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Velaa Private Island celebrates a decade of unforgettable luxury, artistic excellence

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Exactly a decade ago, the Šmejc family realised their vision of an enchanting haven, Velaa Private Island, which has since evolved into an exquisite retreat cherished by families, friends, and kind-hearted Maldivians seeking to share the “majaluga hayaai,” the Maldivian embodiment of the “joy of life.”

In honour of these extraordinary ten years of opulence and tranquillity, Velaa Private Island introduces an innovative endeavour, Velaa Art Gallery’s latest exhibition The Glass Collection. This unique curation brings to life a diverse assortment of vibrant glass artworks. Rooted in a historical tradition of the Czech Republic, where the art of glassmaking flourished, The Glass Collection bridges the past with the present, capturing the Šmejc family’s commitment to blending global uniqueness with the cherished heritage of their homeland.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate a remarkable decade of Velaa, unveiling a curated masterpiece that reflects the very essence of our journey. The island has not only become a luxurious retreat but a canvas for artistic expression. ‘The Glass Collection’ encapsulates the essence of our pursuit. This is a celebration of not just art, but of ten years of luxury and inspiration, looking forward to the continued legacy of providing unforgettable experiences to all who step onto our shores,” says Wayne Milgate, General Manager.

Carefully curated by KODL Contemporary, known for its discerning eye for exceptional artistry within the Czech art scene, the collection unites the works of three internationally renowned masters of the craft: Rudolf Burda, Lukáš Novák, and Rony Plesl. Each artist, while diverse in technique, themes, and artistic philosophy, is united by a shared aspiration to transcend boundaries and redefine artistic expression. The trio was commissioned to craft exclusive pieces tailored exclusively for Velaa’s ten-year anniversary exhibition. Each artwork encapsulates the island’s themes through their distinctive perspectives, offering guests an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the abundance of Maldivian ambiance.

Rudolf Burda’s minimalist pieces, rooted in the intrinsic nature of glass, epitomise simplicity. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and its underlying laws, Burda’s creations explore the energy that permeates all existence. His pieces transcend conventional artistry, offering an experience akin to scientific discovery and philosophical exploration. The piece The Energy of the Universe enables viewers to peer within its depths, provoking contemplation of reality’s fundamental truths.

Lukáš Novák transforms glass into a medium that amplifies the intensity of reality through its form and transparency. Novák’s artistry, showcased through three hand-cut, hand-polished optical glass pieces, mirrors the play of light found in the sun’s dance upon the ocean’s surface. Delving into the phenomenon of light refraction, Novák invites viewers to traverse the boundaries between air and glass, yielding kaleidoscopic imagery that captures the island’s distinct allure.

A boundary-pushing virtuoso in glass, Rony Plesl’s expertise is unparalleled. Renowned for his monumental glass sculptures, Plesl catapulted the Czech Republic onto the global art stage at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Plesl’s sculptures “Man & Woman” and “Le Grand Jeu” grace Velaa with a blend of elegance with intellectual depth, drawing from classical motifs to address the essence of human existence.

Collectively, these artists capture the distinct encounters of every visitor to the island, infusing their unique perspectives into each creation. The exhibited works reverberate with the exclusive aura of Velaa Private Island, a tranquil retreat that has graciously embraced families and individuals alike for an unforgettable decade of serenity and sophistication.

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Welcomes New Executive Chef Leonardo Valls

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The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is thrilled to welcome its new Executive Chef, Leonardo Valls. Bringing 20+ years of international experience and an eye for gastronomic innovation, Valls is set to elevate the resort’s culinary experiences with his creativity and craftsmanship.

Valls’ journey in the kitchen started in his native Chile, where he joined chef Tomás Olivera in 2003 at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago, the brand’s first property in South America. During his five years there, Valls helped Olivera and the hotel’s Adra restaurant earn numerous accolades and awards, laying the groundwork for his next adventure. 

In 2008, Valls crossed the globe to join another Ritz-Carlton property, the Hotel Arts Barcelona, where he spent more than a decade as part of a highly celebrated team, led by acclaimed chef Paco Pérez. During his tenure, he helped the hotel’s Enoteca restaurant earn its first and second Michelin stars (2010 and 2013) and was named Executive Sous Chef of the hotel’s culinary division in 2016, overseeing operations for five restaurants, a central kitchen, and major international events including the Mobile World Congress. 

In early 2020, Valls was set to make another international move, this time as Executive Sous Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Florida, but the pandemic led to a change in plans, prompting his return to Santiago. In 2021, opportunity knocked again with the entry of the legendary brand into the Maldives and Valls joined The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands as Executive Sous Chef.

After a year at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, Valls found his homeland calling once again. Armed with vast knowledge of the luxury culinary concept, he took his expertise to the AC Hotel by Marriott Santiago Costanera Center where, as Executive Chef, he infused his style with Spanish and other European influences. 

Renato De Oliveira, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands comments, “We’re thrilled to have Valls back in the Maldives, this time as our Executive Chef. His appointment is the start of a new chapter in an already illustrious career and an opportunity for guests to experience the world through Valls’ unique culinary perspective.”

