Diva Maldives are rebranding their resorts ‘Lux*’ – Latin for ‘light’ – in what the company claims is a complete overhaul of the Maldivian resort experience.
Speaking at a press conference this morning on the roof of Traders Hotel in Male’, the resort’s General Manager Dominik Ruhl outlined its concerted campaign to differentiate itself.
“The problem is that a lot of hotels here in the Maldives look and feel the same, and development of the industry has been quite slow,” he observed. “Look at any brochure: All resorts have sun, sea, sand and a spa, and a cold towel on arrival. How does a resort set itself apart in a ‘sea of sameness’?”
The five star market in the Maldives was “saturated”, he noted, “and not much is happening.”
“Resorts tended to define themselves in terms of the hardware,, which we all have – villas, pools architecture. They are all fairly similar – but people don’t come to the Maldives to sleep in a 1950s boudoiur. We don’t want to follow the same thoughtless patterns we learned in hotel school 20 years ago.
“We realised that as a resort we are helping people to celebrate life. It might be a honeymoon or a family trips, but visits to the Maldives are usually a celebration.”
In what must have been a highly eclectic planning meeting, Diva’s staff sat down and brainstormed an array of unique and quirky resort features for guests to discover for themselves across the island.
Ice cream carts with homemade low fat ice cream will trundle around the island, fitness instructors will drag guests out of the gym for outdoor exercises, guests will be taught traditional bodu beru drumming, and a red phone box outside reception will let them make free phone calls to anywhere in the world.
Guests will be given a Moleskin journal on arrival to sketch and write down ideas during their stay, “and there will be lots of quirky things for people to find around the island during their stay.”
Air-conditioned spaces will be deemphasised in favour of open areas with hammocks and beanbags, and while heavy “old world” wines will still be sold, the resort will introduce affordable lighter wines under its own label, ‘Scrucap’.
The resort has even imported an entire coffee roasting machine, with the intention of grinding and roasting beans its own beans on the island and serving them from a coffee shop in the lobby complete with newspapers and Kindles.
Ruhl noted that the resort was so proud of its new coffee that it had launched an entire ad campaign around it, instead of blandly continuing to market the sunny beaches.
On the environmental side, the resort will begin desalinating its own water to avoid having to dispose of 170,000 plastic bottles a year.
“I can’t pretend we have zero carbon emissions – we go through 6000-7000 litres of diesel a day,” Ruhl noted. “But we are offsetting this with a company called Carbon Footprint while we look at wind and solar, to improve our energy efficiency.”
Lux* Maldives will join Naiade Resorts’ other properties in the Indian Ocean which are also being rebranded. The company has several hotels in Mauritus and one in the Réunion Islands.