Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, along with Singaporean developer Chiu Teng Enterprises has announced the opening of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, marking the Paris-born brand’s debut in one of the world’s most captivating destinations.
Located on Thilamaafushi, the southern pocket of Lhaviyani Atoll, the 141-villa resort celebrates the fabric of the Maldives, its people, nature and art, channeling its energy to uncover the charm of the destination through Le Méridien’s distinctive European-chic lens.
“With a nostalgic nod to the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s, Le Méridien inspires travellers to explore the world in style, savour the good life and enjoy experiences that offer something more than meets the eye,” said Jason Nuell, Senior Vice President, Premium Brands, Marriott International.
“We are delighted to bring Le Méridien to this internationally desired destination, the perfect place for guests to step out of their daily routine and into a glamorous getaway where wandering sans agenda and lingering longer are encouraged.”
Spanning nine hectares, Thilamaafushi is defined as “island surrounded by vast lagoon” in Dhivehi, the local parlance of the Maldives. The natural island is an eco-conscious haven abundant with indigenous flora and fauna, enveloped by a shimmering lagoon and coral reefs bursting with vibrant marine life, including pods of Manta Rays and turtles.
Guests can easily access the resort by a 35-minute seaplane journey north of Velana (MLE) International Airport, Malé.
“We are thrilled to introduce the iconic Le Méridien brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in this captivating destination,” Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.
“The opening of Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa marks the second Marriott International property that opened in the Maldives this summer and the seventh brand entry in the destination. We look forward to expanding our portfolio further in the Maldives in order to offer distinctive and personalised experiences for travellers.”
Timeless chic design
The distinct timeless chic design at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is inspired by the brand’s roots in the glamorous halcyon days of travel, something that permeates throughout the Le Méridien experience.
In a nod to its environs, the design also takes inspiration from the formation of the Maldives Archipelago, emulating the Atoll’s unique topography, its bordering reefs, coral gardens, marine life and underwater pinnacles known as “Thilas”.
Interior and exterior design celebrates the Maldives’ distinct life and culture and vibrant landscape, fused with Le Méridien’s signature mid-century modern and Bauhaus aesthetics to present a resort that sits in harmony with the natural environment.
The resort presents 141 villas that are tucked amongst the tropical landscape and dotted over the Indian Ocean, featuring unparalleled views across the pristine beaches, the Indian Ocean or turquoise lagoon.
A selection of one, two and three-bedroom villas unites the concept of art and industrial design with clean lines, a muted colour palette and a contrast of renewable materials that fosters simplicity, openness and functionality. Guests can also relax and rejuvenate at the Explore Spa by Le Méridien and the two infinity pools at the resort.
Global flavours with local flair
Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in six restaurants and bars, showcasing global tastes and locally harvested produce.
Inspired by Japanese fishing villages and water lanterns, the signature restaurant Tabemasu features a lively teppanyaki counter and a private open-air pavilion where guests will enjoy an expertly prepared Omakase tasting menu.
The resort’s adults only bar, Riviera, is a beachside playground framed by an oceanfront infinity pool and private beach where lazy lunches flow into sunset spritzes as vivid hues are splashed across the ocean.
The shores that frame Riviera will be the locale where Le Méridien’s signature brand programme “Au Soleil” will be hosted as part of the resort’s weekly culinary events. “Au Soleil” at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa encourages a summer state of mind with an activation at “Golden Hour”, the magical hour at the end of a day under the sun where guests will enjoy European-inspired petit plates, specially designed rosé cocktails and Le Scoop by Le Méridien handcrafted gelato or sorbet, set against a soundtrack of live music and waves lapping at the shore.
Located amongst the banyan trees and swaying palms, Waves Café is a mindful eating space that fosters a healthy and nourishing approach with a focus on organic farm-to-table ingredients.
Velaa Bar + Grill, situated poolside, features crafted cocktails and light dishes to savour in the summer sun, and grilled seafood, meats and wood-fired delicacies to indulge in once the last ray’s fade.
The Le Méridien Hub, a social gathering place for the creative-minded traveller, serves custom-brewed, barista-crafted coffee beverages as part of the brand’s collaboration with illy coffee.
Rounding out the culinary mix is Turquoise, a beachside marketplace where guests can choose from an array of global tastes and local dishes from breakfast to dinner.
New discoveries around every corner
Conceiving spaces that spark conversation and inspire fascination was pivotal throughout the resort’s design process.
At the centre of this is Waves Lifestyle Hub, a wellbeing collective set against the pristine landscape with unparalleled views of the ocean. This boutique lifestyle space features an ocean facing fitness studio and yoga pavilion positioned high in the jungle, as well as Waves Café, an interactive creative arts studio that focusses on local contemporary art.
The space also features a retail emporium showcasing hand-crafted and contemporary lifestyle pieces.
An energetic mix of cultural and lifestyle programming at the hotel is designed to celebrate the art of travel and unlock the heart of the destination.
The Marine Hub at the resort offers a range of conservation programmes including mangrove and seagrass protection and turtle identification and snorkelling with the marine biologist, with the opportunity for guests to name a turtle for themselves.
Curious guests can discover an aquatic playground at the resort’s house reef that features four dive sites and a thila (sea mountain), all brimming with green and hawksbills turtles, various stingrays, shoals of colourful fish and many more unique reef dwellers waiting to be discovered.
Guests can also embark on farther afield marine expeditions to some of the Atoll’s 50 dive and thila sites that the atoll is renowned for.
Waiting to be explored is the resort’s private island Bodu Finolhu, complete with tropical greenery and 360-degree beach.
Families can take advantage of the Le Méridien Family and Kids’ Hub, with programming that ranges from day and night nature trails, folklore storytelling and sustainable art classes.
The Greenhouse also offers immersive family experiences including micro-green planting and family foraging and cooking classes.
Unique to Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa is Thilamaafushi Marine Master’s, a specially designed programme that inspires young adventurers to connect with the environment around them in the hope of future preservation.
The immersive programme is available in bite-size modules or a full curriculum that is scalable from young children to teens. Led by the resort’s marine biologist, topics include atoll topography, coral identification and health monitoring, turtle identification and for young adult’s ray and shark protection.
Ensuring minimal environmental impact was and continues to be paramount throughout the build and resort operations.
The hotel safeguards a low carbon footprint through leading-edge practices that focus on renewable energy, waste reduction and usage of renewable resources.
Standout initiatives include the widespread use of solar panels and lighting and one of the Maldives’ largest state-of-the-art hydroponic farms that has been purposely designed to promote hydroponic farming and consumption.
Guests can learn first-hand hydroponic practices and its links to traditions of foraging and preserving – garden-to-plate philosophies and their impact in an archipelago formed nation.
“We look forward to welcoming guests to unlock the sights, sounds and aromas of the destination, showcasing matchless hospitality and enriching experiences that bring to life the Maldives through Le Méridien’s distinct European-lens,” said Nilesh Singh, General Manager, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa.
“Along with Le Méridien’s focus on timeless midcentury design and signature brand programmes, guests are invited to savour the moment and delight in the discovery of everything the resort has to offer.”
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 https://www.parkhotelgroup.com/north-male-atoll/grand-park-kodhipparu-maldives/offers/winter-getaway/ to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!
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.
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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