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Sheraton Maldives Celebrates 50 Years of Sustainability, Heritage, and Future-Focused Luxury

Sharon Maldives Celebrates 50 Years
As Furanafushi Island, home to Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, commemorates its 50th anniversary, the resort celebrates the remarkable transformation of the nation's tourism scene. This evolution not only highlights a commitment to preserving natural beauty but also underscores support for local community growth.

This significant milestone serves as a testament to the hospitality industry’s power to redefine the way travellers engage with their destinations. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa embraces the Island’s Golden Jubilee by reflecting on its beginnings, leveraging valuable insights to shape the future of Furanafushi for the next 50 years.

Reflecting on the Evolution of the Island

The narrative of the tourism industry in the Maldives is a truly inspirational one. Emerging as a travel gem in the 1970s, the archipelago initially lacked tourism infrastructure and struggled to attract investments. Despite these humble origins, the Maldives has now ascended to a prominent position in the global tourism landscape. Renowned for its concept of barefoot luxury, exclusive retreats, and awe-inspiring landscapes, the Maldives stands as a testament to the remarkable transformation of a once-unexplored destination into a world-class haven for travellers.

Furanafushi itself holds a storied history, initially serving as a picnic destination for residents of Malé before being transformed into a resort. It later became known as Australia Island and was widely marketed under the tagline, ‘Found! A Lost Paradise’. 

In December 1973, the island welcomed the 56-key Sheraton Maldives, originally named Furana, as the fifth resort in the entire Maldivian archipelago. Underscoring the destination’s early commitment to enhancing the stay experience, clocks were regularly kept an hour early in Furana to give guests more time than they expected.

In April 1976, the island resort moved under the management of Wayne Reid, one of Australia’s best-known sports administrators, in a five-year lease that catalyzed an influx of investment and expansion. 

The early days of Furanafushi and Sheraton Maldives Resort & Spa are a testament to the growth of the island and its ongoing influence on the appeal of the Maldives as a bucket list travel destination. As the resort evolves with the industry, it maintains its heritage and remains dedicated to preserving both its own history and the history of its surroundings.

Recognising the Role in Hospitality

As one of the leading forces in global hospitality, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has been dedicated to uplifting island life and preserving the natural beauty that makes the destination extraordinary.

Beyond traditional hospitality, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa connects with the local community through initiatives like school invitations, providing insights into our dynamic industry and our commitment to sustainability. During Ramadan, the resort also extends warmth to organizations like the Fiyavathi Orphanage, fostering community bonds.

The commitment to environmental stewardship by the resort is evident in initiatives like the Adopt A Coral program, where guests actively contribute to coral preservation. Our innovative water bottling plant reduces plastic waste by purifying seawater on-site.

For 50 years, Furanafushi has been a sanctuary for residents and global travellers. At Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, the historic tranquillity is preserved while evolving to meet the changing needs of the community and the diverse expectations of guests. 

Staying Ahead of the Hospitality Curve

Adapting to the ever-growing need to align with global consciousness around environmental responsibility Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa remains ahead of the hospitality curve in terms of sustainability initiatives, leveraging its synergetic relationship with the natural surroundings to educate guests and elevating its eco-conscious offerings. The resort embraces modern technology to contribute to its efforts, including using AI-powered cameras to identify areas of food waste disposal, innovative Air Conditioning Systems that automatically adapt room temperatures to reduce energy consumption, and gardens that produce vegetables and herbs, as well as watermelon and cucumber crops.

As the bridge between technology and sustainability strengthens, the resort continues to drive forward-thinking solutions that will pioneer green tourism around the world, with plans to implement a biogas plant to transform food waste into gas for kitchen stoves and a vibrant chicken farm to produce organic eggs and meat on-site. 

By using technology to advance sustainability, Sheraton Maldives is shaping a world where environmental awareness is naturally integrated into our daily lives, championing the preservation of the natural island as we look forward to its brighter, greener future.

A Look at the Next 50 Years

Throughout its 50 years, Furanafushi has seen pioneers, people, and policies shape its attraction on the global stage, its position among neighbouring islands, and its impact on the local community. In the next 50 years, the same will remain – and it is up to us to actively participate in the protection, preservation, and promotion of the island.

