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Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives shines bright at grand opening

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On October 13, 2023, Barceló Hotels & Resorts celebrated the grand opening of their inaugural Maldivian gem, Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives. This extravagant event played host to an exclusive gathering of tour operators, travel agents, and global tourism media.

The enchanting evening commenced with a sunset cocktail soiree at the resort’s breathtaking beach club, setting the stage for the festivities that followed. Guests mingled and savored refreshing libations while relishing the awe-inspiring vistas of the Indian Ocean.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the celebration shifted to the resort’s primary dining venue, Sea Salt, for a magnificent gala dinner. The evening featured a lavish buffet brimming with international delicacies, accompanied by live music and a DJ. Under the starlit sky, guests danced the night away, rejoicing in the grand unveiling of this splendid Maldivian haven.

“We are elated to have marked the grand opening of Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives alongside our esteemed industry partners,” enthused Santi Rodriguez-Bustelo, General Manager of Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives. “The Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives signifies a significant milestone in our global journey, showcasing our unwavering commitment to crafting extraordinary experiences. We eagerly anticipate welcoming guests from all corners of the world to savor our unique fusion of Spanish allure and Maldivian enchantment.”

Situated on the unspoiled island of Bodufinolhu in the South Ari Atoll, Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives boasts 100 villas and an array of amenities and activities. These offerings include two swimming pools, a spa, a fitness center, a kids’ club, and a variety of water sports. The resort also presents three distinct restaurants, a snack bar, and three bars, ensuring a diverse range of dining and beverage options.

Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives represents Barceló Hotels & Resorts’ debut in the Maldives, solidifying their status as a prominent global hotel chain. With an eye toward the future, the company is set to unveil a second hotel in Malé, the capital of the Maldives, in 2024.

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Mischa Zverev returns to JOALI BEING to host tennis workshops in August

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JOALI BEING invites German tennis professional, Mischa Zverev, to host tennis workshops between 9th and 19th August 2024. Young guests are welcome to join the Ace Academy workshops this Summer, where they can learn to become tennis pros through a variety of class levels that focus on the fundamentals of tennis all the way up to exciting tennis matches. Zverev will also host a tennis workshop for teenagers from the local community, supporting youngsters with diabetes as part of the Alexander Zverev Foundation.

Mischa Zverev had achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 25. At the 2017 Australian Open, Zverev defeated world No. 1 Andy Murray in four sets. Zverev began playing tennis at the age of two with his father, Alexander, a former ATP pro and his coach from who he drew inspiration. Zverev is the elder brother of Alexander Zverev, who was ranked by the ATP as high as world No. 2. Together, they were the first brothers to reach 3R at the same Grand Slam event since Byron and Wayne Black in the 1998 Australian Open.

The B’Kidult Summer Programme – Ace Academy Tennis Camp

The B’Kidult Summer Programme took flight on 1st July 2024, welcoming adventurers of all ages to embark on a shared journey of joy, discovery and connection. Mischa Zverev will lead two sessions of the Ace Academy camp in August; the first workshop on 15th August 2024 and the second workshop on 17th August 2024.These workshops will focus on hand and eye coordination, foot work drills and cardio. Guided by Zverev, young players can start their tennis journey on the right foot, to develop essential life skills and a love for the game in a fun, supportive environment. Along with boosting speed and agility, the tennis workshops will also foster resilience and teamwork. Youngsters can learn to command the court with confidence and share their progress with the rest of the family.

Community Wellbeing and Inspiration

Following a successful local community workshop with the Zverev brothers in 2022, JOALI BEING is excited to welcome back Mischa Zverev to further inspire a group of teenagers from a neighbouring local island. “I am deeply honoured to return to the island of wellbeing, where we have created moments of joy and inspiration together with the team, guests and local community. I am very much looking forward to sharing my passion and motivate youngsters once again. JOALI BEING is truly my favourite place on earth” says Zverev.

Multi-generational play and learning

At JOALI BEING, we cater to multi-generational travellers, a place where every individual discovers and embarks on a journey of transformation and transcendence. Making the most of its remote tropical island setting, B’Kidult weaves elements of nature into each space and activity, awakening the senses and fostering a closer relationship with the earth. From crystalline waters and warm sunshine to soft sands and lush palms, nature’s sensory gifts set the stage for a memorable family journey that unites discovery, learning and wellbeing. The Four Pillars of JOALI BEING: Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy are brought to life through experiential learning and active engagement. Mischa Zverev will be visiting JOALI BEING with his family and will experience an array of multi-generational activities that nurture connection; from culinary classes, herbology workshops, yoga and sound baths, to marine conservation, snorkelling adventures and transformational wellbeing.

