Cocoa Island Leads in Marine Conservation
Maldives Promotion House – Cocoa Island is that perfect and secluded haven for those looking for that barefoot experience in a small, private island resort. With waters that speak of rich and bountiful coral reefs perfect for snorkelling and diving, Cocoa Island also has some of the world’s best beaches.
The clean horizon spread in front of you providing the much desired view right from your over-water bungalow, Cocoa Island offers indulgent therapies, yoga, diving, gourmet cuisine and exciting excursions.
Completely removed from the busy hustle of everyday life, and encircled by its very own lagoon and sand bank snaking out into a perfect spit, Cocoa Island creates that unbeatable setting for a sunset wedding.
Cocoa Island one of the COMO Hotels & Resorts properties has only 33 Water Suites and Villas, making it ideal for family get-togethers as well as romantic honeymoons.
In order to help protect the amazing marine ecology and the natural legacy of the Maldives, Cocoa Island is working in collaboration with the Maldives Marine Research Centre to collect data on the species of fish, their size, numbers, and the depths they are seen in.
This information will be used by the centre and will assist them in their work required to ensure the conservation of marine life in the Maldives.
Their General Manager, Felix Yeo, who has a master diver license, is also taking to the sea on a daily basis to grow his coral and re-build the reef, in his attempt to preserve the natural beauty of Maldives.
Nafiu Ahmed on striving for excellence at Le Méridien Maldives Resort
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is a luxurious haven for travellers seeking an unforgettable experience. At the helm of this paradise is Nafiu Ahmed, the Assistant Director of Rooms, whose journey in the hospitality industry is nothing short of inspiring. In this exclusive interview, Nafiu shares his career progression, what motivates him, and his message to young Maldivians who wish to pursue a career in tourism and hospitality.
Nafiu’s career began in 2009 as a Front Office Agent at Rihiveli Beach Resort (now Rihiveli Maldives Resort). He recalls, “I was always fascinated by the idea of working in a beautiful environment and meeting people from different cultures. My first job at Rihiveli Beach Resort was the perfect opportunity to turn my passion into a profession.” After a brief stint at Rihiveli, Nafiu joined Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa in November 2009 as a Guest Service Duty Manager. Over the years, he climbed the ranks, becoming the Assistant Guest Services Manager in October 2016 and eventually the Front Office Manager in December 2018.
In May 2021, Nafiu took on the role of Front Office Manager at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, where he continued to excel. In March 2023, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Rooms, a testament to his dedication and hard work. “I believe that success in the hospitality industry comes from a combination of passion, perseverance, and a willingness to learn. I’ve always been eager to take on new challenges and grow both personally and professionally,” Nafiu shares.
When asked about his motivation, Nafiu explains, “What drives me is the opportunity to create memorable experiences for our guests. I take great pride in ensuring that every guest leaves our resort with a smile on their face and a desire to return.” He adds, “I also find motivation in mentoring and developing the talents of my team members. Watching them grow and succeed in their careers is incredibly rewarding.”
Nafiu’s journey is an inspiration to young Maldivians who aspire to join the tourism and hospitality sector. He offers valuable advice, saying, “The hospitality industry is a dynamic and exciting field with endless opportunities for growth. My message to young Maldivians is to be passionate about what you do, be open to learning, and never be afraid to take on new challenges.”
He continues, “It’s essential to understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, dedication, and a strong work ethic. Embrace every opportunity to learn and grow, and always strive for excellence in everything you do.” Nafiu also emphasises the importance of networking and building strong relationships within the industry. “Networking is crucial in the hospitality sector. It opens doors to new opportunities and helps you stay informed about the latest trends and developments.”
As the Maldivian tourism and hospitality industry continues to thrive, Nafiu believes that young Maldivians have a unique advantage. “Maldivians have a deep understanding of our culture, traditions, and the natural beauty of our islands. This knowledge, combined with a passion for hospitality, can help create truly exceptional experiences for our guests,” he says.
Nafiu’s dedication to his craft is evident in his meticulous attention to detail and commitment to providing exceptional guest experiences. As the newly minted Assistant Director of Rooms, he is responsible for managing the resort’s reputation by ensuring exception guest experiences, ensuring that all aspects of guest rooms are consistent with the brand’s values and ethos. “I work closely with my team to ensure that our guests receive a consistent and memorable experience that aligns with the Le Méridien brand,” he explains.
In an ever-changing industry, Nafiu highlights the importance of adaptability. “The hospitality sector is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve. I’m always looking for ways to improve our services and adapt to new trends and challenges,” he says.
Nafiu Ahmed’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a shining example of passion, dedication, and hard work. His story serves as a powerful reminder that with the right mindset and determination, young Maldivians can achieve great success in the tourism and hospitality sector. As Nafiu puts it, “The sky’s the limit. Believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
Hideaway Beach Resort appoints Vikram Singh as Reservations Manager
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa has announced Vikram Singh as it’s Reservations Manager.
