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SOUL festival programme for Maldives debut

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SOUL has published its captivating festival programme of insightful talks, guided wellness sessions and hands-on treatments, featuring a global line-up of visionaries, thought leaders and wellness pioneers to the Maldives from September 29 to October 8, 2023. A partnership by pioneering hospitality brand Soneva and international wellness enterprise ORGANIC INDIA, the intimate festival will be an immersive exploration of health and wellness in all its forms, from personal to planetary, at the award-winning Soneva Fushi, located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The list of international speakers includes: award-winning screenwriter, activist and documentary maker of That Sugar Film and 2024, Damon Gameau; Goi Peace Award recipient Bruce Lipton; New York Times bestselling author Jo Marchant; Ayurvedic aromatherapy pioneer Farida Irani; bestselling author and founder of Bio Blends Dr Libby Weaver; lifestyle ambassador and champion for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Fit India Movement’ Luke Coutinho; award-winning cinematographer, director and producer Louie Schwartzberg; psychologist, scientist and social entrepreneur Shamini Jain; gastroenterologist and author of The Mind Gut Connection Dr Emeran Mayer; clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro; renowned spiritual leaders Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati; actress and biohacking expert Davinia Taylor; the first Western Ayurvedic practitioner in India Dr Robert Svoboda; award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince; naturopathic doctor and doctor of Oriental medicine Dr Lilly-Marie Blecher; anxiety and mindfulness coach Amanda Huggins; Medical Director & Senior Vice President of Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre Dr Paul Salins; orthotropics, orthodontics and Homeoblock specialised dentist Dr Timothy Doolin; author, inventor and founder of Conscious Breathing Anders Olsson; oncology specialist and author Dr Nasha Winters and family medicine specialist and co-medical director at Taos Whole Health Integrative Care Dr Joanna Hooper.

SOUL Festival will span ten days and two weekends, offering guests the opportunity to explore the ancient healing traditions and modern science and medicine that serve individuals, communities and the planet. Sunset cocktails on the sandbank and a plant-based gala dinner on the beach will mark the official opening of the inaugural edition, followed by a live music performance and stargazing at Soneva Fushi’s island Observatory.

Each morning guests can rise with the Maldivian sun during group yoga and meditation on the sandbank, reach new fitness goals with bootcamps at the island jungle gym, explore the Indian Ocean’s hidden gems during guided paddleboarding, be introduced to the art of hot glassblowing, or gain insight into gut health during expert-led nutrition masterclasses. Throughout the day, guests can reconnect and feel renewed with daily healing rituals, expand their horizons during stimulating panel discussions, enjoy complimentary, one-on-one conversations with speakers or uncover the meaning of true health with a specially curated menu of treatments to try during SOUL.

Standout sessions not to be missed include The Neuroscience of Wellness with Bruce Lipton, Emeran Mayor, Shamini Jain, Paul Salins and Farida Irani; The Eye of the Storm – Finding Balance in Times of Chaos with Shauna Shapiro, Dr Lilly-Marie Blecher, Luke Coutinho and Robert Svoboda; Building a Regenerative Future with Damon Gameau, Sonu Shivdasani, William Bissel, Gaia Vince, Louie Swartzberg and Bruce Lipton; and Health Crisis to Health Awakening with Amanda Huggins, Louie Swartzberg and Jo Marchant. Alongside the live, in-person and interactive sessions for Soneva Fushi guests, SOUL’s sessions will also be streamed online.

Adding the perfect soundtrack to the event will be live musical performances by renowned Indian classical composer Ustad Kamal Sabri, sound healing practitioner and acclaimed singer and songwriter Kristin Hoffman and contemporary Indian poet and storyteller Bawari Basanti.

Guests can enjoy Soneva’s exclusive SOUL Festival offers, with specially curated three, five or ten-night packages. Starting from USD 6,900 for a three-night stay for two at Soneva Fushi, the offer includes full access to the festival programme, luxurious private villa accommodation, daily full board dining and round–trip domestic transfers. Bookings made before August 31, 2023, will also receive an additional 10 per cent reduction on the package rate.