Since JOALI BEING opened its doors in late 2021, the wellbeing island has continuously strived to support and inspire local communities. In November 2022, the Zverev brothers visited JOALI BEING as part of tennis star Aleksander Zverev’s recovery journey from a past injury. Together, they hosted tennis workshops for guests and children from a local neighbouring island, supporting youngsters with diabetes. The Alexander Zverev Foundation had then been launched to help young people with diabetes to avoid limiting themselves because of the condition. The foundation particularly supports children with type 1 diabetes and aims to help prevent type 2 diabetes by encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. At JOALI BEING, the wellbeing island’s philosophy of “Joy of Weightlessness” had well resonated with Aleksander Zverev at every level during his stay.

JOALI BEING has villas from $2700 per night based on two persons sharing an Ocean Pool Villa on a B&B basis. Wellbeing Programmes start from $1,693 per person based on a five-night programme.

For bookings and further information, please contact reservations.being@joali.com.

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OBLU NATURE Helengeli gets PADI award for excellence supporting female dive sports

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In honour of providing exceptional services to female diving, OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO, a resort in the portfolio of renowned hospitality company Atmosphere Core, and dive centre partner TGI Maldives, once again place the world’s most desirable tourism destination on the global map, jointly receiving the Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving award from PADI.

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s largest purpose-driven diving organisation operating in 180 countries and territories with over 30 million diving certifications issued. With more than 6,600 PADI dive centres and resorts worldwide, it is a remarkable achievement for TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli to receive this particular contribution award.

Announcing its 10th global celebration, PADI introduced the Women In Diving Initiative, and flagship annual PADI Women’s Dive Day, as a solution to increase the inclusivity and belonging of females in the dive industry. The “Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving” award recognises TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli for breaking down barriers and empowering more women to explore the underwater world.

Dr Abdulla Niyaz, Minister of State for Tourism of the Republic of Maldives along with Matt Wenger, PADI Regional Manager for Maldives and Ibrahim Shiuree, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC), attended the presentation award ceremony held on the shores of Helengeli island. In support of female diving, the resort held a PADI Women’s Dive Day Celebration event from 14th to 17th July inviting ten female journalists from around the world alongside women dive instructors from TGI Maldives.

Acknowledging the importance of the positive promotion of female diving in the Maldives, Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal commented, “As the world’s most desirable holiday destination, we have witnessed our small country transform over the last 30 years. From humble beginnings in our archipelago, we have evolved our island nation to create a paradise for all to enjoy. Today, the demographic profile of inbound tourists is a lot different to the early days. From exploring couples in the 1980s, we now see a mix of all segments including couples, families and group parties – all wishing to experience first-hand the magic of the Maldives.”

“As global society evolves – so does the Maldives. It is testimony that in the last decade we have seen the introduction of friends not couples, travelling along with increased single travellers. A large portion of these travellers are female, who wish to escape and enjoy the castaway feeling of freedom and independence only the Maldives can offer. PADI’s award presented at OBLU NATURE Helengeli in partnership with TGI Maldives, reinforces the hotelier Atmosphere Core’s commitment to offering experiences for all. The Ministry of Tourism congratulates the team at Helengeli island and importantly the highly skilled team at TGI Maldives for creating a centre of excellence for female diving. This award recognises all involved as well as the Maldives as the leading dive destination for all divers around the world.”

PADI’s Regional Manager Matt Wenger added, “Positive promotion and support for female diving has been at the heart of PADI’s philosophy since our inception in 1966. As part of PADI’s Pillars of Change, we are focused on fostering diversity, elevating the healing aspects from the sport and nurturing inclusion so that the underwater world is accessible to all. We are thrilled to recognise TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli for their contributions in encouraging more females to seek adventure and save the ocean.”

“We proudly mark the 10th Anniversary of ‘PADI Women’s Dive Day’ with this award to TGI Maldives at OBLU NATURE Helengeli. The award recognises the combination of what we believe is a world class location and overall experience joining PADI-recognised dive sites, exceptional dive centre services and exemplary hospitality.”

