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Hulhule Island Hotel Wins at International Hotel Awards 2012-2013



Maldives Promotion House – The International Property Awards set up eighteen years ago, launched the International Hotel Awards last year. The competition was extremely keen with entries across the board being of the highest standard. The presentation of awards was held in Kuala Lumpur at the culmination of a two day Property & Hospitality Summit on April 26th and 27th, 2012.

Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH) was the honoured nominee under “Best Airport Hotel” category for these awards. The second and third placed hotels out of the nominees were given a “Highly Commended Award” while the best of the nominations were presented with “Five Star Rating Awards”. HIH was a recipient of the “Five Star Rating Award” at International Hotel Awards 2012-2013.

Further ahead, the awards for Asia Pacific region were announced and only two hotels qualified as nominees under the “Best Airport Hotel” category. HIH was the ultimate winner surpassing a Pan Pacific hotel to win the “Best Airport Hotel – Asia Pacific” at International Hotel Awards 2012-2013. HIH, being the Regional Winner has also qualified for the International Awards, scheduled to be held later this year.

The honour was conferred upon by Mr. Stuart Shield, President of the International Hotel Awards at a ceremony which was attended by many esteemed professionals. Participants from twenty three countries competed in thirteen different categories for these awards. These awards organised by International Hotel Awards cater to different regions namely Asia Pacific, UK, Europe, America, Africa and Arabia.

The objective of these awards is to recognise excellence in the hotel and hospitality industry worldwide thus promoting an international standard in today’s competitive times. Mr. Stuart Shield, President of the International Hotel Awards commented, “It is going to be really exciting to see the level of competition from around the world as we progress with judging throughout the summer.”

This award is truly a well deserved one for HIH. Since its inception in 2000, the hotel has undergone continuous expansion, refurbishment and has been rebranded in an effort to provide impeccable service standards to the traveller visiting this paradise set amidst the Indian Ocean. Constant changes and thoughtful additions to the existing property have made HIH a place to reckon with. Guests have an option to choose from various categories of rooms available ranging from Deluxe, Super Deluxe and rooms with Jacuzzi. The guest rooms are provided with international standards of amenities wherein the guests stay is made comfortable with the overall quality and service.

Although located at the airport island, HIH is far superior to the other city hotels in terms of accommodation, cuisine and the general experience. There are various food and beverage options serving ethnic cuisine along with Japanese, Thai, Continental and Indian. During Ramadaan, the holy month speciality chefs are flown in for the fasting month from different countries only to make the occasion a more rewarding one by providing a new international cuisine.

The local and expat community enjoy the services at HIH along with a sumptuous gastronomic experience in the restaurants. Uduvilaa, the roof top signature restaurant is the connoisseur‟s favourite and well known for its extravagant menu selection. The hotel has an excellent team and has been winning the “Best Culinary Establishment” award numerous times in the past few years. The highly skilled Chefs take keen interest and prepare innovative delicacies suiting every palate.

The well equipped Gymnasium at the hotel is very popular with the in house guests as well as members from Malé. The enthusiastic instructor plans workouts based on individual needs which is much appreciated. The Serena Spa and foot reflexology available in the lobby area go a great way in unwinding oneself, the trained masseurs and the herbal treatments surely rejuvenate the mind and body. The putting green, tennis court, badminton court and the landscaped gardens provide a wonderful opportunity to keep oneself occupied leisurely.

HIH is a contemporary hotel, wherein the service standards are at par with international hospitality norms. The rooms are very comfortable and have a refreshing ambience, care has been taken to provide a special pillow menu to suit individual preferences, apart from the well stacked mini bar, wine cellar, tea coffee making facility, LCD television and other amenities. The food is exceptionally sumptuous; the presentation along with the flavours leaves one spellbound and the dining experience is truly gratifying.

At Kuala Lumpur, prior to the Award ceremony Mr. Utkarsh Faujdar, the General Manager of HIH had a round table presentation on tourism industry in the Maldives to the professionals from hospitality and its affiliated sectors. The topic addressed was “Maldives – the sunny side of life and the significance of Hulhule Island Hotel in creating a memorable holiday experience”, this incorporated inputs from Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation. The seminar was much appreciated and the attendees got a deeper insight into Maldives.

