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Amilla Maldives shows guests Baa Atoll’s renowned manta spectacles

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Manta Season is in full swing in Baa Atoll, just in time for guests returning to Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences to enjoy the atoll’s renowned manta spectacles.

Baa Atoll is one of the best places in the entire Maldives for spotting manta rays, with its warm clear waters and incredible visibility of up to 40 metres. In fact, Baa Atoll was named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in recognition of its incredible marine biodiversity.

The Maldivian borders reopened to international visitors of every nationality in July, with a free 30-day visa on arrival for all. With the resumption of scheduled flights from around the world, many repeat guests couldn’t wait to escape to Amilla Maldives.

The resort’s vast areas of untamed wilderness, spacious self-contained villa amenities like private pools and comprehensive Covid-19 prevention protocols make it the perfect respite.

Taking advantage of Amilla’s flexible cancellation policy, guests have returned to find themselves in the middle of the area’s celebrated manta season, which runs until November.

The very best times to spot mantas are during the full moon and the new moon, although Amilla’s HUB watersports team is pros at tracking mantas and know their favourite haunts such as cleaning stations, and of course, the world-famous Hanifaru Bay.

Hanifaru Bay is renowned for attracting exceptionally large aggregations of magnificent manta rays and gentle whale sharks, which feed on the zooplankton trapped in bay. At its peak, there could be as many as 100 mantas plus several whale sharks feeding in Hanifaru at the same time. The site is only a short 4.8-mile speedboat ride from Amilla.

Hanifaru Bay has been a Marine Protected Area since 2009. This means there are rules in place that protect the environment and limit the number of visitors allowed in the area at the same time.

The Amilla watersports team takes guests on a guided snorkel, so they can view these amazing creatures in their natural environment.

Reef mantas can have a wingspan of up to 3.3 metres and whale sharks (technically not sharks, but actually the largest type of fish species) can grow up to 12 metres long.

Both mantas and whale sharks are generally elusive creatures and are vulnerable to extinction, which makes Baa Atoll — and Hanifaru Bay — even more exceptional.

Hanifaru Bay has a unique dynamic water circulation system due to the funnel-like reef shape. It’s about 1,300 metres long and 600 metres wide at the narrowest point.

From May to November huge quantities of zooplankton become trapped in the bay, creating a kind of zooplankton ‘soup’, which in turn attracts large numbers of `megafauna’ like whale sharks and manta rays.

Hanifaru is also a nesting site for green and hawksbill turtles.

Located just 30 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport, Amilla offers a choice of 59 Houses that sit gracefully over crystal clear waters, nestled among lush tree tops or hug the shores of pristine white sand; plus eight spectacular four- to eight-bedroom Beach Residences ideally suited to large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy.

Amilla’s innovative restaurants range from the diverse, informal foodie hub Baazaar to the relaxed yet sophisticated overwater dining at the signature Feeling Koi. Guests can even drop in to gourmet café and deli The Emperor General Store or The Wine Shop & Cellar Door to treat themselves to lighter snacks, a favourite bottle or a gourmet selection of artisanal cheeses.

With an unrivalled range of purpose-designed multi-bedroom accommodation options, and an exciting, inspiring and active Kids’ Club The Sultan’s Village, Amilla has put the Maldives on the map as a destination not just for couples, but for families and friends.

For more information and bookings, please email sales@amilla.mv  or visit www.amilla.com.

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Catch the wind with Kitesurfing World Champion Youri Zoon at COMO Cocoa Island

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Embark on an exhilarating kitesurfing odyssey from May 6th to 20th, 2024, at COMO Cocoa Island alongside Youri Zoon, celebrated for seizing the kitesurfing world championship twice. Under his seasoned guidance, amplify your kitesurfing prowess, whether you’re a neophyte craving the fundamentals or a seasoned aficionado striving for intricate manoeuvres and airborne thrills.

Kitesurfing merges windsurfing, surfing, and wakeboarding for a dynamic water sport. Using controllable kites, riders harness wind power to glide across the ocean’s surface while being set against the backdrop of endless horizons and azure waters.

Throughout his residency, Zoon will conduct guided kitesurfing sessions, offering novices a gentle introduction to the sport or empowering veterans to elevate their abilities. Additionally, Zoon will host enlightening COMO Conversations, delving into his personal journey to kitesurfing eminence and the obstacles he surmounted along the way.

Guests may arrange activities with Zoon at their leisure, with plenty of time to make the most of our private island comforts, from massage treatments at COMO Shambhala to sandbank dinners under the stars and more.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Zoon’s affinity for kiteboarding burgeoned at the tender age of 13. A prodigious talent, he swiftly amassed accolades, securing victories at the Junior European Championships and Dutch Nationals in his inaugural year. Subsequently clinching the world title in 2011 and 2012, Zoon’s enduring passion for the sport fuels his ongoing commitment to mentorship and coaching, ensuring his legacy endures both on and off the water.

