Minor Hotel Group takes stakes in Per Aquum

HuvafenfushiPer Aquum Retreats, Resorts and Residence has welcomed Minor Hotel Group as a major stakeholder in its brand with a substantial investment of US$4 million. The Thailand based hotel owner, operator and investor plans to join forces with Universal Enterprises – Maldives and jointly develop the brand to result in at least five additional properties within the next five years.

The Per Aquum brand currently consists of three properties: Huvafenfushi and Niyama in the Maldives and Desert Palm in Dubai. With the addition of these three properties, the total tally of MHG’s portfolio has risen to over 91 properties across twelve countries.

Minor Hotel Group has had an ongoing partnership with the principals of Universal resort since the launch of the three luxury resorts in the Maldives in 2006 and 2007; Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Anantara Veli Resort & Spa and Naladhu Maldives. It has also further strengthened its stance in the Maldives with the opening of Anantara  Kihavah Villas in early 2011. Speaking about the investment Mr Dillip Rajakarier who is the Chief Executive of MHG mentions that Per Aquum is a very well respected and exclusive brand and that they look forward to the opportunity to develop and further its working partnership with Universal Enterprises.

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The Manta Invasion

manta-underwater-ocean-768x1366One of the biggest fascinations for those seeking scuba diving or snorkeling experiences in the Maldives, is the high likelihood of observing white sharks and manta rays. The Maldivian waters, and in particular Baa Atoll is home to one of the world’s most significant stocks of whale sharks and manta rays. While whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and Giant Oceanic Manta rays (Manta Birostris) are classified as Near-Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, they can be spotted in local waters along with Reef resident Manta Rays (Manta Alfredi).  Although approximately 5000-6000 Reef Resident Manta Rays make up the majority of the manta ray population, Giant Oceanic Manta Rays with wingspans up to 12 feet can also be observed at specific locations within the country.  As such, “Hanifaru Bay”, a protected uninhabited island in Baa Atoll of the Maldives is one of the world’s hottest locations for such observations.

Manta Ray species and Whale Sharks that can be approximately the size of 40 feet shipping containers are known to visit Baa Atoll throughout the year, but theyhanifaru-bay are particularly well spotted in Hanifaru Bay during the Hulhangu Moosun (South West Monsoon). Such visits in numbers coincides with an annual feeding event, in which returning whale sharks and manta rays feed on high concentrations of zooplankton such as copepods for up to 7 months in between May to November. The spectacular invasion of manta rays and whale shark populations make Hanifaru Bay one of the Earth’s rare spots in which such numbers aggregate to feed. Several Giant Oceanic Manta Rays has been spotted feeding amongst the Hanifaru manta population, while three Mobula ray species and six other species of rays have also been recorded inside the Hanifaru MPA.  Up to 200 manta rays could be feeding off the Hanifaru Bay reefs at a given time, making it arguably the world’s largest Manta Ray feeding area and gaining widespread acclaim as the subject of National Geographic video and photo documentaries.

Although Whale Sharks and Manta Rays were traditionally harvested to reap Manta Ray Feeding Frenzy Source National Geographicprofits from their oil and fins, Baa Atoll has noticeably brought an end to such practices. Although there has been anecdotal information of harmful activities from sources outside the country, such reports mainly relate to accidental killings caused by sea traffic and fishing nets. Such efforts, along with better monsoon factors in Baa Atoll can be attributed to the The Manta Trust’s Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) recording of an increase in manta sightings by 30% last year, to reach 3,000 sightings. The MMRP report also states that a decline in manta ray population in unlikely, and also refers to encouraging evidence on near future pregnancies.

Various NGOs, stakeholders and the Maldivian government has identified and reacted to potential damages that could be caused by increasing visitor numbers. As such numerous guidelines and rules are being set up and enforced to ensure their feeding habits remain unchanged. Moreover, Hanifaru Bay along with Anga Faru were designated as Marine Protected Areas in 2009, while Baa Atoll was designated as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2011.

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Memories for a Lifetime

Landa GiraavaruThe special relationship that photography has shared with tourism over the years is something to marvel at. One age old tradition of tourists which has remained over the years is the post trip ritual goes through of looking through and sharing their memories of the trip via photographs. Whether they are seasoned travellers who venture of to far distant lands or people who prefer to travel in groups this ritual has been persistent. In contrast to the olden days, going through the bulking photo album of their recent travels with friends and family has been replaced with the uploading of photos on social media. Though the medium has changed, the essence has remained. Photography has gone hand in hand with tourism since its beginning. It serves as a source of advertisement, memento and often as a guide to future travels.

