Heinrich Morio Joins Soneva As Managing Director – Maldives

Soneva Resorts and Residences, the world-leading luxury resort operator, has announced that Heinrich Morio has joined the company as the new Managing Director – Maldives, responsible for overseeing its flagship resort Soneva Fushi as well as its latest luxury offerings Soneva in Aqua and Soneva Jani.

A dual US and German National, Heinrich’s hospitality career spans more than 35 years, most of which have been spent in the management team of some of the world’s most renowned luxury hotels and resorts.

Prior to joining Soneva, Heinrich was the General Manager (opening) of the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, and formerly the General Manager of the Burj al Arab, as well as the General Manager of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, both also located in Dubai, UAE.  Before moving to the Middle East, Heinrich was the General Manager of several One & Only properties in Mauritius and Bahamas, as well as luxury resorts in the United States. He will join Soneva in July 2016.

We are very excited to have Heinrich on board with us. He has impressive hospitality experience in iconic properties around the world and we look forward to leveraging his expertise to further enhance Soneva’s service offering. He will work closely with Olivia as we ramp up to open Soneva Jani by October 2016,” said Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva Resorts.

In October 2015, Soneva welcomed Olivia Richli as the new General Manager (opening) of Soneva Jani, Soneva’s newest property in the Maldives, which is currently under construction.  The resort is being built on a large island surrounded by four smaller islands in the middle of a large, five-kilometre turquoise lagoon in the Noonu Atoll, Maldives. Four of the five islands will remain untouched so it will be, by far, the lowest density development in the Maldives. Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani comprises 24 over water villas and 32 island villas.

The resort is surrounded by crystal clear waters, with pure white beaches, islands covered in rich tropical vegetation and set in a vast sparkling lagoon.Soneva owns and operates Soneva Fushi in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. Soneva in Aqua, an ultra luxurious yacht offering an experiential travel experience, was launched in the Maldives in 2015 and sails out of Soneva Fushi. For more information about Soneva visit www.soneva.com

W Maldives Appoints new GM Anton Birnbaum

W Retreat & Spa – Maldives is thrilled to announce the appointment of its new General Manager, Anton Birnbaum. A native of Austria is responsible for the overall operation, providing strategic and inspirational leadership to his new team and delivering distinguished W experience to the hotel guests and clients. Among other responsibilities, Anton will oversee implementation of the annual business plan annual operational and capital budgets, marketing and guest satisfaction.

Anton was promoted to the top position after previously serving eight years as Executive Assistant Manager at Le Méridien Vienna, where he started his hospitality career as a Director of Human Resources. Prior to joining the Starwood team, Anton worked for such big brands as T-Mobile, DO & CO or SPAR in Austria.

During his time with Le Méridien Vienna, Anton supervised the development of the Food & Beverage department and functioned as a key hotel contact for such major events as the Life Ball, Fashion Check-in, Vienna Fashion Week, Afterhours, Vienna Art Fair or Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. He also focused on the networking events in the B2B sector as well as building the relationship with hotel’s key suppliers and partners. In 2014 Anton took charge of the Luxury Collection Hotel Imperial’s launch event for more than 1,000 guests including international stars like supermodel Helena Christensen.

For bookings and more information on W Retreat & Spa – Maldives, please explore http://www.wretreatmaldives.com/.

Sheraton Maldives wins 2016 Starwood Cares for the Community Awards

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has won the 2016 Starwood Cares for the Community Awards in Asia Pacific division. Sheraton Maldives received the award for its remarkable efforts initiated last year to support and improve the conditions at the Home for People with Special Needs in Guraidhoo.

The Management and associates of Sheraton Maldives organised several fundraising events which included a charity run in which the national record holder Hassan Saaid himself participated to show his support, a jumble sale where all the profits went to the home and also the donation of furniture and bathroom fixtures amongst many others.

