Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts is a dynamic and fast-growing hospitality company currently operating eight resorts within the Maldives and it is set to further expand in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. In this interview, RLI speaks with Salil Panigrahi, Managing Director to learn more about this unique brand.
The company pioneer fully comprehensive holidays in the Maldives that blend sheer luxury with a truly carefree, leave your wallets behind, island stay. The generously comprehensive holiday plans are customised to each resort island’s unique experiences for the type of guests that would visit.
Their philosophy of ‘Joy of Giving’ has always been human-centred and deeply connected to who the team are as people. They believe that the essence of true hospitality is to restore the body and inspire the mind of anyone who spends their precious time at an Atmosphere location.
Positioned in some of the most beautiful islands found in the Maldives, there are eight resorts in the current Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts portfolio and the properties are segmented into three distinct brands, COLOURS OF OBLU which features four properties, THE OZEN COLLECTION which features two properties and By Atmosphere which also features two properties.
Two recent launches within the collection are OBLU SELECT Lobigili which opened on 24 March, a five-star adults-only resort designed for the modern couple and OBLU Xperience Ailafushi which launched on 2 June, a four-star resort designed for groups of friends and families and both are part of the COLOURS OF OBLU portfolio.
In addition, submerged under a long wooden jetty between the two resorts lies Only BLU – the Maldives’ largest and newest under ocean restaurant. Opened on 13 June, Only BLU invites guests to descend 6.8 metres below sea level, to feast on modern gourmet cuisine whilst observing the coral reef that surrounds the horseshoe-shaped restaurant.
“In the very near future, we are looking to expand across the Indian Ocean to India for the first time. We are currently looking at development plans in India, Nepal, Bhutan and beyond. The company is poised to grow and establish a strong presence in the Indian subcontinent, creating an expanded network of the Atmosphere family. We are passionate and eager to bring our Joy of Giving philosophy to new destinations,” explains Salil Panigrahi, Managing Director of Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts.
The company look beyond the four walls to create a unique sense of place for travellers. Their goal is to ensure that they deliver on the rich cultural diversity and natural beauty of each destination, while seamlessly channelling its unique spirit into the Atmosphere portfolio.
“We ensure that our resorts remain attractive and exciting to our guests by constantly enhancing and elevating the guest experience, whether that be through resort development and renovations, new openings or special events, programming or festival offerings. For example, recently we hosted our annual JUST VEG Festival at Atmosphere Kanifushi, which saw award-winning chef Fabrizio Marino, who we have a longstanding partnership with, travel to the Maldives to host a series of classes preparing exclusively vegetarian cuisine for our guests.”
Away from physical resorts, the business has worked diligently on their social media presence, ensuring that each resort has its own distinctive channel which aptly reflects the ethos of the resort – whether that be authentically Maldivian, more modern and millennial-centric, nature-focused or refined elegance.
They now have a dedicated social media team to ensure that content is engaging and exciting and they are in a position to interact with guests and followers. Their Instagram channels in particular have been a fantastic way for them to interact and connect with their guests and they also facilitate special trips for social media influencers and bloggers to showcase the properties in a visual and authentic way. They are also focusing on building their corporate identity and improving their presence across LinkedIn as they mature as a leading hospitality brand with an increasing global presence.
The topic of sustainability is a major one for companies in the retail and leisure sectors, but it has been a way of life for Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts since the beginning and it is now increasingly important to their guests. In 2021 the brand extended their commitment to sustainability by earning Green Globe Certifications for six of the eight properties (the two new properties are in the process of getting certified).
Additional sustainability initiatives include the expansion of their solar power installation, the installation of LED lights, the inclusion of battery-operated vehicles and bicycles for transport across the island and the replacement of plastic amenities with biodegradable alternatives – from bamboo toothbrushes to paper straws.
Guest loyalty is something that is invaluable for any hotel brand and this is no different for Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts. To build guests loyalty they go above and beyond the typical all-inclusive offering, their resort plans include airport transfers, accommodation, dining experiences & beverages, non-motorised water sports and more. In addition, whilst the beauty of their resorts undoubtedly plays an integral part in the guest experience, Panigrahi feels it’s their staff and superior service that ensures guest retention year-on-year.
“Whether you are staying at our most luxurious property or one of our more accessible resorts, the level of service and attention to detail is unparalleled. Our team ensure that each guest feels that they have had a personal service, from receiving a personal island host to the Head Chef walking through the restaurant to ask guests how they found their meal. This all stems from our Joy of Giving philosophy.”
At Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, they recognised that the hospitality sector is a people-centric one. As such, they have built a strong emotional connection with their teams, colleagues, partners and guests and as a result, they have received overwhelming support from people across all levels.
“Our colleagues have always given 100 per cent and more, despite many working far away from home. This positivity is reflected in our service and guest experience, with repeat guests and excellent resort ratings across travel platforms,” Panigrahi comments.
“As we move into 2023, our immediate focus is on expanding our footprint to new destinations in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and beyond. These expansion plans are carefully considered and of course adapted to the global economy and consumer demand for travel, which is paramount for us as the guest experience is always at the forefront of our decision making.”