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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

Why The Standard, Maldives? Milad Badri, SVP Operations at Standard Asia on His Love for the Island

INTERVIEW


Stepping into The Standard, Maldives is like a stepping into a real-life haven.


This idyllic island paradise boasts pristine sands, azure waters, and a luxurious array of villas, spas, and leisure activities. Whether snorkeling, sunbathing, or indulging in spa treatments, time stands still in this ultimate getaway cherished by wanderers worldwide. Here, we delve into the captivating story of Milad Badri, Senior Vice President of Operations for Standard Asia, and the creation of this unparalleled hospitality masterpiece.



1. What makes The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives different from the rest of The Standard hotels?


Well the thing is, all The Standard hotels are quite different from each other (as well as the competition), all with their own very distinct and individual characteristics all set in the local culture and spirit. This is a key intent we set as we develop and programme new projects around our core values and identity. The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives was a first for us in many ways, it was our first ever island destination as well as our first venture into the Asia region. With that, the proposition and the experience became inevitably different, both by default and by design.


Still I’ll point out a couple quick ones, as it’s the only Standard hotel where you’ll take a seaplane to arrive at the resort, where you can opt for carefree all-inclusive experiences, where all the villas have their own private plunge pools, where you can have an authentic Maldivian food experience. I can go on, but at the core of it, this is the property in our portfolio that offers the most incredible immersion to nature and the experience of natural beauty in the destination.


In fact, the resort was built with that in mind, to preserve unobstructed views of the crystal-clear ocean and the natural life of the house reef, cultivating the most lush and green island and simply stunning white sand beaches. We paired this with the sensory programming you’ll know and recognize from The Standard brand (between design, food, beverage, spa, music, art, culture) all adapted to the destination itself.



There’s one more vital piece that makes it comprehensively special, and that’s the people and our team on the island. Across our brand, we encourage our people to be open and to be themselves. When people feel they can be themselves, they inevitably become better at connecting. That intersection of wholehearted Maldivian hospitality paired with The Standard culture, creativity and service approach has created the most genuine, welcoming, fun, and unique experience. It’s like, you arrive on island, kick off your shoes, and you’re with friends.


2. Why did you choose to work at The Standard?


Frankly I always had my eye on The Standard. In my mind it was always that brand that had the most distinctive personality in the boutique/lifestyle hospitality space. Whether you like it or not, The Standard always offers a perspective. That is just really attractive to me, and I wanted to be part of growing that. So I suppose that was a driving reason to join, but honestly I’ve stayed because of the culture. It allows me to be myself and gives me the freedom to be creative and leave my personal mark on the work.


"That intersection of wholehearted Maldivian hospitality paired with The Standard culture, creativity and service approach has created the most genuine, welcoming, fun, and unique experience. "





3. How do you see your role in the business?


I’ve been engaged as the operational lead since the inception of the brand’s global growth endeavors in this region. With that I’m closely involved with all the properties and all the people that join our brand from owners and partners to team members and guests. My role is to keep them all happy and engaged to drive the experience, the operation, and the performance forward. The simplicity of the mission is to share The Standard with the world.


4. Can you share with us your top 3 tips to travelling for a beach vacation?


How about I share my top 3 things to do at The Standard Maldives?


1. Night Fishing (the Maldivian way). This essentially means line fishing by hand, straight after sunset, on a boat. When the sun goes down, it’s feeding time. This is no doubt top of the list for me as it’s an action-packed fishing trip (for couples, friends, families) where generally all participants catch something (last time my 10-year-old daughter caught five!). You’ll bring your catch back to the talented chefs on the island and they’ll cook up a beautiful seafood feast under the stars, on the beach or on your own private island, however you prefer it – this experience is just hard to beat.


2. Freediving – I recently discovered freediving over the last few years and without a doubt Maldives offers some of the best waters and ocean life in the world. It may be a challenging or even daunting sport, but I’ve come to learn that it’s the most meditative and relaxing experience once you get a hang of it. On the island we have a team of highly capable divers and freedivers that can teach you the vital breathing techniques and principles of freediving. They can also certify you should you be inclined. If freediving doesn’t tickle you, the diving and watersport centers offer all kinds of experiences and adventures on and under the water. This is the best way to experience the Maldives in my mind.


3. The Standard Spa – every time I leave this island I feel like I’ve had a full mental and physical reset. The Standard Spa is a critical component of that. Surrounded by turquoise waters if offers an array of programs, treatments, yoga and meditation as well as a communal hammam. The team also regularly host an array of wellness stars and visiting practitioners to keep the program and the experience evolving. I always remind myself that being here is a real chance to take genuinely take care of your mind and body.




"I hope guests feel they met a team of people that truly cared for them, in a place they could be themselves comfortably."




5. Describe your ideal luxury holiday getaway.


I realize that the general idea of a luxury holiday entails this notion of opulence and extravagance. Though to me the notion of luxury holiday simply means dedicated time in a beautiful setting. Time to switch off and be present, time to play, and time to spend and enjoy with loved ones. Add great food to that and you have all the pieces to make me really happy. The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives sets the stage for all those things effortlessly.




6. What do you hope the guests at The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives take away from their stay?


I hope guests feel they met a team of people that truly cared for them, in a place they could be themselves comfortably. I hope they connected with each other with lasting memories through adventure, fun and the freshest flavors. I also hope they reconnect with themselves in the natural beauty and the elements. When all those things come together, there’s no doubt they’ll leave refreshed with new energy and drive ready to take their busy day to day lives.



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All imagery is provided by Purple.



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