Having completed his hotel management course at one of India’s most prestigious private hotel management schools, Vikram went on to gain valuable industrial training with the esteemed brand Marriott International. After receiving multiple placements from well-recognised brands such as Oberoi and IHHR Hospitality, he began his career working at the front office, covering all aspects, including reception, concierge, business centre, and airport representative roles.
Vikram’s diverse experience in various roles within the hospitality industry has allowed him to develop a keen eye for detail and exceptional customer service skills. He is passionate about ensuring that every guest has a comfortable and memorable stay at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa.
Vikram’s journey to becoming the Reservations Manager at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa (including their new elevated high-end collection of villas – The Signature Collection at Hideaway) has been inspiring. Since joining Hideaway, he has upheld his personal motto that “good is not good enough.” With his unwavering commitment to excellence, Vikram has earned a reputation for providing personalised and unforgettable experiences to guests. As the Reservation Manager, he will continue to uphold these high standards and ensure that every guest at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa has an exceptional stay.
Before joining Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Vikram worked as a Cluster Reservations Advisor and Travel Consultant at Coco Collection, specifically for the exclusive property of the operator – Coco Prive’. In this role, Vikram was solely responsible for handling reservations and pre-arrival arrangements for a select group of guests, including bureaucrats, Hollywood stars, and country leaders. He additionally worked with Minor Hotels as Cluster Reservations Supervisor for five properties before getting promoted to Cluster Assistant Reservations Manager of the five properties.
As a skilled professional with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Vikram has proven himself to be adept at handling the needs of high-profile guests. His attention to detail and commitment to providing exceptional service have earned him a reputation for excellence.
Nestled in the pristine northern part of the Maldives, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is a luxurious retreat that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
The resort is known for its novel recreation experiences, spacious villas and island, bevy of tantalising dining options, beautiful greenery, and wellness treatments. From fine dining restaurants serving gourmet cuisine to a range of water sports and beach activities, guests can indulge in various experiences during their stay.
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is also home to one of the largest island spas in the Maldives, where guests can enjoy a range of pampering treatments and therapies that rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.
For more information on the inclusions and offers at Hideaway, click here.
OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru appoints new resident marine biologist
Ocean conservation is a core pillar for OUTRIGGER Resorts & Hotels and the newly appointed resident marine biologist at OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort has ambitious plans for guest interaction and participation this World Ocean Month, which runs throughout June.
As part of OUTRIGGER Zone – the premier beach resort brand’s global conservation initiative on marine and environmental protection – guests can join in and learn about conservation activities that go beyond World Reef Day on 1 June, World Environment Day on 5 June and World Ocean Day on 8 June.
Danielle Stanley, a dual British-South African national, who grew up in Tanzania, took over her new post with OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort in March. Throughout June, she and her colleagues will implement a wide-ranging variety of conservation initiatives that guests can join.
Activities include coral planting, whale shark and manta excursions, showing marine-themed documentaries, holding arts and crafts sessions, conducting a school educational visit, and inviting guests to participate in marine wildlife database and research activities.
OUTRIGGER guests help Danielle compile encounter sheets when they join the resort’s excursions to see manta rays and assorted benign sharks in the surrounding waters. She describes the surrounding seas as “one of the top seven shark sanctuaries in the world”. Sightings of whale shark, black tip, white tip, grey reef, nurse and silver tip are quite common.
Danielle adds: “I want people to shift away from negative misconceptions about sharks. They are misunderstood animals. They are truly beautiful and critically important for the health of our oceans.”
Incorporating artistic creativity into her marine work is important. For example, Danielle paints murals and invites kids at the resort to draw aquatic creatures or make art from materials they discover on the beach.
Since taking up her post at OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort, Danielle has introduced Monday and Thursday evening guest presentations. These are on topics such as Maldives Megafauna, Life On Our Blue Planet, The Ocean: A Carbon Sink, Oceans and Climate Change. There are also specialist presentations on sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and coral reefs.
Friday nights are also marine documentary nights at the resort.
Danielle, who completed a postgraduate course in marine biology at Newcastle University in England last year, has been inspired by the work of marine conservationist and author Sylvia Earle. “She’s a legend in the world of marine activism,” says Danielle.
She is also inspired by ‘shark girl’ Madison Stewart whose Project Hiu aims to repurpose shark fishing boats in the Indonesian archipelago by turning them into marine excursion vessels run by former shark fin fishermen.
Danielle is also an acclaimed underwater photographer. Her image of a diver in the waters off Tanzania trying to remove a fishing line and hook from the mouth of a whale shark was shortlisted in the Environmental Photographer of the Year Awards 2022.
Regarding World Ocean Month, she says: “I am looking forward to raising awareness on the importance of healthy marine wildlife and ecosystems for our guests, hosts and local communities here in the Maldives. It is critical that we form a sustainable connection between people and our oceans.”
People can find out more about Danielle’s outlook on the marine world in an interview she gave to the Ocean Culture website.
For further information about experiencing the barefoot luxury 81-villa OUTRIGGER Maldives Maafushivaru Resort and participating in its OUTRIGGER Zone conservation initiatives, visit the property on OUTRIGGER.com.
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