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Maldives ranks as world’s top bucket list experience

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When it comes to travel dreams and wanderlust, people across the globe have diverse aspirations. Some yearn to witness the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, others aspire to gaze upon the enigmatic Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and many desire to stand in awe before the majestic Taj Mahal. However, according to a recent study conducted by luxury travel experts at Kuoni, there’s one destination that consistently reigns supreme on the world’s collective travel bucket list: the Maldives.

Top 5 bucket list experiences are:

  1. Maldives
  2. Get splashed at Niagara Falls
  3. See the Mona Lisa
  4. Visit Bora Bora
  5. Climb the Statue of Liberty

The Maldives has captured the imagination of travelers from every corner of the globe. Kuoni’s study, which analyzed global search data for 119 global bucket list items across 219 countries, revealed that a trip to the Maldives holds the top spot for the most coveted travel experience in the world. This stunning archipelago, known for its crystal-clear waters, overwater bungalows, and vibrant marine life, emerged as the ultimate travel aspiration for people from 121 countries.

So, what makes the Maldives such a universally coveted travel destination? Let’s delve into the reasons behind its top-ranking status on the global travel bucket list.

1. A Slice of Paradise

The Maldives is often described as paradise on Earth, and for good reason. Its pristine white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and turquoise lagoons create a setting straight out of a postcard. The sheer natural beauty of the Maldives is unparalleled, making it a dream destination for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts.

2. Overwater Bungalows

One of the Maldives’ most iconic features is its overwater bungalows. These luxurious accommodations allow guests to wake up to the gentle lapping of waves beneath their rooms and step directly into the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The experience of staying in an overwater bungalow is the epitome of luxury and romance, making it a bucket list item for countless travelers.

3. World-Class Snorkeling and Diving

The Maldives is a haven for underwater enthusiasts. Its vibrant coral reefs teem with an astonishing array of marine life, including colorful fish, turtles, and even majestic manta rays and whale sharks. Snorkeling and diving in these pristine waters offer a chance to explore a mesmerizing underwater world, making it an irresistible draw for adventure seekers.

4. Unforgettable Sunsets

Few places on Earth can rival the Maldives when it comes to breathtaking sunsets. Watching the sun dip below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the tranquil waters, is a magical experience that lingers in the memories of visitors. It’s no wonder that so many people aspire to witness this natural spectacle in person.

5. Privacy and Seclusion

The Maldives offers an unparalleled sense of privacy and seclusion. Many of its resorts are situated on private islands, ensuring that guests can enjoy a tranquil escape away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This exclusivity is a major draw for honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic getaway.

As the world’s top bucket list experience, the Maldives has not only captured the hearts of travelers but also serves as a reminder of the enduring allure of travel itself. In an era where the world is increasingly interconnected, and information is at our fingertips, the desire to explore new horizons and experience the wonders of the world remains a powerful and universal aspiration.

For those fortunate enough to turn their dreams into reality and step onto the pristine shores of the Maldives, they find not only a tropical paradise but also a deeper connection with the beauty and diversity of our planet. As the Maldives continues to top global travel bucket lists, it serves as a testament to the enduring power of wanderlust and the timeless allure of extraordinary destinations.

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Ifuru Island Maldives unveils private retreat offers

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All beach, all sunset, all-inclusive luxury resort Ifuru Island Maldives, located in the beautiful Raa Atoll, is elevating group celebrations with its collection of ‘Retreats’ and ‘Villages’ – carefully arranged coteries of accommodation that can be booked privately for groups of up to 96, creating exclusive resort-within-resort experiences that balance sociability and seclusion.

From villa Villages to suite Retreats, the island resort offers a range of private accommodation options for groups – ideal for milestone celebrations, destination weddings and group escapes. Ensuring guests can make the most of their island retreat, Ifuru Island Maldives offers a dedicated event manager to co-ordinate an exclusive daily itinerary of activities and culinary experiences.

What’s more, with the resort’s exceptional Exclusively Yours Summer Offer, guests can enjoy up to 50 per cent off Suites and Villas, and as an extra family bonus, those booking a seven-night or more stay in a Sunset Beach Suite or Sunset Sky Suite for two adults and two children can enjoy an interconnecting room for free. You will love the extra space for everyone to have more fun.

Ideal for family escapes and gatherings of friends, each of Ifuru Island Maldives’ seven ‘Villages’ comprises five one-bedroom villas, which together create an intimate enclave for up to 15 people. Carefully arranged and enveloped by lush foliage, the villa terraces provide privacy for individual guests, before opening up into communal spaces that offer direct beach access, seamlessly blending privacy with opportunities for sociability.

