Face to Face: Ricardo Leal, General Manager, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives

Face to Face: Ricardo Leal, General Manager, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives

"Exceptional cuisine is at the forefront of our luxury offering"

"Exceptional cuisine is at the forefront of our luxury offering"

  1. What’s new at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa?

2016 has been an exciting year for the resort. Not only did I take on the position of general manager in July, we also welcomed a new executive chef, Christoph Pentzlin, and launched a range of new activities, including a Seven Day Detox Programme at our world-class spa.

Ricardo Leal, General Manager, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives
Ricardo Leal, General Manager, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa at Dhonakulhi Maldives

Visitors to the resort can now board the Penguin, the world’s first compact semi-submarine excursion – it’s a fantastic way to explore the region’s coral reefs, and develop a new skill at the new Tennis Academy by Nikolay Davydenko.

German born Christoph has also developed a range of inspiring new Thai and Japanese menus at Samsara, our Asian restaurant, and plans to create a new Maldivian afternoon tea.

  1. What sets the property apart from the competition?

The Maldives is often referred to as paradise and our resort offers just that. What really sets Hideaway apart is that we provide ultimate privacy. Located on Dhonakulhi Island, one of the largest islands in northern Maldives, our villas are positioned amidst coconut groves and lush vegetation or over the water, creating the impression of a floating paradise. Inspired by the exotic, unspoiled landscape, the villas combine tropical tones and contemporary touches with local Maldivian influences. We’ve incorporated the latest high-tech amenities with handcrafted coconut and teak timber furnishings, resulting in a creative approach to the art of luxury living.

We are also located near some of the best diving reefs in the Maldives, with over 30 locations in the vicinity of the resort. These reefs are healthy and home to untouched coral, along with a diverse range of fish and pelagic. There is also very little boat traffic. We offer amazing excursions from snorkeling and fishing experiences to romantic dinners on our sand reef.

  1. What booking trends are you noticing, particularly from a) the UK and b) the Middle East?

Consumers have changed the way they book a holiday to the Maldives with an increasing number opting to direct book online.

Across both the UK and Middle Eastern markets we have noticed that booking times have shortened. In the past it was normal for consumers to book their holiday a year in advance but increasingly we’re seeing reservations made just three months prior to a stay.

  1. Tell us about your future plans for the property?

We continuously strive to offer our guests unexpected and memorable experiences, and we have a number of exciting plans that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months.

Exceptional cuisine is at the forefront of our luxury offering and we’re dedicated to providing new culinary experiences from every corner of the globe. Our executive chef Christoph Pentzlin will be unveiling a number of new dishes in 2017.

We are in the process of creating a new user-friendly resort app, allowing guests to view our daily programme of entertainment, make a dinner reservation and much more, at the push of a button.

Our water sports offering will be expanding over the coming year with the launch of freediving lessons and we’re pleased to share that Hideaway will be introducing a new live band which will add an extra musical moment to activities, from a romantic dinner on the beach to themed evenings in the restaurant.

  1. What initiatives do you have in place to raise awareness and boost more sales – from the trade and consumers?

The UK travel trade is an important booking tool and we’re always keen to develop new relationships with travel agents through incentives and commission schemes.

 

Gemma Greenwood
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Gemma Greenwood
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