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With Ocean Discovery Package, Anantara Kihavah offers thrilling manta ray experience

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Swimming with manta rays is a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that snorkelers of all abilities should not miss out on. The gentle giants of the ocean, manta rays are one of the most mysterious and largest fish in the ocean with wingspans of up to 7 metres. Watching from above as they glide, swoop, swerve and somersault just metres beneath you is one of life’s truly spectacular experiences.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas in the Maldives’ Baa atoll offers one of the best opportunities to encounter these amazing creatures in their natural annual migration across the Indian Ocean. Each year, from May to November, huge amounts of krill and plankton collects in Hanifaru Bay in the Baa atoll, a UNESCO marine protected biosphere reserve, attracting all kinds of marine life, making it the world’s largest natural Manta Ray feeding destination. Curious, friendly and harmless, manta rays have the largest brain of any fish. They feed on a variety of plankton, which accounts for their large, gaping mouths.

Anantara’s Elements water sports team works closely with the rangers who protect Hanifaru Bay to get the insider scoop on the mantas’ movements so that guests can quickly reach the site, which is located only 20 minutes from the resort, maximising their chances of spotting the rays. Tours depart three-four times each week and no previous snorkelling experience is necessary. Provided they are confident swimmers, children as young as eight years can join in on this incredible marine encounter.

Anantara’s guides scout the mantas’ favourite spots, usually in Hanifaru Bay or in nearby currents where plankton and krill swim. Once given the go-ahead to get into the water, snorkelers are treated to an amazing underwater ballet as the giant mantas glide and somersault in mesmerising patterns. The mantas often swim within centimetres of snorkelers, always managing to avoid contact at the last second. On any given day, visitors to Hanifaru Bay can see anywhere from a couple of mantas to more than 40 depending on plankton levels. Around the full moon, as many as 100 mantas can congregate in the bay. Getting this close to these majestic creatures is truly an experience of a lifetime.

During manta ray season, there is also the possibility of snorkelling with whale sharks, another gentle giant of the ocean and once-in-a-lifetime encounter. While no means guaranteed, whale shark sightings are reasonably frequent from May to November as they are also attracted by the abundance of plankton and krill in Hanifaru Bay. Anantara’s water sports team are swift to react to any sightings giving guests one of the best chances of seeing these mighty creatures up close.

The Elements team at Anantara Kihavah Villas are dedicated to safeguarding the wellbeing and habitat of the manta rays and whale sharks, and enforce the strict regulations that have been set by the local rangers.

For enthusiasts, Anantara Kihavah Villas is offering a special Kihavah Ocean Discovery Package with prices from USD 1,270 for a Beach Pool Villa. The package includes:

  • Five nights’ accommodation in a Beach Pool Villa or Over Water Pool Villa
  • Daily buffet breakfast for two persons
  • One Dolphin Discovery excursion for two persons
  • One Turtle Quest or Manta Ray Snorkelling excursion for two persons
  • Choice of one Scuba Diving or one Scuba Review course for two persons
  • One 30-minute Seabob water sport experience for two persons
  • One local island visit for two persons

Anantara Kihavah Villas is located just 35 minutes by seaplane from the main Velana International Airport. Following the scenic flight, guests arrive to a picture-perfect setting surrounded by the jewel-coloured waters and uninhabited islands of the majestic Indian Ocean.

Comprising 74 one-bedroom villas, four two-bedroom residences and a three-bedroom residence, each hideaway boasts large personal infinity-edge pools, dining pavilions, expansive wooden sundecks and ample lounging areas complete with swinging daybeds, hammocks and sun loungers. All villas feature his and hers walk-in wardrobes, rain showers, outdoor showers and over-sized bathtubs big enough for two. Sunken glass bottom bathtubs in the over water villas offer a mesmerising view of the sparkling ocean, both below and beyond the adjacent infinity-edge pool.

 The island boasts an abundant and colourful house reef of its own known as the ‘Golden Wall’ for the particular presence of gold and yellow corals, and which attracts a huge variety of species of fish, lobster and sea stars. Having this ‘must-dive’ site right on the hotel’s doorstep ensures divers are guaranteed a superb dive no matter what the conditions are.

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Get ready to score big: Siyam World Maldives hosts summer football camp with Spanish goalkeeper Pepe

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Get ready to kick it up a notch as Siyam World Maldives gears up for an epic summer football camp hosted by none other than Spanish football sensation, José Manuel “Pepe” Reina Páez from June 23rd to 26th, 2024. Building on its tradition of hosting world-class football camps and following the success of its spring series featuring international legends and star players, this event promises to be a highlight of the summer.

Pepe Reina is set to bring his A-game to Siyam World for an unforgettable football experience at its premier sports complex and full-size soccer pitch – The World Sports Arena. The three-day summer football camp in June runs from 16:30 – 18:00 hrs and offers participants the chance to receive personalized coaching from the star goalkeeper himself. Along with a series of skill-building drills, friendly matches, and fun football-related activities, this camp is designed to inspire and excite football enthusiasts of all ages. Dressed in their personalized Rascal training kits, young players aged from five to 12 will seize the perfect opportunity to refine all aspects of their game, from tactics to technical skills. This unique experience promises to enhance their abilities and provide memories that will last a lifetime.

José Manuel “Pepe” Reina Páez is a Spanish professional footballer renowned for his exceptional skills as a goalkeeper and his dedication to nurturing young talent. With a career spanning La Liga and beyond, Pepe Reina brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the game.

“Our goal is to inspire our young guests to dream big,” said Ausy Waseem, Resort Manager at Siyam World. “Seeing a legend or a star player in person can help these youngsters realize that making their dreams a reality is possible. They will take home unforgettable memories and experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.”