With such a magical connection that photography has with tourism, we at Maldivian Traveller provide these travellers with an opportunity with those picture perfect moments. Our tours are customized to ensure travellers are able to experience those moments that are pictured and advertised. From tourists who wish to view the perfect sunset or the ones who years to put their feet in front of a crystal clear blue waters and enjoy life, Maldives Traveller is ready to guide you to those exact moments. Creating memories is what we do best and with an amazingly wide range of products, we are guaranteed that we would be able to find that perfect memorable experience for you.

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Welcoming You to Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island – Indian Ocean’s Leading New Resort 2013

Coco Prive Aerial View

By: Mujah Muneer

The recipient of this year’s Indian Ocean Leading New Resort award at World Travel Awards this year was Coco Privé Kuda Hithi Island, by locally owned hotel chain Coco Collection.

Regarded by many as one of the finest private getaways, Kuda Hithi Resort offers an absolute escape from the anxieties of daily life. The North Male’ Atoll island presents unmatched luxury  alongside innovative and modern design by prominent architect Guz Wilkinson, making the island the perfect natural haven for privacy-seeking visitors.

Coco Privé Kuda Hithi IslandThe island embraces a unique blend of five luxury villas complementing a grand Master Residence, thus accommodating up to 12 guests. Guests can be ensured the pleasure of magnificently built accommodation, offering a perfect balance of natural ambience and spacious tactile brilliance. The Master Residence comprises of two levels; of which the upper level consists of an open bedroom, living area, and spacious bathroom adjacent to a private deck with a breathtaking view of the azure sea and vibrant turquoise reef alongside a sunken lounge and Jacuzzi. Furthermore, the lower level offers additional amenities such as a library, a fabulous cocktail bar, gymnasium and steam shower.  The five luxury villas also have two private pools along with a shared infinity pool, meaning guests are never too far away from a relaxing private swim.

The island hideaway also offers plentiful outdoor dining and entertainment within the serene beauty of the island, while picturesque spots around the island such as the raised fire pit and fabulously stocked wine-cellar will surely thrill visitors. Guests are assured exquisite dishes of their desire by the resort’s chef and F&B staff around the clock in addition to a free flow of exclusive beverages, and they may also choose to dine at any of the five classy restaurants at the nearby Bodu Hithi resort owned by the hotel chain.

Other Key Amenities on offer at the Island:Coco Prive Diving

  • Personal Host Service
  • Daily spa treatment with dedicated spa therapist
  • Complimentary water sport activities including Wind Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking and Snorkelling
  • Scuba Dives for certified divers with qualified dive master

The island is located 30 KM north of Male’ International Airport, and visitors would be escorted to the destination via private transfer arranged by the resort. To arrange your holidays at Coco Privé Kuda Hithi or any other Maldivian resort, contact us at www.maldivestraveller.com

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The Great Adventure: Fishermen’s Paradise

Photo of Thomas Pickard. Visit his websit www.thomaspickard.com

Staring into the deep blue sea, watching the sun’s golden rays slowly dip into the horizon in front, you slowly start to wonder if you are going to get lucky at all today. The taunting of your friends grows ever louder with every minute that pass by. When all hope is almost lost, you feel that sharp tug and you know that finally the time has come for you.  Then comes the mental and physical game you have to play. Seconds pass and you are left to wonder if you have done enough. Slowly but surely it surfaces, the fruit of your labor. You finally caught that elusive fish. This is the intense and exciting adventure of fishing. A sport that is rooted in our genes and one that thrives in the Maldives.

Long regarded as a honeymooner’s paradise, the idyllic country is littered with amazingBaros_Sandbank-1793_(0) sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. However Maldives is not only perfect for sunbathing and taking a dip into the water, it is also one of the most brilliant destinations to go fishing in.

Fishing has been one of the staples in the Maldivian economy for centuries. Before tourism became the main industry of the Maldives in the 1970’s fishing was long regarded as the bloodline of the country.  Every morning at the crack of dawn, the men of the families could be seen setting of in their boats and when they returned with their catch, the womenfolk would be ready to help them in processing the fish. With such a rich history in fishing, it is not a surprise that the waters of the Maldives is such a gem for all kinds of fishing adventures

The Indian Ocean, the only ocean which reverses the currents with the season is a haven for all types of fish. For the big game fishermen, marlins, tuna’s, sailfish and the ever famous skipjacks are plenty and ready for the adventurous souls.  Whisk of in a speedboat to the best fishing areas with the latest fishing gears that could be hired from the resorts or diving school and immerse yourself in a day of excitement. Although the rules are less, it is important to know where the protected marine areas are and the best fishing spots are. Locals who have spent countless of days fishing near their atolls would be more than glad to guide you along the way. Expect to encounter a variety of fishes such as barracuda’s, wahoo and yellow fin tuna’s in these waters.