Established in 1976, Home for People with Special Needs is a rehabilitation home on the island of Guraidhoo that provides special care and services to over 150 residents between 15 to 95 years of age from homeless, old, young, mentally and physically disabled.

Starwood Cares for the Community Awards acknowledges and celebrates the efforts of Starwood properties and associates who ‘set the bar’ for community involvement. Over 3,150 associates globally voted for the winners out of the top three finalists from each division.

Kurumba Maldives Offers a Scholarship for Maldivians

As part of its ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility program, Kurumba Maldives is pleased to announce the launch of its scholarship programme

Kurumba Scholarship FlyerKurumba Maldives has established a scholarship programme to assist Maldivians who plan to continue their education in college. Under this programme, Kurumba provides scholarship grants to two graduated high school students, to enable the recipients to complete a 3 year graduate programme in Hospitality & Hotel Administration at an accredited institution of the resort’s choice in India.

This scholarship is eligible to Maldivian citizens and permanent residents who have passed in 10+2 system of Senior Secondary School examination or its equivalent from a recognized Institution with English as one of the subjects, securing not less than 50% marks in aggregate. Those appearing in qualifying exam can also apply on provisional basis. Provisional admission will be cancelled on non-submission of having passed the qualifying examination at the time of admission or latest by 30th September 2016.

Graduates with challenging life conditions and with a higher level of aptitude and attitude will be preferred.

Age limit: Not more than 22 years as of 1st July 2016.

Application submission deadline: 31st March 2016.

Please apply at [email protected]

For more detailed information, please click here

About Kurumba Maldives

Kurumba Maldives is set on a tropical island in the North Male’ Atoll, conveniently situated a brief 10 minute speedboat ride from the airport. Dotted with coconut trees that are the island’s namesake, Kurumba was the first private island resort in the Maldives. Beautiful gardens, palm fringed white sandy beaches and a vibrant house reef is the hallmarks of this classic Maldivian resort.

The resort offers an array of nine styles of accommodation, ranging from comfortable Superior rooms to the spacious Royal Residence, spread amongst the island’s lush tropical gardens with easy access to the beach. With eight different restaurants to choose from Kurumba Maldives will charm you with its unparalleled choice of dining experiences and a wide range of recreation activities and entertainment. All while maintaining idyllic refuges and quiet spaces of relaxation to create the perfect balance for a holiday in paradise, perfect for honeymooners and families alike.

Over the years, Kurumba has played host to a variety of foreign dignitaries and Heads of State, including Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former US Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. It has also been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including Maldives Leading Hotel (World Travel Awards) in 2010 and 2011, and Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards for Best Service and Luxury (2013) as well as the number one All-Inclusive resort in Asia (2014 and 2015), and number one best All-Inclusive resort in the world (2015).

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drill in the Maldives

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drill in the Maldives in collaboration with Maldives National Defense Force Fire and Rescue department and Maldives Police Services.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drill in the Maldives in collaboration with Maldives National Defense Force Fire and Rescue department and Maldives Police Services.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillMalé, Maldives March 2016: A member of the Shangri-La Hotel group, Hotel Jen Malé, Maldives prides itself in embracing safety and security at top priority at all times. And in ensuring this is always at its best, frequent drills are carried out by hotel Chief Security and Fire Life Safety Manager, Christopher Rodrigoe with hotel management team to ensure hotel staff are well-trained in handling emergencies and all safety and security related equipment are in excellent condition.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillHotel Jen and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) with their Fire & rescue department jointly undertook a full evacuation drill at the hotel.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillOn 19th March at 9.00am, Hotel Jen’s fire alarm went off ringing persistently and hotel’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) went into prompt action. Situation escalated and an evacuation was called out in the hotel’s public address (PA) system. Hotel fire wardens quickly stepped in and took over the evacuation process on hotel guests and staff who were led out of hotel emergency exits to the designated assembly point at Dharumavantha School effectively.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillWhilst evacuation is in progress, fire trucks with sirens arrived and members of the MNDF Fire & Rescue department took over the situation at the hotel. The hotel vicinity was abuzz with activity as passersby started gathering curiously watching what was going on.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillA “guest” was found trapped on the 6th floor of hotel and MNDF personnel quickly actioned a rescue operation! Within minutes the city’s tallest fire-elevator (30m) was deployed and the “guest” was safely lifted from the balcony and brought down to safety whereby medical personnel took over and quickly rushed the “guest” to the hospital in the standby ambulance.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillWhilst at the assembly point, hotel Crisis Management Team was taking charge by roll-calling and ascertaining everyone from the hotel has been accounted for and no one was left behind. A quick assessment was carried to ensure those “injured” and “traumatized” were given appropriate assistance.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillThe total evacuation drill took approximately one and half hour.

