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Maldives

SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

To kickstart our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs has scoured the globe to highlight hotel F&B gems that deserve to be recognised. Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

In 2018, according to Technomic, overall consumer spending for hotel food and beverage showed a solid 5.5 percent annual growth since 2011. In design, architecture and in service, there is a clear move to produce instagrammable F&B areas.

While the overall dining and drinking experience is becoming somewhat of a theatrical performance, we have identified 10 hotels going above and beyond – in both design and service – to ensure that they are entertaining their customers’ ever-evolving demands.

Joali – Mura Bar (Maldives)

Beach blue wallcovering with wooden roof

Image credit: Joali – Mura Bar

Overlooking a pearly beach and pool that meets the sea, The Mura Bar is designed to encourage guests to naturally relax and unwind. The hotel’s entire construction was designed to build around its natural landscape. As a result, 1,000 trees were preserved in the process, creating luscious green scenes in a natural paradise.

Gleneagles – The American Bar (Scotland)

close up of plush light blue seating

Image credit: Gleneagles

With the aim to bring back the glamour and decadence of fine dining experiences of the 1920s and ’30s and redesign a legend, Gleneagles will in May 2019 unveil the relaunch of its famous restaurant, The Strathearn following a design transformation by Ennismore Design Studio.

Conrad Malives Ranhgali Island – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (The Maldives)

The awarding winning underwater Ithaa sits five metres below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi) serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu.

Since its opening in 2015, the restaurant has become an Instagram sensation and its popularity led to the concept of opening the world’s first underwater hotel suite.

Hotel Gotham, Manchester – Club Brass (United Kingdom)

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

Poised to become the backdrop of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up North, Manchester’s Hotel Gotham, which opened in 2015 – read full review here, has been a major catalyst that has crowned the northern metropolis a major hot spot for hotel design and development. The jewel within the crown is located on the rooftop, at Club Brass.

Leading designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers are expected to gather at the hotel’s exclusive members-only rooftop bar, Club Brass, for drinks and canapés above the city on July 1 for Meet Up North. Click here to purchase your exclusive ticket

Peninsula Paris – The Rooftop Bar (France)

Paris rooftop bar with curved windows overlooking a model plane

Image credit: Peninsula Hotels

Located on the sixth floor of The Peninsula Paris – and offering unparalleled views over the city – sits L’Oiseau Blanc, one of the most elegant and singular restaurants in Paris. The aviation-themed interior celebrates flying aces Charles Nungesser and François Coli who attempted to cross the Atlantic in 1927 from Le Bourget.

The Moxy, Chelsea (USA)

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International

Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar, The Fleur Room, is open to hotel guests and locals alike. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. “Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognizable charms – the Empire State building,” suggests journalist Hannah Kaplan who checked in to review the the kid on the block for Hotel Designs last week. Read the full review of the hotel here.

Soho House Istanbul – Club Bar (Turkey)

Refined interiors in a modern bar that is sheltered in a heritage building with bold lighting

Image credit: Soho House Istanbul, Club Bar

Sheltered within a striking 19th century mansion, which was originally designed for a Genoese merchant before becoming the US embassy for most of the 20th century. The Club Bar  is an oasis of calm, featuring decadent wallcoverings that are balanced with plush bar seating and thoughfully designed break-out areas.

Zuri Zanzibar – The Upendo Restaurant (Tanzania)

Sustainable materials - including furniture and lighting - make up the raw and rustic restaurant

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar

Designed by Jestico + Whiles, the eco hotel’s Upendo Restaurant overlooks the entire resort. The restaurant’s laid-back Zanzibari style and live cooking shows make it the ideal place for breakfast and dinner, whilst its separate deck is ideal for private events or larger dinner groups. Peponi bar in the Zuri Zanzibar offers comfortable benches and sofas for a peaceful and relaxing ambiance.

Raffles – The Long Bar (Singapore)

Exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Raffles

Redesigned by Alexandra Champalimaud, the earthy decor of the two-storey Long Bar which will reopen this summer is inspired by Malayan life in the 1920s. The deep, rich colours and lush greenery transport patrons to the edge of a tropical plantation. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere, guests are invited to brush peanut shells off the table and bar counter to the floor. In addition, and arguably thus making the hotel one of the early innovators for encouraging bar theatre, The Long Bar is quite possibly the only place in Singapore where littering is encouraged.

The Morpheus (China)

The sky bar, with sophisticated gold barriers between tables

Image credit: Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Yí on the 21st-floor Sky Bridge at The Morpheus takes fine dining to new heights with a unique blend of regional Chinese cuisine served in tasting menu format. Yí is the first Chinese restaurant in Macau offering daily multi-course tasting menus.

Main image credit: Moxy Chelsea, New York

First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

Crossroads project, which will span a 7km-long lagoon and nine islands in the Maldives, will open in June 2019 and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean…

Crossroads Maldives has announced that it will be welcoming guests from June 2019, set to be the first integrated multi-island resort destination of the island nation.

Said to be one of the most comprehensive investment tourism projects to have been undertaken in the Maldives, the project will include the highly anticpated openings of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

At the heart of the Emboodhoo Lagoon, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will inject music-infused energy, engaging experiences and feel-good vibes into the Maldives. The resort will fuse tropical atmosphere and contemporary design, topped with curated music memorabilia and a regionally inspired twist. 178 expansive family suites, chic beach villas and unspoilt one and two-bedroom overwater villas lie in wait, alongside show-stopping activities and brand-signature amenities that will bring the signature Hard Rock experience to the Maldivian atolls.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, meanwhile, will offer guests something different, with a personalised journey from start to finish. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with the chance to create their own bathroom amenities using natural ingredients from the resort’s Aroma Lab, a place to synchronise with the resort’s signature scents of Relaxation, Refreshment, Rejuvenation and Energy. An Aroma Specialist is on hand to explain the benefits of each scent and the precise techniques used to mix the ingredients. Using this knowledge, guests then are able to handpick from a selection of twelve scents, including cedarwood, lavender and rosemary, combining several of these to create their own delectable bathroom amenities. Once guests are settled, they are invited to drop by Snap: Snack Box and pick up complimentary refreshments.

Render of green shack-like guestroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Curio by Hilton

198 spacious guestrooms, beach villas and overwater villas are dotted across the tropical island, surrounded by al fresco spaces, spacious interiors and personalised comforts, all created with an eclectic yet artisanal touch. Located within walking distance to The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the resort is ideal for families, couples or friends looking for a unique escape.

Crossroads Maldives, a multi-island integrated leisure and entertainment project, will aim to redefine holidays in the Maldives and transform the Greater Malé Region when it opens. In addition to the new hotels, the project will feature a luxurious 30-berth yacht marina, 11,000 square metres of retail space and world-class facilities such as Café del Mar beach club.

