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Matt Porteous, the founder of Ocean Culture, Becomes the First Soneva Namoona Guardian

Soneva Namoona Guardian Matt Porteous

Soneva Namoona, a Soneva initiative that seeks to radically change the way the Maldives manages its waste, recently announced its first Soneva Namoona Guardian: Matt Porteous, the founder of Ocean Culture Life and the Managing Director of Studio M. Soneva Namoona is a partnership between three local islands (Maalhos, Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo), Soneva, marine plastic foundation Common Seas, and the government of the Maldives. The mission of Soneva Namoona is to design a sustainable waste management system that can benefit the whole nation and prevent plastic entering the sea. The initiative centres around the three pillars of Reduce, Recycle, Inspire. 

At the heart of Soneva Namoona is Reduce, a radical reduction in the volume of plastic arriving on the islands. Soneva assisted in the establishment of a water bottling plant on the island of Maalhos to desalinate and mineralise sea water, which is distributed in reusable glass bottles, eliminating the need for water bottled in plastic. Recycle is the second strand of the programme and focuses on the responsible disposal of waste. Maalhos is the first island to open a Soneva-sponsored Eco Centro with machinery that will include a wood chipper and a glass crusher. The third component is Inspire which aims to foster a love of the ocean and the environment. The belief is that through water sports, education and festivities, children will lose their fear of the ocean and learn to love it, and thus protect it. 

The goal of Namoona Guardians is to build a network of like-minded people around the world who are committed to making Soneva Namoona is a success. Namoona Guardians can be environmentalists, conservationists, surfers, sailors, athletes, and artists who have a passion for safeguarding the environment. They are innovators, leaders, visionaries and pioneers. Matt recently did a takeover of the Soneva Namoona Instagram account, @namooonabaa, to talk about his work documenting how the Maldivian islands of Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, and Kihaadhoo have become pioneers of the waste-to-wealth philosophy and setting examples in reducing marine plastic waste.  

I’m incredibly fortunate as a photographer to spend time with amazing people. In the case of Soneva Namoona, this means telling stories of the real heroes of Maldivian islands – the community collecting ocean plastic for the benefit of future generations, the team mentoring children on neighbouring islands to become ocean stewards, the waste experts at Soneva who are designing a sustainable way of managing waste that can benefit the whole country. Change starts with individuals and passion. Programmes like Soneva Namoona are so important for creating the systems needed to tackle complex problems. But what is so exemplary about it is the focus on nurturing people and their passion. My passion is in sharing these stories, connecting like-minded individuals and corporations, helping create ripples of change across the world

Matt Porteous, Founder of Ocean Culture Life

Matt’s love and delight in his surroundings are evident in his work. He captures and reveals the expression and detail that is seldom evident to the naked eye. Matt is one of the UK’s leading photographers both in and out of the water, where his passion for oceans has taken him to some of the most beautiful places on the planet and connected him to some of the world’s greatest changemakers.  

The Jersey-based photographer was chosen by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the official photographer to photograph Prince George to mark his Hi third birthday and fifth birthdays. Matt was also commissioned to shoot Prince HLouis’ christening at Clarence House. Later in 2018 he was tasked with capturing last year’s Christmas card photograph for the Duke and Duchess’s family portrait in their country home, in Norfolk. 

Ocean Culture Life, a global community of positive ocean storytellers who collaborate on various projects. Ocean Culture Life’s team creates stunning and impactful content for their network of ambassadors and charities, collectively spreading awareness on everything ocean related. One of the project’s goals is to remind people of what the oceans look like and how they can play a pivotal role in supporting ocean guardians through their own businesses and charitable missions.   

Soneva is a pioneering family of hospitality properties and products, offering holistic encounters in luxurious and inspiring environments – from world class hotels to outstanding natural locations. Combining luxury with a conscientious approach to sustainability and the environment, and proactively changing the nature of hospitality, it delivers intuitive service and meaningful experiences to the guests. Soneva currently owns and operates Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand.  

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The Nautilus Maldives Announces Ananda Wellness Residency

The Nautilus will host two senior practitioners from the world’s most renowned holistic wellness retreat. From 16th to 26th August 2023, Ananda in the Himalayas will be at The Nautilus. Combining Ananda’s specialist Ayurvedic knowledge with The Nautilus’s timeless hospitality offering, this residency will provide the ultimate restorative wellness experience.

Exploring the Restorative Wellness Experiences

The Nautilus tailors holidays to individual needs, providing a completely bespoke experience renowned for its customization. Additionally, the resort also provides unscripted and timeless offerings to its travellers. With this, the Ananda treatments will be available to guests at any time of day. The treatment will be provided in the overwater Solasta Spa’s glass-floored private treatment pavilions. Interested guests can also explore the treatments in the comfort of guest houses and residences.

The two practitioners, Mr Sandeep Dhamada and Ms Krishna Karki, are some of Ananda’s most accomplished and expert holistic therapists. As a follow-up to these speciality treatments, The Nautilus guests will also benefit from an online consultation with an Ayurvedic physician. This will further enhance the holistic benefits of the treatments in addition to the overall experience. Ananda’s gourmet Ayurvedic cuisine is available to consume anywhere on the island, incorporating anti-inflammatory properties, with fundamental food tastes carefully combined with macronutrients.

Ananda in the Himalayas is one of the world’s leading luxury wellness retreats, aligning with the rejuvenating spirit of The Nautilus. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, the birthplace of Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation, Ananda integrates these ancient practices with therapy. The partnership first launched in 2022 and this year’s iteration enhances the already extensive wellness offering with a series of curated experiences for guests looking to rebalance their body, soul and mind.

Specialty Treatments Offered by Ananda at The Nautilus:

  • Ananda Touch with Reflexology (90 Mins)- A rhythmic flowing massage with rose-scented oils. The treatment releases tension and stress combined with the stimulation of reflex points. This practice aims to restore energy flow throughout the entire body and foster balance within the body and mind.
  • Indian Head Massage with Reflexology (90 Mins)– This ancient experience relaxes, tones, and eases muscle tension. It also aids in eliminating toxins by stimulating circulation. Following this, a massage is administered to the feet, applying pressure on the soles to restore healthy energy flow throughout the body.
  • Indian Head Massage with Shiatsu (90 Mins)– A traditional massage which provides deep relaxation. Following this, Shiatsu is applied. This is a full body pressure point experience that enhances circulation and boosts the immune system.
  • Himalayan Honey and Rose Facial with Foot Massage (90 mins)– This stimulating and refreshing facial uses a blend of sandalwood and rose essential oils. We massage pure organic honey harvested from the Himalayas into the skin and apply a mask of cooling cucumber. As the mask hydrates your skin, indulge in a soothing foot massage that stimulates reflex points.
  • Ananda Moksha (90 Mins)– A full body massage which uses traditional Ayurvedic therapeutic techniques. The holistic therapy draws inspiration from the concept of Moksha, signifying a liberation of the senses and a release for the free flow of Prana or energy.

About The Nautilus Maldives

The private island of The Nautilus boasts just 26 beach and oceanside houses and residences. Guests can also explore an extensive range of facilities and spa amenities. It is surrounded by the natural beauty of Hanifaru Bay, one of the largest manta-feeding hotspots in the world, offering white sandy beaches, pristine waters, and coral reefs. This extraordinary, tranquil location combined with an unmatched ultra-luxury five-star experience make The Nautilus the perfect private island resort to relax, reset and recharge.

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