Hotel Jen Malé Maldives carries out a great Fire evacuation drillHotel Chief Security and Fire Life Safety Manager, Christopher Rodrigoe thanked Colonial Abdulla Zuhury commanding officer of Fire Department and Captain Nadheem Mohamed for their support in executing and evaluation this drill and also the media for their participation today. Christopher hoped with media involvement, the awareness and importance of safety drills and the role of MNDF in ensuring safety and security of the capital city can be shared to all.

A total of 40 MNDF personnel, 45 hotel staff & 5 hotel guests took part in this evacuation exercise.

About Hotel Jen

Hotel Jen is a diverse collection of hotels in the best locations across Asia Pacific, with a unique brand of style and service delivery designed to appeal to a ‘New Jeneration’ of travelers.

The brand is the brainchild of virtual persona Jen, a professional hotelier and all-time lover of life, travel and discovery.

To guests, Hotel Jen delivers quality, comfort, convenience and value with a twist. Jen cares about what really matters to guests – the important things done well; comfortable rooms and honest authentic service; respect, privacy and efficiency served without fuss or intrusion; cultural insights; interesting experiences; and fast, free WiFi everywhere, always.

About Hotel Jen’s Chinese name

今旅

Today – Travel

Jen is a lover of life, fun, adventure and discovery, and wanted a Chinese name to reflect that. ‘Jin’ (today) is about the importance of living every day to its fullest, in the moment, and Lü (travel) represents the idea that life is about exploring new cultures, experiences and ways of being you.

Together, the characters inspire others to ‘travel today’, so why not be a little spontaneous? Jen can’t wait to host you.

Soneva Fushi implements Food wastage Audit

Joins hands with LightBlue Environmental Consulting to tackle fundamental problem affecting global hospitality industry

Soneva Fushi implements food wastage auditSoneva Fushi, the multi award-winning luxury resort in the Maldives, has recently joined hands with LightBlue Environmental Consulting to implement a food waste audit, to understand and address the problem of food wastage that affects the entire hospitality industry and to reinforce its position as global leader in sustainability.

The United Nations recently highlighted that food wastage was one of their most urgent priorities and countries all over the world are beginning to realise the true negative impact of food waste. The United States has announced plans to cut its food wastage by 50 percent by 2030; and while the European Union has set itself the same target, it hopes to do it by 2020. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), “The impact of food waste is not just financial. The vast amount of food going to landfills makes a significant contribution to global warming.”

Soneva Fushi implements food wastage auditA detailed Food Waste Monitoring System was implemented by LightBlue across the Soneva Fushi operations for seven days, and included hands-on training as well as raising awareness among kitchen employees, stewards and service staff.

Employees sorted, weighed, defined and recorded waste for every shift (breakfast, lunch and dinner) to establish a food waste baseline (grams of food waste per cover) and understand where they could focus their efforts on.

The detailed audit helped answer crucial questions related to food waste: How much (in kilogrammes), where (in four categories: spoilage, preparation, buffet and customer plate waste), when, why, and what food is discarded. The assessment also reviewed how much it cost, and how much could be saved through the implementation of strategic recommendations along the food chain, mainly during purchasing, receiving, storage, prep, communication, buffet, and service.