Main image credit: Curio by Hilton

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi adds new tented jungle villas

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The hotel’s safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, designed by Bushtec Safari are a unique alternative to over-water accommodation…  

With the trend for experiential travel continuing to evolve, luxury travellers are adapting a ‘carpe diem’ mindset, pursuing adventures that allow them to traverse the world in style. Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has announced the launch of its safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, offering an authentic alfresco experience in the heart of the resort’s inland jungle, to unleash the explorer in every traveller. The Tented Jungle Villas, designed by South African luxury tent specialists, Bushtec Safari, house an outdoor rain shower, roll-top tub and locally sourced, rustic interiors throughout.

simple and luxury interiors

Image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Set in their own private wonderland of wilderness, the Tented Jungle Villas are built to mirror the beauty and diversity of the island’s verdant flora and fauna. Built with wooden frames, amber-toned interiors and walls swathed in white canvas, travellers have the opportunity to get closer to nature. A harmonious balance of space and seclusion, the Tented Jungle Villas house a master suite with Californian king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom, a spacious alfresco lounge, complete with handmade wooden furnishings, and a Sala for communal dining that overlooks the private pool and outdoor bath tub.

For film aficionados, private pop-up cinema screenings can be organised in the Tented Jungle Villas, showcasing cult classics and blockbusters under the stars, while adventurers can set sail to a nearby deserted island for a castaway picnic. Gourmands can head out to sea for a sunrise fishing trip and learn the art of Maldivian line fishing, before heading back to their jungle abode for a private BBQ where they can see how fresh seafood and traditional Maldivian dishes are prepared on the private decking area. Relaxation-seekers can luxuriate in a spa treatment in the privacy of the villa, or simply bask under the swaying palms and sounds of the canopy by the beach.

Opened in May 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the only resort on the pristine atoll offering 112 luxury villas, each with their own private pool. In addition to the luxury Tented Jungle Villas, the Beach and Water Villas are bohemian inspired, with rustic chic interiors, copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing.

Main image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

New beach villas unveiled at Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

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Ushering in the New Year with a bright contemporary look, Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort has unveiled luxuriously refurbished beach villas…

Nestled among lush foliage and silvery shores, the Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort has opened 75 new beach villas retain the resort’s relaxed beach ambiance, whilst now offering guests a refreshed palette of sophisticated neutral tones that reflect the island’s natural hues.

“Darker timbers have been lightened with soft ivory and beige.”

The new beach villas have undergone a striking transformation. Darker timbers have been lightened with soft ivory and beige, brightening the interiors and creating a refined beach-house vibe with infusions of tropical charm synonymous with Maldivian getaways.

Outside courtyard area in the beach villa

Image credit: Anantara

Bathrooms have also been rejuvenated to offer sleek indoor and outdoor spaces. Guests can sink into a deep oval tub in their courtyard garden, or retreat to the cool of a glassed-in air-conditioned area. On each villa terrace, a traditional Maldivian swing has also been added, lending an authentic touch of local culture, inviting guests to enjoy balmy island breezes in their own private sanctuary.

Aside from the visual transformation, villas also feature modernised amenities to reduce energy consumption, including an electricity system that shuts off when the room isn’t in use as well as bathtub designed to save water. These amenities work in line with Anantara’s wider sustainability goals, ultimately aiming to preserve this amazing destination in the 110 villas on the island.

To experience an idyllic Maldivian holiday immersed in contemporary island style, guests can choose from Sunrise Beach Villas, Sunset Beach Villas, Anantara Pool Villas, Sunset Pool Villas, Two-Bedroom Family Villas and Two-Bedroom Anantara Pool Villas. In addition to the refurbished beach villas, Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort offers guests Sunrise Over Water Suites, Sunset Over Water Suites and Anantara Over Water Pool Villas, for those looking to relax above the turquoise waters of the Maldives.

Main image credit: Anantara

Baros Maldives launches new luxury villas

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The interior design extension creates a new era of luxury for the resort… 

Baros Maldives, an award-winning boutique island retreat in the Maldives, renowned for its discreet, personalised service and lush natural environment, is proud to announce the addition of two distinctive new Suites to its blissful collection of Villas. Named as the Baros Suites, each suite of 200sqm features a spacious, luxurious bedroom, a concealed, semi open-air bathroom and a large living area with sliding glass doors opening on to a wooden deck with sun loungers and dining area, a swimming pool and a thatched gazebo with a traditional swing overlooking the ocean.

“Baros Maldives was one of the first resorts to open to the public in 1973.”

Located on the eastern shore of the island, within an easy walk to all facilities, The Baros Suites are designed to provide a haven of seclusion allowing guests to enjoy the freedom of space as well being able to relax within the utmost privacy. Guests staying in a Baros Suite benefit from private transfer to and from the resort by luxury yacht, a dedicated Suite Butler on call at all times and a bottle of champagne and fruit platter on arrival.

Image credit: Baros Maldives

Formerly a coconut plantation, Baros Maldives was one of the first resorts to open to the public in 1973 and also won the Top Luxury Resort of the Year by TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice.

Main image credit: Baros Maldives

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa unveils $20 million renovation

Hamish Kilburn

Marriott Hotels has announced the completion of a $20 million renovation to  Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, North Malé Atoll, Maldives…

Designed by boutique multi-disciplinary design practice, Topo Design Studio, the newly transformed Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa now exhibits beautiful Maldivian architecture with a contemporary twist, reflecting the five-star experience guaranteed at the property.

Situated on the private island of Furanafushi in the Republic of Maldives, the five-star resort offers 176 guestrooms designed to blend into the surrounding turquoise waters, pristine beaches and lush greenery. The hotel also boasts a total of seven unique restaurants and bars, the Shine Spa for Sheraton (located on its very own island) and three outdoor tropical fresh water pools.



Topo Design Studio has taken its inspiration from the surrounding environment to ensure that all aspects of the resort emulate a traditional Maldivian feel that is not compromised by the top of the range amenities. As a result, all aspects of the resort have been elegantly renovated, from the restyled landscape gardens around the swimming pools, to the room categories, the events spaces and restaurants, ensuring a completely dovetailed style throughout the island.

“The hotel now boasts 10 different luxury room categories, all spaciously located around the island.”

“We are delighted to have completed the renovation programme which has seen $20 million spent on redesigning Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa”, comments Emilio Fortini, General Manager for Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “As the third eldest resort in the Maldives, dating back to 1937, it is very important to us that we continue to modernise our property to ensure it goes above and beyond the standards expected of a five-star resort without losing the feel of our surroundings. Subsequently, Sheraton Maldives has been carefully transformed and this is seen in our revamped restaurants with fresh menus, our newly designed bars, our bespoke villa host service and our innovative spa packages which are set to complete in January 2019. We look forward to welcoming both new and returning guests to discover these new enhancements, which I have no doubt will only enrich their experience on our unique tropical paradise.”

