Angsana Velavaru, an all-inclusive premium resort in South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives has announced the appointment of Neil Firman as the Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage, just in time to curate an extraordinary culinary experience for the upcoming “Festive Moments In Our Hearts” celebration. With an impressive culinary background spanning over two decades, Neil brings a wealth of international experience and innovation to elevate the resort’s dining offerings during this highly-anticipated season.
Neil Firman’s Flavourful Journey
Neil Firman, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, has crafted his culinary journey with passion and dedication. His career began at the prestigious “The Palace of the Lost City” in Sun City, South Africa, followed by an illustrious 11-year tenure with Hyatt International. During this period, Neil held key positions at various Hyatt properties worldwide, showcasing his culinary expertise and leadership skills.
His extensive work history includes significant roles such as Sous Chef at the Park Hyatt Johannesburg, South Africa (Opening); Chef de Cuisine at Grand Hyatt Amman, Jordan; and Executive Sous Chef at Hyatt Regency Dubai & Galleria, U.A.E., among others.
Neil also contributed to Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts for 7 years, holding the position of Executive Chef at Banyan Tree Seychelles, and later overseeing Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru (now Dhawa Ihuru). After a successful term as Director of Food and Beverage at Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali, Indonesia, Neil rejoined Banyan Tree Hotels in 2023. His wealth of experience and leadership has led him to his current role at Angsana Velavaru.
Neil’s culinary journey began at a young age, inspired by a memorable Primary School graduation lunch at the 5-star Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg. The grandeur, service, and culinary artistry left an indelible impression, shaping his career choice. Neil’s passion for perfection aligns with the hospitality industry, where guests experience nothing short of excellence, while associates feel the adrenaline rush behind the scenes.
With Neil at the helm of the Food and Beverage Department, Angsana Velavaru eagerly anticipates an exceptional culinary journey for guests during the “Festive Moments In Our Hearts” celebration. His innovative approach and commitment to culinary excellence will undoubtedly contribute to making this festive season truly memorable.
Beyond his culinary prowess, Neil is an avid recreational scuba diver, holding a PADI Assistant Instructor level certification. He also enjoys horse riding, adding a touch of adventure to his diverse interests.
“Festive Moments In Our Hearts” Celebration
Angsana Velavaru will be hosting “Moments in our Hearts,” a festive celebration centred around bonding and connection with family, friends, loved ones and nature from 21 December 2023 to 7 January 2024. Guests are warmly invited to appreciate the previous gift of time and travel, as they immerse themselves in the beautiful sights around, creating beautiful memories and reconnecting with those who matter most.
As the inspiring spirit of giving and sharing fills the air, guests can revel in the vibrant colours of island life with an array of activities crafted just for them – from indulgent feasts and thrilling games to party nights and dazzling entertainments.
The season of celebration and joy is just around the corner, and there is no better place to embrace it and #SenseTheMoment than Angsana Velavaru. Inspired to secure your festive holiday today? Discover more through this link: Sharing Time Offer | Angsana Velavaru Resort & Spa. Plus, indulge in the added benefit of earning Accor Live Limitless points!
SO/ Maldives Announces Grand Opening Party: “An Invite to the Front Row”
SO/ Maldives’ Island Couture proudly announces the Grand Opening Party of its exquisite island runway. Happening on March 23, 2024, this much-anticipated event of the season aptly titled “An Invite to the Front Row” promises a soirée of collaborative elegance, weaving together SO/ DNA of art and fashion, and the unparalleled beauty of the Maldives creating an unforgettable glamourous experience for its guests.
The Grand Opening Party will be a sensory feast, combining fashion-forward statements, avant-garde design, culinary excellence, artistic flair, exclusive wellness retreats, and a musical journey, all set against the breath-taking backdrop of Emboodhoo Lagoon. Guests are cordially invited to take a seat in the front row and witness the convergence of global talent and Maldivian charm.
One of the First International Fashion Shows in the Maldives with Milin
SO/ Maldives unveils its inaugural fashion show and considered to be one of the first international fashion shows in the Maldives. The Island Couture transforms into an oceanfront runway, showcasing the swimwear collection debut by the esteemed Thai fashion house, Milin. Witness the harmonious blend of haute couture and the paradisiacal setting.
Flying Dress Edits by Riffath
Advocating the local talent and culture, SO/ Maldives proudly partners with Riffath, a distinguished Maldivian High Fashion Brand, launching its exclusive SO/ Maldives’ Flying Dress Edits. Teaming up with
Timeless Maldives photo studio, the resort’s guests are empowered to unleash their inner models for a bespoke once-in-a-lifetime photo and drone shooting, adorned in a gown with an extended hem that gracefully dances in the wind.