After receiving the award Mr Utkarsh Faujdar, the General Manager said, “We feel honoured to have represented one of the most exotic holiday destinations. The “Best Airport Hotel – Asia Pacific” Award is undoubtedly a great recognition to HIH and its team, and speaks volumes about each detail taken into consideration. Hospitality industry is an extremely demanding one, if our guests are happy and comfortable, our day is made and we are inspired in turn as our guests are very special to us”.


CROSSROADS Maldives appoints Ibrahim Farhad as Director of Retail



CROSSROADS Maldives has announced the appointment of Ibrahim Farhad as the new Director of Retail at the Maldives’ premier integrated multi-island leisure destination. Farhad, known for his extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, brings a wealth of expertise in sustainable tourism management to his new role. He will oversee the retail operations at The Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives, enhancing the leisure, dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences for visitors from around the world.

Farhad’s impressive background includes significant contributions to policy formulation and stakeholder engagement during his tenure as the Senior Policy Director at the Maldives Ministry of Tourism. In this role, he was pivotal in developing and implementing policies that promoted sustainable tourism. He collaborated closely with government agencies and international organizations to ensure regulatory compliance, and his expertise in research, analysis, quality assurance, and capacity building has been instrumental in shaping the tourism sector in the Maldives.

In his new role at CROSSROADS Maldives, Farhad will oversee the strategic development of retail spaces, ensuring they offer a diverse and high-quality visitor experience. He will collaborate with local and international partners to bring unique products to The Marina, aligning with the destination’s commitment to sustainability and cultural authenticity.

“As a native Maldivian coupled with his extensive experience and deep-rooted community connections, Farhad is a great addition to our team at CROSSROADS Maldives. I am excited to see the fresh perspectives and innovative strategies he will introduce at The Marina, which will further strengthen CROSSROADS Maldives’ position as the premier integrated multi-island leisure destination,” said Alexander Traeger, General Manager of CROSSROADS Marina and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

CROSSROADS Maldives looks forward to the innovative and sustainable approaches Farhad will bring to the retail operations, enhancing the overall experience for all visitors.

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Utheemu Ganduvaru: Portal to Maldives’ national freedom



The Maldives, often celebrated for its sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, also offers a rich tapestry of history and culture waiting to be explored. Among the islands of Haa Alif Atoll lies Utheemu Island, home to Utheemu Ganduvaru, a historical treasure that invites travellers to delve into the storied past of the archipelago.

Utheemu Ganduvaru, the ancestral home of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, stands as a poignant reminder of the Maldives’ fight for independence. Thakurufaanu, revered as a national hero, led a successful campaign against Portuguese occupation in the 16th century. His childhood home, Utheemu Ganduvaru, offers a rare glimpse into the life and times of this legendary figure.

In 1558, the Portuguese invaded the Maldives, killing the Sultan in battle and establishing their rule. Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his brothers, Ali and Hassan, left for Minicoy to prepare a campaign to liberate their country. The boat they built, Kalhuohfummi, was crucial to their efforts. Thakurufaanu and his brothers fought the Portuguese for eight years, landing on different islands under cover of night to evade capture, and departing before daybreak. Eventually, they landed in Malé and defeated the Portuguese leadership in the capital. Freed from Portuguese rule, the people chose Muhammad Thakurufaanu as their Sultan.

Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu ruled the Maldives for 12 years until his death in 1585. He is remembered as a considerate and just ruler, concerned for the well-being of even the poorest citizens. He is also credited with establishing the country’s first formal military unit.

Back at Utheemu Island, visitors are immediately struck by the island’s tranquil beauty and its lush, green landscape. The journey to Utheemu Ganduvaru is a step back in time, where the echoes of history are palpable. The residence itself, a traditional wooden palace, is meticulously preserved, showcasing the architectural ingenuity and cultural richness of the period.

As you enter Utheemu Ganduvaru, the simplicity and elegance of the structure are apparent. Built from timber, the palace is a fine example of traditional Maldivian craftsmanship. The intricate woodwork, with its detailed carvings and polished surfaces, speaks volumes about the artisanship that flourished during Thakurufaanu’s time.

The main hall, with its open layout and cool, shaded interiors, offers a sense of serenity and reflection. It was within these walls that Thakurufaanu spent his formative years, and each room tells a story of his early life and the influences that shaped his destiny. The residence includes living quarters and storage spaces, all arranged in a manner that reflects the daily life of a prominent Maldivian family in the 16th century.

