Soneva, the world-leading sustainable resorts operator, has revealed the launch of the new, ultra-bespoke Soneva Secret. Located in Haa Dhaalu, the Maldives’ most remote atoll, the debut Soneva Secret 2024 will welcome its first guests on January 10, 2024. Thirty years in the making, the Soneva Secret resort concept builds upon Soneva’s experience at the forefront of exceptional hospitality, and will set a new, unmatched standard in intuitive, personalised service, exquisite private villas and unspoiled settings, surrounded by nature.
Soneva Secret 2024 features just 14 beach and overwater villas, including lagoon Crusoe Villas, accessible only by boat, and the Castaway, the Maldives’ first floating villa. Each is designed in perfect harmony with the untouched natural setting, with direct access to the white sand beach or sparkling lagoon. As well as vast master suites, including a roof that slides to reveal star-strewn skies, every villa also features adjoining bedrooms, offering ample space for families or additional guests.
Soneva’s superlative service reaches new heights at Soneva Secret 2024, with a dedicated Barefoot Guardian and Barefoot Assistant for every villa, curating an utterly personalised stay and one-of-a-kind, rare experiences for every guest. The resort’s 14 private chefs, one for each villa, craft bespoke menus and unique culinary journeys, whether savoured in the privacy and comfort of the villa or enjoyed in nature at the island’s most picturesque spots.
Other dining experiences will include Out of This World, a castaway dining tower, observatory and wine cellar in the lagoon, reachable by zipline; a toes-in-the-sand firepit dining experience at So Primitive; and The Living Room, the island hub and casual dining and lounge venue, which is also home to a library, boutique and Soneva’s renowned ice cream, chocolate and cheese and charcuterie rooms.
At Soneva Secret 2024, fully bespoke rare experiences are curated for every guest, reconnecting them with the abundant nature that surrounds the island. An underwater haven, the crystal-clear waters are home to colonies of majestic manta rays, pods of curious dolphins and gentle whale sharks, alongside shoals of colourful tropical fish. Family experiences go far beyond The Den, whether picnics on castaway shores, sunset dolphin cruises, guided snorkelling with the experienced Marine Biologist, or navigating the night skies with exceptionally clear views of the Milky Way with the resident Astronomer.
Soneva Secret 2024 can be reached via a scenic 75-minute seaplane flight direct from Velana International Airport in Malé, a 40-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane flight from Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll, or a leisurely full-day cruise from Soneva Fushi onboard Soneva in Aqua. Guests can also fly directly into Kulhudhuffushi Airport in the Haa Dhaalu Atoll and take a one-hour speedboat ride to the resort.
Soneva Secret 2024 is now open for bookings. For more information visit www.soneva.com
Kuda Villingili Resort marks second anniversary with luxurious upgrades and sustainable initiatives
Kuda Villingili Resort, perched on a pristine ultra-private island in the North Malé Atoll of the Maldives, celebrates its second-year anniversary in the only way that matters – by giving back to its guests!
As part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing the guest experience, each of its beach villas, including the residences, now feature private pools. This remarkable upgrade promises guests an even more lavish and secluded retreat.
Nestled within this tropical paradise are 75 exquisite villas, including 36 opulent overwater villas that sit pretty upon the crystal-clear lagoon. The resort also boasts the Maldives’ largest and sprawling freshwater pool spanning over 150 meters.
Initiatives in partnership with Green Globe, an authority in sustainable tourism certification have been aligned. With the resort’s unwavering dedication to sustainability, the integration of solar panels has been introduced in Kuda Villingili team members village. This eco-conscious initiative has led to an impressive 40% reduction in the resort’s overall energy consumption. Furthermore, implementation of a range of eco- friendly measures, including an on-site drinking water bottling facility, energy-efficient air conditioning units, and innovative power-saving systems have been put in place. With an unwavering focus on long-term sustainability, the resort continues to bolster its commitment to the environment and the local community through its dedicated conservation programs, which centre around preserving the delicate ecosystem.
Solar Installed in team members village Beach Villa’s with Private Pool Raalhu Bar at Chickens Break
Adding another exciting dimension to the culinary and bar experiences at the resort; the Raalhu Bar has thrown open its doors and is nestled at the vantage point of Chickens Break Surf Point. This offers guests an exclusive haven to soak in the island’s breathtaking sunset vistas. The Raalhu Bar joins the extensive range of dining options at Kuda Villingili, which includes seven restaurants offering global cuisines, a main bar, two bars designed to kick back and watch the sun slowly drop into the blue ocean, and a plush cigar and whiskey lounge.
Also freshly introduced is the all-new comprehensive ‘Redefined Ultra Luxury All- Inclusive’ package, that enables guests to immerse themselves in a carefree and indulgent vacation experience. Stays of four nights or more include bespoke experiences that give a whole new meaning to the word ultra-luxury. Guests can pick from the range of dining experiences spread across seven distinctive restaurants, accompanied by a selection of over 100 carefully curated wine labels and a premium selection of beverages. From the moment they step foot on the island, guests are embraced by an ambiance of opulence and hospitality, as the generous all-inclusive package caters to every aspect of their stay.
Since launching in June 2021, Kuda Villingili has welcomed a diverse range of visitors, from honeymooners and families to surfing enthusiasts, multi-generational groups, and small incentive and leisure mice groups. “The resort’s convenient location, a swift 30-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, has been a key draw. To enhance the sense of space, the number of villas has been reduced from 95 villas to 75 villas, by offering spacious two – four bedroom villas that offer an expansive sense of space for each guest,” says Deepa Manuel, General Manager, Kuda Villingili Resort.
