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Soneva celebrates joy of festive season with sparkling calendar of rare experiences



Soneva has announced a spectacular festive calendar across its award-winning destinations in the Maldives for December 2021.

For guests at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives, it will be a time to reconnect with loved ones and revel in the magic of the holiday season.

Rare, one-of-a-kind experiences will create a lifetime of precious memories: exquisite dining from Michelin-starred chefs, festive feasts, world-renowned wellness specialists, sporting heroes and a fun-packed holiday programme for children big and small, as well as a special visit from Santa himself.

In true Soneva tradition the iconic New Year’s Eve Journey around each destination will see out the year in awe-inspiring style – with sumptuous dining, live music, and unforgettable entertainment.

Soneva Fushi

Exceptional seasonal dining sets the scene for a magical Christmas and New Year at Soneva Fushi. Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur, John Burton-Race will host exclusive dinners at Once Upon a Table on December 23 and 25.

On Christmas Eve, guests can celebrate the night before Christmas at So Social on the Sandbank, with carols, eggnog, mulled wine and a mini culinary journey from the Fish Shack.

Later that evening, there will be an extravagant gala dinner at Mihiree Mithaa, with cooking stations and festive entertainment from a live band.

Christmas Day starts with seasonal tunes and games at breakfast time, and Santa will be stopping by the Baa Atoll to deliver presents and start the carnival celebrations.

Christmas lunch will be at Mihiree Mithaa, where the sumptuous spread will be accompanied by live music. Or, for something lighter in the early evening, tapas at Out of the Blue will be served with a glass of Christmas Champagne.

Football legend Mikael Silvestre will be making a welcome return to Soneva Fushi to host his popular football camp between December 18 and 26, teaching young players essential skills to improve both their game and their sportsmanship.

For guests wanting to relax, unwind and re-centre over the winter holidays, Tibetan Reiki Grandmaster Yash Shekhar will be at Soneva Fushi until December 25, while Yoga guru Pawan Kumar and master fitness trainer Johnny Owen will be at the resort throughout the winter season.

Wellness Specialists Claude Simard and Jill Banwell will also be offering their signature healing therapies until January 8, 2022.

Younger guests can embrace the fun of the festivities with an exciting programme of Christmas-themed activities and experiences at The Den, South Asia’s largest dedicated zone for children and teens.

In the lead up to Christmas Day, there’ll be candy cane chases, Christmas card making and festive crafts galore.

There’s also treasure hunts, Christmas sleepovers, classic seasonal movies, pool parties and a chance to compete in Junior MasterChef.

As 2021 draws to a close, Soneva Fushi’s spectacular New Year’s Eve celebrations take guests on a Journey Around the World.

A tantalising feast for the senses, the exquisite gastronomy is inspired by the seven continents and paired with the finest wines, cocktails, mocktails and Champagnes. Starting at the Fish Shack, the journey winds its way along torch-lit paths to mouth-watering live cooking stations and magical live entertainment – from dancers to opera singers.

The evening culminates with a countdown to 2022 and a dazzling light show to welcome in the new year – followed by a live band and DJ spinning tunes into the early hours.

View the full Soneva Fushi Festive programme

Soneva Jani

An array of fine, festive dining experiences awaits guests at Soneva Jani.

Visiting chef Kamilla Seidler will be showcasing her remarkable culinary talents at the So Engaging Chef’s table from December 19 to 21. Having worked alongside restaurateur Claus Meyer in Bolivia on his pioneering social initiative GUSTU, she has been recognised as one of Latin America’s finest chefs.

The seasonal celebrations start early on Christmas Eve, with a Very Merry Christmas Eve Breakfast at Down To Earth. Later that day, there will be sunset cocktails and eggnog at the So Sandy Beach, and a delectable Christmas Eve dinner on North Beach, with live cooking stations and entertainment from a band and DJ.

On December 25, the festivities start with a Christmas Morning Breakfast and Brunch at Down To Earth or, for late risers, an extended Christmas Brunch at The Gathering.

Santa will be making an appearance during the day to spread Christmas cheer across the resort.

In the evening, there will be a lavish, seven-course Christmas Set Menu with Wine Pairings at So Imaginative, or a chance to sit back and enjoy the classic A Christmas Carol with Dinner and a Movie at Director’s Cut and Cinema Paradiso.

For a holiday souvenir quite like no other, the free diver and BAFTA-winning Italian film director and artist Martina ‘Ama’ Amati will be at Soneva Jani from December 18 to January 6, offering guests the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the wonders of free diving, with the experience captured by Ama for eternity as a short film.