A life-enriching festival with a purpose, proceeds from the sale of SOUL Festival tickets will go to the Soneva Foundation and ORGANIC INDIA Foundation​ to support the development of projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

“We are so proud to host the first edition of SOUL Festival at Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva. “Wellness permeates all that we do at Soneva: our sustainable, barefoot philosophy that reconnects our guests to the earth, our stunning natural locations, our delicious yet health-focused cuisine and our life-changing guest experiences. The festival’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to explore every facet of health and wellbeing, and I cannot wait to welcome the line-up of outstanding wellness experts to our shores.”

“SOUL Festival is a rare opportunity to experience a deeply immersive journey with some of the world’s leaders in wellness, health and regeneration,” adds festival director Chris Deckker. “From keynote talks and interactive panels to immersive workshops, intimate dinners and remote Island adventures, this unprecedented festival retreat is unlike any other in the world, hosted on one of the most magical Islands in the Maldives.”

Soneva Fushi can be easily reached via Velana International Airport in the capital Malé, or Maafaru International Airport in the Noonu Atoll. Every stay at Soneva Fushi also invites guests to indulge in Soneva’s signature experiences and award-winning services – from Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request, and transformative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul, to rare, one-of-a-kind island experiences, and an exciting programme of activities at The Den, one of the largest children’s zones in the region.

Drink

Vibrant wine gala at COLOURS OF OBLU

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Travellers around the globe are in for a delightful experience as COLOURS OF OBLU, a lifestyle hospitality brand within Atmosphere Core, brings the Bodegas Martín Códax Wine Gala from Spain to three private island resorts in the Maldives.

The unforgettable wine extravaganzas will take place at OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO on September 22nd and 23rd and OBLU SELECT Sangeli on September 25th and 26th. Concluding on September 28th and 29th at OBLU SELECT Lobigili, which has been awarded as No. 1 Luxury Hotel Worldwide in 2024 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

As a part of the Wine Gala, winery ambassadors from the 600 northern-Spain families which make up Bodegas Martín Códax will host exuberant multi-course wine experiences across two nights at each resort. Guests will be treated to a symphony of flavours with a special wine perfectly pairing each culinary creation. The Spanish-Way-of-Dinning will be in full fledge under the twinkling stars. Resort guests can also stop by for a sip and listen to the wonderous wine stories from Spain’s Galician coastline while basking in the Maldivian sunset, savouring colourful wines and delectable apéritifs.

Founded in 1985, Bodegas Martín Códax is named after a renowned Galician troubadour who sang about love, the ocean, and the enchanting coastline. Started as a dream project by a group of winegrowers in the Rías Baixas wine region, Martín Códax regroups over 600 local families to produce wines of the highest possible quality, while respecting the unique terroir of Galicia.

Nicolas Laguette, Director of Wines at Atmosphere Core, says, “Wine is truly a global language, and Atmosphere Core is delighted to continue contributing to its story in the Indian Ocean. Bodegas Martín Códax wines have a natural synergy with our COLOURS OF OBLU brand – vibrant and joyful, and with a love for togetherness.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Bodegas Martín Códax for the first time in the Maldives, and we’re grateful for the support they continue to show towards our main objective – to enhance and grow wine culture in the Maldives. Making such experiences a recurring reality is one of the best ways to achieve our objective as it brings together the winery, our resort guests and colleagues around delicious food, fine wine and laughter flowing across the table – it’s a refreshingly informal ambiance where everyone can relax for memorable wine moments.”

The COLOURS OF OBLU Wine Gala is a once-in-a-year chance to immerse in the world of Spanish wine and the culture that surrounds it, while indulging in the stunning views of aquamarine lagoons and pristine white beaches. Guests will be invited to pre-book and savour an exclusive multi-course wine experience, complimentary with the fully encompassing holiday plans – the Island Plan at OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO, the Serenity Plan at OBLU SELECT Sangeli, and the Lobi Plan at OBLU SELECT Lobigili. Bodegas Martín Códax wines are pouring exclusively at Atmosphere Core resorts in the Maldives.

