Winner of the Summer In-Turtle-Ship competition by luxury travel brand Coco Collection has arrived in Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.
Jessica Monteiro, a veterinary student from Portugal, won the two-week internship with the Olive Ridley Project — a charity that works to rescue, rehabilitate and protect sea turtles in the surrounding Baa atoll — out of the thousands of applicants who were interested in the opportunity.
“I found out about the competition through an article my mother sent me on Facebook. It was on a Portuguese website called e-konomista.pt and the headline was, ‘Hotel in the Maldives offers an all paid internship with turtles’,” Jessica said.
“I’d like to pursue work in the wildlife conservation field and the competition was the perfect opportunity to further my knowledge on turtles. The hotel and island looked breathtaking, so the competition seemed like a dream I had to take.”
Jessica’s love for animals began as a little girl growing up in London, where she would spend days discovering insects and birds, all the while taking care of her many pets including, of course, a turtle. Recently, she has been challenging herself by working with wild and unusual animals at the zoo, aquarium, and the exotic pet clinic in Lisbon, where she currently lives.
Jessica fostered her ever-growing love for sea turtles during a collaborative in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau off the coast of west Africa. Besides her passion for animals, she is also a keen traveller eager to absorb and immerse herself in the culture of wherever she visits.
Located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the island is no stranger to incredible marine life in the stunning nearby reefs. However, as the first and only veterinarian-led turtle rescue centre in the Maldives, the Olive Ridley Project is seeing an increase in the number of turtles being brought to the centre for rehabilitation through various means.
Jessica has the chance to gain valuable veterinary experience from one of the UK’s leading specialist turtle veterinary surgeons Dr Claire Petros. Her daily duties include feeding the turtles, cleaning tanks, observing surgeries and medical procedures, and attending rescue missions to collect turtles in need.
She is also able to interact with guests who visit the centre, giving them information on the turtles staying at the centre and attending any Olive Ridley Project presentation evenings. Duties also include guest posts on the Olive Ridley Project’s social media platforms, to update on their personal progress and show a behind-the-scenes look of the Rescue Centre.
An internship like no other: Jessica stays in a truly tropical paradise in a beautiful guest villa, with full board benefits at Coco Palm’s Cowrie restaurant. She is also gifted some of the fantastic experiences available to guests of the resort, such as a sunset cruise and a guided group snorkelling trip in the stunning Baa atoll.
“It’s paradise. I am amazed at everything from the beautiful views, to the magnificent installations and the super friendly staff. It is such a clean and quiet resort filled with lots of things to do and try. The food is delicious! I still haven’t tried anything I haven’t liked. And probably won’t until I leave,” Jessica said.
“I hope that by the end of the experience I have learnt a lot more about sea turtles, made new friends and have a nice tan! It is a dream come true and there is much I can take away from it.”
The Olive Ridley Project together with Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu also offers a unique three-month turtle internship exclusively for Maldivians, where local students are taught about turtle husbandry and turtle medicine. The intern works alongside the veterinarian at the rescue centre, assisting them with surgeries and the daily running of the centre. This paid internship offers a one-on-one opportunity to work with an experienced vet in turtle conservation.
Three islands — Coco Bodu Hithi, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Privé — comprise the Coco Collection brand.
Coco Bodu Hithi, the flagship property in Coco Collection’s portfolio, is a chic retreat where you reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and the wonder of the natural world. Translating island life into contemporary sophistication, the resort, which is accessible by a 40-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport, offers 100 villas that are surrounded by the calm view of the lagoon and the soothing sound of the waves.
With seven restaurants and bars, Coco Bodu Hithi celebrates and offers a variety of exquisite cuisines, taking inspiration from the Maldives and further afield.
An award-winning wellness zone on stilts over the clear water, Coco Spa is a sanctuary for the soul. Mindful of the healing properties of nature and the ocean, the spa is designed to retreat for an escape, whether a massage in one of the eight treatment rooms or yoga on the pavilion overlooking the ocean and beach. With a range of products from the Paris label Thémaé combining the healing properties of tea, therapists at Coco Spa are trained in techniques to treat the mind, body and soul. An overwater gym within the zone inspires guests to keep up with their regime of active well ness when away on a holiday.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is dedicated to the inspiring beauty and natural wonder of the Maldives. Here, environmentally-conscious touches are woven into luxurious natural surroundings and initiatives contribute to the environmental and social sustainability of Maldives.