Larger groups can make the most of the island’s three ‘Retreats’, each comprising 20 Sunset Beach and Sunset Sky Suites to create a secluded escape for up to 60 people. Each Retreat’s five pavilions, encompassing two suites on the ground floor and two on the first floor, form an elegant crescent around a shared sunken social lounge. Lush greenery provides natural privacy from the rest of the resort, yet still allows for sunset views and direct access to the beach.

With fresh, complimentary cocktails – provided daily in the Suites’ mini-bars – in hand, groups can gather around the firepit in their very own sunken lounge for a private evening soiree – or for an extra special evening together, enjoy a private beachside BBQ by Ifuru Island’s talented culinary team. Reef Retreat for up to 96 guest and the Ocean Retreat , Island Retreat and the Seaside Retreat all taking up to 60 adults .

Larger groups of up to 96 people can choose from either the Island Retreat, which comprises 32 Suites; or the Palm Cove Retreat, which combines three stunning Two-Bedroom Villas with Pool and eight Suites to create a uniquely versatile group getaway.

Located at the tip of the resort’s 1.2km beach, with easy access to the Beach Club, guests at the Palm Cove Retreat can enjoy their own private stretch of white sands, complete with sunbeds and terraces, and the three private pools that accompany their Villas.

As well as its custom-configured group accommodation options, Ifuru Island Maldives’ own private island airport and independent domestic transfer service, elevates exclusivity to the next level. As guests touchdown on the island’s runway, they’ll be promptly welcomed by the resort’s team and escorted on the resort’s signature pink buggies to the Friendship Centre for check-in and a welcome beverage, whilst luggage is swiftly delivered to their room.

As well as the six premium dining options included in the resort’s ‘Exclusively Yours’ all-inclusive concept, groups can celebrate with private culinary experiences, including beach BBQs, destination dining and exclusive bookings of The Waterfront signature restaurant.

For those staying seven nights or more and looking to embark on a journey of matrimonial bliss whilst at the resort, Ifuru Island Maldives offers free wedding ceremonies, complete with one-tier wedding cake, bridal bouquet, personalised wedding signage and more. Betrothed couples can enjoy a private ceremony at the island’s Secret Spot, a secluded location on the pristine white sand beaches, under an elegant white arch, before enjoying a romantic three-course dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant, with romantic views of the water and setting sun.

General Manager and Island Vibe Boss, Rochelle Kilgariff, expressed her enthusiasm by saying, “The Maldives is the ultimate multi-generational holiday destination for all your friends and family or corporate group reward trip. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy healthy, quality time together, and it’s now more affordable than ever. The magic and memories created in the Maldives are truly timeless and will last a lifetime.”

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Enjoy ultimate luxurious escape on Eid al-Adha at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives

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Celebrate the occasion of Eid Al-Adha by embracing island life at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. To commemorate the holiday, the resort invites GCC travellers into a world of breathtaking natural beauty, exclusive accommodation, legendary service, exquisite food, and once in a lifetime experiences.

Guests are invited to indulge in stunning turquoise water views teeming with marine life, pristine untouched white-sand beaches and lush greenery amid the Indian Ocean. With an array of bespoke Eid activities happening for the holiday including sunset cruises, chakra yoga, coral regeneration, design artistry workshops and more, guests can step into a world of exceptional luxury, to enjoy the resorts breathtaking island home.

With only a short flight time from across the GCC, those visiting the island from Monday 17th June until Friday 21st June, can embark on captivating adventures and experiences for the whole family.

Dive into the crystal-clear waters and snorkel alongside majestic turtles or contribute to the preservation of the vibrant marine ecosystem with the hotel’s Coral Regeneration programme. Watch the sun dip below the horizon aboard a luxurious Sunset Dolphin Cruise or guests can try their luck at reeling in the catch of the day with a Big Game Fishing excursion. If guests are looking for something more challenging, try a Killer Abs workout or group Aerial Hoop Class. For those seeking a more creative activity, enjoy an Eid Design Artistry workshop and discover the joy of expression through art.

Nourish the body, mind, and soul with The Ritz-Carlton Maldives curated selection of indulgent experiences. Become immersed in the ancient practice of Chakra Yoga, harmonising inner energies amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Maldives, or learn how to give a Gua Sha Massage, where guests can transform their skincare routine by revealing radiant and rejuvenated skin. For those looking to experience something new, attend the Bamboo Tapping workshop where guests will discover a soothing rhythm.

Celebrate Eid Al-Adha in culinary bliss with nightly Levantine cuisine served on the pristine sands of the hotel’s island paradise, courtesy of The White Journey. Guests can enjoy a Maldivian Night on the final evening of the Eid holiday, with a culinary journey underneath the stars where traditional flavours of the island can be enjoyed in every bite.

