Glorious Gourmet Experiences at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi

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The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi offers a glorious array of gourmet experiences from around the globe and their newest offering will delight wine connoisseurs and gourmands alike. Flavour’s restaurant overlooking the radiant blue of the Indian Ocean houses The Wine Cellar. Offering 180 degree views of the ocean, this stunning wine cellar has launched its Wine Academy 2015. Created by the creative F&B team the Wine Academy offers adventurous and unique wine and food pairings, designed to stimulate the palette and create a sensory journey through the world of wine.

Wine Cellar

The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi’s wine cellar occupies an enviable position, suspended above the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Designed to satisfy the tastes of the international guests who visit the island, the wine cellar is home to almost 2000 bottles spanning 80% of the wine regions globally.

With an impressive library of vintages dating back to 1982, the wine cellar houses some extraordinary producers and unexpected gems. The sommelier team are on hand to make suggestions and guide guests through this unique collection of wines.  

Wine Academy

The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi hosts the Wine Academy which is available for all in-house guests. This private wine & canapés offers a frank and honest conversation about the best ways to sample wines. More than just a traditional tasting, this wine academy focuses on the importance of glass ware and how this can affect the taste and feel of the wines in addition to sensual food and wine pairings which offer an incredible taste adventure.

Available daily, the food and wine pairings have been carefully chosen to stimulate unusual notes and flavours in the wine. Wine and food pairings include:

–          2011 False Bay Vineyards Rose with fresh strawberries

–          NV Moet & Chandon served in a champagne glass with Claire De Lune Oyster

–          NV Moet & Chandon  served in a red burgundy glass with assorted roasted nuts

–          2012 Penfolds Koonunga Hill served in a Chablis glass with smoked salmon canapé

–          2009 Cossetti Barbera D’asti Doc served with beef bresaola

–          NV Trivento Birds & Bees Sweet Wine with spicy chicken supreme & chocolate macaroon

Wine Cellar Dinner

In addition to the incredible wine Academy, The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi also hosts an 8 course dinner which takes place in the wine cellar overlooking the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by old and new wines, this dinner is a must try for wine lovers.

F&B Director Ian Lovie brings his unique gourmet experience from both East and West to blend seasonal produce and local seafood combined with the highest culinary standards. This remote island experience pairs wines of the world with exquisite French inspired cuisine. Be guided through a mouth-watering journey of 8 carefully considered courses such as :

Pate De Campagne

Country pate, figs cornichons, toast with 2009 JLS Cuvee Traditionnelle, Gewurztraminer – France

Flétan

Spanish Jack, Artichokes, extra virgin, basil, tomatoes, lemon juice, pink sea salt with 2012 Laurenz V Singing – Gruner Veltliner – Austria

The wine pairings are inspired by the freshest of produce from the finest Australian Blackmore Beef to Line caught Tuna infused with Himalayan Black salt and fresh vegetables from the markets of Bangkok.

Lovie notes, “Our gourmet is paired with fine wines from around the globe, both world renowned wines and boutique wineries from the new world have a place at our mahogany table overlooking the Indian Ocean.”

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Centara Maldives Stretching the Mind and the Body

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Wellness and fitness are becoming more integral dimensions in many people’s lives.  Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives also believes that they are important parts of the overall holiday experience.  In order to help balance the mind and soul, Centara Grand Maldives has introduced their new award winning and internationally recognised Yoga and Fitness instructor, Dr. Lijoy Raj.

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives’ fitness and wellness program will involve Dr. Raj in a wide range of activities designed to assist guests, of all ages, as well as staff.  A variety of yoga sessions will be available for guests, which include Yoga Therapy, Dynamic Yoga, Relaxation and Meditation, Anti-Aging Yoga, Yoga for Scuba Divers, Kids Yoga and much more. Private sessions are available with Dr. Raj for those who wish an individualized experience where Dr. Raj will suggest and chart ways to relieve ailments through yoga and lifestyle changes.