“I think part of the benefit of a detailed audit like this is that it increases everyone’s mindfulness about what they are doing with food. This has really helped everybody throughout the food and beverage team and the organisation as a whole just to think about what they are doing,” Gordon Jackson, the Waste to Wealth Manager at Soneva Fushi.

“There was quite a dramatic reduction to the organic material being sent to out to composting site. So we are down by about 50 percent already,” Gordon said.

At the end of the comprehensive review, Soneva Fushi received the LightBlue “Certificate of Completion” marking its genuine effort in readdressing a problem that affects the entire hospitality industry.  Resort employees who showed true commitment received a personal Food Waste Champions Certificate of Achievement.

“It was a genuine pleasure working with the Soneva Fushi team. I’ve never experienced such dedication from employees to understand, implement and address the food waste issue, which was pivotal in the successful implementation of the audit. I feel that this is the result of a genuine commitment from Soneva to integrate sustainability in every aspect of its operation, and it shows once again that sounds environmental practices translate into substantial financial benefits,” said Benjamin Lephilibert, Managing Director of LightBlue Environmental Consulting.

Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 57 spacious, multi-bedroom luxury beachfront villas that are hidden among dense foliage for ultimate privacy. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday personal butlers who know what you want before you want it.

About Soneva Fushi:

In 1995, award-winning luxury resort Soneva Fushi set the standard for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways in the Maldives. It has a pristine Biosphere UNESCO protected reef and is known for its legendary service.

Fifty-seven private villas with their own stretch of beach are hidden among dense foliage within touching distance of a pristine coral reef.  Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers.

Highlights include the open-air Cinema Paradiso, counting Saturn’s rings in the high-tech Observatory, the home-made chocolate and ice cream rooms, five hundred wines to choose from and nine dining options.

If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple: No news, no shoes. No pretensions either.

About LightBlue Environmental Consulting:

Light Blue is a Bangkok-based boutique consulting firm offering expert auditing, advising and capacity building services to hotels willing to improve performance and minimize their social and environmental footprint.

Based on resources, needs and objectives, our hand-picked specialists deliver tailor-made solutions to cut operational expenses, increase employees’ efficiency and loyalty, as well as to improve the reputation of hotels operating more responsibly.

Light Blue’s methodology has been recognised as aligned with the United Nations’ Food Loss and Waste draft standard.

Earth Hour celebrated at Jumeirah Vittaveli

The special occasion was marked at the resort with an atmospheric performance.

Jumeirah Vittaveli joined in the global celebrations of Earth Hour with an atmospheric singing bowl concert performed by Winnie Rode.

Guest resident Winnie Rode is a recognised sound therapist who is currently staying at Jumeirah Vittaveli for the resort’s annual Talise Wellness Month. Until March 24, 2016, guests at the resort can join Winnie in daily group meditation sessions or experience his unique singing bowl sound massage in a private treatment.

During Earth Hour, all lights at the resort’s restaurants and public areas were switched off and candles illuminated the night. Winnie Rode began his atmospheric singing bowl concert, mesmerising colleagues and guests.

With the soft and echoing sounds of his bronze singing bowls and the low chants interspersing the vibrations coming from the bowls, Winnie delivered a relaxing and tranquil performance.

Earth Hour is a global movement by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that focusses on climate change awareness and protecting the environment. The first Earth Hour was celebrated in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 and it has since spanned the globe each year.

About Jumeirah Vittaveli:

A 20-minute boat ride from Malé International Airport brings you to Jumeirah Vittaveli. Whether for an intimate escape or an indulgent family retreat, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalised exploration. Impeccable choice and seamless service shape the character of this resort paradise, where every detail has been meticulously crafted to inspire journeys of discovery and enjoyment. Whether beach-side or over-water, all villas feature stunning interiors with private pools and access to the sandy shores or glistening waters. An inspirational Spa, a well-equipped overwater gymnasium, a children’s club and 5 star PADI dive centre mean guests are always able to try something new.

