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CNN’s ‘Reconnect Maldives’ explores cultural traditions, culinary secrets, unrivalled underwater kingdom



A week of special coverage airs Dec 6-10 with a 30-minute programme airing Dec 11

The Maldives’ world-class resorts invite visitors to bask in the sun, sand and sea. But beyond hotel shores lies a country brimming with cultural traditions, culinary secrets and an unrivalled underwater kingdom.

This month, in a 30-minute special, CNN’s Reconnect Maldives goes beyond the familiar to connect with this island nation, through diving, deep-sea fishing and dance while celebrating the people who make the Maldives more than just a picture-perfect place.

With 99 percent of the Maldives’ surface covered by water, it is no surprise that this ocean nation harbours some of the world’s richest marine biodiversity.

CNN visits the Baa Atoll, catching a boat ride with Beth Faulkner, who leads a team of researchers at the Manta Trust, a conservation charity researching the world’s largest manta ray population. Based in the north-western part of the country at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, the team’s work so far has helped lead to legal habitat protection for mantas, and their inclusion on the Maldivian National Protected Species List.

The resort also partners with Reefscapers, a world leader in coral conservation. As one of the largest coral propagation facilities of their type in the world, they have planted over half a million pieces of coral over the 20 years that they have been in the Maldives. Simon Dixon, Marine Discovery Centre Manager for the Reefscapers shares the restoration process and how resort guests can be a part of it.

Diving into deeper waters, CNN meets up with Zoona Naseem, the Maldives’ first woman to be certified as a course director by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors – an impressive status only achieved by about a thousand people worldwide. For over 18 years, she worked as an instructor in hotels across the country. But eventually, she found a different calling: opening Moodhu Bulhaa Dive Centre, a dive school for primarily women and children, aimed at helping them learn to love the ocean.

The Maldives is just as bustling above ground as it is below sea – thanks to a centuries-old tradition called Boduberu, usually performed by men. Aishath Hishma is a founding member of Boduberu group Faiymini. Like most troupes, they perform at religious festivals, celebrations and community gatherings, but one major difference sets Faiymini apart from the rest – they are the only females performing as a group now in Malé. They hope to inspire other girls to join them.

Maldivian waters aren’t just a sight to behold – they’re also the most important source of food. But if fish is at the core of this cuisine, then local traditions are the secret ingredient. Chef Mohamed Adil is on a mission to revive Maldivian cuisine through the five restaurants he oversees at Dhigali, a resort in the Raa Atoll. His menus often include traditional recipes that rely on traditional methods such as pole and line fishing rather than the commercial use of nets.

Airtimes for 30-minute special:

  • Saturday, December 11 at 2:00pm HKT
  • Sunday, December 12 at 1:30am, 12:00pm and 7:00pm HKT
  • Monday, December 13 at 6:30am HKT
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Discover ultimate privacy at Nika Maldives



Imagine a place where the world fades away, leaving you with nothing but the gentle sound of waves and the soft touch of sand beneath your feet. A place where privacy is not just a promise, but a guarantee. Welcome to Nika island Resort & Spa, Maldives, the only resort that offers private beaches for an unparalleled experience of seclusion and tranquility.

At Nika, your very own private beach awaits. Picture yourself enjoying a personalised BBQ under the stars or designing your own destination dining experience, tailored to your every desire. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a family feast, the possibilities are endless.

John Miller, a recent guest at Nika, shares his unforgettable experience: “Staying at Nika’s private beach villa was the ultimate privacy I’ve ever experienced. Born in London, I’ve never known such seclusion in my entire life. The resort is lush with vegetation, and the fauna and flora are simply amazing. It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The local stories and the museum displays are fascinating.”

But the allure of Nika doesn’t end there. The resort’s dive centre offers exceptional dive courses, taking you to spectacular dive sites that reveal the breathtaking underwater world. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, the wonders beneath the surface will leave you in awe.

After a day of exploration, indulge in the Lotus Spa at Nika. Offering a range of excellent massages, from traditional local techniques to various modern varieties, the spa promises to rejuvenate your body and soul.

Nika is a small resort, yet it is brimming with entertainment and activities. From water sports to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone. It’s a sanctuary where you can ground yourself, reconnect with nature, and discover a level of privacy that is truly extraordinary.

Escape to Nika and hide away at your secret beach. Here, the ultimate privacy and relaxation await.

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Unwind and Explore: Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Invites Families to a Rejuvenating Summer Escape



Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, an all-pool villa haven nestled amidst the breathtaking natural seascapes of the Indian Ocean, invites families to embrace the joy of relaxation and the spirit of adventure this summer with a slew of experiences designed to inspire playful discoveries and foster tranquil reconnections with the mind and body.

Fun for All Ages

Budding adventurers and creative little spirits alike can discover new adventures at Krakengiri Kids’ Club, one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives. Led by a multilingual team of certified childcare professionals, young guests can engage in an exciting array of daily activities that combine learning and play.

Upstairs, Re:Fuel, a rooftop lounge for teens, hosts engaging milkshake-making workshops and fun family movie nights under the starry Maldivian sky.

In June, the resort offers a Holiday Camp for teens, who can personalize their wellness experiences as follows:

  • Pick up new sports such as tennis, pickleball, and badminton on the multi-purpose court with the hotel’s resident Sports Animator
  • Work out with a personal trainer at the fitness center
  • Try aerial yoga for beginners, yoga for better sleep, breathwork, and meditation with the resident yoga practitioner
  • Enjoy a restorative massage in the overwater treatment villas of Amingiri Spa.

The experience is available at USD 150++ per person for a combination of any two 30-minute sessions.

Restful Retreats

Amingiri Spa introduces Water Connect, a private in-villa pool experience guided by a certified water shiatsu specialist. The gentle movements and targeted massage techniques melt away tension and create a deeply relaxing sensation akin to being cocooned in the womb. The serene escape is available between 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at USD 150++ for 30 minutes.

Starting in June, guests can indulge in a brand-new Sleep Wellness menu designed to ease the mind and body into a state of deep and rejuvenating slumber. Guests can choose to unwind with a calming signature massage on the spa’s Skye Deck, bask in the timeless glow of an evening hammam ritual in the modern hammam room, or embrace tranquility with an in-villa session incorporating guided meditation, yoga, and breathwork.

Exclusive Offer

Guests who stay a minimum of four nights enjoy the added value of a half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers with Maldivian Bliss. This offer is available for stays through to December 20, 2024.

From May through to September 30, 2024, children stay and dine free: parents staying with two young children ages 11 years and below in an Overwater Suite with Pool and any of the Two-Bedroom Beach and Overwater Villas will also enjoy the half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers when booking Maldivian Bliss. Hilton Honors members enjoy full points for their stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.

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Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation



Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit or contact For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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