With a Ph.D. in naturopathy and yoga, Dr. Raj started his career as Treatment Assistant at the Holy Cross Nature Cure and Yoga Centre in India, and gained a great deal of expertise in the treatment of acute and chronic diseases, employing techniques derived from both disciplines.

After completing a teacher’s training course in yoga from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram in Kerala, he joined the organisation as a fulltime Hatha yoga teacher, after which he worked as a freelance yoga trainer in and round Kerala.

In addition to Dr. Raj’s numerous qualifications, he is highly-reputed yoga teacher with an internationally-recognised ID card from the International Yoga Federation; and has worked within the Federation, as well as at a variety of international hotel chains and resorts.

AGGRESSIVE SPECIES OF FISH COMMONLY FOUND IN MALDIVES

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Underwater coral gardens and marine lives are one of the main tourist attractions in the Maldives. Most of the tourists are none divers, they discover beauty of the underwater world by snorkeling. What they don’t know is not every fish in the sea are free from harm. In fact some are deadly. You should know which fish are aggressive and how to stay safe while snorkeling. Even the aggressive fish are beautiful and with proper caution you can explore their beauty without putting yourself at risk.

Unlike snorkelers, divers are generally well aware of marine lives as they go through tests during certification. Species of fish found in different parts of the world always vary, conditions at different destinations vary too. A fish that is friendly in Maldives could be otherwise in Thailand or Egypt. Aggressive species of fish listed below are for the environment of Maldives.

Lionfish

lion fish
This is one of the most beautiful fish you can see in the Maldives. Lionfish are very rare to spot, but they are deadly if got bitten by its poisonous sting and medical care is not obtained fast. They live in the lagoon and reef as well. The fish that is about 3 – 4 inches in size, likes to protect its territory. If you come too close it would fly to you and inject its venom in your body. If you pose a threat it would protect itself. The golden rule of thumb is to keep at least 8 feet distance from the fish and be calm. They don’t proactively chase and attack people (they are not human beings).

Moray Eel

moray eel maldives
This sea creature is very common in the Maldives and there are different types of moray eels. Their teeth are razor sharp and they would only attack if you pose a threat to them or thinking you are food. Their vision is so bad that you can consider them colour blind. They live inside corals and often keep their heads out looking for something to eat. At tourist resorts they are usually friendly, tourists would go as close 4 feet. But, don’t take unwanted risks. Keep 8 feet distance and you are safe and sound.

Stingray

stingrays
Stingrays are also very common in the Maldives, especially at the resorts. They have a deadly weapon on the tail. But they would sting only on self-defense and when they do they would often go for critical parts of the body such as chest or neck. It is an amazing creature to snorkel with, just keep 8 feet distance and enjoy. You can actually go even closer but to do that you need to understand it, you should know if it is feeling safe from you. Stingrays are commonly found in the lagoon. They dig the ground and stay on shallow holes with sand on its back so that is looks camouflaged. But, you can still see its tail. If you mistakenly step on it that is dangerous. If you are walking in lagoon always look for the tail. If there is a tail there is a stingray and they can never hide tail. Unlike moray eels stingrays have a very good vision. If you see them they would see you.

Sharks

sharks in lagoon
Black tip reef shark and white tip reef shark are commonly found in lagoon and at the reef. Hammerheads and nurse shark are also found in the waters of Maldives. None of these are actually aggressive if you do not touch them. But, one thing to keep in mind is that sharks have a very bad vision and their sense of smell is extremely strong. Do not carry fish bait or blood while snorkeling; sharks could mistakenly go for you. Some of the resorts feed fish once a day, usually in the evening. Do not swim or snorkel during this time. It is dangerous. The bad vision of sharks could easily spot you as their dinner.

