This holiday season, JA Manafaru is introducing an improved activities schedule that will run from December 23 through January 7, 2024, giving guests a taste of the Maldivian charm. The program will infuse "A Kind of Magic" into every aspect of the visitor experience. It is inspired by the enchantment of the holiday season and Queen's iconic lyric "One dream, one goal, one golden glance of what should be."
An exotic array of events will be welcomed to the 16-day celebration of music, song, and dance presented by actress and theatrical director Zoie Kennedy-O'Connor and her composer husband Des O'Connor. There are thrills and pleasure for every visitor, from a tantalizing variety of gourmet experiences and celebratory Galas to a five-day football camp and tennis championship. Tom Green, a well-known UK radio DJ who is known for his mid-morning show on HITS radio, will also host performances throughout the holiday schedule.
The most distant private island in the Maldives, JA Manafaru, is located in the northernmost atoll of the archipelago and is ideal for tourists seeking a secluded, sun-drenched Christmas break. The island offers a variety of alluring eateries, a peaceful spa, and surreal experiences with the fascinating aquatic life of the Indian Ocean. It is a picture-perfect paradise of barefoot luxury, great food, and activities abounding.
Christmas Eve On December 24, attend the Christmas Eve Gala dressed to the nines to enjoy an evening of excellent music and delectable cuisine. Along with breathtaking seaside views from the deck or terrace areas and beautiful performances by the house band, the meal promises to be a mesmerizing fusion of regional specialties and comfortable seasonal favorites. The supper will be served in the Kakuni restaurant from 6:30 to 10:30.
Guests are invited to a 6:30 PM cocktail reception at Ocean Grill to kick off the evening while taking in a feast of canapés, sparkling champagne, and dazzling entertainers against the breathtaking background of the year's last sunset. At 7:30 PM, the meal will start with a feast of delectable seafood caught and supplied by neighborhood fishermen, along with delicious grills and enticing sweets. A stellar cast of performers led by Zoie and Des will accompany the dinner. The evening's festivities will come to a close with fireworks in celebration and a beach boogie to DJ Tom Green's tunes.
The Orthodox Christmas
In order to accommodate everyone during the holiday season, JA Manafaru will hold a reprise of the Gala dinner and a lively beach party on January 6 in honor of Orthodox Christmas. On January 7, Ded Moroz will also pay a special visit to the island's most well-behaved child visitors to offer gifts.
The spread at JA Manafaru will not let visitors down over the holiday season, which is all about delectable cuisine and indulgence. The resort’s Christmas schedule promises a choice of rich and comforting festive favourites alongside the Executive Chef’s sophisticated conjuring of regional specialties. Highlights on the calendar include a delectably light caviar dinner at the Teppanyaki restaurant Lonu on December 29 at 6:30 p.m. and a class on making chocolate truffles on January 3 from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m., where participants may learn how to make the ideal truffle.
Foodies can also dine at the Asian Street Food night at Kakuni while exploring the bright sights and aromas of the Orient. This event, which is open to visitors on December 30 and January 4, honors the variety of unique and vibrant foods sold on street markets in nations like Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan.
Things to Do with the Whole Family
The Christmas schedule at JA Manafaru will include a number of activities to occupy young visitors while parents take some well-earned time off. Christmas cookie decorating will take place on December 5 and December 23. On December 23 at 10:30 AM, everyone will work together to decorate the Kid's Club Christmas tree. On December 29 at 6:00 p.m., JA Manafaru will also host the eagerly awaited Enchanting Talent Show, where children can perform on stage with adults. Des and Zoie's event is the ideal opportunity to get the family together, and proud parents will enjoy a delectable buffet of canapés and cocktails while watching the show.
Yang Wei's Abracadabra Class will be held at Kakuni on December 30, January 3, and January 6 for those looking for a more unusual experience (12:00 PM–1:00 PM). With a special workshop conducted by renowned magician Yang Wei, get behind the scenes. Young, aspiring magicians are welcome to attend these classes to observe his mesmerizing performances and learn the essentials of magic tricks.
Dance to the Maldivian Drum's Music
Music is fundamental to the Maldives and, thus, to the culture at JA Manafaru's Real Maldives. With a session in BoduBeru, or "Big Drum," guests can become fully immersed in authentic Maldivian customs (10:30AM). Known for its upbeat type of entertainment, visitors are invited to dance, clap, and participate in lessons taught by local specialists on the slow, rhythmic beating of drums. The Maldives have a long tradition of folktales, which young culture vultures can explore by gathering around the campfire to listen to captivating yarns of local mythology (8:30–9:30 PM). These two occasions, which take place on December 26 and January 2, offer visitors insightful glimpses into the customs and cultural character of the area.
Play some sport on the sand
A variety of sporting events are available, including a five-day football camp, beach cricket on Boxing Day (26 December, 4:00–5:00 PM), a Badminton Tournament on the resort's custom-built court (2 January, 5:30 PM), and the chance to play Bashi, the national sport of the Maldives (26 December, 3:30–4:30 PM). A tennis ball is served over one's head backwards while another team tries to catch the ball on the other side of the net in this unusual sport, which is traditionally played on a tennis court by Maldivian women.
On December 28 at 5:30 p.m., the resort's first Manafaru Cup Tennis Tournament will also take place. Tennis enthusiasts can form mixed doubles teams to compete for the honor of receiving the trophy for the first time.