To honour the history of Furanafushi, and to highlight the culture of the residents, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa stands as a beacon of authentic Maldivian hospitality, inviting guests and residents alike to join its journey of tropical transformation as it seeks to maintain its original beauty while cultivating new ways of discovering true paradise.

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Maldives’ Best Resorts: Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Five-Star Award Winners!

Forbes Travel Guide, the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, announces its 66th annual list!

Since the pandemic, travellers have been seeking trips that are meaningful rather than just a trip to an iconic destination. With this, even bucket-list destinations such as the Maldives have started curating more personalized experiences. Whether that means personalised butler services or a memorable safari trip, the travellers are here for a unique adventure.

No matter the destination, Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Star Awards reflect the trending tastes among travellers. For the 66th annual list, Forbes explores a variety of destinations. From smaller overlooked cities to iconic destinations. And as per usual, a handful of Maldivian resorts made it to the list, for their unique and iconic offerings.

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli made it to the Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 list with a five-star rating. This resort is popular among travellers for its avant-garde elegance and French finesse, providing a uniquely luxurious experience. Opening in 2013, Cheval Blanc Randheli was Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s second hotel venture. The Forbes Travel Guide inspector’s highlights for 2024, noted the spa, the scent design, the water villas, the prestigious location, as well as the unique yoga ritual.

The inspectors noted that the spa at Cheval Blanc Randheli is uniquely set on an island of its own. This is an experience only offered in a few resorts in the Maldives. Another unique aspect noted was the scent design. The signature fragrance at Cheval Blanc Randheli was created by head nose at Dior, François Demachy. The water villas’ sundecks were noted for being among the largest in the Maldives, and the yoga ritual for its uniqueness.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Resorts is a name brand which is well-known around the globe. The Four Seasons Resort Maldives also marked the list with a five-star rating. The resort which brings island luxury with the Maldivian charm was noted for being the first of its kind in the Maldives! The Four Seasons Resort in the Maldives brings travellers a unique spa experience, which Forbes noted – meaning you must try it. The resort is also popular among honeymooners.

Another group of travellers who happen to love the Four Seasons Maldives are surfers. The resort provides a unique surfing safari as well as a tour which can be booked with the resort. Forbes Travel Guide also highlighted the unique Maldives-inspired cocktails at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa!

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Yet another Four Seasons Resort Maldives marked the list with five stars this year. The Landaa Giraavaru resort, which brings travellers an idyllic isle was noted for its unique and colourful seaplane! In addition to this, its marine discovery, spa and wellness as well as yoga were noted to be some of the best aspects of the resort. Located in Baa Atoll, the resort was also noted for the captivating underworld.

Hurawalhi Island Resort

The romantic private island oasis Hurawalhi Island Resort also came with a five-star rating for 2024. The resort is popular for its Romantic Villa is the only stay with a deep soaking bathtub! This unique offering allows travellers to relax with the breathtaking scenery of the Maldives.

Additionally, the Sulha Spa was also noted for its purely relaxing offerings while its private sandbank, underwater restaurant and Marine Biology Centre were also noted by Forbes. The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi is the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant with a carefully curated tasting menu and excellent wine pairings.

JOALI BEING

This immersive wellness retreat, opening in 2021 is a traveller favourite and received a five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. The resort offers travellers extremely spacious stays, whether you book the beach villa or overwater villa. The wellness centre Areka offers unique offerings, curated for each traveller. One of the reasons JOALI BEING became such a hit among travellers is the inclusive food menu, which offers delectable healthy options.

Due to the wellness-centric vibe at the resort, JOALI BEING has become a traveller favourite since its opening.

JOALI Maldives

While JOALI BEING is popular among wellness lovers, JOALI Maldives is for those seeking art in their travels. The resort offers immersive views, with no other resorts or even inhabited islands in sight in any direction.

The design aesthetics of the resort offer a unique experience for those staying in the overwater villas. Located just off the sandbank on the western corner of the island, overwater villas have the impression of being separate from the island.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offers an ultra-exclusive, all-inclusive sanctuary for travellers. Kudadoo’s 13 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom Ocean Residences are oases, which need to be explored. The resort offers a unique cheese cellar, carrying some of the world’s best gourmet cheeses. The best part is that it’s all freely available for a pre-dinner nibble or even a middle-of-the-night snack.