Sea Urchin

sea urchin
Don’t ever step on a Sea Urchin. Their pikes are razor sharp, even a gentle touch on a spike would pierce your skin and goes deep before splitting off. The spike is a very weak substance, it is very difficult to take out as it splits into pieces. It is a painful experience. Sea urchin is living creature that moves very slowly, you don’t actually see it moving but you would notice it does not necessarily stay same spot every day. Sea urchins come in a variety with attractive colours and look beautiful. Enjoy the look and take pictures, never touch in any case.

Corals

coral reef
Many types of corals of difference colours are found in the reefs. The edges are often sharp. Do not touch corals as it might cut your skin. Touching corals also harm them from growth which is very slow process. To protect coral reefs and to stay safe do not touch corals and any other marine lives, see the beauty and take pictures. In an unlikely case you ended up injured by coral, do not be careless to ignore. Any cut could easily get infected. Apply a disinfectant as soon as possible. Vinegar is a great natural disinfectant. Dive boats always carry a bottle vinegar to treat unlikely accidents.

Conclusion

For your safety follow the golden rule of keeping 8 feet from any fish in the sea. Do not touch coral or any marine lives. See the beauty and capture it with your camera, not with your fingers. Do not swim or snorkel alone, always accompany with a partner as current and waves could change in an instant. Do not take unwanted risks, wear life jacket if you are not a strong swimmer.

Baros voted as the most romantic resort for the third consecutive year

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Baros Maldives has just been officially acclaimed as the Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort 2015 by the World Travel Awards. This is the third consecutive year that this private, locally owned resort island in the Maldives has won the award.

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

The annual programme is renowned as the most prestigious and comprehensive in the travel and
tourism industry. In 2014, over 650,000 individual votes were cast by travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers.

Candidates for the 2015 World Travel Awards finals are now being assessed. As a regional winner, Baros Maldives will be judged with other resorts in the Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean, South & Central America, North America & the Caribbean, Asia & Australasia and Europe for the premium World Travel Awards at the end of the year.

In previous years, Baros Maldives was acclaimed the World’s Most Romantic Resort, 2013, and placed among the World’s Top Hotels in 2014

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Taj enhances InnerCircle loyalty program

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Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, custodian of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa and Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef resorts in Maldives, announced an all new Taj InnerCircle program with augmented features and enhancements, applicable across all brands globally.

Members stand to benefit from an enriched array of opportunities including a series of unique experiences as well as a seamless point redemption process. The reborn program now also gives the option to members to give back to society by contributing towards altruistic initiatives by donating points.

Chinmai Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces said, “We are excited to launch the “reborn” Taj InnerCircle program driven by valuable advice from our members. We feel most fortunate to have the guidance and counsel from our guests who have been loyal to Taj for generations. Our firm belief in the principles of Mutual Respecthas guided us to ensure we demonstrate our loyalty to guests who are loyal to our hotels and to our colleagues.”

No blackout dates, easy redemption process with a myriad of opportunities ranging from accommodation, restaurants, spas and no expiry of points for active members are the basic principles of the reborn Taj InnerCircle.

Taj InnerCircle will continue to remain committed to Giving Back to Society in the area of health and nutrition for under privileged children; Taj InnerCircle has empanelled NGO’s involved in this realm with a view to meaningfully assist. Staying true to its values and embedded commitment to community-Taj, through Taj InnerCircle program, will also match member contributions made towards this noble cause in the first month.

Taj InnerCircle portal has undergone a major makeover which incorporates a friendlier user interface design, new website and app. Features include a calendar of partner events, gift certificates and an endless source of inspiration for point redemptions.

Lux Maldives reinforces local support for coral reefs conservation

22 Jun 2015 – Press Release: In line with the continuous effort to safeguard the biodiversity and resilience of coral reefs throughout the South Ari Atoll, LUX* Maldives is happy to announce that its Marine Biologist Center will start implementing a coral reef monitoring project.

lux maldives

This new conservation project aims to preserve and protect the marine ecosystems around Dhidhoofinolhu island and increase the guest’s awareness about the importance to adopt sustainable environmental practices in order to protect coral reefs, the most diverse and vulnerable ecosystem in the ocean.