The hotel now boasts 10 different luxury room categories, all spaciously located around the island, including the re-styled Deluxe Cottages, Cottage Water Bungalows and Water Bungalows with Pools. These spacious cottages all offer the utmost privacy and provide easy access to the beach and lagoon. As part of the renovation, they now feature an outdoor so guests can truly immerse themselves in their luscious green surroundings. The property has also introduced a new room category, Cottage with Pool, which has been designed with families in mind and boasts a private plunge pool for young children to safely splash around in with direct access to the heavenly white sandy beaches.

Offering seven bars and restaurants in total, the resort ensures that a variety of dining options are available to guests, ranging from a casual al fresco treat to a quintessentially Maldivian feast. The newest addition to the completed renovations includes the centrally located Feast Restaurant which has been uniquely designed to emulate the local culture and now boasts a cadent coconut roofing and a sophisticated white colour scheme. Offering both breakfast and dinner, Feast restaurant comes to life with chefs creating dishes from around the world from live-cooking stations made from cleanly cut marble surfaces. Similarly, the Anchorage Bar has been elegantly renovated with a light and gentle colour palette that does not detract from the panoramic view of the stunning Indian Ocean. This creates a laid back atmosphere and encourages guests to relax on the comfortable day beds, listen to live music from a local band and sip on one of the resort’s signature cocktails.

 

Westin Hotels & Resorts heads to the Maldives

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The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort signals a new wave of well-being in the heart of the Maldives…

Westin Hotels & Resorts has expanded into the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, the hotel signals the brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

The resort has taken inspiration from the ocean, as award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Association has created a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

An aerial view of the new resort also reveals an outline in the shape of a fish, reinforcing its approach to sustain the environment.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” said Mike Fulkerson, VP of brand and marketing at Marriott International Asia Pacific.

Inside, the resort boasts 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater, which all feature an eco-friendly double roofing to create a natural ventilation system.

On-site, the hotel also offers its guests three unique dining experiences; The Pearl, which specialises in Japanese cuisine and Island Kitchen which stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. Lastly, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen inside the Hawker.

Fulkerson added: “The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travellers, who are increasingly prioritising well-being even while on the road.”

The resort also comes equipped with Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin with the latest in beauty treatments for guests to indulge in.

Render of overwater facilities

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort to open in Q4

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Milan-based design firm PEIA Associati is expected to complete the project in the Maldives in October 2018…

Marriott International has announced the forthcoming debut of Westin Hotels & Resorts in the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in October 2018. Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is set to herald the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will feature 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwaters. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are amongst the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region. Assembled by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

The idyllic resort also features Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin as well as the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT fitness centre.

Coridor leading to underwater guestroom

Designing the world’s first luxury underwater hotel

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As Hotel Designs puts ‘hotel concepts’ in the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn dives in to understand what it takes to design the world’s first underwater hotel…

The race to designing the first underwater hotel has been more like a marathon than it has a sprint. There have been false starts, claims of cheating along the way and training plans that in reality have been non-starters. But now, for the first time ever – and proudly entering the history books – Conrad Maldives – led by a talented handful of architects, engineers and interior designers – is about to open the world’s first underwater accommodation in a hotel.

Many believe this race was won by Dubai a few years ago, when it launched its version of the underwater suite at the Atlantis The Palm. But, like many greats in the world of sport that were caught out for cheating and seriously bending the rules, the hotel also fell short of the title. What the hotel claimed to be the ‘Underwater Suite’ in 2008 was actually just a floor-to-ceiling view into a very large – and equally impressive – aquarium. Dubai’s ‘go big or go home’ attitude was in full swing, and plans and renders for more underwater experiences were launched.

The residence at Conrad Maldives’ The Muraka comprises an above-sea residence and an underwater level, which is completely immersed in the ocean

Aerial shot of the hotel

Meanwhile, over in the Maldives, plans and concepts were becoming a reality much faster. 13 years in the making, and USD 15 million later, The Muraka – which translates to ‘coral’ in native Dhivehi – in Conrad Maldives is now on track to open a unique, luxurious two-level residence. The residence comprises an above-sea residence and an underwater level, which is completely immersed in the ocean. This offers guests an unobstructed 180-degree panoramic view of the marine life in natural surroundings.

Mike Murphy the engineer of The Muraka Residence at Conrad Maldives had the job in making sure the equations add up. “Site conditions are paramount,” he says when explaining what factors must be taken into account when designing the ambitious accommodation. “This includes tidal range, water depths, protection from storms, storm wave heights, wind loads, type of soil for driving piles, access for big crane ship rick of tsunami etc. This dictates freeboard heights, the depth of undersea unit below the sea level, height of stairwell, piling design and everything else.”

Render of underwater bathroom

Elements that would not cross your mind, such as working out if the client needs to install a wheelchair lift, would impact on the final volume of the underwater unit. “The greater the volume, then the more water displaced, which means more buoyant uplift, which means more weight to hold the unit down so that it doesn’t float,” Murphy adds.

The bathroom is mind-blowing, even if I do say so myself

Elsewhere in the project, but in constant communication with the engineers and interior designers, Ahmed Saleem, the director of Crown Company Pvt;. Ltd was the lead architect on the The Muraka Residence. “Like all architects, I was also trying to come up with a unique Maldivian image,” he said.

The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves

Once all the issues with privacy, safeguarding and supplying air to the underwater areas was addressed, Saleem and his team got to work in designing the underwater room to great a full underwater-living environment. “The bathroom is mind-blowing, even if I do say so myself,” he adds. “I have designed it so that the ocean is the constant view, with the ocean above your head and the sense of being surrounded by water.”

Render of Underwater guestroom

The interiors were led by Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki. What makes the room design unique is the varying uses of acrylic that has been incorporated into one unit. The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves. The acrylic that forms the living room is curved vertical glass, which allows guests to further marvel at the marine wildlife outside the sea-wrapping pod.

The main challenge for this project, aside from the obvious being that architects, designers and engineers do not have gills, was the sheer scale of it, and the logistical nightmare of transporting it from Singapore, where it was built, to the Maldives. “The room is the maximum weight (600 tonnes) that can be lifted by the ship’s crane and that can moor close to the reef,” explained Murphy. “Finding the right ship [to transport the parts] with crane capacity to be able to do the job.”

The result of years of planning and construction is an out-of-this-world hotel experience that literally takes hotel concepts to new depths. The underwater level features in the property includes one king bedroom, a living area, a bathroom and an impressive spiral staircase.

This very special part of the hotel, which will settle on the seabed for years to come, will be open to guests from November of this year.

Conrad Maldives Rangali to create $15m ‘sleeping under the sea’ experience

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‘World’s first undersea residence’ will be completed 4Q 2018.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali is investing $15 million in a new ‘sleeping under the sea’ experience, complementing the resort’s already submerged restaurant, Ithaa.

Named The Muraka, or ‘coral’ in Dhivehi (the local language of the Maldives), the undersea residence will give guests an ‘intimate and immersive experience of one of the Earth’s most breathtaking marine environments’.

Muraka is designed to blend into its environment, giving guests’ views of the Indian Ocean, with the vibrant colors and a diverse array of marine life.

