Articles by "Maldives"
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Top 5 Experiences to Check Off Your Maldives Bucket List

Hope you are well! If a trip to the iconic archipelago is on your mind, wait no further - here’s presenting you five experiences you can check off your Maldives bucket list so you can have the best time in paradise.



Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa

Try your hand at making a sustainable cocktail

Cocktail and sustainability in one? Sounds like a dream but isn’t too good to be true, as you can sign yourself up for a sustainable cocktail making class with Hilton Amingiri Resort & Spa’s dedicated Cocktail Lab. From making their own syrups on the island to infusing different kinds of gin with things like lemongrass, snake fruit (salak) and coconut, and using every bit of a fruit for a cocktail - you’ll be sure to pick up a thing or two from the mixologists here and be on your way to mixing up your own drink back home.

Treat yourself to a signature massage or hammam ritual at the Amingiri Spa

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Spa offers various rejuvenating treatments - from their signature massages to body wraps, a 16-point acupressure facial massage, and purifying hammam rituals (a traditional cleansing ritual that purifies and rebalances the senses). When you’re all zenned out, take your pick from a selection of unique tea blends at the Spa afterwards, or hop on over to their Sip Tea Lounge, where you can explore an extensive array of teas from all over the world.





Go diving or venture out on scuba diving and snorkeling trips

Head to the Maldives and you’ll know that watersports is one of the experiences you just can’t miss. Deepen your travel experiences and marvel at the wonderful world beneath the waves on scuba diving and snorkeling trips. Nestled in a picturesque corner of the Maldives, Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort is one of the best places to dive with extraordinary wildlife including manta rays, turtles, and dolphins - and by mid September they’ll be only the third SSI Diamond Centre in the Maldives. Diving in the Maldives - check!

Spot a dolphin on board a cruise

If you’d rather stay dry but would still like to enjoy an experience on the waters, hop on a cruise and watch dolphins swimming alongside you while you relax with the ocean breeze against your face. Dolphin watching is one the most popular excursions across the best islands in the Maldives. With over 20 species of dolphins, you can find spinner dolphins, spotted dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, and striped dolphins around the atolls.

Stay at the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort

Sited in Amingiri Island in the North Malé Atoll, Hilton Maldives Amingiri makes its flagship debut in the iconic archipelago. The resort is directly accessible from Velana International Airport via a scenic 20-minute premium speedboat ride. The all-villa resort features 109 expansive beach and overwater villas, each offering a private pool and enticing views of the surrounding turquoise lagoon. A key highlight of the Hilton Maldives Amingiri is the six-bedroom Amingiri Residence - the ideal escape for larger groups of travellers, with its own landscaped cove and dedicated sundeck with uninterrupted views of the Maldivian horizon. Home to six distinctive dining concepts and boasting unparalleled views of the ocean, a stay at Hilton Maldives Amingiri is sure to leave you feeling fully relaxed and well taken care of.





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Top 10 Tips from Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort on Viewing Manta Rays

It’s World Manta Day on 17 September


Reef manta rays feed on microscopic plankton, grow up to four metres from wingtip to wingtip, and can weigh up to 700kg

MALE, MALDIVES – Ahead of World Manta Day on 17 September, Lynn Jula Kessler, the marine biologist at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort offers the following advice on viewing the gentle giants.

1. When to go?
The manta rays’ migration pattern is dominated by the two monsoon seasons in the Maldives. From roughly December to May we find the mantas more frequently on the Western atolls. From June to November we mainly focus our search on the eastern sites. In South Ari Atoll around Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort we are extremely lucky to record year-round sightings of manta rays, as the animals don’t leave the atoll when the monsoon is changing (due to the geographical size of the atoll). Most manta sightings have been recorded between October and March.

2. Videos and books to enjoy in preparation
The Manta Trust has published a fantastic Guide to Manta and Devil Rays, which gives a great overview of all the manta species known to science, with helpful identification keys. For a more aesthetic book, I recommend the Secret Life of Manta Rays, co-authored by Dr. Guy Stevens, the founder of Manta Trust. This book has stunning photographs and interesting insights to the conservation efforts, plus it’s a beautiful coffee table book. As one of the biggest threats to manta ray populations around the world is overfishing, I can recommend Seaspiracy on Netlfix to familiarise yourself with overexploitation of the seas.

3. Choose a resort with a dedicated marine biologist or conservationist
Many resorts in the Maldives have a resident marine biologist or conservationist on site. With a bit of research, or by contacting the resort directly, you can find out how well the marine biologist is included in the resort’s ocean activities — and what other types of sustainability efforts are being pursued by the resort. At Outrigger we have our global nature conservation programme called OZONE — Outrigger ZONE.

4. Do a trial snorkel or scuba dive first
This is important, especially if you are not a strong swimmer or have little experience snorkelling in the ocean. Try snorkelling in a safe environment first. This way you can familiarise yourself with the equipment, practice being in open water, and increase the chance of a more enjoyable manta dive or snorkel excursion.

5. Be ready!
If you join a group trip make sure you listen to your guide’s instructions and are ready to get into the water at any moment!

