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10 Things I Love About The Maldives : Katherine Anthony



By Katherine Anthony

Katherine is the PR Manager for Conrad Maldives for the past two years, Katherine took her first steps in hotel life in her adopted home town of London back when lunches lasted two hours and the workweek ended on Fridays at 3pm.  Since then, her career in hospitality PR has spanned three continents (Europe, the Middle East and Asia), much longer working hours and has included five star and luxury brands such as InterContinental, Waldorf Astoria and Mandarin Oriental. She found it hard to stop at only 10 things.

1.       The people:  Maldivians tend to be reserved when you first meet them but when they get to know you, they’re the warmest, friendliest people whose smiles come from the heart.  75% of the team members at Conrad Maldives are Maldivians so this is a great place to get to know the people, the history and the culture as well as share in celebrations and festivals.

2.       50 Shades of blue: mother nature was at her most inspired when she painted this country.  All those different shades of blue are a treasure trove of beauty that you can never tire of.  I love watching the colours of the ocean shimmer and change as the day goes by, reflecting the moods of the sky above.  If you go to Ithaa undersea restaurant in the afternoon on a sunny day, the intense turquoise of the ocean outside the windows is like a jewel.

3.       Short eats: when you live in the Maldives you soon learn to love the chilli pepper!  While I like the spicy Maldivian curries, I really love short eats.  It always amazes me the creativity with which Maldivian cooks came up with so many different – and delicious! – ways of producing these snacks.

4.       The wildlife: The wildlife in this country is a source of constant amazement and fascination for me.  Every time I snorkel or dive, I’m astounded by the sight of all those incredible fish in the ocean, not to mention the corals.  We have manta rays at Conrad Maldives almost every night who perform a graceful ballet for us as they search for food.  And there’s nothing more incredible than swimming alongside a whale shark.  We’ve been lucky enough at the resort to see dolphins, mantas, turtles whale sharks and orcas on or near our house reef which makes working here an absolute pleasure.  There are plenty of animals on land too; I love the fruitbats and their furry little faces as they peer at you from the top of palm trees.  I love the thousands of little hermit crabs on the beach: from their eyes on stalks to the distinctive tracks they make in the sand as they drag their house with them, I just find them adorable.  Where else on this planet can you lie on a beach and watch the seashells stroll past you? I’m also rather fond of the geckos in my room but less excited about anything with more than four legs!

5.       The weather.  Come rain or shine, it’s always wonderfully warm in this country.  Being warm and not having to wear layers and layers of clothes makes such a difference to your life.  It’s usually sunny so you automatically feel well and happy just living here.  I haven’t looked at a weather forecast in two years and I find it comforting to wake up every day knowing that the temperature is going to be more or less 29 degrees.

6.       Not wearing shoes.   This really is a barefoot paradise and I love the look on our guests’ faces when they realise we’re serious when we say there’s no need to wear shoes anywhere.  Conrad Maldives still has a very natural style, with sand floors in our reception and even some of our restaurants.  Even in the office we all go barefoot.

7.       The art of doing nothing: we lead an isolated existence on the resort, with no malls, cinemas or other big entertainments to distract us.  That’s actually a good thing because it gives us a chance to rediscover inner peace again.  I believe it’s good to slow down and learn to enjoy life as it happens.  This is a country where, if you want to, you can find an empty stretch of beach at sunset and just sit and breathe.  In a busy city life you forget how important this is.

8.       Bodu beru: there’s something absolutely incredible about the traditional Maldivian drumming.  Even though I don’t understand the words, I love listening to the chanting of the performers and the rhythm of the drumming which seems to touch your soul in some inexplicable way.  It’s an experience I recommend every visitor to the country to try at least once.  If you’re brave, you can even get up and join in the dancing!

diving, corals

9.       Diving.  The underwater world of the Maldives is rightfully considered one of the best on this planet and it’s a privilege to be part of this and to interact with all these incredible tropical fish.  Being based in South Ari Atoll, we have access to some of the best dive sites in the country, from manta cleaning stations to some incredible sites teeming with fish and corals.  Each dive is like a visit to a different world, populated with the most beautiful and incredible creatures.  If you’ve ever dreamt you can fly, you’ll understand why I love diving because it’s the closest we’ll ever come to flying.  When you’ve got your buoyancy right you just float weightless in the water, surrounded by a myriad of fish or a passing manta, feeling completely relaxed in a place where no mobile phones can reach you.  It’s just you and the fish.

10.   Seaplanes: there’s no better way to travel between the islands than by seaplane.  Skimming over the water looking down on these tiny islands and sandbars, watching the turquoise ocean dotted with emerald green islands slip away below you is a memory you treasure forever.  There are certain magical weather conditions when the horizon just disappears into the sky and you can’t tell if you’re looking at islands in the sky or clouds in the ocean.  Just breathtaking.

An Insider

Oriana Migliaccio: The Marine Guardian Transforming Conservation in the Maldives



At the heart of Anantara’s commitment to tailored luxury and authentic experiences lies the passionate work of Oriana Migliaccio, a marine biologist whose devotion to oceanic preservation resonates deeply in the sky-blue waters of the Maldives. Oriana, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with a PhD in Life and Biomolecular Sciences, embodies the spirit of discovery and conservation at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, and Naladhu Private Island Maldives.

Raised on the sun-kissed shores of Naples, Italy, Oriana’s early years were steeped in the wonders of the Mediterranean Sea, a rich biodiversity hotspot. She frequently spent winter breaks at the aquarium. “It is this deep love for the marine world that got me interested from an early age in pursuing a career in marine biology,” she reflects. Following her passion, Oriana earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Marine Biology in Italy. Her journey then took her to the Maldives for an additional master’s in Tropical Marine Biology, where the allure of tropical environments steered her focus towards specialising in coral reef biology and conservation. This newfound dedication culminated in earning her PhD in the United Kingdom, solidifying her commitment to preserving marine ecosystems.

