Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort has appointed Amelia Cody as its resident marine biologist.
A marine biology graduate from Newcastle University in the UK, Amelia joins Outrigger from a resort in north of Maldives where she managed its coral rehabilitation programme.
In 2018, she worked with the Maldivian Whale Shark Research Program (MWSRP). She has also given weekly presentations and workshops for local children, volunteers and adults about marine issues such as the importance of understanding megafauna behaviour to sustain populations and the increasing instance of plastics in the ocean.
Here she shares scientific insights on marine ecosystems in the Maldives and what guests curious about the underwater world can discover and do to help while staying with Outrigger:
How did you first get interested in the sea and marine ecology?
At the age of seven I swam with dolphins in Portugal. From this encounter my mind was in awe of the underwater world. I learnt to dive at 11. Being able to explore the underwater world, to be submersed within the marine environmental was – and still is – the best feeling ever. My passion and love of sharks was developed through my strong feelings of how misunderstood they are.
What were your first impressions of Konotta and the house reef there?
Arriving at Konotta was like arriving at a secluded desert island in the middle of the ocean. The island is idyllic and peaceful. With a shoreline of 0.5km this tiny island is remarkably rich and full of marine life on its house reef. In the first week alone I saw the resident guitar shark, nurse shark and cow-tail ray. We have many reef fish, resident turtles and schools of snapper and jackfish.
What interesting marine life is there around Konotta that snorkelers and divers can easily see?
The Konotta house reef is highly diverse. We have around 15 resident reef sharks (blacktip, white tip and grey reef). We have a resident nurse shark by the water villas on the sloping reef, plus a guitar shark – don’t worry, all of them are safe to swim with. We also have resident turtles, both hawksbill and green turtles. The Konotta reef has eagle, whiptail and cowtail rays, a variety of reef fish, many bio-eroders, parrot fish, pairs of butterfly fish, unicorn fish, large schools of bait fish, jackfish and tuna, to name but a few.
How is Outrigger’s OZONE coral conservation programme on Konotta going?
Part of Outrigger’s ZONE globally (OZONE), the Konotta Restoration Project is very well established. We have 24 coral frames within the nursery. Each month coral frame planting events are advertised for guests and hosts at Konotta. I also give weekly marine talks to guests to update them about the project and the progress of all 24 frames.
What can guests do who want to help the marine environment while staying at Outrigger?
We have regular Dive Against Debris events where guests can help remove debris from the house reef at Konotta. We remove any garbage from the water and separate materials for recycling or waste disposal. Guests are also welcome to help with our monthly Desert Island Clean-up events in which we take away the debris washed up on a nearby island. We have monthly coral frame planting as part of our Konotta Restoration Project. Guests are given a briefing on coral biology and restoration methods we use to help coral regrowth. I give weekly presentations on the various marine subjects including coral restoration, ocean pollution, shark and turtle biology and marine life in the Maldives.
What new or different things do you plan to offer guests on Konotta at Best Dives Maldives?
We are providing monthly Dive Against Debris events. These create awareness and educate guests and hosts about ocean pollution and management methods. I am offering a variety of marine talks to guests depending on what they wish to learn about. They can experience coral frame building on land without getting wet.
What can you do for families with young children staying at Outrigger?
There are lots of activities to take part in for families and young children. Depending on the exact age of the children and their comfort level in the water. We have guided house reef snorkelling where they can spot different fishes that I have briefed them about. We have tours of the house reef where families can stay dry and enjoy the wonders of the underwater world from inside a semi-submersible. We also have dolphin quest, a relaxing cruise to spot dolphins in and around the atoll.
What was your experience in Caribbean like?
Studying and working in Caribbean was amazing. I completed an overseas research project as part of my 3rd year dissertation in 2016 working in the Bahamas at Cape Eleuthera Institute. In 2018, I also worked for Operation Wallacea as a Site Manager and Coral Reef Ecology Lecturer on a marine project in Dominica. The daily interaction with students passionate about the ocean was so rewarding.