From beginners to the experienced, female divers will struggle to find a more beautiful location to escape to than OBLU NATURE Helengeli. Whether ocean scuba diving at a well-known dive site, finding a new unexplored location or snorkelling a vibrant coral garden teeming with marine life, there are endless opportunities to seek a glimpse of the local manta rays, turtles, octopi, and sharks, not to mention the abundant schools of tropical creatures inhabiting the Indian Ocean. With occasional pods of dolphins swimming by restaurants just off the island reef, it’s an island destination perfect for both big blue exploration and unforgettable castaway life.

Aside the stunning dive sites, scuba diving and snorkelling are beautifully woven into the overall resort lifestyle, which seamlessly integrates with the ELE|NA spa experience. Divers can enjoy elevated relaxing and healing treatments and therapies designed to soothe before and after diving. Breathwork and floating meditation sessions accompany sunset yoga to ensure that all divers are guaranteed a relaxing vacation both underwater and on the island.

Receiving the award on behalf of TGI Maldives and OBLU NATURE Helengeli, dive centre Operations Manager Greta Marcelli and resort General Manager Ali Shakir both concluded, “Our partnership here at OBLU NATURE Helengeli continually strives to improve guest experiences, both on the island as a dream destination, and in the ocean as a place of true wonder.”

“Working closely with PADI, we aim to provide the safest certified dive courses to encourage those curious to explore wonders of the ocean, as well as escort professional divers to unchartered locations. Receiving this “Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Diving” award marking PADI Women’s Dive Day’s 10th celebration, is testimony to the efforts made by all the team in and out the water. The combination of first-class hospitality coupled with exceptional dive experiences, positions OBLU NATURE Helengeli at the forefront of the sport in the Indian Ocean, not just for female divers, but for all.”

OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO is located at the tip of the North Malé Atoll, reachable by a scenic 50-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport.

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Island indulgence at COMO Maalifushi this summer

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Escape to the turquoise waters and natural beauty of the Maldives with the exclusive Island Indulgence offer at COMO Maalifushi. This limited-time promotion is available for stays until October 31st 2024, providing an all-inclusive luxury experience for families and couples alike.

COMO Maalifushi is the only resort located in the unspoilt Thaa Atoll, offering an abundance of dining options and activities for all to enjoy. Overlooking the main pool, Madi, the beachside all-day dining venue, celebrates flavour and freshness with beach barbecues, healthy salads, and COMO Shambhala Kitchen classics. COMO Shambhala Kitchen is a healthful cuisine concept full of flavour with an emphasis on plant-based nutrition. Thila serves cuisine from Madi restaurant, along with cocktails ranging from the classics to island creations and more.

For a complete indulgence, this all-inclusive offer includes:

  • Upgrade to daily full board meals with breakfast, lunch and dinner at Madi restaurant or Thila bar for two adults
  • Selected beverages during meal times (beers, wines, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages).
  • “Children’s Special” offer for families, allowing up to two children below 12 years of age to receive: Complimentary full board meals (from the children’s menu); Juices and soft drinks during meal times; and, complimentary, free-flow ice cream during the day (outside of meal hours)
  • Bottled COMO water in all rooms, suites and villas
  • Selected items in the mini bar replenished on daily basis
  • Complimentary access to padel court, pool and Play by COMO
  • Daily yoga classes at COMO Shambhala
  • Complimentary use of snorkelling equipment
  • Complimentary use of non-motorised water sports equipment including sea kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, windsurfing equipment and catamarans

With plenty of activities available for all to enjoy, the adventurous can catch waves at more than a dozen of the world’s best surf breaks from April to October, and diving enthusiasts will find themselves in one of the greatest underwater regions, with over 32 different dive sites teeming with marine life and offering clear visibility. For a unique adventure, guests can kayak across to the resort’s own castaway island, Lavadhoo. Additionally, COMO Maalifushi caters to younger guests with its Play by COMO children’s programme, ensuring an enjoyable stay for the entire family.

This August 5th to 14th, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott will lead our iconic Space Camp activities for young adventurers, where guests can learn about outer space through art, food, and movement.

This offer is strictly for direct bookings either via email to the reservations team at res.maalifushi@comohotels.com or online at COMO Maalifushi.

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