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Soneva Secret revealed: A new, ultra-bespoke resort concept from Soneva

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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

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Veligandu Maldives Resort Island’s reopening in Nov 2024

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Crown and Champa Resorts (CCR) expands its presence in the luxury space with its latest opening, Veligandu Maldives Resort Island in the North Ari Atoll, just 20 minutes by seaplane or 60 minutes by speedboat from Malé International airport and welcoming guests of all ages, set for November 2024. Established in 1984 as one of the pioneering resorts in the Maldives, Veligandu has undergone an extensive renovation and is set to welcome guests from November 2024 in its 100 villas.

Veligandu will belong to CCR’s acclaimed luxury collection alongside Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, Hurawalhi Maldives Island Resort, Kagi Maldives Resort & Spa, and Jawakara Islands Maldives. There are no man-made islands in the CCR portfolio, and Veligandu is no exception, seamlessly blending natural beauty with secluded luxury and featuring already-established lush vegetation and flora unlike new islands that have been manufactured.

“Veligandu Maldives Resort Island will be an enchanting escape for guests to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the island, whilst indulging in world-class hospitality set against the backdrop of traditional Maldivian luxury.” Ahmed Shaheen, Chief Commercial Leader comments. “Many of our staff have been at Veligandu for several years, and whilst the resort has been closed for over a year for its extensive upgrade, they are already very much looking forward to welcoming guests again.”

Activities

Just a 10-minute boat ride away from the resort, Big Blue point is the most likely place for hammerhead shark sightings in the Maldives. The North Ari Atoll features 18 dive sites catering to divers of all levels and Veligandu’s Ocean Dive centre offers custom-made courses tailored to all guests. Snorkelling and diving excursions will also give guests the opportunity to encounter the diverse marine life of the North Ari Atoll including sea turtles, manta rays, and eagle rays. The inhouse marine biologist is on hand to enhance the guest experience by sharing a deeper understanding of the underwater world while contributing to the conservation of the coral reefs and marine ecosystems.

Veligandu is only the second resort in the Maldives to feature a pickleball court, as well as padel tennis and bicycles. The resort’s ocean water sports & excursions centre gives guests the opportunity to jet ski, parasail, kayak, and paddleboard, amongst many other activities.

For guests looking for a more relaxing experience, Veligandu also features an overwater Himeyn Spa with an extensive treatment programme and a yoga pavilion.

Fathuhulla Ibrahim, General Manager comments, “Veligandu Maldives – a natural haven! A home away from home from the moment of arrival on this pristine island until the moment of departure. A secluded destination where personalised experiences create everlasting memories.”

Accommodation 

Veligandu Maldives Resort Island comprises 100 villas – these include 47 Ocean Pool Villas with a section of glass floor to the crystalline waters below; 28 Ocean Villas, 10 of which have a private jacuzzi; 16 Jacuzzi Beach Villas; and 9 Beach Villas. Each villa brings the outside in with interiors synonymous with the tropical surroundings.

Each villa is complete with a king-size bed, a private porch, and a 55- or 65- inch flat-screen TV to create a space accommodating for all guests for both privacy and togetherness.

Dining

Veligandu features a variety of cuisines suited to all tastes. Madivaru Teppanyaki Grill invites guests to indulge in Japanese-inspired teppanyaki cuisine with live, theatrical knifework and cooking, while Raalhu specialises in fine seafood – such as local lobster – paired with unparalleled ocean vistas. Guests can also enjoy buffet-style dining at the Dhonveli restaurant with a fusion of authentic Asian and international cuisines, or, for those guests opting for a lighter meal, Thundi’s snack menu offers tapas-style bites and salads. For a unique and immersive culinary experience, guests can also choose destination dining with a variety of spots at their disposal.

For the freedom to dine at any restaurant on the resort at leisure, the dine-around all-inclusive package takes away the constraints of reservation times. For full and half board guests, the resort’s new beverage plan gives guests complete access to all-inclusive drinks add-ons when needed.

All stays at Veligandu booked before August 31 will receive a 40% discount, allowing a villa for two people, inclusive of breakfast to be booked at US $550 per night.

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Villa Resorts launches Maldives summer escapes offer

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Villa Resorts has unveiled its Maldives Summer Escapes offer, inviting travellers to immerse themselves in the unparalleled beauty and tranquility of the Maldives. This exclusive offer allows guests to experience a summer like never before, surrounded by the breathtaking tropical scenery and luxurious accommodations.

Imagine strolling along pristine white beaches, diving into crystal-clear waters, and unwinding in elegantly designed overwater bungalows. the Maldives Summer Escapes offer promises a getaway filled with unforgettable moments, from breathtaking sunrises over the Indian Ocean to serene evenings under a canopy of stars.

Guests booking directly through the Villa Resorts website will enjoy a range of exclusive benefits designed to enhance their stay. These benefits include complimentary welcome amenities, gourmet dining experiences, access to recreational activities, and special services tailored to provide the utmost comfort and convenience. Villa Resorts guarantees the best rates, with flexible booking options and a free cancellation policy.

Villa Resorts’ award-winning collection in the Maldives includes the lagoon pleasure-ground Villa Park, the chic and cosmopolitan Villa Nautica, and the faraway island retreat Royal Island. Its flagship luxury high-end resort, Villa Haven, is scheduled to open later this year.

For more information and to book your summer escape, visit the Villa Resorts website at villaresorts.com.

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives renews partnership with Maldives National University to grow local talent

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives and Maldives National University (MNU) has announced their partnership’s renewal by signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the third successive, two-year term on Wednesday 15 May, 2024.

The collaboration provides a platform for Maldives young and emerging talent, to nurture and develop skills through hands-on experience and practical exposure designed to reinforce learned theory.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is pleased to offer internships, training programmes and other collaborative efforts to students from Maldives National University (MNU).

Speaking about the partnership, Mr Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives said,

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Maldives National University to tap into a pool of fresh, talented individuals eager to make their mark in the hospitality sector. This partnership which is now in its fifth year, aligns with our vision of nurturing future leaders in the industry and ensuring we remain at the forefront of service excellence.”

Mark further explained the importance of embracing the younger generation,

“The hospitality and tourism sector offers unique opportunities and through specially curated learning programmes and guest-facing experiences, we hope that the industry’s excitement and diversity encourage students to embark on careers within the sector,”

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 minutes from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for a wide variety of leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas for their stay. Families are well catered for with the Kandoo Kids’ Club and a full activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For those guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island and the Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate in tranquillity and escape for body and mind. Visit www.maldives.holidayinnresorts.com

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