Just like any good resort, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island also offers an amazing spa experience. ‘Lonu Cave’ is a first in the Maldives. The spa offers an indoor salt chamber whose walls are lined with mineral-rich age-old pink Himalayan salt. The resort also boasts restaurants that never close! The best part for vacationers? The champagne brunch is available throughout the day.

LUX* South Ari Atoll

LUX* South Ari Atoll is a haven for eco-travellers seeking a luxury getaway. This resort is the perfect location for divers, offering more than 50 dive spots filled with vibrant aquatic life, shipwrecks and caves.

The resort also boasts its sustainable practices, such as having the world’s largest solar platform at sea floating in the lagoon, providing power for the resort. Additionally, single-use plastics are banned in the resort and guests are also welcome to partake in the eco-friendly initiatives. At the restaurants, plant-based foodies will be amazed by the choice of clean, nutritious and locally sourced dishes on the vibrant “Keen on Green” menu!

One & Only Reethi Rah

One & Only Reethi Rah is one of the largest luxury resorts in the Maldives, with an impressive KidsOnly kids club. The perfect resort for a family or romantic getaway, One & Only Reethi Rah offers a unique experience for travellers. For the best experiences, explore the ClubOne Beach Club, the scuba experience as well as a stay at the Grand Sunset Residence.

The Grand Sunset Residence is an experience in itself. This villa category has the largest private stretch of beach on the island, offering more than 26,000 square feet. 

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

The modern, tranquil sanctuary of Patina Maldives brings travellers yet another five-star experience in the Maldives. With 12 restaurants and bars, the resort also offers spacious and inspiring one- to three-bedroom Beach and Water Pool villas.

For an artistic experience, travellers must experience the Fari Marina Village and Fari Beach Club. Here, everything from fashion to music and art is constantly flowing, adding a unique touch to your vacation. In addition to its beautiful spa, Patina Maldives also helps you to tune into the island’s energy, named “Rhythm and Vibes.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

This property brings you the island vibes of the Maldives with the classic luxury of the Ritz. Here, every single guest is treated like royalty. Not only do you get your very own private butler The Ritz-Carlton Maldives also offers almost any activity you can imagine. The resort brings to its guests seven different dining outlets, catering to almost any palate.

Soneva Jani

Soneva is a name brand that everyone had on their bucket list for the Maldives since its inception. We can all agree that the overwater villas at Soneva Jani are some of the most popular among travellers. But that is not all. The resort is also great for kids as it offers a technology-free Mini Den. The menus at the kids’ club cater to young appetites, and the offerings for kids to enjoy are never-ending here.

Soneva Jani also debuted the Maldives’ first overwater observatory with a resident astronomer ready to give you a tour of the cosmos. This is something every traveller must explore on their trip to Soneva Jani.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

At this marine-inspired resort, booking an overwater villa for good sun and surf is a must. With the Maldives being popular for its underwater experience, a stay at The St.Regis Maldives is a must if you’re looking for good surf.

If you’re looking for a colourful Maldivian sunset, enjoy sundowners, seafood and even multi-course menus at the Whale Bar.

Velaa Private Island

This private luxury island has been garnering popularity and is another destination that adds a touch of uniqueness to your Maldives getaway. Not only does Velaa Private Island boast the only Snow Room in the Maldives, but it’s also filled with thrilling activities for adventure seekers.

The spa experience at Velaa Private Island offers travellers cutting-edge technologies and modern techniques! You can choose from two options – the Velaa Spa or the Evelaa Spa.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

This sprawling five-star nirvana in the Maldives brings you Instagrammable dining outlets! Not only is Terra a must-try for its aesthetic appeal but the food is as delectable as it is Instagram-worthy. Guests are welcome to sit in handcrafted bamboo nests above the treetops while sipping Krug and noshing on Miyazake wagyu beef.

Each of the villas at this beautiful resort comes with an infinity pool and submerged loungers, swinging daybeds, dining gazebos and endless ocean vistas. Travellers can also look forward to booking a private island, perfect for celebratory occasions. The private island comes with two villas, five swimming pools, an overwater spa and an entertainment centre with a cinema!

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