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CROSSROADS Maldives Redefines The Islands’ Vacation Experience

January 30, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Ask most people what images the Maldives conjures and chances are its cerulean seas, palm-fringed bays and overwater villas will top the bill. The Indian Ocean archipelago is also often described as the holiday destination of a lifetime — a kind reference to its reputation as an ultra-luxury bolthole that is considered beyond the reach of many travellers.

A brand-new development is, however, redefining this perception. By reviving the islands’ rich history as a meeting point for people from all walks of life, CROSSROADS Maldives is set to introduce the one-time exclusive Maldivian experience to a new generation of 21st-century explorers.

Managed by S Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality arm of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, the Maldives’ first “one-stop, non-stop” lifestyle destination comprises iconic oceanfront resorts, upscale lifestyle outlets and entertainment offerings, as well as the stunning natural, cultural and nautical attractions.

Offering travellers a wholly original resort experience on the tropical archipelago is the Maldives debut of the world-renowned Hard Rock Hotel brand and the first Curio Collection by Hilton property in the Maldives. The 178-key Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will feature family suites, beach villas and one and two-bedroom overwater villas complete with stunning views, infinity pools and legendary amenities, while SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton caters to couples, families and friends in search of a playful destination getaway with its 198 guestrooms and stunning variety of villas.

The resorts, scheduled to welcome their first guests in June 2019, command dedicated islands, both of which offer direct access to the array of leisure and lifestyle options at The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the centrepiece — and heartbeat — of the development.

“Only fifteen minutes by boat from Malé International Airport, the lifestyle island combines world-renowned restaurants and retail outlets with cultural activities, an iconic beach club and leading-edge events hall — all centred around the eponymous luxury yacht marina,” says Martin van der Reijden, Vice President of Operations, CROSSROADS Maldives.

Many of the retail outlets and restaurants at The Marina @ CROSSROADS are located along the expansive, breezy boardwalk, including the culinary delights of Sri Lankan chef Dharshan Munidasa’s Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi, both of which are listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2018. The island really comes to life as the sun plunges into the Indian Ocean. From the live sounds of Hard Rock Cafe to the laid-back beats at the iconic Café del Mar beach club – both firsts for the Maldives – a day at The Marina @ CROSSROADS caters to all tastes.

From international cuisine to local culture, a considerable onus is placed on promoting the Maldives’ heritage. At the Maldives Discovery Centre, visitors are given a window into the world of their host nation and its inhabitants that aims to enlightening guests on the history, handicrafts time-honoured traditions that have shaped the islands over the centuries.

Local culture also plays a key role in the design and style throughout the CROSSROADS Maldives development. Designed with an eye towards days gone by, and mindful of the natural environment, CROSSROADS Maldives, much like the archipelago’s history, showcases a rich tapestry of colourful and cultural influences.

“The references of the far-flung cultures that for centuries traded in Maldives have been tastefully mixed with local identity and seafaring flair to shape the playful design philosophy at CROSSROADS Maldives,” says Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Hospitality Officer, S Hotels & Resorts. “We’ve looked at the past to present our vision of the future of tourism in the Maldives; a future that will focus on inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability.”

The sustainable practices however go beyond action to incorporate education, which is where Marine Discovery Centre plays such a vital role. Located within The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the Marine Discovery Centre aims to educate and inspire both the local community and resort guests on how they can make a difference. Experts will educate visitors on the diversity of local marine flora, fauna and wildlife, and the latest coral propagation programmes, including coral transplantation activities and the ‘3R concept’: Recruit, Rehabilitation, Release.

“To truly understand the Maldives is to understand the sheer significance of the sea; how it has shaped the archipelago and will continue to do so long after we have gone,” adds Dirk De Cuyper. “To underestimate our impact would be to jeopardise the future of the marine life and local communities.”

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