Mercure Maldives Kooddoo opens up undiscovered dive sites in Gaafu Alif atoll
Gaafu Alif atoll is a paradise for underwater aficionados, with scores of healthy coral islets and still undiscovered dive sites. The best dive sites are the channel dives for sharks and pelagic encounters. These types of dives are the most sought after by serious recreational divers. And the best dive channels are on either end of Kooddoo island in the southern atoll.
Guests at Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, which opened late last month, can access both of these sites in only 10 minutes by Dhoni boat from the resort. These are considered as ‘house dives’; particularly the Kooddoo channel, which is already regarded as home to the best dive site in the atoll.
During the shark dives in the Kooddoo channels, divers can expect to see grey reef sharks, black tip oceanic sharks and occasional sightings of hammerhead sharks. For two or three months around January to March, liveaboard dive boats currently visit these sites, but because of the long transit from Male in open water and unpredictable weather they do not operate in other months.
With the opening of Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, which boasts the PADI five-star certified dive and water sports centre Suvadiva Divers Maldives, divers can now access these sites all-year-round.
All this makes Mercure Maldives Kooddoo a great location for a dive resort in a still untouched atoll — an atoll that is now easily accessible by domestic flight and has a mid-scale accommodation options. All of the other resorts in the area are at five star price points, which does not appeal to the budget of serious divers.
Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, developed on the airport island of Kooddoo itself, boasts 68 stylish and well-appointed villas, comprising 43 overwater villas and 25 beach villas with 20 of them featuring a private swimming pool. Attesting to the Mercure brand promise of an authentic experience, vivid colours and decorative motifs along with warm textures and local design touches are used tastefully throughout the villas in order to create a haven of peace with a strong local character.
Guests are offered several attractive dining options. The all-day dining Alita Restaurant serves Pan-Asian à la carte cuisine and themed buffets, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Vistas, an overwater restaurant and lounge, serves tapas, snacks and handcrafted cocktails, while the Alita Pool Bar offers cocktails and light bites with a view.