LUX* South Ari Atoll appoints Antonello Manca as Executive Chef

LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas has appointed Antonello Manca as Executive Chef.

With over 20 years of remarkable experience, heading the culinary teams at Kempinski in Amman, Dusit Thani and Paramount Hotel, both in Dubai, he is set to take LUX* South Ari Atoll to even greater culinary heights.

For Antonello, the love for food came at a very young age, and while closely observing his mother’s cooking in the kitchen, his passion grew from the age of 14.

In his early twenties, he travelled around the world to discover new flavours before he landed his first internship and realised that cooking was for him.

With a clear vision he aims to combine innovation with healthy, locally sourced and mindful cooking.

“Growing up on a large island like Sardinia, with its provinces and towns, it was always easy to find plenty of clean products. Overall, the main source of products was strictly seasonal, which created a certain level of anticipation. I remember waiting for summer to come, so that we could eat melon gelato at the ice cream parlour, or the ripe grapes we picked every August,” Antonello says.

“Growing our own vegetables and making our products from scratch truly shaped how I view the art of cooking. Working together with nature in a mindful and responsible way is something I wish to develop even further at LUX* South Ari Atoll.”

When asked what he believes is a chef’s most important trait, he answers without hesitation.

“Being a good chef requires a passion not only for food but also encouraging your team to develop by trying new things without being afraid of criticism,” he says.

“Additionally, being on the hunt for innovative ways to further enhance the guests’ culinary experience has always been a vital requirement of success for me. No chef works alone, only together we are able to succeed and that mindset is vital.”

Lastly, when discussing the upcoming culinary trends, Antonello sheds light on the fact that people in general, especially travellers, have become more observant of the origin of products.

“People questioning more is a healthy sign that we are leaning towards a mindful and responsible way of travelling and consuming experiences. The high demand for healthy living puts a lot of expectations on the offerings at secluded resorts and hotels all over the world, which is great news,” he says.

Chef Antonello will head LUX* South Ari Atoll’s culinary team of 110 team members from more than 12 nations.

When he doesn’t give guests a culinary experience to remember, Antonello loves to go fishing and diving as he is a certified dive master.

LUX* South Ari Atoll is one of two resorts in Maldives run by Mauritius-based LUX* Resorts.

Cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resorts in the Maldives.

With 193 private villas dotted at the water’s edge along four kilometres of powder fine beach or perched on stilts above a crystal clear lagoon, these spacious pavilions and villas bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives.

Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX*, and at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.

While the resort has a PADI-certified dive centre, two infinity pools, a floodlit tennis court, a fitness centre and a renowned spa which hosts a wellness concierge and a menu of indulgent treatments, what sets the property apart from its neighbours are surprises, or better known as #ReasonstogoLUX.

Designed to create lasting memories for guests, these ‘reasons’ can range from island-roasted coffee in Café LUX* to impromptu movie screenings at cinema paradise and the chance to hang your wishes on the Tree of Wishes.

For more information or to make a reservation, please visit, contact or call +960 668 0901.

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