(From left to right: Chef Dharshan, MILIN, DJ Karrouhat, Jenna)
Set against the stunning canvas of the Maldivian sunset and pristine shores, Veuve Clicquot Champagne house is taking over the beach and glamming up the Lazuli Beach Club Bar for an exquisite evening creating an atmosphere of refined elegance and indulgence.
Renowned Chef Dharshan Munidasa, a dual Sri Lankan – Japanese heritage and hailed for his accolades on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 – 2022, commands the spotlight, crafting a menu that defies conventional boundaries. Infused with global culinary experiences, savour the exquisite flavours from Chef Dharshan’s acclaimed restaurants – Ministry of Crab, Nihonashi Blue, and Carne Diem Grill.
Adding a touch of glamour to the affair is Jenna Hemsworth, Australia’s most influential and award-winning female bartender. Known for her innovative approach to mixology, Jenna will showcase her creativity and down-under charm, taking over the bar to craft expertly curated cocktails.
The glamorous celebration will be amplified by a series of live performances from world-class musicians and DJs. Groove to the innovated beats of one of the leading Maldivian bands, YJ Hameed Music, creating a rhythm that resonates with the island’s spirit. Experience a captivating serenade by Lydia Sarunrat Deane, a Thai sensation, filling the air with enchanting melodies. End the night as DJ Karrouhat from Dubai take everyone on an electrifying after-party journey, dancing under the stars amplified by the soothing sounds of the Indian Ocean.
The Grand Opening Party will be hosted by Matthew Deane, a well-known Thai-Australian singer, model, actor, and television presenter.
(From left to right: YJ Hameed Music, Lydia, Matthew)
Exclusive Wellness & Fitness Retreats
Embark on a transformative fitness journey with the introduction of a week-long detox and fun session by Jumping® Fitness, an innovative fitness regimen originating from the Czech Republic. In collaboration with London-based wellness partner Salon C. Stellar, renowned for their modern approach to wellness, the resort is set to launch new spa experiences that promise ultimate rejuvenation.
SO/ Maldives invites guests to an eco-conscious revelry, where the beauty of nature intertwines with the joy of celebration. Witness as the island runway dims, unveiling a beach bonfire beneath the starlit sky. Immerse in the rhythmic beats of Maldivian Boduberu amid the serene glow.
Savour a lavish beach buffet under the stars, celebrating the quintessence of luxury and culinary delight.
Jesper Soerensen, General Manager of SO/ Maldives, expressed his excitement, stating, “An Invite to the Front Row encapsulates the essence of SO/ Maldives—a convergence of global excellence set against the unparalleled beauty of our island. We extend an exclusive invitation to our guests to join us on this extraordinary journey with incredible collaborations providing them a truly glamorous stay while embracing our DNA.”
Secure your villa from US$1300+++. Elevate with a half-board package on the island runway, indulging in avant-garde fashion. Join the Grand Opening Party, a celebration of unparalleled elegance and fashion-forward finesse.
Book your stay now: https://so-hotels.com/en/offers/grand-opening-party/
Hard Rock Hotel Maldives Joins Hard Rock International “WE ARE” Initiative for International Women’s Month
To celebrate International Women’s Month, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is joining Hard Rock International for its “WE ARE” initiative honoring its ongoing commitment to championing women’s health and empowerment. Through its charitable arm, Hard Rock Heals Foundation®, the company is raising funds throughout the month, benefitting two organizations working to support women and women’s health: Global Gift Foundation and Magee-Women’s Research Institute, through nearly 1,000 woman-led performances at locations around the world, food & beverage offerings, in-room music experiences and more for guests to participate in.
Throughout International Women’s Month, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives presents a series of exciting activities and authentic experiences tailored for their guests to enjoy.
Hard Rock Cafe Maldives
In partnership with the Women Who Rock™, guests are invited to witness exhilarating performances by the Deviate Band every Monday, Wednesday and Friday while on Thursday nights, groove to the beats of the acclaimed local DETUNEBAND. Starting at 08:30 PM, these performances led by talented female vocalists promise an unforgettable evening filled with music and empowerment. Admission is complimentary, welcoming all to come together and celebrate the influential women who rock the music industry and beyond.
Limited-Time Cafe Food & Beverage Offerings: Enjoy the Pink Lace Margarita, an exclusive cocktail featuring Casa Del Sol, the luxury tequila brand co-founded by director, actress and activist Eva Longoria. A portion of proceeds from the cocktail will be donated to Magee-Women’s Research Institute and the Global Gift Foundation, which aims to create a positive impact for women, children and families in need. In addition to the Pink Lace Margarita, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will offer a special, limited-time menu through April including: Spring Pasta, Mahi Burger, Berry Salad, Coconut Almond Sundae and the gin-based Run the World cocktail.
