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Vakkaru Maldives welcomes Miha Plesnik as new resident tennis coach

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Vakkaru Maldives has announced the appointment of Miha Plesnik, a distinguished tennis player and coach from Slovenia as their new resident coach. The 31-year-old certified tennis coach is assigned by Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis to be at the timeless sanctuary until 28 February 2024.

Dedicated to elevating tennis coaching at world’s most luxurious resorts, Tipsarevic Luxury Tennis has been partnering with Vakkaru Maldives since 2020, bringing resident coaches with a valuable blend of international expertise and a personalised approach to coaching. Plesnik had a successful career as a doubles silver medalist at the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2007 and a member of the Slovenian National Team in the European Championships. After his illustrious playing career, Plesnik focused on coaching and has since worked at numerous prestigious institutions, including an upscale county club, where he mainly focused on private lessons. Plesnik attended the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, for Sport Management and is also licensed as an Official National Tennis Coach in Slovenia.

At Vakkaru Maldives, Plesnik will be available for private single and doubles coaching sessions and for ‘Beat the Pro’ sessions, where guests can test their skills against a professional player. Speaking about his stint at Vakkaru Maldives, Plesnik said: “I am passionate about making people fall in love with the beautiful game of tennis and helping them reach their full potential.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Miha Plesnik to our island retreat,” said Iain McCormack, General Manager, Vakkaru Maldives, a tennis enthusiast. “We believe his vast experience and proven track record in coaching will greatly benefit our guests and add a unique dimension to their stay.”

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ROBINSON NOONU offers exciting sports, well-being events for guests

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ROBINSON NOONU, the premium resort on the Maldivian island Orivaru, is offering guests the chance to experience innovative concepts and practice them with experienced coaches and experts. The resort’s upcoming event weeks include the HOT IRON Event Week, Mindful METIME Event-Week, “BODY POSITIVITY”-Event, and “Your timeout” Yoga-Event.

From October 16th to 21st, 2023, guests can participate in the HOT IRON Event Week “Strength meets mobility”, led by Sebastian Prahl. This strength-endurance training with the barbell is suitable for all levels and focuses on body toning and fat reduction.

From October 16th to 21st, 2023, guests can participate in the HOT IRON Event Week “Strength meets mobility”, led by Sebastian Prahl. This strength-endurance training with the barbell is suitable for all levels and focuses on body toning and fat reduction.

The Mindful METIME Event Week, led by Peter Praunsmändtl, takes place from November 7th to 19th, 2023. Guests can find their inner strength through meditations, breathing exercises, and workout classes, including Pilates and mobility sessions.

From December 22nd, 2023, to January 13th, 2024, guests can participate in the “BODY POSITIVITY” Event with Sava Assenov. This event includes core training, Pilates, and yoga flows, as well as early bird workouts and intensive whole-body workouts.

For those looking for a yoga-focused event, the “Your timeout” Yoga Event with Anja Bölitz takes place from January 13th to 27th, 2024. Bölitz, founder of emBODYMINDing®, focuses on healthy alignment for the body and mind, combining yoga and fascia training with meditation and mindfulness.

“Many of our guests come to our island not only to relax and enjoy the dreamlike scenery, but also to benefit their body and mind during their holiday,” said Jan-Hendrik Karliczek, General Manager of ROBINSON NOONU. “With our sport and well-being event weeks, we offer them the opportunity to get to know new innovative concepts and to practice them with experienced coaches and experts.”

In addition to the special event weeks, the resort offers a wide range of activities for all guests to enjoy, including volleyball, badminton, football, water polo, table tennis, billiards, snorkelling, diving, fishing, sailing, boat tours, and wakeboarding.

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Inaugural Kandooma Manta Week kicks off on World Manta Day 2023

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives celebrates the annual World Manta Day (17 Sept) with the naming of a recently rescued Giant Oceanic Manta Ray, an award and a variety of guest activities for the resort’s inaugural Kandooma Manta Week. World Manta Day has been created to celebrate manta rays and to raise awareness of the threats that these beautiful, mysterious, ocean giants face.

