Conrad’s resort in the Maldives is famed for its size and isn’t afraid to try something new, with a submarine and underwater restaurant just some of what it offers. Travel Daily caught up with the resort’s general manager to find out more and what is next.
There is a lot of competition in the Maldives market, how does your property stand out from the crowd?
There’s no ‘secret’ to what makes us one of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives: it’s the fact that we offer the widest choice of the best there is.
For example, whereas most islands in the Maldives have two or three restaurants and bars, we have eleven. Where most resorts would have a small selection of wines, we have the largest wine cellar in the region with over 20,000 bottles and a different wine list in each restaurant.
While most five-star hotels in the Maldives have a spa, we have two – and our spas are completely different, in different locations and offer two entirely separate philosophies, treatments and product lines.
Most resorts here have watersports, but we’re the only to take it to the next level and have a submarine! We have an outstanding coral reef and are the only resort to offer whale shark snorkelling excursions with scientists who’ve been studying whale sharks in the Maldives for the past six years.
The great thing about all this choice is that the guest truly has the luxury of enjoying their holiday in their own style: if you’re the kind of person who likes to be busy all day long, we can accommodate that with tennis, watersports, excursions, spas and so on, while if your idea of the perfect holiday means a sun bed under coco palms on an empty stretch of beach, we offer that as well.
Aside from the competition, what are currently the hotels’ main challenges?
This resort has all the ingredients it needs to offer a great holiday and my job is to take it to the next level in terms of guest experience and service delivery.
Reaching the standards I want to achieve is something that takes time to build up, but every day I see small signs that we’re improving. It’s not easy to measure and we depend on feedback from guests that tells us if we’re doing it right.
I don’t think I’ll ever be in a place where I’m fully satisfied and that’s part of what drives me is still trying to reach that goal, but I get small doses of satisfaction along the way to keep me going.
What are your key source markets and where does the UK sit within this?
We’ve seen many changes in source markets over the past five years at Conrad Maldives but the UK remains within the top four markets for us.
The biggest change has been the increase in arrivals from Asia, most notably from Korea and mainland China; we’re also seeing increased interest from markets such as Thailand and Singapore as well.
What recent changes or developments has there been for the resort?
Following the water villa renovations and openings of two different suites last year, 2013 is a year of consolidation where we’ve been focusing on the smaller details such as service delivery while preparing for the big changes in 2014.
What plans or launches are in the pipeline?
One of our wine producers, Antinori Estates, will be visiting the resort in December this year and so we are looking forward to welcoming them and to providing this enhanced experience for guests. Experts from Antinori will be offering hosted wine dinners and tasting sessions, events such as these provide real value for our guests and we’ve found them to be very popular in the past.