Envisioned by Crown Company Director Ahmed Saleem, and realized by Mike Murphy, leading engineer at M J Murphy Ltd., a New Zealand-based company that specializes in aquarium technology, the undersea residence is a two-level structure comprised of space above the sea level and an undersea suite designed for sleeping under the ocean’s surface.

The undersea suite features a king-size bedroom, living area, bathroom and spiral staircase that leads to the upper level living room. The undersea bedroom floor level sits five metres below sea level, providing uninterrupted views of the surrounding marine environment.

Muraka’s distinct design is akin to Ithaa’s with the curved acrylic dome, which boasts 180-degree panoramic views of the Indian Ocean’s intricate marine life.

Muraka’s upper level features a twin-size bedroom, bathroom, powder room, gym, butler’s quarters, private security quarters, integrated living room, kitchen, bar and dining, which features a deck that purposely faces the direction of the sunset.

On the opposite side of the villa sits the relaxation deck that faces the direction of sunrise, complete with an infinity swimming pool. The upper level also contains an additional king-size bedroom and bathroom, which has an ocean-facing bathtub. In total, Muraka can accommodate up to nine guests.

“Driven by our inspiration to deliver innovative and transformative experiences to our global travellers, the world’s first undersea residence encourages guests to explore the Maldives from an entirely new perspective below the surface of the sea,” said Ahmed Saleem, a Director at Crown Company and chief architect and designer of the undersea residence. “The Muraka marks our second venture in underwater architecture and technology, next to Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month. Through our rich history of being a trailblazer in innovative luxury hospitality, we are proud to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge design, technology and architecture.”

“Through our development of the world’s first undersea residence, we continue to shine a light on the Maldives as a luxury destination as well as a cultural and natural wonder for global travellers,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. “We are excited to present Muraka’s unique sleeping under the sea experience to our future guests, providing them with an extraordinary seascape of the Maldives from an entirely new perspective.”

Hilton lines up new Curio Collection resort in the Maldives

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Hilton will open a new boutique resort in the Maldives, following a franchise agreement with Singha Estate.

The new resort will join the Curio Collection by Hilton portfolio of nearly 50 upscale independent hotels around the world, and forms part of its ‘Crossroads’ project – a leisure and entertainment resort currently under development in Emboodhoo Lagoon, Maldives.

The new resort will be managed by S Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Singha Estate, and will open at the end of this year.

“Opening the first Curio Collection hotel in the Maldives is a very exciting milestone for us,” said Mark Nogal, global brand head of the Curio Collection by Hilton. “The Maldives is renowned for being a one-of-a-kind tropical paradise and we are confident that the resort will offer curious travellers seeking an authentic experience truly memorable accommodations.”

INDIVIDUALITY & THE HILTON ‘ENGINE’

The resort will boast 198 guest rooms, beach villas and overwater villas, as well as facilities such as a fitness centre and swimming pool. In addition to duty free shops and multiple restaurants, guests will also enjoy a beach club, watersports, a dive centre, a cultural centre and a kids club.

“As we continue to grow our portfolio across Asia, we are proud to introduce the Curio Collection by Hilton brand in one of the world’s most celebrated resort destinations,” added Guy Phillips, senior vice president, development, Asia & Australasia, for Hilton. “With this brand, our owners can benefit from the proven track record and quality of the Hilton engine, also known as the Hilton performance advantage, while staying true to the hotel’s individuality.”

Maldives

Carlson Rezidor enters the Maldives with Radisson Blu Resort Maldives

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Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the signing of a management agreement for Radisson Blu Resort Maldives with Chang Hua Holdings.

Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019, the property is one of the most anticipated new developments in Maldives in addition to being the first Radisson Blu resort in the market.

Located on the southern part of Maldives’ Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, Radisson Blu Resort Maldives is situated 105 kilometers from Male International Airport. The hotel is accessible within a 30-minute seaplane journey or by a domestic flight from the Maamigili Airport, followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride to the resort.

Featuring 128 exclusive villas including family villas, and a premium overwater villa, the resort is set to strike a balance between stylish contemporary design and a truly Maldivian resort experience with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.

Hilton Brings Unforgettable Waldorf Astoria Experience to the Maldives

Hilton to bring Waldorf Astoria experience to the Maldives

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Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has announced the signing of a management agreement with Ithaafushi Investments for the brand’s first new-build resort in the Maldives. Located on the exclusive South Male Atoll, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives will be the second hotel in the Maldives for Hilton, adding to a total of 11 Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts properties open or under development in Asia Pacific.

“Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts continues to deliver on its mission to be the world’s fastest growing, most innovative luxury hotel brand, expanding its global footprint with landmark signings in iconic destinations,” said John Vanderslice, global head, luxury and lifestyle brands, Hilton.

“Waldorf Astoria Maldives will set a new standard for Maldivian luxury, offering global travellers first class accommodations in a unique and inspirational environment where they can experience our bespoke True Waldorf Service, while enjoying an unforgettable getaway in the Indian Ocean.”

Hilton Brings Unforgettable Waldorf Astoria Experience to the MaldivesSpanning three islands in the South Male Atoll, approximately 23 kilometres from Velana International Airport, about 20 minutes away from the Maldivian capital of Male, Waldorf Astoria Maldives will offer the best of both worlds – an exclusive, charming escape with easy access to the mainland. The resort will boast 10 dining outlets, including nine specialty restaurants, providing guests with a selection of unique experiences.

“We are thrilled to continue our luxury expansion in Asia by introducing Waldorf Astoria in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. With magnificent natural beauty and an amazing underwater world, the Maldives remains an inspirational choice for world travellers today,” said Guy Phillips, senior vice president of development – Asia & Australasia, Hilton.

The Maldives is famous for its natural beauty and world-renowned dive sites. Consisting of approximately 1,190 islands and sandbanks, encircled by a lagoon of crystal clear water, it is home to exclusive and spectacular underwater life. In addition to the extensive range of water-based adventure sport available, other activities, include exploring island villages, sourcing local handicrafts, visiting the National Museum and watching cultural performances. With its unspoiled beauty and rich and vibrant culture, the Maldives is a perfect getaway.

AVANI Fares Maldives

Avani to debut in the Maldives with development of Avani Fares Resort

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AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the development of its first resort in the Maldives. AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will be located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll and is scheduled to open in Q4 2019.

This $70 million (£54 million) resort development is a joint venture partnership between Minor Hotels and Cyprea Group. Cyprea Group’s diversified Sri Lanka and Maldives business portfolio includes ownership and operation of Club Med Kani Maldives Resort located in North Male’ Atoll.

Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts said: “The AVANI design philosophy is interestingly relaxed and contemporary and in tune with the environment of this development, using natural textures, colours and materials that reflect the location whilst incorporating advanced technology and modern conveniences.” The new upscale AVANI Fares Maldives Resort will comprise 200 guest rooms, including standard rooms and a selection of villas.

