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Four Seasons Resorts Maldives Expands “Forever After” Options

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Maldives Promotion House – With three distinct Resort experiences – two private islands and a luxury liveaboard – Four Seasons Resorts Maldives offer an ocean of options for destination weddings. Guests can book each Resort in its entirety; wed on one then take a seamless seaplane flight to honeymoon on the other; or indulge in the ultimate marital odyssey between the two on Four Seasons Explorer – an 11-cabin, three-deck catamaran – that links the Resorts via three, four and seven night itineraries or private, customized charters. Each Resort offers the personalized care of a Wedding Co-ordinator, as well as an abundance of picture-perfect venues, while unique experiences range from secluded sand bank dinners to hen night Spa parties and surf, dive and fishing trips for bachelor days with a difference.

But first, there are the Resorts themselves. From Kuda Huraa’s intimate garden surround infused with traditional charm to Landaa Giraavaru’s wild natural beauty within the remote Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, each of Four Seasons two private Maldivian islands paints its own tropical ideal.

Landaa Giraavaru’s multiple venues span natural jungle and a pristine two-kilometre (1.2 mile) lagoon, while luxurious beach and water villas offer accommodation so vast that couples need never leave their room. The Spa and Ayurvedic Retreat – voted Best Destination Spa in the Crystal Asia Awards 2011 – showcases blissful Chakra Blessings, complemented by superb diving in some of the country’s richest waters with the PADI 5-Star IDC Centre.

Kuda Huraa – voted Best of the Best in the Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Readers’ Awards 2011 – features a multitude of locations against a backdrop of shimmering blue. The Night Spa redefines starlit romance with its lunar rituals under the tropical night sky, while those seeking adrenalin and adventure can venture out on a shark safari, or with the pros from the Surf School. And with both Resorts running pioneering coral, fish and turtle conservation programs from their Marine Discovery Centres, bridal couples can play a part in preserving the fragile ecosystem simply by being there.

Forever After

Marriages performed in the Maldives between non-Muslims are not legally recognized in other countries. As such, appropriate legal arrangements need to be made in guests’ home countries. However, this opens up a world of opportunity for couples to plan a celebration that is a true expression of themselves. From sunset vows with an officiant to an intimate blessing at sea, the underwater exchange of rings to a sandbank ceremony in the middle of nowhere, Four Seasons Resorts Maldives will go to any lengths to cater to individual wishes.

The Resorts’ on-site Wedding Co-ordinators work with each bridal couple to customize every detail, from the point of booking to the time of departure – and, very often, beyond. Whether a couple is planning an intimate gathering or a grand gala, undivided attention is given to ensure that everything goes exactly as envisioned.

The Kuda Huraa Forever After 2012 and Landaa Giraavaru Forever After 2012 packages ease the worry of wedding planning, incorporating all the key components for before, during and after the ceremony, from spa treatments and bouquet to cake and photography, right through to in-room breakfast the following day. In addition to offering value, each package can form a starting point for what will ultimately be a celebration as individual as each couple.

 

The Finer Details

Four restaurants in each Resort cater to every culinary option from dinner for two on an uninhabited island to a lavish poolside luncheon, relaxing beach barbecues to starlit, overwater cocktail receptions. The pastry chefs will recreate any wedding cake that guests request, or surprise with their own decadent delights. Rehearsal dinners, hen parties, bachelor nights and day-after-the-night-before breakfasts can also be arranged, along with customized menus that cater to children and special dietary needs. Decoration and entertainment are equally well catered for, with florists on hand to create bouquets, boutonnières, wedding arches and centrepieces, and bodu beru (big drum) performers showcasing traditional festivities. Couples can also work with the Resorts’ marine biologists to plant their own personalized coral frame as a living symbol of their special day, and then they can track its growth online, or return to see it on a special anniversary.

In addition to two sublime Spas, recreation options across the Resorts range from kite surfing, wakeboarding and parasailing to big game fishing, tennis and yoga. At Kuda Huraa, surfers of all levels can benefit from the on-site Tropicsurf School, and at both Resorts, there is an abundance of world-class diving and snorkelling sites. Other activities range from cooking or massage classes to a private picnic on a remote sand bank.