One of the most compelling aspects of Utheemu Ganduvaru is its connection to the larger narrative of Maldivian resistance against foreign rule. Guides at the site often recount tales of Thakurufaanu’s daring exploits and strategic brilliance. His knowledge of the archipelago’s intricate waterways and his leadership in naval battles are celebrated as key factors in the successful expulsion of the Portuguese in 1573.

Beyond its historical significance, Utheemu Ganduvaru offers visitors a deeper understanding of Maldivian culture and heritage. The site is a testament to the resilience and unity of the Maldivian people, embodying values that continue to inspire. For travellers, a visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru is an opportunity to connect with the soul of the Maldives, experiencing the essence of its history and the spirit of its people.

While on Utheemu Island, visitors can explore other points of interest, such as the island’s beaches and vibrant local community. Engaging with the locals offers additional insights into Maldivian traditions and hospitality, enriching the overall experience.

For those seeking a journey through time, Utheemu Ganduvaru in Haa Alif Atoll is a destination that should not be missed. It is a place where the past comes alive, where the legacy of a hero continues to resonate, and where the true essence of the Maldives can be discovered. As you walk through the halls of Utheemu Ganduvaru, you are not just a visitor; you are a part of a historical journey that defines the Maldivian identity.

So, when planning your next visit to the Maldives, venture beyond the beaches and dive into the rich history of these islands. Let Utheemu Ganduvaru be the highlight of your cultural exploration, offering a meaningful and memorable connection to the heart of Maldivian heritage.

Cover photo: Andreas Faessler

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Embark on a journey of pure joy at Sirru Fen Fushi



The newly-reimagined Sirru Fen Fushi Private Lagoon Resort, a member of the esteemed Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) collection, invites you to rediscover luxury in the Maldives. Nestled on a pristine island amidst crystal-clear lagoons, this haven of effortless elegance and contemporary allure promises an unforgettable escape.

Curated Experiences Await

From the moment guests touch down in Malé, Sirru Fen Fushi curates your journey around four pillars: Taste, Wellness, Art, and Play. Savor world-class cuisine alongside authentic Maldivian flavors at revamped restaurants. Rejuvenate with holistic wellness practices like frequency sound healing and Ayurvedic treatments. Become a steward of the environment through marine conservation initiatives, or witness turtle nesting with the resort’s marine biologist.

Unparalleled Comfort and Personalized Luxury

Unwind in the unparalleled comfort of Beach, Water, and Safari Tented Villas, each designed for an intimate escape in harmony with the breathtaking surroundings. Choose experiences based on Fire, Water, Earth, and Air themes, creating lasting memories tailored to your preferences.

Joining the Leading Hotels of the World

Sirru Fen Fushi is thrilled to be part of the prestigious LHW collection. “This exclusive hideaway promises a bespoke journey of luxury and serenity,” says Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President of Member Experience at LHW. “We are excited to add this private island paradise to our collection.”

Rediscovering Your Inner Child

Through the Essence of Play, reconnect with your inner child. Learn Maldivian crafts, gather around fire pits for acoustic guitar evenings, or dance under the stars at Plankton Glow Parties. Every experience ignites the soul and fosters connection.

A Celebration of Local Flavors

Tantalize your taste buds and explore local flavors through various activities. Reel in the day’s catch on a fishing excursion, or witness the theatrical spectacle of a Malafaaiy Bodu Beru feast, featuring traditional cuisine, drumming, singing, and clapping.

Holistic Wellness and Artistic Inspiration

Sirru Fen Fushi fosters rejuvenation through holistic treatments and a connection to nature. Full Moon Meditations and Pool Rituals promote a transformative journey. Art is woven into the resort’s DNA, from the underwater Coralarium museum to the Sustainability Lab, where you can create meaningful keepsakes.

Protecting Paradise

Committed to preserving the archipelago’s natural wonders, the resort offers eco-conscious initiatives. Participate in coral restoration projects, explore the neighboring Maroshi island with its mud crab delicacies and vast mangrove forests, and learn the importance of marine conservation.

Experience Sirru Fen Fushi, where unforgettable memories and a deep connection with nature await. Visit:

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