Last month divers from Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives led by Japanese PADI-certified Dive Instructor Tomoyo, freed a Giant Oceanic Manta Ray tangled in ghost nets, at a site nearby to the island resort. The Manta Trust through its identification process has now confirmed the Manta is an adult male and is the 915th Oceanic Manta Ray to be spotted in Maldivian waters. As part of the identification process the Manta was named ‘Kandooma’ in honour of where it was seen and the dive team who freed it from tangled nets.

“We are delighted to have the Manta named after our natural island, Kandooma. When the Manta Trust shared confirmation of the name with us, I was absolutely thrilled,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, who was one of the divers who freed the Manta.

As part of the Kandooma Manta Week activities at the resort, the team at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives will host a naming ceremony for Kandooma the Manta and will honour the Dive Instructor, Tomoyo from the Kandooma Dive Centre for her bravery, seizing the opportunity to cut ‘Kandooma’ the Giant Oceanic Manta Ray free. Other activities for the week long celebration of Manta Rays includes special scuba dives and snorkelling excursions to observe these giants in their natural environment and learn about their behaviours, the threats to their survival and share the story of the freeing of ‘Kandooma’.

“Tomoyo showed no hesitation on the dive. First ensuring the group of accompanying divers were all safe before proceeding. Fortunately they were all experienced and each had enough air remaining for her to do this. In all it took about three and a half minutes to free Kandooma. I was so proud of her for the way she conducted herself and took positive action. I think also the other divers need to be acknowledged as well, they remained calm, kept their distance, didn’t interfere with what Tomoyo was doing and recorded the entire encounter,” added Mark.

The newly named Manta, ’Kandooma’, is estimated to be 4 metres in size. While confirmed origin of the fishing net is yet to be confirmed, it is understood it is not Maldivian and has drifted with the tide from another country, reinforcing the importance of education and responsible disposal of nets and fishing line.

The theme of World Manta Day 2023 is Tourism. Tourism plays a pivotal role in Manta Ray conservation, as it helps to raise awareness, generates funding for research, and contributes to efforts to protect Manta Ray habitats and prevents their exploitation.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma is on the doorstep to some of the Maldives Top Ten Dive Sites and the wellbeing of the ocean and all the life within it, is important to guests and hotel staff alike. The resort aligns its efforts with IHG’s purpose True Hospitality for Good, through their sustainability programme ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ which is the hotel group’s response to helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

Recent events with Kandooma the Manta have inspired the resort’s management to add two free Scuba Dives per day for certified divers staying at the resort for 3 nights or more.

Located in the South Male atoll just 40 mins from the airport by boat, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful island paradise. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for various leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas. Families are well catered for with a choice of 2- and 3-bed villas, the Kandoo Kids’ Club, and its complete activities programme. Six food and beverage outlets ensure healthy appetites are satisfied and the flavours of the Maldives are explored. For guests who desire the ultimate relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island. The Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate tranquility and escape for body and mind.

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Kandooma Maldives shakes things up with free scuba diving for guests

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Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives, just days after being awarded Best Dive Resort 2023 in the Maldives, has added free scuba diving for guests as part of their stay.

“This inclusion sets us apart from our competitors and offers something pretty fantastic for keen scuba divers visiting the Maldives,” said Mark Eletr, General Manager, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

“Just like we include breakfast, snorkelling lessons and access to the Kids’ Club as part of a stay, we now include diving!”

The resort has it’s own five-star PADI Resort dive centre, known as Kandooma Dive complete with experienced and professional dive instructors, purpose-built facilities and a dedicated fleet of dive boats.