Then there’s the option of a cruise on board the exemplary Four Seasons Explorer – the Maldives fastest and most luxurious liveaboard. Sailing between the two Resorts and on private charters, it offers access to the undiscovered Maldives. All-inclusive itineraries offer a minimum of three dives a day as well as the opportunity to snorkel, surf, water-ski, fish, kayak, spa, sail and discover cultural and castaway experiences along the way.

Couples booking a minimum of three nights at each Resort will receive complimentary seaplane transfers between the two as part of the Resorts’ ongoing Paradise Twice promotion. The promotion is valid through December 20, 2012.

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CROSSROADS Maldives appoints Ibrahim Farhad as Director of Retail

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CROSSROADS Maldives has announced the appointment of Ibrahim Farhad as the new Director of Retail at the Maldives’ premier integrated multi-island leisure destination. Farhad, known for his extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, brings a wealth of expertise in sustainable tourism management to his new role. He will oversee the retail operations at The Marina at CROSSROADS Maldives, enhancing the leisure, dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences for visitors from around the world.

Farhad’s impressive background includes significant contributions to policy formulation and stakeholder engagement during his tenure as the Senior Policy Director at the Maldives Ministry of Tourism. In this role, he was pivotal in developing and implementing policies that promoted sustainable tourism. He collaborated closely with government agencies and international organizations to ensure regulatory compliance, and his expertise in research, analysis, quality assurance, and capacity building has been instrumental in shaping the tourism sector in the Maldives.

In his new role at CROSSROADS Maldives, Farhad will oversee the strategic development of retail spaces, ensuring they offer a diverse and high-quality visitor experience. He will collaborate with local and international partners to bring unique products to The Marina, aligning with the destination’s commitment to sustainability and cultural authenticity.

“As a native Maldivian coupled with his extensive experience and deep-rooted community connections, Farhad is a great addition to our team at CROSSROADS Maldives. I am excited to see the fresh perspectives and innovative strategies he will introduce at The Marina, which will further strengthen CROSSROADS Maldives’ position as the premier integrated multi-island leisure destination,” said Alexander Traeger, General Manager of CROSSROADS Marina and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

CROSSROADS Maldives looks forward to the innovative and sustainable approaches Farhad will bring to the retail operations, enhancing the overall experience for all visitors.

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Utheemu Ganduvaru: Portal to Maldives’ national freedom

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The Maldives, often celebrated for its sun-kissed beaches and turquoise waters, also offers a rich tapestry of history and culture waiting to be explored. Among the islands of Haa Alif Atoll lies Utheemu Island, home to Utheemu Ganduvaru, a historical treasure that invites travellers to delve into the storied past of the archipelago.

Utheemu Ganduvaru, the ancestral home of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, stands as a poignant reminder of the Maldives’ fight for independence. Thakurufaanu, revered as a national hero, led a successful campaign against Portuguese occupation in the 16th century. His childhood home, Utheemu Ganduvaru, offers a rare glimpse into the life and times of this legendary figure.

In 1558, the Portuguese invaded the Maldives, killing the Sultan in battle and establishing their rule. Muhammad Thakurufaanu and his brothers, Ali and Hassan, left for Minicoy to prepare a campaign to liberate their country. The boat they built, Kalhuohfummi, was crucial to their efforts. Thakurufaanu and his brothers fought the Portuguese for eight years, landing on different islands under cover of night to evade capture, and departing before daybreak. Eventually, they landed in Malé and defeated the Portuguese leadership in the capital. Freed from Portuguese rule, the people chose Muhammad Thakurufaanu as their Sultan.

Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu ruled the Maldives for 12 years until his death in 1585. He is remembered as a considerate and just ruler, concerned for the well-being of even the poorest citizens. He is also credited with establishing the country’s first formal military unit.

Back at Utheemu Island, visitors are immediately struck by the island’s tranquil beauty and its lush, green landscape. The journey to Utheemu Ganduvaru is a step back in time, where the echoes of history are palpable. The residence itself, a traditional wooden palace, is meticulously preserved, showcasing the architectural ingenuity and cultural richness of the period.

As you enter Utheemu Ganduvaru, the simplicity and elegance of the structure are apparent. Built from timber, the palace is a fine example of traditional Maldivian craftsmanship. The intricate woodwork, with its detailed carvings and polished surfaces, speaks volumes about the artisanship that flourished during Thakurufaanu’s time.

The main hall, with its open layout and cool, shaded interiors, offers a sense of serenity and reflection. It was within these walls that Thakurufaanu spent his formative years, and each room tells a story of his early life and the influences that shaped his destiny. The residence includes living quarters and storage spaces, all arranged in a manner that reflects the daily life of a prominent Maldivian family in the 16th century.