Keeping young hearts and minds engaged throughout the Eid holiday, the Ritz Kids programme offers a range of exciting activities. From crafting memories on the beach with Sandcastle Decoration to unleashing their inner artist with Eid Pallet Art Painting, children enjoy the holidays like never before. Children can also embark on a thrilling Eid Dhoni Boat Safari or unravel the mysteries of the island with an exciting Eid Treasure Hunt.

For an exclusive Eid activity, football legend Ivan Rakitic will be hosting two football workshops during the celebrations. The Saudi Pro League player and former Barcelona FC icon will be sharing his expertise with guests, and teaching life-long skills to aspiring young players.

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Atmosphere Core leads sustainable travel in Maldives

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International hospitality company, Atmosphere Core announces sustainability achievements across four pillars of Community, Operations, Resources and Environment. This environment-conscious approach is evident through the company’s many impactful initiatives such as renewable energy infrastructure and water-saving technology across resorts. Along with company-wide projects, individual resorts are also looking at innovative pilot projects such as a vertical hydroponic garden at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO or the in-house biogas setup at OBLU SELECT Sangeli.

“Sustainability isn’t an option; it’s our ethos. We look at reusing, reducing, and recycling. All our resorts use a paperless app-based booking and check-in system. At our spas, we serve handmade candied orange peels, and all our resort teams maintain kitchen gardens with a constant effort to improve every year. The cumulative impact of these eco-friendly choices can have a lasting positive change. From conscious development to conserving resources and curating culturally connected experiences for our guests, every decision we make is rooted in preserving the natural beauty that surrounds us in the enchanting islands of Maldives,” comments Shrikant Dash, the Deputy Managing Director for Corporate at Atmosphere Core.

Driving Positive Community Impact

Recognising the need to give back to the local community, Atmosphere Core has been supporting charities and driving impact through a non-profit, non-governmental organisation – Atmosphere Foundation. In the span of two years, the foundation has achieved significant milestones. It has built a high-quality training kitchen for special needs students, run reading programmes for 7,196 youngsters and supported health screening programs for 590 senior citizens at local islands.

By introducing bamboo plantation and cultivation not just on the group’s resorts, but also in local community outreach programs, Atmosphere Foundation is at the forefront of bringing responsible hospitality and climate protection programmes together. Bamboo plants are known for their exceptional carbon absorption rate, contributing to the goal of making the Maldives a carbon-free destination. Through the Bamboo for Climate Change Mitigation project, Atmosphere Foundation has donated over 4,000 germinated seedlings and introduced saplings to 27 islands, collaborating with local councils on 9 initiatives. This project has covered all but 5 atolls in Maldives. Over 1,000 seedlings have also been planted in resorts operated by Atmosphere Core.

How the Sun Powers Atmosphere Core’s Resorts

Atmosphere Core is driving a solar revolution in the Maldives by maximising every opportunity to power resorts with clean energy from the sun. In 2019, Atmosphere setup a marine and rooftop solar system at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO. Since then, the solar setup has expanded across resorts, leading to a year-over-year increase in solar energy production. With a 40% increase in 2022 followed by a 14% rise in 2023.

As of May 2024, there are 8,890 solar panels installed across seven resorts which have produced a cumulative of 16,500 MWh of clean energy from 85 roof installations and 12 floating platforms. To put those numbers in perspective, Atmosphere Core has saved 4,459,459 liters of diesel by using solar energy, and thus resulting in a cumulative reduction of 11,951 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Commitment to Coral Conservation

At the resorts within the Atmosphere Core portfolio, environmental care takes centre stage, with a special focus on coral conservation. Within the portfolio of nine resorts, seven have an actively managed coral conservation programme and four resorts have a dedicated marine biologist. In 2023, a total of 279 coral frames were installed in Atmosphere Core waters with about 13,436 coral fragments. In Q1 2024, 21 new frames were installed across the resorts. Through continuous monitoring and maintenance, the coral fragments have encrusted onto the frames and started to grow new branches. Over the years, through coral propagation, these conservation gardens have flourished with live corals attracting marine life including Parrot Fish, Snappers, Eagle Rays, Sharks, and other invertebrates.

All of Atmosphere Core’s resorts have received Green Globe Certification for environmental sustainability, with OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI and OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO receiving gold certifications. With a 10% global market share, Green Globe is one of the most preferred sustainability certifications for resorts and involves successfully being audited on 44 key environmental criteria and up to 380 compliance indicators depending on the destination.

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