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Awards

PADI honours Six Senses Laamu with award for Outstanding Contribution to Ocean Conservation

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Six Senses Laamu has announced that PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, has honoured the resort’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism with an award for “Outstanding Contribution to Ocean Conservation”. This accolade highlights Six Senses Laamu’s ongoing dedication to preserving the unique marine ecosystems of the Laamu Atoll, Maldives.

The Outstanding Contribution to Ocean Conservation Award is presented to dive centres that demonstrate exemplary efforts in environmental education, conservation projects, and sustainable operations. Six Senses Laamu’s dive centre, Deep Blue Divers, plays an integral role in the conservation programs led by the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu. These programs include coral reef restoration, marine life monitoring, and raising awareness, as well as community and guest education. The resort’s commitment has set benchmarks for sustainable tourism in the Maldives, earning Deep Blue Divers the distinction of being one of only two dive centres in the country to receive the PADI Excellence Award in 2024.

In addition to receiving the PADI Excellence Award, both dive centres at Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura, the brand’s resort in the north of the Maldives, have been officially recognized as PADI Eco-Centres. This respected status is granted to dive centers that adhere to the highest standards of environmental responsibility and actively participate in marine conservation efforts. Deep Blue Divers have been instrumental in promoting sustainable diving practices, offering eco-conscious dive experiences, including specialty courses that partner with NGOs and engaging guests in marine conservation activities.

“Receiving the PADI Outstanding Contribution to Ocean Conservation Award and the PADI Eco-Center status for Deep Blue Divers is a testament to our commitment to conserving the incredible marine biodiversity of the Maldives,” said Marteyne van Well, Regional General Manager of Six Senses Laamu and Six Senses Kanuhura. “We are immensely proud of our team’s efforts and grateful for the support of our guests and partners in driving positive environmental change.”

Six Senses Laamu continues to lead by example in the hospitality industry, demonstrating that luxury and sustainability can coexist harmoniously. The resort remains dedicated to its mission of creating out of the ordinary experiences while preserving the natural beauty of the Maldives for future generations.

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News

Mirihi Island Resort offers package for Eid al Adha celebrations

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Mirihi Island Resort, a luxurious and serene getaway located in the Maldives, has announced an exclusive package for guests looking to celebrate Eid al Adha. The package includes a range of exciting activities and amenities, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors during this joyous occasion. With daily direct flights from GCC and Asian countries, an escape to paradise at Mirihi Island Resort, where a tropical getaway is now more convenient than ever.

During the Eid al Adha holiday, Mirihi Island Resort invites guests to indulge in the ultimate tropical retreat. The package offers special rates for accommodation, ensuring a memorable and relaxing stay amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Maldives. In addition to its private, overwater villas, a luxury spa, renowned culinary program and noteworthy dive programs, Mirihi Island Resort presents an array of resort activities designed to enhance the Eid al Adha celebrations.

Mirihi 3-night packages are inclusive of:

  • Two return seaplane transfers from Male – Mirihi – Male
  • Access to the Mirihi lounge at the seaplane terminal – Complimentary soft drinks, snacks, Wi-Fi and shower facilities available
  • 30% discount on the a la carte menu (food only) and 10% discount on the special dinners at Muraka Restaurant
  • Welcome amenities in the villa upon arrival
  • 20% discount on selected 60-minute spa treatments taken within the first two days of the stay
  • Complimentary non-motorised watersports activities and use of snorkelling equipment
  • Complimentary group Yoga classes
  • Complimentary Coconut class including Maldivian coconut snack
  • Complimentary Palm Leaves Origami folding class
  • Complimentary Afternoon Ice-cream treat in Anba bar
  • Beach BBQ dinner – chargeable at $98++per person
  • Maazeege Raha – $65++per person

As part of the Eid al Adha celebrations, Mirihi Island Resort provides ample opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions. The resort organises coconut class, Palm Leaf origami class,”Maazeege Raha – A Sip from the Past.” This unique experience allows guests to indulge in the captivating stories and traditions of the Maldivian people, passed down through generations, while enjoying five specially crafted nonalcoholic drinks infused with traditional Maldivian ingredients.

Offer valid for stays 12th June – 31st October 2024. Booking window: valid until the 30th June 2024. To book your visit plus dining packages, contact reservations at reservation@mirihi.com.

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