One of the most compelling aspects of Utheemu Ganduvaru is its connection to the larger narrative of Maldivian resistance against foreign rule. Guides at the site often recount tales of Thakurufaanu’s daring exploits and strategic brilliance. His knowledge of the archipelago’s intricate waterways and his leadership in naval battles are celebrated as key factors in the successful expulsion of the Portuguese in 1573.

Beyond its historical significance, Utheemu Ganduvaru offers visitors a deeper understanding of Maldivian culture and heritage. The site is a testament to the resilience and unity of the Maldivian people, embodying values that continue to inspire. For travellers, a visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru is an opportunity to connect with the soul of the Maldives, experiencing the essence of its history and the spirit of its people.

While on Utheemu Island, visitors can explore other points of interest, such as the island’s beaches and vibrant local community. Engaging with the locals offers additional insights into Maldivian traditions and hospitality, enriching the overall experience.

For those seeking a journey through time, Utheemu Ganduvaru in Haa Alif Atoll is a destination that should not be missed. It is a place where the past comes alive, where the legacy of a hero continues to resonate, and where the true essence of the Maldives can be discovered. As you walk through the halls of Utheemu Ganduvaru, you are not just a visitor; you are a part of a historical journey that defines the Maldivian identity.

So, when planning your next visit to the Maldives, venture beyond the beaches and dive into the rich history of these islands. Let Utheemu Ganduvaru be the highlight of your cultural exploration, offering a meaningful and memorable connection to the heart of Maldivian heritage.

Cover photo: Andreas Faessler

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Embark on a journey of pure joy at Sirru Fen Fushi

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The newly-reimagined Sirru Fen Fushi Private Lagoon Resort, a member of the esteemed Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) collection, invites you to rediscover luxury in the Maldives. Nestled on a pristine island amidst crystal-clear lagoons, this haven of effortless elegance and contemporary allure promises an unforgettable escape.

Curated Experiences Await

From the moment guests touch down in Malé, Sirru Fen Fushi curates your journey around four pillars: Taste, Wellness, Art, and Play. Savor world-class cuisine alongside authentic Maldivian flavors at revamped restaurants. Rejuvenate with holistic wellness practices like frequency sound healing and Ayurvedic treatments. Become a steward of the environment through marine conservation initiatives, or witness turtle nesting with the resort’s marine biologist.

Unparalleled Comfort and Personalized Luxury

Unwind in the unparalleled comfort of Beach, Water, and Safari Tented Villas, each designed for an intimate escape in harmony with the breathtaking surroundings. Choose experiences based on Fire, Water, Earth, and Air themes, creating lasting memories tailored to your preferences.

Joining the Leading Hotels of the World

Sirru Fen Fushi is thrilled to be part of the prestigious LHW collection. “This exclusive hideaway promises a bespoke journey of luxury and serenity,” says Deniz Omurgonulsen, Vice President of Member Experience at LHW. “We are excited to add this private island paradise to our collection.”

Rediscovering Your Inner Child

Through the Essence of Play, reconnect with your inner child. Learn Maldivian crafts, gather around fire pits for acoustic guitar evenings, or dance under the stars at Plankton Glow Parties. Every experience ignites the soul and fosters connection.

A Celebration of Local Flavors

Tantalize your taste buds and explore local flavors through various activities. Reel in the day’s catch on a fishing excursion, or witness the theatrical spectacle of a Malafaaiy Bodu Beru feast, featuring traditional cuisine, drumming, singing, and clapping.

Holistic Wellness and Artistic Inspiration

Sirru Fen Fushi fosters rejuvenation through holistic treatments and a connection to nature. Full Moon Meditations and Pool Rituals promote a transformative journey. Art is woven into the resort’s DNA, from the underwater Coralarium museum to the Sustainability Lab, where you can create meaningful keepsakes.

Protecting Paradise

Committed to preserving the archipelago’s natural wonders, the resort offers eco-conscious initiatives. Participate in coral restoration projects, explore the neighboring Maroshi island with its mud crab delicacies and vast mangrove forests, and learn the importance of marine conservation.

Experience Sirru Fen Fushi, where unforgettable memories and a deep connection with nature await. Visit: https://sirrufenfushi.com/

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