Milaidhoo Maldives has identified and named six new hawksbill turtles which are long-term residents of the reefs surrounding the island resort.
The newly identified hawksbill turtles have been named Crusty, Flori, Madhiri, Sam, Sirena and Swimerette.
Hawksbill turtles are located worldwide, and are easily distinguished from other sea turtles by their sharp curving beak and serrated edge to the rear of their shell. Like all sea turtles, they spend the first 20 or so years of their life in the open ocean feeding predominantly on jellyfish. Therefore, when they come to live in coral reef habitat, they change their diet and start feeding on sponges, algae, coral, and small crustaceans instead.
Hawksbill turtles play a key role in the coral reef ecosystem. There are few animals that eat the fast-growing sponges due to the toxins in their tissue; therefore they allow coral and other species to colonise and grow in the gaps they create. This maintains diversity throughout the reef ecosystem.
Hawksbill turtles are listed as Critically Endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is partly due to their shell being used for thousands of years for decoration purposes, but in the 1900s their population was estimated to drop by 80 percent. As air breathing reptiles, turtles are at great risk of drowning in fishing gear. In addition to this, with jellyfish as their main food source in the open ocean, plastic pollution is a major problem.
They are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but much is still needed to conserve populations of hawksbill turtles.
Several efforts are being made throughout the Maldives to protect its turtle population. Many resorts have teamed up with the Olive Ridley Project, which runs a nationwide database that tracks the sightings of different species of turtles across the archipelago.
Located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa atoll, Milaidhoo, the latest resort by pioneers of Maldives tourism Universal Resorts, can be reached by a 30-minute seaplane flight.
Perfect for nature lovers as its own coral reef, which encircles the island, is a protected area and noted as an outstanding snorkelling and diving site in its own right. The tiny beautiful island, abundant with tropical greenery, measures just 300 by 180m and is fringed by soft deep white sand beaches.
Milaidhoo offers 50 villas made using materials and fittings custom-made for Milaidhoo in a way that epitomises the true contemporary Maldives style. Standing on stilts over the lagoon are 30 spacious overwater villas (245 square metres) and hidden amongst the tropical greenery are 20 serene villas on the beach (290 square metres). All villas have large private freshwater swimming pools and an island host to attend to the guests’ every whim.
The Small Luxury Hotels of the World member resort offers three restaurants and two bars, with the signature restaurant built overwater and shaped like three traditional Maldivian sailing boats. It – unique in the Maldives – serves modern interpretation of island-influenced cuisine.
InterContinental Maldives invites guests to third Manta Retreat in March 2024
After the successful launch of the Manta Retreat in 2022, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is gearing up for its third Manta Retreat, scheduled to take place from March 9th to 12th, 2024. This unique experience offers guests an opportunity to delve into the world of manta rays, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts led by the Manta Trust.
The Manta Retreat, designed for travelers seeking an extra dimension to their vacations, encourages participants to explore and understand these majestic creatures while contributing to ocean conservation. The retreat will be led by Meral Hafeez, the Manta Trust base leader at InterContinental Maldives, who will guide participants through an immersive experience.
The focus of the third Manta Retreat will be on meeting the manta rays that inhabit the surrounding waters of the island, emphasizing their protection and ocean conservation. Meral Hafeez expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of Maldivian marine life, stating, “I can’t wait for everyone to experience their first manta ray and the wonders of the deep!”
This year’s retreat coincides with the Maamunagau Manta Season in March, where young manta rays gather in the resort’s lagoon, offering a unique opportunity for up-close encounters. The Maamunagau Lagoon serves as a crucial research ground for the Manta Trust team, allowing guests to actively participate in the identification and naming of manta rays through the Manta ID workshop.
The Manta Retreat package, priced at USD 1490 per guest, includes two manta ray snorkeling trips, a guided house reef snorkeling experience, the chance to name and adopt a manta ray, and various workshops covering manta rays, plankton, and coral restoration.
For certified divers, dedicated dive spots around the resort provide opportunities to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’ at cleaning stations, showcasing the fascinating symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.
The purpose of the Manta Retreat goes beyond education and exploration; it also serves as a fundraiser to support the valuable work of the Manta Trust. Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives can enjoy the resort’s luxurious facilities and accommodations while those not participating in the retreat have plenty of entertainment options.
Football legend Lukas Podolski lights up Heritance Aarah with friendly match against Maldivian youth
In a heartwarming display of football’s unifying spirit, German legend Lukas Podolski traded the grand stadiums for the sun-kissed shores of Heritance Aarah, Maldives, to play a friendly match with a team of eager young players from Meedhu Island. The event saw Podolski donning a custom Heritance Aarah jersey and taking to the pitch alongside the spirited Maldivian children.
