Six Senses Laamu has announced the opening of Sea Hub for Environmental Learning in Laamu (SHELL) on March 1, 2023.
The SHELL sits on the resort’s sunset beach, covering a total area of 5,952 square feet (553 square meters), with its cornerstone placed on May 6, 2022. It will house the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI), a marine conservation collaborative consisting of Six Senses Laamu marine biologists and partner NGOs, The Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project, along with a gallery exhibition space, offices, marine laboratory, cinema room, and kids’ zone. Virtual and augmented reality technologies and conservation art will further enhance the space.
Marteyne van Well, Regional General Manager, says, “Healing the ocean requires understanding first. The environmentalist Baba Dioum once said, ‘In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.’ So, let us teach; let us educate the new generation on the importance of nature conservation. This is the vision behind the Sea Hub for Environmental Learning in Laamu; to engage the hearts and minds of our guests, our local communities, and our hosts. Our wish is for us and our owners, HPL Hotels & Resorts, to leave a legacy in the Laamu Atoll, where science and leisure come together with one goal: to discover more and be inspired to protect our oceans.”
The SHELL is a multi-use space designed for guest education and for offering curated and immersive marine conservation experiences. The 2,336 square-foot (217 square-meter) central exhibition space invites guests to explore the colorful and vibrant local marine life during out-of-the-ordinary encounters. The MUI team will be offering hands-on guest activities and presentations parallel to their research, conservation efforts, and initiatives. The SHELL will also feature designated facilities for hosting world-class researchers to further expand MUI’s ambitious goal to see sustainable resource management in Laamu.
Stephen Lau, Chairman of HPL Hotels & Resorts, says, “The SHELL is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Six Senses Laamu and the resort’s long record in marine conservation and community outreach. Our wish to make Laamu atoll a better place for generations to come has been our common vision of HPL, and that common vision has been the driving force behind what made this project come to life today. We hope aspiring marine biologists and budding conservationists will be inspired by the stories and research the SHELL is carrying out and that travelers and partners alike will wish to be part of the conservation journey. The SHELL helps us all give a voice to the atoll’s incredible marine ecosystems and our combined responsibility to protect it, now more than ever.”
With the goal of bringing an immersive experience to the guests at the SHELL, the central gallery, also called the Tank, boasts a high-resolution LED display floor and five educational viewing booths for kids and adults. It features diverse underwater scenes of the Laamu atoll to give insights into selected micro-topics on marine life. This immersive gallery, designed by Illuminate Productions in Singapore, is unique in the Maldives and seeks to showcase and educate guests on the exciting marine life around Six Senses Laamu. Inspired by a glass-bottom boat, the content will be periodically updated to reflect new footage captured by the resort’s dive team and diver hosts, bringing about an ever-changing canvas for guests to enjoy during different visits to the resort.
“The opening of the SHELL at Six Senses Laamu is a milestone moment for the resort and the company overall, as it truly represents the passion for the ocean environment and biology, a key agenda item for Marteyne and her team. We are equally delighted and excited at how Six Senses, through the SHELL, is bringing to life our company values in the beautiful and fragile Maldives ecosystem,” states Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs.
The Kids’ Zone is designed for young (or young at heart) and aspiring marine biologists to discover the secrets of Laamu and the underwater world. Highlights include an augmented reality sandbox which allows the users to change and redesign habitats and topography using projection mapping technology, and the ‘Draw Alive’, where children will be able to color-in their favorite marine creatures and watch them come alive on a large screen with the help of advanced animation technology to watch them swim and move throughout a virtual world.
Lawrence Menz, Project Manager of the SHELL shared, “Just like the hermit crab that moves into a larger shell when it outgrows the previous one, The Maldives Underwater Initiative by Six Senses Laamu also needs a larger space to call home, as the team is growing in size and ambitions. The SHELL will showcase the stunning marine environment that surrounds us, with breathtaking visuals and immersive and hands-on interactive experiences. We will be conducting innovative research in our new laboratory facilities that we hope will help us find the answers to, at least, some of Laamu’s questions.”
The SHELL features a 506 square-foot (47 square-meter) amphitheater displaying stunning visuals of the underwater world as a backdrop for the team to tell their stories of the land and waters of Laamu and present their research and findings to guests and scientific peers.
Quoting Philippa Roe, Head Marine Biologist, “Over the years, the MUI team has been working to establish Laamu as a hub for marine research and become an example for sustainable marine resource management in the Maldives. Having presented 12 research papers at the 2022 Maldives Marine Science Symposium focused on research on Laamu, the center’s facilities will allow us to make even greater strides toward understanding and helping the marine environment and reaching our goal. It is this information that has contributed to the establishment of six Marine Protected Areas in the atoll, and Laamu being designated a Mission Blue Hope Spot in 2021.”
