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Vakkaru Maldives celebrates 5th anniversary with top 5 highlights



Vakkaru Maldives celebrates a significant milestone this month as it marks five years of providing an unforgettable private island experience and creating memories of a lifetime for over 32,000 guests. Since it welcomed its first guests on 17 December 2017, the luxury sanctuary has maintained its position as one of the top resorts in the region, winning a slew of awards and recognitions, both international and local.

Vakkaru Maldives is the only resort in the Maldives owned by Egypt’s El Chiaty family. While conceptualising the resort, chairman and CEO of Travco Group, Hamed El Chiaty, worked closely with his son and Vice-Chairman of Travco Group, Karim El Chiaty, to create a peerless distillation of all that he and his family have pioneered and admired in the luxury sector over a lifetime of work in the travel industry. Travco Group under the leadership of Hamed El Chiaty is the Middle East’s leading leisure group operating through its integrated companies operating in the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors.

The resort is thoughtfully built around the natural landscape of the island to preserve the natural vegetation. Conceived by Dutch firm, OT Design BV, the resort’s 113 vast, palm-thatched overwater and beach villas and residences are pitched over the ocean or shaded by the island’s coconut trees. Mr Hamad El Chiaty’s wife, professional interior designer Dora El Chiaty, also the Managing Director and Head of Interior Design at the Travco Group, has played a crucial role in the resort’s design process. The resort’s interiors exude a timeless elegance inspired by the beauty of its location featuring bespoke furniture crafted in Indonesia.

Here are the five reasons that make Vakkaru Maldives one of the top resorts to stay at in the region.

Timeless Location

Lying within the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, Vakkaru Maldives is a secluded reef island fringed by ivory-white sands, surrounded by Tiffany-blue waters, and bookended by two deep blue holes. The island, which once was a coconut plantation, is home to over 2,300 fully grown coconut trees (Vakkaru is the Dhivehi word for “coconut timber”). Access to this idyllic paradise is via a scenic 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport. The exceptional natural beauty paired with breathtaking endless views of the Indian Ocean makes the resort the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature.

Luxury Accommodation

Your villa, whether on the beach or over the water, has one or two bedrooms. The residences offer more space and go from one- and two-bedroom layouts to the magnificent two-storey, four-bedroom Over Water Residence with a dedicated chef, an infinity pool and unobstructed ocean and sunset views. Each of the 113 luxury villas and residences draws on the rich traditions of the locale. Design elements incorporates Maldivian style fused with the finest natural resources and local architecture in a contemporary style. Each villa and suite offer intelligent connectivity and are stocked with all the requisites for a luxe vacay.

Passionate Service

The heart and soul of Vakkaru Maldives is the diverse team of dedicated professionals. Each member brings their own unique background and perspective, but each one is passionate about delivering memorable moments and creating emotional experiences for the guests through highly personalised service every day, every time. Private butlers take care of guests’ whims and fancies during their time at this island resort. Celebrating a special occasion or simply craving your favourite dish? The culinary team will go above and beyond to create a memorable dining experience or cook up something to your preference. At the luxurious Merana spa, ask the specialists to tailor a wellness or spa journey to help you relax and rejuvenate. The friendly and caring ‘yes we can’ attitude of the staff is what keeps Vakkaru Maldives at the top of the rankings in the region.

Engaging Experiences

Leaving your villa might be hard, but the vast array of experiences on offer are impossible to ignore. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go snorkelling or diving, or try your hand at water sports, Vakkaru Maldives has something for everyone. The over water Merana spa, with its long list of wellness programmes, therapeutic massages, and Siddhalepa Ayurvedic treatments, is just the place to reset body, mind and soul.

The dive centre will get you up close and personal with the lagoon’s fabulous underwater world. Or, even arrange a safari to catch a glimpse of the Baa Atoll Big Five – manta rays, whale sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, and the multitude of sharks that inhabit the surrounding waters. Sports aficionados can go up against the tennis pro from Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis or enjoy a game of padel tennis. Or, live the high life with a Baa Atoll discovery tour aboard the luxury yacht, complete with Champagne and canapes. Also available are various cultural experiences, such as cooking and mixology classes, trips to local islands and more.

And finally, guest can renew their vows or plan an island-style ceremonial wedding at one of the idyllic venues around the island. The stunning ocean views make it the perfect backdrop to say “I Do”.

Delicious Dining

Nobody goes hungry at this island resort. Six exquisite dining options serve the flavours and textures of Europe, Asia and local cuisine, with produce from the on-island organic farm at the centre of the delicious fare. If that’s not enough, there is the Maldivian-inspired cooking class at the Organic Farm, teppanyaki live action at Anguru, the new Jungle Cinema and private dining experience, or an intimate dinner under the stars on a private sandbank. For something extra special, there are gourmet dinners at the award-winning Vakkaru Reserve wine cellar paired with Old and New World vintages by Sommelier Ivan Zugic.

These five reasons are why the resort has kept adding awards to its trophy case over the years. The top accolades are the World Travel Awards for World’s Leading Luxury Honeymoon Resort and Indian Ocean’s Leading Suite (Vakkaru Over Water Residence) for three consecutive years. Other awards that make the list are the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, where Vakkaru is now ranked #7 in the Maldives, the Wine Spectator Award 2020 for the private wine cellar, Vakkaru Reserve, and the No. 1 Favourite Family Hotel in the 2021 Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards.

“Celebrating our 5th anniversary is a proud moment for all of us at Vakkaru Maldives. Over the past half-decade, the team has been striving to deliver our guests the best service and experience. I hope we have created exceptional memories for our guests and experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. I’d also like to give my amazing team who have been a part of this wonderful journey a high five,” Iain McCormack, General Manager, Vakkaru Maldives, said.


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 to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!

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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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