At USD 45,000 a night, Coco Privé is the first private island for exclusive hire in the Maldives. Secluded and utterly discrete, the island is perfectly designed for guests to escape to an entirely private paradise.
With a master residence and five guest villas all with breathtaking views, a lavish dining room, purpose-built kitchen, cocktail bar, wine cellar, library, indoor and outdoor gym areas, sauna, and a 40-metre pool, this 1.4 hectare island is the perfect space to indulge in anything you can imagine.
A dedicated team of personal staff including private chefs, butlers and spa therapists ensure a level of service that is unparalleled. Every guest is given a completely personalised experience, and this is what makes stays on the island so exceptional.
Hideaway Beach Resort unveils fitness centre upgrade with dedicated yoga space; introduces badminton
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, renowned for its commitment to providing unparalleled luxury and experiences, has announced its latest enhancements in health and wellness offerings, solidifying its position as a premier destination for those with an active lifestyle seeking a holistic and rejuvenating getaway.
The jewel in the crown of these updates is the comprehensive upgrade to the resort’s Fitness Center. Meticulously designed to cater to the diverse wellness needs of guests, the gym now boasts state-of-the-art equipment and an extension that includes a dedicated yoga space; known as the Wellness Studio. This addition provides an idyllic setting for guests to embark on their wellness journey, offering a serene atmosphere for yoga and meditation practices. The resort has also recently added Indoor Badminton courts to their offerings list so guests can sweat it out in the courts.
Hideaway guests are inspired to cleanse, restore, and energise their body and mind. To enable guests to work out on their own schedule, the Fitness Center is open 24 hours. With a variety of state-of-the-art exercise equipment including free weights, Stairmasters, stationary bicycles, treadmills, and more, guests are spoilt for choice. Additionally, thanks to the well thought out entertainment systems such as cable TV and Audio music systems, guests can keep current with worldwide news and sports or go full blast with their favourite tunes at play.
The new building also houses showers and changing facilities, so you can complete your cooldown routine at the gym without having to return to your villa. The facilities are available for all guests (children under 12 to be accompanied by an adult) to use free of charge, and our team members are on hand to help out and provide introductions to any equipment you may be unfamiliar with.
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa enhances its fitness offerings with the introduction of diverse group classes like Zumba, Tabatha, and Step Aerobics at their new Wellness Studio. These additions, led by a highly experienced Gym & Wellness Instructor, promise an engaging and comprehensive fitness experience for guests.
Hideaway is not just a retreat; it’s an oasis for sports enthusiasts. In addition to the Fitness Center upgrade, the resort has expanded its array of indoor and outdoor sports facilities. The resort’s Sports Complex also includes 2 tennis courts, 1 padel court, 1 half-basketball court, 1 beach volleyball area, 1 Golf Center which has 2 golf simulators and 1 putting green, the new Badminton Center which has 2 badminton courts, 1 soccer field, and professional assistance for various sports with the help of our Sports Master and some Pro Coaches for select sports at the resort.
Staying fit whilst holidaying at Hideaway doesn’t have to be restricted to the gym. You can jog around the beautiful, scenic island or ride the bicycles that you will be provided with at your villa.
Speaking about this new addition, Christophe Adam, the General Manager of Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, said: “Wellness and fitness travel have come a long way in recent years. Diverse guests now want a variety of benefits from their vacations and they’re looking for programmes and services that are designed to meet their short-term health needs. At Hideaway, we recognise the importance of relaxation and enjoyment. So, we are here to help our valued guests to reconnect to themselves and to prove fitness can be part of a great holiday! We are really excited by the opportunity to create a truly wellness experiences with a wide of sports activities that are seamlessly integrated into a guest’s holiday in the Maldives”.
Hideaway invites guests to immerse themselves in a world of luxury, wellness, and unparalleled hospitality. With these new offerings, the resort continues to set new standards for the ultimate retreat, where guests can rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and spirits.