On arrival guests will immediately be welcomed by an arresting view of the Indian Ocean from the open plan lobby. This communal living space will blend reception, lounge, meeting space, all day restaurant and The Pantry, an AVANI hallmark, will serve a mix of comfort food and artisanal deli snacks around the clock.

The resort will also feature a speciality restaurant, AVANISPA, AVANI Kids Club and a large communal swimming pool and pool bar. The nearby Ahivahfushi Beyru dive site offers amazing reef diving with a plethora of sea life including Hawksbill Turtles, Reef Sharks and Manta Rays. It’s an underwater Eden for snorkellers and scuba enthusiasts.

AVANI Hotels & Resorts was launched in 2011 as a sister brand to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, which currently has three resorts in the Maldives, including Anantara Kihavah which is also located in the Baa Atoll . Offering all the details that matter, AVANI blends genuine hospitality and modern lifestyle features with a passion for design. The brand already has a presence in the Indian Ocean with two resorts in Sri Lanka and one in the Seychelles.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa introduces new villas

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This year, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is excited to offer families more space and couples more privacy with the launch of two new luxury villa categories, including the resort’s first two-bedroom family villas and more villas with private pools.

Since the five-star resort welcomed its first guests in 2009 it has undergone several refurbishments to offer guests the ultimate luxury Maldivian experience and this latest project, expected to finish in October 2017, is no different.

Hadahaa’s renovation work is currently underway and will take place in two phases while the stunning Maldivian resort stays open to guests. Once complete, guests will have the choice of six room categories, including the new Deluxe Park Pool Villas and 2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas. In addition to the resort’s babysitting, yoga, snorkelling and junior PADI diving already offered for children, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa will launch a brand-new family offering, including daily kids activities, new kids’ welcome packs and a complimentary babysitting service to allow parents to enjoy some quality time as a couple. These additional family offerings will compliment these new villas, which are ideal for families looking for a holiday in the Maldives.

Park Hyatt Maldives HadahaaDeluxe Park Pool Villas
With an additional 100 square metres of space, the eight new Deluxe Park Pool Villas will offer guests a more spacious and luxurious experience than Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa’s existing Park Pool Villas. Nestled within natural lush vegetation, the new 265 square-metre timber and stone villas will boast floor-to-ceiling windows and a private outdoor bathroom, with a terrazzo bathtub and rain shower. The villa’s very own plunge pool and semi submerged sunbeds will offer guests the ideal place to cool off in ultimate comfort, surrounded by peaceful and idyllic surrounds. Guests can relax and enjoy an intimate evening drink in the villa’s tranquil outdoor seating area or take advantage of the soft sandy beach with two loungers just a few steps away via a private pathway.

2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas
For the first time, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is delighted to offer families the chance to stay at the resort under the same roof, with the introduction of three new 2 Bedroom Park Pool Villas. Set within Maldivian greenery, these villas will include a second bedroom with twin beds and an additional bathroom, so families can enjoy precious time away together, without compromising on space, style, luxury or comfort. Both bedrooms are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows and the master bedroom features a king bed with an outdoor terrazzo bathtub and rain shower. The private plunge pool is perfect for children to play in, while parents can relax on the two semi submerged sunbeds or cosy up with a book in the outdoor seating area. With private beach access, fun and games in the sand and sea are only a stone’s throw away.

Park Hyatt Maldives HadahaaWith these exciting new villa options and much more planned to accommodate families, there has never been a better time to take time out for a family holiday and visit Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.

Dhigali Maldives

Universal unveils Dhigali Maldives resort

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Dhigali, the newest island resort from Universal Resorts matches contemporary luxury with the pure natural beauty of the Maldives.

Located in the Raa Atoll, the resort brings modern minimalist design to this wonderfully remote part of the Maldives.

The resort is just a 45- minute journey by seaplane from Malé Airport; domestic flights from Ifuru/Dharavandhoo Airport, are also available and including transfer by speedboat, take just 70 minutes.

Surrounded by a pristine coral reef and crystal clear lagoon, this 5 star sanctuary invites guests to cast away in unspoilt luxury and rich Maldivian culture.

dhigali.com

Grand Park Kodhipparu

Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives now open

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Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, the latest all-villa luxury resort has opened. A one-island-one-resort concept with luxury villas, the new destination resort is rightly being described as ‘paradise on earth’.

Each of the 120 villas and communal areas at Grand Park Kodhipparu have been carefully designed by renowned hospitality experts Hirsch Bedner Associates
Each of the 120 villas and communal areas at Grand Park Kodhipparu have been carefully designed by renowned hospitality experts Hirsch Bedner Associates and draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the Maldives its marine life and unique local craft and culture. Guestrooms are light and contemporary with a rustic feel featuring
timber flooring, handmade carpets and textured walls.

Each of the 120 villas and communal areas at Grand Park Kodhipparu have been carefully designed by renowned hospitality experts Hirsch Bedner Associates
Bespoke lighting and custom-made tiling and cushions provide a sense of relaxed luxury that blends perfectly with the surroundings. The public areas, including the main lobby, bar and restaurants feature high ceilings, wooden pillars and open walls, allowing the beauty of the island to form the perfect backdrop without the need for ostentation.


With 120 luxurious villas, of which 65 feature private pools, Grand Park Kodhipparu offers guests a variety of choices. Beach Pool, Ocean Water, Lagoon Water, Ocean Pool and Lagoon Pool Water villas offer direct access to beach or water. All villas come with sunrise or sunset views, a sun terrace, indoor and outdoor shower facilities and more. Those looking for ultimate privacy can select one of the five Grand Residences featuring two bedrooms and bathrooms, an exclusive living space and large private pool.


Additionally, the resort features a beach club, fitness centre, yoga deck, games room, TV lounge as well as a kid’s club.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveils new water suites

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Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has unveiled their much-anticipated water villas; two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom suites and the family water villas. The new accommodations are now open for booking.

Each of the new water villas offers luxurious indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, vast wooden decks with shaded loungers, overwater hammock nets, infinity pools, direct lagoon access and lightly air-conditioned interiors featuring designs inspired by the vibrant colours of Kuda Huraa.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe Two-Bedroom Water Suite give guests the choice to choose their layout; swim towards the horizon or float adjacent to it with two different pool and deck orientations; parallel and perpendicular to the sea. The Three-Bedroom Water Suite is designed to let guests live their fantasy escape through private spa treatments and yoga in the comfort of their own ocean-view deck.

Finally, the new Family Water Villa is designed to keep everyone in the family delighted, said the resort. Guests can keep a close eye on their little ones in the gorgeous sunken children”s room located a step down from the lounge with a wall of windows framing the endless turquoise lagoon beyond.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe enchanting garden island of Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies a half-hour speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, offering 96 thatched beach and water villas. In addition to the Island Spa sanctuary located on its own private island, Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has four restaurants and two bars that are complemented by private dining options, including sandbank barbeques and private over-water gazebos.

