Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts has recently taken over the management of the rebranded Ozen Reserve Bolifushi in South Male Atoll, Maldives, establishing its uber-luxe brand – The Ozen Collection.
Following the resounding success of Ozen Maadhoo since 2016, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts continues its bold expansion of the OZEN brand with the addition of the newly rebranded Bolifushi (translates to conch shell) resort.
TTN spoke to Stephane Laguette, Chief Commercial Officer at Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, for more.
“It was the owner’s decision to change the management, but for us, this rebranding has been an exciting exercise - going back to the roots of the island, which was initially known as Bolifushi Island. We are currently in the process of ‘Ozenifying’ the entire resort, which essentially means that we are adding a touch of vibrancy and colour to the existing concept, product and original theme as well as to the service. There are extensive refurbishments going on at the property, which is expected to reopen for a grand relaunch this November 20, with all the panache you can expect out of a luxury resort opening.”
Most restaurant concepts will be refreshed and renamed, and the villas are being refurbished wherein the open-air bathrooms will be closed for privacy and comfort of the guests. Some key layout changes are taking place at the resort as well.
“Ozen Reserve Bolifushi will be the first of a few uber luxury resorts to join under The Ozen Collection, a five-star luxury brand, which will have its own vision, management, sales and marketing teams, its own philosophy and its own special way of doing things, separate from Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts,” Laguette says.
Ozen Reserve Bolifushi will epitomise relaxed, ultra-luxe Island living with grand spaces, access to ocean fronts and gourmet dine-by-design experiences. Each of the 89 villas and suites will offer guests absolute seclusion, with a private swimming pool and direct beach or lagoon access. The jewel of the crown “Royal Reserve” will offer 3,500 square metres of unmatched luxury and elegant living for a blissfully immersive stay. To complete the exotic holiday experience, guests can set off for private adventures on the resort’s 85-foot yacht.
“Nature has gone over and above to nurture its underwater paradise”
– Stephane Laguette
“Ozen Reserve Bolifushi will be operating under the Reserve Plan. Even the top category villas will be a part of this plan and room service, a dedicated butler and a buggy will be included. Guests can enjoy three kinds of premium bubbles in the plan, apart from all the outlets and even the spa,” says Laguette. “You have the beach, you have a stunning reef, you have absolutely everything you need.”
“All Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts operate under a variety of plans, which amplify the guest experience, while simplifying the billing experience that follows. Billing can be difficult in the Maldives as you end up paying separately for transport to the resorts – be it air transport or by water – we have incorporated this within the plan since July. You still have to make your own arrangements, but the price part has been taken care of.”
While the summer has been soft for most hotel businesses around the world, a handful of resorts in the Maldives still had some business for a variety of reasons. For Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, this has meant that most of its properties have remained operational throughout the lockdown period. “There are some guests who do not wish to leave our resorts because their flights back home have been cancelled or because borders of their home countries have been closed.
“We made a decision, not to close our properties – because we had enough occupancy to keep them running. At the moment, we have four resorts operational: we need at least 20 per cent occupancy to open up a property, so we expect Kanifushi to open in mid-September most likely, and Bolifishi will reopen later this year.
“We have also used this period to do extensive maintenance on our properties, beach planting on all our resorts. In all the resorts, we have added a lot of solar power to produce natural electricity reduce the consumption of petrol. In Ozen Maadhoo, we removed the sand to another part of the island to bring back a natural channel that we were slowly losing because of the sedimentation brought in by the ocean currents.”
Interestingly, the Middle East – Turkey and GCC in particular – has been the top feeder market since the border opened in July. “At the moment, GCC and Turkey are at the top spot uncontested, a spot which is usually reserved for Europe and Asia. We see the continued importance of the GCC market for us as Ozen Reserve Bolifushi is such a popular resort in the region and we see the market growing manifold once we reopen.”
Laguette says; “We can confirm that between July 15 and August 15, we hosted 18 per cent of the total arrivals to the Maldives, we are very pleased with these numbers. We believe this is because we never closed our resorts and because our plan, our pricing concept, made our pricing concept very attractive.”
Some other gains this summer have been those that cannot be put on a balance sheet.
“It was beautiful to watch Mother Nature make a stunning return to the Maldives in a short space of a few months. Some of us were lucky enough to be quarantined within the resorts and with little to no boat movement and no noise pollution on the islands, we saw the quantity and variety of fish in our reefs and beaches increase multi-fold. The grassy paths leading to villas became narrower and narrower as the green took over, the gardeners were not amused, and bird populations increased noticeably, which was a bit of a surprise.”
“It seems like nature has gone over and above to nurture its underwater paradise,” concludes Laguette.
By Rashi Sen
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