For those looking to re-energise their mind, body, and soul over the festive break, leading therapist Roger Moore will be at the resort until December 20, while osteopathy expert Hortensia Corredoira will be in residence as a visiting Wellness Specialist until January 9, 2022.

Soneva Jani’s resident Yoga expert Kamal will also be hosting complimentary morning Yoga, meditation and pranayama sessions throughout the festive season.

Families at Soneva Jani have plenty to look forward to as well – with each day at The Den designed to inspire and delight.

Children can join in with Christmas craft activities for candle making, gifts and more, as well as family treasure hunts, elves bingo and a search for Olaf the snowman.

To mark the end of 2021, Soneva Jani’s Around the World New Year’s Eve Journey takes guests on a gastronomic voyage across the globe. Starting with Champagne and canapés on the Arrival Jetty, it follows sparkling paths around the island to live cooking stations inspired by the seven continents, and magical entertainment along the way, from opera singers to traditional dancing.

The evening culminates on the beach at Crab Shack, with a countdown to 2022 and a breath-taking fire show to see in the brand new year, followed by a live band and DJ playing late into the night.

View the full Soneva Jani Festive programme

Soneva is an award-winning sustainable luxury resorts operator that pioneered the concept of ‘barefoot luxury’ when it opened Soneva Fushi in the Maldives in 1995. Today there are many imitators but no equals.

Every Soneva resort is found in outstanding natural locations that are remote yet accessible.

Offering guests the luxury of space, privacy and seclusion, each resort is renowned for its exquisite private villa accommodation, one-of-a-kind experiences, memorable dining destinations and intuitive, personalised service.

An Insider

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.

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Fan Club

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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Amari Raaya Maldives opens its gates to paradise



In a grand celebration of luxury and nature’s wonders, Amari Raaya Maldives resort has officially opened its doors, welcoming its first guests to experience a slice of paradise in the Maldives. The exclusive event was attended by the resort’s management team, as well as Atul Chordia, Chairman of Panchshil Realty, the developer behind this magnificent project.

Nestled on a pristine natural island in the heart of the Maldives’ Raa Atoll, Amari Raaya promises to be a sanctuary for travelers seeking an unforgettable escape amidst the archipelago’s breathtaking beauty. From the moment guests arrived via Manta Air seaplane, they were greeted with warm hospitality and a taste of Maldivian culture, as they were presented with traditional cultural items and treated to mesmerizing Maldivian dances.

Atul Chordia, the visionary behind Panchshil Realty, and Yuthachai Charanachitta ONYX Hospitality Group’s CEO marked the official opening of the resort by cutting the ribbon, signifying the culmination of a labor of love and dedication to creating a unique haven for luxury travelers.

With 187 villas offering a variety of luxurious experiences, Amari Raaya ensures that every guest’s stay is truly exceptional. Visitors can choose from an array of accommodation options, including the Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas, and interconnecting Family Beach Villas, perfect for creating cherished memories with loved ones.

For those seeking unparalleled luxury and seclusion, the Ocean Villas and Ocean Pool Villas provide panoramic views of the azure waters teeming with marine life. Sunset enthusiasts can revel in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldivian dusk from the privacy of their villas, opting for the Sunset Ocean Villas or Sunset Ocean Pool Villas, promising an unforgettable experience.

Amari Raaya Maldives goes beyond offering captivating villas; it has curated an extraordinary culinary journey for its guests. With eight distinct dining options, visitors can embark on a gastronomic adventure that caters to every palate. From the signature Amaya Food Gallery, serving famous street food and hawker delights, to the rooftop bar Ampers&nd, where guests can savor sunset snacks and cocktails, the resort promises to delight all epicureans. Poolside Italian favorites, freshly caught seafood infused with Maldivian and Asian flavors, and the fun and playful experience of enjoying mobile snacks and drinks served from a bus all add to the culinary magic of the resort.

In the evenings, guests can find a sense of community and immerse themselves in the local culture through live music, traditional Boduberu nights, and regular cultural events and festivities, making every moment at Amari Raaya Maldives an enriching and memorable one.

Amari Raaya Maldives is developed by Panchshil Realty, a name synonymous with excellence in luxury real estate in India. The resort is managed by Onyx Hospitality, renowned for its exceptional and personalized hospitality experiences.

With its official opening, Amari Raaya Maldives invites travelers from around the world to discover the allure of the Maldives in unparalleled comfort and style. As guests arrive at this oasis of luxury and natural splendor, they are sure to find themselves enchanted by the timeless beauty of the islands and immersed in an experience that will linger in their hearts forever.

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