If you are looking for a more relaxed environment, reef fishing might be the best choice forNight Fishing photo precious maldives you. With a wide array of marine life such as red snappers, emperors, squirrelfish and much more swimming in the reefs below, it is sure to be a treat that you would not forget soon.   Night fishing would be best suited for such trips and it would leave you with memories that you would cherish for a life time.  Whether it is the thrill of the catch or just staring into the endless skies at the glittering skies of the night above you, night fishing in the traditional Dhoni’s of the Maldives should not be an experience to be missed.

Whether its big game fishing or an outing with family and friends with a barbeque on the sandy banks, roasting up your days catch; fishing in the Maldives is sure to be an exciting adventure unlike any other.

Maldives Pole & Line Fishing

Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives welcomes Resident Marine Biologist & Earth Check Coordinator: Ciara McCarten

Source: Maldives Promotion House

Park Hyatt Maldives

A great deal of attention has been given to the protection and sustainability of the environment and Maldivian Resorts have taken extra steps to be at the forefront of this movement. In accordance with this, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa has introduced Ciara McCarten as its new resident Marine Biologist & Earth Check Coordinator.

Ciara would be offering weekly workshops and courses to measure coral, identify marine life and estimate fish stock, which would help in educating guests, staff and even local islanders on how to preserve, protect and sustain the environment. In addition to this CiaraPark-Hyatt-Maldives-Hadahaa-Scuba-Diving would also be carrying out weekly reef fish surveys to support the Darwin Initiative and Marine Conservation Society UK ‘ Darwin Reef Fish Project”. Guests, staff and locals also have the opportunity to participate in the Darwin Reef Fish Project and assist Ciara with surveys of the health and biodiversity of the reef.

Ciara McCarten expressed that she was delighted and excited to be joining an organization such as Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa that has a strong commitment to the environment.  She is also thrilled to be working so close to an environment with high levels of biodiversity and believes that hiring her is a strong poof of the resorts conservation initiatives.

Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Pool SidePark Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa located 400 km south of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in the North Huvadhoo Atoll. The only property of Park Hyatt brand in Maldives, this amazing resort epitomizes what the Park Hyatt brand stands for: elegance, luxury and comfort.  The surrounding Hadahaa reef is said to be one of the healthiest reefs in the world with a wide array of marine life and topography of coral unlike any other.  There are over 125 endangered species including coral in the Hadahaa Reef. It is also home to several species of stingray and sharks and the endangered Hawksbill Turtles and Napoleon Wrasses.

Island SpaPark Hyatt is the first resort in the Maldives to follow the EarthCheck certification standards for construction and operations.  The resort also takes great initiative to minimize its effects on the earth’s environment by employing energy saving techniques, water conservation, solid waste management and community initiatives. 

Jumeirah Maldives launches “Low Miles” Menu

Jumeirah logoJumeirah Vittaveli and Jumeirah Dhevanafushi have started a special “low miles menu” in their respective restaurants. Unveiled in their luxurious restaurants of Azara and Samsara, this menu is designed to lessen the carbon footprint of the hotel while providing quality service.

In accordance to the brands on-going commitment to lessen its impact on the environment, the menu’s which were created by Jumeirah Maldives chefs are designed to provide a culinary experience with a conscience. Highlighting the impacts a restaurant could have on the environment, the chefs at the renowned restaurants created low miles menu out of genuine concern for its surrounding environment.

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This new initiative, based on the concept of responsible luxury, intends to make most of the local fresh ingredients available of its nearby surroundings.  While providing a distinctive and delicious traditional cuisine, the chefs are also able to ensure minimal air and sea miles are required to bring in the ingredients needed for the menu. This in turn would minimize the harmful greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere during the transportation of the food.

The low miles menu compromises of a sustainable and delicious culinary experience with dishes such as Reef Fish Pappillote with vegetables, Coconut and Chili or Mild Yellow Fish Curry with Chapatti, Mango Chutney and Local Herb Salad. For desserts guests can tuck into to an authentic Maldivian Fruit Cocktail served with a Biscuit and also a Local Custard Cream or Friend Local Banana Fritters served with Island made Coconut Ice Cream. Jumeirah Vittaveli guests can also enjoy this amazing menu as part of destination dining with multiple setting such as a private romantic dinner at the beach or a celebration with a group of friends.

The Azara Restaurant of Jumeirah Dhevanafushi is a food lover’s heaven. International jumeirah-dhevanafushi-azara-03-hero-300x119cuisines are served among the brilliant backdrop of the Maldivian landscape. Feast for your hearts delight with the restaurants a la carte menu’s while enjoying the sophisticated beauty of the Maldivian beach.  Its sister restaurant Samsara in Jumeirah Vittaveli is equally impressive.  With views off the dazzling Indian Ocean, diners can indulge in an exciting mixture of Maldivian delicacies.  Impressive choices are available at this world class restaurant suitable for all types of food aficionados.

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