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Celebrating women in hospitality: Inspiring stories from female associates at Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio resorts in Maldives



Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day by honouring the women associates who play an essential role in shaping the future of the hospitality industry. Marriott International recognises the contributions that women make and is committed to supporting their growth and development. Women hold key leadership positions in Marriott International Maldives, and this year, we are delighted to share inspiring stories of some of the talented and dedicated women who work across the company’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives.

Rivero Delgado, Area Vice President – Singapore, Malaysia & Maldives, Marriott International, said, “At Marriott International, we value diversity and equality, and we have a strong commitment to promoting women in leadership positions. From leading teams to creating unforgettable experiences for our guests, women are making a significant impact on our business and the hospitality industry as a whole. We are committed to ensuring that women have the confidence to apply for any role they want, and we encourage everyone to feel able to apply for roles that they are suitable for, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or ethnicity.”

Itha, waitress at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa

Itha loves to deliver excellent customer service and boasts her strength is her interpersonal skills which the company allows her to showcase. Her favourite part of the job is assisting customers with their food selections. Itha believes in the company’s commitment to providing great customer service, and she sees this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Itha’s best experience with a valued guest was when she met a lovely couple celebrating their honeymoon. She surprised them by creating special table decorations with the letters of their names for their dinner. They were touched and told Itha, “We will never forget this in our lives.” Itha advises future female waitresses never to underestimate the power of a smile.

Gordana, Kids Club Manager at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa 

Gordana with over 20 years of experience working with children and youth. She oversees the care, hospitality, and service provided to the young guests at the FAMiLY by JW Little Griffins’ Kids Club during their stay and manages youth activities, babysitting, and special events. Gordana finds joy in seeing a smile on both the kids’ and parents’ faces and believes there is no picture as beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children. One of her favourite experiences involved a family who visited the resort and became good friends to the extent that they are still in touch. Their 3 year old son came every day and every time he came he gave her a big hug and told her he loved her. For women interested in working in hospitality, Gordana believes it’s a unique job that allows personal and professional growth and the chance to meet people from all over the world.

Wong Min Sin (Jess), the Pastry Chef at W Maldives

Jess is a woman of exceptional talent with an unwavering commitment to excellence. With her infectious smile and can-do attitude, she embodies the spirit of the W brand. She started her career at a young age, and her experiences in different hotels have honed her skills and expertise in the culinary field. Her inspirations are her mom and aunt who love to make sweets. Jess believes in treating everyone equally, and states that W Maldives provides her with the freedom to be herself. Her advice to other female talents is to be independent and strong. Jess’ career aspirations include becoming an Executive Pastry Chef or opening her own pastry shop or restaurant. Her passion and positivity are a reminder that anything is possible with hard work and dedication, and that your dreams are always within reach.

Fritzel Gantuangko, Human Resources Manager at W Maldives

Fritzel started her career as a Chef, breaking through barriers as the only woman in the kitchen, and quickly becoming a valuable member of the team as the Chef’s secretary. Her commitment to excellence and hard work earned her an opportunity to work in the Maldives, and later transition to HR. Over the years, Fritzel has continued to grow her career, moving up the ranks to her current role as HR Manager at W Maldives. Despite the challenges that come with being a woman in the hospitality industry, Fritzel has persevered, and her passion for the industry has only grown stronger. She is a firm believer in building strong relationships and maintaining a positive attitude, and is always willing to help others. For young girls joining the industry, Fritzel has some inspiring words of advice: Believe in yourself, embrace challenges, build relationships, and pursue your passion with unwavering determination.

Ashinie Weerasinghe, Quality, Learning & Development Manager at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

Her journey began when she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance at Flinders University in Australia. As a part-time job, she started waitressing and ventured into hospitality, realizing that it was her true passion. She completed an advanced diploma in hospitality with William Angliss, Australia, and landed an internship at the Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka, where her love for the industry deepened. During her internship, Ashinie was offered a position as a front office associate, and one week later, she was offered the position of training coordinator, where she was told that there won’t be a manager, but she will be heading the training department. It was a significant challenge that she had never imagined, but she decided to take the opportunity and give it her best shot. With determination and hard work, Ashinie excelled and found her stepping stone to Human Resources and training. As a Quality, Learning & Development Manager at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Ashinie encourages women to embrace diverse perspectives and to push boundaries to achieve their goals. She believes that women should not let their gender define them or hinder their input, reminding them that they have earned their place at the table and deserve it. For those aspiring to join the hospitality industry, Ashinie reminds us that it is changing, and the opportunities are endless. She encourages everyone to challenge themselves, keep pushing towards their ultimate goal, and never let obstacles or setbacks define them. Her message is clear: with perseverance, self-belief, and a willingness to learn and grow, anything is possible. 

Ashiyath Shurufa, Guest Service Agent at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

Shurufa always been passionate about the hospitality industry. Despite facing societal judgement and gender stereotypes, she never let them get in the way of her dreams. Her career journey began with internships at Capital Travel and Sun Siyam Olhuveli, where she honed her skills in customer service and guest satisfaction. As a Guest Service Agent, Ashiyath provides assistance to all guests, administering check-ins and checkouts, processing payments and billing, and promptly attending to guest phone calls and messages to accommodate their exact needs and requirements. For Ashiyath, the hospitality industry is not just a job, it’s a thrilling experience where she faces different challenges and learns something new every day. She is proud to work alongside female leaders in the industry who motivate her to reach for the stars. Ashiyath’s message to young girls is to never let societal judgement or gender stereotypes get in the way of their dreams. With self-belief and determination, they can achieve anything they set their minds to in the hospitality industry.

Tanaya Dasgupta, Reservations Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort 

Tanaya began her journey 14 years ago in Kolkata (India). Over the years, she has worked in Guest Relations, and her passion for hospitality took her to different brands and hotels within the Marriott International portfolio, including The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Hotels. Tanaya’s journey has been a testament to the opportunities offered to female associates at Marriott International. Tanaya believes in equality and empowerment in the workplace. She is committed to developing her team members, focusing solely on their professional performance and skills, irrespective of their gender.

Ika Khasanah, Spa Manager at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort

Ika began her hospitality career at the age of 19 in Bali (Indonesia). Ika has dedicated over 10 years of her life to the wellness field, and she believes hospitality is not just a career, but a way of life that has allowed her to grow personally and professionally while traveling the world. She cherishes the freedom and mobility that comes with her job, which has allowed her to meet new people and create unforgettable memories for guests and herself. Ika is inspired by Marriott International’s commitment to women’s empowerment and admires the number of female senior leaders who serve as role models for her and others in the company.

Marriott International congratulates women across the globe and reaffirms its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and empowerment. We hope that the inspiring stories of these women will inspire and empower the next generation of women leaders in hospitality.

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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