Hard Rock Hotel Maldives
On Friday, 08 March 2024, guests can enjoy an exhilarating lineup of events designed to honor and empower women. The day kicks off with Special Ladies Zumba at the Pool Deck, where guests can groove to the rhythm and set the tone for a day of festivities. Following this energetic start, guests can participate in the Strongest Woman Fun Games in the Swimming Pool, indulge in Women’s Beach Fitness at The Elephant & The Butterfly Beach and experience an Aerial Cocoon Hammock Session at the Stage.
As the day transitions into the evening, the resort hosts a Ladies Beach Volleyball Match, followed by a sumptuous Japanese-themed Dinner at Sessions. The night will be filled with electrifying entertainment, including a performance by the Deviate Band at Hard Rock Cafe Maldives and capped off with a Ladies Night Dance Challenge featuring Live Music & Abracadabra at the Pool Deck.
Additionally, guests can take advantage of a special 15% discount offer on selected items at Rock Shop®, available at both the Resort and Cafe throughout March 2024. Whether it is a souvenir to remember their stay in Maldives or a gift for someone special, guests can enjoy exclusive savings while rocking out with stylish merchandise from their Hard Rock Maldives experience.
For those looking to infuse music into their stay, The Sound of Your Stay program offers a curated playlist featuring tracks by influential women artists across various genres. Guests can also borrow vinyl records featuring iconic female artists as part of the Wax program or check out a Gibson custom wrapped International Women’s Month “WE ARE” guitar for in-room jam sessions.
Furthermore, guests can explore select memorabilia from Hard Rock’s vast collection highlighting iconic artists who have made significant contributions to women’s rights such as Madonna, Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, and more.
“As we celebrate ‘International Women’s Month’ at Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, we embrace the power of music, cuisine and community to uplift and empower women. Through our partnership with local women-led initiatives and organizations, such as the ones supported by Hard Rock International, we not only aim to provide authentic experiences that rock for our guests but also contribute to the advancement of women’s health and wellness in the Maldives. Together, we rock for a cause, making a meaningful difference in the lives of women in our community,” said Frederic Lebegue, General Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Maldives.
For the full Hard Rock International Women’s Month performance schedule, visit www.hardrock.com/women. For information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.
Romance Reimagined: Unforgettable Weddings and Honeymoons Await at Kagi Maldives Resort and Spa
In the heart of the Maldives, where turquoise waters meet powdery white sands, lies the enchanting paradise of Kagi Maldives Resort and Spa. This idyllic retreat beckons couples to experience the ultimate in romance and luxury amidst breathtaking natural beauty.
Renew Your Vows in Paradise: Imagine the soft caress of the ocean breeze, the gentle lapping of waves against the shore, and the golden hues of the setting sun as you renew your vows in the middle of the Indian Ocean. At Kagi Maldives, your dream wedding becomes a reality, with ceremonies pedantically planned to perfection. Whether you prefer a beach setup, a sandbank celebration, or a luxury yacht affair, every detail is curated to create memories that last a lifetime.
Indulge in Exquisite Amenities
From bridal make-up and hair styling to a heart-shaped wedding cake and champagne toasts, Kagi Maldives pampers couples with unparalleled luxury. Coconut tree planting ceremonies and romantic villa turndown services add a touch of Maldivian charm to your special day. After the ceremony, unwind with a relaxing spa treatment, savor a delectable “A Love Story” dinner under the stars, or embark on a wine and cheese tasting journey in the resort’s cellar.
Capture Precious Moments
The Kagi Memories photography services ensure that every precious moment of your wedding is immortalized in stunning detail. Professional photographers expertly capture the essence of your love against the backdrop of the Maldives’ unique beauty, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Embark on the Ultimate Honeymoon
For honeymooners seeking an unforgettable escape, Kagi Maldives offers the perfect romantic getaway. Picture-perfect beaches, crystal-clear waters, and swaying palm trees set the stage for an unforgettable honeymoon experience. From floating breakfasts in your private villa plunge pool to indulgent spa treatments and intimate candlelit dinners on the beach, every moment is designed to ignite passion and create lasting memories.
Immerse yourself at Kagi, in the unparalleled romance of the Maldives, where every moment is a cherished memory waiting to be made. From the gentle caress of ocean breezes to the breathtaking beauty of the island paradise, Kagi offers an idyllic setting for unforgettable experiences.
Let yourself be captivated by the boundless love that fills the air, as you embark on a journey of romance and enchantment. Whether exchanging vows against the backdrop of a sunset drenched beach or indulging in intimate moments under the starlit sky, Kagi Maldives invites you to create memories that transcend time, where love knows no limits amidst the unparalleled beauty of the Maldives.
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