Kuda Villingiili has received an array of accolades and was honored with the coveted title of ‘The Best Culinary Resort’ at the TTM Awards 2022 and the ‘Best Surf Resort’ at TTM 2023. Kuda Villingiili’s exceptional attention to detail extends to its impeccable wine offerings, and it has also received the ‘Best Designed Regional Wine List in Asia’ by the discerning connoisseurs of the World of Fine Wine.
Sun Siyam Resorts commemorates World Tourism Day 2023 with focus on sustainable tourism, green investment
Sun Siyam Resorts marked World Tourism Day 2023, embracing the theme of ‘Tourism and Green Investment’ with a series of heartwarming and eco-conscious activities across its five wonderful properties. This year’s celebrations centred around the commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental conservation, exemplifying Sun Siyam Resorts’ unwavering dedication to the cause of responsible travel.
Sun Siyam Iru Veli led the way with a diverse range of activities that left a lasting impression on guests and the local community. The resort welcomed students from nearby island schools, providing them with an immersive experience that included a guided tour and a wholesome lunch at Aqua. This initiative aimed to inspire young minds and foster a deeper understanding of the tourism industry. In addition to that and in alignment with Sun Siyam Resorts’ commitment to environmental conservation, guests, school students, and team members participated in a tree planting session, a video presentation celebrating the essence of World Tourism Day, and an energy conservation practice with an “Electricity Shutdown” for an hour.
Families and kids were having a fantastic time during the painting competition at the Kid’s Club, the mini-olympics and beach fiesta, an exhilarating grand raffle draw. The evening concluded with a vibrant cultural show and drama performance showcasing the talents of team members added a local touch to the festivities.
Sun Siyam Vilu Reef offered a special Maldivian arrival experience for all its guests on World Tourism Day and gifted each guest with a wooden heartfelt message symbolising the warm hospitality of the Maldives. A tree planting ceremony and several beach games for the whole family were carried out as well.
The highlight of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi’s celebration was a tree planting ceremony, where guests joined hands with resort staff to plant coconut trees. This symbolic act represented the resort’s ongoing commitment to offsetting its carbon footprint and preserving the natural beauty of the Maldivian landscape. A delightful cake-cutting ceremony took place at the resort’s main pavilion, fostering a sense of togetherness and unity in the pursuit of sustainable tourism. The celebration continued with a range of fun beach activities, including beach sack races, 3-leg races, and friendly tug-of-war games.
Siyam World and Sun Siyam Olhuveli dedicated the day to tree planting and coral planting sessions, aligning with their commitment to environmental conservation. Guests were treated to special screenings of the meaning of World Tourism Day, furthering their understanding of the significance of sustainable tourism.
World Tourism Day, observed annually on September 27th, is a global event aimed at promoting sustainable and responsible tourism while raising awareness about the social, cultural, and economic benefits of tourism worldwide.
Sun Siyam Resorts remains steadfast in its pledge to uphold sustainable practices and create memorable experiences that make a positive impact on the environment and local communities. The World Tourism Day celebrations are a testament to this unwavering commitment.
For more information about Sun Siyam Resorts and its sustainability initiatives, please visit the website at www.sunsiyam.com/sun-siyam-cares
Two Michelin star chef presents culinary theatre of dreams at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
Always looking for new ways to create extraordinary guest experiences on its secluded island paradise, Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is set to push the boat out and take its guests on an amazing culinary adventure this November as the luxury Maldivian resort welcomes a very special guest chef to its award-winning SEA Underwater Restaurant. On November 13 and 14, guests at the resort will be treated to two exceptional evenings of gastronomic delights served up by renowned two Michelin star chef, Mano Thevar.
Overseeing the gastronomic extravaganza, Chef Mano Thevar is the owner of Thevar, a two Michelin-starred Modern Indian restaurant in Singapore which specialises in a creative multi-course menu that is rooted in Indian traditions and crafted with European techniques and Japanese produce. Chef Mano is now set to take his Michelin star show on the road when he hosts the Culinary Theatre of Dreams at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas this November.
Born and raised in the diverse and vibrant surroundings of Penang, Malaysia, Chef Mano draws on his Indian heritage as he combines fresh, seasonal ingredients with modern European techniques to tantalise the palate with a delightful interplay of flavours. Having cut his teeth as a chef in Michelin-starred Guy Savoy and Waku Ghin restaurants, he opened Thevar in 2019. Chef Mano now holds the proud distinction of being the first Malaysian chef to have two Michelin stars to his name.
Taking his Michelin star show on the road, Chef Mano is set to delight diners at Anantara Kihavah this November when he hosts a Culinary Theatre of Dreams at SEA Underwater Restaurant. Situated six meters below the waves, the iconic SEA restaurant will immerse guests in a sensory journey like no other, allowing them to savour world-class cuisine while surrounded by the mesmerising aquatic world of the Maldives.
The gastronomic adventure begins on November 13, 2023 with the first of two consecutive nights of underwater dining at the resort’s iconic SEA Underwater Restaurant as part of the highly anticipated Culinary Theatre of Dreams. For USD 325++ per person, the eagerly anticipated event will showcase a unique six-course menu crafted by Chef Mano specifically for this occasion, with the option for guests to choose between wine pairing and non-wine pairing experiences.
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