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Sun Siyam Resorts Boosts PR & Communications Team with Appointment of Erika Magora for Sun Siyam Iru Veli & Sun Siyam Vilu Reef

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Sun Siyam Resorts has announced a dynamic addition to its PR and Communications team with the appointment of Erika Magora as Cluster Assistant PR & Communications Manager for Sun Siyam Iru Veli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. With an impressive background in law from the UK, coupled with a diverse upbringing in the Philippines and Malaysia, Erika brings a unique blend of skills and experiences to our renowned luxury resorts.

Prior to joining Sun Siyam Resorts, Erika served as the key figure in managing Marketing Communications at the prestigious 5-star luxury resort, The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Her collaboration with international media, partners, and agencies has significantly contributed to the resort’s global presence. She has worked with top journalists, production crews and PR partners from the UK, Europe, Australia, America and Asian regions. Erika also has experience in sales and marketing when she played a pivotal role in the Asia Pacific region’s sales and marketing for Foodpanda, a leading delivery brand in Asia. 

I cherish the cultural diversity and distinctions of both properties that I work for. Sun Siyam Iru Veli fascinates me as it revels in its private luxury tranquility, attracting a premium market. In Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, the naturally playful environment and genuine warmth of the people that create an inviting haven for repeater guests, captivate me. Both are beautiful, each in its unique way. Embracing diverse media and markets adds excitement to my work. The pristine beach and sea in both places energize me, fueling my passion for what I do.” expressed, Erika.

Claudia Klingbeil, Group Director of PR & Communications at Sun Siyam Resorts said: “Erika’s appointment underscores our dedication to assembling a team of talented individuals who not only possess exceptional professional capabilities but also embody the diverse cultural tapestry that defines our global clientele. We are confident that Erika’s passion for communication, coupled with her international perspective, will elevate our PR and Communications efforts to new heights of success.”

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Discover Romance in Paradise: Hurawalhi Island Resort Unveils Unforgettable Wedding & Honeymoon Experiences

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Nestled within the tranquil beauty of the Maldives’ Lhaviyani Atoll, Hurawalhi Island Resort  beckons couples to embark on a journey of romance and luxury like no other. We are thrilled  to unveil our exclusive wedding and Honeymoon packages, meticulously crafted to transform  dreams into unforgettable moments amidst breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled  opulence. 

Unforgettable Proposals and Unique Experiences: Make your proposal truly unforgettable  with special setups at the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, where divers can pop the question on the  other side of the glass. Explore other unique proposal arrangements during destination dining  experiences, ensuring your love story begins with a touch of magic. 

Picture-perfect Wedding Venues: Imagine exchanging vows at one of Hurawalhi’s  picturesque wedding locations, where each setting offers a tropical canvas for a ceremony  you’ll cherish forever. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you declare your love during a  traditional Maldivian Beach wedding, creating memories to cherish for a lifetime. 

For those seeking an intimate affair, Hurawalhi’s Dream Island provides the perfect backdrop.  Stroll barefoot down the petal-strewn isle on the atoll’s most picturesque sandbank, enveloped  by crystal-clear waters and gentle sea breezes. 

For a truly magical experience, tie the knot at the Champagne Pavilion, Hurawalhi’s prime  sunset-watching spot. Bask in the golden hues of the setting sun as you pledge your love  amidst the serene beauty of the island and its surroundings. 

Unforgettable Wedding Experiences: Elevate your wedding to extraordinary heights with a  ceremony at the renowned 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. Choose from morning, midday, or  evening ceremonies, and exchange vows surrounded by the mesmerizing underwater world,  creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

Alternatively, embark on a romantic voyage aboard Hurawalhi’s Luxury Yacht, where you can  say “I do” against the backdrop of a crimson sunset over the horizon. Whether you opt for a  Half Day or Full Day Yacht Rental, the ocean provides the perfect setting for your love story to unfold.

Luxurious Inclusions and Optional Add-ons: Indulge in a myriad of inclusive amenities,  including ceremonial set up, floral bouquet for the bride, buttonhole for the groom, romantic  villa turndown, Hurawalhi wedding certificate, wedding plaque, and the rhythmic beats of  Boduberu drummers. Toast to your love with a bottle of champagne and savor the sweetness  of a decadent wedding cake. 

Enhance your experience with optional add-ons such as bridal make-up and hair, intimate  candlelight dinners, rejuvenating massage packages, professional photography services, and  exciting excursions to explore the wonders of the Maldives. 

Welcoming Honeymoon Guests: At the enchanting Hurawalhi Island Resort, the  honeymoon unfolds with the captivating melodies of Boduberu performers and a delightful  welcome drink to set the mood. As honeymooners step into their villa, they are greeted with  the indulgence of half a bottle of Taittinger champagne and tantalizing canapés, beckoning  them into a world of romance and luxury. The honeymoon bed, adorned with care, promises  nights of blissful serenity under the Maldivian stars. To commemorate their love story, a  personalized card and a charming honeymoon T-shirt await the couple on their second day,  creating moments of pure enchantment throughout their stay. 

At Hurawalhi Island Resort, we invite you to embark on a journey of love, luxury, and  unparalleled beauty. Create timeless memories as you begin your happily ever after in one  of the world’s most enchanting destinations. 

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