dolphins that love to leap out from the sea.

Timeless Family Fun Package – Children Under 12 Stay and Dine for Free 

The resort presents the ‘Timeless Family Fun’ package with a complimentary meal plan upgrade, Easter treats and amenities, and delightful dining experiences for the whole family. Book a 4-night stay or more in one of the resort’s spacious pool villas, offering the perfect blend of privacy and togetherness, and enjoy:

  • Complimentary upgrade from Bed & Breakfast to Half-Board package
  • Children below 12 years of age stay and dine for free    
  • Easter Sunday Lunch and Egg Hunt activity
  • Floating breakfast once during the stay  
  • Family-style beach dinner once during the stay
  • Guided tour of the Sustainability Lab and underwater Coralarium
  • 25% discount on spa treatments 

To renew and reconnect this Easter, please visit their website or email reservations.maldives@fairmont.com

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Celebrate Earth Week with Nature’s Embrace at Oaga Art Resort

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Join Oaga Art Resort from March 21st to 27th, 2024, for a week dedicated to connecting with the beauty and wonder of our planet. Immerse yourself in a program filled with creative activities, meaningful experiences, and a deep appreciation for Earth’s magic.

Unwind with Earth-inspired creativity:

March 21st, as the world celebrates Poetry Day, start your day with a poetic breakfast, followed by a lunchtime fusion of traditional Maldivian Boduberu beats and poetry called ‘Farihi’. In the evening, enjoy some poetry reading and a captivating performance by local duo “Something Lovely”.

On March 22nd, tap your feet to the lively rhythms of a Boduberu jam session at lunch. As the stars emerge, witness the artistry of a sand artist create their magic on the Raa Baa deck.

Connect with nature in a mindful way:

March 23rd, as part of Earth Hour, join a peaceful candlelit Earth Meditation and sound healing session. Later, light your own candle and take part in an art installation under the moonlight. Savour a delicious Earth-conscious buffet and enjoy unplugged music around a bonfire.

On the same day, a special coral planting cocktail is to take place during sunset at the beach. Witness firsthand the wonders of coral restoration as you help plant 60+ coral frames in Oaga’s reef nursery. This project, in partnership with Coralive, aims to completely restore the house reef by 2028. Savour refreshing cocktails and learn about the crucial role coral reefs play in our ecosystem while contributing to a sustainable future.

Celebrate Holi traditions with an eco-twist:

March 25th, witness the creation of a stunning sand mandala and participate in the traditional Full Moon ritual. Dance the night away at a vibrant Holi Full moon party with minimal lighting and glow-in-the-dark paint.

Reflect and reminisce under the stars:

March 26th, cuddle up for a captivating movie night featuring nature documentaries under the starlit sky.

A grand finale on World Theatre Day:

On March 27th, engage your children in a fun puppet show and enjoy a live performance by the energetic band Sky Rock. The week culminates with a special Earth-themed solo performance at the Kaa Kada dinner in celebration of World Theatre Day.

Beyond these highlights, Earth Week weaves its theme throughout Oaga’s daily activities. Whether it is to explore nature-inspired percussion in Take Notes sessions or to let your kids unleash their creativity with eco-friendly crafts in the Fiyoh Kid’s Club, there is something engaging for everyone.

Join Oaga and embark on a journey that reconnects you with nature, celebrates our planet, and leaves you feeling empowered to make a positive difference.

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Hurawalhi Island Resort’s Exemplary Commitment to Marine Conservation Shines in the Maldives

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Hurawalhi Island Resort, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Maldives, proudly reaffirms  its steadfast dedication to marine conservation through pioneering initiatives aimed at  safeguarding the region’s diverse marine ecosystems. 

Saoirse Macklin, the esteemed Resident Marine Biologist at Hurawalhi Island Resort, emphasizes  the Maldives’ distinguished status as one of the world’s most biodiverse marine environments. “At  Hurawalhi, we prioritize the dissemination of knowledge and wonder about our marine world,”  states Macklin. “As a Marine Biologist, it’s been a privilege to inspire and educate guests about the  remarkable marine life surrounding our island.” 

Hurawalhi’s commitment to marine conservation materializes through a range of educational  experiences offered to guests. From immersive Turtle Tours, shedding light on the pivotal role of  seagrass in sustaining turtle populations, to awe-inspiring Manta Search excursions, each journey  represents an enlightening voyage of discovery. 

During these excursions, science and education take precedence, ensuring guests acquire profound  insights into the intricate ecosystems enveloping the island. As the resident Marine Biologist,  Macklin spearheads efforts to monitor and safeguard turtle and manta populations, employing  cutting-edge photo identification techniques to meticulously track and document individual  specimens during every expedition. 

Hurawalhi extends a warm invitation to guests to partake in Marine Biologist-guided reef  snorkeling experiences, providing an unparalleled opportunity to explore coral reef and seagrass  ecosystems while championing their preservation. Participants not only revel in the splendor of the  house reef but also actively engage in efforts to protect these delicate habitats. 

Furthermore, Hurawalhi’s commitment to marine conservation is evident in its ongoing projects.  The resort’s diligent monitoring and maintenance of its artificial reef program adjacent to the  iconic 5.8 Underwater Restaurant aim to rejuvenate and revitalize reef systems. In 2021, a total of  114 artificial reef frames were transplanted, laying the groundwork for reef regeneration. 

Recent initiatives include the creation of “festive frames,” crafted by guests during the holiday  season, with regular updates fostering continued guest involvement in conservation endeavors.  Annual monitoring of benthic habitats and species abundance by the Marine Biologist team is  pivotal, collecting data to track changes in habitats and biodiversity over time. This scientific  endeavor provides valuable insights into the health of Hurawalhi’s marine life and serves as a  cornerstone for future conservation efforts. 

The data collected holds immense potential, serving as a catalyst for initiatives aimed at securing  protected status for Hurawalhi and its surrounding waters. Through collaboration with  government-led conservation programs and local stakeholders, the resort aspires to designate  Hurawalhi as a protected area, ensuring its continued vitality and resilience.

In the face of unprecedented challenges to ocean conservation, Hurawalhi remains resolute in its  mission to preserve and protect the marine marvels of the Maldives. Through collective  understanding and concerted action, the resort endeavors to safeguard these invaluable ecosystems  for generations to come. 

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