About Jumeirah Group:

Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts including the flagship Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts manages properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Kuwait in the Middle East; Baku, Bodrum, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London and Mallorca (Spain) in Europe; the Maldives and Shanghai in Asia. Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah LivingTM with properties in London and Dubai; the new contemporary lifestyle hotel brand VenuTM; the wellness brand TaliseTM; Jumeirah Restaurant Group DubaiTM; Wild Wadi WaterparkTM; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality ManagementTM; and Jumeirah SiriusTM, its global loyalty programme. Future openings include luxury and lifestyle hotels in China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Russia and the UAE. www.jumeirah.com

Sheraton Maldives to Host Blindfold Dining to Mark Earth Hour

Joining millions around the world to mark the Earth Hour 2016, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has announced a number of special events to mark the day including the introduction of blindfold dining experience.

Guests will enjoy an exclusive 6 course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Roman Gernoth and his team while blindfolded at the signature restaurant Sea Salt while listening to live music by a solo performer. Dark dining or blindfold dining experience concept is based on removal of vision enhancing the other senses to increase gastronomic pleasure.

“We are very excited to introduce and host the blindfold dining experience in the Maldives on this occasion. This not only allows the team to show its creativity; but most importantly creates a memorable and unique experience for our guests who are joining us to mark this day” said Mr. Rashvan Ibrahim, F&B Manager.

Other activities that have been planned include a special Earth Hour Maldivian buffet with live Bodu Beru performances, cultural shows and several other activities to generate awareness about #ChangeClimateChange in thinking about our actions today which will decide what tomorrow will look like for generations to come.

New Incentives and Special Events Venue Inaugurates at Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives

Holiday Inn @Kandooma Maldives Special events venueMALE – Hosting an event in a marvelous place like the Maldives irrespective of size, type, and occasion will never be the same as Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives inaugurates its new incentives and special events facility, the Kandooma Marquee.

This Maldives resort, which is only a 40-minute speedboat drive from the nation’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport has launched the brand new incentives and events venue with its maiden affair organized by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Maldives.

The event which tackles about safety awareness topic was attended by the resort’s Chinese holidaymakers, embassy staff, and H.E Mr. Liu Qiang, Charge D’affaires, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

Holiday Inn @Kandooma Maldives Special events venueFeaturing 200 square meter of movable events space, the Kandooma Marquee can host up to 180 guests comfortably. Local and international business companies looking to hold intimate incentives and special events or brainstorm sessions in a unique and isolated spot can take advantage of the resort’s state-of-the-art facilities, a large area for group or team building activities, multilingual speaking staff, resident doctor and nurse, and a specialized team professionally handling incentives and special events and group requests from planning to event execution.

Incentives and special events planners, and organizers will have the opportunity to enjoy tastefully appointed decor, high-speed wireless Internet access, and advanced audiovisual equipment.

When it comes to stimulating productivity, the Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives features a variety of inspiring event menus to help ensure gatherings are extraordinary and delightful. Whether planning a sit-down lunch and dinner, or a simple coffee break, the resort’s professional culinary team is dedicated to bringing visions to life based on the client’s budget.

After an active day of events, professionals can wind down in the resort’s ideal accommodations available in five categories – Garden or Beach View Villa, Beach House, Family Beach House, Overwater Villa, and the oversized Overwater Pavilion. Featuring well-appointed bedding, flat-screen television with premium cable channels, room service, mini-bar, spacious work desks and high-speed Internet access, guest villas allow visitors to stay be as relaxed or productive as they desire.

Also present during the inauguration was Mr. Joseph Della Gatta, General Manager of Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives. “The Kandooma Marquee, a new addition to the resort, is our response to the increasing demand of incentives and special events and group requests we are receiving across different parts of the world”, said Joseph.

“With the brand’s commitment to provide memorable events through our seamless assistance from planning to event implementation, we are here to ensure that we help incentives and special events planners make their event a success”, Joseph added.

About Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives

Ladled with cool, contemporary Island design, Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives brings a modern vibe to the Maldives. Slip into island life from the moment you arrive at Holiday Inn Resort® Kandooma Maldives, with world-class South Male Atoll diving and surfing on your doorstep. Learn to sail on a catamaran trip around the region’s sandbanks or take it easy with alcohol-free cocktails on a sunset cruise. Top off a perfect day with breathtaking sunsets on the deck at The Kitchen restaurant.

About InterContinental Hotels Group

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of nine hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts.

IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with nearly 79 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,700 hotels and 688,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, with more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Meet W Maldives Marine Insider Who Protects The House Reef By Killing The Starfish

W-Maldives house reefWith its central location in the Maldives’ North Ari atoll, W Retreat & Spa – Maldives is surrounded by some of the best dive sites in the world. All the big fish such as mantas, whale and hammerhead sharks are to be found in the immediate vicinity plus those smaller marine animals such as frogfish or ghost pipefish.

Morgan Dobson Marine BiologistIn the retreat’s commitment to craft unique and authentic experiences, W Retreat & Spa – Maldives offers a myriad of specially designed water activities through DOWN UNDER & WAVE, its diving and watersports centre. These activities immerse guests in the vibrancy of experiences of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the Maldives. One of the key people playing a vital role in this is Morgan Dobson, the retreat’s W MARINE INSIDER who has been based on the Fesdu island for 18 months. Growing up in Cyprus and with a diploma in Marine Biology and a degree in Environmental Studies, Morgan leads all conservation initiatives such as coral rehabilitation and educational outreach programs to preserve a healthy ecological environment at W Retreat & Spa – Maldives. He is also a certified diving instructor and takes care of the diving and snorkelling trips to local reefs and around the Ari Atoll, where the best dive sites are located. Maaya Thila, Fishhead, Malhos Thila, Himendhoo Thila – to name just a few. A tilla is a smaller sand formation that rises up like a small hill in the water and never reaches its surface. Tillas are often as deep as 8 meters to the top of the reef.

W Maldives reefW Retreat & Spa – Maldives is renowned for its underwater offerings – dive sites enhanced by tillas and farus – coral walls in large circles, which rise up from anywhere between 40-20 meters to just below the surface of the ocean. A unique diving spot in Fesdu is Hoholla Faru. This faru has a number of shallow caves big enough to swim into. The ceiling and walls are very honeycombed, allowing fish to swim in and out at their leisure. The ceiling, a living mural, is covered by coral encrusted clam shells. Just a stone’s throw from Fesdu is Gaathafushi desert island. It is totally intact and wild – a tropical fantasy in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfishFollowing a recent invasion of crown-of-thorns starfish on the retreat’s house reef, which started in September 2015, W MARINE INSIDER and his team have been dedicated to stopping it ever since. The starfish consume the corals by climbing onto them, thrusting out their stomachs, and bathing the coral in digestive enzymes, which liquefy it for ingestion. Adult crown-of-thorns starfish, ranging in size from 9 to 18 inches (3-6 cm) in diameter and with up to 21 arms, can eat nearly a square foot of coral each in a day.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfish 2“We currently have teams entering the water and injecting the starfish with vinegar to kill them. We have also extended this procedure to other nearby reefs as this seems to be the area where they arrive from. So far more than 25,000 starfish have been killed. Also, the starfish behavior has changed as they are now hiding on the house reef during the day and come out to feed at night, which is why we have to dive in the dark to kill them.

W-Maldives crown of thorns starfish 4If the current trends continue, the Fesdu’s spectacular reef may be severely damaged within a few years from now. Stopping the starfish infestation is a priority for us at the moment as this can save the stunning reef flora and fauna”, Morgan concluded.

W Maldives whalesharkFor bookings and more information on W Retreat & Spa – Maldives, please explore http://www.wretreatmaldives.com/