Umair Badheeu sets new, national freediving record at AIDA Philippines National Championship
Maldivian freediver Umair Badheeu has achieved a new national record with a dive to a depth of 62 meters in the bi-fin category. His accomplishment was made possible with the support of Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels, a key sponsor and advocate for Umair’s pursuit of excellence in freediving.
Competing among 14 international participants, Umair’s performance not only secured a new national record but also surpassed his previous bi-fin category record of 60 meters by a margin of two meters.
Reflecting on the challenges of transitioning from his training in Egypt to competing in the Philippines, Umair said: “Adapting to reduced buoyancy due to warmer waters and encountering jellyfish were part of the new environment.”
This marks the third national record Umair has achieved. He previously set two national records of 62 and 64 meters in the free immersion category of free diving at the Andrea Zuccari World Cup held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt in October. Free immersion freediving is a discipline that requires divers to descend and ascend pulling a rope.
Umair’s switch from training in free immersion in Egypt to the bi-fin category for this tournament demonstrated his adaptability: “It felt like shifting gears, utilising distinct techniques, and returning to a more familiar discipline. This dive marks a confident depth for me, focusing not just on depth but also on refining dive times for a more enjoyable experience,” he remarked.
“Kaimoo’s support has been instrumental, offering me the freedom to train. This support has allowed me to focus on honing my skills and achieving new heights in my freediving,” Umair added.
“Umair’s third record-breaking dive this year is a testament to his exceptional skill and determination. Kaimoo is thrilled to continue supporting Umair’s journey in the world of freediving. His achievements inspire us, and we congratulate him on this impressive feat, looking for-ward to his continued success,” said Mohamed Manih Ahmed, Kaimoo’s Managing Director.
With this record-breaking achievement, Umair now looks forward to a period of rest before gearing up for the upcoming freediving season.
Kaimoo Resorts and Hotels is a leading tourism company in the Maldives that manages five properties across the country. In addition to Embudu Village and Summer Island Maldives, Kaimoo also operates Equator Village in Addu Atoll, and the Mookai Hotel and Mookai Suites in Male’.
Kuramathi Maldives and Rasdhoo Divers dive into adventure with speciality courses
Kuramathi Maldives, in collaboration with Rasdhoo Divers, is elevating the underwater experience by offering a captivating range of Dive Speciality Courses, tailored for both novices and seasoned divers alike. These courses go beyond the ordinary, immersing participants in topics such as Perfect Buoyancy, Wave, Tides and Currents, Turtle Ecology, Manta Ecology, Marine Ecology, Deep Diver Speciality, and Enriched Air Nitrox Speciality.
Perfect Buoyancy: Master the art of achieving and maintaining perfect buoyancy underwater, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable diving experience.
Wave, Tides, and Currents: Dive enthusiasts can now confidently navigate ocean dynamics, enhancing their skills in diverse underwater conditions.
Turtle Ecology: Gain insights into the captivating world of sea turtles, understanding their behavior, and contributing to their conservation.
Manta Ecology: Delve into the mysterious realm of majestic mantas, exploring their habitat, behavior, and the crucial role they play in marine ecosystems.
Marine Ecology: Discover the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and learn how divers can contribute to their preservation through responsible and sustainable practices.
Deep Diver Speciality: Embark on a thrilling adventure below 18 meters, gaining advanced skills for deep-sea exploration and mastering safe diving techniques and pressure management.
Enriched Air Nitrox Speciality: Unlock the secrets of the deep with Nitrox, ensuring safer and longer dives. Enhance your dive planning, elevate safety, and indulge in extended reef adventures.
These Dive Speciality Courses at Kuramathi Maldives are designed not only to enhance participants’ diving skills but also to instill a sense of environmental awareness and responsibility. As custodians of the pristine underwater environment, Kuramathi Maldives is committed to nurturing a community of conscientious divers dedicated to appreciating and protecting delicate marine ecosystems.
Led by certified dive instructors from Rasdhoo Divers Kuramathi, these courses provide a safe and enjoyable learning experience. Whether you are a beginner eager to explore the underwater wonders or an experienced diver looking to expand your knowledge, Kuramathi Maldives invites you to embark on a journey of discovery beneath the azure waves.
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