In October 2022, when the first Manta Retreat was launched at InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort, guests of the luxury resort got to experience the magic of meeting these gentle underwater giants up close while learning and exploring the research and education around them. In collaboration with the resort-based Manta Trust organisation, a thoughtfully curated programme was made available to guests to educate, explore and raise awareness for manta rays in their natural habitat.
Aimed at adventure travellers, nature lovers, young explorers, and those who wish to add more meaning to their holidays, the Manta Retreat is the perfect combination of a luxury holiday and education.
Already known for its fantastic and perfect location to swim and snorkel with manta rays all year round, the InterContinental Maldives is now launching the second Manta Retreat this March 2023. This unique experience includes more than just snorkelling with manta rays but also offers deep insights into the research surrounding them as well as many more educational experiences that offer a holistic understanding of these marine animals and their habitat.
Participants of the Manta Retreat can look forward to many mind-blowing manta encounters but will also learn about plankton, coral reefs and, most importantly, marine protection. “The Manta Retreat is the perfect holiday programme for everyone passionate about marine life and our oceans. I am very excited to lead the retreat for the first time this year, and to help our participants to saturate their need for meeting mantas” says Farah Hamdan, the Manta Trust base leader at Maamunagau who has recently taken over the post from Jessica Haynes.
This year’s Manta Retreat falls into the Maamunagau Manta Season, where young manta rays are found in the resort’s lagoon just a few minutes away from shore. The Maamunagau Lagoon is a known juvenile manta ray aggregation point and a significant research ground for the Manta Trust team. “We can assume our lagoon to be a manta ray nursery. We still don’t know where manta rays are born, but many juvenile manta rays hang around in our lagoon from December to April. This is a research haven for us, while we, of course, love to head out to Hanifaru Bay during the season as well to observe and research the massive aggregation of mantas there.” explains Farah.
Hanifaru Bay is a world-famous, manta ray feeding station. From June to October, large groups of manta rays can be found here, feeding on the plankton washed into the bay by the turning current. The bay is only a short boat ride away from InterContinental Maldives, to which excursions are also offered during the season.
The manta retreat will take place from 9th to 13th March 2023, and included are several snorkelling and research trips, on-hand educational workshops, as well as excursions to find turtles and learn about corals. The purpose of the Manta Retreat is to educate participants and ocean afficionados on manta rays and their protection, whilst raising funds to support the work of the Manta Trust.
Guests staying at InterContinental Maldives also have the opportunity to enjoy the luxury resort’s facilities as well as their villa or residence accommodation. There is also plenty to keep family members and kids busy in case some family members or the travel partner is not participating in the retreat. Additional activities can be booked or can extend the stay beyond the retreat if more time is needed to make the most out of the trip to the Maldives.
For certified divers, options are available to ensure all guests find their individual way of interacting with manta rays. Dedicated dive spots are in the area around the resort that allows divers to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’, known as cleaning stations, showcasing the incredible symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.
THE MANTA RETREAT
The Manta Retreat will take place from 9th to 13th March 2023 at the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort. The participation fee for the manta retreat is USD 1950 for an adult and USD 1350 for children of the ages 10 and 11. Activities included are three manta ray snorkelling trips, house reef night snorkelling experience, sunset dolphin cruise, several workshops to learn more about manta rays, plankton, turtles, coral restoration and more.
Guests participating in the Manta Retreat, are eligible for a 25% discount on their stay (discount applies on nightly rate only) if they book for a minimum of five nights or more.
All prices are quoted in USD, including 10% Service Charge and 16% GST.
Additional experiences such as diving and snorkelling trips, cruises, excursions or spa and wellness treatments can be booked individually for additional charges. Upon request, one on one sessions with the Manta Biologist can be arranged privately.
For more information, please visit https://maldives.intercontinental.com/sustainability/manta-retreat or contact the reservations team with the booking code “Manta Retreat” at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on WhatsApp at +960 730 9300.
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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