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Angsana Velavaru welcomes new Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage; ready to enhance culinary experience for “Festive Moments in our Hearts”



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!

Download Angsana Velavaru’s Festive Brochure 2023 – 2024.


‘MalDIVAS on Tour’: 9 women travel partners visit Atmosphere Core’s 3 resorts



International hospitality company Atmosphere Core hosted the “MalDIVAS on Tour” from 10th to 17th July 2024. This unique voyage featured nine top women operators and product managers from the United Kingdom who visited OBLU XPERIENCE Ailafushi, OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO, and RAAYA By Atmosphere. The purpose of the tour was to immerse the participants in the unique holiday experiences offered by each resort and to express heartfelt thanks for their longstanding partnership and support.

Silvia Collepardi, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts and COLOURS OF OBLU brands, said, “Our journey, aptly named ‘MalDIVAS,’ took us through three stunning resorts. It was a perfect blend of work and play, showcasing three of our properties and the unique experiences each one offers. This trip was not just about exploring beautiful resorts; it was a testament to our strong cooperation and growing presence in the market. We are deeply grateful to all the nine leading women operators from UK who joined us for this experience.”

Some of United Kingdom’s most experienced travel veterans were invited for the tour, including  Sheena Dovey from Bespoke Earth, Sheryl Drane from Travelbag, Dipshaa Patel from Kenwood Travel, Neela Goyal from Southall Travel, Anjana Arun Tanna from The Luxury Travel Club, Carla Mclellan from Travel Counsellors, Fiona Scott Evans from British Airways Holidays, Diane Pendergast from Gold Medal, Kerry Towers from Best At Travel, and Julie Murray from If Only.

The tour commenced with a lively welcome cocktail at Element X and dinner at ONLY BLU in OBLU XPERIENCE Ailafushi with senior leadership from Atmosphere Core. At OBLU NATURE Helengeli by SENTIDO, the group experienced the newly built water villas and enjoyed a bespoke private beach dinner set up at Just Grill restaurant, complete with a fire show and special cocktails.

Everyone got a chance to visit to the company’s recently launched castaway island resort, RAAYA by Atmosphere. Culminating the tour on a joyful note, with a vibrant Pink Party at Ampers&nd rooftop bar at RAAYA By Atmosphere. The ladies donned their best pink attire and enjoyed an evening of sparkling wine, canapés, and handcrafted cocktails. At all the islands, the ladies were pampered with exclusive treatments at the spa and wellness centres by ELE|NA.

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Cinnamon Hotels offers unforgettable Maldivian experience with first ever best rate guarantee promise



A holiday in the Maldives is infamous for its lush flamboyance. Whether you’re a seasoned adrenaline junkie or a first-time thrill-seeker, the Maldivian waters beckon with promises of excitement and awe. Here are the top five activities that make the Maldives an ideal destination for an unforgettable adventure. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ four remarkable resort islands—Cinnamon Vellifushi Maldives, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives, Cinnamon Hakuraa Hurra Maldives, and Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon—have an irresistible offer tailored for travellers seeking a thrill-packed escape.

Beneath the surface of the Maldives’ crystal-clear waters lies a world of wonder waiting to be explored. With warm waters, exceptional visibility, and rich biodiversity, snorkelling here offers an unforgettable adventure for all. As you glide over vibrant coral reefs teeming with life, you’ll encounter tropical fish, graceful rays, and even gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays. Whether you’re exploring house reefs or venturing to remote snorkelling sites, the options are endless.

Embark on island-hopping adventures to discover the unique culture and traditions of the Maldives. Visit local communities, where families can interact with friendly locals, sample traditional Maldivian cuisine, and learn about the rich heritage of these paradise islands.

The Maldives is home to a variety of marine life, and one of the most enchanting experiences for travellers is a dolphin-watching cruise. Set sail on the azure waters as playful dolphins frolic in the waves, creating a mesmerising spectacle for both children and adults.

Cap off your day in paradise with a picturesque sunset cruise. Sail into the horizon on a traditional Maldivian dhoni, surrounded by the warm hues of the setting sun.

Private dining in the Maldives is more than just a dinner; it’s a sensory excursion into paradise, where crystal-clear waters meet pristine shores. Culinary experiences in this tropical paradise have become an amazing art form, delivering exclusivity, spectacular views, and unique flavours.

Imagine an intimate dinner on a secluded island, surrounded by the relaxing sounds of ocean waves and the stunning colours of a tropical sunset. This is only one aspect of the Maldives’ unique private dining experiences. Resorts dotted across the archipelago create distinctive environments, such as private beach dinners with personal chefs, to evoke a sense of seclusion and romance.

So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates beauty, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts’ latest campaign promises an experience like no other. The ideal Maldivian holiday is within reach. Plan your holiday with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts now for an unforgettable adventure under the sun and amidst the waves.

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Angsana Velavaru reaffirms commitment to sustainability, cultural heritage, local economy



At Angsana Velavaru, an all-inclusive premium resort in the virtually untouched South Nilandhe Atoll sustainability and cultural preservation are woven into the fabric of daily life. The resort’s journey, driven by passion and dedication, begins with a simple yet profound question: “What if dried coconut leaves could find new life? Can they breathe new purpose to the local community?”

Part of Banyan Group, an independent, global hospitality company with purpose, Angsana Velavaru honours Maldivian heritage and protect the environment, by embarking on the unique initiative, ‘The Life Cycle of Coconut Leaf.’ This starts with planting coconut trees on the resort and trimming their leaves regularly. Partnering with local communities, the resort transforms these discarded leaves into beautiful thatched roofs known as kajan.

Guided by the Group’s ethos, “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”, the cycle begins with lush, green coconut palm trees that provide shade and beauty to the resort. As leaves naturally die, they turn brown, becoming a potential resource rather than waste. Skilled climbers carefully harvest dead leaves, promoting new growth and maintaining tree health. Collected leaves are stored to dry and harden, preparing them for traditional weaving. Local artisans collect the aged leaves, ready to transform them into functional kajan roofing. The resort buys the processed leaves, supporting local artisans and preserving traditional skills. The kajan is delivered to the resort, carrying the essence of Maldivian craftsmanship. The thatched panels are installed on villa roofs, blending tradition with natural aesthetics. Old thatched roofs are carefully removed for repurposing, minimising waste. The removed kajan is composted, enriching the soil with nutrient-rich organic matter. The compost is used to plant new coconut trees, completing the cycle of renewal. Through this initiative, we create a cycle of renewal that supports local communities, preserves cultural practices, and nurtures our environment.

Nominated in Travel Trade Maldives 2024 under the Most Sustainable Resort category and South Asian Travel Awards 2024 under the Leading Eco-Friendly Hotel / Resort, Angsana Velavaru emerges as a frontrunner in showcasing an unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. The resort’s initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, conserve natural resources, and protect the biodiversity of the Maldives through Marine Talk, Citizen Science Snorkelling, Coral Planting, House Reef Cleanup and beyond, are exemplary – setting a standard for responsible tourism.

In July 2023, the Green Sustainability Team, composed of passionate associates from various resort departments, launched the “SustainLinen Tote Bag with Purpose” initiative. This program, aimed at reducing plastic waste, provided eco-friendly alternatives to disposable plastic bags for resort associates. By September 2023, the initiative was expanded to include neighbouring communities and in-house guests.

In April 2024, the resort took this initiative further by repurposing broken umbrellas into stylish and durable tote bags. This innovative step underscores their commitment to sustainability, demonstrating how even unexpected items can be transformed and given new life.

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