Our marine Biologist Chiara Mascetti, has therefore conducted a workshop regarding coral reefs and climate changes in the Maldives with the participation of Gabriel Grimsditch, Senior Project Officer at IUCN, the world’s largest environment network. She has been trained on how to recognize coral bleaching and how to collect relevant information and data in order to “help scientists and managers at a national level, to have a better understanding and general trends of health of coral reefs and to identify which parts of the reef are healthy, recovering or damaged”, explains Gabriel Grimsditch.

coral reef

“Monitoring and understanding what is happening on the reef and developing Marine Managed Areas is crucial to implement effective environmental management strategies and decide where to focus our efforts” adds Chiara Mascetti, the Marine Biologist.

LUX* Maldives has also received recently the Green Fins certification which rewards diving-centers for their environmentally friendly tourism activities. Through the implementation of the Green Fins Code of Conduct, LUX* Maldives world-class PADI Diving Center Euro-Divers will ensure to promote and encourage responsible diving behaviors towards all its guests.

lux maldives reef

“LUX* Maldives has always been highly dedicated to the principles of responsible tourism to lead the way for a brighter future. We are particularly proud to strengthen our support to local institutions and national research programmes to preserve, sustain and restore our reefs, which are home to an incredible array of wildlife”, says Shaun Dünhofen, General Manager of the resort.

LUX* Maldives’ Marine Biology Center also organizes all sorts of research programs and activities for guests of all ages to raise awareness about marine conservation in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives.

About REGENERATE Project – IUCN

The project REGENERATE, a partnership project between IUCN, USAID and the Government of the Maldives, aims at developing a Resilience-Based Management (RBM) framework to improve the ability of policy-makers and stakeholders in the Maldives to understand and address the risks from global, regional and local-scale pressures on their environment.

About Green Fins Initiative

The Green Fins initiative has been initiated by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) under the Regional Seas programme as part of the effort to increase public awareness and management practices that will benefit the conservation of coral reefs and reduce unsustainable tourism practices. It is overseen by the Coral Reef Unit of UNEP based in Bangkok in collaboration with Reef-World. Green Fins is a comprehensive approach that encourages dive centers and snorkel operators, local communities and governments to work together to reduce their environmental impacts.

Big Win for Maldives at World Travel Awards

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The award gala was attended by 150 travel industry leaders from 20 different countries. The Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination award was received on behalf of the Maldives by Abdulla Ziyath, the Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Big win for Maldives achieved on the night includes:

1. Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport: Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Maldives

2. Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination: Maldives

3. Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Resort: Lux* Maldives

4. Indian Ocean’s Leading Culinary Hotel: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

5. Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Resort: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

6. Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

7. Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel Suite: Royal Island Suite @ JA Manafaru, Maldives

8. Indian Ocean’s Leading Leisure Hotel: Hulhule Island Hotel, Maldives

9. Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Resort: Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

10. Indian Ocean’s Leading Luxury Water Villa: Ocean Suites @ Paradise Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

11. Indian Ocean’s Leading Seaplane Operator: Trans Maldivian Airways

12. Indian Ocean’s Leading Travel Agency: Get Into Maldives Travels

13. Indian Ocean’s Leading Villa Resort & Spa: Ayada Maldives

14. Indian Ocean’s Most Romantic Resort: Baros Maldives

This year’s edition of the prestigious World Travel Awards was held in Kempsinki Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare. World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

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Ithaa undersea restaurant opens for visitors from other resorts

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Dining below the surface of the sea has been a fantasy of many tourists. That may be one of the reasons so many tourists prefer Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for their Maldives holiday. Conrad Maldives is home to first undersea restaurant in Maldives. Since its launch the uniquely designed outlet became world famous, not only because it sits undersea but also of the magnificence of rich marine species living around the restaurant.

Ithaa sits 5 metres below sea level and is open for lunch and dinner. Immense number of guests wanting to experience this outstanding attraction makes pre-booking essential. If you are dreaming of an underwater culinary experience and just booked Conrad Maldives make sure you book the lunch or dinner as soon as you arrive the resort, or email to resort and pre-book.

