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    News bites – 13 April 2022

    Outrigger launches Maafushivaru Resort in the Maldives

    Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort Water Pool Villa. Image courtesy of Outrigger Maafushivaru

    Outrigger Hospitality Group announced that it has acquired the newly renovated five-star Maafushivaru Resort in the Maldives – adding another premier beach property to its expanding global portfolio. The luxury resort will be renamed Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort and is located on a private island in the pristine South Ari Atoll region, a 25-minute seaplane from Malé – offering convenient access and breathtaking views for arriving guests. The resort is comprised of a collection of 81 luxury villa styles including beach, pool and duplex accommodations, as well as coveted overwater bungalows and more.

    Located in the vibrant Indian Ocean, the Maldives is classified by many world travellers as the ultimate luxury beach destination. Known for its uninterrupted views of white sandy beaches and an endless turquoise lagoon – the Maafushivaru Resort has recently undergone an extensive modernisation and is poised to be among the Maldives’ most sought-after vacation destinations.

    The Outrigger brand is renowned for barefoot luxury – effortlessly fusing contemporary comforts with a relaxed, joyful vibe. In addition to blissful accommodations, guests to Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort can look forward to exceptional dining, live music entertainment and bespoke Signature Experiences.

    Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort Water Villa. Image courtesy of Outrigger Maafushivaru

    The private island resort has seven restaurants, bars and cafes on island which offer a stimulating mix of food and beverage offerings. Cuisine ranges from Asian to Mediterranean; enjoy fresh-caught sushi and teppanyaki one day, then steak and salad the next. Music plays a key note in the Outrigger experience – from chill beats of a DJ at Water Bar to the sweet sounds of a live band, the energy on property is unmatched.

    Signature Experiences include underwater dive adventures with the resident marine biologist to view manta rays at the nearby coral reefs and boat excursions around the South Ari Atoll. The brand’s environmental stewardship platform, Outrigger’s ZONE (OZONE) further links enriching guest experiences with coral reef restoration to protect our oceans and help them thrive for generations to come. For the ultimate relaxation, the resort spa is an oasis of wellbeing with customized treatments including rooms for couples. As one of the most romantic destinations on earth – vow renewals on the soft white beaches are also offered as a way to cherish new-found love or a renewed romance.

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    About Outrigger Hospitality Group
    For nearly 75 years, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has charted a journey of discovery – expanding from Hawai‘i to premier beach resort destinations including Fiji, Mauritius and Thailand. The privately held hospitality company invites guests to ‘Escape Ordinary’ with authentic Signature Experiences and the Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program. Outrigger’s multi-branded portfolio includes Outrigger® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger®, Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger®, Kapalua Villas Maui and Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui while also managing select properties from top international hotel brands including Embassy Suites by Hilton®, Best Western® and Hilton Grand VacationsTM.

    Destress in Kyoto- The Best Places to Indulge in Forest Bathing

    Nishikyo Ku Kyoto. Image courtesy of Kyoto City Tourism Association

    Whilst everyone is talking about cherry blossoms right now, the green season that follows is one of the best times to immerse yourself in Kyoto’s lush forests. It’s when Kyoto locals like to stretch their legs, go on hikes, and enjoy a picnic on the outskirts of the city. It’s a particularly good time for forest bathing known as ‘shinrin-yoku’. Known to rejuvenate mind, body and soul, find out where to enjoy this simple pleasure at any time of year in Kyoto.

    Forest Bathing and its benefits have been recognised by the Japanese government since 1982 and it is even endorsed by the Forest Agency of Japan as a way of improving quality of life. Shuhei Akahoshi, General Manager of Kyoto City Tourism Association (DMO KYOTO) says that contemplative walks through the woods that reconnect the individual with nature can lead to decreased stress, natural mood elevation and even a stronger immune system. Forest Bathing can be enjoyed throughout the year, however the fresh green new growth in spring is a wonderful time to enjoy the pursuit and rejuvenate mind, body and soul. From bamboo groves to Zen temples, we have selected our favourite Kyoto areas and places to indulge yourself in nature and reap the benefits.

    Takao – the great outdoors
    Escape the city and step into the woods in Takao, a mountainous area to the northwest of central Kyoto. Popular amongst hikers Takao is home to several ancient temples, but while they may seem hidden away here in the forest, each has surprisingly important connections to Japanese history and particularly to the development of Buddhism in Japan. Learn more.

    Kozan-ji Temple: One of the temples to visit in the area, stands in a mountain forest with towering cedar trees lining the path to the temple. A quiet and secluded place, Kozan-ji’s charm lies in its atmosphere. You can sit on the temple’s veranda overlooking the Kiyotaki-gawa river valley, admire the scenery of green hills, listen to the forest sounds. The grounds are also home to the oldest tea field in Japan and the first ever ‘manga’ scroll. Learn more.

    Keihoku- discover another Kyoto
    In this northern part of Kyoto you will find Japanese cedars and cypresses and an air of serenity, with glimpses of mountains beyond. This area is just over an hour out of town, and still considered part of Kyoto city. A tranquil woodland in a stunning mountainous region it’s a great place for a farm stay or back to nature exploring. Learn more

    Nishikyo Ku Kyoto. Image courtesy of Kyoto City Tourism Association

    Arashiyama – the famous Sagano Bamboo Forest
    In Kyoto’s west, the most famous bamboo grove is undoubtedly the one located on the north of Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge, and rightly so. Visitors can stroll long paths lined with endless rows of towering bamboo. The experience has been described as other-worldly, serene, and dreamlike. The pathway is open 24/7, go early or late to avoid crowds. Learn more.

    Nishikyo-ku- Bamboo Forest
    West of central Kyoto, the Nishikyo-ku ward is one of Japan’s centres of bamboo growing. Most of Kyoto’s traditional bamboo crafts and building materials are made from bamboo grown in this area. For those who would like to escape the crowds of the popular sites Nishikyo-ku has a lot to offer. Learn more.

    Kyoto City Rakusai Chikurin Bamboo Park: Half an hour southwest of Kyoto station within the Nishikyo-ku ward, this is a beautiful yet little-known hideaway. The boundary of the park is lined with bamboo plants along a serene and quintessentially Japanese-style path that stretches 1.8 kilometres. A place where visitors can breathe deeply the crisp, quiet air of a bamboo forest. The museum inside the park is an educational facility that showcases bamboo instruments and crafts, as well as historical bamboo artefacts. Learn more.


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