Oriana’s expertise, honed in the jungles of Borneo as a Conservation Manager and Dive Leader, now flourishes in the Maldives. Her initiatives span coral reef restoration, sea turtle protection, and sustainable practices, all pivotal to the region’s marine ecosystem. A crowning achievement is her creation of the “Reef Hero” PADI specialty, a course designed to educate divers on coral conservation, nurturing a new wave of ocean stewards.

“I created the ‘Reef Hero’ course during my time as a marine biologist and dive instructor in Malaysian Borneo. This course, focusing on coral reef restoration and rehabilitation, was inspired by my diving students’ desire to positively impact the oceans they love exploring. Witnessing the adverse effects of marine issues like debris, over-fishing, pollution, and global warming, this inspired me to create guidelines that can be used by recreational divers to save coral reefs around the world.” – Oriana Migliaccio

In April 2023, Oriana joined Anantara, where her role transcends traditional boundaries, as she immerses guests in a world of marine wonders through various interactive initiatives:

  • Marine Talk on Coral Reef & Marine Life: Weekly educational sessions that spotlight the vital role of coral reefs and the importance of responsible diving.
  • Discovering Marine Biology for Kids: Fun, interactive lessons that spark young minds’ curiosity about the underwater world.
  • Workshop on Repurposing Ghost Nets: Transforming abandoned fishing nets into bracelets, raising awareness about their impact on marine life.
  • Marine Biologist Corner: An open forum for guests to engage with Oriana, deepening their understanding of marine conservation.
  • Visit the Coral Nursery: Snorkeling adventures to coral nurseries, where guests explore coral species and participate in the resort’s coral restoration efforts.
  • Coral Adoption: Encouraging guests to play an active role in coral restoration, either by planting corals or sponsoring a coral rope, and tracking their growth.

“In the Maldives, a country faced with pressing environmental challenges, sustainability and environmental conservation are not just trends. They are a necessity,” Oriana emphasises, outlining the long-term goals for sustainability and marine conservation at Anantara’s Maldives resorts. “The survival of this tropical paradise is intertwined with adopting sustainable practices and reducing the anthropogenic impact on the environment.”

Following the devastating coral bleaching event of 2016, Oriana has been instrumental in Anantara’s HARP initiative (Holistic Approach to Reef Protection), aimed at rehabilitating damaged coral reefs. With over 10,000 corals grown and planted since 2017, the project is on course to double this number, enhancing marine biodiversity. Guests are invited to become coral gardeners, contributing to the project’s success while receiving progress updates on their adopted “baby corals”.

Collaborating with esteemed organisations like the Olive Ridley Project, Manta Trust, and the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, Oriana’s work includes a photo-ID programme for studying sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks. She invites guests to join as citizen scientists, aiding in data collection during their underwater explorations.

Oriana Migliaccio’s contributions reflect the essence of Anantara’s luxury experience — unique, immersive, and deeply connected to the local environment. Her passion and dedication are not just preserving the ocean’s beauty but also inspiring guests to become active participants in its conservation, ensuring its wonder endures for generations to come.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit 

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Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry



In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.

Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.

After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.

Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.

In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.

As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.

Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.

Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.

As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.

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An Insider

Hamzath Ameen: Elevating human resources



In the fast-paced and thriving hospitality industry of the Maldives, where exceptional service and guest satisfaction are paramount, there are individuals who stand out for their dedication, expertise, and leadership qualities. Hamzath Ameen is making his mark as a proficient human resources professional in island resorts of the Maldives. With an impressive career trajectory and a passion for excellence, Hamzath has become a respected figure in the industry.

Hamzath Ameen was born and raised in Addu Atoll, a region known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. Following his schooling, he pursued his higher education at Cyryx College in Male’, where he successfully completed an Advanced Diploma in Business Management. This academic foundation laid the groundwork for his future career in the dynamic world of hospitality.

Hamzath embarked on his professional journey at Dhonveli Beach Resort, where he assumed the role of Accounts Officer. This initial foray into the hospitality industry allowed him to gain valuable insights into the financial aspects of resort operations and the importance of maintaining accurate records and efficient systems.

Eager to expand his horizons and broaden his skill set, Hamzath sought opportunities at various reputable companies and resorts throughout the Maldives. His determination and exceptional work ethic caught the attention of industry professionals, leading to his appointment as the Human Resources Officer at Furaveri Island Resort. Recognizing his potential, Ameen quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Assistant Manager, and subsequently, Human Resources Manager.

During his tenure at Furaveri Island Resort, Hamzath made significant contributions to the establishment’s human resources department. He spearheaded various initiatives to enhance employee engagement, streamline recruitment processes, and foster a positive work culture. Under his leadership, the resort witnessed an increase in employee satisfaction and a notable reduction in turnover rates, solidifying Hamzath’s reputation as a skilled people manager.

In 2022, Hamzath accepted an exciting new opportunity and joined Rihiveli Maldives Resort as the Human Resources Manager. With his wealth of experience and proven track record, he assumed a pivotal role in overseeing the resort’s human resources functions, including recruitment, training and development, performance management, and employee relations. Hamzath’s strategic approach and ability to build strong relationships with staff and management alike have made him an invaluable asset to the resort.

Hamzath Ameen’s journey from an Accounts Officer to a respected Human Resources Manager exemplifies his commitment to personal growth and professional excellence. Through his hard work, dedication, and leadership abilities, he has successfully carved a niche for himself in the competitive Maldivian hospitality industry. Hamzath’s passion for nurturing talent, fostering positive work environments, and delivering exceptional guest experiences continues to make a lasting impact on the resorts he has served.

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