S Hotels and Resorts PCL, the global hospitality company from Singha Estate PCL, has announced the opening of SO/ Maldives, which becomes the third iconic resort at CROSSROADS Maldives, on November 1.
This luxury lifestyle resort complements the two popular five-star retreats and world-class facilities at the Indian Ocean’s first and only multi-brand, fully integrated leisure destination, ushering in an exciting new era of hospitality to the Maldives.
SO/ Maldives is a USD 60 million joint venture project developed in partnership with Wai Eco World Developer (WEWD), the leading business and real estate conglomerate. The resort is operated by Ennismore, a creative hospitality company with a global collective of entrepreneurial and founder-built brands with purpose at their heart.
SO/ Maldives joins two existing resorts at CROSSROADS Maldives: SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives.
Nestled in the Kaafu Atoll and Emboodhoo Lagoon, this diverse trio of retreats is seamlessly connected to a wealth of world-class facilities at The Marina @ CROSSROADS, an 800-metre lifestyle area and beach walk lined with restaurants, bars, retail boutiques, wellness centres, water sports, diving and snorkelling, kids’ clubs, and a 30-berth yacht marina, plus the Maldives Discovery Centre cultural hub and Marine Discovery Centre, which is dedicated to underwater conservation and education.
With three iconic branded resorts all connected with world-class facilities, this fully integrated luxury destination is truly unique in the Maldives, and the broader Indian Ocean region. CROSSROADS Maldives has already won multiple major awards and has achieved Green Globe Certification.
The development’s focus on environmental preservation and sustainability is also reflected at SO/ Maldives, where the roofs of the over-water villas and restaurants are topped with solar panels, allowing the resort to generate its own green energy. Recycled water, electric vehicles, eco-friendly bathroom amenities, and locally-sourced products are used throughout the property, and the resort has eliminated all single-use plastics.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of our third world-class lifestyle resort at CROSSROADS Maldives. With its focus on art, design and fashion, SO/ Maldives will perfectly complement our two internationally branded resorts and extensive facilities at The Marina @ CROSSROADS and enable us to attract a new generation of global explorers. We would like to thank our esteemed partners for their vision and skill in creating this stunning resort,” Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts, said.
“It is a wonderful moment to see this beautiful project come to life. SO/ Maldives is a trend-setting luxury resort that will attract a new generation of lifestyle-conscious guests, enhancing the Maldives’ tourism sector. We are delighted to collaborate with our esteemed partners at S Hotels & Resorts to create a lasting legacy for the entire country,” Zaw Win Maung, Managing Director, WEWD, commented.
“SO/ Hotels are located in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, and we are thrilled to put down roots on this paradisiacal private island in the Maldives. In keeping with the SO/ DNA, we’re eager to welcome global travellers looking for a different island experience where art and fashion meet luxury hospitality,” Jesper Sorensen, General Manager, SO/ Maldives, said.
Part of the ultra-fashionable SO/ Hotels & Resorts brand, which is making its debut the Maldives, SO/ Maldives is set to become one of the world’s most sought-after places to stay, play and party. With opening rates starting from USD 950+++ per night, this opening is expected to drive more revenue to CROSSROADS Maldives during the upcoming high season.
Nestled on a pristine private island, surrounded by the turquoise Emboodhoo Lagoon, SO/ Maldives is a sartorially-rooted retreat “Where Castaway Meets Runway.” Discerning travellers are welcomed into a glistening glass pavilion with 360-degree views and will be invited to take a walk across the Runway, a conceptualised open-to-sky catwalk which immerses every visitor in their own fashion show. A collection of beachfront and over-water pool villas, ranging from 120 to 330 square metres, are crafted by renowned designers and envelop guests in style and sophistication. The Dream Family Beach Villas feature private capsules for kids and the stunning two-level, three-bedroom Ocean Water Pool Villa Atelier sets the stage for life’s most memorable moments.
Hilton earns top honors as World’s Best Workplace and Great Place to Work
For the first time ever, Hilton has been named the No.1 World’s Best Workplace by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work. This recognition – the culmination of eight consecutive appearances on the “World’s Best” list – also marks the first time a hospitality company has achieved the top honor in this best-in-class program.
In another first, Hilton was certified as a Great Place to Work in the Maldives earlier this year, celebrating a workplace culture where team members are encouraged to pursue their passions, draw upon their unique experiences, and be their authentic selves at work as they deliver exceptional stays for all guests.
These awards are a testament to Hilton’s continuous efforts to build an inclusive, purpose driven workplace culture that provides growth opportunities and robust support for team members to achieve their potential and thrive.
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa continues to foster an environment for local talent to flourish, empowering Maldivian professionals who have developed within the group to progress along their career paths.
Key figures at the resort include Director of Operations Ahmed Anees, who is the first Maldivian professional to be elevated to this role within Hilton’s portfolio of brands in the country; Bars and Beverage Manager Ali Hamdan, and sommelier Gasim Ibrahim.
Anees’ 18 years of experience encompass a variety of roles, such managing transport, housekeeping and front office operations for both Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. His years of overseeing housekeeping also led him to co-found the Maldives Housekeepers Association, the country’s largest and sole nationally recognized association, where he advocates for training and development, and provides professional support.
Ali Hamdan joined Conrad Maldives as a bar attendant and was promoted to bartender within three years. His growth as a mixologist was enhanced by plentiful opportunities to train in various locations, from a Singaporean brewery to a Japanese sake house and the great Champagne houses of France. He is the first Maldivian mixologist certified by the International Bartenders Association.
Like Hamdan, Gasim Ibrahim began his Conrad Maldives stint as an F&B attendant, and it was there that he came under the tutelage of the head sommelier and began his education in earnest. Over a decade later, he is now one of the rare Maldivian sommeliers working in the industry and is currently completing his WSET Level 3 certification.
