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Maldives Travel

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Assalaamu alaikum (hello!) and welcome to Maldives Monthly

Tourism update - Maldives secures the titles of World’s Leading Destination for second year running

In 2021, the Maldives welcomed 1.3 million tourists, despite the hardships of the ongoing global pandemic, and 2022 is hopefully a year of many more visitors.

Late last year, the country of Maldives secured the title of World’s Leading Destination for the second year running, at the World Travel Awards 2021. 

Established in 1993, World Travel Awards is the most prestigious honors program in global travel.  The award is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence. The distinguished award is of great value to the destination, especially as it was achieved during such a challenging time. Maldives won the title by competing against 18 destinations including Dubai, Indonesia, Spain, Vietnam, USA and Greece. The unique geographical formation of the Maldivian islands and the one-island-one-respect-concept makes Maldives one of the safest destinations to travel to, and a safe haven for all travellers.

Maldives also won 4 awards in the Indian Ocean category at World Travel Awards: Indian Ocean's Leading Destination 2021, Indian Ocean's Leading Beach Destination, Indian Ocean's Leading Dive Destination 2021, Indian Ocean's Leading Tourist Board 2021. The destination has also won the famed Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination award 14 times within the last 18 years.

Saving the beaches of the Maldives

The idyllic destination of the Maldives makes headlines regularly for its stunning scenery and unparalleled luxury – but lately it’s been making headlines for worrying reasons. Whilst many of us have the destination on our travel bucket lists, it may get crossed off by climate change rather than by many of us taking that trip of a lifetime.

One local organisation committed to saving their pristine island home is Save the Beach. Save the Beach was founded in 2008 by a local Villingili man, conservationist Hassan Ahmed, alongside the youth of the area, when he noticed the reefs dying. As a youth movement in Vilingili the organisation began coordinating beach and reef cleaning events which saw members of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), the Maldives Police Services, many government and private offices, environment and other NGOs, schools, dive centres and public officials participate. Now registered as a Non-Government Organisation, Save the Beach has carried out various successful projects and programmes with the aim of conserving and maintaining the beaches and reefs of Villingili and Maldives, constantly lobbying for the protection of the beaches and reefs.

One&Only Reethi Rah launches plant-based concept restaurant and menu, and stages a high fashion swimwear takeover

Last month, ultra-luxury, all-villa resort One&Only Reethi Rah launched ‘Botanica with Matthew Kenney’ in partnership with the globally celebrated chef who is renowned for being a pioneer in plant-based, sustainable cuisine. Hailing from the USA, Chef Kenney has garnered many accolades and accomplishments, including authoring twelve cookbooks and founding the world’s first classically structured raw-food culinary academy; the Food Future Institute. As one of One&Only Reethi Rah’s seven diverse dining outlets, Botanica boasts an abundant vegetable and herb garden in a blissful environment that embodies the natural beauty of the island and offers the perfect stage for Chef Kenney’s menu. Guests can look forward to a completely plant-based dining experience curated by Chef Kenney whilst enveloped in Botanica’s lush and atmospheric outdoor gardens. Complementing the restaurant’s garden-to-table concept, the new menu will feature natural and local ingredients at their peak, such as king oyster mushrooms, summer squash, and banana flowers. Whether dining in the idyllic al fresco potager or surrounded by the colourful entourage of the Orchid House, Chef Kenney’s fresh flavours pair perfectly with Botanica’s Gin Bar which offers a selection of 34 gins from around the world.

Separately to this, One&Only Reethi Rah is excited to collaborate with high-end lifestyle brands Melissa Odabash and Orlebar Brown in an exclusive takeover of their NEO Beach Boutique. The collaboration sees both brands partnering with the resort to offer guests a tailored and one-of-a-kind shopping experience to perfect their holiday style in paradise.

This exciting six-month takeover cultivates the ongoing partnership between One&Only Reethi Rah and Melissa Odabash, whose swimwear and collections have been credited with introducing high fashion into resort-wear and are truly iconic in the bikini world. From the inception of the brand in 1999, Melissa Odabash has come to epitomise the desirability and sophistication of a luxury lifestyle brand whose collections are developed to sculpt and enhance the female silhouette.

Alongside this collaboration comes a pair of exclusive One&Only Reethi Rah swim shorts specially designed and curated by Orlebar Brown, inspired by the resort’s tropical private island setting. Highly regarded in the world of men’s swimwear, Orlebar Brown’s collections offer a range of colours, designs and prints to suit every personality.

Synonymous with luxury living and getaways, One&Only Reethi Rah provides the perfect setting for guests to unwind and indulge in a touch of high fashion. The NEO Boutiques offer curated collections of unique and luxury brands for guests’ effortlessly stylish wardrobe, from Camilla Australia kaftans and coveted Zimmermann dresses to luxury kids’ wear by Stella McCartney and Yana jewellery crafted exclusively for the resort.

Vakkaru Maldives named #1 favourite family hotel in 2021 Conde Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards

Vakkaru Maldives is delighted to have been named the No. 1 Favourite Family Hotel (International category) in the Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards 2021. This is the fourth prestigious award the luxury resort has received this year, after winning three accolades at the World Travel Awards 2021.

Since opening in 2017, the resort has been committed to creating new initiatives for purposeful family activities in response to current trends in travel. Children and teens are generously catered for in the Parrotfish Club and Coconut Club respectively, with a host of arts and crafts for the little ones and games like pool, table tennis and football for the older ones. At the Junior Tennis Clinic by Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis, world-renowned tennis players are brought together for residencies at Vakkaru so kids can improve their game under the tutelage of pros, or take on their parents for a friendly match. Families can also learn to snorkel and dive, and discover the marvels of the underwater world from the resident marine biologist. 

Vakkaru excels at offering unique family-friendly dining experiences. From meals in the Organic Farm whilst learning about organic gardening, horticulture and nature from the resort’s head gardener, to cooking classes with Vakkaru’s culinary team designed to educate kids on organic cooking and nutrition. For the more adventurous, families can dine together on a remote stretch of Vakkaru’s powder-soft coral beach, or sail to the private sandbank for a full castaway experience. Children’s wellbeing and happiness is a top priority at Vakkaru, which is why the resort’s Merana Spa offers family yoga sessions and bonding experiences such as ‘Mother and Daughter’ or ‘Father and Son’ spa packages developed to help children relax whilst on holiday. 

Until next month, dhanee! (goodbye)

Explore the Maldives




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