Sun Siyam Resorts has unwrapped this year’s festive season programme, creating an ideal haven for those seeking to revel in the warmth and joy of the holidays. Across their five exquisite private island properties in the Maldives, guests are invited to exchange snowflakes for sandy shores this December and embrace a carefree Christmas castaway experience like never before.
Around the world at Sun Siyam Olhuveli
Sun Siyam Olhuveli will be making merry with an eclectic extravaganza of decadent musical delights and cultural activities from around the globe. Guests will be in for a treat when singer and songwriter Emma Ochia, talented musician, producer, Synthetic sax player Mikhail Morozov, and the mesmerising duo of belly dance sensations, Julia Anastasia Armellini and Kovijanic Nedeljkovic Tara perform during Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties promising unforgettable celebrations for everyone. Party goers can drop by the Wonderland Stage to experience a mesmerising performance by the world’s leading LED artists Dennis Kiss & Szulita Szekrényes for a performance like nothing you have ever seen before!
From ballads to floor-fillers, colour runs to Bollywood beach parties, and a Tour de Olhuveli cycling race to mini-Olympic Games, the world tour ends with a fireworks-filled crescendo on 31 December at the Around the World Gala Dinner, where a host of acclaimed DJs – including British House legend DJ Karno, a Pacha and Ministry of Sound regular and local Maldivian music band 2 Sense, who will encourage guests to dance the year away as they ring in the new year.
Royal blend of Christmas lights at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi
With dazzling fire and circus performances from the international talents of La Circocracia and fire queen PYRO to enjoy at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, guests will be invited to replace their traditional fireside Christmas for remarkable fire and lights shows guaranteed to make any stay merry and bright. Local DJ Watte will make sure every guest is in tune with what’s coming in 2024.
For the ultimate yuletide gift, there’s also a host of unforgettable experiences and flavoursome flavours – including rum pot-infused treats – on the menu at the luxury resort.
From private castaway breaks with your own secluded beach to romantic champagne cruises, and flyboarding to bespoke spa rituals – including a Majestic Prince and Princess option for guests aged 3-12 – the five-star boutique resort is sure to leave a trail of wonder in its wake.
Paradise on Bloom at Sun Siyam Iru Veli
Hoping to make every member of the family’s festive dreams come true this year, Sun Siyam Iru Veli has a host of activities certain to make the all-inclusive paradise the place where winter sun meets festive island fun. Felicity, popular Jazz- Saxophonist, and DJ Jeremiah graces Iru Veli with their exceptional talent at the Christmas and New Year’s Eve cocktail parties and celebrations. Guests will be captivated by Chandana and the Dancers Guild, a fusion dance group from Sri Lanka, and can enjoy a festive programme merging culture and tropical festivities with extraordinary performances set against the backdrop of magnificent sunsets.
From a playful programme of creative crafts and fun-packed beach activities to classic Christmas movies and carol karaoke, the Turtle Kids Club will keep younger guests entertained while adults find other ways to celebrate in seasonal style. From stargazing cruises to whale shark snorkelling trips, and sushi-making classes to traditional Maldivian BoduBeru dancing shows, guests are spoilt for choice with ways to take full advantage of the blue skies, clear waters and pristine beaches.
Time Traveller’s Ball at Siyam World
From aerial displays to sand art, fire shows to pool parties, and floating feasts to Great Gatsby themed gambling nights, Siyam World continues to strengthen its reputation as a carefree playground with this year’s enviable holiday line-up.
Promising the best seat in the house this New Year, the resort will be ringing in 2024 as it hosts the Time Traveller’s Ball on Arigato Beach. The instrumental countdown begins with ONEVIOLIN – the boundary-breaking Finnish violinist who performs well-known songs across musical genres, and uses his one violin to create everything from drums to melody – before DJ Jetro takes centre stage. Known for incorporating saxophone solos into his Ibiza-style sets, together they’ll get the party started with sets destined to see guests substitute dashing through the snow for dancing barefoot on the sand.
Midsummer Nights at Sun Siyam Vilu Reef
Holidaymakers in search of the ultimate beach bliss can swap tinsel for twinkling stars, mince pies for massages and stockings for snorkelling at Sun Siyam Vilu Reef this Christmas, with those booking the 23 and 28 December Vilu Festival receiving 25% on all activities.
As part of the festive entertainment, guests will be dazzled by the Double Power Show, an international LED and Laser Show duo from Russia acrobatics, who mesmerise their audience with their geometry display and harmonious fusion of power, elegance, and grace in their LED and laser show.
Being the season to be jolly, guests are also invited to join the Mixology Academy under the 27 December Full Moon for cocktails, mocktails and more, before embracing the new year bartending show where Snowballs will be replaced by a refreshing Sea Breeze.
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.
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