While at Conrad Maldives, both Hamdan and Gasim competed with distinction at the Hilton South East Asia Food & Beverage (SEA F&B) Masters, an annual series of rigorous competitions designed to showcase the best F&B talent across Hilton properties in the region on an international level.
Another valuable benefit of working with Hilton is career mobility. This facilitates the seamless exchange of skills and brings a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to the organization, which is evident in the team make-up.
Other team members such as Executive Housekeeper Hussain Visham, Front Office Manager Ali Shunaiz and Purchasing Manager Adam Ali, all of whom were previously from Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, brought their invaluable experience to Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, and are fundamental to the smooth operations at the resort.
Similarly, HR Manager Nani Rasheed, IT Manager Naji Mohamed, Restaurant Manager Mohamed Niyaz, and Laundry Manager Abdulla Shareef all came from Conrad Maldives, and other team members, like Duty Manager Sajid Bushry, joined from overseas Hilton properties and contributed a wealth of multicultural perspectives.
Resort leaders are actively involved in nurturing young professionals. Anees mentors fellow Maldivian and Hilton SEA Management Trainee Hassan Visam throughout an 18-month program designed to develop him for the Duty Manager role.
Regular career workshops are a staple feature of resort activities, as are networking and coaching sessions through the Women Team Members Resource Group. Team members are also able to access specialist certifications, such as the childcare certification from Worldwide Kids that was recently awarded to the Krakengiri Kids’ Club team.
Hilton continues to build purposeful relationships within the community, empowering team members to pursue meaningful initiatives that lead to a lasting positive impact.
IT Manager Naji Mohamed champions Hilton’s Travel with Purpose initiatives. These include a recent visit to Maafushi School in North Male Atoll where Team Members distributed educational children’s literature to the students and water dispensers for the school.
The resort also partnered with Maldives National University to provide internship and career opportunities for the next generation of young hospitality leaders. The first intake culminated in an intern’s successful integration as a regular member of the culinary team.
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.
Chef David Hemmerle at InterContinental Maldives’ The Lighthouse this festive season
Chef David Hemmerle, a leading chef originally from France and now based in Moscow, will be visiting InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort and taking over The Lighthouse restaurant in December.
The Lighthouse has a 360-degree view of the resort and the sparkling Indian Ocean below, offering the finest seasonal ingredients and seafood.
The collaboration with Chef Hemmerle promises to elevate the resort’s culinary experience, providing guests with a diverse range of carefully crafted and delectable dishes that showcase Hemmerle’s culinary skills.
Known for his work in Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe and Asia, Hemmerle has over 30 years of experience in fine dining at the likes of the Four Seasons in Moscow and the Cristal Room Baccarat (Mercury Group), all of which has helped develop a deep understanding of the tastes of metropolitan gourmet cuisine, combined with a rich experience in Michelin-rated restaurants.
Chef Hemmerle will bring the flair and refinement of his homeland’s cuisine to the resort this winter, cooking with creativity & complex techniques and the finest local ingredients.
JA Resorts & Hotels welcomes Khumar Askerova as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean
JA Resorts & Hotels has announced the appointment of Khumar Askerova as the new Director of Sales and Marketing for the Indian Ocean region. Khumar brings with her an impressive 25 years of experience in sales and marketing within the hospitality industry, and a key appointment to the regional team.
The appointment will see Khumar overseeing sales for the company’s Indian Ocean flagship property JA Manafaru in the Maldives and two properties in the Seychelles, the boutique JA Enchanted Island and luxury villa residencies at JA Enchanted Waterfront.
Khumar is a seasoned sales specialist with a diverse background in the hospitality sector. Fluent in English, native in Russian and Azerbaijani, with a good command of Portuguese and Turkish, Khumar’s multilingual skills underscore her ability to connect with a global audience.
Khumar’s most recent role as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing at COMO Hotels saw her successfully manage a portfolio of key partners, and her expertise extends to new hotel openings, where she has played pivotal roles in the launch and success of four upper-scale Marriott hotels.
Additional Maldivian experience was gained whilst Khumar was Group Director of Sales & Marketing at Lily Beach Hotels also in the Maldives, where she led a cluster team, overseeing sales, reservations, marketing, and revenue for two islands in the Maldives.
Robert El Khoury, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at JA Resorts & Hotels comments, “We are confident that Khumar’s wealth of experience, strategic vision, and leadership qualities will contribute to the ongoing success and growth of our unique properties in the Indian Ocean. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to further developing our international presence with Khumar’s global expertise.”
Khumar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from Baku State University. She has also obtained certificates in Executive Revenue Management & Strategic Pricing from the Institute of Hotel Management and eCornell Hotel Revenue Management Certificate.
News1 week ago
Manta Air elevates to new heights with international flights to India starting from 2024
Celebration5 days ago
Embrace Glitz & Glam at SO/ Maldives: The epitome of sophisticated festivities
Celebration1 week ago
Endless Fun in the Winter Sun at Cora Cora Maldives
Love5 days ago
Vakkaru Maldives crowned Leading Luxury Honeymoon Resort 2023
Offers4 days ago
Dusit Thani Maldives introduces exquisite romantic and family all inclusive packages for an unforgettable escape 2023
News1 week ago
Canareef Resort Maldives broadens global reach with new sales representatives in Russia and the UK/Ireland Markets
Celebration1 week ago
Experience the enchantment at Ifuru Island: Let the magic shine this Festive Season!
Food7 days ago
Anantara Kihavah introduces the Maldives’ first ever immersive dining under water at SEA Restaurant