But that’s not all! Siyam World is no stranger to hosting football legends and star players. Earlier this year, the resort scored big with a legendary line-up featuring Wayne Bridge, Adrian San Miguel Castillo, Francesco Totti, and Michael Owen, who led unforgettable spring football camps. Guests had the chance to hone their skills on our impressive sports complex and soccer pitch at The World Sports Arena, soaking up world-class coaching and immersive experiences designed to take their game to the next level.

Furthermore, Siyam World has also had the pleasure of hosting several other football legends and star players recently, such as Esteban “Cuchu” Cambiasso, Carlos Puyol, Marco Materazzi, and Robert Pirès who all showcased their skills on the pitch. Joining them were players like Harvey Elliott, Kostas Tsimikas, Juan Sebastián Verón, Roberto Pires, Eric Abidal, Nicola Ventola, Bobo Vieri, and Jay Jay Okocha, creating an unforgettable lineup of football stars at Siyam World.

Now, it’s time to keep the momentum going with “Pepe Reina” leading the charge – don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train with one of football’s greatest at one of the most beautiful locations in the world!

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Exploring the depths: Technical diving at the British Loyalty wreck in Addu Atoll

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In the southernmost reaches of the Maldives lies a submerged relic steeped in history – The British Loyalty shipwreck. This underwater treasure, resting 33 meters below the surface between the islands of Maradhoo and Hithadhoo in Addu Atoll, has become a haven for technical divers seeking a unique and thrilling experience.

The British Loyalty, an oil tanker with a storied past, was constructed in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and played a crucial role during the colonial era, serving the British Royal Air Force until the late 1970s. Tragically, the ship met its fate during World War II when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in Madagascar in May 1942, resulting in the loss of lives and significant damage.

Despite facing the perils of war, the British Loyalty managed to find its way to Addu Atoll after being repaired. Its duty shifted to supplying oil to the base in Gan until another harrowing incident in 1944, when a German U-boat torpedoed the vessel. Miraculously, the ship did not sink but sustained considerable damage. Instead of full repairs, it was repurposed as a fuel storage vessel until the British withdrawal from the Maldives in 1946, leading to its intentional scuttling across the atoll.

Today, The British Loyalty lies beneath the crystal-clear waters, offering a captivating dive site for enthusiasts. Aquaventure Maldives, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center in Addu, facilitates these mesmerizing dives, providing enthusiasts with a chance to explore the sunken vessel and the vibrant marine life that has made it their home.

Divers have the opportunity to navigate through the 140-meter-long wreck adorned with corals and inhabited by schools of small fish, turtles, and occasional visits from manta rays and sharks. The deck and keel of the ship feature two large holes, inviting divers to swim in and out, enhancing the overall experience of exploring this historic underwater site.

To ensure the preservation of the natural beauty surrounding the wreck, the Maldives Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared The British Loyalty a Protected Area in 2018. This designation emphasizes the commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of marine life and safeguarding the historical significance of the site.

For those seeking an extraordinary adventure beneath the waves, Aquaventure Maldives invites divers to embark on a journey through time, exploring the depths of The British Loyalty and witnessing the captivating underwater wonders of Addu Atoll. With experienced instructors and dive masters boasting thousands of dives in the atoll, Aquaventure Maldives promises a safe and unforgettable technical diving experience in this unique underwater realm.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts “Shape-Up” bootcamp for Global Wellness Day

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Fitness enthusiasts can maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of Furanafushi Island

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites fitness enthusiasts and wellness seekers to join an exciting boot camp in celebration of Global Wellness Day. ‘Shape-Up’, a two-day event, will take place on June 11 and 12, 2024, celebrating health, fitness, and well-being. Hosted by renowned German fitness coach Dennis Felber, the event promises a dynamic mix of workouts against the idyllic backdrop of Furanafushi Island.

Dennis Felber, recognized for his coaching expertise, brings years of experience in promoting healthier lifestyles, weight loss, and muscle building. His engaging and effective approach ensures that participants of all fitness levels can achieve their personal goals. The program includes a variety of workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for beginners, beach circuits, battle ropes, fun aqua aerobics, and many more, ensuring an exciting and diverse fitness experience for everyone.

Elevate your performance with an intensive session with Dennis Felber at CocoFit, an innovative outdoor gym that allows fitness enthusiasts to maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of the surroundings. To complement each session, the signature Furana Detox, crafted from fresh lemongrass, mint leaves, and pandan leaves harvested from the resort’s own Furana Organic Garden, is served to get you refreshed and refueled. To conclude the day, our executive chef, Riccardo Pinna, has curated a wellness-inspired dinner consisting of a three-course hearty meal to ensure a balance of nutrients for your body. The evening promises an experience that delights your taste buds and supports your overall well-being.

‘Shape-Up’ is available complimentary for all resort guests aged 16 and above, accommodating guests of all fitness levels. The event also underscores the resort’s commitment to being the World’s Gathering Place, fostering a sense of community among like-minded travelers who share a passion for wellness.

“We are excited to host the ‘Shape-Up’ with Dennis Felber this Global Wellness Day,” said Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “Our goal is to be part of our guests’ wellness journeys by providing enriching activities while they enjoy the unparalleled beauty of our resort.”

Beyond the boot camp, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa offers a variety of enriching activities for guests of all ages. From Sunrise Yoga sessions and adrenaline-pumping water sports to “Adopt A Coral,” a coral planting activity, guests can indulge in both adventure and relaxation while contributing to marine conservation. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is accessible with a 15-minute complimentary speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, making it ideal for guests who prefer brief travel.

For reservations and more information, visit www.sheratonmaldives.com or contact the reservations team at Sheraton.Maldives@sheraton.com.

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