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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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Once-in-a-lifetime baby Humpback Whale encounter at Komandoo Maldives

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In the tranquil waters surrounding the Maldives’ Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, a remarkable event unfolded recently, captivating the hearts of guests and locals alike. A baby humpback whale, measuring between 8 to 10 metres in length, graced the reefs with its majestic presence, creating a stir of excitement and awe among those fortunate enough to witness this extraordinary spectacle.

The enchanting encounter began on April 10th at 9:00 am, when the young whale was first spotted near Komandoo Water Villas. Dive Instructor Anna, from Prodivers on Komandoo, was one of the first responders to this unexpected visitation. “I saw the big baby humpback whale sleeping at a depth of 7-8m and took some video footage as proof before heading back to shore as quickly as I could to alert others about this incredible sight,” Anna shared, reflecting on the initial moments of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The news spread like wildfire across the island, with guests at the pool deck and from neighboring properties such as Kuredu, Hurawalhi, and Kudadoo joining in on the excitement. “It was a very joyful event for everyone. People were star-struck and some, myself included, even cried,” Anna recounted, underscoring the emotional impact of witnessing such a rare phenomenon up close. Tina, Kuredu Prodivers Dive Centre Manager, recounted the thrill of unexpectedly encountering the whale during her dive expeditions, “When I ascended from my dive in Aquarium, the Captain screamed at me that there is a humpback whale on Komandoo house reef – I couldn’t believe it!”

Efforts were quickly mobilised to ensure the well-being of the young whale. Komandoo’s General Manager at the time, Navaz, coordinated logistics to provide a speedboat for monitoring the whale’s movements, ensuring that guests and staff could observe from a respectful distance. “Everyone behaved very respectfully. In the water, it was not just guests; even the captain from Aisha Boat, Captain Ahmed, jumped in and snorkelled with the whale too,” Anna added, emphasising the community spirit that surrounded this natural marvel.

The whale’s journey continued to captivate throughout the following days, with sightings near Komandoo’s front jetty, and subsequently outside Hinnavaru’s and Kudadoo’s house reefs. Marlene, from Prodivers Office Team, shared her unforgettable experience, “When I think about my time with the whale, I still get goosebumps. Seeing the humpback was pure joy.”

Marine biologists were consulted to assess the whale’s condition and behavior. They confirmed that the whale appeared healthy and uninjured. “The information we got was that baby whales can get lost from time to time, and if they do, they seek shelter in shallower areas and wait for their family to pick them up again,” Anna explained, offering insights into the whale’s behavior and reassuring observers of its well-being.

For those who cherish wildlife encounters and the magic of the ocean, Komandoo’s recent visitor has left an indelible mark. As the young humpback continues its journey, the memory of this special encounter remains a testament to the wonders that await in the pristine waters of the Maldives. Whether from the shores of Komandoo or neighbouring islands, guests and locals alike were united in marvelling at nature’s beauty, reminding us all of the importance of preserving and cherishing our marine ecosystems.

For travellers seeking unforgettable experiences amidst breathtaking natural beauty, Komandoo and its surrounding islands continue to offer glimpses into the wonders of the ocean that are truly beyond compare.

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Earth, space camp adventures at COMO Maalifushi, COMO Cocoa Island this Summer

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This summer, COMO Hotels and Resorts’ two Maldives properties are offering a unique and exciting line-up of activities designed to inspire and educate all ages. From an exhilarating Space Camp with astronaut-led adventures, to an immersive Earth Camp exploring the natural wonders at COMO Maalifushi, and the exploring the captivating universe under the ocean at COMO Cocoa Island.

Island Astronauts Return To Maldives: Space Camp at COMO Maalifushi

Join us for an unforgettable galactic quest from August 5th to 14th, 2024, at COMO Maalifushi, led by American astronaut Nicole Stott and space advisor Christina Korp. Inspiring for both children and adults, this Space Camp offers a unique blend of adventure and education through art, food, and movement.

Our immersive Space Camp features a fun-filled itinerary of complimentary space-themed island activities for ages up to, ensuring every moment is packed with excitement and learning. All camp activities are complimentary for children aged four to 16.

  • Postcards to Space: Participate in Nicole Stott’s “Postcards to Space” project by creating postcards with artwork and messages about your hopes and dreams. These postcards will be sent to space and returned to you with a “flown in space” stamp.
  • Spacesuit Art: Contribute to “Quilted,” a collaborative art project with children from around the world by adding your unique touch to a spacesuit.
  • Blast Off: Build your own rocket from recycled materials and launch it high into the sky for a thrilling blast off!
  • Protect Our Planet: Discover the impact of human activity on our planet from a space perspective, followed by a beach clean-up on a neighbouring island.
  • Galactic Gastronomy: Enjoy a stellar dinner under the stars, hosted by Nicole Stott. Hear about her adventures aboard the International Space Station while savouring a specially crafted menu.

Island Warriors: Earth Camp at COMO Maalifushi

From July to August 2024, younger guests can join us for a journey through the wonders of the natural world, on land and under the sea. Enjoy educational activities exploring everything from marine biology to traditional crafts, fun-filled fitness workshops, treasure hunts on our castaway island, and more.

Take advantage of our exclusive Family Getaway Offer when you book a stay of five nights or more for Space and Earth Camp. Adults will receive daily half board and complimentary full-board and seaplane transfers for two children (under the age of 12).

Universe Under The Ocean: COMO Cocoa Island

From August 16th to 17th, 2024, dive into the depths of the ocean with NASA astronaut and aquanaut Nicole Stott at COMO Cocoa Island. Experience the ocean through a guided reef dive, learn about the rigorous training astronauts undergo, and enjoy a specially curated menu shared beneath the stars.

Join us for these extraordinary experiences and let your imagination soar beyond the stars!

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Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on journey of artistry with Clay Studio partnership

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Patina Maldives, renowned for its seamless blend of luxury, nature and artistic expression, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Clay Studio, the premier ceramics hub in the Maldives. The unique partnership brings a series of engaging and creative pottery experiences to guests of all ages, offering an enriching addition to their island stay.

Starting on 1 June, Patina Maldives invites guests to embark on a creative with Clay Studio, where they can explore the therapeutic and artistic world of ceramics. This collaboration offers a variety of immersive pottery classes that cater to both novice and experienced artisans.

Wheel Throwing Experience Taster Class

Guests can discover the soothing rhythm of shaping and molding clay in this engaging session. Perfect for unwinding and tapping into their artistic side, this class offers a hands-on introduction to the art of wheel throwing.

Hand Building Experience Taster Class

Participants will enjoy the intimate and expressive art of hand-building pottery. This class provides greater creative freedom, allowing them to craft intricate, personal designs that reflect their unique artistic vision.

Paint A Pot

Guests can unleash their creativity by transforming pre-made clay items into unique masterpieces. This session invites participants to paint their imagination onto cups, trinket dishes, and more.

Kids Clay Studio

Designed for young artists, this class nurtures creativity and imagination through fun, hands-on activities. Children develop fine motor skills and sensory awareness as they create their own unique pieces.

Couple Wheel Throwing Date

Couples can experience a romantic and unique activity in a private setting. This special session offers personalised instruction, making it memorable and intimate experience.

Guests can also enjoy personalised attention and exclusive guidance through private sessions. Ideal for families or couples seeking a bespoke experience, private classes are tailored to meet individual interest and skill levels.

Patina Maldives honours itself on offering extraordinary experiences that blend art, nature, community and connection. This collaboration with Clay Studio is a testament to the resort’s commitment to providing guests with sophisticated and fresh experiences that reveal new layers of possibility and inspiration.

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