How much of a problem is coral bleaching in the Maldives?
Coral bleaching is a growing problem here in the Maldives and worldwide. With more instances of prolonged increase sea temperatures, we are seeing more stress and more bleaching in shallow water corals. A mixture of both natural and anthropogenic factors are contributing to global warming and increasing sea surface temperatures
In the world of marine biology, who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
I am inspired by Michel Scholl and Guy Stevens. Both are marine scientists increasing ocean awareness through their organisations, SaveOurSeas and Manta Trust. They have inspired me and supported me. In the last five years, I have also been in continuous contact with Terence Bully who created Blue Ocean Watch, which focuses on research and education of global marine issues. Witnessing his determination, positivity, and continuous hard work motivates me each day in Konotta.
The private island of Konotta is located 340 kilometres to the south of capital Male, and is conveniently accessible via a 55-minute flight from the main Velana International Airport to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private yacht.
The award-winning Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort offers guests the largest average villa sizes in the Maldives. Comprising 29 Beach Pool Villas, 21 Ocean Pool Villas, two Lagoon Pool Villas and the three-bedroom Grand Konotta Villa, the resort offers a complete sense of privacy and intimate luxury.
Captivate your senses with innovative dining concepts, the Navasana Spa, and high-end facilities. In between your diving lesson and massage, indulge in sumptuous Maldivian cuisine or a glass of white Burgundy in one of the resort’s restaurants or the comfort of your villa. As the sun sets, sample Japanese single malts at the Teppan bar whilst drinking in endless ocean views.
Award-winning Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives launches indulgence winter offer
Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently announced scooping up the title of “Best Boutique Resort in Maldives” for the second consecutive year, awarded by the Travel Trade Maldives which comes as no surprise as it is one of the best destinations to experience the unreal sunsets you will ever see while projecting extravagant character and easy-going exotica.
What’s really shaking things up this holiday season at this cozy luxury boutique island resort is that you will be spoiled for choice with one beach for every day. That is right – home to four beautiful beaches, Wai, Veli, Dhigu, and Divehi, all with their unique character – letting you sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, and cycle overwater around the island to your heart’s content. Touching down at Kodhipparu, adventure seekers can revel in countless opportunities for wild coral reef dives, parasailing up the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, or even simply zen out to sunrise and sunset with the resident yogi.
To celebrate the win, and to rev up the appetite with seaside excursions, the resort announced the launch of the exclusive “Kodhipparu Indulgence” offer with an unparalleled dining experience and a consequential gourmet coma that is fully worth every penny you’ve spent on your extravagant holiday.
Set your seaside expedition dreams to a reality, with attractive offerings from the resort-owned marine sports centre as well as the luxury overwater spa, that will have you wanting to extend your holiday. What’s more, you get to enjoy complimentary roundtrip speedboat transfers saving you quite a few pennies on your vacation.
The little explorers with big dreams are welcome to stay and dine free of charge sharing the room with the parents, whether it is by spending their time decorating some yummy cupcakes or catching a kiddies movie under the stars with popcorn.
If you are looking for a romantic touch, with an ample amount of floating rose petals in your pool, or a swoon-worthy proposal set up at a secret corner of the island out of bounds to others or even a candle-lit dinner on the secluded beaches with you and your beau, all you have to do is message your lifestyle host to work the magic and make it happen for you. With the Kodhipparu dedicated lifestyle host service, everything is just a message away.
As is all good things, this offer is only for a limited time period, so make use of this exclusive indulgence package at Grand Park Kodhipparu comes with an amazing 35% discount on all villa categories.
Simply head over to https://www.parkhotelgroup.com/north-male-atoll/grand-park-kodhipparu-maldives/offers/winter-getaway/ to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!
Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry
In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.
Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.
After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.
Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.
In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.
As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.
Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.
Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.
As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.
A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives
The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.
For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.
Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.
The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.
The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.
Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.
As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.
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