World-renowned resorts operator Soneva and Teamwork Arts, producer of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival and its international JLF extensions, have joined forces once more to launch the second edition of JLF Soneva Fushi. Taking place on the sands of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives’ breath-taking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the arts and literary festival will be returning to the award – winning barefoot luxury resort from May 12 to 21, 2023. Over the course of ten days and two weekends, the festival will host an unforgettable programme, with live performances of art, music and literature.
Each weekend, there will be flagship events, including keynote addresses, gala dinners on the sand, live music performances, and film screenings at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The festival will offer delectable international food from a specially curated menu prepared by Soneva Fushi’s award-winning chefs. Weekdays at JLF Soneva Fushi will focus on close-knit sessions and author discussions, as well as a range of engaging workshops. Every morning, the festival will offer sessions focused on yoga and meditation, dance workshops, guided snorkelling with Soneva Fushi’s resident Ocean Guardians, and glassblowing at Soneva Art & Glass, the Maldives’ first hot glass studio.
“A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to reconnect with the pure joy of literature and the arts”, said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva. “The exceptional setting of our barefoot island in the Maldives, coupled with our contributors and guests staying with us for at least a weekend makes JLF Soneva Fushi unlike any other literature festival. It’s this greater, intimate access to authors, deeper understanding, new friendships and stronger bonds that make this barefoot festival so unique. I cannot wait to welcome a line-up of outstanding international authors to our shores once again.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “JLF Soneva Fushi is food for the mind, body and soul. An exceptional gathering of collective wisdom and expertise from across the world, set in the most idyllic setting of the Baa Atoll, with delectable fare, exhilarating conversations and spectacular vistas.”
The 2023 edition will also see a line-up of world-renowned authors, including British novelist, broadcaster and Man Booker Prize winner, Howard Jacobson; Booker Prize-winning novelist and playwright, Damon Galgut; Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and author of 20 books, Namita Gokhale; British historian, television presenter and author of popular history books, Simon Sebag Montefiore; best-selling historian, and Festival Co-Director, William Dalrymple; and professor in the departments of astronomy and physics at Yale University, Priyamvada Natarajan, who is well-known for her work in mapping dark matter and dark energy.
Throughout each day during their stay, guests will be able to explore and indulge in everything that Soneva Fushi has to offer: miles of pristine sandy beaches edged by tranquil turquoise waters; exquisite private villa accommodation, with Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request; healing rituals and innovative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul; exceptional dining destinations serving the finest cuisine from across the world; and rare, one-of-a-kind experiences that create memories to last a lifetime.
The inaugural JLF Soneva Fushi brought with it a global line-up of critically acclaimed authors, thinkers and cultural leaders to the Maldives from May 13 to 22, 2022, and the sessions covered a fascinating spectrum of topics. The stand-out sessions included keynote addresses by best-selling author Peter Frankopan and New York Magazine deputy editor David Wallace-Wells; musical performances by Grammy-nominated singer Shilpa Rao and The Sufi Gospel Project; a free-flowing discussion with director Mira Nair and Festival Producer Sanjoy K. Roy, followed by a screening of her award-winning film Monsoon Wedding; sunset dolphin cruises; and an intimate author session on the power of diverse thinking with best -selling author Matthew Syed and mathematician extraordinaire Marcus du Sautoy.
The 2022 edition of the festival also held a special one-day event in Malé, featuring live Q&As with guest speakers and book signings in the Maldives’ capital city. The event was held at Salt Cafe, with participation from the Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed, and world-renowned authors Shobhaa De and Marcus du Sautoy. Prominent local architect and academic Mauroof Jameel, illustrator and author Zaahie Saeed, and comic writer and expert Ahmed Mauroof Jameel also took part in the pop-up event.
For those wanting to attend JLF Soneva Fushi 2023, Soneva’s exclusive festival offer includes full access to the entire festival programme, with luxurious private villa accommodation, alongside daily full board at selected dining destinations and complimentary round–trip wheeled plane domestic transfers, priced from USD 8,100 for two guests for a minimum four-night stay. Those who book before November 30, 2022, will also benefit from an additional 10 per cent JLF Early Bird reduction on their stay.
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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