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Shangri-La’s Villingili launches cultural tours



Maldives Promotion House – Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa in Maldives has launched cultural tours inviting guests to experience another side to the paradise islands of the Indian Ocean.

The luxury resort’s new guided excursions include a range of cultural and recreational tours suitable for both couples and families designed to excite every interest, from historical and farming excursions to cycling tours and nature walks. Tours are led by resort guides ensuring that guests gain insight into local life on the Addu Atoll islands while discovering the natural beauty of the Maldives.

Addu City Tour by Bicycle

Unlike other resorts in the Maldives, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa is close to a thriving Maldivian community who live in the surrounding Atoll. Guests have the opportunity to cycle into the Maldivian villages linked by a series of bridges in the surrounding area of Atoll where they can gain an insight into community life. Guests depart the resort to the islands of Feydhoo and Maradhoo and have the chance to visit local mosques, schools and the tuna landing site at Maradhoo harbour. Along the tour, guests will be able to see the traditional coral stone houses and buy fresh fruit at the local roadside stores. The tour then heads back to the resort via Gan Island to explore the local area by foot. Price: $50USD++ per person. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes.

Historical Tour

The historical tour visits the Island of Gan, a former British Navy base during the Second World War, for an afternoon ramble among the remnants of the British occupation of Addu. Guests depart the resort via speedboat for Gan where sites include the residences once used by RAF servicemen, the Astra cinema and the British Memorial Site. To go one step further, qualified scuba divers can dive down to see the cargo boat ‘British Loyalty’ which was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the war. Price: $50USD++ per person. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes.

Meedhoo Farms Tour

The farmers of Meedhoo Island have historically relied on agriculture as their main source of livelihood and the relatively recent development of tourism in Addu Atoll has presented the farmers with a new and attractive market for their traditional produce. This guided tour of Meedhoo local farms offers guests the opportunity to see first-hand the source of the locally grown produce used at the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa restaurants. Guests take a 15 minute speedboat ride to the island and can sample local Maldivian home tea, farm fruit and fresh juice. Guests are able to expand on their local farm experience by indulging in a Chef’s Garden Dinner on the island as part of the Dine-by-Design offer.  Price: $80USD++  per person. Duration: 3 hours.

Villingili Nature Walk

Guests can explore nature trails in Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa surrounding landscape made up of banyan trees, coconut trees, exotic plants and lagoons.  The tour around the centre of the island is led by naturalist Peter Watt Pringle from the resort’s Eco Central. Local wildlife can also be spotted including the oriental garden lizard, land crabs and the giant Indian flying fox.

Complimentary activity. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes.

The Maldives is famous for its white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons; however the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has taken the tourist experience a step further to offer luxury Maldivian escapes with an edge. Proud of the surrounding local culture and history, the resort’s new tours aim to give guests a more rounded and diverse experience in the Maldives.

Maldivian Journey package 

Shangri-La invites you and your partner to explore the Maldives with from USD 815++ per couple per night on a bed and breakfast basis. Experience three nights at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa in a two-person villa and one night at the Traders Hotel in Malé in a double room inclusive of a Dolphin cruise, Addu bicycle tour and Malé city tour. Terms and conditions apply, valid for new bookings for stays between 14 February 2013 and 23 December 2013 and does not apply for existing bookings. For reservations, visit

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Uncover the Gems and Untold Tales of the Maldives’ Baa Atoll Through Personalised and Free-Spirited Adventures with The Nautilus Maldives



When envisioning the Maldives, one often conjures images of pristine white sands and  luxurious resorts. However, beyond the typical tourist attractions lies a realm of adventure,  cultural immersion, and natural wonders waiting to be explored. The Nautilus Maldives, an  ultra-luxury private island hideaway, is crafting extraordinary journeys in the captivating Baa  Atoll, inviting its guests to embrace escapism through immersive cultural experiences. 

Inspired by The Nautilus’s brand hallmarks of the Art of Bohemia and Free Spirited  Adventures, guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and indulge in  transformative experiences. Through encounters with local personalities, guests gain an  insight into island life, delving into cultural roots, traditions, nature, language, cuisine, and  more. 

The Nautilus prides itself on tailoring bespoke experiences to suit the unique preferences of  its guests—whether adventurers, culture enthusiasts, or families seeking more than a  beachside retreat. Guests embark on one of The Nautilus’s luxurious yachts, exploring  treasured spots of the Atoll and creating unforgettable memories that will linger in their  hearts long after their journey ends. 

Discover the roots at the Kendhoo 

Nestled in the northwest of the Baa Atoll, Kendhoo carries a rich tapestry of experiences  weaving together history and culture. Once a vital hub along ancient maritime routes,  Kendhoo’s vibrant cultural landscape is shaped by centuries of influences from Indian, Arab,  and Southeast Asian merchants, as well colonial conquests. Guests can wander its streets, 

indulging in local culinary treats with distinct flavours, and exploring landmarks like the 800- year old house marking the place of prayers of Abdul Barakaath Yoosuf al Barbary, a renowned Islamic scholar. 

Weave your memories of the Maldives into art at Kihaadhoo 

On the beautiful island of Kihaadhoo, guests can immerse themselves in the therapeutic art  of coconut leaf weaving, a cherished tradition passed down through generations. Through  hands-on experiences with the island’s residents, guests can learn to create baskets, hats,  and decorative pieces, fostering a sense of cultural identity and belonging. 

Traditional lacquer masters at Thulhaadhoo 

Venturing to the southern tip of Baa Atoll, guests discover Thulhaadhoo island, renowned for  its exquisite craftsmanship in traditional lacquerware. Here, artisans share their secrets of this  ancient art of decorating items with vibrant colours and intricate designs inspired by the  Maldives’ marine life and lush tropics, which has been passed down through generations. 

Guests can even try their hand at creating these unique art pieces, serving as precious souvenir  of their tropical getaway. 

Exploration of the Deep Blue Waters of Dhonfanu 

At Dhonfanu, one of Baa Atoll’s premier diving spots, vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine  life awaits beneath azure waters. In season, there’s also a high chance for guests to encounter  graceful manta rays and majestic whale sharks, igniting the senses with excitement and awe. 

Delve into Poetic Ambiance of Dharavandhoo 

Guests can make a stop at Dharavandhoo island, which boasts a rich tradition of Maldivian  poetry, where locals celebrate history and folklore through the art of storytelling, expressing  emotions, beliefs, and aspirations in the most poetic ways. These enchanting verses, inspired  by the islands’ natural beauty, love, nature, and daily island life, transport listeners to a world  where ocean rhythms intertwine poetic imagery.  

To craft your own cultural journey across Maldivian islands, contact The Nautilus at and begin creating your ultimate bohemian dream escape. For more information visit

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InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024



After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.

The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.

The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”

This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.

The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.

For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.

The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.

To book the Manta Retreat or for more information, visit InterContinental Maldives Sustainability or contact the reservations team at or on WhatsApp at +960 730 9300.

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Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth



In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.

More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.

As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.

Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.

Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.

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