6. Don’t get too close
Manta rays are very curious by nature. We try to stay at about a three to four metre radius. But due to mantas’ inquisitive nature they almost always break this distance themselves. The best advice I can give when it comes to manta ray encounters is to stay as calm as possible. The chances of the manta ray turning around and checking you out from up close are much higher when you remain calm at the surface rather than splashing around and chasing after it. However, don’t try to touch a manta ray. This will most likely end the encounter as mantas are not tactile animals and get scared when being touched.

7. Photography tip
Many times I have seen guests more focused on their camera settings than on the mantas themselves. If you are not familiar with your camera settings or you don’t want the extra pressure of having to take pictures as well as keeping up with mantas, leave the camera behind. However, action cameras such as GoPros are usually a very easy solution and make great footage and can be rented at the dive centre. If you join a trip with me you can be certain that I always carry a camera. I am more than happy to share my pictures.

8. Instagram channels to keep an eye on
If you are interested in manta rays, I recommend the channels from Manta Trust (@mantatrust) and the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (@maldianmantaproject). On the OZONE Maafushivaru (@ozone_maafushivaru) channel, I share information and insights on manta rays as well as other marine projects at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort.

9. What is Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort doing on Manta Ray Day?
For World Manta Day we have a scheduled manta ray excursion for our guests. I will be joining as well, providing the participants with insights into the manta rays’ life and briefing everyone on proper in-water behaviour. All data collected during this trip will be submitted to the Maldivian Manta Ray Project and the Manta Trust, which is the world’s leading organisation on manta ray research and conservation.

10. Learn more about mantas and the responsible resort approach
Find out more about World Manta Day at WorldMantaDay.com. It’s a great resource with information links, a list of challenges facing mantas, upcoming events, and how to get inolved. The Outrigger OZONE page also gives useful insights on coral protection and propagation initiatives, reducing waste, guest education, and the best eco-activities for responsible travellers.

Related links:
Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa in Hawaii to Host World Manta Day Festival, 17 Sept
Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort Playing an Important Role in Manta Ray, Whale Shark & Turtle Conservation
About Outrigger’s Nature Conservation Initiative - OZONE
About World Manta Day


Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort: an ideal base for manta ray discoveries in the South Ari Atoll.

ABOUT OUTRIGGER MALDIVES MAAFUSHIVARU RESORT
Discover a unique Island Experience in the Indian Ocean offering small island charm with contemporary architecture and bespoke finishing touches. In the pristine South Ari Atoll, the 5-star Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort is a 25-minute seaplane journey from Male. It offers 81 villas in five distinct styles plus four restaurants, bars and cafes, a spa, a library lounge, boutique, airport lounge and transfers. The resort features a fully equipped PADI and SSI dive centre, island excursions, movie and documentary nights and vow renewals for couples. It has its own in-house marine biologist who leads marine discovery trips, a coral regeneration project, and gives marine life presentations twice a week as part of the Outrigger OZONE global nature conservation initiative. More at Outrigger.com.

ABOUT OUTRIGGER HOSPITALITY GROUP
For nearly 75 years, Outrigger Resorts and Hotels has charted a journey of discovery – expanding from Hawaii to premier resort destinations including Fiji, Mauritius, Thailand and The Maldives. The privately held hospitality company invites guests to ‘Escape Ordinary’ with authentic Signature Experiences and the Outrigger DISCOVERY loyalty program. Outrigger’s multi-branded portfolio includes Outrigger® Resorts, OHANA Hotels by Outrigger®, Hawaii Vacation Condos by Outrigger®, Kapalua Villas Maui and Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui while also managing select properties from top international hotel brands including Embassy Suites by Hilton®, Best Western® and Hilton Grand Vacations®. Find out more at Outrigger.com or visit @OutriggerResorts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Hospitality Investment Conference Indian Ocean 2017
Uncovering your next hospitality investment opportunity in the Indian Ocean

The two-day conference brought together over 100 decision makers from 11 different countries with the same goal of understanding what opportunities in the hospitality sector the Indian Ocean (IO) markets have to offer. We had the honour of having the Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka; the Hon. John Amaratunga,Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka and H.E. Hussain Lirar, Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Maldives grace the event as guests-of-honour.
The conference began with the Hon. John Amaratunga and H.E. Hussain Lirar delivering their ministerial keynote speeches. David Keen, CEO of QUO then engaged the 3 guests-of-honour in a half-hour interview session centring on arrivals, investment positions, access and infrastructural developments in the markets of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. 
Returning next year, HICIO 2017 aims to facilitate dialogues amongst hotel owners, operators and managers, developers, investors and architects at the two-day event.

To find out more, please visit www.hicio.sphereconferences.com.

The conference then went around the IO in the next 80 minutes, commencing with STR’s story-telling through the trends and figures. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) went on to present the present and future of tourism in Sri Lanka, before a panel comprising representatives from HIMA Holdings, Jetwing Hotels, theMaldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and Hotelier Maldives concluded the 80-min session with a discussion on operating within the unique IO. 
The second day of the conference featured panels discussing asset value creation and what are keeping owners up at night, as well as the impact of the millennials and disruptors on the hospitality sector in the IO. The Chairman of The Rainforest Ecolodge also shared best practices that were employed in the development of the project within the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.