Kandooma is known for it’s diving, positioned on the doorstep to some of the Top 10 Dive Sites in the Maldives. Divers can expect to see a wealth of marine life, including manta rays, whale sharks, reef sharks, colourful reef fish, turtles, eagle rays, and a variety of coral species. Some of the dive spots near to Kandooma, include:

  1. Kandooma Thila: This renowned pinnacle showcases schools of vibrant fish, colourful coral formations, and an abundance of marine life. From white-tip reef sharks to eagle rays, the site is a captivating spectacle of biodiversity.
  2. Guraidhoo Corner: Drift along the currents and witness the congregation of gray reef sharks, white-tip sharks, and eagle rays. The site’s dramatic underwater structure adds to the allure of this exciting dive.
  3. Cocoa Corner: Known for its thrilling currents, this site is a magnet for pelagic species. Divers often spot hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and other large marine inhabitants as they glide through the deep waters.
  4. Kuda Giri: The Kuda Giri wreck is an interesting dive site in South Malé in the Maldives, which includes both a small wreck and a pinnacle. They have created a welcoming habitat for a variety of marine life. There is hardly any current around this area making it suitable for less experienced divers.
  5. Manta Point: Witness the mesmerising dance of manta rays as they gather to feed and be cleaned by smaller fish. This site promises awe-inspiring interactions with these majestic creatures.
  6. Lhosfushi: The channel deepens inside to a sandy bottom to 30 metres. There are plenty of fish and marine life including turtles, schools of snapper, sweet lips, fusilier, tuna, Napoleon and white-tip reef sharks. There are also large morays, ribbon eels and elegant fire gobies.
  7. Medhu faru: This channel dive is good for both incoming and outgoing current. You will be likely to spot Napoleon, the graceful Eagle rays and a wide selection of colourful fish. Medhu Faru is one of the best dive sites to see large numbers of reef sharks at close range.
  8. Kandooma Caves: Explore a labyrinth of swim-throughs and underwater caverns adorned with sponges and gorgonians. The site is known for its macro life and the occasional appearance of larger predators.
  9. Waggiri: This is a great dive site for every diver, especially those who love to see small life and have long dives. The formation of this giri is very unique and a perfect place to try a night dive. Expect to see anemone fishes, groupers, frogfish, ghost pipe fish, schools of bat fish, stonefish and yellow mouth moray eels.
  10. Miyaru Kandu: This channel dive features an explosion of marine life, including barracudas, snappers, and reef sharks. The site’s coral-encrusted overhangs and vibrant soft corals create a stunning backdrop for underwater exploration.

“At Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives we are passionate about our aquatic wonderland and sharing it with our guests. The beautiful crystalline waters, vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life all make it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts and those seeking unparalleled exploration of the deep blue,” added Mark.

Marketed as Dive Free @Kandooma, the new inclusions are available to full paying guests staying a minimum of three nights and includes two single tank group dives for two certified divers per day of stay. All dives are fully guided and include free dive equipment, boat transfers and air/Nitrox. Guests must be fit to dive and be fully certified. The offer is governed by PADI best practice, meaning there is no diving on day of departure + 24 hour ‘no-fly’ time. Any unused dives can only be rolled over to other days at the discretion of the Dive Centre Manager and unused dives are not encashable or exchangeable for other services. Note: some flash sale/discounted accommodation offers may specifically exclude this Dive Free inclusion. The Dive Free @Kandooma inclusions commence 1 September 2023 and will be reviewed 31 October 2024.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is a beautiful natural island paradise, located in the South Male Atoll just 40-mins from the airport by boat.  White sand beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the exquisite backdrop for a wide variety of leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives.

Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses, the three-bedroom Beach Pool Villa and the popular Overwater Villas with direct ladder access to the water below.

Families are well catered for with the Kandoo Kids’ Club with its dedicated water zone and a full activities programme.  

After a day of diving you will have a healthy appetite.  Delight in a choice of six food and beverage outlets with an array of delicious cuisine and a showcase of Maldivian flavours influenced by India and Arabia.  

Between dives and for those guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island and the Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala is the ideal place to unwind.

Whether an experienced diver seeking adrenaline-pumping encounters or a novice eager to embark on a new adventure, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives offers an abundance of opportunities to explore its underwater treasures. With its warm waters, exceptional visibility, and a Five-Star Resort Dive Centre, it’s easy to see why Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives was named Best Dive Resort 2023. At Kandooma scuba diving is elevated into an immersive experience that forever lingers in the heart and memory, and now its FREE.

For more information visit www.maldives.holidayinnresorts.com or email reservations.hikandooma@ihg.com

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