Nestled within South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island beckons discerning travelers with its intimate enclave of 33 overwater villas. Renowned for its iconic Dhoni Water Villas, which pay homage to Maldivian maritime heritage, this idyllic retreat offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and indulgence. Accessible via a scenic 40-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport, COMO Cocoa Island promises an unrivalled blend of luxury and seclusion.

For details on COMO Hotels and Resorts or to plan your next escape, please visit https://www.comohotels.com/cocoaisland.

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Sheraton Maldives hosts successful second season of Full Moon Futsal Cup

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa celebrated the culmination of the highly anticipated Full Moon Futsal Cup on March 31, 2024. The tournament, which commenced on March 17th, brought together 12 teams from neighboring resorts in Malé Atoll, fostering a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

SO/ Maldives emerged victorious after a thrilling final match, securing the coveted title of Full Moon Futsal Cup Champions 2024. Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, presented the winning team with the Championship trophy and gold medals during a closing ceremony. Additional prizes, medals, and certificates were awarded to recognize the exceptional talent displayed by all participants.

“We are honored to have hosted and participated in such a vibrant tournament,” Mohamed El Aghoury commented, reflecting on the event’s success. “The Full Moon Futsal Cup celebrates not only sportsmanship but also fosters strong bonds within the resort community.”

Throughout the tournament, all teams showcased exceptional skill, determination, and teamwork, captivating spectators and fellow competitors alike. Notably, Sheraton Maldives’ own associate teams, Team Sheraton and Team Furana FC, participated with commendable spirit.

This involvement aligns with Marriott International’s Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) initiative, which prioritizes fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued. The participation of the Young Professionals ARG team specifically exemplifies the group’s dedication to community building, skill development, and mentorship. The tournament provided a platform to spotlight the energy and potential of young professionals, promoting their growth and contributing to the organization’s future success.

Extending beyond a sporting event, the Full Moon Futsal Cup embodies the values of unity, friendship, and healthy competition. This aligns with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s commitment to fostering community connections and Marriott International’s TakeCare philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of physical well-being among associates.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa extends its sincere gratitude to all participating teams, supporters, sponsors, and organizers who contributed to the resounding success of the Full Moon Futsal Cup 2024. The resort eagerly anticipates continuing this tradition of sporting excellence and camaraderie in the years to come.

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Dive into memorable underwater adventure with Baros Maldives’s Eco Explorer Experience

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In today’s world, where the fragile balance of marine ecosystems teeters on the edge, to call for sustainable tourism practices resonates louder than ever. Baros Maldives, deeply rooted in its respect for nature, leads the way in conservation and preservation. Baros’s Eco Explorer Experience stands as a testament to the island’s commitment, inviting guests to not just observe but to actively contribute to the safeguarding of our underwater sanctuaries.

Nestled on a lush, natural island paradise, Baros is a sanctuary surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine life, boasting a world-class house reef, celebrated for its unparalleled beauty and biodiversity, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike.

The Eco Explorer Experience is a carefully curated immersive experience designed for those who seek to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean. This experience is more than an adventure; it’s a journey of discovery and contribution, offering intimate encounters with the marvels of the sea, all while promoting marine conservation.

With this experience, Baros guests enjoy a myriad of enriching activities, culminating in a bespoke photobook documenting the essence of their Eco Explorer journey beneath the waves.

Coral Restoration and Conservation: Participants will immerse themselves in coral ecology, by planting personal coral gardens under the guidance of Baros’s resident Marine Biologist. This hands -on experience not only fosters coral growth but also contributes to the restoration of these vital habitats. Through the Coral Cube initiative, guests will apply innovative techniques like using fast plug cement to build thriving underwater ecosystems. The Baros marine team will share bi-annual updates with the guests so that they can follow the growth of their corals.

Marine Life Identification: This educational session equips guests with the knowledge to identify different fish species and understand their vital roles within the marine ecosystem. Equipped with snorkelling gear and new insights, guests will explore Baros’s world- class house reef during a snorkelling tour, guided by the resident marine biologist, to witness the vibrant marine life.

Night Snorkelling and Bioluminescence: As night falls, the reef reveals a different kind of beauty. With UV lights, guests will explore this nocturnal wonderland, observing the reef’s inhabitants in a new light. This magical experience is not only enchanting but also educational, offering insights into coral health and the ecosystem’s delicate balance.

Baros recognises the fragility of the marine environment and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism practices. The Eco Explorer Experience is more than a holiday activity, it’s an invitation to become part of a larger movement, advocating for the protection and preservation of our marine environments.

Join the Baros marine team on this extraordinary journey. Together, dive deeper, explore further, and unveil the boundless wonders of the ocean, ensuring they remain vibrant for generations to come.

For bookings and more information, please visit www.baros.com or contact Baros directly at reservations@baros.com or call +960 664 26 72.

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