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Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives has received numerous awards and accolades for its performance. Operations manager Ali Yoosuf talks to Gay Sutton about the secrets of its success8 www.bus-ex.com April 10Simply speakingParadise. Few places on earth more truly deserve that description than the Maldives. Lying in the Indian Ocean just north of the equator and some 700 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives enjoys an enviable tropical climate with daytime temperatures of 30oC throughout the year. Said to be the lowest lying nation on earth, it comprises a double chain of 26 exquisite coral atolls spread over a massive area of 90,000 square kilometres. Some 128 kilometres south of the Maldives' capital of Male lies Nilandhe Atoll, a ring of serene reefs and islands one of which,Meedhuffushi Island, is exclusively occupied by the holiday resort of Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort. Owned by local hotelier Ahmed Mohamed, the resort was opened in October 1998 and developed to a single vision and theme. It is the first resort within the Sun Hotels Pvt Ltd group, which currently owns four properties in the Maldives."At conception, our chairman chose to keep the island as natural as possible," explains operations manager Ali Yoosuf. "The island is of our guests come because it is peaceful and beautiful."You won't find any glamorous marble, glitzy Hollywood-style fittings or frenetic tour guides at Vilu Reef. The atmosphere is relaxed, stress free and at our main bar, for example, we have no tiles on the floor, we have sand," Yoosuf says. "So you can put your feet down into the sand. And we believe The resort's architecture combines natural materials with natural shapes and forms. The roofs of the beach fronted villas, for example,

Customer focus: Vilu Reef Beach & Spa ResortApril 10 www.bus-ex.com 9Simply which, Siyam Hotels & Resorts is quiet and calm-most and above all, natural. "If you look believe this is a unique concept." example, are constructed to resemble