Kanuhura Maldives

Kanuhura Maldives relaunches with new design concept

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A collection of three islands within the heart of the Indian Ocean, the reimagined iconic Kanuhura resort in the Maldives has undergone a $42 million design overhaul. Kanuhura relaunches with a nautical bohemian design concept that has revitalised the resort’s identity alongside a well thought out fitness offering.

With the guests’ island experience of paramount importance, the new nautical bohemian design caters to a generation who are defined by a desire for experiencing true escapism, driven by success and appreciation for the finer things in life. The concept welcomes reimagined, lime washed villas and suites, displaying refreshing simplicity and elegant touches throughout. Each of the 80 rooms are capacious, furnished with natural materials with a touch of refinement and modernised design for larger families with teenagers and young adults in mind.

3Focusing on an active lifestyle offering, the Kokaa Spa at Kanuhura has recently been recognised as one of the world’s best spas in National Geographic’s Spa & Wellness Collection, featuring a signature Marma therapy; a therapy that concentrates on releasing the energy from 103 pressure points on the body. Kanuhura is also home to the Kanuhura Martial Arts Academy, Project South, a project led by former two-time world Muay Thai Champion Irashaad Sayed.

The unique cluster of the three islands are in a special part of the Atoll, recognised as a Maldivian sanctuary with favourable sea currents surrounded by the island’s expanse of lush vegetation. The main island of Kanuhura Maldives is home to the resort’s villas and activities while Jehunuhura Island is just a short two-minute boat ride away across translucent Indian Ocean. Located amongst the indigenous pandanus trees for a true barefoot experience Jehununhura plays host to Drift restaurant. Finally, Kanuhura’s third neighbouring island is Masleggihura, which allows guests to escape from reality with just the lapping waves, sea herons and hermit crabs for company.

Mr Hauck on the three islands says “We offer everything from total escapism and tranquillity on Masleggihura island to a 300-metre sea swim to Jehunuhura island, a 2.25km round island run on Kanuhura and soon to be launched Project South which will be the first martial arts academy in the Maldives led by two-time world Muay Thai champion, Irshaad Sayed.”

In the heart of Kanuhura Maldives guests can discover local culinary master classes at A Mano. Translating to “touched by the hand”, an ethos celebrated throughout every aspect of the island’s kitchen, all produce used on the island is free range, seasonal and sourced from small local farmers and producers honouring traditional home cooking. The design of the kitchen fully embraces all that is handmade and natural, with lime washed timbers, local stones, woven fabrics and handmade ceramics.

www.kanuhura.com/en

New hotel openings in 2017

Exciting hotel openings in 2017

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For the luxury traveller, this year is playing host to the opening of a plethora of exciting and truly spectacular openings, with hotels going to even greater lengths to cater for the ever-growing needs of the discerning holidaymaker.

From a former Presidential Palace in the hot destination of Vientiane, Laos to a stunning new spa destination in the ancient forests of Langkawi – here are some of the hottest hotels opening in 2017…

President by AKARYN, Laos – opening March
Rather than refer to the property as the group’s first hotel in Laos, the team at AKARYN prefer to describe it as Laos’ first hotel. An aura of timeless style and elegance pervades each of the 32 guest rooms and suites with an individual butler to be called upon whenever guests require assistance.

New hotel openings in 2017

The President by AKARYN has also been selected by the United Nations-led ASIA Geographical Indication (GI) programme as its main partner. In line with its sustainable approach to business growth and destination development, AKARYN Hotel Group will give back to local communities through sustainable sources of local income to promote sustainable living and tourism.

The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi – opening July
Marking The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi as a new spa destination, the spa will have the only overwater treatment rooms with a Hammam on the island. As part of the launch, the resort will be launching a comprehensive wellness/lifestyle programme, inviting guests to relax and indulge in their locally inspired treatments, which have thoughtfully been created to draw upon the rich cultural elements of Langkawi.

New hotel openings in 2017

With white sandy beaches stretching between the Andaman Sea and a million-year old rainforest as a backdrop, The Ritz -Carlton, Langkawi blends in beautifully with its surroundings. It was designed to reflect a traditional kampong village with 90 guest rooms and 30 villas, three swimming pools, a locally inspired spa, international restaurants and three meeting and wedding venues.

Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection – Opens March
Sister hotel to the legendary Domes of Elounda, the Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection is an 83 room and suites, adults-only, beachfront boutique hotel. This brand new Exactly Like Nothing Else experiential hotel in Chania, complete with a buzzy atmosphere, is a must visit destination for all likeminded travellers, who crave relaxation, a fun environment, in a chic, ultra-stylish surrounding.

New hotel openings in 2017

Akyra Beach Club Phuket, Thailand – opened December 2016
Though each resort is distinctive in its own right, Aleenta Phuket and akyra Beach Club Phuket combine to offer guests an unrivalled leisure and dining destination while also retaining the charm of a secluded beachside enclave. The location feels a world away from the well-trodden beaches of Phuket and sits comfortably between multi-million dollar private homes and local fishing communities.

New hotel openings in 2017

Custom designed to lift the spirit and calm the soul, the akyra Beach Club Phuket boasts 59 luxurious rooms and stylish stand-alone villas with generous living spaces, branded amenities and a profusion high-end inclusions. Leading edge resort facilities include a beach spa and fully equipped gym and the resort’s integrated beach club offers guests a choice of refined waterfront dining options as they recline in cushioned cabanas or laze on luxury loungers surrounding an enticing beachfront pool.

Hurawalhi – Opened December 2016
Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives, is unparalleled, extraordinary and utterly original. Environmentally innovative, a breath-taking Undersea Restaurant, a tropical Champagne Pavilion, stylish Villas and an adults-only policy – Hurawalhi offers its own take on Paradise. Just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Male’, here are a distinctive collection of superbly designed, exclusive and supremely spacious Villas strung across the glittering lagoon – perfectly positioned so that guests can enjoy exquisite sunset panoramas. And with dining options that include on the beach, over the water, and even under the water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible.

Hurawalhi Maldives

Hurawalhi Island Maldives - an example of sustainability in hospitality in action

Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives set for December opening

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The environmentally innovative Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives – with an undersea restaurant, champagne pavilion and stylish villas – is opening in December.

Just a 40-minute seaplane flight from Male, here are a distinctive collection of superbly designed, exclusive and supremely spacious villas strung across the glittering lagoon – perfectly positioned, so that all guests can enjoy either sunrise or sunset panoramas. And with dining options that include on the beach, over the water, and even under the water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible.

Hurawalhi Island Resort

Offering 90 Villas including 60 Ocean Villas and 30 Beach Villas, the residences are stylishly and beautifully conceived featuring soothing décor, sumptuous linens on king size beds, bleached wooden floors, and private terraces with panoramic views.

With a strong environmental focus, Hurawalhi Island Resort gives back to the Maldives as much as it gets. Using solar panels, its own water bottling plant, energy saving solutions, hot water recovery and an in-house marine biologist, Hurawalhi Island Resort’s eco credentials are the finest in the Maldives. In addition, Hurawalhi Island Resort is collaborating with WiseOceans, the marine conservation and education specialists.