More than just a friendly kickabout, the match was a platform for learning and inspiration. The young athletes showcased their skills and learned new tricks from the seasoned pro. The air crackled with a distinctive camaraderie as Podolski’s guidance and encouragement blended seamlessly with the children’s infectious joy.
As a memento of this extraordinary encounter, each participant received a personally signed jersey from Podolski, adding a priceless touch to the occasion. The football star’s presence transformed the friendly match into an unforgettable experience, etching itself indelibly into the memories of the young players and their families.
Podolski later took to his Facebook, sharing photos from the event with the caption, “Football is our global game. A pleasure to meet you all thanks @oneluxury.de & @heritanceaarah #LP10 #football #strassenkicker #enjoy #love.” The post resonated with fans worldwide, celebrating the power of sports to connect people across cultures and backgrounds.
Heritance Aarah, a Premium All-Inclusive resort, offers an idyllic setting for the ultimate getaway, presenting a diverse range of experiences. From the culinary delights crafted by award-winning chefs to the exploration of the captivating over and underwater wonders of the Raa Atoll, the resort sets a remarkable tone for luxury and adventure. With five restaurants included in the Premium All-Inclusive package, exclusive bars, and access to Hatha and Baani with supplement charges, Heritance Aarah offers a holistic experience. The spa and wellness facilities, featuring a hot tub and a fitness center, further enhance the overall well-being of guests, who can also enjoy various activities.
Game, set, Makarova: Former world #1 launches new tennis academy at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa this festive season
In partnership with the world-class sports management organisation RTC (Royal, Timeless & Challenging) Sport, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is launching its new Tennis Academy this festive season: a stellar coaching school boasting a line-up of some of the sport’s most celebrated figures, starting with former World #1 and four-time Grand Slam Champion Ekaterina Makarova.
Train with Legends, Play Like a Champion
The exhilarating new Tennis Academy program offers guests the rare opportunity to master their serve, perfect their backhand and elevate their on-court strategy with elite coaching from four world-class tennis coaches throughout the coming year. Each of these iconic figures brings their own legacy of championship victories and a deep well of on-court expertise to guests of Kuda Huraa.
“Our partnership with RTC is a true game-changer,” says Didier Jardin, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. “It’s an excellent opportunity for our many tennis-loving guests to take their skills to the next level by learning from true tennis royalty.”
A Champion’s Pedigree
Serving up her award-winning take on the game for the Tennis Academy’s 2023 festive season from December 19-26, 2023 is former World #1 and four-time Grand Slam champion Ekaterina Makarova. Makarova dominated world tennis doubles for many years, winning the 2012 US Open with Bruno Soares and the 2013 French Open, 2014 US Open and 2017 Wimbledon Championships with Elena Vesnina. In 2016, together with Vesnina, she soared to Olympic gold. Ekaterina was officially proclaimed World Doubles #1 on June 11, 2018 and claimed 15 titles on the WTA Tour. She also shone as the World #8 in singles, winning three WTA titles, and was a cornerstone of Russia’s victorious 2008 Fed Cup team.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with the guests at Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa,” says Makarova. “I hope to inspire tennis-loving individuals to enhance their skills and on-court strategy with unique training techniques honed through my years of professional experience, while sharing my deep-seated passion for the game.”
Play in Paradise
The Tennis Academy is set in the award-winning serenity of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, a breath-taking oceanfront village setting awarded a third-consecutive Forbes Five-Star rating in 2023. Guests will sail by traditional Maldivian dhoni across crystal-clear waters to reach the Resort’s scenic court, discreetly screened by lush greenery.
There will be tailored sessions for singles, couples and groups, adults and juniors, beginners and experienced players alike, all under the glorious Maldivian sun. Shaded seating, refreshments and towels keep guests cool while enjoying all the thrills of the game.
Throughout the year, the Tennis Academy will be overseen by Dmitrii Studitskii, Director of Tennis at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa.
Dmitrii Studitskii is a formidable blend of seasonedprofessional tennis player and dedicated private coach. Fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, he has extensive experience in both the technical skills of the game and the psychology required to win. His talent for creating training plans tailored to each player’s skill level, from beginner to advanced, ensures that everyone experiences on-court success and grows their love of the game.
A highlight of Kuda Huraa’s Tennis Academy will be an interactive Q&A session with Ekaterina Makarova, which all guests will be invited to join. The event will be an opportunity to ask the former world #1 about her journeys to championship point, the strategies that kept her at the top of her game and her advice for aspiring tennis legends.
Further tennis masters to grace the Tennis Academy will be announced over the coming weeks.
To be part of this Tennis Academy and take skills to the next level,email: email@example.com or call the central reservations department of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at tel: (960) 66 00 888.
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