If you don’t get chance to stay at Conrad but still want to dine at Ithaa, the reservation can be made on advance, you can process it directly with the resort or get help through your travel agent. In-house guests of Conrad Maldives gets first priority, any remaining seats are given to visitors from other resorts. Being a world famous icon the princes at Ithaa are high for ordinary traveller, but for luxury holidaymakers of Conrad class it may be reasonable. On top of the set menu price visitors from other resorts pay for their transfers. Even then, there are guests coming in seaplane to have a meal at this undersea restaurant. They say the ultimate dining experience is worth the money spent.

A dinner at Ithaa may be very romantic, perfect for an anniversary or birthday celebration with your loved one and no others as a group. Lunch is better if you want to make pictures with marine species that fly over your, day time means better brightness and clarity. Ithaa’s unique design gives you 180 degree view and marine lives such as manta ray, sharks, peacock grouper, red spanners are all at your sight. While comforting your taste buds with a menu of finest dishes you will be lost in your own dream world, magical moments and memories are made with perfection, at Ithaa restaurant in the Maldives.

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The chocolate cave of Maldives

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Ever heard of this place in Maldives? The world’s best hotel, according to Tripadvisor, is home to the only chocolate cave in the Maldives. It’s not all chocolate that is available in the cave. A huge collection of 600 varieties of wines from 30 regions are greatly enjoyed by the tourists. Cheese lovers would love this place too — some of the finest cheeses from Swiss to Holland or New Zealand are ready to go with your favourite wine.

Regular wine tasting and wine dinners take place in the cave, accompanied by the resort’s sommelier. Enriching your wine knowledge and wine selection technics are great to learn from the sommelier. If you are visiting Gili Lankanfushi don’t forget this “chocolate, cheese and wine cave”. The underground cave is a pleasing atmosphere to try new tastes. The architecture and interior design is simple but elegant and luxurious. Fineness and careful detail in everything gives you a great experience, perfect memories to take home.

OBLU at Helengeli – the divers’ paradise!

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OBLU at Helengeli diving

Maldives.net.mv – Helengeli Island, located in North Male Atoll, renowned for its exotic house reef, gets a full makeover!

Opening on 01st November 2015, the island would be re-launched as OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengli and will showcase a trendy & vibrant four star superior resort!  OBLU is a sub-brand of the up-and-coming Indian Ocean brand – Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.

The living spaces at the fully refurbished OBLU at Helengeli, presents contemporary design aesthetics whilst maintaining the quaint and cozy feel of an authentic Maldivian island holiday experience! To make it a complete package holiday, the resort would be offering a best in class All-Inclusive experience too!

OBLU at Helengeli

The unique feature of Helengeli house reef is that it lies right at a primary entrance to the Atoll, in the middle of a channel (channel on both sides of the island). Hence, fish life especially pelagic (predatory big fish like sharks, rays, barracudas, jackfish) are aplenty around the reef, year-around!

Helengeli house reef is probably one of the best locations in the Maldives for a perfect and exotic channel diving experience!

OBLU at Helengeli

An absolute highlight of the Helengeli house reef is the lobster cave at about 12 meters in depth, wherein over 50 lobsters reside! During a night dive, you can observe them swimming along the reef, looking for food. The entire reef comes alive at night with shrimps, nudibranchs, snails and crabs.

In addition to the wonderful house reef dives, two of the top dive spots near Helengeli island, are theHelengeli Thila and Helengeli Corner – just a few minutes away by boat. There are over 30 other dive sites within a 30 minute – 1 hour range including three ship wrecks!

Operated by Atmosphere Aqua Club, the OBLU dive center would be a full-fledged PADI certified center, with multi-lingual experienced dive personnel and equipped with modern equipment, technology and dive gear.

 

OBLU at Helengeli diving

Some legends just get better!