Hurawalhi Island Resort

The scene-stealer is the undersea restaurant, named ‘5.8 Undersea’, which is surrounded by out of this world marine views. The minimalist-designed restaurant keeps the focus outside; and keeps the focus on exclusivity and privacy – every table is set for just two.

Dazzling white sands, cyan-blue seas, spectacular undersea life, and incredible sunsets – the opening of the extraordinary Hurawalhi Island Resort ensures that this destination will remain unmissable in the years to come.

Kanuhura, Maldives will open its doors 1 December 2016

Kanuhura in Maldives to open doors 1 December

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Located on one of the most unique and unspoilt beaches in the Maldives, Kanuhura will reopen its doors on 1 December, following an 18-month closure and multi-million pound renovation.

The resort will have a bohemian and Gypset spirit, appealing to those travellers seeking laid-back island living. To reflect the essence of the island, Erin Wasson, international supermodel and jewellery designer has been chosen to be the face of Kanuhura, Maldives. Just 35 minutes from Malé International Airport by seaplane, this private island resort will offer 94 elegant villas and suites, all situated along the beach or on pilings above the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Kanuhura in Maldives to open doors 1 December

All villas and suites will have sea views, with either direct access to their own private beach area, or a wooden staircase leading straight into the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. The interiors will feature colourful soft furnishings, complete with soft lighting, timber flooring and delicate scents that permeate a holistic sanctuary throughout the resort.

Once open, Kanuhura will offer guests a wide selection of dining options, bars and activities to include yoga, fishing, watersports, tennis and a spa and wellness centre. The Kokaa Spa and Wellness Retreat will be an exclusive sanctuary for those seeking the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. Elegant, nature-inspired décor, delicate scents, soft fabrics and the purest ingredients will combine to uplift the body and mind.

Kanuhura in Maldives to open doors 1 December

The spa will feature six single and three couples treatment rooms, an outdoor beachside spa pavilion, beauty salon, sauna, steam room and cold plunge pool, as well as a fully equipped state of the art gym, aerobics and hatha yoga studio. Products used will be locally sourced using natural marine elements from the Indian Ocean.

Guests at Kanuhura will also have exclusive access to Jehunuhura private island, whereby a pristine sandy beach and a small manicured ‘jungle’ landscape will give a true Robinson Crusoe feel to this little piece of paradise. Guests will be able to eat lunch or dinner or experience private spa treatments and yoga sessions on the island, accessible only by boat from the resort.

Kanuhura in Maldives to open doors 1 December

Kanuhura has its own Marine Biology Research Centre, which is dedicated to coral reef ecology and conservation, through an ambitious and extensive research programme. Guests of all ages will be encouraged to participate and interact with the onsite marine biologist to learn about what they do and to raise awareness of the ocean conservation.

kanuhura.com/en/

Jean-Michel Gathy

Project Spotlight: Jean-Michel Gathy and One&Only

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Jean-Michel Gathy, the pioneering Principal Designer at Denniston Architects, is continuing to bring his awe-inspiring design and architectural innovations to One&Only Resorts with some exciting developments in the pipeline for 2017 and beyond.

Jean-Michel Gathy, the world-renowned architect has been tasked to design the first One&Only resort in China, One&Only Sanya, and also their inaugural resort in Europe, One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro, as well as enhancing and developing his iconic design of One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives.

One&Only Sanya, China
Scheduled to open in 2017 on the island of Hainan, One&Only Sanya will command enviable views of azure waters from over 380 metres of private coastline and over 11 hectares of coconut palms set amidst dramatic water gardens throughout the resort. The vision of the resort will reflect the local culture of the region bringing a sense of destination both indoors and out, enhanced by his inspired contemporary twists and ideal for the traveller seeking ultimate luxury. Red will be a prominent colour throughout the resort, in homage to the Chinese sentiment for the colour, with playful touches such as a red lacquered piano. The interior design throughout the resort will be lively and animated with an evident art deco theme in the bar and Chinese restaurant.

Jean-Michel Gathy, the pioneering Principal Designer at Denniston Architects, is continuing to bring his awe-inspiring design to One&Only

The resort will feature 190 luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas, to be situated either within the main Manor House or Mansions, as well as a varied collection of restaurants, bars and private dining spaces. “My role is to serve the market and I have considered this in all aspects of the design of One&Only Sanya,” Jean-Michel Gathy commented.

One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
Scheduled to open in 2018, the resort will be located at the entrance to Boka Bay, boasting stunning views over the Adriatic Sea and will offer approximately 120 luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas over 58 acres, a prestigious residential component, a world class Marina, dining and retail options, as well as an exclusive spa in partnership with Henri Chenot. Gathy and the team from Denniston International Architects are responsible for the architecture and interiors, as well as the design of the exterior spaces surrounding the resort. Jean-Michel was tasked with keeping three words in mind – luxury, space and privacy to ensure ultimate luxury is provided to guests. The country’s rich history will be reflected throughout the resort by highlighting the natural juxtaposition of elements from snow-capped mountains to undiscovered lakes and pristine coastlines.

One&Only Portonovi - image 2

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean, set on one of the largest islands in North Malé Atoll, Jean-Michel Gathy was tasked with having Reethi Rah live up to its namesake, ‘Beautiful Island’ in Dhivehi in 2005. Gathy and his team are responsible for the resort’s enhancements that are currently taking place, and ensuring the changes are in line with One&Only’s over-riding philosophies. Jean-Michel Gathy will once again bring his iconic design skills to the resort, as the enhancements include soft renovations to the resort’s villas and facilities.

Jean-Michel Gathy, the pioneering Principal Designer at Denniston Architects, is continuing to bring his awe-inspiring design to One&Only

Visit denniston.com.my

Hurawalhi Island Maldives - an example of sustainability in hospitality in action

Hurawalhi Maldives: Sustainability in tandem with luxury

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Five-star luxury and sustainability have been seamlessly integrated at Hurawalhi Island Resort – a combination worthy of making any environmentally-aware urban dweller green with envy.

In a fragile environment like the Maldives, eco-conscious operations should be the norm and this brand new island has gone the extra mile to put as much back into its surroundings as it takes out. With 60% of the island powered by solar energy, there is also a water bottling plant to substantially reduce the island’s plastic consumption, a food recycling programme and a collection of local greenhouses producing fresh produce for guests. Together these innovative elements ensure that protecting the natural environment is as high a priority as the comfort Hurawalhi provides.

Hurawalhi Maldives

The company behind Hurawalhi, Crown & Champa Resorts, wanted to make the destination as environmentally sustainable as possible. At every step of the development process reducing the project’s carbon footprint was a key consideration. In what they have achieved at Hurawalhi, Crown & Champa has proved it’s possible to care for the environment without sacrificing elegance, luxury and a highly personalised approach to service.