The team understands that conservation doesn’t happen overnight, and that to be truly successful, a combination of scientific research, community support, and international understanding is needed. The SHELL aims to bring together all these elements in an innovative and exciting way to safeguard the environment and people of Laamu.
Bandos Maldives Easter Eggstravaganza: A Celebration of Fun and Adventure
Bandos Maldives is thrilled to announce the Easter Eggstravaganza, set to take place on March 30th, 2024. This vibrant celebration promises an unforgettable Easter experience for guests of all ages. The event will feature an array of exciting activities designed to bring joy and excitement to the holiday festivities.
Guests are invited to step right up to the Kokko Club Playground and immerse themselves in a world of fun at our Mini Carnival. Additionally, participants can test their luck and skill at the Blackout Bingo Bonanza, where dabbing their way to victory awaits.
For those with a creative spirit, our Easter Art painting session offers the perfect opportunity to unleash their artistic talents and paint their way into spring. Meanwhile, adventure seekers can embark on a thrilling Bunny Trail Adventure, joining the epic Bunny Hunt Challenge to locate all the hidden bunnies lurking around the Kokko Club.
At Bandos Maldives, we are committed to providing our guests with extraordinary experiences, and the Bandos Easter Eggstravaganza is no exception. This Easter, make memories that last a lifetime at Bandos Maldives. Don’t miss out on the excitement!
Baros Maldives: The Perfect Setting for a Joyful Easter in the Maldives
Baros is a treasure nestled in the Indian Ocean, just waiting to be discovered. This Easter, uncover the myriad of delights on offer for guests celebrating the holiday on our pristine island shores.
From sunrise dolphin cruises to underwater marvels, serene spa journeys and delicious culinary sensations, every moment on Baros is a magical surprise. From 29th March to 4th April 2024, the Baros team has curated a special program of Easter celebration. Choose from a wide range of specially crafted experiences and curate your very own Easter escape of a lifetime.
Baros delights the senses. There is something for everyone to enjoy, from snorkelling, diving and exciting excursions to unparalleled destination dining experiences and sensational spa moments.
Guests are invited to harvest fresh and exotic ingredients from Baros’s Chef’s Garden for a unique meal preparation under the expert guidance of our award-winning chefs. Alternatively, they can immerse themselves in the allure of a specially curated menu, set by the seashore under a tapestry of stars. Every dish is a culinary masterpiece, creating unforgettable moments.
For adventure on the high seas, guests can spend the day exploring five traditional fishing methods across multiple stunning locations on a fishing extravaganza. Or set sail on Baros’s luxury yacht, Serenity for a sunrise frolic with playful dolphins.
At Baros, guests are welcomed to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of Maldivian culture as local traditions come alive. Delve into the rich history and customs of our island sanctuary as you tantalise your senses with local delicacies, participate in interactive experiences and listen to captivating narratives from a local historian.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Announces 2024 Masters of Crafts Program With Stellar Line-Up of Guest Experiences
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is set to welcome a shining season of global talent in its signature Masters of Crafts program for the second year running. Working with some of the world’s most talented masters of food and drink, wellness, adventure and environmental innovation, the resort’s curation of considered guest experiences has transformative travel at its heart. From epicurean journeys with Michelin Star chefs and award-winning bartenders, retreats guided by leading names in wellness, to adventure and learning with surf icons and environmental thought leaders, 2024 guarantees extraordinary memories of a lifetime.
The series, which last year included two Michelin Star British chef Tom Sellers with decorated bartenders from Singapore’s Vijay Mudaliar of Native, to Malaysia’s Jungle Bird and celebrity crystal healer Emma Knowles, will run throughout 2024 bringing a star-studded choice of dates to the luxury travel agenda.
The resort’s signature Behind the Bar series is set to impress in 2024. Opening on the 8th March and running through to the 6th December, this exclusive program promises an exquisite fusion of international mixology talent, sustainability-focused concepts, and a celebration of local ingredients. Guests will have access to some of the world’s most decorated drinksmiths with a line-up including; Stockholm’s Hampus Thunholm from Röda Huset, 8th-13th March, Paul Aguilar & Maros Dzurus from HIMKOK, 5th-6th April, Republic from Singapore, 24th – 25th July, Bangkok’s Matteo Cadeddu from Opium, 9th-10th August, New York’s Harrison Ginsberg from Overstory, 18th-19th September, Berlin’s Damien Guichard from Wax On, 22nd, 23rd November and Paris’ Hyacinthe Lescoet from The Cambridge Public House, 5th-6th December.
This Easter, from 27th March – 2nd April, New York based meditation practitioner and contemplative guide Kirat Randhawa, will inspire guests to approach life through a different lens. Randhawa will share practical tools for self-care on a journey of discovery where transformative sessions and empowering wellness practices will include; cultivating stillness, igniting and welcoming reflection, inviting expansion, practicing reinforcement and deepening integration.