Hurawalhi Maldives

Once finished, the island will boast 4,243m² of solar panels – approximately the size of 26 volleyball courts! Crucially, this technology has been seamlessly integrated into the resort’s architecture by New York-based architect, Yuji Yamazaki, who has successfully turned power generation into a stylish design feature. The panels are state of the art in design and are a far cry from earlier units; the panels at Hurawalhi sport a futuristic-looking appearance which contributes to the contemporary ambience. Rather than clashing with the environment, they make a welcome addition to Hurawalhi’s chic appearance.

Hurawalhi Maldives

Another step Hurawalhi has taken in order to minimise its environmental footprint is to monitor the island’s food supply and production. Owen Ealden, the island’s Food and Beverage Director, is a strong advocate of healthy and sustainable living and summarises Hurawalhi’s theme of eco-consciousness in a single sentence, ‘We want to focus on three areas: healthy people, healthy planet and healthy local communities.’ Hurawalhi has its own water bottling plant, reducing the plastic consumption of the island by using only glass bottles supplied by nearby sister island Kuredu and all restaurants only offer organic and biodynamic produce, allowing guests to enjoy wholesome and good nutrition, which is not only healthy, but also beneficial to the environment. Food waste is processed into fertilizers to use in Hurawalhi’s greenhouse, a process powered entirely by solar energy. The resort also strives for maximum food transparency and thoughtfully sourced produce, favouring local suppliers whenever possible, which gives guests a chance to sample something new.

Hurawalhi Maldives

Hurawalhi has a desalination system which filters sea-water and turns it into clean water for drinking and cooking, as well as to supply the luxurious rainfall showers in the villas. Efficient waste management systems ensure water waste is recycled wherever possible.

All of these green initiatives demonstrate Hurawalhi’s high regard for the environment. Amongst its many other eco-projects, Hurawalhi, which is surrounded by some of the best dive sites and marine life encounters in the world, has teamed up with Wise Oceans to support marine conservation and the continued research of the local Manta ray population and is dedicated to maintaining the stunning local reefs.

hurawalhi.com

Soneva Jani, Maldives

Soneva reveals details of new Maldivian resort

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Soneva has revealed details of its Soneva Jani resort in the Maldives which is slated to open in October 2016. The brand’s newest luxury resort offering will comprise 24 water villas and one island villa, with additional island villas planned at a later stage.

Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The highlight of the resort is its location within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean.

Every water villa has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The selling point of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.

Soneva Jani, Maldives (Photo: Richard Waite)

Like all other Soneva properties, the spacious villas feature beautifully designed interiors by Eva Shivdasani, one of Soneva’s co-founders, and are made from the highest quality sustainable materials.

Soneva Jani includes 18 units of one-bedroom Water Retreats, four units of two-bedroom Water Retreats, one three-bedroom Water Retreat, 1 three-bedroom Water Reserve, and one four-bedroom Island Reserve.

In constructing the resort, Soneva kept its environmental impact as low as possible. The pools use seawater with UV filtration and the villas have been built over the sandy floors of the lagoon, with no damage to any part of the reef. Furthermore, solar PV will be a significant source of power generation at the resort, all waste-water will be collected and treated on-site, and water will also be produced on-site, including drinking water. Soneva’s Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre will ensure that waste is recycled, while the extensive vegetable garden will give local produce for the restaurants based on organic principles.

The resort’s soft opening is planned for October 1, 2016, while the official opening date is fixed at November 5, 2016.
All photography courtesy of Richard Waite

Melia Hotels

Meliá Hotels International announces new hotels in Africa, Indian Ocean and Central Asia

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Meliá Hotels International has announced the signing of three new hotels during the Arab Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) last week in Dubai…

• Gran Meliá Maldives, Indian Ocean – it will offer a mixture of luxurious private villa and guestroom living within one of the best fishing and diving destinations in the Maldives
• Meliá Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania, Africa – The first state-of-the-art sustainable hotel by MHI, the hotel will offer ‘off the grid’ living and the perfect viewpoint for the annual migration of one million blue wildebeest, lions, leopards and zebras
• Meliá Almaty, Kazakhstan, Central Asia – the first hotel to be signed by Meliá Hotels International in Kazakhstan – a wealthy country located in the heart of Eurasia (countries situated within the borders of Europe and Asia) – it will bring to life a new city hotel concept for corporate travellers and congresses

Gran Meliá Maldives
Scheduled to launch October 2017 and set amongst virgin coral reef, the Gran Meliá hotel will offer 95 private villas, including 100 rooms, as well as three restaurants, a bar and café, spa, leisure centre and several retail shops. The hotel will also be able to arrange and host exclusive private events and romantic dinners on a smaller nearby island. 66 per cent of Maldivian visitors are honeymooners or guests who wish to enjoy an idyllic beach holiday with exceptional diving.

Meliá Serengeti Lodge (Tanzania)
Meliá Serengeti Lodge, scheduled to open in June 2017, will be Meliá Hotels International first state-of-the-art sustainable hotel, located on the natural terraces on the southern slopes of Nyamuma, with spectacular views over the peaceful valley of the Mbalageti River. To be located 700 meters below the peak of Nyamuma, the hotel will offer a perfect viewpoint for the annual migration of one million blue wildebeest, lions, leopards and 250,000 zebras which pass through the valley every year in search of rains and cooler pastures.

Meliá Serengeti Lodge will sit on three natural terraces that descend from an elevated plateau, with the lodge located on the middle terrace and the hotel’s architectural design will adopt the gentle curves of the land, creating an intimate link with the vegetation and rocky outcrops. The location’s natural surroundings have inspired the design of this unique hotel, as the suites will offer a unique and privileged African experience in a secure and luxurious environment.

Melia Hotels

Meliá Serengeti Lodge will boasts 50 rooms consisting of 25 ‘Meliá Forest’ rooms, 23 ‘Meliá Hills’ rooms and two ‘Serengeti Suites’. The lounges and restaurants will overlook sunny terraces around an infinity pool with pool bar, barbecue patios, with stone and foliage strategically planted and designed to ensure a cool and attractive environment.

Meliá Almaty (Kazakhstan)
Meliá Almaty is the first hotel to be signed by Meliá Hotels International in Kazakhstan. The hotel will be situated amongst the mountains of Tien Shan, Altay, and Ulytau, a winter sports paradise. Kazakhstan is blessed with vast natural resources of oil, gas and mines; as well as traditional cultural attractions that illuminate the relationship between the Kazakh people and nomadic tribes, influenced by the Russian occupation in the 18th century. In 2013, the country received five million visitors and this is expected to grow to eight million by 2024.

Meliá Hotels

Meliá Hotels International will launch a hotel specialising in corporate travel and congresses in Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan until 1997, as it is the largest city in the country, which aims to become one of the top 30 economies in the world by 2050.

Meliá Almaty will open in 2018, providing 250 rooms, including 50 Suites and Junior Suites. The hotel will boast cutting-edge architectural design through a steel and glass structure that will also home a restaurant, bar, lounge, spa and fitness centre, as well as meeting rooms.