From 23rd-27th May an immersive wellness retreat brings together global gurus of practice with The Essence of Balance – Elemental Harmony. A week-long program will follow a journey driven by the spiritual power of the number five and the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and spirit. Guiding a cosmic dance are five practitioners each custodians of an elemental force.
California-based international yoga teacher Josh Kramer brings the grounding element of earth with his celebrated practice blending Iyengar and vinyasa flow. Movement instructor and founder of the Jacy Method, Jacy Cunningham introduces his powerful method of physical movement representing the adaptability of water, while sound healer and Reiki master Nicole Rutsch will harness the intellect of air and the power of nature’s vibrations. New York’s Jackie Stewart will channel transcendence of spirit with guided meditation, while guests will be nourished by Nicole Berrie, founder of cult wellness guide, Bonberi, with a plant-based menu of her most celebrated dishes representing the transformative element of fire.
In a Summer of Renewal, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is committed to ensuring that all guests ‘Leave Better’. From 19th-23rd July, celebrity healer and founder of the sound healing school The Copper Vessel, Susy Markoe Schieffelin, will take residency with a soothing practice guided by the moon. Under Maldivian skies guests will bathe in Susy’s signature sound baths as enjoyed by millions worldwide, with her clients including Google, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and solo artist LeAnn Rimes. From 15th-20th August the Summer transformation continues with movement guidance from celebrated practitioner and founder of Project Woman, Abi Adams. During two programs guests will embark on an emotional journey and exploration of hormonal balance with tools of meridian dance, rhythm meditation, music, yoga and creative writing.
A first for the resort, 2024 sees the introduction of two retreats partnering with championship surf heroes Nic von Rupp and Victor Bernardo. During the Maldives’ optimum surf season of June and July, the exhilarating escapes led by von Rupp and Bernardo will allow guests to ride and master the four most popular waves in the North Malé Atoll comprising Chicken, Cokes Surf Break, Honkeys and Jailbreak.
With his trademark touch of Portuguese flair and German strength, Nic Von Rupp is one of the top ‘big wave’ surfers in the world. Two-time finalist of ‘World Surf League Big Wave Performance of the Year’, von Rupp spends his time in pursuit of the world’s largest swells and will take the helm at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands from 4th-13th June. Brazilian big wave surfer Victor Bernardo was born on a board, surfing from the age of four and with global accolades under his belt, he is one to watch on the free surfer circuit. Bernardo will lead a guest retreat from 1st-7th July.
Growing its stable of exceptional gastronomic experiences, 2024 will see pop-up residencies with an impressive circle of culinary friends. From 27th July-3rdAugust, two Michelin Star and one Michelin Green Star, Chef Bruno Verjus brings a taste of his Paris restaurant Table by Bruno Verjus to the Fari Islands. For two nights only, an exquisite menu from the home of the famed ‘tarte au chocolat avec caviar’ will be created and served under the stars at the resort’s Beach Shack. Guests will also have the opportunity to join Verjus in an exclusive masterclass, and for the winning bidders of the Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ package, the chance to embark on a big game fishing excursion.
From 10th-12th August Chef Pam Soontornyanakij, newly crowned Asia’s Best Female Chef 2024, will bring her celebrated mastery from Bangkok’s Potong. The first and youngest female chef to receive both a Michelin Star and ‘Opening of the Year’ award from the Michelin guide in the same year will present a bespoke menu of her progressive Thai-Chinese cuisine in an exclusive two-night residency at Summer Pavilion.
Chef Rolf Fliegaulkf, founder and executive chef of Switzerland’s Ecco will take over the resort’s Beach Shack for two nights from 12th-14th November. The two Michelin Star and 18 Gault Millau points’ Fliegaulkf will unveil a creative menu bursting with exquisite flavour pairings demonstrating his signature approach of ‘purist aroma cuisine’.
The resort’s Visiting Heroes for 2024 bring inspired interactions with conservationists and environmental thought leaders. From 8th-18th April legendary ocean explorer, film maker and conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau will be returning to the resort in continuation of the Ambassadors of the Environment program and to provide a truly unique residency. Cousteau will host several presentations focused on marine biology, lead a number of dives with guests including coral regeneration, and chair a thought-provoking panel discussion alongside marine biologists and representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change, Environment, and Energy. An exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ experience will be available to two lucky guests via bid application, closing on the 23rd March.
Joining the Visiting Heroes series, climate activist and Forbes 30 under 30 for social impact, Saad Amer will play a pivotal role in the development of the resort’s sustainability agenda this year. A UN consultant and named ‘most influential voice in ESG’ by WWD, Amer will be launching new sustainability initiatives while undertaking educational programming with local islands and schools as part of the resort’s Community Footprints program. Dates for guest presentations and exclusive panel sessions will be announced soon.
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